Organisation of higher education

In Japan, higher education starts upon the completion of twelve years of primary and secondary education.

The Japanese higher education system is composed of 773 universities, including 86 national, 92 local and 595 private universities, 64 colleges of technology, 406 junior colleges and 3 348 specialised training colleges (professional training).*

Universities provide undergraduate studies which last four years. They may establish graduate schools offering Master's and doctoral courses or professional degree courses. The standard length of a Master's programme is two years.

Some graduate schools offer long doctoral programmes of five years which include a two year Master's programme. Others propose three-year doctoral programmes for which the admission requirement is a Master's degree.

The length of study for a doctoral programme in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science (entered after completion of a six-year undergraduate course) is four years.**

Specific information on Japanese higher education institutions can be found through the Japanese Colleges and Universities Search of the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO).

*Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Statistics (data of 2009)


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