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Planning studies in Japan

Colleges of Technology

Colleges of Technology, or "Kosen," are higher education institutions that offer a comprehensive five-year program (five and a half for mercantile marine studies) for junior high school graduates. As a general rule, international students start from the third year of the technical college's program, skipping the first and second years. There are 51 national colleges of technology with 55 campuses in Japan. In addition to this, there are also local public and private technical colleges.

Educational Features

  • Kosen offer advanced education programs to develop hands-on engineers with world-class expertise and the ability to handle the latest technology. There is a focus on lab work, practical work, and hands-on exercises, as well as the acquisition of advanced theoretical knowledge.
  • Although most departments in Kosen are related to the engineering field, there are also mercantile marine departments that aim to develop mariners.
  • Graduates of Kosen are awarded an "Associate degree."
  • After the five-year curriculum, a two-year advanced course is offered to provide a higher level of education.
  • A student who has successfully completed a two-year advanced course after his/her graduation from the college of technology will be awarded a bachelor's degree if he/she passes the exam administered by NIAD-QE.

Eligibility for Transfer Admission

Applicants must satisfy one of the following eligibility criteria (in the case of national kosen).

  1. Individuals who have completed (or are scheduled to complete) at least 11 years of schooling in countries other than Japan.
  2. Individuals who have successfully passed (or are scheduled to pass) an academic qualification examination that is equivalent to the completion of 11 years or more of schooling in countries other than Japan.
  3. Individuals who have completed (or are scheduled to complete) studies at international schools in Japan that are officially recognized as equivalent to high schools in countries other than Japan.
  4. Individuals who have obtained (or are scheduled to obtain) an IB diploma from the International Baccalaureate, a foundation whose establishment was based on the Swiss Civil Code, in countries other than Japan.
  5. Individuals who have obtained (or are scheduled to obtain) an Abitur, a university admission qualification that each state in Germany can grant, in countries other than Japan.
  6. Individuals who have obtained (or are scheduled to obtain) a Baccalaureat - a university admission qualification of France.
  7. Individuals who have completed (or are scheduled to complete) 11 years of curriculum at international schools in Japan that are accredited by any of the following international accreditation organizations: WASC, CIS, or ACSI.
  8. Individuals recognized as having academic ability that is equivalent to graduates of upper secondary school or above.

※With regard to 1 to 3 above, applicants who have not completed 11 years of schooling are required to complete a university preparatory course or a course at a research institution authorized by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, among other things.

Application Process

In the case of government-sponsored international students

You can apply for the Japanese government (MEXT)'s scholarship through the Japanese embassy in your country/region. As the application process differs according to the country/region, please inquire at your local Japanese embassy or consulate general to see whether your country/region is eligible for the scholarship. For details about the MEXT scholarship, see the government sponsorship page.

In the case of privately-financed international students Application process

Application process

  1. School application form
  2. Financial plan
  3. Medical report/proof of medical examination
  4. Other

*For details, please check the website of *1Kosen Institute

*1Kosen Institute: the Kosen National Institute of Technology is an independent administrative organization that manages Kosen. It is also responsible for the unified/common entrance examination for national kosen.

Entrance examination

As of 2019, the Kosen Institute uses the following criteria to holistically evaluate an applicant and determine whether or not to accept them.

  1. Application form
  2. EJU score
  3. TOEFL®, IELTS, or TOEIC® L&R score
  4. Performance during the interview (conducted in Japan)

Career path after graduation

Graduates of kosen can either choose to work or continue their studies at another school. Some graduates receive over 20 job offers from famous companies. Many graduates of kosen move on to do further research and innovation or to manufacturing industries to apply the knowledge and skills they acquired. Many international students who graduate from kosen transfer to national universities.

Career or academic path after graduation