Doctoral Program in Law (LL.D.)

1. Overview

Kyushu University’s LL.D. program offers students the unique opportunity of preparing a doctoral thesis on law in English whilst studying at a Japanese university. The program is designed to provide students with the skills necessary to complete high-level research in law.

Participants will pursue a closely supervised program of research for 6 consecutive semesters (3 years), prior to submitting a final dissertation.

The thesis may be on any law-related subject agreed in consultation with the academic supervisors and approved by the LL.D. Faculty Committee.

The research interests of faculty members involved in the LL.D. program are available here

2. Admission Requirements

For admission to the LL.D., students must meet the following requirements:

  • All applicants are expected to have engaged in some form of legal study at graduate level.
  • A good command of English. A TOEFL score of 600+ (paper-based), or 100+ (Internet-based) or equivalent is required for non-native English speakers.
  • Sufficient financial support for the duration of the program. See Section 5 below for further details on tuition and other fees.

Please note that scholarships may have additional requirements. Please see Section 6 below.

3. Application Materials & Procedure. 

Application requirements and procedures for the LL.D. vary depending on whether the applicant wishes to apply for financial aid or not, and what type of financial aid the applicant is seeking.

Section 6 below contains a list of financial aid options and the relevant application materials.

4. International Student & Researcher Support Center

For information on housing, health care and other matters related to life in Japan, please see the International Student & Researcher Support Center page:

5. Tuition, Other Fees & Living Costs

The various university fees and estimated living costs are approximately as follows. Please note that these are annual costs and that the LL.D. is a three-year program. Moreover, all fees are subject to annual review:

  • Kyushu University Registration Fee: 30,000 yen.
  • Kyushu University Entrance Fee: 280,000 yen (paid once on enrollment).
  • Kyushu University Tuition Fee per Semester (2x per year): 270,000 yen.
  • Monthly Living Costs: 100,000 yen (approx.).
  • Money for Arrival: Based on the experience of former students, we recommend new students to bring a minimum of 150,000 yen in cash if staying in university accommodation and 200,000 yen if staying in private accommodation.

6. Financial Aid

i. Japanese Government Scholarship

In the past, we received two scholarships a year from the Japanese Government.Unfortunately, we do not have any Japanese Government Scholarships for the academic year 2020-23.

Further details on eligibility and procedures for self-financing students can be found in the Application Guidelines.

Application Guidelines and the Application Form for self-financing students can be downloaded here

Applications for October 2020 entry are now open.


ii. Embassy Nominated Japanese Government Scholarship

The Japanese Government also offers Embassy-Nominated Scholarships. Please contact the local Embassy / Consulate General in order to receive the necessary application documents and further information on Embassy Scholarships.

Applicants who have passed the Preliminary Screening for this scholarship and wish to enroll in the LL.D. in October of the following year must submit the “LL.D. Application Form” and supporting materials to the Admission Office of the International Programs, Graduate School of Law, Kyushu University.

The application deadline is available in the Application Guidelines.

If you have passed the Preliminary Screening, the Application Guidelines and the LL.D.

Application Form can be downloaded here

Applications open from Mid-June each year for October entry of the following year.

Applications for October 2021 entry are now open.


iii. Self-Financing (including scholarships from home country or other source)

Students also have the option to “self-finance” their study. The tuition fees, other fees and living costs can be found in Section 5 above.

Application Guidelines for privately financed students and the Application Form can be downloaded here

Applications open from Mid-September each year for October entry of the following year.

Applications for October 2020 entry are now open.


ⅳ. JDS LL.D. Scholarship

This scholarship is available from JICA and is only available for graduates of the Faculty of Law, Kyushu University who have already completed the JDS program and returned to their home country.

Application Guidelines for JDS LL.D. Scholarship can be downloaded here

Applications open from Mid-June each year for October entry of the following year.

Applications for October 2020 entry were closed.

7. FAQ

i. Am I entitled to a waiver of the TOEFL etc. English language requirement?

Our normal practice is to require all applicants for whom English is a second language to submit a TOEFL test or equivalent, although if there are some special circumstances we will consider a waiver.

ii. If I have taken an English test other than TOEFL, what score is required?

A conversion chart is available here

iii. Do I need a law degree in order to apply for the LL.D.?

A law degree is not absolutely necessary in order to be eligible to apply, however, a significant part of your undergraduate degree must have been in law.


iv. Are there any opportunities for post-doctoral study?

The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science offers a number of post-doctoral study opportunities.

8. Pamphlet

The LL.D. Pamphlet can be downloaded here

9. Contact Details & Inquiries

Inquiries regarding this program should be addressed to:
Fax: 81[Japan]-92-802-5407

Application materials should be submitted to:
Admission Office of the International Programs, Graduate School of Law, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan

Updated: June 12, 2020