Planning to Study in Japan

Types of Schools

Professional Training Colleges (Specialized Training Colleges Postsecondary Course)

Specialized training colleges offering postsecondary courses are called "professional training colleges" and are classified as higher-education institutions. These colleges provide the know-how, technology and skills useful in one's future job, life, and further education.

In addition to diploma courses that require two or more years of study, there are advanced diploma courses that take at least four years to complete that are aimed at acquiring more advanced vocational skills.

Educational Characteristics

Professional training colleges are divided into eight major fields: (1) industry, (2) agriculture, (3) medical care, (4) hygiene, (5) education and social welfare, (6) commercial practice, (7) dressmaking and home economics, and (8) culture and liberal arts.

Examples of occupations that you can get the basic training for at a professional training college include:

interior designer, architect, system engineer, automobile mechanic, nurse, nutritionist, chef, pâtissier, beautician, certified public accountant, interpreter/translator, flight attendant, hotel staff, nursery school teacher, home helper, fashion designer, animator, movie director, producer, game creator, jewelry designer, etc.

Required Japanese Proficiency

Classes in professional training colleges are conducted in Japanese, so international students must be proficient in Japanese. Applicants must satisfy one of the following conditions.

  1. Individuals who have undergone Japanese language education for more than six months at institutions designated through official notification by the Ministry of Justice
  2. Individuals who have passed Level N1 or N2 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) conducted by Japan Educational Exchanges and Services and the Japan Foundation
  3. Individuals who have undergone Japanese elementary school, lower secondary school or upper secondary school education for one year or more
  4. Individuals who have scored 200 points or more in the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) (Japanese as a Foreign Language subject [the total of reading comprehension, and listening and listening-reading comprehension])
  5. Individuals who have scored 400 points or more in their BJT Business Japanese Proficiency Test conducted by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy one of the following eligibility criteria.

  1. Individuals who have completed 12 years of schooling in countries other than Japan
  2. Individuals 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 schooling in countries other than Japan
  3. Individuals who have completed studies at international schools in Japan that are officially recognized as equivalent to high schools in countries other than Japan
  4. Individuals who have completed 11 years or more of education courses designated by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in countries other than Japan
  5. Individuals who hold an International Baccalaureate, German Abitur or French Baccalauréat diploma, or who meet the GCE A level course requirements specified by each professional training college
  6. Individuals completing 12 years of coursework at international schools in Japan recognized by any of the following international accreditation organizations: WASC, CIS (ECIS), ACSI or NEASC.
  7. Individuals who are 18 years of age or older and have successfully passed the Upper Secondary School Equivalency Examination in Japan
  8. Individuals 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 academic ability that is equivalent to a high-school diploma or above
  9. An individual who satisfies any one of the admission qualifications specified in the School Education Act, other than those outlined above

*Note: With regard to 1) through 3) above, if the period of schooling the student has completed is less than 12 years, he/she must also complete an authorized university preparatory course or an authorized course at a training facility, among other things.

Find Schools

Key points for choosing a school

Checklist Details
Officially accredited schools Are they authorized by the relevant prefectural governor? Unaccredited schools do not offer diplomas or advanced diplomas.
Content of education and number of teachers

Is it a curriculum where you can obtain the knowledge and skills you want? What about the ratio of the number of teachers to the number of students?

Facilities and equipment

Do they have adequate facilities and equipment that allow you to acquire the skills you are looking for? Attend an open campus or check the school's website, photos, and materials.

Career guidance program and graduate career paths What is the school's career guidance policy? What about graduates' employment track record? Can I gain employment in the career of my choice?
Tuition How much are school expenses for the first year? What about the total amount of school expenses to be incurred before graduation? When is the payment due date?
School reputation Take advantage of a network of graduates, international students, etc.

Important Point

Be sure to check with the school whether the course grants a diploma or advanced diploma.

Application Documents

  1. Application form (designated by the school)
  2. High school graduation diploma/certificate
  3. Transcript from the last school attended
  4. Certificate of attendance at a Japanese language institution and the transcript (if the applicant is residing in Japan)
  5. Japanese language proficiency certificate (if applicant is residing outside Japan)
  6. Other

* Documents for submission may vary according to the school, and some schools require them to be translated into Japanese or English. It is best that you inquire directly with the school for details.

Entrance examinations

The exam includes some or all of the following evaluation types: 1) Document screening, 2) academic test, 3) interview, 4) short essay, 5) aptitude test, 6) practical test, 7) Japanese language proficiency test, etc.
The entrance exam mainly examines (1) whether students are focused on their objective in the field they have chosen, (2) whether they have the Japanese language proficiency and academic skills required to keep up with their classes after admission, and (3) whether the students have a strong desire to study.

Difference between a diploma and an advanced diploma

Diploma Advanced Diploma
Required Study Period 2 years or more 4 years or more
Total class Hours 1,700 hours or more 3,400 hours or more
Qualification for Completion Exam results and other factors ar evaluated for the qualification of course completion
Course Structure - The curriculum is systematically structured
After Graduation If you obtain a diploma, you are eligible to transfer to a university If you obtain an advanced diproma, you are eligible to enroll in a graduate school

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