With high standards of education and plenty of research activity, Japanese universities are a popular choice for students around the world for their renowned graduate schools. A master’s degree earned at a Japanese university can open up many opportunities in both academic or professional careers, as it is highly-regarded by many international companies and organizations. However, one thing that is hindering many prospective graduate students from studying in Japan is a common impression that the tuition costs are high, and with the addition of living costs, it can put a massive burden on a student’s finances.
Despite the prevalent belief, there are many things that a student can do to make their study in Japan more affordable. Other than trying out for scholarships and financial aid, students can compare the tuition fees of different graduate schools. In Japan, private and public universities differ significantly in tuition cost. All public and national universities—such as the University of Tokyo, University of Tsukuba, or Kobe University—have the same yearly tuition fee and capped at 535,800 JPY (around 4,800 USD) and a one-time enrollment fee of 282,000 JPY (approximately 2,500 USD), even for international English-based programs. Private universities—such as Keio University, Waseda University, or Sophia University—on the other hand, have an annual tuition fee that can range from 920,000 JPY all the way up to 3,400,000 JPY.
Public Universities vs. Private Universities
It then becomes clear that public universities are much more affordable. However, that does not mean that the quality of education or the degree is any worse or less valuable than private universities. The National Seven Universities, which are regarded as the best colleges in Japan, are all public universities with the same tuition cost. Other public universities such as Hitotsubashi University and Tokyo Institute of Technology are also regarded as the best in the fields of Economics and IT. So for all prospective international graduate students interested in earning an affordable master’s degree at a Japanese university, here is a list of popular English-based graduate programs in various majors for you to consider.
1. Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy (ICS)
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Hitotsubashi University is a national university established in 1920 in Tokyo. It focuses mostly in the field of liberal arts and is renowned for producing prominent CEOs such as Rakuten Inc.’s Hiroshi Mikitani. Hitotsubashi was ranked 14th in THE Japan University Rankings 2018. The university’s School of International Corporate Strategy (ICS) offers a global MBA program in its city campus located in the central Chiyoda ward of Tokyo, which has a student-faculty ratio of 3:1, and provides one or two year programs depending on the student’s interests.
For more information on the program, click here
2. University of Tokyo Graduate School of Engineering
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Ranked 42nd in The World University Rankings 2019 and counting eight Nobel laureates as its alumni, the University of Tokyo is regarded as Japan’s top university. The Graduate School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo offers three programs taught in the English language exclusively for international students, namely: International Bioengineering, Architecture and Urban Design, and International Technology Management. Being the largest graduate school in the university, it conducts a lot of research projects in a variety of engineering-related fields, which provide a lot of opportunities for students to participate.
3. Kobe University Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies (GSICS)
Kobe University is located in the beautiful port city of Kobe in Japan’s Kansai region. CWUR ranks the university as 11th best in the country in its Japan University Rankings 2018-2019. Kobe University’s Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies provides an interdisciplinary master’s program which allows students to pursue a graduate degree in either International Studies, Economics, Laws, or Political Science entirely in English. The program aims to educate students with a multidisciplinary approach to become global leaders in international cooperation.
4. University of Tsukuba Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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The University of Tsukuba is one of the National Seven Universities, located in Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Tokyo. It is ranked 9th in The Japan University Rankings 2018 and produced many notable alumni such as Akira Morikawa, CEO of Naver Japan. The Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences offers a program titled International Agricultural Sciences, an interdisciplinary program that focuses on agricultural development. The program is conducted by partner universities together with the University of Tsukuba.
The University of Tsukuba is one of the National Seven Universities, located in Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Tokyo. It is ranked 9th in The Japan University Rankings 2018 and produced many notable alumni such as Akira Morikawa, CEO of Naver Japan. The Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences offers a program titled International Agricultural Sciences, an interdisciplinary program that focuses on agricultural development. The program is conducted by partner universities together with the University of Tsukuba. For further details, take a look at their website here!
If you wish to study in Japan more affordable, it is wiser to choose a public university. In addition to the programs recommended above, there are still much more out there in different public universities across Japan. Sign up for SchooLynk now and use our school search feature to find out more information and find the school that is perfect for you!