General FAQs

How much do companies in Japan value an MBA?
Japanese companies value and need employees with the skills that are learned in an MBA program, especially those that can be gained at a graduate school with a strong reputation like Hitotsubashi ICS. Companies tell us that they need employees who are skilled at thinking strategically, who can see the big picture of where a company fits in local and global markets, who work well in diverse global teams, who understand how to manage and motivate people, and who are familiar with the basics of finance and accounting.
However, we make it clear to companies who hire our students that they are not simply hiring an MBA degree holder; they are hiring a package of valuable skills.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of going to Hitotsubashi ICS versus going to a bigger U.S. or European MBA school?
Hitotsubashi ICS has a small student body. Students receive much more individual attention from faculty than they would at a bigger MBA school. Our seminar (“zemi”) system further enables students to get to know one faculty member and a small group of fellow classmates very well, both socially and intellectually. At Hitotsubashi ICS, everyone participates – in classes, in social activities, and in all of the experiences of an MBA program. However, our school is not for everyone. If you prefer to sit back quietly, we are not the right school for you. Another difference at Hitotsubashi ICS is that business is studied from both Eastern and Western perspectives. We are in Japan and close to the rest of Asia, so our perspective is truly a global view, not simply a U.S-centric or Euro-centric view. The ‘Best of Two Worlds’ is the unique mission of Hitotsubashi ICS. We want to welcome those students who want to be a bridge between East and West, Large and Small, Global and Local, Old and New, Practice and Theory, Cooperation and Competition, and Business and Society.
Why do your students choose Hitotsubashi ICS over other Japanese business schools?
Students tell us that they choose Hitotsubashi ICS over other Japanese business schools for several reasons. Hitotsubashi ICS is truly global. The language for our entire program is English only. We are a part of one of the oldest and most distinguished universities in Japan. We have an outstanding faculty that mixes top academics with highly success practitioners. We are located in central Tokyo next to the Imperial Palace and very close to the central business district. Our students do very well in the job market. And, we have a very distinctive culture that combines hard work with lots of fun, and competition with cooperation. In one or two years at Hitotsubashi ICS, our students develop business and social networks that will last a lifetime.
What is the difference between the One-year MBA and the Two-year MBA programs?
Students in both programs take the same courses together in the first year. All required coursework must be completed in the first year (with certain exceptions such as students who are accepted into summer MBA internship programs by leading companies).
Students in the second year of a Two-year program must either have a company internship or attend an exchange program for a term at one of our global partner schools. Some students do both. Two-year program students work closely with the Career Development Office in their second year. The Two-year program is recommended for students who are self-sponsored, and are not planning to return to their current companies after graduation.
One-year program students are typically company-sponsored or students with Young Leaders’ Program scholarships, a Japanese government-sponsored program that requires a separate application process. One-year program students usually have a committed position to return to after graduation since they have little opportunity to conduct a job search before graduation.
Can I be a part-time student? Do you offer any courses by correspondence?
Unfortunately, the answer to both questions is “NO”. We are a full-time day MBA program.
Can I transfer credits from another MBA program to Hitotsubashi ICS in order to accelerate my graduation from Hitotsubashi ICS?
Unfortunately, the answer here is also “NO”. However, if you are in the Two-year program and participate in a student exchange program with one of our partner schools, credits earned during your student exchange can be used toward graduation from Hitotsubashi ICS (with limits).
What kinds of careers do Hitotsubashi ICS graduates enter upon graduation?
Our graduates have a wide range of careers, in many different types of industries. The careers of our graduates might be in areas that require strategic thinking with a global perspective. We find some graduates transferring to an overseas subsidiary of their company immediately upon graduation, or joining the strategic planning department of their company for overseas M&A. An increasingly common career path for our non-Japanese graduates is joining a Japanese company to help expand business in their home countries or joining the Japanese subsidiary of a global company. We also have numerous graduates in classic post-MBA professions, such as management consulting, investment banking and IT business. Please refer to the Career Services section of our website for more information.
Is there a system in place that enables networking among Hitotsubashi ICS alumni?
Hitotsubashi ICS has over 1,000 alumni who work and live in Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East. The Hitotsubashi ICS Alumni Association encourages networking among Hitotsubashi ICS alumni through various alumni events and social media. The Hitotsubashi ICS Alumni Association has its own Facebook page, as do some local chapters of the Alumni Association.

MBA Admissions FAQs

General FAQs

How many positions does Hitotsubashi ICS offer for MBA program?
Positions for 43 students (excluding Young Leaders Program) are on offer.
Who determines whether or not I am accepted?
All full-time faculty members are members of the Admissions Committee and read the applications and conduct the interviews. Faculty members determine which applicants are accepted into Hitotsubashi ICS’s MBA program.
How old is the average age of current students?
Generally, the average age of Hitotsubashi ICS students is around 30.
For more detailed information, please refer to the following webpage.
MBA At a glance
What is the timeline for Hitotsubashi ICS Admissions?
The application period for Round 1 is from early August to middle of October and for Round 2 is from early December to middle of February.
For more detailed information, please refer to the following webpage.
MBA Admissions
Can I send application documents by post?
No. Application documentation is accepted only via the Hitotsubashi ICS Online Application System.
Does Hitotsubashi ICS have rolling admissions?
No. Applicants must apply during the specified application period(s).
Can I apply in both application rounds?
Can I start studying in Hitotsubashi ICS from April?
Is Japanese language ability required for Hitotsubashi ICS admissions?
As the MBA program is entirely conducted in English, Hitotsubashi ICS does not require applicants to have Japanese language ability. However, applicants interested in getting a job in Japan should note that many Japanese companies require international students to have business-level Japanese language ability.
How do I apply for the Young Leaders Program?
Admissions for the Young Leaders Program are conducted via the Japanese Embassy in target countries. Applicants should direct further enquiries to the Japanese Embassy in their home country.
How much should I budget financially to attend Hitotsubashi ICS?
For the 2020-2021 academic year, the annual tuition fee is ¥535,800 per year.* A matriculation fee payment of ¥282,000 is due at the time of enrollment. While these costs are very competitive since Hitotsubashi University is a national university, there are other expenses, including case materials and books, that need to be factored in which will require an additional ¥120,000 to ¥230,000. Also, please keep in mind that Tokyo is not an inexpensive city, although rent and food can vary substantially depending on life style.
The above tuition fee is a preliminary estimate. Should the actual amount become subject to revision at the time of admissions or during enrollment, the new revised amount shall be applied, and go into effect from the time of revision.
* For students enrolling in or after April 2021, the annual tuition fee is ¥642,960. The detail can be found on our website at the following page: Revising Tuition Fees to Establish a Global Hub for Research and Education.
What kind of financial aid is available to students?
There are several scholarships available to students. The granting of scholarships is based on merit not financial need. The number of scholarships varies year to year. Please refer to the Student Financial Aid section of the Hitotsubashi ICS website for further information.
When can I apply for scholarships?
Applicants are notified in regard to available scholarships following acceptance to Hitotsubashi ICS.
Can Hitotsubashi ICS help me to get a visa?
Hitotsubashi ICS provides assistance to successful applicants who have completed entrance formalities to secure a student visa (留学).


Can I apply for admission to Hitotsubashi ICS on the basis of graduation from a junior college with an associate degree and 14 years of education in total?
The Admissions Committee of Hitotsubashi ICS judges such eligibility separately. Please contact the Admissions Committee of Hitotsubashi ICS ( prior to seeking admission.

Working experience

My working experience is less than 2 years. Can I apply for Hitotsubashi ICS?
Full-time post-graduate work experience of 2 years or longer (as of September 1, in entrance year) is mandatory for all applicants.
Can I count internship while a student or part-time work towards the required working experience?
No. Only full-time post-graduate working experience may be counted towards the minimum working experience required of all applicants.

Degree certificate/Official transcript

Can I submit degree certificate/official transcript written in other languages?
Documentation in a language other than English must be accompanied by an English translation.


How important are the essays in the application form?
Essays are critical elements of the application. Essays are read carefully in order to gain insights into the applicant’s background, ability to contribute to other classmates’ learning, ability to handle the academic workload, and ability to socialize comfortably in a highly personalized environment. Applicants should therefore take care in writing admissions essays.

GMAT/GRE score

How important are GMAT/GRE scores?
GMAT/GRE scores are an important indicator of ability to handle the course content and academic workload at Hitotsubashi ICS. Other indicators include undergraduate academic record and English language capability. This is not a minimum requirement but applicants with a lower score will need to support their application with other evidence of sufficient aptitude - for example, in their essay, at interview and so on.
Can I be exempted from submitting my GMAT/GRE score on the basis of my working experience?
Hitotsubashi ICS requires all applicants to submit a valid GMAT / GRE score, without exception.
How long are GMAT/GRE scores valid?
Hitotsubashi ICS does not accept scores that are more than five years old as of the interview day of each round.
Can I update my GMAT/GRE scores between the application deadline and the interview?
No. Admissions decisions are made on the basis of the scores submitted by the application deadline.


Is it mandatory to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores?
No, it is optional. However, please note that some scholarship programs require you to submit test scores.

Application fee

Why can’t I pay application fee by credit card?
Hitotsubashi ICS’s credit card payment system accepts only Visa or Mastercard. Applicants who do not hold either of these kinds of credit card should pay the application fee by bank transfer.

Letters of reference

What kind of persons are suitable as referees?
References should come from persons who have been directly responsible for assessing the applicant’s work and/or academic performance. At least one, and preferably both, references should come from supervisors within the applicant’s current company.
I am an owner of independent business. Can I designate my business connection or customer as a referee for my letter of reference?
Is it okay if I translate the letter of reference because my referee does not speak English?
No, Hitotsubashi ICS does not allow an applicant to translate the letter of reference. Either the referee must do the translation or ask a third party like an official translator to do the translation.

DBA Admissions FAQs

Regarding the DBA admission process, please refer to the URL below.

Hitotsubashi ICS requires all applicants to submit a valid GMAT or GRE score report, without any exceptions. Scores are valid for up to five years after the exam date.
Applicants are exempt from submitting a TOEFL/IELTS score if their native language is English, earned a bachelor’s or higher degree from a program conducted entirely in English, or worked more than three years in an English-speaking country or countries.
Expected Score
Expected score for the GMAT is 600 or higher; for the GRE, score of 160 or higher for Quantitative Reasoning, and 150 or higher for Verbal Reasoning. However, the score will be determined comprehensively, taking into account other submitted documents. Similarly, the recommended score for TOEFL iBT is 109 or IELTS Academic is 7.5.
Release of Application Package
Application Package will be posted on the Hitotsubashi ICS website in July of the year preceding the application year.
For example, if you are applying for academic year 2024, the application package will be released in July, 2023.

About the DBA program

Schedule of academic year
Academic year of DBA program is from September to August next year.
Classes are held mainly on Wednesday morning (in-person), but also on other weekdays and weekends. Class schedule and format (in-person or online) vary depending on the courses.
Enrollment period
The completion of the program requires a minimum of three years of enrollment. A student is allowed to take a leave of absence for three years at longest and allowed to repeat for three years at longest.
The maximum years of enrollment period are nine.
Requirement for a doctoral degree
  • Acquisition of required credits.
  • Attendance for seminar.
  • Submission of a DBA thesis that should meet passing grade and approval by the thesis committee at Hitotsubashi ICS.
Scholarships are subject to change yearly. Please check upon enrollment.
Working status of DBA students
Currently most students are “part-time” status.
Part-time: study at DBA program while working full-time.
Full-time: study at DBA program without working.
Open campus
Please see the Event page for upcoming events.
For general information, please refer to the following website.
If you would like to receive more information about DBA program, please send your inquiry to:
Please allow us to take some time for a reply.
We appreciate your understanding.