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Why Study MA (Master of Arts) in Japan

1. Academic Excellence: Japanese universities are known for their academic excellence and high standards of education. Pursuing an MA in Japan allows students to learn from experts in their field and gain knowledge from some of the world's leading researchers and scholars.

2. Cultural Immersion: Japan's unique culture and history provide a fascinating environment for students to immerse themselves in. Living in Japan allows students to experience traditional customs, arts, and festivals, as well as modern cultural phenomena.

3. Innovative Research Opportunities: Japan is at the forefront of technological advancements and scientific research. Students pursuing MA degrees in science, engineering, and technology-related fields can access state-of-the-art facilities and engage in groundbreaking research.

4. Language Learning: For students interested in learning Japanese, studying in Japan offers the opportunity to practice and improve their language skills in a native environment. Proficiency in Japanese can open up additional career opportunities both in Japan and globally.

5. Global Networking: Studying in Japan brings students into contact with peers from various countries and diverse backgrounds, fostering a global network of connections. This can be advantageous for future career prospects and collaborations.

6. Scholarship Opportunities: Japan offers various scholarships and financial aid options to support international students' education. These scholarships can help reduce the financial burden of pursuing an MA degree.

7. Employment Prospects: Completing an MA in Japan can enhance students' employability both in Japan and internationally. Japanese companies often value international perspectives and skills, making graduates with Japanese qualifications attractive to employers.

8. Safe and Clean Environment: Japan is known for its safety and cleanliness. The country's efficient public transportation system and modern infrastructure make it convenient and comfortable for students to live and study.

9. Cultural Diversity: Studying in Japan exposes students to a diverse student body, allowing them to learn about different cultures and broaden their global outlook.

10. Quality of Life: Japan offers a high standard of living and a quality education system. Students can enjoy a unique mix of ancient traditions and modern amenities.

MA (Master of Arts) Specializations in Japan


Universities Offering the Specialization

Course Duration

Approximate Fees

Japanese Studies

University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, Waseda University, etc.

2 years

¥500,000 to ¥1,500,000 per year

International Relations

Sophia University, Ritsumeikan University, etc.

2 years

¥500,000 to ¥1,500,000 per year


Keio University, Osaka University, etc.

2 years

¥500,000 to ¥1,500,000 per year

Business Administration

Hitotsubashi University, Kyoto University, etc.

2 years

¥500,000 to ¥1,500,000 per year

Political Science

University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, etc.

2 years

¥500,000 to ¥1,500,000 per year

Environmental Science

Hokkaido University, Kyoto University, etc.

2 years

¥500,000 to ¥1,500,000 per year


Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Osaka University, etc.

2 years

¥500,000 to ¥1,500,000 per year

Art and Design

Tokyo University of the Arts, Kyoto University, etc.

2 years

¥500,000 to ¥1,500,000 per year


Hiroshima University, Tokyo Gakugei University, etc.

2 years

¥500,000 to ¥1,500,000 per year

Admission Intake for MA (Master of Arts) in Japan

1. Application Period: The application period for MA programs in Japan generally starts around 6 to 12 months before the intended intake. For the Spring intake, applications are usually accepted from late summer to early winter of the previous year. For the Fall intake, the application period is typically from late winter to early summer of the same year.

2. Application Submission: Prospective students must complete and submit the required application documents to the university within the specified application period. The application process may be online or require sending physical copies of documents by mail.

3. Entrance Examinations: Some universities may require applicants to take entrance examinations as part of the selection process. The entrance exams may include written tests, interviews, and language proficiency tests, depending on the program and university.

4. Evaluation and Selection: After the application submission and entrance examinations (if applicable), the university's admission committee evaluates the candidates' applications and selects the successful applicants.

5. Acceptance and Enrollment: Applicants who are accepted into the MA program will receive an acceptance letter from the university. They will then need to complete the enrollment procedures, including paying any necessary fees and submitting additional documents.

6. Orientation and Start of Classes: The academic year typically starts in April for the Spring intake and in September/October for the Fall intake. Accepted students will attend orientation sessions and begin their MA studies at the start of the respective academic term.

Top 10 Universities in Japan for MA (Master of Arts)


MA Specializations

QS World Ranking (as of September 2021)

University of Tokyo

Japanese Studies, International Relations, Economics, Linguistics


Kyoto University

Japanese Studies, Political Science, Art and Design, Education


Osaka University

International Relations, Economics, Linguistics, Education


Keio University

Business Administration, Art and Design, Economics, International Relations


Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

Linguistics, International Relations, Japanese Studies


Waseda University

Japanese Studies, Art and Design, International Relations, Economics


Sophia University

International Relations, Business Administration, Political Science


Ritsumeikan University

International Relations, Japanese Studies, Art and Design


Hiroshima University

Education, International Relations, Economics, Political Science


Tokyo Gakugei University

Education, Linguistics, Japanese Studies


Cost of Studying MA (Master of Arts) in Japan


Estimated Cost (per year)

Tuition Fees

¥500,000 to ¥1,500,000


¥500,000 to ¥1,000,000


¥300,000 to ¥600,000


¥100,000 to ¥200,000

Health Insurance

¥30,000 to ¥50,000

Study Materials

¥30,000 to ¥50,000

Personal Expenses

¥100,000 to ¥200,000

Total (approximate)

¥1,560,000 to ¥3,600,000

Eligibility for doing MA (Master of Arts) in Japan

1. Bachelor's Degree: You will typically need to have a recognized bachelor's degree or an equivalent qualification from a recognized institution. The degree should be relevant to the field of study you wish to pursue in your MA.

2. Language Proficiency: As most MA programs in Japan are taught in Japanese, you will need to demonstrate proficiency in the Japanese language. Some universities may require you to pass a language proficiency test like the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) or provide other evidence of your Japanese language skills.

3. English-Taught Programs: Some universities in Japan also offer MA programs taught in English. If you plan to pursue one of these programs, you will need to show proficiency in English. This may be demonstrated through standardized tests like TOEFL or IELTS.

4. Academic Records and Transcripts: You will need to submit your academic records and transcripts from your previous studies as part of the application process.

5. Letters of Recommendation: Some universities may ask for letters of recommendation from academic or professional references to support your application.

6. Statement of Purpose: A statement of purpose (SOP) is usually required, where you explain your academic and career goals, why you want to pursue the MA program in Japan, and how it aligns with your future plans.

7. Application Deadlines: Be aware of the application deadlines for the MA programs you are interested in, as they may vary between universities and can be quite competitive.

Documents Required for MA (Master of Arts) in Japan

1. Application Form: A completed application form provided by the university or the department offering the MA program.

2. Academic Transcripts: Official transcripts or academic records from all previous educational institutions attended, showing completed coursework and grades.

3. Bachelor's Degree Certificate: A copy of the official certificate or diploma for the completed bachelor's degree.

4. Language Proficiency Certificate: If the MA program is taught in Japanese, you may need to provide a certificate of Japanese language proficiency (e.g., JLPT) or a statement of language proficiency from a language instructor. For English-taught programs, proof of English language proficiency (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS) may be required.

5. Letters of Recommendation: Typically, two or three letters of recommendation from academic or professional references who can attest to your academic abilities and potential for success in the MA program.

6. Statement of Purpose: A written statement outlining your academic and career goals, reasons for pursuing the MA program, and how the program aligns with your interests and aspirations.

7. Resume/Curriculum Vitae: A detailed resume or CV highlighting your educational background, work experience, and any relevant achievements or activities.

8. Passport-Sized Photographs: Passport-sized photographs as per the university's specifications.

9. Financial Documents: Proof of sufficient financial resources to cover tuition fees and living expenses in Japan. This may include bank statements or sponsorship letters.

10. Other Supporting Documents: Some MA programs may require additional documents, such as a portfolio (for creative fields), research proposal (for research-based programs), or specific prerequisites for certain specializations.

Scholarships for MA (Master of Arts) in Japan

1. MEXT Scholarship (Monbukagakusho Scholarship): Offered by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT), this scholarship provides financial support to international students pursuing master's and doctoral degrees in various fields, including humanities and social sciences.

2. JASSO Scholarship (Japan Student Services Organization): JASSO offers various scholarship programs for international students, including those pursuing MA degrees. These scholarships cover tuition fees, living expenses, and travel costs.

3. Japanese University Scholarships: Many Japanese universities offer their scholarship programs for outstanding international students applying to their MA programs. These scholarships may be merit-based or need-based.

4. Asian Development Bank-Japan Scholarship Program: Administered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), this scholarship provides financial assistance to students from ADB's member countries pursuing postgraduate studies, including MA programs, at participating Japanese universities.

5. Rotary Yoneyama Memorial Foundation Scholarship: This scholarship is available for international students pursuing higher education in Japan, including master's degree programs in various fields.

6. JSPS RONPAKU (Dissertation PhD) Program: While this program is for doctoral students, some universities may offer opportunities for MA students to join research projects as a precursor to a doctoral program.

7. Private Foundations and Organizations: There are several private foundations and organizations in Japan that offer scholarships and grants to international students pursuing MA programs.

Jobs and Salary after MA (Master of Arts) in Japan

1. Language Teaching: Many international students in Japan opt for English teaching jobs in language schools (eikaiwa) or as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) in public schools. Salaries for language teaching positions can range from ¥200,000 to ¥300,000 per month.

2. Academia and Research: Some MA graduates choose to pursue academic or research careers. They may apply for research positions at universities, research institutes, or think tanks. Salaries can vary significantly depending on the institution and research focus.

3. Business and Corporate Jobs: Graduates with MA degrees in fields like business, international relations, or economics may find opportunities in multinational companies or Japanese corporations. Salaries can range from ¥250,000 to ¥500,000 or more per month, depending on the position and company.

4. Translation and Interpretation: MA graduates with strong language skills may find work as translators or interpreters. Freelance translators often charge per project, while interpreters may earn hourly rates of ¥3,000 to ¥10,000 or more.

5. Journalism and Media: Graduates with MA degrees in journalism, media studies, or communication may explore job opportunities in media organizations, newspapers, or broadcasting companies. Salaries can vary depending on the specific role and employer.

6. Government and Non-Profit Organizations: Some MA graduates may find employment in government agencies or non-profit organizations in roles related to international affairs, policy analysis, or development work. Salaries can vary depending on the organization and responsibilities.

7. Creative Industries: For graduates with MA degrees in arts and design fields, opportunities may be available in the creative industries, including graphic design, multimedia, and arts administration. Salaries can vary based on the role and experience.

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