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Programs and Host Institutions : Brochure
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Go to "How to Apply" for information on the application process.
Tohoku University
Sendai, Japan (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Fall / Academic Year,
Universities in the Global E³ program do not accept applications directly.

Go to "How to Apply" for information on the application process.
Program Sponsor: Global E³ 
Fact Sheet:
Disciplines Available (engineering or related field):
Biotechnology, Computer, Materials, Materials Science, Separation Science & Engrg, Software
Graduate Students Accepted?:
Courses Available in English?:
Program Description:

Tohoku University
Sendai, JAPAN

University Info   |   School of Engineering Info

Language of Instruction

International students will be enrolled in Tohoku University's Junior Year Program in English (JYPE) or Cooperative Laboratory Study Program (COLABS) or Direct Enrollment Education Program (DEEP). All courses and research activities in the JYPE and COLABS are conducted in English. Students with sufficient Japanese language skills are also able to take courses in Japanese.


Tohoku University was established in Sendai in 1907 as Tohoku Imperial University by consolidating an agricultural college and a science college. It is the third oldest former Imperial University after Tokyo and Kyoto.

Tohoku University is well known for its open and progressive policies. It was the first Imperial University to admit women and foreign students, and also pioneered in opening a university by offering public lectures. Already in 1911, Tohoku University graduated its first foreign students, thus becoming the Japanese university with the longest history of foreign graduates. All of these were epoch-making events in the history of Japanese higher education. The “Spirit of Open Doors” remains alive within the tradition of Tohoku University. Along with this spirit, the University has placed a high value on the “Spirit of Search for Truth” and emphasized original and creative research. Thus Tohoku University is known for its strong orientation toward academic research.

In the years following its establishment, Tohoku University has grown into an institution that includes the fields of medicine, science, and engineering among others. Currently the University has ten undergraduate and sixteen graduate schools, and six research institutes. The current student body consists of 16,523 students, including 1,944 international students from 93 countries and areas. The university is staffed with 6,477 employees, including 8 full professors. ( figures are as of May 1st, 2016)


Study Level

  • Undergraduate Students : Accepted
  • Graduate Students : Accepted
  • Computer Science Majors : Accepted


Students must be in their 3rd or 4th year of study (Junior or Senior) during their term abroad at Tohoku.


Preference will be given to students who study at Tohoku for a full academic year. Students will not be able to study for only the second term through JYPE.

Students starting Fall semester can apply to JYPE or COLABS or DEEP.

Students starting Spring semester can apply to COLABS or DEEP. Please note that admissions decisions will not be sent until the end of January and applicants must consider how this timeline affects their spring enrollment.

Summer Program - Tohoku University Japanese Program (TUJP), Tohoku University Science Summer

These summer programs are available to Global E3 students as fee-paying programs and are not administered by IIE as part of the Global E3 program. For more information, please visit the summer program information sheet or the program website or contact the university directly.


Required Language Proficiency Tests and Minimum Scores

For JYPE/COLABS - none

For DEEP- Undergraduate: you are required to provide evidence of proficiency in Japanese such as Japanese Proficiency Test Level 1 or certification of Japanese proficiency by your home university.

Engineer major students may not be required Japanese for English class, however Japanese courses are required to understand in Japanese.

Master and Doctor: No requirement

Disciplines Available


  • Japanese language 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Japanese culture A, B
  • Japanese culture C, D
  • Science, Technology and Industry of Japan
  • Mathematics
  • Introductory Courses of Experimental Research in Physics III
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Geophysics
  • Dynamics of the Earth
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Evolution of the West Pacific Island Arcs and Their Environments
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Elementary Particle Physics
  • Solid State Spectroscopy
  • Quantum Field Theory
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Material Science
  • Evolution of the West Pacific Island Arcs and Their Environments
  • Agricultural Science
  • Introduction to Fisheries Science
  • Aquatic Plant Ecology
  • Introduction to Resource and Environmental Economics
  • Applied Biological Chemistry
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Vibration I
  • Computer Software Engineering
  • Fundamentals of Computer Engineering
  • Basic Computer Science
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Introductory Quantum Mechanics
  • Chemistry of Materials
  • Biotechnology
  • Separation Science and Engineering
  • Geological Environment and Earthquake Disaster
  • Individual Research Training


  • All regular courses
  • All JYPE courses except Japanese classes (it is depends on vacancy)

Additional application materials?

In addition to the Global E³ application, students must submit an application for Tohoku University Exchange Program through their Global E3 coordinator. The Global E3 coordinator fills out the online application and uploads supporting documents.

Note: Students applying to start the fall semester should plan to complete the Tohoku application, and advisors should submit it directly to Tohoku by 3:00 pm February 20 (Japan Standard Time) (Tohoku's application deadline). Students and advisors should contact Global E3 for the application information.  

Since the program is based on the exchange agreement between Tohoku University and the home institution of the students, students are eligible for a waiver of tuition fees. Although students themselves should basically bear the cost of living, they are eligible to apply for the following scholarship, which is provided by the Japanese Government through Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO).

The JASSO International Student Scholarship for short term study provides an allowance of 80,000 JPY/month (for one or two semester(s)). After a thorough examination of the student applications, Tohoku University will select and recommend applicants for the scholarship to JASSO. Note that as the screening process is becoming more rigorous each year, recommendation through Tohoku University for JASSO does not guarantee that candidates will be granted the scholarship. The number of the JASSO Scholarship grantees is limited. Not all students admitted into an exchange program can receive the scholarship.  

When will students receive their acceptance package?

We will inform the Exchange Program Coordinator at the home institution of the final admission decision and the results of the screening for the JASSO Scholarship by mid-May for students starting Fall semester and by the end of January for students starting Spring semester.


Semester Dates

  • Fall: early October to early-February
    *Opening Ceremony and Orientation will be held in late September

  • Spring: early April to mid-August
  • *Opening Ceremony and Orientation will be held in early April

Academic Calendar


DEEP: Refer to JYPE Academic Calendar. It is all depends on Department and Research Institution so that follow your Academic Advisor.

Course Contents

JYPE course

Course descriptions   |   Schedule of classes

COLABS course

Course descriptions  

Other English-Language Courses:
Course Descriptions

Workload per semester

Junior Year Program in English (JYPE)

The main purpose of this program is to offer an opportunity for students to take science, engineering, and agriculture courses at Tohoku University, without having to attain the Japanese language proficiency that would be necessary to take the same courses in Japanese. All lectures are given in English and course credit will be given by the standards for the equivalent courses offered in Japanese.

Each semester consists of 15 weeks of class work. Two credits are given for most of the lecture courses that meet once a week for 90 minutes. The Japanese language classes meet four times a week and 4 credits are given. Participation in the activities of a research group counts 5 credits for the Individual Research Training (IRT) course each semester, which is a required course. Students are required to take a total of 13 credits including 5 credits from their faculty’s Individual Research Training course each semester.

Cooperative Laboratory Study Program (COLABS)

COLABS students are required to take the course of Individual Research Training in Lab (IRTLab). IRTLab offers four categories, each of which has different "Total School Hours". For example, "IRTLab 4" requires full School hours (750 hours per semester or 50 hours per week) for 30 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Certificate of completion of COLABS will be awarded to the students who earn 30 ECTS Equivalent or more in each semester including the ECTS Equivalent of IRTLab. More detailed information on these courses is available on the COLABS website

Direct Enrollment English Program (DEEP)

In this program, students study or conduct research at a department assigned to them depending on their field of study/study plan.

1. Special Auditing Student (Undergraduate or graduate students)

Students join the regular courses offered in each department or graduate school, where the lectures are mostly given in Japanese. Therefore they are required to provide evidence of proficiency in Japanese, such as the Japanese Proficiency Test Level N1 or equivalent certification of Japanese proficiency issued by the student’s home university. The certificate(s) should be submitted at the time of application.

2. Special Research Student (Graduate students only)

Students engage in research activities under the supervision of an academic advisor at Tohoku University. They are not always required to provide evidence of proficiency in Japanese, especially in the fields of natural science and engineering. If the student’s academic advisor agrees to supervise in English, the student will not be required to show proficiency in Japanese.

Grading System


90-100  AA
80-89  A
70-79  B
60-69  C
less than 60 D

Academic Transcripts

The certificate which shows the final records will be issued on request.


Is on-campus accommodation available to exchange students?

We will apply for a room at the dormitories, Tohoku University International House and University House Sanjo, on your behalf.

*Room assignments will be made according to available space.

When can exchange students move into the Hall of Residence?

JYPE/COLABS/DEEP- an official letter will announce when you are able to move in

(For all programs - Last week of September, or end of March/beginning of April for spring semester.)


Entry Visa

Students are required to submit an application for the Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) along with the other required documents by the exchange program application deadline. Tohoku University will then apply to the Sendai Immigration Bureau for the CoE on behalf of students. It will take about two months to get the certificate. Then , Tohoku University will mail the CoE to the home university. Students must apply for a student visa using the CoE at the Japanese Embassy or Consulate in their home country before departure for Japan.

Please consult the Japanese Embassy or Consulate in the area for necessary documents to apply for a student visa.

The following are required to obtain a student status:

  1. Application form
  2. One photo (45mm x 45mm size, showing uncovered full face against a plain background)
  3. Copy of the passport page that contains the applicants' photo
  4. A copy of the Certificate of Acceptance (in Japanese) from Tohoku University

More information can be found by visiting the websites of the Tohoku University Support Office and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Health Insurance & Immunizations

The National Health Insurance Act requires all foreigners who are going to stay (or may possibly stay) in Japan for more than one year to join the National Health Insurance program. Accordingly, all the participants have to join this program while staying in Japan. The amount that the students were asked to contribute in 2014 was approx. 1,900JPY/month. It will cover 70% of the total cost, when you are examined or treated under this insurance.

Student Accident & Injury Insurance is an aid plan for students who suffer injuries in case of an accident while they are engaged in research and educational activities at the University. (Ex. Japanese Culture A/B courses require this insurance.)

Personal Liability Insurance is for facilities, products and storage, with special liability provision for risk in daily life. If you ride a bicycle, you need this insurance. Be sure to visit the Tohoku University Support Office for more information on insurance.


When should I arrive?

For fall semester, all programs -- Last week of September. For spring semester programs, students should arrive at the end of March or the beginning of April. Students cannot move in on weekends or holidays.

The orientation session is held twice a year, in mid April and mid October and it is announced on the notice board and the web site of the Center for International Exchange.

Is airport reception available?

No. We do not have a pick-up service. Students need to come to their university dormitory by themselves. Detailed information, including directions, is available in the welcome package.

Is there any bank on campus?

ATM- 77 Banks on campus and Post Bank is located next to campus.


Food/meals – University coop cafeteria meals are available for about 500 JPY.


Tohoku University International House and University House Sanjo are available for the stay at reasonable rates (typically 25,000 JPY/month, including utilities). The cost of living in Sendai is typically 80,000 JPY/month.

Local transportation

New Subway system has started service in December 2015. The stations are conveniently located close to Aobayama, Kawauchi and Katahira campuses.

Bus routes going through the city of Sendai are the Sendai Shiei buses (Sendai City buses) and the Miyagi Kotsu buses (Miyagi Traffic Co. buses). There is a minimal charge of 100JPY for using these buses. The subway trains run north-south (Tomizawa Station - Izumi Chuo Station), and in operation after bus hours. There is a minimal charge of 200JPY. Bicycles are the most common form of transportation among students.

Academic expenses (e.g., books, stationery)

It is depends on the courses you take.

Personal expenses

Other administrative fees None


Office responsible for incoming exchange students

Student Exchange Division 



Sendai, the largest city in the Tohoku Region with about one million inhabitants, is located about 300 km to the northeast of Tokyo. It can be reached in 100 minutes from Tokyo by Shinkansen Super express, “the Bullet Train.” It is an important economic and cultural center in northern Japan with many universities, government agencies, and corporate branch headquarters. Sendai, often called the “City of Trees”, is a city known for its pleasant green covered city and streets lined with many trees, and it is also regarded as an “Academic City” with its center on Tohoku University. Because of its northern environment, the summers are cool and the winters are moderately cold. The City is bordered by mountains to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. It has many historic and scenic sites surrounded by unspoiled nature. Sendai is regarded as one of the most pleasant Japanese cities to live in.

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Universities in the Global E³ program do not accept applications directly.

Go to "How to Apply" for information on the application process.