Global cities are cultural, financial, technological hubs that are at the forefront of globalization. The Global Cities Index annually published by Kearney ranks Global Cities by measuring dimensions such as economics, innovation, and governance. Tokyo ranks fourth in the Global Cities Index, next only to New York, London, and Paris; making it the highest-ranking city in Asia. Tokyo is one of the most important cities in the world and thus, it is home to some of the best universities in Japan.
Other global cities in Asia include Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, and Seoul, all of which are a stone’s throw away and have direct flights in and out of Tokyo. Taking in all of these factors, Tokyo is definitely one of the best places in the world, and perhaps the best place in Asia, to pursue research and establish a career in the field of international relations and global studies.
Here are some of the best universities in Japan, located in Tokyo, offering graduate and post-graduate degrees in these fields of study that are taught fully in English.
The University of Tokyo
The University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: Graduate Program on Global Society (GSP) offers Master’s and Doctoral degrees. The program is rooted in an interdisciplinary practice, combining the resources of the various departments and institutes within the university’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Students under GSP belong to one of the four departments: Language and Information Sciences, Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Area Studies, or Advanced Social and International Studies.
- From the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: The Graduate Program on Global Society (GSP) does not simply see today’s international society as a set of relationships between nations, but rather as a “global society” in which people with different values and cultures interact at multiple levels. The program attempts to discover the realities of a global society, and its directionality by cutting-across geographical regions and combining knowledge from the humanities and social sciences. Since this program wishes to be open to people from all over the world with a variety of backgrounds, students are able to complete their degrees by taking classes instructed in the English language alone.
Tokyo International University
Tokyo International University has an E-Track program, featuring undergraduate and graduate programs that are all taught in English. Because of this, the university is home to students from at least 60 different countries around the world. Part of the E-Track program is the Master’s Program offered by the Graduate School of International Relations. Course subfields include Global Governance, International Security, International Political Economy, and Culture & Society.
- From Tokyo International University’s Graduate School of International Relations: The Masterʼs Program in International Relations provides students with a unique opportunity to develop an expertise on a wide range of global issues, such as war and regional conflict, development and sustainability, climate change, and human rights. With its diverse faculty/student body and a small class size, the program encourages active learning through debates, presentations, group projects, field studies, internships, and more. It prepares students for global leadership and helps them pursue careers in international organizations, business, education, public administration, and NGOs.
International Christian University
The International Christian University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is home to the Public Policy and Social Research Program. Though the program is offered both in English and in Japanese, it is possible to complete the Master’s degree by taking only classes in English. A unique, interdisciplinary program, students in this program can specialize in a wide range of disciplines, covering not just international relations but economics, public policy, and even media. Areas of Concentration and their corresponding Degree Programs include: Master of Arts in Public Administration or Master of Arts in International Relations; Master of Arts in Social and Cultural Analysis, Master of Arts in Social and Cultural Analysis; Master of Arts in Media and Language; Master of Arts in Public Economics, and Master of Arts in Peace Studies.
- Program Description, International Christian University’s Public Policy and Social Research Program: The program delves into field research in the social sciences including public policy. Relations with other fields are through an interdisciplinary approach. Our objective is to nurture future leaders for domestic and international organizations, with training in flexible problem-solving based on analytic and planning skills.
Moreover, the International Christian University’s Master of Arts in Peace Studies program is one of the six universities in the world, and the only one in Asia, recognized by the international peace organization, Rotary as partners for the Master’s Degree “Rotary Peace Fellowship Program.” Through the Rotary Peace Fellowship Program, eligible students receive full funding for their studies and living expenses abroad. Learn more about the Rotary Peace Fellowship Program, including the non-degree professional development certificate program, here. To learn more about their partnership with the International Christian University, check the website of ICU Rotary Peace Center here.
Waseda University Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies (GSAPS) offers a Master’s Program in International Relations and a Ph.D. Program in International Studies. GSAPS students can specialize in Area Studies, International Relations, or in International Development / Policy Studies. Founded in 1998, GSAPS is the first graduate institution in Waseda University that offered bilingual education in Japanese and English, allowing students to earn a degree in either one of these languages.
- From Waseda University Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies: Focusing on the Asia-Pacific region, GSAPS seeks not only to conduct interdisciplinary research from the global and regional perspectives in the fields of regional history, politics, economics, industry, business management, society, culture and various international concerns, but also to further deepen the understanding of a growing Asia-Pacific region. GSAPS seeks to train future experts, specialists and researchers who can assume responsibility of the region’s future.
Waseda University Graduate School of Social Sciences also offers MA and Ph.D in Social Sciences through their English-taught Degree Programs. Students can major in Global Society or in Policy Sciences. Learn more about the research advisers and the corresponding fields of research and projects that may be conducted in English for September 2020 enrollees through this webpage.
Sophia University’s Graduate School of Global Studies offer MA and Ph.D. Programs in International Relations, Area Studies, and Global Studies. Meanwhile, Sophia University’s Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies offers Master’s and Doctorate Programs in Global Environmental Studies, unique programs that combine social and natural sciences for a holistic understanding of the global environment.
- From Sophia University Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies: The school was established in 2005 to focus specifically on the environmental problems that constitute one of the greatest challenges we face today. The curriculum combines social and natural sciences, in recognition of the fact that effective environmental study spans a number of scholastic discipline, including law, policy, administration, economics, population, energy, and chemistry. The school is devoted to create graduates equipped to serve effectively as business persons, specialists, or scholars in the area of environmental protection.
We hope this list has helped you to pursue further studies in some of the best universities in Japan. This list was compiled based on the latest data released by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) reflecting current information as of May 2019. For a comprehensive list of all the University Degree Courses Offered in English all over Japan, including undergraduate and professional degrees, check this document published by JASSO.