1. Diploma Policy (Policy on awarding degrees)

Hitotsubashi University Business School’s School of International Corporate Strategy (Hitotsubashi 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 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, EMBA 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 vision and values of Hitotsubashi ICS are 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.

The mission of the EMBA program at Hitotsubashi ICS is to develop global leaders, who have the capacity to become CXOs in 5-10 years, and who understand how to apply the best of Two Worlds (Japanese and Western) management practices to a multinational business.

All the EMBA courses are conducted in English. EMBA students are assumed to have 10-15 years of full-time work experience and a number of years of managerial experience to enroll in the program. Average age of the students is about 40 each year, ranging from early thirties to around fifty, and they come from very different backgrounds in terms of academic, specialty, industry, nationality, and culture. Diversity of the students provides a learning ground for the students to learn from each other and make them effective as global leaders upon graduation. About half of the EMBA students are international, and the other half are Japanese. The faculty is made up of business practitioners and academics who have earned their degrees from top overseas colleges and universities, many of whom also have extensive teaching experience. With a faculty-student ratio of 1:1, the courses offer students personalized, high-quality learning experiences that no other business school can match, focused on small-sized class seminars that are a distinguished tradition of Hitotsubashi University.

2. Curriculum Policy (Policy on curriculum development and delivery)

Curriculum, pedagogical methods, and teaching resources

True to the Hitotsubashi ICS spirit and mission, our 1-year, all-English language, part-time EMBA program taps into our local and global networks to explore the strengths of both Japanese and Western management practices. Our EMBAs continue in their jobs while pursuing the program, which we’ve designed to keep disruptions to a minimum. The program is divided into two stages, i.e. Foundation Stage (September to December) and Mastery Stage (January to August). The Foundation Stage is designed to ensure that participants have a comprehensive and integrated understanding of the key management theories and frameworks. During the Mastery Stage, participants receive further training on integrating their understanding of the key elements of business in order to apply those insights to the opportunities and challenges facing their organizations.

The Mastery Stage consists of Management Essentials, Mastery Forum (Capstone Project), Mastery Launch Pad, and the Global Immersion Experiences (GIE).

Mastery Launch Pad is a week-long residential module in January, at the beginning of the Mastery Stage that integrates the learning from the Foundation Stage, and prepares the students to work on their respective Capstone Projects.

GIEs are visits to three different locations to learn the latest global business practices, firsthand. They include overseas trips, and one Global Network Week, which is a one week exchange program with Global Network of Advanced Management business schools around the world. All are full-week experiences outside of Japan where the students witness with their own eyes what is happening at the forefront of management at the most exciting and fascinating locations in the world.

During the Mastery Stage, each student is required to complete an individual “Capstone Project”, which is a strategic proposal to the students’ own organizations. The theme of the Capstone Project is determined by the student according to their specific area of interest. The Capstone Project is designed to help participants apply the theories and frameworks learned during the Foundation Stage and to integrate the various elements of the EMBA curriculum. At the Final Presentation, which takes place in July, the students will present their Capstone Project to the Faculty Panel. This Presentation is the final deliverable for graduation from the EMBA Program.

The case method approach (a discussion format class focusing on corporate case studies) is at the heart of teaching in the EMBA Program. Courses also employ a combination of a broad range of teaching methodologies and activities best suited for each subject, and they include lectures, role playing, guest lectures, company visits, and field visits. Virtual classes utilizing a video call system minimizes the need to travel to Tokyo for students from outside of Tokyo and Japan, and also provides the flexibility to participate in the classes in case of unavoidable sudden business trips. The emphasis on interactive and participatory education methods is a feature consistent across all courses.

Class language and language education

All classes at Hitotsubashi ICS are conducted in English, and students are strongly encouraged to switch to English even in ordinary conversations to accommodate peers who may not speak the same language. This policy provides opportunities for non-native speakers of English to actively communicate in English, hone their leadership skills in group discussions, and improve language proficiency crucial for global communication.

Course and degree requirements for graduation

Students must complete requreid credits by taking all the courses offered during the Foundation Stage and Mastery Stage. The students are required to receive passing grades (A+, A, B, C, or P) from all the Core Courses to move on to the Mastery Stage, and they are required to receive passing grades in all the courses for graduation.

Core Course and Mastery Forum (Capstone Project) grades are assigned based on a non-forced grading curve. Management Essentials, Mastery Launch Pad, the three GIEs are graded on a pass/non-pass basis. The weight of each grading component, such as class participation, paper submissions, group projects, and final exams, varies from course to course. The grading policy and criteria are clearly communicated to students at the start of the course to ensure fairness and transparency.

3. Admissions Policy (Policy on student admissions)

The EMBA program commences in September. The application forms and procedures are available for download on the school website year-round, and events for interested candidates, such as Open Campus, and MBA fairs are held from July onwards. Applications are accepted twice a year, once from November to early-January and again in late-February to early-April.

There are two stages to the admissions process: the evaluation of application forms and an interview. Hitotsubashi ICS evaluates the applicants on a variety of criteria, including the 10-15 years of work experience, the essays, Sponsoring Letter (for company sponsored applicants) and Reference Letter (for non-company sponsored applicants), and the result of the interview. Applicants successful in the first phase of the process are then invited for an interview. The interview incorporates the case interview method, whereby a discussion on a corporate case study is conducted between Hitotsubashi ICS faculty members and the applicant. Admissions decisions are made by a consensus of the Admissions Committee consisting of full-time Hitotsubashi ICS faculty members.