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Graduate Schools
Contents:
1. Qualifications
  2. Application
  3. Entrance examination
4. Courses taught in English / Short-term study programs
  5. Conditions for graduating / Completing courses
  Regular postgraduate programs are master's courses (two years) or doctor's courses (five years). Doctor's courses are generally divided into the first period of two years, equivalent to a master's course, and the final period of three years. Some graduate schools offer doctor's courses as progressive five-year programs, and some offer only the final three-year courses.
  Medical, dentistry and veterinary medicine courses are available after completion of a six-year under-graduate program. Doctor's courses in these disciplines are for four years.
  Some graduate schools offer special enrollment to "research students," auditors or credit-earning students.
  Please refer to (3) "Research students" on this page for research students, and to Chapter 5. 5 for auditors or credit-earning students.
  It is possible to study in Japanese graduate schools based on the short-term study program (Refer to Chapter 5. 7)
Qualifications
(1) Master's course (one of the following requirements must be met)
  1. Those who graduated from a four-year university or are recognized as having academic ability of this level or higher.
  2. Those who have completed 16 years of school education outside Japan.
  3. Those who have completed 15 years of school education outside Japan and who are recognized as having acquired designated graduate-level credits with outstanding results.
  4. Those who are recognized as having academic ability of bachelor's degree level or higher and pass admission qualification examinations for that particular graduate school, and are at least 22 years old.
(2) Doctor's course (one of the following requirements must be met)
  1. Those who have a master's degree or are recognized as having academic ability of this level or higher.
  2. Those who have been conferred degrees outside Japan that are equal to master's degrees.
  3. Those who are recognized as having academic ability of master's degree level or higher and pass admission qualification examinations for that particular school, and are at least 24 years old.

Doctor's courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine:
  1. Those who have received 6 years (under-graduate program) of medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine.
  2. Those who studied at university for at least four years and are recognized as having acquired designated graduate-level credits with outstanding results.
  3. Those who have completed 16 years of school education outside Japan and are recognized as having acquired designated master's course credits with outstanding results.
(3) Research student (kenkyu-sei)
    Under the research student (kenkyu-sei) system, which is unique to Japan, students other than regular degree-course students are given permission to engage in research in a special field for a period of approximately one semester or one academic year. Entry requirements for a research student vary from university to university; some universities may accept a student with a bachelor's degree or higher, others may accept a student with a master's degree or higher, and the name and status of the research student differs according to graduate schools.
To obtain the status of residence of "college student," research students are required by law (the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act) to attend at least 10 hours (600 min.) of classes per week. 
  There are three types of research student:
  1. Students who do not aim to obtain a degree but to carry out research for a short period;
  2. Students who attend a graduate school as short-term international students on the basis of a student exchange agreement between universities; and
  3. Students who use the system to prepare to enter a graduate school's regular course.

    Many of the students belonging to category 3 stay as research students for about a year until graduate school entrance examinations. However, not all the students can enter a graduate school and some of them fail the entrance examination and have to leave Japan.
  Some graduate schools allow students to take examinations to enter their regular graduate courses directly while other schools and graduate courses consider that having an experience as a "research student" is desirable before entering the regular courses.
  Therefore, make sure to inquire directly to the school you intend to apply to while referring to the "Gaikokujin Ryugakusei no tame no Daigakuin Nyugaku Annai (Japanese Universities Graduate Programs for Foreign Students)" (Edited by the Asian Students Cultural Association)

*Web site of Japan Study Support by Asian Students Cultural Association: http://www.jpss.jp



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