Japan is the destination for most international students seeking high-quality education with a mix of exciting cultural experiences and a budget-friendly, student-safe environment. Many universities in Japan established way back late 1800s to the early 1900s have a solid reputation for providing high-quality teaching and cutting-edge research programs that surpass international standards.

Most top-rated institutions in the country offer prestigious degree programs entirely taught in English, allowing students to undertake their field of study without worrying about their average Japanese skills. These universities welcome students from different parts of the world to experience a whole set of fun, culture-rich, high-tech, clean, and safe learning environments. With Japan’s booming economy, many job opportunities await every student even before graduating, especially those with English and Japanese skills. In this article, we will be looking at the best English-taught schools in Japan!

Top Universities for English-taught Programs in Japan

1. Tohoku University

Tohoku University is a leading English-taught school in Japan and is one of the most prestigious Japanese national universities in Sendai, Miyagi, Japan. It is the third university established by the Empire of Japan and is known as one of the best top-ranking universities in Asia. It is also the first Japanese university to accept women and admit international students. The university gives importance to the internationalization of higher education in the country, which drives it to offer courses entirely taught in English. Three undergraduate courses, entirely taught in English, are available through the university’s Future Global Leadership Program (FGL).

These include courses in advanced molecular chemistry, international mechanical and aerospace engineering, and applied molecular biology.

The programs will equip students with the fundamental knowledge and skills of each specific field of study and expose them to the latest cutting-edge research at an international level. As part of its commitment, the university ensures that students receive the highest quality of education, wherein they are trained to become global leaders as they enter the job industry. At Tohoku University, students will experience a rich cultural environment in addition to its thriving learning and research community.

The institution also offers various English-taught graduate degree programs in the fields of science, medicine, agricultural science, environmental studies, law, politics, mechanical, and aerospace engineering, materials science engineering, information science, life sciences, economics, and management, biomedical engineering, biomechanics, language sciences, social science, environmental studies, international relations, etc.

2. University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo (UTokyo), also known as Todai, is a top-leading public research university and among the best English-taught schools in Tokyo, Japan. It was the first-ever established Imperial University and is recognized by the Japanese Government as a Top Type University on its Top Global University Project for UTokyo’s outstanding performance and research-led initiatives to nurture world-class talents and the brightest minds worldwide. UTokyo is a highly globalized Japanese university enrolling thousands of international students from across the globe.

The university’s College of Arts and Sciences offers undergraduate programs entirely taught in English on its Komaba Campus. As part of the institution’s commitment to creating a global learning community, the university initiated Programs in English at Komaba (PEAK), which connects Japan to different top-rated international learning communities. Students who enroll in PEAK will study liberal arts for two years in the Junior Division and then advance in specialized studies for the next two years, under Japan in East Asia or the Environmental Sciences program in the Senior Division.

The university’s Faculty of Science also accepts transfer students who have finished at least two years of undergraduate studies at universities outside Japan to enroll in its Global Science Course (GSC), an entirely English-taught undergraduate degree program.

GSC students will receive a monthly scholarship worth JPY 150,00, fully supported monthly rent or accommodation, and support from student tutors and teaching assistants (TAs). UTokyo also offers English-taught graduate degree programs in economics, arts and sciences, science Engineering, agricultural and life sciences, medicine, frontier sciences information, science and technology, interdisciplinary information studies, and public policy.

3. Sophia University

Sophia University is a top-ranking, research-led private Jesuit university located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It is the flagship institution for introducing an internationalized higher education curriculum in the country and a significant player in attracting international students from different parts of the world. It is the first educational institution in Japan to offer English-taught degree programs. The university has a broad global network with other top universities abroad, encouraging students to enroll and participate in various student exchange programs and study abroad opportunities.

Sophia University is known as a top English-taught institution and holds a strong reputation in globalization, foreign languages, and literature, among other Japanese academic institutions. The Japanese Government also chose it for its Top Global University Project because of its outstanding teaching performance and research excellence in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

As a highly globalized institution, the institution offers various English-taught degree courses and/or programs for both undergraduate and graduate students in the fields of liberal arts, science and technology, and subjects under the Sophia Program for Sustainable Futures (including education, sociology, economics, international relations & area studies, journalism, and management).

4. Hokkaido University

Hokkaido University is one of Japan’s top national research universities, which the Empire of Japan established. It is the country’s first higher educational institution to award bachelor’s degrees to students. As a fast-growing academic and research institution with outstanding performance in many fields of study, mainly known for its significant contribution to chemistry, earth and ocean sciences, and material sciences, the university attracts various international students worldwide.

The university offers a welcoming international learning community to students from different parts of the world.

Hokkaido University is among the top English-taught institutions in Japan that offer English-taught degree programs for both undergraduate and graduate students in sciences, particularly in environmental science, integrated science, life science, and veterinary science.

5. Osaka University

Osaka University is one of Japan’s top-tier higher education and research institutions. Built by the Empire of Japan in 1931, it is one of Japan’s earliest modern and most prestigious universities. The Osaka University is also a leading English-taught school in Japan that holds a solid global reputation for its outstanding performance in dentistry, chemical engineering, physics and astronomy, and natural sciences. As a top-leading global institution, it offers a range of academic programs for undergraduate and graduate students taught entirely in English. These include social sciences, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, biological sciences, macromolecular science, engineering, information sciences, etc.


We hope the above list of best English-taught universities in Japan will help narrow your choices for where to pursue your degree. There’s still so much more information about studying in this reputable country on the Study in Japan. You can even sample some of the Available Courses to explore your study options.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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