Are you planning on attending a university in Japan? Congratulations! You are making the right decision. Apart from being the home to the best authentic traditional cuisine like sushi and mochi, Japan also boasts some of the best universities and colleges worldwide.

With over 180 public universities to choose from, international students will not run out of choices when picking their institution of interest.

So, which one should you consider if you are a student planning to study in Japan? To help you, let us look at the best seven public universities in Japan for international students.

Top Public Universities in Japan

Japan offers exceptional choices of public universities for international students to further their educational dreams. We have compiled the leading public universities for you. Check out the list below.

1. University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo is a remarkable institution with one of the highest academic standards in Asia. It is the number one university in Japan with almost 4,000 international students.

The university is known for its top subjects in physics, space science, chemistry, and microbiology. International students can also choose from various graduate programs offered in English, like engineering, global science, and economics.

The International Student Support Room offers support services for international students concerning their stay in Japan and their understanding of Japanese society. Other support services include mental health counseling and help finding career opportunities in Japan.

2. Nagoya University

If innovative research is your thing, Nagoya University should be on your list. The university is a global leader in multiple research areas, and many of its professors are respected worldwide for their contributions to their respective fields. For instance, chemist Ei-ichi Negishi won a 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on developing transition metal catalysts.

International students can enroll in the diverse top degree programs if they meet the admission requirements, like proving their English proficiency. You require an overall band of 6.0 or higher in IELTS, 110 and above in Duolingo, and at least 80 points in TOEFL iBT. With this, you can access the G30 International Programs taught entirely in English.

Additionally, international students can benefit from scholarships and tuition waivers if they meet the eligibility requirements.

3. Osaka University

Osaka University is a top-ranking public university in Japan because of its high-quality majors in immunology, optics, and chemistry.

It has a high acceptance rate of 41% and offers various programs in English, like the international undergraduate degree program at the School of Human Sciences.

It boasts several facilities, including a state-of-the-art library, Osaka University Hospital, and the Global Village, allowing domestic and international students to live in the same area with the university staff and faculty. Furthermore, there are numerous student clubs where you can join like-minded people and cultural exchange events to learn more about Japanese culture.

4. Tohoku University

Tohoku University is one of the oldest universities in Japan, established as Japan’s third national university in 1907. Located on the ancient site of Aoba Castle in Sendai City offers top courses in material science, condensed matter physics, and chemistry. Five Nobel laureates have emerged from this great university, including Koichi Tanaka, who won the 2002 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Over 1,700 international students study in various full-time programs and non-degree programs. There are several courses taught in English available to degree-seeking international students.

As one of the respected Japanese public universities, international students can benefit from excellent facilities, including modern lecture halls, laboratories, and institutions like the Center for International Law and Policy.

5. Tokyo Institute of Technology

Tokyo Institute of Technology is a prestigious public university best known for its chemistry, physics, and engineering courses and consistently ranks in the top ten best universities in Japan.

The university offers several courses taught in English and has an International Student Support Program (ISSP) to help international students adjust to life on campus. Additionally, international students receive financial assistance and other student support systems from designated academic advisors across the institution.

Tokyo Institute of Technology has invested in collaborations with other universities, including institutional partners from 30 countries and regions. It is crucial to help international students gain valuable hands-on experience and take advantage of cultural exchange opportunities.

6. Kyoto University

Kyoto University has been a leader in education, research, and innovation within Japan, producing top Nobel Laureates, like Tasuku Honjo, a professor at Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study, who won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

It is the second-best global university in Japan, with top-ranking programs like chemistry, physics, immunology, and physics. Additionally, it offers an expansive range of courses for international students, including English-taught degree programs.

The International Student Support Center at Kyoto University provides a great support network for international students. There are also scholarships for international students designed to help them pay for tuition and living costs and get the most out of their study abroad experience in Japan.

Apart from the state-of-the-art facilities present on the campus, international students get to experience Kyoto with its vast historic locations, including temples and shrines that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

7. Kyushu University

Kyushu University is a top-ranking public university in Japan, located in Fukuoka prefecture. It is known for its top courses in mechanical engineering, chemistry, and material science.

It has over 20,000 students from several countries and a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs on the spacious campus, furnished with beautiful nature spots.

The International Student Support Center offers various support services to international students, including visa assistance, house application, and bank account opening before you arrive in Japan.

Additionally, the university has several Research Centers and projects like the Center for Clinical and Translational Research and the Institute for Asian and Oceanian Studies, offering excellent study and research opportunities.

FAQs about Studying in Public Universities in Japan

Can International Students Enroll in Public Universities in Japan?

Yes! International students can enroll in various public universities across Japan if they meet the set requirements. These include passing entrance exams, having high school or higher education credentials recognized by Japanese authorities, and holding a valid student visa.

Sometimes, you may be required to submit proof of language proficiency in English or Japanese. Additionally, some universities may ask you to take additional tests or further interviews before granting admission. Examples of public universities in Japan that accept international students include the University of Tokyo and Osaka University.


You will find many incredible public universities spread across Japan, each with unique strengths and offerings. Whether you are looking for an all-around educational experience at a prestigious university or want to take advantage of world-class resources, the above seven universities are worth considering if you are an international student looking to study in Japan.


We hope that this informative article will help you in choosing a suitable university for you! For even more information about studying abroad, please check out the Available Programs for International Students and Study in Japan pages!

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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