Japan | International Credentials Equivalencies

Minimum GPA
A Minus GPA
B Plus GPA
Instruction Languages
Bachelors Equiv.
Bachelor`s degree (Gakushi-shogo / 学士号)
Masters Equiv.
Master`s degree (Shushi-go / 修士号) - see notes.
Grad Sample
First Degree Sample
Bachelor's (Gakushi Shogo)
Grading System

A 80–100 Yu (Excellent)
B 70-79 Ryo (Good)
C 60–69 Ka (Pass)
D 00–59 (Fail)

A+ 90–100 Shu (Outstanding)
A 80–89 Yu (Excellent)
B 70–79 Ryo (Good)
C 60–69 Ka (Pass)
D Fail Fuka

Ontario Admission Equivalency (OURA)
A+ 90–100
A 87–89
A- 84–86
B+ 80-83
B 77–79
B- 74–76

Recognized Universities

Aichi University of Education
Akita University
Aoyama Gakuin University*
Asahikawa Medical College
Chiba University
Chuo Univ. (Tokyo)*
Dokkyo University*
Doshisha University*
Ehime University
Fukui Medical School
Fukui University
Fikuoka Univesity of Education
Gakushuin University*
Gifu University
Gunma University
Hamamatsu University School of Medicine
Hirosaki University
Hiroshima University
Hitotsubashi University
Hokkaido University
Hosei University*
Ibaraki University
International Christian University*
Iwate University
Kagawa Medical School
Kagawa University
Kagoshima University
Kanazawa University
Keio University
Kobe University
Kochi Medical School
Kochi University
Kwansei Gakuin University
Kyoto University
Kyushu University
Medical College of Oita
Meiji University*
Mie University
Miyazaki University
Nagasaki University
Nagoya University
Nanzan University*
Niigata University Oita University
Okayama University
Osaka University
Ritsumeikan University
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
Saga University
Siatama University
Shiga University
Shimane University
Shinshu University
Shizuoka University
Sophia University*
Tohoku University
Tokyo Gakugei University
Tokyo Institute of Technology
Toyama University,Tsuda College*
Wagata University
Waseda University
Yamagata University
University of Ryukyus
University of Tokyo
University of Tottori
University of Tsukuba
University of Wakayama
Utsunomiya University
Yamaguchi University
Yamanashi University,
Yokahama National University

* denotes private institutions

Notes for Japan

Bachelor`s degree (Gakushi-shogo) 学士号
Alternative titles at this level include:
Medical degree (Igakushi)
Veterinary degree (Jūigakushi)
Dentistry degree (Shigakushi)

Master`s degree (Shushi-go) 修士号
Academic Master’s degrees would generally be termed Master of Science/Arts, while professional ones would be Master of (subject area).

There are 474 universities (national, private and local) and ranking of these institutions by academic or professional organizations does not exist.

Bachelor Degree (学士Gakushi)
Most Bachelor degrees take four years, although those in medicine, dentistry and some pharmacy and veterinary science programmes take six years. At least 124 credits are required for the completion of four-year degrees; medicine and dentistry require at least 188, veterinary science 182 and some pharmacy programmes require 186.

The first two years involve a broad range of subjects, often unrelated to the major. The final two years are then focused on the major subject(s).

Some universities offer the option for high-performing students to graduate early, after completion of a minimum of three years of study, instead of the usual four.

Master’s Degree (修士Shūshi)
There are two types of Master’s degree offered in Japan: academic research Master’s degrees and professional Master’s degrees.

Academic Master’s degrees take two years and require 30 credits, completion of a thesis and a final examination. A Bachelor degree is required for entry and students must also pass an entrance examination.

Professional Master’s degrees (修士 (専門職) Shūshi (Senmon-shoku)) studied at professional graduate schools take between one and three years, depending on the subject. The minimum credit requirement is 30 credits. Three-year law school programmes require 93 credits and have the title Juris Doctor (法務博士Hōmu hakase). Two-year teacher education programmes require a minimum of 45 credits. Submission of a thesis is not required.

There are no Master’s degrees available in medical fields; graduates may proceed directly to doctoral studies following a Bachelor degree.

Doctorate (博士Hakase)
Doctoral programmes take five years to complete, with a two-year Master’s degree forming the first stage of the programme. The Doctorate itself takes three years to complete. Some universities offer a three-year, post-Master’s Doctorate. Applicants to all types of programme must pass an entrance examination.

Doctorates in dentistry, medicine, some pharmaceutical fields and veterinary medicine are four years in duration. A minimum of 30 credits is required, as well as the doctoral thesis and a final examination.

It is also possible to gain a Doctorate without following one of the doctoral programmes described above. The degree can also be awarded on the basis of a dissertation alone, which is submitted, reviewed and examined by the university in accordance with degree regulations.

Last Update: September 2, 2020

Last modified: September 11, 2020