Master’s Program (Enrollment Capacity: 80)

Background & Establishment: The Academic Research Course and the Accounting for Professionals Course

* The Keio Graduate School of Business and Commerce will no longer be accepting students to the “Accounting for Professionals Course” as of April, 2018 (Academic year, 2018).

The fundamental principle of the Keio University Graduate School of Business and Commerce is our founder’s “Spirit of Jitsugaku,” which we continue to embrace.  “Jitsugaku” is a way of learning about the worldview by Keio University’s founder Yukichi Fukuzawa through the application of reason, observation, and verification.  Jitsugaku is science in the truest sense of the word and a powerful tool in Keio University’s never-ending search for practical solutions to real-life problems. (See https://www.keio.ac.jp/en/about/ for further explanation of Jitsugaku.)

We approach research and training with this attitude. We endeavour to grasp the essence of our current global industrial society through theory, corroborative evidence and insight, and assess the trends of progress and change. “The Spirit of Jitsugaku” is a way of understanding the economic system, supported by an empirical approach that frees us from being trapped in convention and past values. It is a key to opening the windows to the future from the current reality of which we are a part of. It is a road sign that guides us in determining what our true values are.

Since its establishment in 1961 (Showa 36), the Graduate School of Business and Commerce has consistently designed its curriculum based on this fundamental principle in its education programs. We believe that acquiring superficial knowledge about systems is not enough. It is also important to be informed about what lies behind these systems and to understand the basic structural mechanisms that move society.

When there is social stability, it isn’t that important to think about the fundamental role of systems. Superficial knowledge about social systems is enough under these circumstances, and it is often enough to imitate the behavior of other people. However, when great changes are taking place in the world, a shallow understanding of how things work is not enough. It is during such times that being informed about the structure and mechanisms of systems, accepted practices, and human behavior from a theoretical foundation and understanding how these factors relate to each other become integral.

Japanese society is undergoing such changes in our time.  Superficial knowledge quickly becomes outdated under such circumstances.  Future leaders must not only be armed with advanced and field specific knowledge, but must understand the fundamental mechanisms of society and be insightful about the future.  To adapt to this time of great changes, the Graduate School of Business and Commerce reorganized the Master’s Program in 2007 (Heisei 19) and divided the Commercial Science discipline into two courses:  The Academic Research Course and the Accounting for the Professionals Course.

The Objectives & Features of the Academic Research Course

The Academic Research Course is for those who wish to become researchers. The systematic curriculum offers the student the opportunity to become grounded in fundamental subjects and become adept at their application. Seminars and guidance in writing the Master’s thesis are also included. In addition, professors from a variety of fields offer expertise in “Commercial Science,” “Management & Organization,” “Accounting,” “Finance & Securities,” “Insurance,” “Transport, Public Policy & Industrial Organization,” “Econometrics,” “International Economics,” “Industrial History & Business History” and “Industrial Relations.” This makes it possible for future researchers in our Master’s Program to have a well-rounded education from the fundamentals to applications, without being confined to their field of specialty. Students will be able to take courses in English and Japanese, ensuring that they will be prepared, should they choose to study overseas or participate in an international academic conference.

To complete this course, it is mandatory to submit a Master’s Thesis, on top of getting a good grounding in research. The results from the student’s research activities over the course of two years will be evaluated. In preparing the Master’s Thesis, the student will not only have to present the results from his/her research, but will also be expected to submit it in the correct format befitting an academic research paper.

The Objective & Features of the Accounting for Professionals Course

* Applies to students who have been matriculated in and before the academic year of 2017

There are two reasons for why an Accounting for Professionals Course was established. Keio University produces the largest number of Certified Public Accountants in Japan. One of our objectives is to nurture accounting professionals who can handle leadership roles well. This means that they need to be educated with a broad range of specialist knowledge, IT and communication skills, and must be adept at applying their skills, as well as making rational decisions. The second objective is to produce individuals who can be in management roles on the global stage. Many Keio University graduates become leaders in the industrial circles. They are expected to be well-versed in the specialist knowledge of accounting, taxation, commercial law, finance, governance, corporate ethics, and are able to examine issues comprehensively to make decisions based on a long term perspective. For this purpose, there are two educational goals:

  1. To arm students with the knowledge of advanced accounting theory and the ability to make decisions and applications through small-sized seminars.
  2. Example: There will be bidirectional exercises implemented in small classes to foster the ability to make judgement calls and applications of Accounting Theory, Audit Theory, Financial Statement Analysis, Business Ethics and Corporate Governance.
  3. To give students a solid grounding in accounting of their specific field or branch of study.
  4. Example: A wide range of courses on Accounting are available; For example, International Accounting, Public Sector Accounting, Accounting for Non-profit Organizations, Internal Audit, Environmental Accounting, Chinese Accounting, Management Control, Financial Statement Audit and IT, Assurance Engagements—Theory and Practice—, Advanced Audit Practice, Business Risk Management, Tax Planning for Small and Medium-Sized Entities, Tax Planning for International Business, International Taxation, Legal Structures about Corporate Bankruptcy, IPO of Venture Business Enterprises, Restructuring of Organization, and Business Turnaround.

    The Commonalization of the Curriculum of Both Courses & Moving from One Course to the Other

    * Regarding the "Accounting for Professionals Course," this applies to students who have been matriculated in and before the academic year of 2017.

    Through offering common courses that can be taken by students who have chosen the path of the Academic Research or the Accounting for Professionals, each individual has a broader range of courses to choose from and there is more flexibility catering to those pursuing different career goals. For example, we offer a wide range of courses, listed below, that can benefit those pursing the careers in the Finance Department of Corporations, Management Planning Division, Public Sector Organizations, Research Institutes and Consulting Firms: Finance, Basic Statistics, Basic Mathematics for Economic Studies, Micro Marketing, Macro Marketing, Industrial Organization and Risk Management.

    Though possible, there are some prerequisites to switching from one course to the other.  If you are in the Accounting for Professionals Course and wish to switch to the Academic Research Course, you must have credits for the seminar courses that provide practical training for the latter, necessary for Master’s Thesis guidance and must pass the interview regarding your research plans at the end of your first year.  If you are currently in the Academic Research Course and wish to move to the Accounting for Professionals Course to pursue a career as a professional accountant, you will need to pass The Official Business Skill Test in Book-keeping 2nd Grade, implemented by the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other criteria necessary to be admitted to the Accounting for Professionals Course.

    Within the Accounting for Professionals Course, there are different ways to complete your studies depending on which field you intend to pursue. It is also possible to sign-up for courses other than the ones listed here.

    Admission Capacity & How to Apply for Admission

    * Regarding the "Accounting for Professionals Course," this applies to students who have been matriculated in and before the academic year of 2017.

    The admission capacity for the Academic Research Course and Accounting for Professionals Course together in the Master’s Program is 80. To be admitted, a student can take the General Entrance Examinations or the AO Entrance Examinations whereby students who have fulfilled specific criteria may be admitted through submitting the appropriate documents and passing an interview. The third option is an Entrance Exam for International Students. Please see application guidelines for details.

    The Degree, the Number of Credits Needed and Other Requirements

    The degree you will earn in this course is the Master’s Degree in Commerce. A diploma indicating that you have completed this course will be issued. 32 credits are needed.
    If you are enrolled in the Academic Research Course, you will need to submit a Master’s Thesis. However, this is not necessary for the Accounting for Professionals Course. The latter course has a unique curriculum that includes two-way seminars that looks at case studies. There is also a training course for professionals and a training course for improving communications skills. The student is required to write a short article or paper in the seminar course and must enroll in three courses or more (6 credits or more). Further to this, 6 credits or more in foundation courses such as Basic Probability, Basic Statistics, Basic Finance and Foreign Language Studies are mandatory. Regarding the specialist courses that are offered (1 credit for a half-term) in the “Accounting for Professionals Course,” it is necessary to enroll in 6 or more of these courses (earning 6 or more credits) before the completion of this program.

    Joint Degree Program

    Individuals who have a broad scope of knowledge, and have the ability to think flexibly and make decisions accurately are in demand today. To meet this demand, our Master’s Program implemented a joint degree program in 2010 (Heisei 22) with the Graduate School of Letters, the Graduate School of Economics and the Graduate School of Law. A Joint Degree refers to a system wherein it is possible to acquire multiple degrees within a fixed period. If you take advantage of this system, it is possible to receive two Master’s Degrees within a 2 – 3 year time period, i.e. Commerce and Letters, Commerce and Economics or Commerce and Law. This opens up new possibilities and widens the range for future career paths.
    What makes it possible to obtain two degrees in the given time is the option that enables the student to earn credits efficiently. For example, it is possible to start acquiring a maximum of 12 credits for your second major when you start your Master’s Program. In addition, you are given the benefit of using up to 10 credits of your first Master’s Program toward your secondary Master’s degree.
    Students wishing to enroll in the Joint Degree Program must take a separate examination in addition to the usual General Admissions Examination. This option is open to students who are enrolled in their first graduate course in their first or second year, and are due to complete their degree at the end of the academic year. If at this stage, a student wishes to enroll in the Joint Degree Program and attain a second degree, they should apply. However, please note that some majors in the Graduate School of Letters are not included in this program. For more details, please inquire at the Office of Student Services.

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