Basic Facts about Tohoku University

Tohoku University, which is also known as “Tohokudai” is located in Sendai, Miyagi, in the Tohoku region. Comprised of 10 undergraduate schools, 15 graduate schools, 3 professional graduate schools, and 6 research institutes, it is one of Japan’s distinguished universities. According to Times Higher Education (THE) (2020), Tohoku University is ranked 1st overall amongst the Japanese Universities and is ranked 30th amongst the universities in Asia. The fact that it has been consistently in top Japanese national universities, followed by outstanding research achievements led to it being in the top three most prestigious institutions to be stated as a Designated National University by the Japanese government in 2017. Additionally, it was the third Imperial University in Japan and selected as Top Type university of Top Global University Project. As for Tohoku university’s acceptance rate, it is 17% for the English-based undergraduate program and International Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (IMAC-U) while it is 35% and 50% for Advanced Molecule Chemistry (AMC) and Applied Marine Biology (AMB) respectively.

Tohoku University is located in North Eastern Japan, known for its wonderfully white snow

Among Tohoku University’s notable alumni, Nobel Laureate Koichi Tanaka has said that the “Practice-Oriented Research and Education” of Tohokudai has helped him to successfully enrich his outlook thanks to practical application towards the theoretical knowledge. Admittedly, Tohokudai with its “Research First”, and “Practice-Oriented Research and Education” policies have made itself more renowned when it has consistently achieved breakthroughs in the field of science and technology.

Tuition Fees at Tohoku University

Student categoryApplication feeAdmission feeTuition fee
Undergraduate17,000 JPY282,000 JPY535,800 JPY
(per year)
Graduate30,000 JPY282,000 JPY535,800 JPY
(per year)
Law School30,000 JPY282,000 JPY804,000 JPY
(per year)
Accounting School30,000 JPY282,000 JPY589,300 JPY
(per year)
Research 9,800 JPY84,600 JPY29,700 JPY
(per month)
Special Research29,700 JPY
(per month)
Auditing9,800 JPY28,200 JPY14,800 JPY
(per credit)
Special Auditing14,800 JPY
(per credit)
Tuition fees at Tohoku University are very reasonable as it is a publicly funded university!

Please note that 30,000 yen will be charged for re-admission, transference, or transfer admission.

Living expenses at Tohoku University

Not situated in the Tokyo metropolitan area, living costs in Sendai are significantly lower. According to a survey conducted by Tohoku University, international students are estimated to have living expenses as follows:

Living expenses at Tohoku University will be much cheaper compared to other universities in Tokyo!
AccommodationTohoku’s dormitory: 13,000 JPY – 33,900 JPY/ month
Private accommodation: 40,000 JPY – 60,000 JPY/ month
UtilitiesAround 10,000 JPY/ month
Phone2,000 JPY/ month + usage fees
Food40,000 JPY – 50,000 JPY/ month

–> Monthly expenses of International Students at Tohoku University: 80,000 JPY – 120,000 JPY

Having said that, you can still totally lead a comfortable life under ¥90,000 per month. Each student has different living styles, but you can save aside a big amount of money if you cook on your own!

Many of you might feel worried about the total costs that you need to cover when enrolling at Tohoku University, but don’t worry! There are plenty of scholarship opportunities for you to apply! Let’s check it now.

Tohoku University Scholarships!

1. Japanese government scholarship (MEXT)

Without a doubt, the MEXT Scholarship is the most prestigious financial funding for students learning in Japan. Regarding MEXT’s grant, you will not only receive a generous monthly stipend but also your tuition fee and transportation fee from your home country to Japan. The scholarship awards are as shown below. 

  • Undergraduate student: 119,000 JPY
  • Research student: 145,000 JPY
  • Graduate student (MA): 146,000 JPY
  • Graduate student (Ph.D.): 147,000 JPY

You can apply via “Embassy Recommendation,” “University Recommendation,” or “Domestic Selection.” 

Learn more about MEXT’s application process, click here

2. President Fellowship scholarship

Tohoku University provides a scholarship program to outstanding international applicants who are accepted to the university. Under this generous program, your four-year undergraduate tuition fee and entrance fee will be fully covered. Since only about 10 of the most outstanding undergraduates are awarded this scholarship, you must prepare carefully for its competitive selection process.

Refer to this link for further details: Presidential Fellowship for International Undergraduate Students

3. University Recommendation (October entrants only)

Among Tohoku University scholarship programs, University Recommendation is a system that allows outstanding graduate-level international students to apply to MEXT scholarships. Under this system, you can receive a recommendation for MEXT Scholarship from Tohoku University if you come from countries that have diplomatic relations with Japan.

Application date: Around December of the year before arrival.

Please note that the system for applying by University Recommendation differs depending on the graduate school. Therefore, please get access to the following link for further details.

Tohoku University Graduate Schools

4. Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship

This scholarship is offered by JASSO, which is only for privately-financed international students. Normally, this is awarded based on either self-application or the university’s recommendation at the time of the application. But for international students at Tohoku University, you must apply through the university. Under this scholarship, you can receive a monthly stipend of 48,000 JPY. Below are the two different application periods.

  • Spring scholarships (enrollment in April): duration of 12 months (From April to March of the following year)
  • Autumn scholarships (enrollment in September/ October): duration of 6 months (From October to March of the following year)

Please refer to this website if you want more information about other scholarships!

Final message

Follow your passion and dreams! University application can be a tedious process and the costs might discourage you to some extent, but Tohoku University scholarships are always available and waiting for you to apply. Bear in mind that hard work pays off! Once you get accepted to Tohoku University and receive a scholarship, you do not have to worry about having financial burdens and can try all sorts of new experiences in Japan! Plenty of opportunities and a whole exciting journey are awaiting you!

Want to hear what students at Tohoku University say about their experience? Find out on the Tohoku University Community Page!