Why choose Kyoto?

Quintessential traditional Japan can be found in no better place than Kyoto. As it continues to cultivate its long history of being the capital of Japan for 1073 years and the numerous traditional culture which can be seen and experienced all in this place, Kyoto has carefully preserved its old-Japan charm throughout the years. It is the perfect place to immerse yourself in Japanese culture. Always in the top destination of travelers coming to Japan, Kyoto has not only enamored globetrotters but international students who want to study in Japan as well. Kyoto offers a wide range of areas of studies in some of the best and well-known universities in Japan. Most universities, colleges, and vocational schools also offer exchange programs or language programs that cater to international students who want to study in Kyoto.

In this article, I have compiled an extensive list of universities located in Kyoto, not limited to English programs or study abroad programs but accept international students. Also featured below is the International Student Study Kyoto Network’s official website which provides a plethora of helpful information and guides for international students who want to study in Kyoto.

List of Universities

To make navigating the list easier, key letters will be placed under the university name to make information more concise.

  • (E) English Program- programs that offer courses conducted either entirely or partially in English
  • (J) Japanese Program- programs that offer courses conducted entirely in Japanese; most likely cater to Japanese students
  • (B)- Bachelors Program
  • (M)- Masters Program
  • (D)- Doctorate Program

1. Kyoto Bunkyo University
(B), (M), (D), (J)

Located in Uji, Kyoto, KBU is a private university established in 1996 and is formally affiliated with the Buddhist religion. This university offers courses and programs for Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate in the Department of Social Relations. Courses include economics and business management, media and social psychology, public policy, tourism regional design, and international culture. Programs are mainly conducted in Japanese. Entrance examinations are available for Returnees and Exchange students.

Official School Website:
https://www.kbu.ac.jp/kbu/index.html (website only in Japanese)

2. Otani University
(B), (M), (D), (J), (E)

Otani University

Otani University was formally established as a modern university in 1901 and is also affiliated with Buddhism proclaiming this institution as “a center of learning founded upon the desire to nurture human beings who firmly establish themselves in faith, a matter of utmost importance for us, and achieve genuine autonomous existence. ” The university is consists of the Faculty of Letters, Faculty of Sociology, Faculty of Education, Graduate school programs leading to the master’s and doctoral degrees offered in Shin Buddhist Studies, Buddhist Studies, Philosophy, Sociology, Buddhist Culture, and Intercultural Studies. They are also affiliated with Otani University Junior College.

Official School Website:

For international students: (in Japanese)


3. Kyoto College of Medical Science
(B), (M), (D), (J)

Founded in 2007, Kyoto College of Medical Science is located in Nantan, Kyoto. It caters mostly to Japanese students with programs conducted in Japanese and entrance exams require the Japanese standard exams. However, they offer language program exchange in Taiwan and a research abroad program in Vietnam. They are also affiliated with a university in China, Taiwan, Georgia, Vietnam, respectively.

Official school website:

4. Kyoto University of Foreign Studies
(B), (M), (D), (E), (J)

KUFS students

Dating back to its establishment in 1947, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies has centered its education in multicultural and multilingual programs, attracting many international students across the globe. They offer various programs fitting the educational interest of students that want to actively engage in the continuous globalization of societies and growing social and cultural issues. They offer academic programs for international students, and also for students from partner universities.

Official Website:

5. Kyoto Institute of Technology
(B) (M) (D) (J) (E)

Compact yet bustling with innovation and cutting edge research facilities, this university boasts its expertise in Science and Technology, offering programs conducted in English or Japanese. The School of Science and Technology offers study programs such as advanced science and technology, biosciences, materials, electronics, information, mechanics, and environment, architecture and design. This school also boasts a unique educational approach to the convergence of science and art, sustainable design, and “monozukuri” internships. Kyoto Institute of Technology has international exchange partnership agreements with roughly 60 universities worldwide, mainly in Asia and Europe, and welcomes more than 330 international students yearly.

Official School Website:

6. Kyoto Sangyo University
(B) (M) (D) (J) (E)

Kyoto Sangyo University Campus

Founded in 1965 and located in Kyoto City, this institution
offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences in both Japanese and English. They accept admission of foreign students in full-time, 4 year-programs and also exchange students. Currently, they have roughly 200 international students studying fulltime and exchange.

Official School Website:

7. Kyoto City University of Arts
(B) (M) (D) (J) (E)

With 130 years of quality education as the oldest arts university in Japan, this prominent institution has produced graduates that went on to become prolific artists and musicians famous worldwide. They offer international exchange programs in both the Faculty of Fine Arts and Faculty of Music. Admissions for international students are open for undergraduate courses, but it requires the standardized Japanese entrance exam. Admission requirements varies for each program. For more information, visit:

8. Kyoto Women’s University
(B) (M) (D) (J) (E)

This university is consist of five faculties: Faculty of Letters, Faculty of Human Development and Education, Faculty of Home Economics, Faculty of Contemporary Society, Faculty of Law which are mainly in Japanese. As a part of their internationalization initiative, they have numerous partner institutions in the UK, US, Canada, China, Taiwan, and Korea.
Since most of the courses are held in Japanese, it is required to have taken “Japanese as a Foreign Language” of EJU (Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students). Also, in order to apply for the entrance examination of the graduate course, N1 of JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) is also required.

For more information, visit:

9. Kyoto Seika University
(B) (M) (D) (J)

Well-known for its faculties of manga and anime, and being involved in the teaching and training of future manga artists, Seika University only offers programs in Japanese even for research students, therefore, Japanese language ability is required to study here. Despite this requirement, over 500 international students from 20 countries around the world are studying on campus.

For admission and program information, visit:

10. Kyoto University of Art and Design
(B) (M) (D) (J)

Founded in 1991, this institution has grown into three campuses and one art museum in Japan, this university hosts roughly 200 international students and continues to grow its international student population through exchange programs and global seminars. This university is a good option for students who are interested to learn more about manga and animation as these areas are covered under the Faculty of Art and Design among many others.

Official School Website:

11. Kyoto Tachibana University
(B) (M) (D) (J)

Schol clubs in Tachibana University

Founded in 1967 as initially a private university for women, they became co-ed in 2005 and is now consist of 6 faculties and 13 departments that offer extensive learning in a wide range of careers and vocations. The faculties are Faculty of English and Global Communication, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Contemporary Business, Faculty of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, and Faculty of Human Development and Education.

School Website:
https://www.tachibana-u.ac.jp/english/ h

12. Kyoto University
(B) (M) (D) (J) (E)

Kyoto University

Famously known as the rival of the University of Tokyo, KyoDai is the second oldest Japanese university, one of Asia’s highest-ranked universities and one of Japan’s National Seven Universities. This top-notch institution is one of Asia’s leading research-oriented institutions known for producing world-class researchers including 19 Nobel Prize laureates, 2 Fields medalists and one Gauss Prize winner. Undoubtedly a dream university of many Japanese students, a large number of international students and researchers also flock to this institution.

For more information on student admission and programs, visit

13. Kyoto Notre Dame University
(B) (M) (D) (J)

A private university for women, Kyoto Notre Dame University is one of the numerous Catholic Universities established across Japan.

This university has five undergraduate programs:

  • Department of English Language and Literature
  • Department of Social Work and Life Design
  • Department of Japanese and Global Cultures
  • Department of Psychology
  • Department of Child Education

and two Graduate Schools: Humanities and Social Sciences, and Psychology.

International Students are welcome for admission, however, since most classes are conducted in Japanese, overseas applicants are required to have a high level of Japanese language proficiency.

For more information:

14. Kyoto Prefectural University
(B) (M) (D) (J)

Established in 1949, KPU is one of the public universities in Japan located in Kyoto. This university has three faculties in its undergraduate and graduate programs:

  • Letters
  • Public Policy
  • Life and Environmental Sciences

Although they accept admission of foreign students, it is similar to the entrance exam for regular Japanese students.

Official school website:

15. Kyoto Pharmaceutical University
(B) (M) (D) (J)

Founded in 1884, this university is the second oldest private pharmacy school in Japan which was first established as a German school that taught Western medicine and pharmaceutics in German. Today, they offer an integrated masters course of 6 years that integrates pre-pharmacy, basic pharmacy, and specialized pharmacy courses; laboratory and practical courses; rotations in hospitals and pharmacies; and thesis research. They also have pre-doctorate and doctorate course of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

For more information, visit:

16. Kyoto Koka Women’s University
(B) (M) (J)

Established in 1964, Koka University is another women’s university in Kyoto that is fairly small in terms of the student population, making the focus of learning more catering to individual students. Here, they offer program courses in the Faculty of Child Education, Department of Child Education; The Faculty of Health Science, Department of Medical and Social, Department of Psychology, Department of Health and Nutrition, Department of Nursing; The Faculty of Career Development, Department of Career Development. They also have a Master’s program in Nursing, and in Psychology.

School Official Website:

17. Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts
(B) (M) (D) (J)

Established in 1867 by American missionaries, this women’s college was founded with the core principles of Christianity, internationalism, and liberal arts paved the way for its continuous growth and innovation through the years. It currently has eleven departments in six faculties and four graduate schools on two campuses in Kyotanabe and Imadegawa. They also offer programs for international students such as

For more information, visit

18. Doshisha University
(B) (M) (D) (J) (E)

Founded in 1875 by Joseph Hardy Neesima (Niijima Jō), this private university in Kyoto is one of the oldest universities in Japan. The university now encompasses 14 faculties and 16 graduate schools with numerous affiliated institutions including Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts. They offer English-based Degree Programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Some courses are taught in English, along with accompanying Japanese language programs to help international students integrate.

Visit the official school website at

19. Bukkyo University
(B) (M) (D) (J)

Dating back to 1868, Bukkyo University is founded on the core beliefs of Pure Land Buddhism. It was officially founded as a university in 1949 and currently has 7 undergraduate programs including Buddhism, Sociology, and Health Sciences; and four graduate programs.

Since most of the programs are conducted in Japanese, a requirement of Japanese Language Proficiency Level of N2 or Examination for Japanese University: 225 points or above is necessary.

School Website:

20. Meiji University of Integrative Medicine
(B) (M) (D) (J)

A pioneer of higher education and research institution for acupuncture and moxibustion, they boast integrated traditional and modern medicinal techniques and studies to progress towards innovative medicine and in the cultivation of “humane health care workers” through three core values: sympathy, consideration, and philanthropy to the diseased.

This university offers admission of foreign students into the School of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Faculty of Acupuncture and Moxibustion and School of Health Sciences and Medical Care Faculty of Judo Seifuku Therapy.

For more information, visit

21. Ritsumeikan University
(B) (M) (D) (J) (E)

Ritsumeikan University Students

Ritsumeikan University was established in 1869, and along with its long history boasts its 6th place at Japan University Rankings, an extensive partner network in 66 countries and regions, 12 English based programs making them the number one study destination of international students. With more than 2,400 international students that continue to grow into a diverse international student population, this university is an expert in accommodating international students from anywhere around the globe.

For more information, visit

22. Ryukoku University
(B) (M) (D) (J)

380 years since its establishment, this long-standing university was initially founded as a school for Buddhist monks and turned into a university in 1876, preserving its core values and belief in Buddhism. It currently has 9 Faculties, 10 Graduate Schools, and 1 Junior College with courses conducted mostly in Japanese. However, they also boast a welcoming student life for international students who are interested in studying in one of their three campuses.

For more information, visit

Study in Kyoto

For a more extensive and helpful guide in navigating your way to creating your study plan in Kyoto, check out Study Kyoto, offering information from student housing to finding a suitable program for you.