Keio University is a prestigious private institution of higher learning and is home to the longest-standing economics faculty in all of Japan. In the fall of 2016, the university introduced PEARL (Programme in Economics for Alliances, Research and Leadership), which offers an all-English curriculum. PEARL was newly established in order to globalize and provide opportunities for an integrated international student body.

Four Years, Two Campuses

Students spend their first two years at Hiyoshi Campus and their next two years at Mita Campus in Tokyo (read about Keio’s Campuses here*insert hyperlink to Keio Campuses article*). Curriculum in the first and second years cover a broad range of economic and liberal arts topics, while classes in later years are more specialized.

The gingko tree lined Keio University Hiyoshi Campus entrance Hiyoshi Campus, photo by Nina Patrick

At Hiyoshi campus, freshmen and sophomores are expected to complete their general education courses. Students will take an Academic English Skills course designed to enhance their writing skills and a foreign language class that they will continue through to their second year. Courses in economics and mathematics are also required to advance into the next year. Electives in many academic disciplines are also available to students. These courses give students a chance to explore different subjects that capture their interests.

gothic architecture of Keio university Mita Campus

At Mita Campus, juniors and seniors can take seminar-style courses that focus on a specific topic, continue taking classes in a specified economic field, or independent study. Independent studies and a number of classes offered to third and fourth-year students are only available to members of Keio’s Professional Career Program (PCP). This program focuses on English language economic education in Keio’s Faculty of Economics.

Higher Degrees

PEARL students can study at HEC Paris
HEC Paris

PEARL is not only a bachelor’s degree program – students have the option of applying to a 5-year double degree and master’s degree programs if they wish. These challenging courses include studying abroad at a university in Europe or the United States. Universities include HEC Paris, Sciences PO, Bocconi University, University of Cologne, and Brandeis University. Completion of the requirements will award students with a double degree from both universities, and in some programs, a master’s degree as well.

Getting In

Applying to Keio University PEARL program

Application for PEARL is offered in three periods and all students begin the school year in September. Since the program only accepts 100 students, applying in the first period is recommended. Even if an applicant does not get accepted in the first period, multiple applications are permitted, so it is possible to be accepted on the second or third try.

Applicants are expected to provide scores from their SAT, ACT, and/or IB exams as well as an essay explaining their motivation behind joining the program. No matter how long a student has lived abroad or in an English-speaking country, TOEFL and/or IELTS scores are required as well. Interviews are not necessary for the program, so the entire process can be completed from home. All successful applicants must start as freshmen, as transfer students are not accepted. 

Keio University logo history

PEARL is a new and innovative facet of the economics education that Keio University has offered to its students for over a century. It promises an education that will equip students with the necessary skills and abilities to succeed as leaders in their future endeavors. For more information about PEARL, visit the links below.


PEARL Faculty of Economics 2022 Brochure

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