As one of the most popular universities for international students, the International Christian University is a fully bilingual campus, which offers various distinguished Liberal Arts programs that are placed on top national ranking in terms of quality. In this article, there will be a brief introduction to this university, followed by an outline of English programs and a wide range of scholarship options. Read on for more insights!

About International Christian University 

ICU was founded in 1949 after World War II with the mission of nourishing and upholding Christian values in order to cultivate globally-minded citizens who will contribute to lasting peace for humankind worldwide. ICU is committed to becoming a bridge between Japan and the world, which is shown through its bilingual curriculum and appreciation for multicultural values.

International Christian University main campus

ICU aims to provide students with critical thinking skills, a broad span of knowledge across different fields. Furthermore, students are also required to take language classes in either Japanese and English to sharpen their language skills prior to graduation. 

ICU places a strong emphasis on liberal arts education. Students can take a wide array of courses in humanities or sciences in their first two years in order to explore and determine their most suitable field. Students are allowed to choose to complete their degree as a single major, double major, or major-minor out of 30 majors offered at ICU.

Overview of Programs in English 


ICU operates on a bilingual basis and only 30% of courses at ICU are offered in English. Therefore, English-speaking students will also have to take some classes in Japanese in order to receive credits to count towards graduation. In order to keep up with graduation requirements, English-speaking students will have to take courses in Japanese Language Programs (JLP) to enhance their Japanese proficiency. By the time of graduation, they are expected to become bilingual individuals through extensive training in both English and Japanese.

There are two main programs for undergraduate levels:


The graduate school system in ICU operates on a bilingual system. While the number of classes offered in English versus in Japanese might vary from one graduate school to another, in the Public Policy and Social Research Program, most courses are in English, making the program an optimal choice for international students. Students are also required to write their graduation thesis in English.

Another opportunity for international students is the Rotary Peace Fellowship Program in which they will pursue a Master’s degree in Peace Studies under the instructions of the ICU Rotary Peace Center.

Scholarships at ICU

When it comes to scholarship opportunities for international students at the International Christian University, this article will break them down to 4 types: Scholarships at Undergraduate, Graduate, Doctoral and All levels. With each type, there will be numerous scholarships sponsored by ICU itself and by other private organizations. Read on for more details!

Scholarships at Undergraduate Level 

ICU Peace Bell Scholarship 

This scholarship allows for a grant of 1 million yen/year, within the standard amount of time needed to study at ICU, typically 4 years. Prospective scholarship recipients are designated as those who have good character and high academic performance and are in need of financial support. Normally, 14 students are awarded the scholarship every year.

Applicants will have to submit a separate scholarship application package besides their admission applicant package. They are required to submit essays on various questions, such as their reasons for applying for the scholarship, accomplishments they plan to achieve during their time at ICU, their thoughts regarding ICU history and their future career plans. 

ICU Torch Relay High Endeavor Scholarship

This scholarship exempts matriculation fee and 1/3 of the annual tuition and facilities fee of the first year. Applicants can apply for both this scholarship and ICU Peace Bell Scholarship, and if they are qualified, they will be selected for either one of them. 

JICUF Scholarship for American Students

This merit-based scholarship will provide full-tuition support for four years of undergraduate study at ICU for prospective undergraduate students who are American citizens and will graduate from American high schools. Students with US-Japanese dual citizenship can also apply, but single citizenship students will be prioritized.

Applicants will need to submit the following documents: 

  • Application form
  • Personal statement (400-500 words) on why you would like to study at ICU, and what your plans are after graduation
  • Short essay (400-500 words)
  • Copy of transcript (last 3 years of secondary school)
  • Educational certification (SAT with essay, ACT plus writing or, IB full diploma)
  • 2 letters of recommendation (One from high school principal, guidance counselor, tutor or IB coordinator; one from a high school instructor who has taught a core academic subject eg. English, SS, math, science, foreign language)

There will be two rounds in the application process. The first round is document screening, and the second round is in-person or Skype interview. 

Scholarships at Graduate Level 

ICU Graduate School Scholarship for New Students 

This scholarship offers 1/3 reduction from tuition and facilities fees of 1 academic year for new incoming graduate students. Applicants are selected based on their merit and financial needs. 

Grants for Research Presentations for Graduate Students

Graduate students presenting their research to an academic society are eligible for a grant of 30,000 JPY per presentation. Master’s students are allowed to receive up to 2 times during their normative times. 

Scholarships at Doctoral Level 

Research Scholarships for Doctoral Course Students

These scholarships aim at supporting research activities and cultivating the powers of understanding of doctoral students.  They are awarded once per academic year for a maximum of three years, within the standard period of residency.  The scholarship amount is 127,000 JPY per year. 

Grants for Research Presentations for Graduate Students

These research grants are also applicable to doctoral students, but the difference from Master’s students is that doctoral students can receive grants up to 3 times during normative times.

Scholarships For All Levels of Study

ICU Torch Relay Scholarship for Current Students

Similar to ICU Torch Relay High Endeavor Scholarship for new incoming students, this scholarship exempts matriculation fee and 1/3 of the annual tuition.

FOI (Friends of ICU) Scholarships

These scholarships come from Friends of ICU, a fundraising organization established and operated by ICU. Scholarship amounts range from 200,000 JPY to 1,200,000 JPY, depending on each specific scholarship. 

Financial Aid Offered by Public and Private Organizations

Aside from tuition fee scholarships offered by ICU, current students with financial needs can also apply for stipends through financial aid by public and private organizations. Students are encouraged to keep updated ICU Portal as the scholarship requirements might be changed year to year. As these organizations do not have a direct affiliation with ICU, students might need to contact and apply for these scholarships on their own. 

For an application guideline for ICU’s schlarships, please visit International Christian University Scholarship Guideline


Christian International University generously sponsors scholarships for privately financed students who show a great interest in the university and demonstrate strong academic performance. If you are interested in a learning environment that places emphasis on developing bilingual proficiency, critical thinking skills, and multicultural acceptance, ICU would likely be a great fit.