One of the most difficult aspects of being an international student in Japan is finding the information you need…in English. We all know that feeling of uncertainty of scavenging through Japanese websites, constantly having to click “back” from pages packed with Japanese characters.

Acceptance rate statistics are no exception. Of course, English translations are provided for admission statistics of international or English-based programs, exclusively for the foreign students’ division. But most often, the general acceptance rate for all applicants, Japanese and international students alike, are what provide the most accurate picture of the university’s faculties, academic prestige, and admission competition.

In this article, we will decode the Osaka University’s acceptance rates by covering its Japanese terminologies and analyzing the 2020 acceptance rates! Ready? Let’s go!

NOTE: For anyone who wants to see the quick data for Osaka University’s acceptance rate, you can scroll to the bottom of this article!

Osaka University Overview

But wait! Before starting our analysis of its acceptance rates, let us first take a brief glance at the Osaka University.

Osaka University Suita Campus

Located in one of Japan’s most iconic prefectures, the Osaka University has earned itself a reputation of academic prestige on a national and global scale. It is one of the nation’s 7 National Universities, and it often ranks in the top 3 public universities in Japan! Its history is unique in that the university’s precedents were set by local citizens, not powerful feudal lords. Since then, the university has worked to cultivate scientific truth and socio-cultural awareness in its students. This ideal is reflected in its programs for international exposure and cross-cultural awareness, such as the Human Sciences All-English Undergraduate Program that welcomes international students from all over the world!


Person Holding Brush Drawing Kanji Script

First, let us cover some commonly used vocabulary when looking at admission statistics. It is important to note that, since the traditional Japanese college admission process relies heavily on the examination scores, most Japanese admission statistics charts use the word “examination” to express the general idea of the “admission process”.

General Terms

入試 (nyushi) = short for 入学試験 (nyugaku-shiken), or entrance examination

学部 (gaku-bu) = department

学科・専攻 (gakka ・ senmon) = subject or major

入学定員 (Nyugaku-tein) = enrollment capacity


月入学 ( 〇〇 gatsu nyu-gaku) = Month Entry; the number preceding would indicate the month of entry for the application.

Types of Entrance Examination/Admission Methods

一般入試 (ippan-nyushi) = General admission; includes majority of all applicants.

AO入試 (AO nyushi) = admission office entrance examination; refers to admission option that uses high school grades, essays, and interviews instead of the traditional exams; commonly used in US universities but rare in Japan.

推薦入試 (suisen-nyushi) = recommendation entrance examination; uses special recommendation and high school grades instead of traditional exams

特別入試 (tokubetsu-nyushi) = special entrance examination; may differ by university or program

外国人留学生受入れ (gaikokujin-ryugakusei ukeire) = foreign exchange students

Regarding Applicants

募集人員 (boshu-jin’in) = number of students the university is looking to recruit; can be field/department specific.

志願者数 (shigansha-su) = number of total applicants

受験者数 (jukensha-su) = number of applicants who took the entrance exam*

合格者数 (goukakusha-su) = number of successful applicants

入学者数 (nyugakusha-su) = number of students enrolling

*NOTE: Some of the total applicants, or 志願者 (shigansha), may decide not to take the entrance test after they have already submitted their applications. This may be because the prospective applicant has decided to commit to a different school. The number of such applicants would be missing from the 受験者数 (jukensha-su).


小計 (shou-kei) = subtotal

合計 (gou-kei) = total

総計 (sou-kei) = Final total

Osaka University 2020 Undergraduate Admission Statistics

And now, for the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the Osaka University’s admission statistics!

Pictured above is the 令和2年度 大阪大学入学者数等調(学部学生), or the 2020 Osaka University Undergraduate Admission Statistics. To access the full PDF file provided by the Osaka University, you can download the Actual results of 2020 Entrance Examination (applicants, examinees, and successful applicants)!

As mentioned before, the website refers to the 2020 admission statistics as the Actual results of 2020 Entrance Examination, since in the Japanese admission procedure the entrance examination is the deciding factor for admission.

Since the Human Sciences All-English Undergraduate Program for international students is administered by the Department of Human Sciences (人間科学部), let us specifically examine this department’s statistic for this article. In the chart illustrated on the Actual results of 2020 Entrance Examination PDF, the Department of Human Sciences is the second department listed in the first column. By referring to the terminology list in the section above, we can derive the following information.

  • The enrollment capacity (入学定員) for the Department of Human Sciences was set at 137 students.

For the April Entry (4月入学) applicants

  • In the general admission (一般入学) division…
    • The recruitment estimate (募集人員) was 135 prospective students
    • The total number of applicants (志願者数) was 391
    • The total number of examinees (受験者数) was 372
    • The number of successful applicants (合格者数) was 138
    • The number of applicants who enrolled (①入学者数) was 135
  • In the AO admission (AO 入試) division…
    • The recruitment estimate (募集人員) was 30 prospective students
    • The total number of applicants (志願者数) was 61
    • The number of successful applicants (合格者数) was 30
  • There were no recommendation admissions (推薦入試)
  • The subtotal for the number of students (② 入学者数 小計) who enrolled into the department for the AO ・ recruitment admission was 30
  • For the Special Admission (特別入試) division, 4 applicants were admitted from two special foreign exchange divisions.
  • For the Foreign Exchange Students Admission (外国人留学生受入れ) division, 2 students were admitted

For the December Entry (10月入学) applicants

  • 7 students were admitted via the department’s special admission for English courses (学部英語コース特別入試)

Calculating the Acceptance Rate

1 + 1 = 3 Text on Black Chalkboard

Phew! What a list! Now that we have our statistics, calculating the acceptance rate is a piece of cake!

First, by adding up all of the numbers of total applicants (志願者数), we get 253+57=310 total applicants. However, we must also add the Special Admission (特別入試) and Foreign Exchange Students Admission (外国人留学生受入れ) applicants, which are 4 and 2 respectively. Thus the total number of applicants for the Human Science was a little more than 316 students.

By dividing the given 132 Final Total Number of Successful Applicants (⑦入学者数総計) by our 316 total number of applicants, we get 0.418 or 41.8% acceptance rate!

Mission Accomplished!

Free stock photo of abstract, access, close-up, code

Congratulations! Give yourself a big pat on the back, for you just solved a Japanese admission statistics chart! With these new terminologies in your Japanese repertoire, you can now decode almost all admission statistics from any Japanese university! Ostukare!

If you still find yourself struggling to decode the Japanese university admission statistics, you can contact me at!


“Entrance Examination Information.” 大阪大学,