The Program in Economic and Public Policy 

The Program in Economic and Public Policy (PEPP) is a 2-year program taught in English, offering an MA in International Public Policy. The program aims to provide training and the necessary skills for the conception, design, and implementation of public policies with an emphasis on quantitative skills in economics with modern technologies such as Big Data analysis, econometrics, GIS analysis, satellite image analysis, household survey analysis, population data analysis and health research in developing countries. PEPP faculty members work on a variety of issues in economics, development and public policy, including economic growth, poverty reduction, enhancing agricultural production efficiency, human capital accumulation, international trade policies and environmental issues in developing countries. We endeavor to contribute to the creation of an international community of highly trained professionals addressing the daily challenges of economic and social development.

History of PEPP

PEPP (or WBGSP or PEPPM as its predecessor) is the oldest partner program in Japan of the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program, a large scholarship program for young professionals from developing countries funded by the Government of Japan and managed by the World Bank Institute in Washington, DC. During the past twenty years, more than a hundred students from over forty developing countries have graduated from PEPP. The University of Tsukuba PEPP is also one of many academic institutions which participate in the Asian Development Bank-Japan Scholarship Program (ADB-JSP).

About PEPP

Though PEPP began as a partner program of the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program, it soon began to accept applications from candidates with alternative sources of funding. Today, PEPP welcomes applications from self-funded candidates, as well as from candidates with alternative sources of scholarship funding (e.g. MEXT, JICA etc.). The academic program is the same for all candidates, whether they decide to apply for WB/ADB funding as part of their application, or have alternative means of funding in place.

PEPP students during a study trip to Nagoya

Program Outline

Our program is designed to transform students, upon graduation, to become well-trained economists who have sufficient knowledge to design, analyze and implement policy, placing a strong emphasis on developing both student’s quantitative skills to analyze policy, and communication skills to enable effective communication with policy makers. Students are required to write a master’s thesis based on solid quantitative analysis, and to periodically present their progress to faculty members and other students. With over 20 years of experience in implementing and managing the program, we are confident in our ability to lead students from varied academic backgrounds to a thorough, practical and theoretical understanding of all essential elements of modern economics.

The program starts in October with introductory classes, following which  more advanced courses are offered. Students can take a variety of both applied economics and policy-oriented courses. In addition, students are also required to attend weekly research workshops, where they are expected to present their ongoing research towards their master’s theses. Students who successfully pass their master’s thesis oral examination and obtain 30 credits or more of mandatory courses offered by our program will be awarded the degree title MA in International Public Policy.

Possible Career Paths After Graduation

PEPP opens up a wide range of career opportunities for graduates. Those  who choose to pursue an academic route usually decide to apply to doctoral programs, with past students having successfully gained entry on to Ph.D courses at the University of Michigan (USA), University of Ohio (USA), Michigan State University (USA), University of Tokyo (Japan), as well as doctoral courses closer to home at the University of Tsukuba (Japan). Graduates who have targeted business success have in the past successfully secured positions in the private sector, with Sumitomo Chemical Corp., Hitachi Corp., and Accenture just some of the companies with which they have secured employment. And graduates wishing to pursue careers in the public sector have also gone on to progress to prominent positions in government departments and NGOs.

PEPP General Admission Eligibility

Applicants who satisfy the following three conditions can apply to the program:  (i) have obtained a Bachelor’s degree (or are expecting to receive a bachelor’s degree before October 1st);  (ii) have the intellectual capacity to successfully complete our program;  and (iii) have the English language ability required for an MA program.

PEPP students and professors at the graduation ceremony


Financing Your Studies with PEPP

For PEPP general admission candidates, there are three ways to finance your study:

      1. Self-finance:  In this case, any applicant who satisfies the above three conditions can apply to the program.
      2. MEXT (Japanese government Monbukagakusho) scholarship:  Those who are already in receipt of a scholarship from the Japanese government (MEXT scholarship) are eligible to apply. In addition, those who are in the process of applying for a scholarship from the Japanese government and who have a ‘certificate of primary selection’ issued by their Japanese embassy (Embassy Recommendation) can apply to our program.
      3. Scholarship from an alternative funding source/provider:  Applicants who have secured full alternative scholarship funding (e.g. from an employer or government institution) are eligible to apply regardless of their nationality.

Application Period

PEPP currently has an annual recruitment cycle, with our application window open for a period that runs generally from December to late January/early February. For details on the latest application window, including a link to our general admission Online Application System (OAS), please see the following admissions page:


All potential PEPP general admission applicants are required to make contact with our deputy director prior to making an application in order to obtain approval. To request approval to apply, please email your 1) research plan, 2) C.V., and 3) transcript to: naito [at] and pepp-cepgt [at] (please replace [at] with @).

Following approval from our deputy director, you will be eligible to apply during our annual application window via our general admission Online Application System. Please check the admissions page link above for details.

Document screening will take place following the application deadline, with candidates who pass initial screening invited for interview in February or early March.

Successful candidates will be notified as soon as possible, but by the end of May at the latest, with the program start date scheduled for October 1 (note: orientation events will take place in the final week of September).

After fulfilling all the requirements of the program, students will receive an MA in International Public Policy.

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