Diploma Policy (Policy on awarding degrees)

Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy (ICS) was established in 2000 as one of Japan’s first professional graduate schools (Senmonshoku Daigakuin) embedded within a national university. The mission of the Hitotsubashi ICS International Business Strategy program is twofold: to educate and develop new generations of business leaders for our nation, Asia, and the world at large; and to generate and disseminate knowledge globally from a Japanese perspective. To accomplish this mission, Hitotsubashi ICS offers world-class MBA and DBA programs that draw on internationally recognized teaching strategies, with an emphasis on Japan’s role within Asia and beyond. As a knowledge leader, Hitotsubashi ICS also widely disseminates its research findings to the world, providing influential, innovative ideas with practical implications to academic and business communities.

The primary vision of the DBA program is the education of teaching staff for business schools in Japan and the rest of Asia that are focused on globalization.

The core value of Hitotsubashi ICS is summed up by the phrase “Best of Two Worlds.” The school strives to achieve its mission by bringing together the best of two contrasting concepts, such as East and West, theory and practice, the new economy and the old economy, the haves and the have nots. Embracing the idea that there are no simple correct answers in the real world, Hitotsubashi ICS places great importance on driving innovation by facing paradox, combining the advantages of opposites, and developing tolerance for ambiguity.

All Hitotsubashi ICS courses are taught in English. Candidates are required to have a minimum of two years of full-time work experience and an MBA (or an equivalent degree) to enroll in the program, which attracts students of diverse backgrounds from around the world. The faculty is comprised of business practitioners and academics who have earned their degrees from top overseas colleges and universities, many of whom also have extensive teaching experience. Each DBA student is assigned a thesis advisor and a thesis review committee made up of several faculty members with expertise appropriate to the thesis topic. The faculty team is committed to providing students support and guidance throughout the thesis writing process while respecting the individual student’s interests and goals.

Curriculum Policy (Policy on curriculum development and delivery)

The DBA program aims to recognize the individual needs and strengths of students. In the three-year program, each student is expected to design, implement, and complete a research project under advisor supervision, with their work culminating in a thesis. Students are also encouraged to use their thesis as the basis for papers that appear in academic journals or for book publication.

DBA students are required to take Research Methodology and Research Positioning courses in their first year of study.They can also audit MBA courses with the approval of their supervisor and course instructor. To complete a DBA thesis project, the student must
a) make a presentation at a research seminar before March end of the second year of study,
b) secure approval from the thesis review committee consisting of the student’s advisor and two other faculty members, and
c) successfully defend the completed thesis at the oral examination by the thesis review committee.

ICS also provides students an opportunity to work as a research assistant (RA) or teaching assistant (TA) for their advisor or faculty member as well as to participate in joint research projects.

Admissions policy (Policy on student admissions)

The DBA program typically commences in October, and applications are accepted once a year in May. The application forms and procedures are available for download on the Hitotsubashi ICS website year-round. Please make sure you have the latest version as the documents are subject to change every year. The new documents will be ready for download by March end of the previous academic year at the latest.

There are two phases to the admissions process. The first phase is the evaluation of application forms, and as in any world-class business school, Hitotsubashi ICS evaluates the applicants on a variety of criteria, including the most recent TOEFL/IELTS and GMAT/GRE scores as well as two-plus years of work experience, a statement of purpose and a research proposal, two letters of recommendation, and undergraduate and masters transcripts. Applicants successful in the first phase then proceed to the second phase’s interview. The DBA Admissions Committee consisting of full-time International Business Strategy faculty members makes the admissions decisions and notifies the applicants.