Among the many countries with prestigious architecture masters options, colleges in Japan offers one-of-a-kind courses in light of the rich knowledge passed down through several years and age-old traditions. Architecture is a highly interdisciplinary profession and quite popular in Japan, especially when it comes to disaster-resistant building design. After graduating from an architecture school, students may prefer working right away or going ahead for their higher education. Most of the master’s programmes are offered in English, but it is always good to research the Institute and the courses offered before getting into it. 

Below is a list of architecture masters options available in Japan.

1. International Programme in Architecture and Urban Design, Meiji University, Kawasaki | Colleges in Japan

Located in the heart of Tokyo, the Meiji University welcomed a new graduate programme in Architecture and Urban Design in the newly constructed Nakano Campus out of its four campuses. The two-year programme is taught in English and is open to students internationally. The university is well known for partnering with 365 other prestigious ones across 56 countries with about 33,000 students spread across its campuses.

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Meiji University, Nakano Campus – ©

2. Sustainable Architecture and Urban Systems, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan

Kyushu University is the 4th among the imperial universities of Japan and stands as one of the most eminent research-oriented ones. It offers a masters programme on Sustainable Architecture and Urban Systems. The course is a two-year-long full time integrated programme that aims at mastering existing academic fields and developing the discipline called Human-Environment Studies. This comprehensive course taught in English has a full range of subjects from engineering technology to humanities.

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Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan – Image ©jmena.jp_©

3. Architecture and Urban Design, University of Tokyo, Japan

The University of Tokyo is the first imperial university of Japan and is accredited to conduct research and educational activities across the full spectrum of subjects. With a focus to support international students, it offers a two-year, full-time masters programme in Architecture and Urban Design. The course aims to conduct design research across architecture, engineering and computation and explore the emerging discourses on architecture and urbanism.

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University of Tokyo, Japan – Image ©Miki Yoshihito_©

4. Infrastructure and Urban Society, Yokohama Graduate School of Architecture (Y-GSA), Japan

Yokohama National University, with its five graduate schools, offers a wide range of masters options across various disciplines. Among them is the Graduate School of Urban Innovation which offers a masters programme for Infrastructure and Urban Society. It is a multifaceted integrated approach towards structural design and society and is a two-year-long programme taught in English.

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Institute of Urban Innovation, Yokohama University _©

5. Architecture and Urban Culture, Yokohama Graduate School of Architecture (Y-GSA) | Colleges in Japan

The Y-GSA offers multiple specialized masters courses in the field of architecture. The Masters in Architecture and Urban Culture is a unique programme offered by the Yokohama National University. It is a two-year-long full-time programme taught in English. It is best suited for individuals who are highly sensitive to human spaces and wish to pursue architecture in integration with culture.

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Institute of Urban Innovation, Yokohama University _©

6. Architecture and Building Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

Tokyo Insitute of Technology, informally known as Tokyo Tech is one of Japan’s top research universities. Located in the Greater Tokyo region, it offers a Major in Architecture and Building Engineering and aims to hone the skills gained at the undergraduate level to make the students ready to take up the world’s environmental and social challenges. The master’s programme is for two years, full-time.

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Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan _©

7. Master of Architecture, Tohoku University, Japan

Tohoku University, situated in the Tohoku region, is the third of Japan’s imperial institutions. It was also ranked as the top university in Japan by the Times Higher Education in 2020 & 2021. The Department of Architecture and Building Science here offers a two-year-long masters programme in architecture. It aims at architecture research and the understanding of all aspects of the field, with a focus on Sustainability and Urban Planning.

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Tohoku University, Japan _©

8. Master of Engineering with Major in Architecture, Kobe University, Japan

Kobe University, established in 1949, is one of the oldest and largest universities in Japan. With proficiency in social sciences, it offers a two-year-long master’s programme in architecture, aiming for a deeper level of understanding of its core fields like planning, structure and environment. Students are provided with the ability to apply their knowledge to solve real-life issues through spatial design. On the plus side, they also get to enjoy the views of the city and port of Kobe from its campus located at the foothills of Mount Rokko.

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Kobe University, Japan _©

9. Joint Master’s Programme by Tsinghua University and Chiba University, Japan

The joint master’s programme by the School of Architecture, Tsinghua University in partnership with the Department of Horticulture, Chiba University has a two-year-long integrated curriculum. Each School assigns one student every year to participate in the joint programme. The project aims to create exceptional designers, researchers, administrators and teachers in the field of landscape and planning. Both universities provide academic interaction through lectures and visits.

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Chiba University, Japan _©

10. Master of Engineering in Architecture, Osaka University | Colleges in Japan

Often ranked among the top three public universities in Japan, Osaka University was one of the imperial ones and is now a Designated National University. The Department of Architecture at Osaka University offers a two-year master’s programme in architecture. The focus is on developing design solutions for a sustainable society, neighbourhood planning and urban planning.

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Osaka University, Japan _©

11. Master of Architecture, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto University, founded in 1897, is the second oldest university in Japan. Founded on the principle of “freedom of academic culture”, this former imperial institute is spread across three campuses. The Masters’s programme by the Department of Architecture and Architectural Engineering is a two-year-long integrated curriculum covering more advanced areas of knowledge in the field of architecture and building science.

Kyoto University, Japan _©

12. Master of Architecture and Urban Design, Nagoya University, Japan

Nagoya University, located at Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, was the seventh imperial university in Japan. The Graduate School of Design and Architecture here offers a two-year-long masters in Architecture and Urban Design. The programme enables graduates to acquire the ability to be creative problem solvers and make contributions towards developing a sustainable society.

Nagoya University, Japan _©

13. Master of Architecture and Structural Design, Hokkaido University | Colleges in Japan

The Graduate School of Engineering at Hokkaido University, the fifth imperial university of Japan, offers a two-year master’s programme on Architecture and Structural Engineering. The course is aimed at developing viewpoints, theories, technologies and research towards heritage, habitation, city, community, structure and safety. The graduates are trained to develop the skills needed to build sustainable structural and urban spaces.

Colleges in Japan, Hokkaido University, Japan _©

14. Master in Disaster Prevention and Reduction, Kansai University, Japan

Kansai University is one of the top private universities in Japan, located at three locations across Osaka. The Two-year PhD course in Disaster Management and Reduction is offered by the Graduate School of Societal Safety Sciences at Kansai University. The programme aims at gearing students with a high level of analytical skills and knowledge to make a difference in the field of disaster management.

Kansai University, Osaka, Japan _©

15. Disaster Mitigation Study, Ehime University | Colleges in Japan

The Graduate School of Science and Engineering at Ehime University, which was formed after World War II along with many other universities, offers a special programme in Disaster Mitigation Study for Asian and other international students. The main objectives of the course are to understand the characteristic features of natural disasters in Asia and develop preventative measures.

Ehime University, Japan _©

Japan is known for creating brilliant minds, both in the fields of science and technology, where architecture is not any different from a type of science and is a part of a larger system of knowledge that is necessary to make life happen. It offers a unique set of masters programmes for many fields of study with educational scholarships being available in most universities for deserving applicants. With some good research, one might find just the thing they’re looking for! 

References: Colleges in Japan


“Neha Sharma, a 24-year-old Architect and Artist from India, is fascinated by all the subjects involving art and humanities and believes herself to be a people person. Having a diverse set of interests like doodling, dance, photography, watching anime, writing and collaboration made her pursue Architecture and Design.”