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Business MA and MBA

Joint Degree Program in Japanese Studies and Business

The partnership between the Center for Japanese Studies and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business combines an opportunity to develop expertise in Japanese language, society, and economy with state-of-the-art training from one of the nation’s best business schools. This program prepares business leaders to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex global economy.


Applicants interested in the MA/MBA in Japanese Studies and Business program must file separate applications, pay application fees to both schools, and be admitted by both schools. Each program makes an independent decision on its application using its own criteria; only applicants admitted to both programs may enroll in the joint degree program.

For admission to the MBA program, please see the Admission Information on the Ross School website, or contact them at Applicants must indicate on both applications that they are applying for this specific dual degree program (please make sure the correct box is checked on the MBA application; please indicate on the Rackham online application that you are applying to another school).

Applicants must take the GMAT for admission to the Ross School and may take the GMAT or the GRE for admissions to the Center for Japanese Studies. All applications to the Center for Japanese Studies must be received by January 10. Applicants should contact the Ross School for the appropriate deadline.

This joint degree program may use any of the day, evening, or weekend MBA tracks, though it is most commonly combined with the day MBA track.  Applicants should be aware that Japanese Studies courses are mostly offered on weekdays with few options for evenings and none in the weekend.  Japanese language courses are offered only during weekday daytime.

This joint degree program is not open to students who have earned either the MBA or MA in Japanese Studies degree. Students registered in the first year of either program may apply.


This joint degree program is designed to be completed in three years and both degrees are awarded simultaneously. Students should plan their program in close consultation with the Student Advisor at the Ross School of Business, and the Director of Graduate Studies at the Center for Japanese Studies.

Students may begin their studies in either school; however, because of the sequenced nature of core courses in the MBA program, most students will find it advantageous to start with year one in the Ross Business School. During year two, students will complete courses in the Center for Japanese Studies. In year three, courses may be taken in both schools.

Each school will apply its own admission deferral standards to students who elect to take the first year in the other school.  Students who wish to begin with Japanese Studies should see a counselor in the Ross Business School to arrange an appropriate plan of study. No course work completed prior to admission may be counted toward the MBA requirements of the joint degree program. No transfer of credit from other institutions will be accepted for any part of this program.


Students admitted to this joint degree program must satisfy the following degree requirements:

The 57 credit hours required for the MBA degree including:

  • The roughly 30 credit hours of the MBA core curriculum (no credit is awarded for Business Administration core courses successfully waived; credit must be earned with Business electives);
  • Roughly 15 credit hours of elective in Business Administration;
  • 12 credit hours of transferable electives from Rackham;
  • MBA communication requirement

The required Center for Japanese Studies courses, including;

  • 24 credit hours of Japanese Studies courses, which includes Core Courses, Distribution, and Research/Writing requirements;
  • Japanese Language Requirements: successful completion of Third-Year Japanese II (ASIANLAN 326) with a grade of B or better, or placement into fourth-year Japanese by placement examination administered by the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. Students whose language competence is beyond third year level will be encouraged to continue language training throughout the program. Please consult with the Student Services Coordinator in the Center for Japanese Studies or the Japanese Language Coordinator in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures to determine an appropriate course plan after language has been assessed.

The total credit hours for the joint degree program must be at least 69.