Why Study Engineering in Japan?

Japan is well-known around the world as one of the leading technological centers of Asia. Since the Meiji Restoration, the government of modern Japan has placed a great deal of focus on acquiring the latest scientific and manufacturing technology in order to turn Japan into an industrial and modernized nation. In the realm of education, the legacy of that period still lives on today as Japan attracts many international students to its engineering and science programs at leading universities.

Top Engineering Programs in Japan 

The University of Tokyo

According to Times Higher Education Rankings, the University proudly makes its way to the top 50 universities in the world at the 46th position. It constantly holds its ranking as the #1 university in Japan, known for the rigorous entrance examination process and exceptional teaching quality. 

At the undergraduate level, while admittedly the University of Tokyo does not offer a full-fledged engineering program for international students in English, prospective students can choose to enroll in the Global Science Course focused on studying chemistry.

At the graduate and doctoral level, there are a plethora of options for students who want to concentrate on engineering. Besides traditional engineering fields such as Civil Engineering, The Graduate School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo caters to a wide range of novel fields of engineering beyond the traditional ones, which helps students choose a career in new industries to adapt to a global world, such as Urban and Environmental Studies or Bioengineering. 

Kyoto University

Often regarded domestically on the same tier as the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University also boasts a rich history of scientific contribution to humankind with 19 Nobel laureates, the most of all universities in Asia, mostly in the fields of chemistry, physics, physiology or medicine. It is ranked at the 74th on the Times Higher Education Rankings. For the English-taught track, the university offers a wide range of courses in graduate school with the following programs: International Course in Management of Civil Infrastructure in the Department of Civil and Earth Resources Engineering, International Course in Urban and Regional Development, and Integrated Engineering Course, Human Security Engineering Field.

Tohoku University

Tohoku University is ranked at 97th according to the Impact Ranking and between 251th-300th on the World University Rankings, according to Times Higher Education. Since its founding in 1907, through its scientific research in technology and medicine, Tohoku University has continued to attract talented researchers who have put their findings towards improving quality of life around the world. Thanks to its outstanding research achievements, it was chosen as one of the Designated National Universities by the Japanese government in June 2017.

Tohoku University stands out among other engineering schools with its International Mechanical and Aerospace program at the undergraduate level for students who demonstrate an interest in aerospace engineering and/ or aeronautics. For the graduate level, the university offers the International Civil and Environmental Engineering Program, as well as the International Robotics Program.

Nagoya University

As the name suggests, Nagoya University is situated in Nagoya, which is the third-largest city in Japan and a large industrial city with many factories and firms in the fields of manufacturing and technology. Interestingly, the Toyota Company that is renowned worldwide was founded in the city of Toyota, Nagoya. Its former CEO also graduated from the university. 

It is no surprise that Nagoya University offers an English-taught engineering program in Mechanical Engineering as well as Electrical, Electronic Industrial Engineering as students will have a chance to get hands-on work experience in nearby thriving automobile factories. For students aiming at the Graduate and Doctoral level, under the Global 30 program endorsed by the Japanese Ministry of Education, students can opt for the following programs: Automotive Engineering and Engineering Physics as well as related fields in Chemistry and Environmental Studies.

Tokyo Institute of Technology

Commonly referred to as Tokyo Tech, the university was officially founded in 1949 with the start of the School of Engineering in the same year.  Four years later, in 1953, graduate programs in engineering were launched. Up to this day, Tokyo Tech maintains its strong position as the largest institution for higher education in Japan that is dedicated to science and technology.

At the undergraduate program, students can enroll in the Global Scientists and Engineers Program (GSEP). In the Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering, students can take courses that include science, engineering, and management courses. Thanks to the method of project-based learning or hands-on formats, students can acquire transdisciplinary knowledge that will allow them to approach and tackle real-world problems. For those who are interested in taking a step further in their advanced scientific research at the graduate level, the International Graduate Program is an option worth looking into, which includes a wide array of specializations: Artificial Intelligence, Energy Science and Engineering, Engineering Sciences and Design, Human-Centered Science and Biomedical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, and Urban Design and Built Environment.


As Japan is a leading technological hub in Asia, its universities are also attempting to branch out their knowledge and research expertise to welcome English-speaking international students who want to pursue a STEM degree in Japan. With a solid curriculum and the guidance of professors who are experts in their fields, students will be able to thrive in a dynamic environment of constantly innovative scientific research.