Programs and application

The philosophy department at Kyoto University welcomes applications from all over the world. We offer three types of program:

  1. MA in Philosophy
    • Two-year program consisting of 30 credits of coursework and an MA thesis.
    • Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
    • Application deadline: June and December.
  2. PhD in Philosophy
    • Three-year research-focus program for writing a PhD thesis (no coursework requirement).
    • Applicants must have a master’s degree or equivalent.
    • Application deadline: December
  3. Research student
    • One- or half-year program with no credit/degree.
    • Application deadline: July (for Fall semester) and January (for Spring semester).

Applicants to the MA and PhD programs must take an entrance exam that takes place in each August (MA) and February (MA and PhD) at Kyoto University. All international applications must go through the university AAO office (note that their deadline may be much earlier than those listed above). There is no entrance exam for research students. Applicants are strongly recommended to contact us to discuss their research plan before submitting an application.


  1. Do I need to speak/write Japanese?
    • Some courses and supervision offered by our faculty are in English so that students with no Japanese proficiency can complete their degrees. However, the entrance exam to the MA program requires moderate-level Japanese reading and writing skills. Also students are encouraged to acquire basic Japanese skills in advance since the university is run in Japanese.
  2. What does the entrance exam look like?
    • MA: Two language tests (Japanese and {English, German, French, or logic}) + quizzes on basic philosophical concepts + short essay.
    • PhD: Two language tests (Japanese, English, German, French).
  3. Can I take an exam online?
    • We do NOT provide an online (Skype or zoom) exam.
  4. Is there a scholarship?
    • Unfortunately the school does not offer a scholarship, but there are external funding opportunities from governmental and private funding agencies. The following university website has a list of scholarships/fellowships for international students.
  5. Can I visit/stay in Kyoto for research?
    • We are happy to host postdocs and faculties. Contact us for detail.