Tohoku university
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The Tohoku University is the third imperial university and one of the seven national universities of Japan. It has maintained its spirit of “Research First” and the policy of “Practice Oriented Research and Education”. In 2017, the Japanese government recognized the Tohoku University as a Designated National University for its ability to lead and shape global education. Today, it is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Japan, especially in the field of engineering.

The current structure of the School of Engineering for undergraduate program is composed of 5 departments with each department consisting of several courses. On the other hand, the students of the School of Engineering’s graduate program has access to 17 departments, 1 research institute and 3 research centers.  The School of Engineering is in the Aobayama East Campus, which is located in the city of Sendai. This pleasant city, referred to both as the “City of Trees” and as an “Academic City”, possesses both convenient urban facilities and a rich natural environment

In addition to its academic excellence, the Tohoku University offers a distinctively helpful International Support Office. One glance at its website, and its great quality becomes obvious! From Pre-arrival visa and housing information to ongoing lifestyle tips and support networks, the International Support Office provides easily accessible assistance to its international students.

Without further ado, let us commence our virtual orientation of four English-based engineering programs at the Tohoku University!

1. International Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Course Undergraduate

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

The IMAC-U (International Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Course for Undergraduates) is a Bachelor’s degree program under the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the School of Engineering. The IMAC-U provides a world-class research environment with a wide range of courses in Mechanical Systems, Finemechanics, Robotics, Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical/Biomedical Engineering.

Financial Rundown

Its tuition and fees follow the basic framework of most national universities in Japan. The Examination Fee is JPY 5,000, the Entrance Fee is JPY 282,000, and the annual tuition is JPY 535,800. Various scholarship options are offered to international students, such as the MEXT Scholarship, the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) Scholarship, and the Tohoku University President Fellowship.
The general list of School of Engineering scholarships with specific criteria can be found here.

Admission

The application submission period takes place in December, and successful applicants commence their classes in October of the following year. In order to qualify for the program, applicants must pass the following sets of criteria.

  • Have accomplished a 12-year curriculum of education (or equivalent) in a country other than Japan.
  • Display basic academic ability through national standardized assessment exams.
  • Possess an English proficiency equivalent to or above 79 on TOEFL and 6.0 on IELTS.

Applications are generally submitted via the online form, which can be found on the general Future Leadership Program website.

Student Support Systems

In addition to the university-wide International Support Office, the IMAC-U provides its students with additional assistance in coping with the Japanese lifestyle. This includes a tutor program for first year students and Japanese Language Courses throughout the duration of their undergraduate studies.

After Graduating…

Students who have finished their 4 years of undergraduate education under the IMAC-U program can directly enroll in the IMAC-G program for graduate studies. On the long run, the high-level research conducted during the IMAC-G can lead to a PhD. In special cases, students with excellent grades are given the option to finish the 4-year undergraduate course within 3 or 3.5 years, at which time they will immediately enter the IMAC-G program.

Then it would make sense, I suppose, to take a glance at the IMAC-G course offered by the Tohoku University.

2. International Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Course Graduate Course

IMAC-G offers students opportunities to study fundamental engineering and conduct cutting-edge research with advice from top-level researchers in the Mechanical Engineering Division of the Graduate School of Engineering. It consists of the departments of Mechanical Systems, Finemechanics, Robotics, and Aerospace Engineering, with more than 80 laboratories. The IMAC-G also has specialized courses in International Robotics Program [IRP] and International Biomechanics Program[IBP].

Financial Rundown

The Examination Fee is JPY 3,000, the Entrance Fee is JPY 282,000, and the annual tuition is JPY 535,800. Various scholarship options are offered to international students, such as the MEXT Scholarship, the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) Scholarship, the Tohoku University President Fellowship, and the Research Assistant (RA) and Teaching Assistant (TA) positions.
The general list of School of Engineering scholarships with specific criteria can be found here.

Admission

The application submission period takes place in January for the IMAC-G program and December for the IRP and IBP programs, and successful applicants commence their classes in October of the following year. There are specific application procedures for the specialized IRP and IBP programs. A detailed guideline for all IMAC-G applications can be found here.

Student Support Systems

Similar to its undergraduate level equivalent, the IMAC-G has a tutor program for first year students and Japanese Language Courses throughout the duration of their graduate studies. Additionally, the Department Recommendation System helps international students develop their career in Japan through trusted connections and research opportunities.

After Graduating…

The high-level research conducted during the IMAC-G can lead to a PhD. The students can directly enroll into a Doctorate program after their two years of their master’s courses.

3. International Materials Science and Engineering Master Course

The International Materials Science and Engineering Master course (IMSE) was established in 2009 under the nation’s “Global 30” project to promote the internationalization of Japanese universities. Prospective students choose a department to enroll into from three departments: Metallurgy, Materials Science, and Materials Processing. The IMSE is affiliated with the Institute for Materials Research (IMR)Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials (IMRAM) and New Industry Creation Hatchery Center (NICHe).

Financial Rundown

The Examination Fee is JPY 3,000, the Entrance Fee is JPY 282,000, and the annual tuition is JPY 535,800. Financial assistance options include the Presidential Scholarship in Tohoku University, given to 10 students with excellent grades, and employment opportunities as a teaching assistant (TA).
The general list of School of Engineering scholarships with specific criteria can be found here.

Admission

The application deadline is in early January, and application materials are to be submitted via mail or in person to the Graduate School of Engineering. Applicants will be selected based on overall consideration of a written examination, oral interview examination, language proficiency, and the submitted documents by the admission committee.

After Graduating…

Since IMSE master’s program directly connects to the doctoral program, students have easy access to obtaining a PhD after their two years at the IMSE master’s program. For those who do not wish to pursue a doctorate degree, they can enter key international leadership roles in the material science and engineering industry.

4. International Civil and Environmental Engineering

The International Civil and Environmental Engineering Course (I-CEEC) is an engineering degree program organized by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering. Areas of study and research include water environmental engineering and science, disaster sciences, human-social information sciences, infrastructure planning, and engineering materials and mechanics.

Financial Rundown

The Examination Fee is JPY 3,000, the Entrance Fee is JPY 282,000, and the annual tuition is JPY 535,800.
The general list of School of Engineering scholarships with specific criteria can be found here.

Admission

The application deadline is in April, and successful applicants will begin their studies in October of that same year. The admission process is quite competitive, with approximately 5 applicants accepted each year. Oral examinations are conducted only for those who pass the preliminary document screening. Further details on the application process can be found here.

After Graduation…

The I-CEEC has both a graduate and a doctorate program. Thus, students can enroll directly into the doctorate program at the end of their two year graduate program. For those who do not wish to pursue a doctorate degree, they can enter the workforce as civil and environmental engineers.

Choosing the Tohoku University

Should you? Judging from its internationally recognized academic prestige in the field of engineering and its great support for international students, this option seems to be a pretty solid one! To learn more about the Tohoku University’s School of Engineering, you can visit its website, written all in English! Happy readings!