Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy (Hitotsubashi ICS)


Hitotsubashi ICS provides an ideal environment for developing global leadership skills, with its diverse student body, and its curriculum that combines skills and knowledge offered by global standard MBA program with an emphasis on Japan and Asia.

Real World Impact

Mission of Hitotsubashi ICS

Hitotsubashi University was founded in 1875. It was the very first educational institute in Japan to teach business and commerce. Throughout its history, Hitotsubashi University has aspired to develop business leaders who possess an international perspective. Our forefathers used the phrase “Captains of Industry” to describe the role our alumni should play in society. It has been Hitotsubashi University's vision to be a leading academic institution specializing in the social sciences. Our faculty members are recognized internationally for their contributions to the fields of commerce and management, economics, law, and social sciences.

The mission of Hitotsubashi ICS, known as “The Global knowledge Hub in Tokyo”, builds on Hitotsubashi University's tradition of excellence. Hitotsubashi ICS's mission goals are: (a) to continually develop new generations of global business leaders for Japan, Asia, and the world, and (b) to create knowledge and disseminate on a global scale research originating from Japan. Our aim is to develop leaders who are experts on Japan, immersed in Asia, and able to have an impact on the world.

Hitotsubashi ICS offers a world-class curriculum that combines best practices in business education from all over the world, with a distinct focus on Japan and Japan's role in the global and Asian economies. It equips its students not only with fundamental business knowledge but also with the broad set of skills and management qualities required of global leaders. Characteristic of Hitotsubashi ICS graduates is possession of business-essential skills, including strategic thinking and problem solving and execution, a capacity to manage diversity with high cultural awareness, and an ability to foster innovation, and bridge differences in global cultures and business systems.

Vision of Hitotsubashi ICS

The vision of Hitotsubashi ICS is “the Best of Two Worlds”. It aims to be the bridge between East and West, Large and Small, Global and Local, Old and New, Practice and Theory, Cooperation and Competition, and Business and Society.

1) East and West

We realize that effective business practices vary by location and over time. We believe that global leaders do not need to have the “right” answer—rather they must be able to acknowledge diversity, work with ambiguity, and innovate by embracing paradox, combining opposites, and constantly challenging conventional wisdom.

2) Large and Small

We choose to be a small school in one of the largest and most vibrant cities in the world. Every year we welcome about 60 new students to our MBA program and 4 new students to our DBA program. Our small size allows our faculty to get to know students personally, and to mentor them on an individual basis. Our networks with leading corporations (both large and small) and universities around the world allow us to combine the advantages of scale with the speed and flexibility that comes from being small.

3) Global and Local

We value our global student body and faculty, our global reach in thought leadership, and our global network of corporate and academic partners. At the same time, we are firmly positioned in Tokyo and Japan, and determined, through our research and teaching, to impart to the world a better understanding of business in the city and country in which we live and work.

4) Old and New

We are a young graduate school in one of the oldest and most distinguished universities in Japan. We value our university's tradition, but also take seriously our role as an innovator. Our research and teaching combines lessons from the old and new—the companies and practices that drove Japan's economic development and the newest, most innovative companies and business areas that are our future.

5) Practice and Theory

As a professional school, our focus is on practice, so essential in tackling the problems and challenges of today. This is why more than 60% of our full-time and visiting faculty members have full-time work experience in the private sector and 50% hold an MBA degree. However, practice cannot be separated from theory, which helps us to define and resolve the problems and challenges of tomorrow. Our students learn the latest theories in management and apply them to real-life, evolving situations in today's business world.

6) Cooperation and Competition

ICS students learn the importance of cooperation during Foundation Week (the last week in September), by engaging in various team-building exercises in an outdoor environment. Once classes start, students are encouraged to form study groups and asked to participate in a number of group projects. At the same time, competition is built into the curriculum in the form of a forced grading curve: 30% of the students in a given course are awarded an A, 60% a B, and 10% a C or below. Students also compete to join the seminar of their choice, to qualify for an internship or an overseas student exchange program, and to become recipients of student competition awards.

7) Business and Strategy

We acknowledge that the interests of individual businesses and industries may conflict with the interest of society as a whole. We make every attempt in our curriculum and research to raise awareness of those conflicts and encourage resolution in a way that is both socially beneficial and creates long-term value. Our Global Citizenship course enables students to experience directly this conflict, through working with people and groups who experience particular challenges in daily life, including the physically and mentally disabled.

Why Hitotsubashi ICS?

Seven reasons to choose Hitotsubashi ICS for your MBA.

1) World-Class Curriculum

The Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking for 2014-2015 ranked Hitotsubashi ICS number ten for full-time MBAs in the Far East Region, indicating the global excellence of Hitotsubashi ICS MBA program. ABEST21(The Alliance on Business Education and Scholarship for Tomorrow, a 21st century organization)recognized Hitotsubashi ICS for a “World-class Curriculum” Excellence in Accreditation Award in 2009, and again in 2014, for its unique global curriculum based on the concept of “Best of Two Worlds”. Hitotsubashi ICS is the first full-time MBA program to be offered by a Japanese national university that is taught entirely in English.

2) Global Network

Hitotsubashi ICS’s program is designed to expand the Hitotsubashi network of multiple generations of leaders in the global and Asian economies. Students can take international courses allied with Asian and global top business schools such as GNAM(Global Network for Advanced Management) - a 27 member-strong global consortium of the world’s leading business schools - and the BEST Alliance, a strategic alliance among Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management (in Beijing), Seoul National University Graduate School of Business (in Seoul),and Hitotsubashi ICS (in Tokyo).

3) Unparalleled Flexibility

Hitotsubashi ICS applicants are able to choose whether to graduate in one year or in two years with an MBA Degree. For 2-year Program students, the second year’s curriculum can be “custom-built” by participating in activities such as the Double degree program, Exchange program, Internships, and/or Individual Research. Non-company sponsored students may work with the Career Services department in searching for post-MBA career opportunities. While 1-year Program students are not eligible for double-degree programs, exchange programs, or ICS internship programs, they may participate in the Global Network Week, a global exchange program offered by GNAM.

4) Strong Inter-Student Bonding

Each year’s entering class is kept intentionally diverse and small with fewer than 60 students, creating an ideal environment for students to bond strongly with one another-one more unique feature of the Hitotsubashi ICS experience. This bonding among cohorts develops naturally through team-building exercises during Foundation Week, visits to the homes of faculty members, and various other team projects, activities, and exercises.

5) Strong Bonding Between Students and Experienced Faculty

Hitotsubashi ICS has a world-class faculty with real life work experience in business and/or teaching experience at other international business schools. The student/faculty (full-time and adjunct professors)ratio is close to 3:1, a ratio that no other leading business school in the world can match. The small student body enables intensive in-class interaction, as well as field research projects, company visits,and other out-of-class activities. The faculty also serves as “life mentors” for students.

6) A Campus in the Heart of Tokyo

Hitotsubashi ICS is located in Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda Ward, within easy walking distance of the Otemachi business district in central Tokyo, and just a few blocks from the Imperial Palace. Our location gives students and faculty quick, easy access to fieldwork study and company visits anywhere within the greater Tokyo metropolitan region, and enables companies’ top management to visit Hitotsubashi ICS classes as guest speakers.

7) Competitive Cost of Tuition

Hitotsubashi University is a national university corporation. Therefore, the cost of its tuition is very reasonable JPY 535,800 per year (plus a one-time matriculation fee of JPY282,000). Notwithstanding this cost of tuition,scholarships can be offered to students.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

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Campus Full time 1 - 2 years September 2017 Japan Tokyo

The mission of the MBA Program in Hitotsubashi ICS builds on our tradition. Our goal is to contribute to society by developing business leaders capable of initiating, implementing, and managing innovation on a global scale. [+]

The mission of Hitotsubashi ICS, which was established in 2000, is to achieve the ‘Best of Two Worlds’, acting as a bridge between diametrically opposing concepts such as “East and West”, “Large and Small”, “Global and Local”, “Old and New”, “Practice and Theory”, “Cooperation and Competition”, and “Business and Society”, through education and research. One year Program or Two year Program Applicants to the MBA program may select from two options (the One-Year Program or the Two-Year Program), both of which offer the same MBA degree. Applicants must choose between the two options at the time of application. The One-Year Program is designed primarily for students who are not seeking a career-change post-MBA and wish to be granted a degree in as short a time as possible. In contrast, the Two-Year Program is designed for those who are seeking a career-change post-MBA or wish to be exposed to broader or more in-depth MBA-level learning opportunities and experiences. Once applicants are accepted into either one of the two programs, they cannot switch to the other program. The selection criteria for admission is identical for both options because all students must take required courses together in the first year, follow the same academic calendar, and must meet the same earned credit requirements for graduation. Students in both the One-year Program and Two-year Program receive exactly the same high quality education and the same level of commitment and support from our faculty and staff. Academic Calendar The MBA Program in International Business Strategy consists of two programs: the One-year Program and the Two-year Program. Students in both programs follow the same academic calendar in their first year. The academic year is divided into four terms. There is a break of at least one week between each term. There are no required courses during these breaks, but there may be elective courses and other elective academic activities. Two-year MBA Program Two-year program students enroll at Hitotsubashi ICS in mid- or late-September and graduate in August two years later. In the first year, two-year students must take all required courses and can select additional elective classes together with one-year students. However, two-year students can custom design and build their second year curriculum in accordance with their own interests and goals. In their second year, two-year students can participate in the following activities: attend an exchange or double-degree program; participate in non-remunerative company internships either in Japan or overseas; conduct individual research projects, which may include writing a business case or a consulting report, or developing a business plan for a new venture; take additional elective courses; and work with the Career Services on post-MBA career opportunities. The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology allows two-year students who excel in their studies and course work during the first year to graduate early if they elect to do so. Early graduation would enable qualified students to receive their MBA in a year and a half, i.e., at the end of March of the second year. One-year MBA Program One-year program students enroll at Hitotsubashi ICS in mid- to late-September and graduate in August the following year. This option is best suited for company-sponsored and YLP (Young Leaders' Program) scholarship applicants because it is assumed that they will return to their original company or organization after graduation. For non-sponsored applicants who are looking for a career change, this option is not recommended because it is very difficult to balance the required academic work-load with their job search. Although one-year students can participate in all on-campus academic courses and programs as well as intensive academic programs offered both on and off-campus, they are not eligible to attend term-long exchange programs or to participate in company internship programs. Students in both the one-year and two-year programs receive exactly the same high quality education and the same level of commitment and support from our faculty and university staff. Admissions The Hitotsubashi ICS Admissions section offers an overview of our admissions process, including information on tuition, financial aid, international admissions requirements, and our application package. To make sure your application is accepted and reviewed in a timely manner, and that you submit a complete and accurate application package, please take the time to review the contents of this site and also read carefully through the application package materials before submission. There are two rounds of applications for the Entering Class of 2016. The Admissions Committee strongly encourages applicants to apply in the first round, as space in the class may be limited in the second. In addition, applying in the first round will have an advantage on matters such as scholarships, particularly for international students. The respective application deadlines and the interview dates are: ROUND 1 exact dates to be determined. Application term: early December 2016 - early January 2017 Interview date: early February 2017 Admission decision date: late February 2017 ROUND 2 exact dates to be determined. Application term: early February 2017 – early March 2017 Interview date: early April 2017 Admission decision date: late April 2017 It is important to note the following: You may apply for only either the 1-year or 2-year program. Once accepted to one program, you cannot switch to the other program. All application documents, except for TOEFL/IELTS and GMAT official scores, must be submitted via the ICS Online Application System. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application as early as possible in each round. Scholarship decisions for international candidates are made only after a candidate has been admitted. Since scholarships are limited in number, first-round candidates tend to have an advantage in this regard. Careers The Career Services Office provides students who are not sponsored by their employers with one-on-one counseling to help them recognize any career development needs as early as their first month at Hitotsubashi ICS. Taking into consideration the demand for Japanese language ability for most positions in Japan, students who have low or no Japanese language background who desire to work in Japan may want to consider acquiring some knowledge of the language even before coming to Hitotsubashi ICS. Having Japanese language skills will open up many more career opportunities within the country and greatly increase your chances for employment by the domestic company of choice. [-]


MBA in Japan - Hitotsubashi ICS, Tokyo


Hitotsubashi ICS

Address 2-1-2 Hitotsubashi
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8439 Japan
Website http://www.ibs.ics.hit-u.ac.jp/