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Best Universities in Japan for International MBA Program

Studying for an International MBA (Master of Business Administration) can significantly enhance your career prospects by providing advanced business knowledge and leadership skills. Japan, as the world's third-largest economy, boasts fantastic universities that offer a great mix of top-notch education and a global outlook.

Doing an international MBA program in Japan can be a game-changer, and picking the right university is key. In this guide to the best universities in Japan for international MBA programs, we'll be exploring places that not only value diversity but also help you gain the skills you need to succeed in the ever-changing world of international business.

Here are several universities in Japan that offer excellent international business programs:

1. Waseda University

Waseda University is one of Japan's most prestigious and comprehensive universities, recognized for its academic excellence, long history, and global reputation. Founded in 1882, Waseda played a significant role in the modernization of Japan and has produced numerous influential alumni.

Waseda University places a strong emphasis on internationalization. It has a diverse student body, and many programs, including business and economics, are offered in English to attract students from around the world. Its commitment to academic excellence, research output, and internationalization makes it consistently rank among the top universities globally. 

The Graduate School of Business and Finance, also known as Waseda Business School, offers a two-year International MBA program. The program is taught in English, although students can also take courses conducted bilingually or in Japanese. The program accepts around 70 students annually, both local and international students. 

The International MBA program at Waseda University is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in the global business environment. It combines a strong academic foundation with practical insights into international business practices. The curriculum covers core business areas such as finance, marketing, management, and strategy, while also incorporating specialized courses in international business, global economics, and cross-cultural management. 

2. Hitotsubashi University

Hitotsubashi University is a prestigious national university in Japan, recognized for its outstanding contributions to education and research since its establishment in 1875. The university is located in Kunitachi, Tokyo, providing students with access to the vibrant cultural and economic hub of Japan. The central location facilitates collaboration with businesses, government agencies, and research institutions.

The Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy (ICS) Hitotsubashi University offers two MBA programs. Other than the regular 2-year program, you can also enroll in a one-year program and complete it twice as fast. If you are not looking for a career change, planning to move to Japan, or studying within a limited budget, this program is well-suited for you. Students from both programs will take all courses in English in the first year. In the second year, two-year program students have a variety of academic choices, including the double degree program, exchange program, internship, independent project, and job hunting.

The MBA program at Hitotsubashi University includes the Global Network Week. In this program, students will participate in workshops, seminars, company visits, and cultural activities during a one-week study abroad experience. Thirty business schools from 28 countries, including the US, the UK, Italy, South Africa, Singapore, and South Korea, participated in organizing these events. The goal is to provide participants with a global perspective, networking opportunities, and exposure to diverse business environments.

Hitotsubashi University's International MBA program stands out as a comprehensive and globally-focused educational journey. By combining a rigorous academic curriculum with practical experiences and a multicultural environment, the program aims to prepare students for leadership roles in the ever-evolving world of international business.

3. Nagoya University of Commerce and Business (NUCB)

Founded in 1935, NUCB has a rich history of contributing to business education in Japan. NUCB is the only school in Japan that holds three prestigious international accreditations—AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), EQUIS (EFMD Quality Improvement System), and AMBA (Association of MBAs)—attesting to the institution's commitment to meeting global standards of excellence in business education.

NUCB's MBA programs are highly regarded for their comprehensive curriculum and emphasis on practical skills. The school offers both one-year and two-year MBA options to cater to the diverse needs of students. The classes are 100% in English. NUCB’s students will be part of a diverse environment, with classmates coming from up to 35 different nationalities and representing various industries each semester.

NUCB is located in Nagoya, the fourth most populous city in the country. Nagoya provides a balance between urban convenience and a more relaxed lifestyle. It is a large city with excellent amenities, but the pace of life can be perceived as less hectic than in Tokyo. While Tokyo is a global business hub, Nagoya is a major industrial and manufacturing center, home to numerous multinational corporations. Students attending university in Nagoya may have unique networking opportunities in industries such as automotive manufacturing and aerospace. Attending a university in Nagoya can offer a distinct experience.

4. Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU)

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) is a highly esteemed institution located in Beppu, Oita Prefecture, Japan. APU was founded in 2000 as part of the Ritsumeikan Trust, a private educational institution in Japan. The university is committed to fostering a global mindset, promoting multiculturalism, and preparing students for active roles in international society.

APU offers an MBA program under the Graduate School of Management. It's a 2-year full English program, during which students can specialize in one of the following areas: Accounting and Finance (AF), Marketing and Management (MM), Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Operations Management (EIM), and Japanese Management (JM).

By offering a Japanese Management specialization, the MBA program at APU goes beyond conveying the fundamentals of international business management. APU believes that the Japanese management style, characterized by a focus on long-lasting practices, strict quality control, and a commitment to exceptional customer service, is becoming a new way of conducting business in Asia Pacific. Students will be equipped with insights into a growing trend and able to land a career all over the world.


When deciding on which university, think about a few key things. Consider the specific focus of the program and the university and make sure it matches your interests and where you want your career to go. Check out the professors and see if they have the expertise you're looking for. This way, you can be sure you're making the right choice for your future. Whether you're drawn to the vibrant business scenes in Tokyo, the manufacturing hub in Nagoya, or the scenic beauty in Beppu, Japan provides an unmatched stage for propelling your career forward.



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