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World Customs Organization (WCO) scholarships at Aoyama Gakuin University (AGU)_Japan

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World Customs Organization (WCO) scholarships at Aoyama Gakuin University (AGU)_Japan

Graduate School of Business Aoyama Gakuin University

Aoyama Gakuin University (AGU) is one of the top private universities in Asia, located in the heart of metropolitan Tokyo, Japan. The Strategic Management and Intellectual Property Rights Program (SMIPRP) is a 12-month master’s degree program at AGU’s Graduate School of Business and offers cutting-edge classes and practical management skills for future leaders, particularly in customs organizations around the world. All instruction on the SMIPRP is given in English, and the program is open to students worldwide. This master’s degree program operates under the sponsorship of the World Customs Organization (WCO).


The Japan-WCO Human Resource Development Programme (Scholarship Programme) provides a grant covering travel, subsistence, admission, tuition and other approved expenses to enable promising young Customs managers from a developing member of the WCO to undertake Master’s level studies at the Aoyama Gakuin University (AGU) in Tokyo, Japan.

Eligibility Requirements

  • A candidate must be a customs officer of a developing member of the WCO with quality work experience of at least three years in the field of customs policy and administration in his/her home country.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who have experience in IPR border enforcement, and who are expected to work in the IPR-related section of their Customs administration after this Scholarship Programme.
  • A candidate must be in good health and preferably under 40 years of age as of April 1, 2018.
  • Individuals who have already been awarded a scholarship under the Japan-WCO Human Resource Development Programme in the past will not be entitled to apply for this Scholarship Programme.
  • After the completion of the Programme, the candidates should continue to work in their home Customs administration for 3 years at least.


  • A monthly stipend covers accommodations, meals, transportations, and other expenses. It cannot be increased to cover family members if any. The amount of stipend is subject to change according to the decision of the Japanese Government.*
  • Admission and tuition fees.**
  • Round-trip economy-class air tickets between your home country and Japan.*The current amount of monthly stipend is 147,000 yen (as of 2017).
    **The current amount of admission fee is 290,000 yen and annual tuition fee is 902,000 yen (as of 2017).


  • If the performance of scholars fail below a certain critical standard (e.g., failing a required course, or one that is important in the curricula), or scholars are unable to continue with schoolwork for any reason whatsoever, we may terminate provision of the scholarship, even during the school year. In the event of such an occurrence, scholars may also not be provided with a return air ticket.

All selected scholars shall abide by the laws of Japan, as well as by AGU regulations, and refrain from engaging in unlawful activities. If the scholar fail to do so, his/her scholarship may be terminated at our discretion and the scholars may not be provided with a return air ticket.

After the Completion of the Programme

  • After half a year and 3 years respectively from completion of the Programme, Scholars should report to the WCO and the AGU indicating the post they occupy in their home administration and how they have been utilizing the experience they acquired in Japan.

Note 1: All rules and policies are subject to change without prior notice on this website.
Note 2: For further information, please refer to the letter and the administrative provisions from the WCO to its Member administrations.

Online Registration for 2017 will be closed at 17:00 p.m. on the 18th of August.


The Graduate School of Business at AGU welcomes potential students who have a strong interest in conducting rigorous empirical and/or theoretical research integrated with their own practical work experiences. Please carefully read and strictly follow the guidelines and instructions mentioned below when you apply to the SMIPRP at AGU.

The number of students to be admitted for SMIPRP course is approximately 10.

Degree Award

A Master of Arts degree in Business Administration, specializing in Strategic Management and Intellectual Property Rights will be awarded upon your graduation.

Qualification for Applicants

Applicants must meet the following criteria to apply for SMIPRP:

  • Bachelor’s Degree or Higher.
  • English Proficiency
    Suitable level of proficiency in English to be able to write a thesis is required.
    For those who have not received undergraduate/graduate education in English, please submit an official score report or certificate of exams with the following minimum scores or above.

TOEFL iBT(internet based test) 79, TOEFL PBT(paper based test) 550, IELTS 6.0 (in each band)
The score should be obtained within the past two years of the application.
TOEFL ITP score is not accepted.

For those who have received education in English, please obtain an official proof letter from the graduated university.

  • Online PC Environment
    Online PC environment in which you can run Skype for an interview. To make a free online video call, you will need a webcam (web camera) and a microphone/headset, both of which must be prepared by applicants themselves before the date of the interview (see “STEP 5 Online Interview” section of this webpage).


NOTE : For those who wish to receive WCO Scholarship, please read here carefully.

Admissions Criteria

Applicants will be selected for admission to this program based on the following criteria:

  • Academic record and intellectual distinction;
  • Personal characteristics;
  • Motivation to study on the SMIPRP;
  • Evidence of leadership;
  • Potential for individual career development
  • Work experience

NOTE: Double school registration is not allowed at AGU. Those who are currently attending the school must graduate before enrollment in AGU.

Application Procedure

Step 1: Online Entry

Available until 18 August, 2017 (17:00 JST*)
*Japan Standard Time

First, you will need to create a login account to proceed with your application. To create a login account, fill out and submit the online registration form with the necessary information.

Please note that you will not be registered as an ‘applicant’ until we have received all the required application documents.

Step 2: Notification of ID & Password

Upon your submission of the online registration form, your ID and password will be sent to you via email.

Step3: Download Application Forms

Please go to the top page of the SMIPRP website and click the ‘LOGIN’ button. Then you are required to enter the provided ID and password in the login page to proceed to the next step in order to download and fill out the designated Form1-6 and Application Checklist.

Step4: Submit by Post Designated Application / Forms & Other Required Documents

Please send all the following documents by DHL or any other registered express mailing delivery service according to the instructions below.

Designated Application Forms & Other Required Documents
(Form1) Application Form with photo
(Forms 2-1 and 2-2) Two Letters of Recommendation
(Preferably, one from your current supervisor at your work place)
(Form3) Certificate of Employment Status and Acceptance for Leave of Absence
(Form4) Assignment Paper
(Form5) Research Proposal at the SMIPRP
(Form6) WCO Nomination Form (for a CUSTOMS OFFICER of a developing member of the WCO.)
The form must have a signature and seal by the Head of the nominating administration e.g. Director General, Commissioner or equivalent official.
Official degree certificates or official copies of diplomas from ALL colleges/universities previously attended.
Official transcripts or official copies of transcripts from ALL colleges/universities previously attended.
Either of the following English Proficiency Certificates

  1. TOEFL or IELTS official score report
    *For those who have not received undergraduate/graduate education in English.
    The score should be obtained within the past two years of the application
  2. Official certificate to prove your undergraduate/graduate education was conducted in English.
    This official document has to be issued by the educational institute you attended.
A photocopy of your passport
(If any) A photocopy of either a paper, report, thesis, or book written in English.
(If the names on the application forms and certificates are different)
Proof of the surname/name change (marriage certificate, etc.)


  1. Mailing Materials must be received by the deadline (Japan Standard Time).
  2. All the submitted documents must be original.
    *However, with regards to the official degree certificates and transcripts, official copies are acceptable in case where submission of the original is not possible. Photocopies are NOT accepted.
  3. An official copy means a certified true copy of the original document with an official seal obtained from the administration office of the university attended. A true copy of the original document certified by a notary public may also be accepted.
  4. All the submitted documents will NOT be returned to applicants. It is advisable that you keep copies of all the documents submitted with your application.
  5. Incomplete applications will NOT be reviewed.
    Please download and use the provided application checklist to make sure that all required forms and documents have been completed and enclosed.
  6. All documents must be presented in English. If the original documents are written in languages other than English, you are required to attach its official English translation with a seal and signature to the original documents.
  7. Faxed documents and digital copies sent through e-mail are NOT acceptable.
  8. AGU respects the privacy of every individual who submits personal information to us. All submitted information shall only be used for the purposes of administration and entry examination. AGU will not disclose submitted information from any individual to a third party.

Postal Address

Master’s Program Admissions Office,
Graduate School of Business,
Aoyama Gakuin University
4-4-25 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku,
Tokyo 150-8366,

Step 5: Online Interview with selected applicants

Between 27 September and 30 September, 2017

After reviewing applications, the Admissions Committee for the SMIPRP will request an interview for selected applicants (i.e. those applicants who have successfully passed the documentary examination). Those who are selected will receive the notification and scheduling information on the interview via email.

Interviews are conducted via Skype. If you are invited for an interview, you should be online and prepared to receive our call at the day and time scheduled by the Admissions Committee.

The interviewers consisted of faculty members (the Admissions Committee) will evaluate the candidates according to the admission criteria.

Tuition & Fee

Admission Fee:
290,000 yen (as of 2017)
Annual Tuition Fee:
902,000 yen (as of 2017)

NOTE : For those who wish to receive WCO Scholarship, please read here carefully.


We require each applicant to provide us with an email address because it will be your primary form of communication with AGU Admissions. To protect your privacy, admissions notifications are available only through our password-protected Application Status Check Website.

AGU is not responsible for any technological issues (including email filters) that prevent applicants from receiving our communications. Please contact your email provider and/or set your spam filter preferences to ensure you will receive email from all email addresses with the “” and “” domains.

Official Website (Admission):

University official website:

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