ms in mechanical engineering in japan

Last Updated on September 9, 2022 by Alvina Ibe

Ranked first in the world for research and development in the Global Competitiveness Report 2019, Japan is renowned as a high-tech nation, with a thirst for innovation, technology and engineering.

Despite a population of almost 130 million, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry forecasts that the country will face a shortfall of 789,000 software engineers by 2030 – a gap that non-Japanese engineers will be fully qualified to fill.

If you’re considering pursuing an engineering career in Japan, here’s what you need to know.

What are the most in-demand engineering jobs?

Growth in software-based technologies and web-based services has seen demand for skilled engineers who can work for forward-thinking organizations rise significantly over the last few years.

Here’s a fun fact too – Japan is home to the largest number of industrial robots in operation in the world – so if your programming language skills are first-class, this can put you in good stead for working as a system engineer.

Daijob.com and GaijinPot Jobs are useful sites for searching for jobs which don’t necessarily require language skills. Many of the jobs listed are for international companies or Japanese companies which have strong international ties.

Location is an important factor

Japan boasts some of the world’s leading engineering and technology companies.

In Tokyo, you’ll find the headquarters for the likes of Mitsubishi Motors, Honda, Sony, Hitachi, Nikon, and Canon Inc., among others, while the city of Kyoto is home to world-renowned high-tech companies, including the world’s leading game company, Nintendo, motor company Nidec, and electronics manufacturers Kyocera, and Murata.

Location can have a real influence on how successful you are in finding promising job opportunities and salary expectations (more on salaries later).

While opportunities for those who are from overseas and are qualified for the role tend to be in or around Tokyo, engineering job opportunities are some of the most prosperous across the country.   

What about salary and working hours?

Japan is known for its strong work culture. However, the habits of the hard-working nation are changing as recent government policy has proposed reducing overtime and encouraging workers to take more vacation time.

One thing to keep in mind regarding salary prospects is they’re massively dependent on the type of job role, as well as your previous experience, skills and education.

If you have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant engineering discipline, such as mechanical and electrical system engineering, it’s likely that you can expect a starting annual salary of around ¥6 million (~US$56,900) to ¥10 million (~US$95,000).

Outside traditional engineering disciplines, entry-level pay range for engineers in IT for example, is around ¥4 million (~US$37,600) to ¥6 million (~US$56,400) a year.

You’re going to need a relevant bachelor’s degree to get anywhere

As we’ve mentioned, a relevant engineering bachelor’s degree is a great starting point (and you won’t get very far without one).

In April 2020, Kyoto University of Advanced Science (KUAS) established the first multidisciplinary all-English Faculty of Engineering in Japan where students can study a wide range of engineering disciplines, and learn about the most advanced technologies through its professional and practical four-year mechanical and electrical system engineering bachelor’s degree.

Which leads us nicely onto the next point…

Experience is required

This may not be true all the time, but JobQ, a Japanese career-advice website, says that Japanese firms consider practical experience as the most important factor when it comes to hiring. And of course, that’s easier said than done when you’ve been studying for the last three-four years. Where (and when) are you supposed to find the time to get the experience?

Fortunately, many degree programs, such as the mechanical and electrical system engineering degree at KUAS, integrate practical learning experiences, like the capstone project.

KUAS’s strong links with over 50 companies in Japan allows students the unique opportunity to work with such organizations, and train to become in-demand street-smart global engineers, equipped with the critical problem-solving and communication skills needed to work across every industry around the world.

8 Best Engineering Universities in Japan

Do you plan to get a degree in the field of engineering? If so, you should pay attention to courses offered by Japanese universities. Japan’s high education institutions are known for high-quality engineering education. Moreover, the process of education is backed by intensive practice. Therefore, graduates easily find an engineering job not only in Japan but in other countries as well. In this article, we will go over the best universities in Japan with great engineering programs.

There is one more thing that makes studying engineering in Japan beneficial. Applicants do not necessarily need to know Japanese to complete an engineering course. In fact, Japan offers a wide range of engineering programs created for international students. These programs are taught completely in English. Bachelor programs aside, Japanese universities offer master and even doctoral degree courses in engineering.

Besides, bright international students can get a scholarship from one of Japan’s institutions. It means that scholarship students will have part of their educational expenses covered. Apart from a solid knowledge base, international students will get the experience of living abroad. This is also very important because employees often see this experience as a big advantage.

Top Engineering Universities in Japan

1. Tokyo Institute of Technology

  • Engineering Program Link: Bachelor/Master/Doctoral
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor, Master, Doctoral
  • Language of Instruction: Bachelor (Japanese) Master, Doctoral (English)

One of the major aims set out by the Tokyo Institute of Technology School of Engineering is to improve the competitiveness of Japanese graduates on the international labor market. The achievement of this aim outlined directions and principles of the programs offered by the school. Within the course of studies, students are being equipped with essential knowledge and tools to perform tasks in the field of engineering.

Throughout the basic course at this Japanese engineering university, students are encouraged to use their knowledge in practice. Besides, the aspects and cases they work with inspire them to use analytical skills and look for possible solutions.

After graduation, qualified professionals can continue their studies on a higher level. The aim of master’s and doctorate degree courses is to help students hone their skills, engage in research activity and learn more about the field they are working in.

2. Nagoya University

  • Engineering Program Link: Bachelor/Master
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor, Master
  • Language of Instruction: English

Another top engineering university in Japan is Nagayo University. In this school, the structure of the basic course allows students to learn all the theory they will need in the future. Courses like Vehicles Engines and Car Electronics provide core knowledge without which a professional engineer has no chances to achieve success.

Apart from intensive studies, students have an opportunity to practice. The practice is organized in the format of special internship programs. The internship takes place every spring and summer.

The aim of the postgraduate course in automotive engineering is to foster research activity. Students are motivated to expand their knowledge, create new ideas and ways of realizing these ideas. Researches aside, students can spread their knowledge as qualified educators.

3. Kyoto University

  • Engineering Program link
  • Degrees offered: Master, Doctoral
  • Language of Instruction: Japanese

The University staff shapes the education process on the basis of certain approaches. The approaches that help to educate professionals capable of thinking critically and independently. Besides, students are continuously encouraged to search for innovative, highly valuable ideas. It is the implementation of these ideas in practice that will guarantee a better future for the global society.

Within the postgraduate master course, students participate in internships, conduct experiments and perform a set of different exercises. The focus is shifted from theory to practice, which is essential for becoming a top engineer. The 3-year doctoral course allows students to engage in intensive research activity. Since both programs are popular, the university decided to combine them. The third course available at the University is a blended master-doctoral degree course.

4. Tohoku University

  • Engineering Program Link
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor, Master, Doctoral
  • Language of Instruction: English

The University of Tohoku is one of the top engineering universities in Japan. This school has been educating students and spreading knowledge for one hundred years. Many of its graduates are now leading professionals in various fields from chemistry to IT and engineering. It was here where thousands of students made the first steps towards their dream.

At present, the School of Engineering offers several courses created for international students. Both of them are designed to educate engineers capable of providing high-quality services. The classes and laboratories students study and learn in are fully equipped to guarantee the best and most effective educational process.

5. The University of Tokyo

  • Engineering Program Link: Master/Doctoral
  • Degrees offered: Master, Doctoral
  • Language of Instruction: English

These programs are available for international students only. The master course lasts for 2 years while the doctoral degree course takes 3 years to complete. Japanese Ministry of Education offers a Scholarship to exceptionally bright applicants willing to complete an engineering postgraduate course at the University of Tokyo.

Both programs imply a wide range of aspects to study. Students are free to choose a specialization they want to get. The list of specific aspects includes astronautics, electrical engineering, bioengineering, precision engineering and materials engineering.

6. Hokkaido University

  • Engineering Program Link
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor
  • Language of Instruction: Japanese

Advanced technologies are now widely applied in many fields of engineering. Yet, there is much to discover and create. Therefore, a demand for professionals capable of thinking outside of the box arises. The basic course available at Hokkaido University was created to satisfy the existing demand.

In fact, the course is based on the principle of creative education. In other words, lecturers encourage students to seek their own, innovative ideas. Ideas that are not restricted by the limits of conventional theories and knowledge.

At this engineering university in Japan, the first year of studies is devoted solely to general education. Within the next two years, students complete sets of common and specialized courses. The 4th year is the time when students are expected to conduct thorough graduation research.

7. Kyushu University

  • Engineering Program Link: Bachelor/Master/Doctoral
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor, Master, Doctoral
  • Language of Instruction: English

Kyushu University is home to one of the oldest engineering universities in Japan. The idea to establish the school was inspired by the desire to create and implement innovations in the fields of technology and science. Effort and hard work converted the engineering department into one of the most prestigious places to study and work in.

Particularly important is the fact that the university strives to develop and maintain international cooperation. This was one of the reasons for creating international engineering programs of different levels. The basic degree implies a number of subjects covering diverse aspects of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Students are endowed with the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary for the development of various devices.

The postgraduate degree programs are focused on deeper research in a chosen field. Based on advanced expertise, students are expected to generate new ideas, knowledge and insights.

8. Osaka University

  • Engineering Program Link: Master/Doctoral
  • Degrees offered: Master, Doctoral
  • Language of Instruction: English

The final university in our list of best engineering universities is Osaka University. The Engineering faculty of Osaka University makes training and education of professional engineers its main aim. Rapidly occurring changes call for professionals of a new generation. Professionals that are able to fix problems efficiently and effortlessly. Professionals that have a unique vision. Professionals that are capable of generating and implementing ideas in the shortest time possible. All these characteristics describe graduates of Osaka University.

Within the first year of the master degree program, students attend lectures and receive instructions essential for future research. The research conducted under the guidance of a professor is scheduled for the 2nd and the 3rd year of studies.

The program of doctoral degree seeks to convert professional engineers into the best scientists who are willing to engage in experiments so that to influence the life of humanity positively.

PhD Programs in Management in Japan 2022

Online Doctor of Philosophy in Management (PhD)

United International Business Schools

United International Business SchoolsTokyo, Japan +8 MoreUpon successful completion of the study program students receive an international private Doctor of Philosophy in Management (Ph.D.) degree awarded by the school’s headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, based on the recommendation of the faculty of the local campuses where credits were earned.

Ph.D. in Management

Osaka UniversityToyonaka, JapanThe Management Program admits five students annually in preparation for research and teaching careers in the management sciences and related fields of business administration. The program equips future leaders with the conceptual framework and specific skills needed to be successful in business administration. Students take the required courses of Accounting, Finance, Operations Research, Marketing Science, Management Information, Risk Management, Corporate Investment, Financial Engineering, and Statistics.

PhD – Doctor of Philosophy in Management

United International Business Schools

United International Business SchoolsTokyo, Japan +8 MoreOur academic calendar is based on a quarter system (1 quarter = 10 weeks). Because of the program’s flexible structure and modular design, multiple starting dates are available at the start of every Quarter and of every Term, in October, November, January, February, April, May, July, and August

Masters Study in Japan – A Guide for 2022

A Masters in Japan can be an excellent choice for postgraduates seeking a high-quality study abroad experience with unique opportunities. An emerging study abroad destination, Japan has a lot to offer when it comes to postgraduate studies.

Whether you’re interested in exploring Japan’s ultra-modern cities or its stunning heritage sites, you’ll find yourself well-positioned to take advantage of its expertise in a number of high-tech fields of study.

Postgraduate opportunities in Japan – what’s on offer for 2022?

With seven of its universities in the top 50 in Asia (two of them in the top 100 in the world), quality in teaching and research in Japan is not lacking. Education is at the heart of modern Japanese society, with academic freedom protected by the Constitution of Japan.

The Japanese government is also pushing an internationalisation agenda in higher education with its “Top Global University Project”. This project gives extra state funding to 37 Japanese universities that have been singled out for their work in globalization, aiming to help them build relationships with foreign universities and attract international academic talent.

As such, there’s never been a better time to study a Masters in Japan! Here are a few reasons why you should consider postgraduate study in Japan this year:

  • Academic excellence – Japanese universities enjoy a world-class reputation for their research and are keen to attract more international postgraduates.
  • Quality of life – Japan is one of the world’s safest countries, offering a welcoming environment for foreign students.
  • Scholarship opportunities – There are plenty of funding programmes available for international students in Japan – 
  • Learn a new language – Although there are increasing numbers of Masters programmes in Japan taught entirely in English, studying there represents a fantastic chance to immerse yourself in the local culture and learn some Japanese.
Masters Study in Japan – Key Details
Universities777
Oldest UniversityKeio University (1858)
International Students202,907
Course Length2 years
Average Fees¥820,000 (USD $7180)
Academic YearApril to March

Japanese universities

There are currently over 700 universities in Japan, around 75% of which are private universities.

As a rule, Japanese universities can be divided into three different types: private universities, national universities and public local universities. They all can offer postgraduate degrees.

  • National universities – These have been established in all local “prefectures” (the equivalent of local councils in the UK) to ensure that there’s no regional imbalance in terms of the provision of higher education.
  • Public local universities – Local public entities and public university corporations establish and manage these institutions. They play important roles in providing higher education opportunities to local people and in acting as intellectual and cultural centres.
  • Private universities – These are established by independent organisations, rather than by local or national government. Each promotes its own unique education and research strengths. Over the years, they have greatly contributed to the development of Japanese higher education.

Graduate schools

Since their creation in the mid-70s, graduate schools have been one of the pillars of Japan’s internationalisation strategy. With a relatively small proportion of the student population currently engaging in postgraduate study, the professional and personal development of students has become central to graduate schools.

These institutions not only train researchers, but also offer skills training as part of a well-rounded education for the future generation of teaching and research staff.

University rankings

Japanese universities perform well in global rankings, with several institutions featuring in the top 300 of the main league tables.

UniversityTHE 2022QS 2022ARWU 2021
University of Tokyo=35=2324
Kyoto University613337
Tohoku University201-250=82151-200
Osaka University301-350=75151-200
Tokyo Institute of Technology301-35056101-150

Course types

Masters degrees in Japan are two years long. Students gain a set number of credits from core courses (which are delivered through lectures, tutorials, group work and practicals, if applicable), research courses and elective courses. Normally, the minimum number of credits to achieve is 30 (with two credits per course usually available) from a total of 31, leaving little room for error.

The first three semesters are dedicated to courses and the final semester to your Masters dissertation (as well as taking a smaller number of compulsory courses).

In addition to passing final exams, you will submit a Masters thesis or present your research results if you decided to conduct a Masters research project. You will be allocated a supervisor for your final semester but there is no harm in starting to discuss your dissertation plans early.

Graduate schools will also offer Japanese language classes, which don’t count towards your course credits but are often free of charge.

Academic calendar

This is an area that hasn’t been addressed by the Japanese higher education sector’s internationalisation agenda, and there is no consistency with the semester system of countries such as Germany in the EU or the USA and Singapore further afield. Japan’s academic year starts in April with the second semester starting in October. Some, but not all, universities may offer Masters programmes with a start date in the second semester.

Fees and funding for Masters degrees in Japan

Students in Japan are required to pay an admissions fee in addition to tuition fees. On average, the combined total of these two fees is ¥820,000 (USD $7,180) at national universities and ¥930,000 (USD $8,140) at local public universities. At private institutions, average fees vary between ¥800,000 (USD $7,000) and ¥1,000,000 (USD $8,755).

Additional expenses

All international students are required to enrol in the National Health Insurance system. This is done through the office that processes your residence registration. The annual premium varies depending on where in Japan you live but is around ¥23,200 (USD $211) per year.

Optional expenses include:

  • University student health insurance
  • Personal accident insurance
  • Personal liability insurance

Scholarships

There are several scholarships available to international Masters students. The most prestigious scholarships are those awarded by MEXT.

  • Japanese Government (MEXT) Postgraduate ScholarshipsApplied through the Japanese embassy in your home country, these highly selective scholarships provide return air fare, university fees, a monthly grant of ¥143,000 (USD $1,300), an optional six-month course in Japanese and help finding accommodation. The scholarships are tenable at selected institutions but in all subject areas.
  • Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for Privately-Financed International StudentsThese scholarships provide a monthly allowance of ¥48,000 (USD $440) for graduate students who do not hold a scholarship (from any source).
  • Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development ScholarshipA Masters scholarship available to students from Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.The scholarships are tenable at selected universities and provide tuition fees, admission fees, traveling and seminar allowance, book allowance, arrival allowance, accommodation allowance, stipend and shipping allowance.
  • Asian Development Bank-Japan Scholarship ProgrammeThese scholarships are available to people from borrowing member countries of the ADB who want to study Economics, Management, Science or Technology. Full tuition fees, a monthly subsistence and housing allowance, an allowance for books and instructional materials, medical insurance, and travel expenses are provided for one year, renewable for a second year.
  • Scholarships provided by JASSOJASSO is the Japan Student Services Organization is an independent administrative institution established under MEXT and which also runs the undergraduate university entrance examination EJU. It maintains a useful list of scholarships for international students offered by local authorities and private foundations.

Applying for a Masters in Japan

Entry requirements

Applicants for a Masters in Japan should have a Bachelors degree or an international equivalent. You may have to sit an entrance examination in your subject area or provide a graduate entry test score such as GRE, so check the exact requirements at your chosen university.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide an English language certificate, such as TOEFL or IELTS (unless you studied your undergraduate degree in a country where English is the official language).

If you want to join a course delivered in Japanese, then you will have to demonstrate proficiency, most likely through the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).

Documents to supply

The application process at most Japanese universities involves a similar set of documents and forms that you’ll need to submit. They include:

  • The application form, normally available online or as a downloadable document
  • Personal statement, sometimes called the “academic essay”
  • Bachelor diploma (if you have already graduated) and transcripts
  • References/letters of recommendation (most often two)
  • English-proficiency test scores and certificates (and Japanese equivalent if required)
  • Application fee certificate or receipt

Selection process

In Japan, the selection process for a Masters programme shares similarities with that of a PhD. It’s a good idea to look for a potential supervisor for your dissertation project in advanced of submitting your application.

Having an academic who is willing to supervise you in the later stages of your Masters carries a lot of weight and will show that you’re serious about your long-term goals and aspirations.

Another thing to consider when looking for a suitable programme and supervisor is the teaching staff and whether they have a good level of English (for example, will their language skills be sufficient to read your dissertation should they become your thesis advisor?). Your e-mail conversations will tell you a lot but research publications in English are a definitive way to find out. You should look into their research expertise anyway and, if you’re not really proficient in Japanese, then articles in English-language journals will be your best chance of exploring their topic of interest.

Public universities in Japan commonly operate a two-step selection process. Candidates who are successful at the document screening stage will be interviewed. Applicants who live in Japan will be invited to the university for an interview while applicants outside Japan will have the option of being interviewed via video conferencing.

JAPANESE BACHELOR’S DEGREE OR MINOR: WHY PSU?

Portland State offers a robust Japanese-American community through the Center for Japanese Studies, a student-oriented resource center focused on preparing students to become leaders in business, government, and the arts by fostering cross-cultural understanding through a variety of curricular and outreach programs.

Portland State and the Center for Japanese Studies has a special relationship with Waseda University, one of Japan’s preeminent private universities located in Tokyo, and Hokkaido University, a public university in Portland’s Sister City, Sapporo. These relationships provide you with uniquely immersive experiences, allowing you to study Japanese in Japan and live with a Japanese host family.

A senior Capstone project provides you with the opportunity to work with elementary school programs that offer Japanese in the Portland area by assisting a classroom teacher and developing teaching materials.

WHAT CAN I DO WITH A BACHELOR’S DEGREE OR MINOR IN JAPANESE?

A major or minor in Japanese from PSU empowers you to enter the workforce with a proficiency in the Japanese language and culture that will prepare you to work in a number of fields. Many of our graduates go into teaching, either teaching English in Japan through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program or with private English schools or teaching Japanese in U.S. immersion programs. Others go into translation and interpretation work or pursue graduate studies.

 Japan – Bachelor programs in History

 What is a Bachelor’s degree in History?

History is a science that studies the past events using documents, archives, artefacts. A Bachelor’s degree in History involves obtaining knowledge in Public History, European History, History of Russia, Islamic Civilization, Egyptology, Topics in 20th Century World History, Chinese and Japanese History, US History, etc. Students can have an internship in historical sites, museums, exhibitions during their study.

 What are the tasks of a graduate student of History?

The duties of a graduate student of History may include collecting and analyzing historical information, organizing and holding exhibitions, interpreting historical data, making reports and presentation, providing advice on historical issues, etc.

 Reasons to obtain a Bachelor program in History in Japan

No 21 in the world education ranking 

  1. 19. Austria
  2. 20. Germany
  3. 21. Japan
  4. 22. Russia

No 19 in the world ease of doing business ranking 

  1. 17. United States
  2. 18. Spain
  3. 19. Japan
  4. 20. Belgium
  5. 21. France

No 19 in the world economy ranking 

  1. 17. Austria
  2. 18. United Arab Emirates
  3. 19. Japan
  4. 21. Canada

No 2 in the world safety ranking 

  1. 1. Norway
  2. 2. Japan
  3. 3. Singapore
  4. 5. Ireland