About Kyoto University 

Kyoto University is the second oldest university in Japan. It was founded by imperial ordinance on 18 June 1897, formerly called Kyoto Imperial University and belongs to the national university system in Japan. Its liberal atmosphere was restored after World War II. 

Kyoto University always boasts a rich academic history, with 11 Nobel Laureates hailing from the university out of the total 27 from Japan. Now Kyoto University consists of a large school system of a wide range of fields. As of 2017, Kyoto University has 10 undergraduate faculties, 18 graduate schools, 13 research institutes, and 22 research and educational centers.

Kyoto University is currently the home to roughly 23,000 undergraduate and graduate students, with the male to female ratio of 3:1. Undergraduate to faculty ratio is kept on the low as 11:1. 81% of international students are from Asia. In the 2018-2019 academic school year, there are 2,700 international students.

Graduate Programs in English for International Students


Within the program International Graduate Programme for East Asia Sustainable Economic Development Studies by the Graduate School of Economics, there are 5 tracks of specializations for students to choose from. The study track is that students will take basic courses (12 credits) to prepare skills for quantitative and qualitative research, academic writing, basic and intermediate economics, public policy, etc. After finishing basic courses, students can proceed to take advanced courses (10 credits) in their chosen specialization. During their time of studying, they can choose to go on an exchange program to a partner institution for 1-2 semesters. In the end, they will write a Master’s thesis under the instruction of a supervisor.


The Graduate School of Engineering offers specializations in Civil and Earth Resources Engineering, and Urban Management and Human Security Engineering.

Students will be first equipped with basic science knowledge in math, physics, chemistry, etc. and then they will dig deeper into advanced civil engineering for specialized knowledge, in Structural Dynamics, Soil Mechanics, Hydrology and Planning.


There are three tracks for students to pursue in the field of Informatics. 

In Intelligence Science and Technology, students will take basic and then advanced courses in cognitive science, information science, and bioinformatics. As students learn about the mechanisms of biological information processing, from which they will be able to develop high-level information processing.

In Social Informatics, they conduct research regarding the intersection of social, cultural, and information systems. In Communications and Computer Engineering, students will dive into algorithmic methods to develop intelligent applications.

Biostudies and Medicine

The program aims to equip students with strong research skills, from conducting experiments, analyzing data, to making presentations on results. Within the program, there are two smaller divisions, named the Division of Integrated Life Science (ILS) and the Division of Systemic Life Science (SLS).

The ILS laboratories investigate the fundamental mechanisms of cell structure, cell growth, intracellular signal cascades, plant physiology, and totipotency, as well as communicative mechanisms between cells, organisms, and their environments.

The SLS laboratories focus on higher-order mechanisms such as the brain and immune system and explore the fundamental molecular mechanisms of human diseases in search of new treatments for currently incurable diseases.

Global Environmental Studies

The program International Environmental Management Program in Environmental Management has basic requirements of courses in the theoretical foundations of global environmental studies, which include the studies of global environmental laws and policy, global environmental economics, global resources and ecosystem management, environmental ethics and environmental education. The student studies environmental management fundamentals and theories and continues to take seminars in their area of focus. In the end, the student completes an internship and then submits a master’s thesis to qualify for graduation.

Science (Primate Research Institute)

The Primatology and Wildlife Research program focuses on the study of non-human primates and other wild animals to promote their conservation, health, and welfare, and to advance our understanding of wildlife and human nature.  Therefore, the program is recommended for students who are interested in primatology and wildlife research.

While the program is research-oriented, graduate students also have to accomplish coursework training at either Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute (PRI) in Inuyama (Aichi Prefecture) or alternatively at Kyoto University’s Wildlife Research Center (WRC) in Kyoto.


Different from other programs, the selection is based on a review of application materials.

International Project Management Program (MBA)

The program aims to equip students with general management and a wide area of expertise, ranging from business leadership, service & hospitality management to finance and accounting. Choosing one of these fields of expertise will provide MBA students with a strong foothold to advance further in their professional management career of their choice.

International Business Administration Program (i-BA)

The program offers a curriculum that is designed to tackle projects and missions with a particular aim. Students will be prepared to face these diverse, uncertain challenges and take steps to resolve them from a multifaceted leadership perspective. 


Compared to the number of undergraduate programs offered in English at Kyoto University, there is a much broader range of selections for students in the fields they can pursue in graduate schools. Students will get to enjoy the facilities and supervision of the leading professors in terms of research. On top of that, Kyoto University also offers very generous scholarships from the Japanese government (the MEXT scholarship) or other private foundations and institutions, as long as students can demonstrate their academic performance and motivation in their studies.