Study Programs

Below is a list of “JET-friendly” graduate schools, i.e., graduate school programs that tend to be popular choices of JET alumni due to their subject matter or their connection with Japan.

Notes: Please feel free to send JETwit an e-mail at jetwit [at] if:

  • You know of a program that should be included on this list.
  • You are considering one of these programs and would like to contact other JET alumni who went through the programs.
  • You’re a JET alum who attended one of these programs and are willing to be contacted by other JET alumni who are interested in the program.  (Make sure to include your prefecture and years on JET along with any info or comments you want to share.)

Japanese Study

Inter-University Center (IUC) for Japanese Language Studies – Administered by Stanford University, the IUC’s 10-month program attracts graduate students and professionals from across the US. It does offer fellowship opportunities, and anyone interested should check the scholarships page on their website as well as inquire about these with the Center.

GenkiJacs (Owned by Evan Kirby (Fukuoka-ken, 2000-03, and recommended by JET alum Carleen Ben)

Scholarships for Language Study

Blakemore Freeman Fellowship – A great way to finance intensive language study. Four to five grants for Japanese are available every year.  (CommentShannon Quinn, former JETAA USA Country Rep and former JETAA Pacific Northwest President, attended the IUC from 2005-2006, thanks to a generous fellowship (worth nearly $36,000) from the Blakemore Freeman Foundation.  Feel free to contact Shannon if you have questions about the program.)

Columbia University’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures has compiled lists of fellowship opportunities for research & travel and language study, including many for Japan and Japanese language. Many thanks to JET alumna Abigail MacBain for compiling these and bringing them to our attention.

Fulbright offers grants for various activities, including support for 12 months of Master’s Degree study.

MEXT / Monbukagakusho fellowships are available for study in Japan. Information on these can be found on their main website, the US Embassy website, and other embassy and consulate websites.

International Relations / Policy / Language / Cultural Study

American University – Ritsumeikan (Kyoto) – A graduate dual degree program for students fluent in both English and Japanese. Students begin their studies at American University’s School of International Service and complete their second year of study at the Graduate School of International Relations at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan. Graduates receive simultaneously a master’s degree from the School of International Service and a master’s degree from Ritsumeikan University’s Graduate School of International Relations.

American University (Washington, D.C.)-The International Training and Education Program (ITEP) at American University recruits JET alumni for their international work experience, cultural exchange skills and interest in international education. ITEP offers up to 6 credits (3 credits per year) to JET alumni towards a 36 credit Master’s degree in International Training and Education. Students can focus their studies on higher education, training and facilitation, study abroad and international exchange education, international development through education, to name a few. American University is located in Washington, DC, which is a prime location for jobs and internships with the State Department, non-government organizations and education-focused institutions.  For more information, email:

Carnegie Mellon University – Heinz College (Pittsburgh) – Recognizing JETAA as a strategic partner, CMU guarantees a 30% minimum scholarship award for up to 10 successful JET alumni applicants per year. Additional merit-based aid may also be available, depending on the strength of the application for admission, and a $250 travel stipend may be available to attend their Fall Visitation Weekend in November. There is no application fee, and students accepted to the school have the option to defer admission for up to two years.

Columbia University – School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) (New York, NY)

Columbia University – Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultures (New York, NY)

Columbia University – Teachers College (New York, NY) takes a broad view of the role of education in society, and is one good school for alumni wishing to pursue careers in TESL / TEFL or pedagogy.

Doshisha’s Global MBA (Kyoto, Japan) – – See JetWit post on JET alumna Eleanor Robinson who has been involved with administration of the program –

McGill University MBA in Tokyo – Very good program.  Competitor of Temple MBA in Tokyo program.

Middlebury College —  Former JETAA US Country Rep Shannon Quinn says that she attended their summer language school pre-JET in 1999, and many of her classmates were former CIRs and ALTs.

Middlebury Institute of International Studies (Monterey, CA) – Offers programs in topics including International Policy Studies, Translation & Interpretation, Language Teacher Education and International Business. MIIS offers a guaranteed $10,000 per year scholarship to JET alumni. Details are available at

The JETAA Northern California chapter also has the JETAA Monterey Bay subchapter set up by alumni at MIIS.

The New School — International Affairs Program (NYC)

School for International Training (SIT) (Battleboro, VT) – Offers programs in International Education, Language and Culture, NGOs and Civil Society, Peace and Conflict Transformation, Socially Responsible Management, Sustainable Development and Teacher Preparation. SIT now offers a scholarship covering 30% of tuition costs for eligible current and former JETs. They also have a special “low-residency” MA in TESOL program for current JETs, and will waive the application fee for all applicants. See their website for details:

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) (London, UK)

Second Language Studies M.A. Program, University of Hawai’i at Manoa – A great program, according to Leslie Reynolds (Niigata-ken, 2005-07) who is an M.A. candidate and reports that there are several other former JETs in the program as well.

School of Teaching English as a Second Language (in cooperation with Seattle University’s College of Education) — Seattle University and the School of Teaching ESL have created a cooperative agreement that gives students several choices regarding professional development in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).

Syracuse University – Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs – The Department of Public Administration and International Affairs has partnered with JETAA to offer the Maxwell PAIA – JET Alumni Scholarship. This scholarship covers at least 30% of tuition costs for a single- or dual-degree course of study in Maxwell’s Master of Public Administration or Master of Arts in International Relations on-campus programs. The offer includes the option to defer admission for one year and to be considered for further merit-based aid based on the strength of the application for admission.

Temple University – Japan Campus (Tokyo) – Offers MBA, Law and Ms.Ed./Ed.D. in TESOL degrees. JET alumni are eligible for a 10 percent discount on tuition for their Continuing Education Program, a 50,000 yen scholarship for their MBA Program, and an entrance fee waiver.

The University of Birmingham – Offers MA courses in TESOL or Applied Linguistics. Used to offer a tuition discount for currently or recently employed JETs, but doesn’t seem to anymore.

University of San Francisco – Offers an MA in TESOL. Used to waive application fees for JET alumni, although may not anymore.

The University of Sheffield – East Asian Studies Program – Distance Learning Centre – The Distance Learning Centre was established in 1995 to develop distance-learning versions of the School of East Asian Studies’ prestigious postgraduate degrees.

University of South Florida Graduate Program for Linguistics and Teaching English as a Second Language – Good program.  According to a native Floridian JET alum, USF also has an English Language Institute on campus so there are visiting students from all over the globe going to USF just to improve their English.  There was at least one Florida JET alumnus who apparently worked at the ELI for a while.

Waseda School of International Liberal Studies (Tokyo) – Has a relatively new international grad program.

Washington University in St. Louis – M.A. in East Asian Studies – According to a JET alum who did the program, one of the attractive features of WashU is that there are two joint program options, JD or MBA, that you can do together with the M.A.   He adds that WashU also offers tuition breaks and small class sizes, and has excellent professors.

Business Schools

Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management – The school has had many former JETs as students (and even a professor) and also offers a dual MBA/MA in Asian Studies degree, besides featuring the famous FALCON intensive language program.  (Thanks to Johnson alum A.J. Figliolini (Niigata-ken, 1998-2001) for the info.);;

Doshisha’s Global MBA (Kyoto, Japan) – – See the JETwit post on JET alumna Eleanor Robinson, who has been involved with administration of the program –

Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvannia – Enables one to get a Wharton MBA or Penn J.D. in combination with a Japanese-focused MA.  JETs have gone there and it has a great reputation.

McGill University MBA in Tokyo – Very good program.  Competitor of Temple MBA in Tokyo program.

Moore School of Business (University of South Carolina), International MBA Program (Columbia, SC) – Ranked as the #2 International Full-time MBA program by US News & World Report.  (MBA alma mater of playwright Randall David Cook (Fukui-ken, 1991-93).)

Temple University – Japan Campus (Tokyo) (also listed above) – Offers MBA, Law and Ms.Ed./Ed.D. in TESOL degrees. JET alumni are eligible for a 10 percent discount on tuition for their Continuing Education Program, a 50,000 yen scholarship for their MBA Program, and an entrance fee waiver.

Thunderbird School of Global Management (Glendale, Arizona) – Ranked as the #1 International Full-time MBA by US News & World Report.

Willamette University (Salem, Oregon) – The university partners with AJET to provide alumni with at least a $5,000 scholarship for their MBA program. See the AJET website for more information.


Technology / Engineering / Technical

Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz College (Pittsburgh) – Heinz College offers a number of programs in IT and related fields, along with its policy-oriented curriculum. See the IR, Policy, etc. listings above for more details.

University of Washington – Technical Japanese Program (Seattle, WA) – A number of JET alums have graduated from this program.

University of Wisconson – Masters in Technical Japanese

Law Schools

Columbia University Law School (New York, NY) – Law school has a Center for Japanese Studies.

Temple University – Japan Campus (Tokyo) – Offers MBA, Law and Ms.Ed./Ed.D. in TESOL degrees.

University of Washington Law School (Seattle, WA) – Law school as an Asian Law Center with excellent Japan-related resources and professors.

5 comments so far...

  • - New Graduate School page on JetWit Said on November 30th, 2008 at 7:47 pm:

    […] Graduate School […]

  • jhdechant Said on May 11th, 2009 at 10:43 pm:

    Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University has an MBA progam and as well as Masters and PhD progams in Asia Pacific Studies. All courses are taught in English

  • - JET alum working to build new Global MBA Program at Doshisha University Said on August 19th, 2009 at 10:14 pm:

    […] Study Programs […]

  • Rashaad Said on July 3rd, 2011 at 7:05 pm:

    Does the school of Waseda School of International Liberal Studies really have a graduate program? And it does, are there any programs in which all of the classes are in English?

  • William Farr (Tottori-ken 98-99) Said on August 31st, 2013 at 3:51 am:

    SOAS description could you more info. So here goes: they offer good programs of study, taught by Japanese staff on the whole. So tuition techniques are very Jjapanese-traditional. Short summer and all year round courses, from beginner to advanced. Well known for diploma in Japanese which goes from zero knowledge to JLPT2 in a year. BA’s in Japanese. JLPT twice a year. No longer offer Kanji aptitude. Based in London in Russell Square, clustered near British museum (good Japanese gallery),Japan foundation, other university of London colleges like Birkbeck and UCL.

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