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Entering a Japanese University | My Masters Degree Experience

Finished your Undergraduate and want to pursue your next challenge? Ivy from ThisIsIvyChu on YouTube breaks down her journey from interest to application in her Japanese University: Masters style!

Posted: 4 months ago by Tokyo Creative Quote

Finished your Undergraduate and want to pursue your next challenge? Ivy from ThisIsIvyChu on YouTube breaks down her journey from interest to application in her Japanese University: Post-Graduate style!

Posted: 3 months ago by Cam Quote

First of all, yay! Keio! Second, my two cents as a former graduate student from Keio. I was lucky enough to find a master's degree program in English at Keio in Economics. It was a double masters program, one year in Paris (IEP Paris aka Sciences Po), one year in Tokyo (Keio). So, no need to be fluent in Japanese to complete your graduate studies in Japan. Thanks to the ageing population, Japanese universities offer more and more program in English to attract foreigners. There's even a project known as the Top Global University Project (formerly known as Global 30) whose purpose is to internationalize higher education in Japan. It's actually through the old Global 30 website that I found out that Keio offered English programs, including the double masters I ended up applying to (through Sciences Po, as it allowed me to stick to the western school calendar of starting in September).

All this to say, do your research and don't feel like you need to reach a JPLT N1 level to study in Japan. I arrived in Japan knowing only the Japanese I had learned at Harvard Summer School (4 hours/days, 5 days/week for 7 weeks) so I was very far from being fluent.

Workload-wise, my program was not as intense as the MBA program described in this video. I had my thesis to write during my last semester but only had to take three classes during said semester, that I chose from an extensive list, so I picked classes that didn't give too much homework. We only had to take 10 classes during our year at Keio, of which two had to be seminars. Compared to Sciences Po, the workload was totally acceptable. Your workload will really depend on the program you choose.

As for the grading system at Keio, once again, it depends on your program. Some of my classes didn't have grades for participation, but for attendance (15% just for showing up? Yes, please!). The others just had grades for homeworks and exams.

On a final note, be aware that most English program at Keio are in science, economics being the exception. So if you are studying a social science like politics, Keio may not be the place for you, but other universities might offer social science degrees in English (I think Sophia University would be a good place to check out for that.)

Posted: 3 months ago by Elise Quote
by Cam 3 months ago
First of all, yay! Keio! Second, my two cents as a former graduate student from Keio. I was lucky enough to find a master's degree program in English at Keio in Economics. It was a double masters program, one year in Paris (IEP Paris aka Sciences Po), one year in Tokyo (Keio). So, no need to be fluent in Japanese to complete your graduate studies in Japan. Thanks to the ageing population, Japanese universities offer more and more program in English to attract foreigners. There's even a project known as the Top Global University Project (formerly known as Global 30) whose purpose is to internationalize higher education in Japan. It's actually through the old Global 30 website that I found out that Keio offered English programs, including the double masters I ended up applying to (through Sciences Po, as it allowed me to stick to the western school calendar of starting in September).

All this to say, do your research and don't feel like you need to reach a JPLT N1 level to study in Japan. I arrived in Japan knowing only the Japanese I had learned at Harvard Summer School (4 hours/days, 5 days/week for 7 weeks) so I was very far from being fluent.

Workload-wise, my program was not as intense as the MBA program described in this video. I had my thesis to write during my last semester but only had to take three classes during said semester, that I chose from an extensive list, so I picked classes that didn't give too much homework. We only had to take 10 classes during our year at Keio, of which two had to be seminars. Compared to Sciences Po, the workload was totally acceptable. Your workload will really depend on the program you choose.

As for the grading system at Keio, once again, it depends on your program. Some of my classes didn't have grades for participation, but for attendance (15% just for showing up? Yes, please!). The others just had grades for homeworks and exams.

On a final note, be aware that most English program at Keio are in science, economics being the exception. So if you are studying a social science like politics, Keio may not be the place for you, but other universities might offer social science degrees in English (I think Sophia University would be a good place to check out for that.)

So interesting!!! I'm a Keio alumnus too and thank you senpai for your advice, really!!! I have a couple of friends who are interested in studying their masters in Japan for business and economics but were concerned about Japanese proficiency. What were some of the classes and their content that you took at Keio if you don't mind me asking?

Posted: 2 months ago by Cam Quote
by Elise 3 months ago
So interesting!!! I'm a Keio alumnus too and thank you senpai for your advice, really!!! I have a couple of friends who are interested in studying their masters in Japan for business and economics but were concerned about Japanese proficiency. What were some of the classes and their content that you took at Keio if you don't mind me asking?

Sorry for the delay. I took Independent Study, which was mandatory for people in the double masters with Sciences Po. There were actually no mandatory classes besides that one. Other class I took were Applied Microeconomics, Advanced Econometrics, Intro to Finance, EU Competition Law, The Japanese Economy from and International Perspective, "Money, Banking, and Finance", International Law and Economy, Advanced Finance, and an Econometric Seminar (mostly used to work on our thesis, as the professor was the supervisor of 2 of the 3 students in that seminar).

"Money, Banking, and Finance" covered quite a few topics and we had many guest lecturers, so it was super interesting. The two law classes were relatively easy to follow even if you hadn't taken any law classes before. The Japanese Economy one was a sort of class on the economic history of Japan where the exam was basically to summarize the impact of four international event on the Japanese economy. The other classes are pretty much self-explanatory.

No Japanese proficiency was required, there were people at the student help desk of the department that spoke English and the teacher all spoke English (and also wrote the important stuff on the board, as some had a bit of an accent when they spoke, but nothing dramatic).

Anyway, most of the big universities in Japan have programs in English, and there are pretty easy to find on the english version of their websites.

Hope it helps.

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