How to apply

Before you begin

To qualify for consideration, you must have:

  • A Master’s, MBA, or higher degree from a recognized institution, or exemption from the DBA Program Committee. Inquire in early February if you plan to seek this exemption. For specifics, see “Qualification of Applications” in the Hitotsubashi ICS DBA Application Package
  • Full-time work experience of 2 years or longer, or exemption from the DBA Program Committee for full-time students

Key admission criteria include:

  • Sound knowledge of and interest in business scholarship, as demonstrated by the research proposal described in your application
  • English test scores: Above 109 in TOEFL iBT, 7.5 in IELTS Academic or equivalent
  • An expected GMAT score of 600 or higher
  • An expected GRE score of 160 or higher on Quantitative Reasoning and 150 or higher on Verbal Reasoning

The DBA admission period starts in March. Application deadlines and interview dates differ slightly with the calendar, but the table below shows general guidelines. At the latest, the application package is available for download at the end of the year prior to the intended year of entry.

For inquiries, e-mail to:

The application process

Our admissions process entails both an application and an interview. We encourage you to submit your online application as early as possible during the application period.

STEP 1Application (March-April)By post only, with payment of application fee during application period: March 26 (Monday) - April 6 (Friday), 2018
Please see further below for detailed instructions.
STEP 2First Screening (April)First screening based on written application documents.
STEP 3Interview (April)If selected in first screening 30-minute discussion based on written application documents.
Location: Hitotsubashi ICS, Chiyoda, Tokyo(National Center of Sciences)
STEP 4Decision (Mid-May)By email and/or post.
Decisions will not be communicated by phone or fax.
STEP 5RegistrationRegistration period: May 21-25, 2018 (weekdays only)
Pay your matriculation fee to be officially enrolled and registered.


  • See the ICS DBA Application Package 2018-19 for more detailed information.
  • Submit all application documents in English. If your original documents or certificates are written in other languages, please attach a certified English translation.
  • We will consider only complete applications. If your applications is incomplete upon the application deadline, it will not be considered. If your application is incomplete upon its submission, it will not be considered.
  • We will not return application documents to applicants.
  • All official documents must be originals; photocopies are not acceptable.
  • Please fill in your application forms using an electronic device.
Application Form A Your personal details
Master’s degree certificates and official transcript Must be issued by the registrar of the university or college and signed by the President or the Dean of the university
Career accomplishments Description of your business background and major business accomplishments to date (Maximum length: 3 pages, double-spaced)
Personal statement to include: (1) Intended field of specialization (e.g. marketing, organization, strategy, etc.) and specific topics of interest within that field
(2) Research Proposal (i.e., title, intended topic of dissertation and intended research method)
(3) Explanation of how a doctoral degree from ICS will assist achievement of career goals (Maximum length of personal statement: 10 pages, double-spaced)
Two letters of reference
(Application Form B)
(1) From persons who have been directly responsible for assessing the candidate’s work and/or academic performance
(2) Preferably one from an employer, and one from an academic supervisor
Official GMAT or GRE score report Applicants must demonstrate general aptitude for business studies, as indicated by their scores in the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
We strongly recommend that candidates take the GMAT or GRE at least one month before submitting their application. Applicants are to have officials send ICS the official score report directly.
GMAT: University Code No.: F6R-Q5-52
GRE: University Code No.: 1617
You are required to ask GMAT officials to send us a paper-based official scores in case of having taking it 5+ years ago. ICS does not accept unofficial scores, photocopies, or faxed score reports that are more than ten years old.
Official TOEFL or IELTS score report Above TOEFL iBT 109 or IELTS Academic 7.5
We strongly recommend taking the TOEFL/IELTS at least one month before submitting their application. If English is the Application’s native language, or if the Application earned a Bachelor’s or higher degree from a program conducted entirely in English, or worked for more than three years in an English-speaking country s/he is not required to submit a TOEFL/IELTS score.
Have TOEFL/IELTS send official scores directly to:
TOEFL: University Code No.: 8682
IELTS: Department: ICS Admissions Office
University: Hitotsubashi University
Address: National Center of Sciences, 2-1-2 Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8439, Japan
Proof of paid application feeA non-refundable application fee of JPY 30,000. Credit card payment recommended; Instructions Form. If credit card payment is not possible, see bank transfer information below.
Copy of passport A photocopy of the details page(s) of your passport, indicating Application’s name, photo, passport number, date of birth, and dates of issuance/expiry. ** If you do not require a student visa, you need not submit this item.

How and where to send your application

All application documents must be sent in one envelope to the following address by either registered mail or courier service. Please write “DBA Application Documents” in red on the envelope.

Send only full and complete applications to:
Administrations Office
Hitotsubashi University
Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy (ICS)
National Center of Sciences, 5th Floor 2-1-2 Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 101-8439, Japan

To pay your application fee by bank transfer

Application fee payment periodMarch 26 (Monday), 2018 - April 6 (Friday), 2018

Transfer the application fee under the applicant’s name, and no other name.

Bank and branchSumitomo-Mitsui Bank, Kunitachi Branch
Branch address1-8-45 Naka, Kunitachi-shi, Tokyo 186-0004 Japan
Account holderHitotsubashi University
Account number7761795
Account holder address2-1 Naka, Kunitachi-shi, Tokyo 186-8601 Japan
Account holder phone+81[Japan’s country code]-42-580-8078