Foreign Credential Evaluations (in general)

Q: Can a holder of a Bachelor Honours degree, which is superior qualification to a Bachelor degree for those with excellent marks, be admitted to the 2nd-stage doctoral program?

A: When deciding admission eligibility of a foreign degree to a graduate school program in Japan, it should be considered whether a person has "been conferred a degree equivalent to a Master’s degree or Professional degree" (in Japan) or not.

Please, at first, contact the relevant embassy in Japan and ask whether the Bachelor Honours degree in question is comparable to Master's in Japan or not. If you are unable to obtain a clear answer, you can also refer to a national qualifications framework for that country and see if both Master's degree and Bachelor Honours degree are on the same level.

For example, in Australia, an organization called the AQF (Australian Qualifications Framework) classifies qualifications provided by secondary schools, vocational schools, universities and graduate schools in accordance with level of educational achievement. The AQF shows that the Bachelor Honours degree falls in level 8, while the Master’s degree is on a different level, 9.

Thus, in Australia, the Bachelor Honours degree is not an equivalent qualification to its Master’s, and holders of the former degree are not eligible for 2nd-stage Doctoral programs in Japan.

(The content of this Q & A is quoted from the University Admission Qualifications Guide written by University Promotion Division, Higher Education Bureau of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. NIAD-QE produced this English translation.)