For students who want to aim higher, you can also consider double degree programs for your undergraduate education in Japan. Nowadays, top universities in Japan often offer exchange programs with other partner universities. If you are eligible to participate in a double degree program, you can receive your degrees both from the Japanese university and the partner university you went to during your study.

Depending on specific universities, there might be different names like double degree programs, dual degree programs, and joint programs. In this article, double degree programs refer to undergraduate programs wherein students can obtain two degrees (from home university and a partner university) upon their graduation from both universities. You can find information about such programs that you can take in Japanese universities and what you should prepare before applying for them.

Preparation before applying for Double Degree Programs

To apply for double degree programs, most foreign universities will ask for your English proficiency certification and academic transcript at your home university.

Though it depends on the institutions, many will still require TOEFL grades. If you are aiming to apply for double degree programs, you might have to prepare for the English test as soon as possible.

However, some universities offer programs in languages other than English; for example, there are partner universities of Waseda offering double degree programs in Chinese. So, make sure what kind of major you want to pursue, and check carefully what programs your university offer. Whether the programs are in English or in other languages, you will need to demonstrate a good command of those languages.

As for the GPA, many will require GPA above 3.0. Check the requirements and prepare well for your dream program.

Double Degree Programs in Japanese Universities

Waseda University

Waseda University is located in the heart of Tokyo, Japan. Founded in 1882 as Tokyo Senmon Gakko (Tokyo Speciality College), the school began with the Department of Political Science, Law, English and Physical Science. The school acquired university status in 1902, and grew to contain seven junior colleges and one graduate school.

Below are some of the double degree programs that the university offers:

  • National Taiwan University (For School of Political Science and School of International Liberal Studies)
  • National University of Singapore (For School of International Liberal Studies)
  • Peking University (For School of Political Science and Economics, School of International Liberal Studies, and School of Social Sciences)
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Fudan University (For School of Political Science and Economics, School of International Liberal Studies, and School of Social Sciences)
  • Earlham College
  • CAMPUS Asia ENGAGE (in partnership with Korea University and Peking University)

For more information, please check the Center for International Education of Waseda University:
https://www.waseda.jp/inst/cie/from-waseda/abroad

Keio University

Located in Mita, Tokyo with five other campuses in the greater Tokyo region, Keio University was founded in 1858 by Fukuzawa Yukichi and is considered to be the oldest institution of higher learning in Japan. Keio currently has students from over 80 countries in its student body.

Keio University offers double degree programs for students of the Faculty of Economics and Faculty of Business and Commerce.

  • Paris Institute of Political Studies / Sciences Po (For Faculty of Economics)
  • Bocconi University (For Faculty of Economics)
  • ESSEC Business School (For Faculty of Business and Commerce)
  • Peking University (For Faculty of Business and Commerce)

Find double degree programs from Keio University here:
https://www.keio.ac.jp/en/academics/double-degree/

Ritsumeikan University

Founded in 1869 as a private academy and formally granted the status of the university in 1922, Ritsumeikan University is a private university located in southwest Japan, with campuses in Kyoto, Osaka, and Shiga prefectures. Ritsumeikan University’s main campus location in Kyoto Prefecture and its surroundings grants students not only the opportunity to experience some of the oldest and most culturally-rich parts of Japan but also to conveniently access other cities of different atmospheres and environments, such as Kobe or Hiroshima, should they choose to do so.

Below are some of the double degree programs that the university offers:

  • The Australian National University
  • American University

Find more information about double degree programs from Ritsumeikan University: http://en.ritsumei.ac.jp/gla/dual-degree/

There are other universities like Meiji University and Doshisha University that also offer double degree programs. You can try to find more details in your university and find out the requirements to apply for the programs.

Benefits of Double Degree Programs

Cost

On many occasions, students will only need to pay tuition based on the rate at your home university in Japan while studying abroad.

Time

Most double degree programs will take 1-2 years. Sometimes it may postpone your graduation year; however, it is possible to graduate in your fourth year. Moreover, taking double degree programs instead of taking two undergraduate programs separately can significantly reduce the time and cost for you to earn two degrees.

Benefits for Job-Hunting

If you are planning to go abroad for work, this kind of experience can also be a leverage. Your degree in the partner university may also expand your career opportunities since your degree from the partner university will be recognized by employers in that country.

Before applying for a university in Japan, it will be better if you consider if the university offers a double degree program or not. Having access to these kinds of opportunities is always a good thing. Taking a double degree program will not only enrich your education, but may broaden your horizons as well.

Ending note

Do you have career goals that combine two different fields?
Do you want a broad education and like to experience different cultures?
Do you have two distinct passions and not know which to pick between the two fields?

Then, you should try a double degree program. Double Degrees – Double Benefits! There has been an increase in the number of Japanese universities that offer high-quality double degree programs to international students. However, make sure that you have a clear understanding of the program or the university that you wish to study and make a detailed plan accordingly.