University in Japan

University in Japan

What can I study at University in Japan? How do I get in? Many things to consider when deciding a study abroad. Pathway Japan advises the best way to succeed in your study in Japan.


  • Japanese Education System
  • What types of University are there in Japan?
  • Why study at University in Japan?
  • Choices of University Courses for International Students
  • What is EJU?

Japanese Education system

The primary education in Japan starts from the age of 7 and finishing at high school, generally at the age of 18. This 12-year study is compulsory education set by the Japanese Government. Japanese students can study either at state or private schools.

During high school, students will study general subjects plus either Science or Humanities depending on the chosen University degree to pursue. At the end of high school, students achieve graduation certificates which qualify for University entrance exams in Japan.

In February, University exams take place across Japan. New successful students begin the 4-year degree course in April. 

What types of University are there in Japan?

Universities are categorised in three sectors.

  • National
  • Public
  • Private

National Universities are funded and run by the Japanese Government. University of Tokyo, Hokkaido and Tsukuba is in this sector. Currently, there are 86 National Universities in Japan.

Public Universities are funded and run by regional authorities. There are 95 of these Universities.

Private Universities are funded and run by private investors. There are 597 of these such as Keio, Waseda and Hosei University.

In the recent statistic, nearly 55% of Japanese students studied at University. The number of students progressing to higher education has been increasing by the year. Due to this increase, the number of Universities in Japan also increased.

Why study at University in Japan?

World-class learning

Japanese Universities have excellent resources that allow students to expand their knowledge and conduct research. Because of these available facilities, graduates succeeded as global players.

For instance, several Japanese scientists received Nobel prizes. Diplomats bridging Japan and the world, Tech engineers are creating innovation. Many more specialists are active in the world.  So whether you wish to pursue in the research field or a career of your choice, Japanese universities can offer world-class learning.

So whether you wish to pursue in the research field or a career of your choice, Japanese universities can offer world-class learning.


MEXT Scholarship Scheme

International students have a tremendous studying opportunity in Japan with a scholarship. Generally, tuition fee of the University in Japan is low compared to the Universities in other parts of the world.

Additionally, the Japanese Government has set a scholarship scheme to encourage international students to study in higher education in Japan. With MEXT, the university tuition fee is fully covered. It is not a student loan. Therefore, students are free from repayments after they graduate.


High employment rate

According to recent statistics, 97.6% of Japanese university graduates were employed in Japan. This number tells you the importance of higher education for employment in Japan.

Not only you will have a degree from a University, but your multilingual skill will be a powerful tool in Japan or overseas. With all of these, you will be at the top of the game!

Choices of University Courses for International Students

4-year Undergraduate in Japanese

International students will study with Japanese students. The lectures are conducted in Japanese. For these reasons, students will require a high level of Japanese. Japanese language schools provide University Prep courses so that you can level up your Japanese to the highest standard.


2-year Postgraduate in Japanese

As for undergraduate, international students will study with Japanese students. Lectures, research and report writing require a high level of Japanese language skills. University Prep course can build your confidence in the Japanese Language. You can pursue studying further into the field of speciality.


Undergraduate and Postgraduate in English

Lectures are all in English. Universities offer Japanese language courses before the degree course. Six months of Japanese language courses can help students to get by in everyday life in Japan.

There are a limited number of Universities that offer degree courses in English. They are likely to have less variation in courses compared to those degree courses in Japanese.

The semester begins either in April or September.

Conditions to apply for the University in Japan

For international students to qualify for University exam sitting, a similar condition to the Japanese students apply.

For Undergraduate

Students must have

  • 12-year education in their home country
  • High school graduation certificates or qualification

These are certificates or qualification required for University entry in your home country. For instance, A-levels or Baccalaureate are necessary qualifications to apply for Universities in the UK and EU, respectively.

Furthermore, international students must have high Japanese language skills. Thereby, obtain either

  • Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) at N1 or
  • The Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU)

Upon passing the first stage, qualified students will take an interview at the University. Some universities may require additional written exams depending on the degree courses.


For Postgraduate

Students must have

  • Undergraduate degree certificate
  • High Japanese language skills equivalent to JLPT N1

As above, qualified students will take an interview at the University. Additional written exams may be necessary, depending on the degree courses.

What is EJU?

EJU is a score based examination for international students who wish to study at Universities in Japan.  It evaluates students ability in Japanese language skills and the necessary academic knowledge needed for that degree course.

Twice a year held exams are in June and November. Scores from the result are valid for two years. Therefore, the students can submit their highest score when applying for the University. However, the required score depends on the Universities and the major which students wish to study.

International students will choose from the following subjects that are relevant to the University degree courses.

Japanese language

Students are examined on their writing, reading and listening comprehension.



It is an essential subject to test students’ numerical skills.



Students will select two subjects from physics, chemistry and biology, depending on the university requirements.



This is a study of humanities which teaches thinking and logical skills.

Japanese Language Courses for University Prep

Students typically enrol from JLPT N5 or N4, which is a beginners level. When they pass N2, students can then join University prep course. Therefore, this is long-term Japanese learning, where you will need a student visa to study in Japan.

For Undergraduate

University preparation course provides solid Japanese learning and leads you to the top University in Japan. The course includes both JLPT and EJU that will prep you for the degree course. Teachers will be with you all the way to support you.


For Postgraduate

In this course, students will study towards JLPT N1. It includes information gathering and report-writing. These skills are necessary for research studies in a specific field. Additionally, students will practice how to prepare for interviews.

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