Hailed as a pioneer in innovation and sciences, Japan is becoming the center of interest for a growing number of international students choosing to study engineering. Top-ranking universities across Japan offer different fields of engineering in their undergraduate and graduate schools, which are also English-based. For many prospective engineering students, studying in Japan has its advantages. Not to mention, the rapidly growing demand for AI development, database, and software development engineers make working in Japan an attractive prospect for many IT engineers. In Japan, engineering graduates are not limited to this profession. They are versatile and often work in different industries too. In addition to this, the world-class facilities and equipment of each university to further develop research and innovation in the engineering field are at par with institutions abroad; all the more reason to choose Japan to pursue your studies in engineering.

Here is an extensive guide to the best universities in Japan for engineering courses. 

The University of Tokyo

University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo is the oldest and largest university in Japan. According to QS World Ranking (2020), it ranks 1st among the Japanese university and 24th among universities around the world. Its Faculty of Engineering boasts a comprehensive curriculum with the integration of the latest world-class research and academia. It has 16 departments under the faculty; including civil engineering, aeronautics and astronautics, information and communication engineering, and mechanical engineering to name a few. This faculty also champions inter-disciplinary applications of studies. An example of this is the collaboration between medicine and engineering: creating artificial bones from biomaterials. The university actively pursues global exchange and research, and so whether you choose to study at this university for a one-year exchange or for 4 years, it is very accommodating to international students.

For further details about the application process, check out the official international student application guide here or the university’s official website for prospective students here.

Kyoto University 

Kyoto University

Established in 1897 as the second university in Japan, Kyoto University boasts a long history of excellent research and academia in Japan and ranks 56th in the World University Rankings for 2020; and 2nd in Japan. In addition to this, their track record of 262 IP-based development and 382 inventions makes this university a global pioneer in research and application with more than 55.8 % of their students continuing to grad school.

They also welcome more than 2,000 international students annually. The Graduate School of Engineering and the Faculty of Engineering have 6 undergraduate programs and 17 graduate programs for engineering. A popular option for many international students seeking an engineering degree at this university is the Undergraduate International Course Program of Global Engineering.

The graduate school offers Civil and Earth Resources Engineering, Micro Engineering, Informatics, Mathematical Science, and Nuclear Engineering to name a few. 

For further inquiries, visit https://www.t.kyoto-u.ac.jp/en
For a quick jump to their overseas student guideline, visit this page https://www.t.kyoto-u.ac.jp/en/admissions/international

Tohoku University 


Located in the northeast region of Japan, Tohoku University was established in 1907 and has been a trailblazer of progress and innovation since. As a prestigious university that ranks 5th in Japan and 79th in the world, according to QS Global World Ranking (2020), Tohoku University is the dream school of every student. This university was one of the first institutions to welcome women and technical school graduates at the beginning of the 20th century, which was uncommon for most imperial universities in Japan. They continue to make strides in research studies, recently focusing on medicine and disaster-prevention science in light of the great east japan earthquake in 2011. The School of Engineering at Tohoku University has 5 undergraduate departments: Materials Science and Engineering, and Electrical, Information and Physics engineering to name a couple. The graduate program boasts a wide range of interdisciplinary studies to choose from the 18 departments; from Communications Engineering to Applied Chemistry. 

For more information, access the official website of the faculty of engineering of Tohoku university here: https://www.eng.tohoku.ac.jp/english/

Nagoya University 

Nagoya University

A highly acclaimed research university in Japan, Nagoya University was established in 1939 in the city center of Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture. According to QS Global World Ranking (2020), it ranks 6th in Japan and in the 110th in the World University Rankings. Welcoming roughly 2,400 students from across the globe, this university promotes interdisciplinary education to meet the demands of numerous advanced industries. The School of Engineering has 5 undergraduate departments comprised of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Physical Science and Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Information Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Civil Engineering and Architecture; and the graduate department has 12 departments: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Computational Science and Engineering, and Micro-Nano Systems Engineering to name a few.

For more information about this faculty, please visit http://en.nagoya-u.ac.jp/about_nu/admin/sch/deta/engg.html
For admission information for international students, please inquire at http://en.nagoya-u.ac.jp/admissions/other/information.html

Kyushu University 

Kyushu University

Located in Fukuoka in the Kyushu area of Japan, Kyushu University is one of Japan’s National Seven Universities, founded in 1903. According to QS Global World Ranking (2020), it is ranked 38th in the World University Rankings and 2nd in Japan University Rankings. They welcome roughly 2,000 students from 102 countries and regions. They also have 12 overseas branch offices, making Kyushu University an ideal member of the Top Global University Project which is a government-funded initiative to boost the global competitiveness of select groups of universities.

Kyushu University’s Faculty of Engineering offers international undergraduate and graduate programs established in 2010 as part of the aforementioned initiative. The undergraduate program is comprised of Applied Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The Graduate program has 11 departments with Maritime Engineering, Urban and Environmental Engineering, Civil and Structural Engineering to name a few. 

For information on the admissions process, you can visit this website.
The official website for the Faculty of Engineering at Kyushu University can be found here.

Osaka University

Osaka University

Founded in 1931, Osaka University is located in the Kansai region of Japan. Internationally, Osaka University is ranked 72nd among the world’s best universities and the third-best Japanese university according to the QS Global World University Rankings (2020). They welcome roughly 2,500 students from abroad. The School of Engineering was established in 1933, and today boasts state-of-the-world research facilities such as the Research Center for Nuclear Physics and the Cybermedia Center. The School of Engineering focuses on practical learning, using extensive research with real-world applications.

The School of Engineering is composed of five divisions: Division of Applied Science; Division of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Science; Division of Electronic and Information Engineering; Division of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering; and Division of Global Architecture. Each division is then comprised of smaller departments, focusing on each specialized academic field. 

For more information on the Engineering School at Osaka University, please visit https://www.eng.osaka-u.ac.jp/en/index.html
For international students’ admission-related inquiries, check https://www.eng.osaka-u.ac.jp/en/entrance/f_admissions.html

Hokkaido University 

Hokkaido University

Integrated as Hokkaido Imperial University in 1918 and renamed Hokkaido University in 1947, this university is also part of the Top Global University Japan Initiative, promoting the “Hokkaido Universal Campus Initiative (HUCI)” which is the university’s newest reform program. It aims to further internationalize the university as a whole to foster more world leaders who can contribute to the resolution of global issues. It is ranked 7th in Japan University Rankings and 139th according to the QS Global World University Rankings (2020). They offer a master’s and a doctorate program in engineering, called the English Engineering Education Program (E3), which is impressively one of the only few programs in Japan to offer the widest range of engineering fields you can study in English. It is composed of 13 field divisions; Mechanical and Space Engineering, Human Mechanical Systems and Design, and Engineering and Policy for a Sustainable Environment, to name a few.

For further information on the English-based classes in the Faculty of Engineering at Hokkaido University, visit https://www.eng.hokudai.ac.jp/english/
For admission inquiries, please visit https://labs.eng.hokudai.ac.jp/office/iao/

Tokyo Institute of Technology

Tokyo Institute of Technology

In 1881, this university was first established by the Japanese government as Tokyo Vocational School, which led to the promotion of learning technical skills. Later renamed as Tokyo Institute of Technology and now informally known as Tokyo Tech, it is ranked between 251-300th on the World University Rankings and the 4th on the Japan University Rankings, according to Times Higher Education (2020). This school offers the Global Scientists and Engineers Program (GSEP) from the Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering in the School of Environment and Society, which is a 4-year Bachelor of Engineering Degree. This program was established for international students striving to be scientists and engineers with a global perspective in transdisciplinary fields. All courses are English-based, meaning there is no need for Japanese proficiency but it is offered as a supplementary course as well. They also have numerous Graduate Programs in various fields of engineering, but may differ in options for international students.

For information on the GSEP, please check out GSEP’s official website
For information on the Graduate Schools, please visit this link.
For admission inquiries, please visit this site.

With the wide range of engineering programs offered by prestigious universities all over Japan, it is a good choice to look into what will suit you best as an international student and what will pave the way for your future career prospects in the field of engineering.