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Foreign Credential Evaluations (in general)

Q: One of the criteria for eligibility is “persons who have completed 18 years of school education in foreign countries" for admission to doctoral programs in medicine, dentistry, pharmaceutical sciences or veterinary science. Does it mean that a person can be admitted to such programs regardless of the subjects studied in a previous university?

A: The regulation in question does not specify study subjects an applicant has studied. On the other hand, another condition clearly states them as "persons whose academic ability is equivalent to or greater than those who graduate university programs in medicine, dentistry, pharmaceutical sciences or veterinary science".
In Japan, applicants to doctoral programs are assumed to be those who have graduated 6-year bachelor's programs in the same subjects. Although unspecified in regulations, students having merely completed the 16th grade are required to prove equivalent academic ability to graduates from the 6-year programs in Japan.

Thus, as previous study subjects are not restricted for "persons who have completed 18 years of school education in foreign countries", they are allowed to enter doctoral programs in medicine, dentistry, pharmaceutical sciences or veterinary science. However, when making admission decisions, universities should take it into account that applicants from Japanese universities are expected to graduate programs in relevant subjects.

(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.)