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Professional Training Colleges
(specialized training colleges postsecondary course)

Specialized training colleges offering postsecondary courses are called "professional training colleges" and are classified as higher-education institutions. These colleges provide the know-how, technology and skills useful in one's future job, life, and further education. In addition to diploma courses that require two or more years of study, there are advanced diploma courses that take at least four years to complete.

Educational Feature

Professional training colleges can be broadly divided into eight fields: 1) medical care, 2) technology, 3) culture and general education, 4) business, 5) hygiene, 6) education and social welfare, 7) fashion and home economics, and 8) agriculture. Examples of occupations that you can get the basic training for at a professional training college include: interior designer, architect, system engineer, automobile mechanic, nurse, nutritionist, chef, pâtissier, beautician, certified public accountant, interpreter/translator, flight attendant, hotel staff, nursery school teacher, home helper, fashion designer, animator, movie director, producer, game creator, jewelry designer, etc.

Required Japanese Proficiency

Classes in professional training colleges are conducted in Japanese, so international students must be proficient in Japanese.

Applicants must satisfy one of the following conditions.

  1. Individuals who have undergone Japanese language education for more than six months at institutions designated through official notification by the Ministry of Justice
  2. Individuals who have passed Level N1 or N2 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) conducted by Japan Educational Exchanges and Services and the Japan Foundation
  3. Individuals who have undergone Japanese elementary school, lower secondary school or upper secondary school education for one year or more
  4. Individuals who have scored 200 points or more in the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) (Japanese as a Foreign Language subject [the total of reading comprehension, and listening and listening-reading comprehension])
  5. Individuals who have scored 400 points or more in their BJT Business Japanese Proficiency Test conducted by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation

Eligibility for Admission

Applicants must satisfy one of the following eligibility criteria.

  1. Individuals who have completed 12 years of schooling in countries other than Japan
  2. Individuals who are 18 years of age or older and have successfully passed an academic qualification examination that is equivalent to the completion of 12 years of schooling in countries other than Japan
  3. Individuals who have completed studies at international schools in Japan that are officially recognized as equivalent to high schools in countries other than Japan
  4. Individuals who have completed 11 years or more of education courses designated by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in countries other than Japan
  5. Individuals who hold an International Baccalaureate, German Abitur or French Baccalauréat diploma, or who meet the GCE A level course requirements specified by each professional training college
  6. Individuals who have completed 12 years of curriculum at international schools in Japan that are accredited by any of the following international accreditation organizations: WASC, CIS or ACSI
  7. Individuals who are 18 years of age or older and have successfully passed the Upper Secondary School Equivalency Examination in Japan
  8. Individuals who are 18 years of age or older and are recognized by the educational institutions to which they apply for admission, through their individual admission qualification examinations, as having academic ability that is equivalent to a high-school diploma or above
  9. An individual who satisfies any one of the admission qualifications specified in the School Education Act, other than those outlined above

※Note: With regard to 1) through 3) above, if the period of schooling the student has completed is less than 12 years, he/she must also complete an authorized university preparatory course or an authorized course at a training facility, among other things.

School Search

Key points for choosing a school

Officially accredited institute Are they authorized by the relevant prefectural governor? You will not be awarded the title of diploma if the professional training college is unauthorized.
Content of education and number of teachers Is it a curriculum where I can obtain the knowledge and skills I want? What about the ratio of the number of teachers to the number of students?
Facilities and equipment Do they have adequate facilities and equipment that allow you to acquire the skills you are looking for? Be sure to check photos and school brochures.
Career guidance program and graduates' career paths What is the school's career guidance policy? What about graduates' employment track record? Can I gain employment in the career of my choice?
School expenses How much are school expenses for the first year? What about the total amount of school expenses to be incurred before graduation? When is the payment due date?
School reputation Take advantage of a network of graduates, international students, etc. to learn about the school's reputation.

>National Association of Vocational School of Japan's website

Search for professional training colleges
(Metropolitan Tokyo Professional Institution Association)

List of professional training colleges that accept international students (Association for Technical and Career Education)

>List of Higher Education Institutions in Japan (NIC-Japan)

Important Point
Be sure to check with the school whether the course grants diploma or advanced diploma.

Application materials required

  1. Application form (provided by the school)
  2. Upper secondary school graduation diploma/certificate
  3. Transcript of the last school attended
  4. Certificate of attendance at a Japanese language institute and the transcript (if the applicant is residing in Japan)
  5. Japanese language proficiency certificate (if applicant is residing outside Japan)
  6. Other

※Documents for submission may vary according to the school, and some schools require them to be translated into Japanese or English. It is best that you inquire directly with the school for details.

Entrance examination

The exam includes some or all of the following evaluation types: 1) Document screening, 2) academic test, 3) interview, 4) short essay, 5) aptitude test, 6) practical test, 7) Japanese language proficiency test, etc.
The entrance exam mainly examines whether students are focused on their objective in the field they have chosen, whether they have the Japanese language proficiency and academic skills required to keep up with their classes after admission, and whether the students have a strong desire to study.

Difference between a diploma and an advanced diploma

Diploma Advanced Diploma
Course Term 2 years or more 4 years or more
Total class Hours 1,700 hours or more 3,400 hours or more
Qualification for Completion Exam results and other factors ar evaluated for the qualification of course completion
Course Structure The curriculum is systematically structured
After Graduation If you obtain a diploma, you are eligible to transfer to a university If you obtain an advanced diproma, you are eligible to enroll in a graduate school