A doctoral degree from a Japanese university can add value and accreditation to your resume. With this piece, check out the various programs offered for PhD in Japan.

PhD in Japan

Studying abroad in any country has something unique and different to offer to the international students. While some are nestled amid the magnificent and charming natural beauty, others boast of the splendid architecture and majestic castles. Besides, there are even study destinations which are popular for incessant discoveries or for the immense contribution made to various fields. Japan, being the second largest economy in the world, has some prestigious and leading universities offering a multitude of study programs and degree options for higher education. In fact, it wouldn't be wrong to say that the future lies in Japan, as you’ll be surprised to see the technology that you hadn’t expected to see in your entire life. If you haven’t got enough of Japan even after obtaining a bachelor’s and master’s degree, how about seeking admission in a doctoral program to earn the prestigious PhD degree? The universities in Japan present you a wide range of subjects to choose from to conduct comprehensive research and write a thesis. What would be more surprising is the large number of job opportunities in related industries you’ll be poured with, after receiving the PhD degree. Check the various doctoral programs and the requirements for acquiring admission in an esteemed Japanese university.
PhD in Japan
Degree Recognition
A doctoral degree declares the student to be an expert of the subject. As such, securing a PhD degree from any Japanese university is highly respectful and appreciated round the globe for its high quality research, distinguished scholarship, and high-tech teaching techniques.
Degree Structure
Students can opt to pursue further studies after completing a master’s degree through a doctoral program. They are required to attend graduate school and perform research for at least 3 years to be eligible for receiving the PhD degree. However, students who have enrolled in the doctoral program after a bachelor’s degree, have to study for a minimum duration of five years, to compensate for the two-year master’s degree, to fulfill the qualifications for securing a PhD degree. In addition to completion of coursework and research, they also have to build up at least 30 credits, receive necessary research guidance, draft a doctoral thesis, and pass an examination with satisfactory grades. For students coming from medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and veterinary science, they have a period of 4 years to complete the doctoral program, after successful completion of the 6-year undergraduate program.
Academic Calendar
Higher education institutions in Japan follow the semester system for an academic year. Each academic calendar consists of two semesters, starting in April and ending in March of the following year. The first semester runs from April through September, while the second semester lasts from October to March.
Subjects for Doctoral Degree
Arts and Sciences; Economics; Peace and Conflict Studies; Law; International Cooperation Studies; International Development Policy; Asia-Pacific Studies; Policy Science; Science and Engineering; Bioscience and Biotechnology; Information Science and Engineering; Decision Science and Technology; Physical Sciences; Life Sciences; Natural Science and Technology; Knowledge Science; Nanovision Technology; Optoelectronics and Nanostructure Science; Environment and Energy System; Earth and Environmental Sciences; Earth Science and Geoenvironmental Science; Marine Science; Bio-Systems Sustainability; Innovation Management; Multidisciplinary Sciences; Continuing Professional Development; Materials Science; Global Network Engineering; Bioscience and Textile Technology; Civil Engineering; Human Security Engineering; Interdisciplinary Engineering; Frontier Biotechnology; Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering; Computer Science and Engineering; System Design and Management; Global Information and Telecommunication Studies; Information, Production and Systems; Management of Technology; Agricultural Science; Agricultural Sciences; Medical and Dental Sciences; Drug Discovery and Medical Information Sciences; Interdisciplinary Health Care; Sports Science; Bio-Systems Sustainability; International Development; International Cooperation Studies; Media Design; Interdisciplinary New Science; Regional Development Studies; International Relations
Admissions Requirements
  • The applicants should be at least 24 years of age.
  • Applicants should have obtained a master’s degree from a Japanese university, or an overseas degree equivalent to a master’s degree.
  • Applicants who have academic abilities equivalent or better than a master’s degree in an independent admission eligibility assessment conducted by the graduate school can apply.
  • For admission in doctorate program in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, or veterinary science, candidates should have completed the six-year undergraduate program in the same subject. However, students, who have completed four years in the university with excellent results and accomplishment of the graduate-level credits, are eligible for applying.
  • They must have completed 18 years of formal education from a recognized university and should show excellent results in the specified graduate-level credits.
  • Certificates of the qualification degree (bachelor’s/master’s degree) should be certified and submitted.
  • Official transcripts from the last school or college attended should be provided.
  • They should provide proof of proficiency of English language by taking any of the standardized English language tests, such as TOEFL, TOEIC, or IELTS. Alternatively, you can provide an official document issued by your institution stating that your undergraduate/postgraduate education was conducted throughout in English.
  • At least two letters of recommendation from the originating president, department head, or academic advisor need to be submitted.
  • Graduation research thesis and summary
  • An up-to-date resume
  • Research plan
  • Medical certificate
  • Photographs
  • Photocopy of your valid passport
  • Certificate of non-Japanese Registration, in case you are residing in Japan
Application Procedure
  • Check out the various programs offered by different universities in Japan. Select the most suitable program as per your qualifications and eligibility.
  • Visit the university’s website and submit an admission inquiry form, along with your resume.
  • The admissions committee of the university will review your application and inform you whether or not your profile meets the program requirements and standards.
  • After your initial application is approved, the admissions office will contact you for an interview date, which can be in person or on the telephone.
  • However, before the interview takes place, you will be required to submit certain documents required by the university for admission purpose. Mail the application packet to reach the university before the closing date for receiving the same. Thereafter, the university will contact you for further details and process.
Cost of Education
Tuition Fees
The tuition fees for pursuing a doctoral program in Japan is fixed at 535,800 Japanese Yen per year, with an additional amount of 282,000 Japanese Yen, payable as entrance fees at the time of admission only. Tuition fees can also be paid semester wise, amounting to 267,900 Japanese Yen per semester.

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