Reference work entry

Structure of Higher Education System


Higher education is provided by universities, junior colleges, colleges of technology, as well as specialized schools. These institutions may be national, public or private. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) must approve the foundation of higher education institutions. Universities include one or more faculties offering 4-year courses in a variety of subjects. Junior colleges and colleges of technology do not grant university-level qualifications, but students holding the title of Associate may pursue their studies at universities.

Stages of studies

University level first stage

The first stage of higher education consists of a 4-year course (six years in Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutics). A credit system is used, with the minimum requirement for graduation set at 124 credits. The degree awarded at the end of the first stage is the Bachelor's degree (Gakushi).


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