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    Planning studies in Japan

    Universities (Undergraduate) and Junior Colleges

    Universities and junior colleges constitute the core of higher education institutions in Japan. In principle, the required period of study for universities is four years, while that for junior colleges is two years. Some universities and junior colleges offer audit and credit-earning programs, both intended for non-degree students. Also, in addition to long-term, credit-earning programs,non-degree, short-term programs are available (see page 18).

    1. Admission eligibility

    Students must satisfy any one of the following eligibility criteria:
    • 1) Students who have completed 12 years of school education in countries other than Japan
    • 2) Students who are 18 years of age or older and have successfully passed an academic qualification examination that is equivalent to the completion of 12 years of school education in countries other than Japan
    • 3) Students who have completed studies at international schools in Japan that are officially recognized as equivalent to high schools in countries other than Japan
    • 4) Students who have completed 11 years or more of education courses that are designated by the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in countries other than Japan
    • 5) Students who hold an International Baccalaureate qualification, German Abitur qualification, French Baccalaureate qualification or who meet the GCE A level course requirements specified by each university
    • 6) Students who have completed 12 years of curriculum at education institutes that are accredited by any of the following international accreditation organizations: The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Council of International Schools (CIS) or Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI)
    • 7) Students who are 18 years of age or older and have successfully passed the Upper Secondary School Equivalency Examination in Japan
    • 8) A student who satisfies any one of the admission qualifications specified in the School Education Act, other than those outlined above
    • 9) Students who are 18 years of age or older and are recognized by the educational institutions to which they apply for admission, through their individual admission qualification examinations, as having an academic ability that is equivalent to a high-school diploma or above

    2. Find a school

    Key points to consider content of classes and research-Do they offer classes that I am truly interested in?Do they provide an opportunity for me to conduct research?Do they have instructors I want study with? Suitable program-Are classes under this program attended by both Japanese and international students?Does this program allow international students to earn a degree by only taking classes conducted in English?Is this a short-term or long-term study program? Research facilities-Are they well equipped with research facilities? Entrance examination-Do they offer a pre-arrival admission system?Do they have a special admission procedure for international students? Number of International students accepted ti date, support system for international students-Do they offer supplementary Japanese classes?Do they have staff who support international students and tutors who assist international students in their studies and everyday life?Do they provide career-related support to students? Career paths of graduates-Is it possible to go on to graduate schools?What about graduates' employment record? School and other necessary expenses-How much are school and other necessary expenses for the first year?What about the total amout of expenses to be incurred before graduation? Chances of getting a scholorship-Do they have their own scholorship program and tuition exemption or reduction program?What is the possibility of receieving a scholorship?Will I be told of any decision on the approval or disapproval of a scholorship before I come to Japan? Student housing-Do they have a domitory or attached residential quaters?Do they refer students to appartments? School location-Is the location of this school suitable for studying and living?Is this school located in a big city or a local city?Is the weather suitable for me?
    ●『私費外国人留学生のための大学入学案内』(Guide to university entrance for privately financed international students) (In Japanese only)

    A guidebook that contains valuable information, such as the content of the entrance examinations of each university and junior college and the number of international students who have successfully passed the entrance examinations.
    Edited and published: The Asian Students Cultural Association (sold in Japan)

    Note: Available for browsing at Study in Japan Resource Facilities

    3. Application materials required

    • 1) Application form (university-specific form)
    • 2) Certificate of upper secondary school graduation (or anticipated graduation)
    • 3) Upper secondary school transcript
    • 4) Letter of recommendation from the principal or a teacher from the originating upper secondary school
    • 5) Certificate of proficiency in Japanese and English
    • 6) Others

    Documents for submission vary by school, and some schools require translations in Japanese or English. The best thing to do is inquire directly to the relevant school for details.

    4. Entrance exam

    Many schools conduct entrance exams not only for Japanese students but also for international students. The exam consists of some of the following items (the detailed methods vary depending on the school, so it is best that you check the school application guidebook for details):

    • 1) Document screening
    • 2) Test of academic ability
    • 3) Interview
    • 4) Short essay
    • 5) Other competence and aptitude tests
    • 6) Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU)
    • 7) Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)
    • 8) National Center Test (大学入試センター試験)

    5. Professional and vocational university and professional and vocational junior college

    These are universities and junior colleges where students can learn logic and gain knowledge as well as the practical skills necessary to become a professional in a specified career. Through various practical training opportunities that include long-term on-the-job training at companies as well as studies focusing on other fields related to their chosen career, students develop advanced practical abilities and keep perceptions directly linked to their desired careers. Graduates obtain a degree equivalent to a university or college students’ bachelor’s degree or associate degree, respectively.

    6. Qualifications for course completion and graduation

    A student will be awarded a degree upon graduation, provided that the following criteria have been satisfied.

    Note: Some universities set their own requirements (number of credits, etc.) for graduation.

    Category-University(undergraduate) Regular underguraduate facilities and four-year courses of faculty of pharmacy Required study period-4years Total credits earned-124credits or more Degrees to be awarded-Bachelor's degree Category-University(undergraduate) Faculties of medicine dentistry and veterinaly sciences, and dix-year courses of faculty of pharmacy Required study period-6years Total credits earned-Medicine and dentistry:188 credits or more Veterinary science:182 credits or more Pharmacy:186 credits or more Degrees to be awarded-Bachelor'S degree Category-Junior college 2-year program Total credits earned-62 credits or more Degrees to be awarded-Associate degree Category-Junior college 3-year program Total credits earned-93 credits or more Degrees to be  awarded-Associate degree Category-Proffesional and vocational university Required study period-4years 124 credits or more Degrees to be awareded-Bachelors's degree Category-Proffesional abd vicational junior college 2-year program Total credits earned-62 credits or more Degrees to be awarded-Associcat's degree(professional) Category-Proffesional and vocational junior college 3-year program Total credits earned-93 credits or more Degrees to be awarded-Associate'S degree(professional) Note:If you complete the first half(of first 3 years) of degree course of professional and vocational university that splits its program into two phases, you can obrain an associtate degree(professional).