Japan is an ideal country for students unsure of where to continue their higher education. For one, the country is renowned for its high quality of life and exceptional safety. Moreover, for decades, Japan has been hailed as the center of technological and educational innovation. It has also been a popular choice among students as a result of its vibrant cultural scene.

For a better understanding of why pursuing higher education in Japan may be an ideal choice, this article takes a look at the five best biology universities in the country!

Top Schools Offering Biology in Japan

1. University of Tokyo

Situated in the heart of Japan, the University of Tokyo is internationally renowned for its academic excellence. It was established in 1877 and is therefore considered the first Imperial university in Japan. Furthermore, its academic excellence is evident through the decision of the Japanese government to recognize it as a top-tier university.

As of the present, the University of Tokyo is a leading institution for biology in Japan that is focused on creating a world-class platform for both education and research. It plans to do so in partnership with other renowned institutions around the world and thus allow its students the chance for international exchange and experience.

Although the University of Tokyo has many departments dedicated to biology, biological research is primarily stationed at the Department of Biological Sciences. The department has a long history of excellence, as it is one of the original departments founded together with the university. Over its existence, the department has developed its research areas and is now at the forefront of biological innovation. One of its primary areas of interest today is the study of genome sequences concerning various life forms.

2. Kyoto University

Kyoto University is a world-renowned and one of the top public research institution and a top school for biology located in the Kansai region of Japan. As it was founded in 1897, it is among the oldest and most prestigious universities both in the country and beyond. In recent years, the university has continuously been ranked among top-tier universities not just in Asia but in the world. It was founded on the idea of the ”freedom of academic culture’, which the university has tried to uphold and adhere to, to this day. Furthermore, it is focused on encouraging its students to work together and propose interdisciplinary solutions for the most complex and imminent dangers of today’s world.

One of the university’s most prominent parts is the Division of Biological Sciences. This department is focused on promoting research that examines the interconnectedness of the individual and the ecosystem as a whole. It does so by abiding by Kyoto University traditions and aiming to combine fieldwork with both laboratory research and classroom learning. In this way, biology students on both the undergraduate and graduate levels receive a comprehensive education and invaluable skill set that will serve them in their future careers.

3. Osaka University

Alongside the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University, Osaka University is an excellent school for biology in Japan, ranked among the three best universities in the country. Out of all the previously mentioned universities, Osaka University is the youngest, as it was established at the beginning of the 20th century. However, although it may be considered young, it has managed to gain a reputation both for its academic excellence and educational innovation. Presently, the university is focused on adhering to its motto of ‘Live Locally, Grow Globally’ through which it hopes to contribute to uncovering local and sustainable solutions that will have a global impact.

The Department of Biological Sciences is a prime example of the university’s motto. More specifically, from its establishment in 1949, this department has aimed to modernize the field of biology. Thus, unlike other Japanese universities, the Department of Biological Sciences strives to offer its courses in new biological research areas. Both on the undergraduate and graduate level, the curriculum includes courses dealing with single-molecule biology as well DNA replication, and plant and animal development.

4. Tohoku University

Another prestigious center for higher education and a recognized school for biology in Japan, Tohoku University is located in Sendai, Miyagi. Ever since its early years at the beginning of the 20th century, the university has been considered a prestigious research institution known for upholding objective research above all else. Throughout the years, it has stayed true to its original policies and has remained an open-door institution, welcoming students from both home and abroad. In addition to the aforementioned, Tohoku University is famous for its practice-oriented education, insisting on an abundance of practical and fieldwork from the start.

The university’s Department of Biology is a part of the Faculty of Sciences. Within it, the department is primarily focused on examining life forms on the molecular, cellular, and organism level. Its curriculum allows students to understand the connection and interaction of these levels and how together they come to form our environment. Later on in their studies, students come to not only learn about biological issues but are encouraged to work together and suggest solutions for those they recognize as crucial. Once they have obtained their degrees, most graduates go on to become biological experts working on innovations in the fields of medicine, agriculture, and environmental technologies.

5. Nagoya University

Nagoya University is one of the best universities for biology in Japan and has been recognized as an exceptional institution of higher education in both Japan and abroad. It is the home and birthplace of both the Sakata School of Physics and the Hirata School of Chemistry. Furthermore, its alumni include several notable scholars among which are seven Nobel laureates. As of the present, one of Nagoya University’s major goals is to contribute and give back to society. It strives to achieve this goal through education, as it prepares the leaders of tomorrow to take on and solve the world’s most pressing issues.

One of the university’s most prestigious programs is the Biological Science Program. Unlike other universities, the Nagoya Biological Science Program represents a collaboration between the School of Science and the Division of Applied Biosciences in the School of Agricultural Sciences. Through this interdisciplinary approach, the program hopes to provide its students with a comprehensive understanding of their respective fields. Moreover, it aims to spark an intellectual debate that will in turn hopefully lead to biological innovation and progress.

FAQS About Studying Biology in Japan

Can I Study Biology in Japan if I Don’t Speak Japanese?

Yes, many top Japanese educational institutes offer modern Biology degrees taught in English. You do not need to be fluent in Japanese to study in Japan. While many universities offer programs in Japanese, some universities like in Tokyo have English-taught programs for international students not proficient in Japanese. However, it is recommended to learn a foreign language to help you immerse yourself and enjoy the culture better. The majority of universities offer language classes to help international students learn Japanese. If you are looking to study for a biology degree, you will find several institutions like Kyoto University offering it in English.


We hope that this article on the Best Universities for Biology in Japan was helpful. Read more articles like this, by visiting the Study in Japan page! Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Japan for study options in the country.

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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