How to Apply to a University in Japan

Over 310,000 international students enrolled at Japanese universities in 2019, which is a testimony of the high quality of education provided by Japan, as well as the overall attractive society, lifestyle, and culture.

If you want to study a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme in Japan, you should first take a look at the university application steps. With a few exceptions, they are similar to what you’d normally expect from any international higher education institution.

1. Pick a subject to study in Japan

The following are some of the most popular English-taught study programmes at Japanese universities:

2. Find a Japanese university to apply to

Here are some of the top-ranked universities in Japan:

Find other universities in Japan.

3. Learn where to submit your university application

There is no unified online application platform, which means that international students need to visit the website of their preferred Japanese university to submit an application.

4. Meet the university entry requirements

These are some of the most common documents students need to submit during their application at a Japanese university:

  • completed application form
  • proof of paying the application fee (if applicable)
  • high school diploma (to apply for a Bachelor’s)
  • Bachelor’s diploma (to apply for a Master’s)
  • transcript of records
  • passport-sized photo(s)
  • copy of valid passport and/or personal ID
  • motivation letter
  • letter(s) of recommendation
  • personal statement

Depending on your chosen study programme, the university can ask for additional documents. Keep in mind that these documents need to be translated into Japanese or English before being submitted.

Heian Shrine in Kyoto, Japan

Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students

Many Japanese universities use the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) to determine if an international student has the necessary academic and Japanese language skills to enrol in one of their undergraduate (Bachelor’s) programmes.

The EJU evaluates 4 subjects:

  • Japanese as a foreign language
  • Science (basic Physics, Chemistry, Biology)
  • Japan and the world (basic skills in Liberal Arts, critical thinking, and logical abilities)
  • Mathematics (basic skills in Math)

Find out which higher education institutions use the EJU.

5. Find out about the language requirements

To study in Japan, you might need to prove both your English and Japanese skills. This is determined by each school individually. For English proficiency, you can send test results from:

To prove your Japanese proficiency, you need to pass the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).

6. Apply before the application deadlines

Japanese universities have different application deadlines depending on the system they use. The official university website is the best place where you can learn more about these important dates. To give you a general idea, here are a few examples:

For universities with two intake periods

  • application deadline for the spring intake: November
  • application deadline for the autumn intake: April

For universities with three intake periods

  • application deadline for the spring intake: October/November
  • application deadline for the summer intake: February/April
  • application deadline for the autumn intake: June/July

7. Final steps after receiving your acceptance letter

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