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Dec. 02, 2020 Nomenclature of Major Fields on Academic Degrees in Japan (AY2019 survey results released)

Japan

National Institution for Academic Degrees and Quality Enhancement of Higher Education (NIAD-QE) has released the nomenclature of academic fields based on results of AY2019 survey conducted with the cooperation of universities nationwide (792 universities target for survey, 761 respondents, response rate 96.10%)

Update: Nomenclature of Academic Fields Based on Survey Result Released [link available in Japanese only]

Currently in Japan, as stipulated by the School Education Act, universities and the National Institution for Academic Degrees and Quality Enhancement of Higher Education (NIAD-QE) are authorized to award bachelor’s (学士), master’s (修士), and doctoral (博士) degrees. Before academic year (AY) 1991, academic degrees were stipulated to be classified into 28 master’s and 19 doctoral classifications. Further, the bachelor’s (学士) was not treated as a “degree (学位),” but as a “title (称号),” with 29 bachelor’s classifications stipulated. With the revision of related laws and regulations in AY 1991, the bachelor’s is now considered a “degree,” and, in the awarding of each of the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, an appropriate major field of academic study is recorded (i.e., stated) on each of the said degrees by each university and the NIAD-QE. As a result, a plethora of diverse names (nomenclature) have materialized for said major fields on the diplomas, reflecting the uniqueness of each academic course established by each university.

In order to perform survey-based research regarding Japan’s academic degree system, and to provide information related thereto, NIAD-QE conducts the survey every year by distributing online questionnaire forms to universities throughout Japan, with request for response by each university.