Why You Should Become A PhD Student in Tokyo, Japan

For anyone looking to become a PhD student in the near future, Japan is a great base to begin one’s postgraduate studies. This is because the Japanese educational system, especially for postgraduates, places significant emphasis on having a high quality of teaching, meaning that accommodations for PhD students, from research facilities, to writing preparations, to the overall classroom environment, are all no less than superb. As a result, it should be no surprise that every year, Japan manages to have at least 10 of its universities rank among the top 200 colleges in the world. Tokyo, Japan’s lively capital, hosts a number of these top-notch universities with excellent PhD programs as well. Listed below is an introduction to five of the best universities to receive a PhD in Tokyo.

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PhD Programs in Tokyo

Keio University Graduate Schools

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Keio University and its graduate schools, which include its wide variety of diverse PhD programs, are committed to “social responsibility in education and research through theory and application”. Not only does it train its PhD students to aim for cultural advancement in their studies in order to improve society, but it also centers its programs’ curricula around this goal. Keio University offers PhD degrees at the Graduate School of Letters, Graduate School of Economics, Graduate School of Human Relations, Graduate School of Medicine, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Graduate School of Media and Governance, Graduate School of Health Management, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Science, Graduate School of System Design and Management, and Graduate School of Media Design. Additionally, Keio participates in the Program for Leading Graduate Schools, which was introduced by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in 2011 as a new initiative “to give creative, broad-minded candidates tools and opportunities.” To find out more about Keio University’s Graduate Schools, take a look at their website.

Tokyo Metropolitan University Faculty and Graduate School

The future-oriented Tokyo Metropolitan University has a long list of first-rate PhD program options that are devoted to overcoming worldwide challenges and finding solutions to global problems in order to uplift the international community as a whole. In order to meet the standards it has set for its PhD departments, Tokyo Metropolitan University has been working tirelessly to “enhance our educational and research environments”. Highly specialized in its PhD initiatives with a curriculum revolving around cultural topics, interdisciplinary research projects, and classes taught in small sizes in order to encourage meaningful discussions and debates, students can pursue a PhD degree at the Graduate School of Humanities, the Graduate School of Law and Politics, the Graduate School of Urban Environmental Sciences, the Graduate School of Systems Design, and the Graduate School of Human Health Sciences, to name a few possibilities. Visit Tokyo Metropolitan University’s Faculty and Graduate School page to learn more.

The University of Tokyo Graduate School

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The University of Tokyo is renowned for its brilliant 15 Graduate Schools that each “offer distinctive education and research opportunities.” Since PhD programs are purely research based degrees, the University of Tokyo is a perfect fit for PhD students because it is considered a leading research university. Furthermore, the university’s PhD courses cover a wide spectrum of academic disciplines and ensures that research for all of these subjects are conducted for “both intellectual development and the acquisition of professional knowledge and skills.” The schools which offer PhD programs at the University of Tokyo are the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Economics, the Graduate School of Education, the Graduate School of Engineering, the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, the Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, the Graduate School of Mathematical Sciences, the Graduate School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Graduate School of Public Policy, and the Graduate School of Science. Here’s the link to the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School website that details each department more in-depth.

Meiji University PhD Programs

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Combining both traditional approaches to research and progressive methods, the Meiji University Graduate School is dedicated to fostering respectful academic exchanges amongst students working in different fields. By instilling in its PhD students the mindset of working toward “improvement of human life” as well as “increasing human happiness,” Meiji University is able to “provide education that takes a critical look at the current social system and establishes creative perspectives for opening up the future of humanity and society.” Examples of different schools at Meiji which offer PhD degrees are the Graduate School of Commerce, the Graduate School of Political Science and Economics, the Graduate School of Business Administration, the Graduate School of Arts and Letters, the Graduate School of Science and Technology, the Graduate School of Agriculture, the Graduate School of Information and Communication, the Graduate School of Humanities, the Graduate School of Advanced Mathematical Sciences, the Graduate School of Global Japanese Studies, and the Graduate School of Global Governance. To see what the PhD programs at Meiji University fully have to offer, click this link to be directed to its official page.

Waseda University Doctoral Program

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Dividing its available PhD departments into Japanese-based and English-based programs, Waseda University narrows down the choices to choose from for its applicants. For international students or students who seek to pursue a degree in solely English, the PhD programs taught in English are at the Graduate School of Political Science, the Graduate School of Economics, the Graduate School of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Commerce, the Graduate School of Fundamental Science and Engineering, the Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering, the Graduate School of Advanced Science and Engineering, the Graduate School of Social Sciences, the Graduate School of Sport Sciences, the Graduate School of International Culture and Communication Studies, the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, the Graduate School of Information, Production and Systems, and the Graduate School of Environment and Energy Engineering. Overall, the purpose of Waseda University’s PhD courses fall in line with the university’s objectives of viewing “freedom of research as essential and devoting itself constantly to original research”. Therefore, PhD students’ individual opinions are able to be preserved in theoretical research while they are simultaneously contributing to their fields as well.  Follow this link to read more about Waseda University’s outstanding PhD programs.

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Tokyo is home to a handful of renowned universities with remarkable PhD courses covering a vast spectrum of academic disciplines. No matter which one of the aforementioned PhD programs one decides to enroll in, they are certainly sure to obtain a top-notch education.