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National Graduate Institute For Policy Studies (GRIPS)

GRIPS campus

National Graduate Institute For Policy Studies (GRIPS)

GRIPS is a graduate school specializing on education and research in the area of policy studies, located in Roppongi, one of the trendiest cultural and international districts in the heart of Tokyo. GRIPS was established in 1997 by the Japanese government, with aims to produce first-class policy makers for 21st century and conduct cutting-edge researches on policy studies. Economics, Political Science, International Relations, Public Administration, Operation Research and Social Engineering comprise major academic disciplines of the university.

The predecessor of GRIPS was the Graduate School of Policy Sciences established in 1977 at Saitama University, the first graduate school for policy studies in Japan.

Based on research outputs and impacts, Economics at GRIPS has consistently ranked Third in Japan.

Macroeconomic Policy Programs

For JISPA scholars, GRIPS offers One year Macroeconomic Policy Program and Two year Macroeconomic Policy Program (MEP). One year MEP requires 34 credits for graduation and grants a Master of Public Policy; Two year MEP requires 44 credits and grants a Master of Arts in Public Economics. Qualified candidates with strong competency who are higly motivated to complete an intensive one year program are encouraged to apply for One year MEP. Qualified candidates who have flexible working schedules, willing to devote more time to thesis writing, and have a desire to develop more advanced analytical skills, are welcomed to Two year MEP.

MEP is a professionally oriented program designed to train modern macroeconomic policy makers and professionals who need to understand macroeconomic fluctuation and the roles of monetary and fiscal policies in domestic and global economies. It values education in principles and theories of macroeconomics, combining rigorous training in analytical and quantitative methods with emphasis on macroeconomic policy analysis, design, and implementation.

It is a program developed from the successful tradition of Transition Economy Program, a partner of JISPA since the inception of the scholarship program.

The Faculty

The MEP is supported by full time faculty and visiting lectures. About 20 full time faculty members consist of the core faculty of the program. The core faculty includes not only Japanese professors, but also international scholars. Faculty at GRIPS include both members with solid academic trainings and outstanding publication records as well as practitioners with extensive experiences in civil services and public policy management. All of them are committed to educating new generational of policy makers and have rich experiences in teaching and thesis supervisions.

The Curriculum

The curricula are designed around four pillars: Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Financial Economics, and Econometrics. The curricula consist of five components: required courses, a policy paper (One year Program)/thesis (Two year Program), quantitative analysis courses, disciplinary courses, and other electives courses. The required courses and quantitative analysis courses provide solid training in principles and theories of macroeconomics and practical analytical skills for designing and evaluating macroeconomic policies. The variety of disciplinary courses gives students the chance to select courses for developing their specialization in specific areas of interests, such as monetary policy, fiscal policy, international trade, financial markets.

Required Courses

Students of Macroeconomic Policy Programs must take the following seven courses: Macroeconomics I, II; Microeconomics I, II; International Finance, Public Economics, Introduction to Applied Econometrics, and Introduction to Public Policy Studies.

Policy Paper/Thesis

One year MEP students are required to write a policy paper (4 credits); Two year MEP students are required to write a master thesis (8credits). Both policy paper and thesis writings will be supervised by core faculty members with thesis seminars.

Quantitative Analysis Courses

Students must take at least two of the following courses: Applied Time Series Analysis for Macroeconomics, Mathematics for Economic Analysis, Quantitative Social Systems Analysis, Statistics, Introduction to Quantitative Methods (Two year Program), and Cost Benefit Analysis I (Two year Program).

Disciplinary Courses

Students may choose from courses covering a variety of disciplines. These courses cover a range of topics, including Accounting and Financial Management, Financial Economics, Monetary Economics, International Trade, Public Expenditure Management, Development Economics, Labor Economics, Game Theory, Japanese Economy, etc.

Advanced Courses in Economics

Students with exceptional qualifications and capacities have opportunities to take advanced courses offered to Ph.D. candidates of the Policy Analysis Program.

GRIPS Forums and Seminars in Frontiers of Economics Research

The bi-weekly GRIPS forum provides an excellent opportunity for students to understand major economic and political issues in Japan and the world. The weekly economic seminars open students’ eyes to the frontier of economic research.

Download: Course listing JISPA GRIPS Course Listing: PDF Version


Candidates must hold a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized/accredited university and must satisfy the English language requirements with a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (iBT 79) or IELTS 6.0. A strong undergraduate background and/or evidence of experiences with public policy issues in economic management are also required.


GRIPS offers all necessary facilities for students. The GRIPS library maintains an excellent collection of books, journals, databases, and reference materials. Wireless internet access is available on campus. On-campus facilities also include a fitness center, auditorium, conference rooms, individual study rooms, and a health clinic staffed with an English speaking nurse and doctor.

GRIPS helps arranging accommodation for students either at GRIPS International House which is located in Nakano ward in western Tokyo or a privately-owned dormitory.

For messages from GRIPS alumni, please see Message from GRIPS Alumni.

Further information on the program can be found on the GRIPS website at