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What will I learn?

The Department of Japanese Studies is one of the largest area studies departments devoted to the study of Japan in the Asia-Pacific region. We offer B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Japanese Studies taught by specialists with qualifications from leading universities around the world. Every year, more than 2000 undergraduate students enroll in our courses covering a broad range of disciplines including Japanese linguistics, business studies, sociology, anthropology, history, literature, religion, politics and international relations. All of our faculty members have extensive experience in Japan and are active in publishing and research.

The Department welcomes students who show a keen interest in the subject. Students are not expected to have studied the Japanese language. For those who have, placement tests will be conducted to enable them to pursue language modules appropriate for their level.

Career Prospects

Armed with combined majors in other disciplines, graduates of the department have proven to be versatile yet sufficiently specialized for the career market. Graduates of the Department are well prepared for work in the private and public sectors, as well as in local and overseas companies and institutions which require graduates with good knowledge of Japanese language and society, and its operating values and ethos. They have helped to fill the needs of local corporations and enterprises which require employees to interact with business networks in Japan. Many graduates have also found employment in the various ministries and statutory boards, in the fields of banking and finance, marketing and management, and the mass media.

In this programme graduate students are provided with comprehensive guidance and training to carry out independent research in a theme of their choice, and encouraged to make best use of the available expertise by adopting an inter-disciplinary approach. PhD candidates are required to read and pass six modules of which at least half must be modules at level 6000 including the compulsory module JS6770 Graduate Research Seminar (on satisfactory/dis-satisfactory grade). Up to half of all modules may be taken outside the Department, but must be in disciplines or areas relevant to the candidate's research. PhD candidates also need to sit for a Qualifying Examination (QE) consisting of a written comprehensive examination and an oral defense of a 30-50 page thesis proposal. In accordance with the Faculty's graduate requirement, the QE must be taken no later than the 24th month from the start of the PhD candidature. A second attempt will be permitted provided that it is taken within six months after the first failed attempt. This programme covers the following modules: JS5201 Readings in Japanese Studies I; JS5202 Readings in Japanese Studies II; JS5203 Japanese Literary and Performance Studies; JS5204 Contemporary Japanese Social Issues; JS5205 Reading of Japanese Historical Sources; JS5660 Independent Study; JS6201 Readings in Japanese History and Society; JS6202 Readings in Japanese Politics and Economics; JS6203 Readings in Japanese Literature and Culture; JS6204 Readings in Japanese Linguistics; JS6660 Independent Study; JS6770 Graduate Research Seminar.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Study options

Full Time (60 months)

Tuition fees
SG$20,350.00 (11,49,068) per year
Start date

Expected August 2022


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

The Shaw Foundation Building, Block AS7, Level 5,

5 Arts Link,

117570, Singapore

Entry requirements

For students from United States

PhD programme requires a good Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, or at least a Second Class Upper Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline. English Language Requirements: TOEFL scores for Internet Based Test (IBT) is 90; or IELTS score of 6.0. 

For international students

In general, the University requires:

  • Normally a good Master’s degree in a relevant discipline; or
  • an NUS Honours degree (at least Distinction/Second Class Upper Division) or equivalent (e.g., a four-year Bachelor’s degree with an average grade above B) in a relevant discipline, subject to approval by the Faculty, on a case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements: Minimum TOEFL score is required: 85 for the internet-based test (with a minimum score of 22 for the writing section); or 580 for the paper-based test; or 237 for the computer-based test. IELTS result of 6.0 is required.


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