Kanji Cheat Sheets

Kanji Cheat Sheet: Writing the Education Section of Your Japanese Resume

When in Japan, do like the Japanese.

Japan does practically everything different from the rest of the world. Resumes for jobseekers are no exception. In contrast to the West where you are pretty much free to do what you want with your resume, Japanese resumes all follow the same template and rules. You can even buy resume templates at convenience stores and ¥100 shops!

Japanse resumes don’t include things like your language skills or hobbies.

Japanese resumes are basically just a timeline of your life with dates attached to the places where you studied or worked. The things you actually worked on and skills you’ve acquired go on another document called the 職務履歴書 (shokumu rirekisho) along with the more familiar cover letter called 志望動機 (shibou douki).

In this Kanji Cheat Sheet, we will focus on the education section of your resume with Japanese education fields and degree names. It’s the first section you have to fill out on your resume!

Basic vocabulary for institutions

The standard Japanese resume for a freshly graduated Japanese national usually starts from high-school, sometimes even from elementary school, mainly because school reputation prevails here in Japan.

However, unless you attended school in Japan, you probably want to leave out your whole secondary education history as it won’t matter much to a Japanese recruiter. One line mentioning that you graduated from high school should be enough to start your resume.

English Japanese Romaji
University 大学 daigaku
Grad School 大学院 daigaku-in
Vocational School 専門学校 Senmon gakkou

Education fields in Japanese

Here are the main education fields with their Japanese equivalent, separated into humanities and science.

English Japanese Romaji
Humanities 人文科学 Jinbunka-gaku
Humanities fields Philosophy 哲学 Tetsu-gaku
Ethics 倫理学 Rinri-gaku
Aesthetics (in beauty school for example) 美学 Bi-gaku
Theology 宗教学 Shukyou-gaku
History 歴史学 Rekishi-gaku
Geography 地理学 Chiri-gaku
Archaeology 考古学 Kouko-gaku
Anthropology 人類学 Jinrui-gaku
Linguistics 言語学 Gengo-gaku
International Studies 国際学 Kokusai-gaku
Literature 文学 bun-gaku
Arts 芸術学 geijutsu-gaku
Pedagogy (Educational Studies) 教育学 kyouiku-gaku
Human Sciences 人間科学 ningenka-gaku


English Japanese Romaji
Science 科学 kagaku
Science Fields Natural science 自然科学 shizenka-gaku
Natural Science Fields Physics 物理学 butsuri-gaku
Chemistry 化学 kagaku
Biology 生物学 seibutsu-gaku
Geology 地質学 chishitsu-gaku
Planetary Science 惑星科学 wakuseika-gaku
Space and Astronautical Science 宇宙科学 uchuka-gaku
Engineering 工学 kou-gaku
Architecture 建築学 kenchiku-gaku
Agriculture 農学 nou-gaku
Medicine 医学 igaku
Dentistry 歯学 shigaku
Nursing 看護学 kango-gaku
Pharmacology 薬学 yaku-gaku
Social Science 社会科学 shakaika-gaku
Social Science fields Economics 経済学 keizai-gaku
Trade 商学 shougaku
Politics 政治学 seiji-gaku
Sociology 社会学 shakai-gaku
Psychology 心理学 shinri-gaku
Formal science 形式科学 keishikika-gaku
Formal Science Fields Mathematics 数学 sugaku
Statistics 統計学 toukei-gaku
Computer science 計算機科学 keisankika-gaku

University degrees in Japanese

Since Japanese resumes are a timeline of your education, your degree level needs to be mentioned along with the university you graduated from and the department you studied under.

For example, “イェール大学大学院 社会科学研究科 国際商学専攻 修士課程” would translate directly as “Master’s Degree in International Trade & Commerce (acquired at the department of social science from Yale University Grad School).”

English Japanese Romaji
Major 専攻 senkou
Bachelor’s degree 学士 gakushi
Master’s degree 修士課程 shushikatei
Doctorate (Ph.D.) 博士課程 hakasekatei

When writing your Japanse resume, you’ll need the kanji for both your admission and graduation date.

English Japanese Romaji
Admission 入学 nyugaku
Graduated (with diploma) 卒業 sotsugyou
Completion (without diploma) 修了 shuryou
Dropped 退学 taigaku
Undergraduate 見込み mikomi

A standard sentence would go like this:

(year) (month) (university name) 大学 (university department) (sub-department) 料 入学 (admission or other status mentioned above).

If the line concerns a master’s degree or a doctorate, the (bu) becomes 研究科 (kenkyuuka) and the (ryou) become 専攻(senkou).

Practical examples:

English Japanese equivalent
2014 – 2018: Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Languages, Yale University (international study department) 2014年9月 イェール(Yale)大学 国際学部 外国語学料 入学

2018年6月 イェール(Yale)大学 国際学部 外国語学料 卒業

2018 – present: Master’s degree in International Trade & Commerce, Yale University (Social Science department) 2018年9月 イェール(Yale)大学大学院 社会科学研究科 国際商学専攻 修士課程 入学

2020年6月 イェール(Yale)大学大学院 社会科学研究科 国際商学専攻 修士課程 卒業 見込み

Now that you know the equivalent in Japanese for everything related to education, you can get started translating your resume.

Next time we will take a look at how to write your work history in Japanese.

Test Your Japanese

Answer Click Word To Reveal Answer

I want to study

Long Term

6 months or longer

I want to study

Short Term

1 to 3 months