With one of the highest life expectancies in the world, Japan is a country worth learning from in public health. But more than societal and lifestyle changes, the core of the country’s success lies in its excellent research and education that keeps up with the changing times. Read on to find out the top five universities for Public Health education in Japan:

Top Universities for Public Health in Japan

1. University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo is the most prestigious university for public health in Japan. The university established the School of Public Health in 2007 to cultivate highly specialized professionals focused on providing research for resource improvement and policy creation on improving the quality of life for all peoples.

Students of this Master’s program will take on 41 interdisciplinary subjects relating to all facets of human health, classified into three categories. The first set is on Quantitative Analysis through courses such as Epidemiology and Healthcare Economics. Courses on Behavioral Medicine and Policy Making and Management are also available through subjects such as Geriatric Social Science and Healthcare Informatics, respectively. The result is a well-rounded perspective on public health across life stages, with the practical knowledge to back recommendations for public policy.

The course has a standard duration of two years. All students must have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, with three years of relevant work experience. However, medical graduates with practical experience in the field may avail of a one-year degree course.

2. Kyoto University

Another one of the top schools for public health in Japan, Kyoto University, established its School of Public Health in 2000 as the first of its kind in the country. The university offers the degrees of Master of Public Health (MPH), Doctor of Public Health (DrPH), and a hybrid course that merges both the Master’s and the Doctorate (MPH-DrPH).

Taking a socio-ecological approach to the new era of public health, Kyoto University’s School of Public Health puts together the ever-present fields of disease development and control, nutrition, and environmental health with new disciplines such as clinical epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology, informatics, and ethics. This course is a great fit for highly specialized professionals geared towards research and policy on disease, human health, and welfare. The curriculum is created from interdisciplinary sources, with emphasis on a sufficient medical background to equip students with the needed knowledge to make public health decisions and translate to stakeholders without a health background.

Similar to the University of Tokyo, students have the option for a one-hear MPH course, provided they have professional experience in public health. They can also apply for courses such as the Clinical Researcher and the Genetic Counselor Course which aim to nurture further specialization in these fields.

3. University of Tsukuba

The University of Tsukuba in Tsukuba, Japan is another one of Japan’s top universities for public health. The university established the Master of Public Health Program geared towards students looking into careers in public health research and education, public policy, and ensuring public safety in the workplace. With a focus on professional thinking, the curriculum touches on five core areas of public health, namely Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Health Policy and Management, and Environmental Health Sciences.

Tsukuba takes pride in its extensive knowledge and growing research on the medical sciences, clinical medicine, and community medicine. This allows graduates a well-rounded view, and to balance their learnings between theoretical and practical applications. This is done through a curriculum with both basic and advanced credit units across the basic medical science disciplines, culminating in a thesis. For those looking for more internship experience during the program, this can be done as well. Yet despite the vast learning, the university keeps learning personally through a small staff ratio of 1:4, partnering with faculty specializing in a wide range of health disciplines.

4. Tohoku University

  • Public Health Program Link
  • Degrees offered: General Course, High-Level Clinical Research Administrators Course, Course in Public Health and Genetic Counseling, One-Year Course to train Physicians and Dentists for Clinical Research, Public Health Sciences for Human Security (for international students)

Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan is a former Imperial University with a specialization in medical research and education. Currently, Tohoku University is ranked among the top 5 universities and also a leading institution for public health in Japan. Established in 1817 with its first School of Medicine, the university’s bond with medicine runs deep, which lends itself well to adjacent fields as found under the Graduate school of Public Health.

Through the Graduate school of Public Health, the university aims to mold individuals who are critical thinkers, able to utilize a global worldview and cutting edge technology to solve problems, aligned with an ethical and international vision. To achieve these, the university offers a range of courses from its general courses up to specialized segments of public health such as Genetic Counseling and Clinical Research. It also offers an English course on public health for international students through the course Public Health Sciences for Human Security.

5. Tokyo Medical and Dental University

Tokyo Medical and Dental University in Tokyo, Japan is one of the first universities to specialize in medicine and dentistry. Established in 1928, Tokyo Medical and Dental University is known for being an excellent school for public health in Japan and has gained recognition nationally as the first school of dentistry in the country. Today, the university has ventured into the realm of public health through the Master of Public Health in Global Health course.

A key differentiator for this university is its apparent thrust for internationalization. The course is conducted entirely in English, which makes for easier integration with international students. Moreover, the university takes pride in its collaborations with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health faculty for their regular lecture series, giving students an international view of public health from the best in the world.

Another unique point would be the university’s learning methodology, moving towards a case-based approach for a more active application of theories learned in class. They also receive tailored exercises to improve their technique. It is the university’s goal to produce graduates who are self-sufficient in generating, interpreting, and providing recommendations on matters of public health with global importance.


I hope that this article on Best Universities for Public Health in Japan was helpful. To know more information on how you can study abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.