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  1. YNU
  2. Education
  3. Educational Policy
  4. Policy on Course Completion Approval and Granting Degrees (Diploma Policy)

Policy on Course Completion Approval and Granting Degrees (Diploma Policy)

Human Resources the YNU Graduate Schools Foster

Innovative advanced professionals and researchers who contribute to solving the issues faced by Japanese society from an international perspective

  • Advanced professionals and researchers who contribute from an international perspective and can deal with diversity including non-Japanese social systems, cultures, religions, and customs in the new global age of the 21st century, when Japanese companies are expanding further overseas
  • Innovative advanced professionals and researchers who generate and disseminate new knowledge to the rest of the world, including creation of new value or technological innovation
  • Advanced professionals and researchers who draw on YNU’s traditional strengths and distinctive character to contribute to solving the local and global issues faced by Japanese society. Such individuals focus their efforts in the international city of Yokohama and in Kanagawa Prefecture, areas at the forefront of innovation where global companies cluster
  • Teachers with advanced professional capabilities who can solve the issues faced in school-based education and play pivotal roles in schools and communities in order to support them
  • Legal practitioners with advanced professional capabilities who combine specialist expertise with the global approach required to address such issues as globalization within Japan and the practical needs of companies expanding into East Asia, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere

Policy on Course Completion Approval and Granting Degrees

YNU graduate schools stipulate four types of practical knowledge and skills as learning outcomes (attributes or skills grounded in research ability) to be acquired by students before the graduate schools approve students’ course completion or grant their degrees, and educational goals for graduate school programs are set accordingly.

Fully recognizing that the education they provide is rooted in research, YNU graduate schools offer education underpinned by cutting-edge research in their graduate-level programs. They also nurture four types of practical knowledge and skills: expertise and academic knowledge as a foundation for advanced ethical intellect, practical communicative proficiency, and a sense of ethics and responsibility, aiming to fulfill the educational goals listed below.

Master’s degree programs

Use graduate school education grounded in research findings to cultivate advanced professionals capable of playing active roles in the new global age as pragmatic leaders who make use of their research ability. Attributes to be developed by students should include breadth and depth of academic knowledge and expertise, and strong practical and technical skills.

Doctoral degree programs

Use graduate school education inspired by the pursuit of cutting-edge research to cultivate advanced professionals capable of playing active roles as leaders who seek solutions to complex global issues and researchers who can lead cutting-edge research on a global basis. Attributes to be developed by students should include advanced expertise, and a high degree of proficiency in applying knowledge and coming up with new ideas.

Professional degree program in teacher education

Use advanced graduate school education regarding the field of teaching to cultivate teachers capable of playing pivotal roles in schools and communities. Students should develop the ability to systematically understand both basic and applied fields

Professional degree program in law

Use advanced graduate school education regarding the fundamentals of law to cultivate legal practitioners with a high level of legal ethics according to the ideals of freedom and justice. Students should develop the ability to systematically understand both basic and applied fields.

Standards for Course Completion Approval and Granting Degrees

Standards for course completion approval

Master’s degree programs

To be eligible for approval of course completion, students must be registered on a master’s degree program at the university for a term of study lasting two years or more (unless students have obtained approval for a different term of study as specified separately in the Graduate School General Rules, or extended course completion, in which case the relevant period of study applies). YNU’s graduate schools approve course completion for such students who complete the courses and number of credits stipulated for their graduate school’s degree program (a graduate school educational program granting a master’s degree), achieve a GPA (Grade Point Average) of 2.0 or higher in courses required for course completion, and pass a review of their master’s thesis or their research findings relating to a specific issue, as well as a final examination, having received the necessary research guidance.

For students whose achievements are outstanding, a minimum of one year of registration on a master’s degree program is sufficient. YNU’s graduate schools may permit students to receive up to one year of the required research guidance at another graduate school, research institute, or elsewhere.

Students registered on the integrated doctoral course combining the master’s degree and the doctoral degree (i.e., taking the first part of the course, assessing key doctoral thesis research skills) are required to pass an examination relating to these thesis research skills and a review. This is instead of passing a review of a master’s thesis or of research findings relating to a specific issue, and a final examination.

Doctoral degree programs

To be eligible for approval of course completion, students must be registered on a doctoral degree program at the university for a term of study lasting three years or more (unless students have obtained approval for a different term of study as specified separately in the Graduate School General Rules, or extended course completion, in which case the relevant period of study applies). YNU’s graduate schools approve course completion for such students who complete the courses and number of credits stipulated for their graduate school’s degree program (a graduate school educational program granting a doctoral degree), achieve a GPA (Grade Point Average) of 2.0 or higher in courses required for course completion, and pass a review of their doctoral thesis and a final examination, having received the necessary research guidance.

For students whose achievements are outstanding, a minimum of one year (or the required period) registered on a doctoral degree program is sufficient.

Professional degree program in teacher education

Course completion is approved for students registered at the university for a term of study lasting two years or more who achieve a GPA (Grade Point Average) of 2.0 or higher in courses required for course completion, and also complete the courses and number of credits required, completing a minimum of 46 credits in total.

For working teachers who pass the screening for short-term study (the one-year course), the term of study is one year and they are required to complete a minimum of 40 credits.

Professional degree program in law

Course completion is approved for students registered at the university for a term of study lasting three years or more who achieve a GPA of 2.0 or higher in courses required for course completion, and also complete the courses and number of credits required, completing a minimum of 96 credits in total.

Those who have already studied law are regarded as having completed the credits corresponding to courses in basic law subjects that they passed as part of their examinations to be certified as qualified in legal studies. If they complete the courses and number of credits required in two years, their term of study is shortened by one year.

Assessment standards for degree thesis

To ensure objectivity and rigor when assessing degree theses and approving course completion, YNU’s graduate schools clearly indicate the standards they use to students in advance and conduct assessment and approval appropriately in accordance with these standards.

Standards for granting degrees

Students who complete courses at YNU’s graduate schools are granted a master’s degree, a doctoral degree, or a professional degree. The relevant fields of specialization are included in the names of master’s and doctoral degrees, as follows:

Master’s degrees

Graduate School of Education
Master of Education

Graduate School of International Social Sciences
Master of Arts in Economics, Master of Business Administration, Master of Laws, Master of International Business Law, Master of Philosophy

Graduate School of Engineering
Master of Science, Master of Engineering

Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences
Master of Environment Science, Master of Science, Master of Engineering, Master of Information Science, Master of Philosophy

Graduate School of Urban Innovation
Master of Engineering, Master of Philosophy

Doctoral degrees

Graduate School of International Social Sciences
Doctor of Arts in Economics, Doctor of Business Administration, Doctor of Laws, Doctor of International Business Law, Doctor of Philosophy

Graduate School of Engineering
Doctor of Science, Doctor of Engineering

Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences
Doctor of Environmental Science, Doctor of Science, Doctor of Engineering, Doctor of Information Science, Doctor of Philosophy

Graduate School of Urban Innovation 
Doctor of Engineering, Doctor of Philosophy

Professional degrees

The names of professional degrees are as follows:

Professional degree program in teacher education (Graduate School of Education)
Master of Education for Professional Development

Professional degree program in law (Graduate School of International Social Sciences)
Juris Doctor

Learning outcome goals

YNU’s graduate schools stipulate four types of practical knowledge and skills as learning outcome goals to be achieved by students before they approve students’ course completion or grant their degrees. The graduate schools aim to help students accomplish these goals.

Expertise and academic knowledge

  • High-level expertise in a field of specialization
  • Comprehensive understanding of one’s own specialty, with breadth and depth of knowledge, leading to application of such knowledge
  • Advanced, interdisciplinary insight that will be required in the new global age

Intellect

  • Capacity for advanced ethical thinking underpinned by strong practical and technical skills to devise effective processes for solving complex problems
  • Capacity for critical thinking enabling one to make an analysis and interpretation that builds on new perspectives from both global and local viewpoints
  • Capacity for creative thinking that pursues interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary scholarship to generate new knowledge through synergies

Communicative proficiency

  • A high degree of receptiveness unhampered by bias or prejudice, enabling one to draw out and understand others’ opinions
  • Communication skills enabling one to play a leading role in solving complex global issues
  • Well-developed ability to coordinate flexibly to facilitate negotiation and collaboration with a diverse range of individuals and solve complex problems

Sense of ethics and responsibility

  • Strong motivation and sense of responsibility enabling one to make use of individual research ability in trying to independently solve the issues faced by society
  • Highest ethical standards that can serve as an example to others and are based on the way advanced professionals or researchers should behave
  • Capacity to conduct self-motivated research so that the learning process can continue throughout life, combined with the exceptional strength of character to lead independently in the new global age

(Educational Affairs Division)