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Japanese Engineering Universities for International Students

Jun 07, 2023Date Published
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UniSearch - Japanese Engineering Universities for International Students

Because of its reputation as an innovator and leader in the scientific community, Japan is quickly becoming the country of choice for international students who want to major in engineering. All around Japan, high-ranking universities offer students a variety of engineering specializations that are taught in English. Experiential learning is an essential part of job-readiness. Because of this, graduates have a much easier time finding work in engineering not only in Japan but also in other nations. In this article, UniSearch experts discuss the most reputable Japanese engineering universities for international students.

Why Study Engineering in Japan as An International Student?

Studying in Japan is a good option for many would-be engineers because of the country's many enticing features. Be it the country’s innovative efforts to create earthquake-proof infrastructure, incredibly efficient bullet-trains to the Japanese automobile companies dominating the market, Japanese engineering ingenuity is apparent everywhere you look in the country.

Working in Japan is appealing to many IT professionals too because of the country's expanding need for experts in artificial intelligence development, database design, and software engineering. Graduates from Japan's engineering programs aren’t only working in the field they studied. Because of their adaptability, they frequently find themselves employed in more than one field.

If you're interested in studying engineering, Japan is a great option. Each university has state-of-the-art facilities and equipment on par with international institutions. Here are just a few reasons why Japanese engineering universities for international students may be your ideal choice for that engineering degree.

1. Quality of Engineering Degrees at Japanese Universities

The level of education Japan's engineering universities offer ranks among the best in the world. Five Japanese universities rank among the global top 100 institutions to study engineering. In fact, the University of Tokyo lands an impressive spot in the top 20!

2. Japan’s Goal of Staying Internationally Competitive

In Japan, there is an increasing need for engineers who are not Japanese. Researchers and experts anticipate that Japan could experience a shortage of 789,000 software developers. If you're fluent in a programming language, you may find work as a system engineer in Japan, which has the highest concentration of industrial robots in the world. If you are looking for work in Japan that does not require fluency in the language, check out Daijob.com and Gaijinpot.

3. Japan is a World-Leader in Technology

Japan is widely recognized as a leader in technological innovation, and the country is home to several prominent high-tech companies. Some of these include household names like Sony, Mitsubishi Motors, Toyota, Hitachi, Nikon, Canon, Honda, Nintendo, Kyocera, and others.

4. A Japanese Higher Education Could be More Affordable for International Students

You can cut costs because several Japanese institutions are less expensive than other colleges in other popular destinations like the USA, UK, Australia, etc.

Tuition Cost Per Year
Kyoto University
Hokkaido University
Sophia University
Tokyo Institute of Technology
University of Tsukuba

5. High-Paying Job Opportunities

The salaries paid in Japan are among the most competitive in the world. They are in fact on par with those offered in other developed economies across the globe. With a Japanese engineering degree, you access earning opportunities in higher income brackets not just in Japan but globally.

As a student, you can also get a work permit and work part-time jobs at a range of salaries!

Japanese Engineering Universities for International Students

Numerous potential engineering students can benefit from studying in Japan. The continuously increasing demand for AI development, database, and software development experts makes working in Japan an attractive option for many IT professionals too. In Japan, engineering graduates can pursue a variety of careers.

They are versatile and frequently work in multiple sectors. In addition, each university's world-class facilities and equipment for advancing research and innovation in the engineering sector are comparable to those of foreign schools. This is all the more reason to study engineering in Japan!

Below are a couple of Japanese engineering institutions in the top 200 of the world’s best universities for the field!

University Name
QS Ranking 2022- Engineering and Technology
The University of Tokyo
Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech)
Kyoto University
Tohoku University
Osaka University
Kyushu University
Nagoya University
Hokkaido University
Waseda University

1. University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo holds the distinction of being both the nation's oldest and largest university. According to the QS World Ranking (2022), it comes in at #1 among Japanese universities and #17 overall among institutions from all around the world.

Its Faculty of Engineering is proud to offer a curriculum that is both comprehensive and integrates the most cutting-edge academic and international research. It comprises 16 departments that fall under the faculty, some of which include mechanical engineering, information and communication engineering, and aeronautics and astronautics.

The faculty is also an advocate for the application of studies across diverse areas. One example of this is the cross-disciplinary partnership between the fields of medicine and engineering, which results in the fabrication of artificial bones using biomaterials.

Because the institution commits to fostering international collaboration and research, it is particularly welcoming to students from other countries. You can choose to go for as little as a single semester or as long as four years, depending on the program.

2. Tokyo Institute of Technology

The School of Engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology has made it a priority to increase the number of highly qualified Japanese engineers who can compete successfully in the global job market.

To accomplish this goal, the school's curriculum is organized according to certain guidelines and tenets. Students acquire the skills and information necessary to conduct engineering-related tasks as part of their academic coursework.

The Global Scientists and Engineers Program (GSEP) is a 4-year Bachelor of Engineering Degree program based at the Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering under the School of Environment and Society.

This initiative exists for students from around the world who wish to pursue careers as scientists and engineers in interdisciplinary subjects and gain a global perspective. Every class is taught in English, so prior knowledge of Japanese is not necessary (though it is available as an elective). The opportunities available to international students may vary, so we suggest researching your options carefully!

3. Kyoto University

Kyoto University has been a leader in Japanese academics for centuries, and it shows: it is ranked 49th in the world and second in Japan in the QS World Rankings (2022). More than 55.8% of its undergraduates go on to pursue graduate degrees. The institution's track record of 262 IP-based development and 382 inventions positions it at the forefront of research and application around the world.

Plus, each year the university accepts almost 2,000 students from all over the world. There are six undergraduate and seventeen graduate degree programs in engineering offered by the Graduate School of Engineering and the Faculty of Engineering. For many overseas students, this university's Undergraduate International Course Program of Global Engineering is the best alternative for pursuing an engineering degree in the United States.

Civil and earth resources engineering, micro engineering, informatics, mathematics, and nuclear engineering are just a few of the graduate programs available.

4. Tohoku University

QS Global World Ranking (2022) places Tohoku University as the 78th best institution in the world and the 4th best university in Japan for Engineering & Technology. When compared to other Japanese imperial universities, this one has been ahead of its time accepting women and graduates of technical schools at the turn of the twentieth century at a time this was unusual.

Following the devastating 2011 earthquake in East Japan, researchers at Tohuku University have been concentrating on medical and disaster-prevention science. Tohoku University's School of Engineering offers five different undergraduate programs, including Materials Science and Engineering, Electrical and Information Engineering, and Physics Engineering.

There are 18 different departments available to graduate students in the program, ranging from Communications Engineering to Applied Chemistry, allowing for a wide variety of interdisciplinary study options. Their alumni have gone on to become industry leaders in sectors as diverse as chemistry, information technology (IT), and engineering. Thousands of students got their start in the direction of their goals here.

5. Osaka University

The Kansai area of Japan is home to Osaka University. Based on the QS Global World University Rankings (2022), Osaka University is the 5th best university in Japan and the 92nd-best university in the world.
About 2,500 of their pupils arrive from other countries each year to pursue a degree here. Established in 1933, the School of Engineering is home to cutting-edge laboratories like the Research Center for Nuclear Physics and the Cyber Media Center. In the School of Engineering, students learn by doing, drawing on a wealth of industry-leading research that has direct practical implications.

The School of Engineering comprises of the following: 

  • The Department of Applied Science
  • The Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Manufacturing Science
  • The Department of Electronic and Information Engineering
  • The Department of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering
  • The Department of Global Architecture

Then, within each of those larger divisions, numerous sub-departments are responsible for teaching in a particular area of study.

Osaka University graduates are experts with fresh perspectives and skilled experts who can come up with new concepts and put them into action quickly, and individuals who have earned degrees from Osaka University.

6. Kyushu University

Founded in Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu in 1903, Kyushu University is a member of Japan's elite group of National Seven Universities. QS Global World Ranking (2022) places it at #156 on the list of the best universities worldwide, and 6th in Japan.

The university welcomes approximately 2,000 students from 102 different countries and regions each year. Kyushu University is well suited to participate in the Top Global University Project, a government-funded project to increase the international prominence of a chosen number of universities.

As part of this strategy, the Faculty of Engineering at Kyushu University began offering international undergraduate and graduate programs in 2010. Applied Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering/Computer Science, and Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering are the four disciplines that make up the Bachelor of Science degree.

There are 11 different areas of study under the Graduate Program, including Maritime Engineering, Urban and Environmental Engineering, and Civil and Structural Engineering.

7. Nagoya University

Nagoya University is located in the heart of Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, and has quickly become one of Japan's most prestigious research institutions since its founding in 1939. It ranks 7th in Japan and 189th in the world by the QS Global World University Rankings (2022).

This university, which has about 2,400 students from all over the world, emphasizes multidisciplinary education to satisfy the needs of a wide range of cutting-edge companies. There are five undergraduate departments in the School of Engineering:

  • Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Physical Science and Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Information Engineering
  • Mechanical, and Aerospace Engineering
  • Civil Engineering and Architecture

There are twelve graduate departments in the School of Engineering:

  • Applied Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
  • Materials, Physics and Energy Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Mechanical Science and Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Crystalline Materials Science
  • Energy Engineering and Science
  • Quantum Engineering
  • Micro-Nano Systems Engineering
  • Molecular Design and Engineering
  • Computational Science and Engineering

Application Process for Japanese Engineering Universities

For admission to a Japanese engineering university, international students need to go through the application process specific to the institution.

1. Submit an application to a university in Japan

2. Since there is no centralized online application platform, international students applying to universities in Japan must do so directly through the university's website

3. To qualify for enrollment, one must be able to fulfill the school's requirements

4. Determine if any specific language skills are necessary

5. Studying in Japan may necessitate proof of fluency in both English and Japanese. Each school makes its own choice in this matter

6. In order to prove that you can communicate effectively in Japanese, you will need to take and pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)

7. Complete required exam for International Students to Enter Japanese Universities

8. Be sure to get your application in before the deadlines! The deadlines for applications to Japanese universities and colleges vary per system. The official university website is the ideal place to find out more information about these important dates

9. After receiving an acceptance letter or university offer, the next step is to confirm your enrollment

10. You'll need a student visa if you wish to attend university in Japan - look into how to apply for this

11. Submit an application for health coverage

12. Scholarship and award applications should be submitted by the allotted deadlines if you’re considering seeking financial support

Documents Required
  • Proof of application fee payment (if applicable)
  • Completed application form
  • Certificate of 12th grade/Secondary School-Leaving Qualification
  • Minimum of a Bachelor's degree (often needed for admission to graduate school).
  • Official transcript
  • Image (passport size) .
  • Certified copies of current passports and/or official picture
  • Recommendation Letter
  • Letter of Motivation
  • Statement of Purpose

The requirements for each degree may vary according to different institutions.

What is EJU?

The EJU - or the Examination of Japanese University Admission - is an assessment created for international students who want to enroll and study as an undergraduate at Japanese institutions, etc. It evaluates fundamental academic knowledge such as Science, Japan and the World, and Mathematics. There is no restriction on the number of times you can take the EJU or the examinee's age.

Cost of Studying Engineering in Japan

Compared to the United States and the United Kingdom, academic costs in Japan are more manageable. In addition, many Japanese universities provide international students with financial aid in the form of scholarships and tuition waivers or reductions.

The tuition price is one of the most important factors in determining how much it will cost to study engineering in Japan. And this price varies widely depending on the type of degree you want to pursue and the institution you decide to attend. The following breakdown of tuition costs at Japan's various universities should help.

  • National Universities
  • Public Universities
  • Private Science Universities

Type of University
Average Tuition for the First Year

National Universities:

  • Akita University
  • Fukushima University
  • Kyoto Institute of Technology
  • Nagasaki University
  • Osaka University 
USD 4100 approx

Public Universities

  • Kyushu University
  • The University of Tokyo
  • Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine
  • Hiroshima City University
  • Fukuoka Women's University
USD 4400 approx

Private Universities

  • Waseda University
  • Keio University
  • International Christian University
  • Sophia University
  • Toyota Technological Institute
USD 8000 approx

As a result, the tuition and fees at public and national institutions are lower than those at private universities. Course by course, undergraduate education in Japan costs between 12,40,000 yen and 28,30,000 yen on average (roughly USD 9000 to USD 21,000).

The cost of studying for a doctorate in Japan can be roughly equivalent to the tuition for postgraduate programs, but you can apply for a variety of Ph.D. scholarships to reduce this cost. In keeping with this, the projected price range for an English language course is between 19,000 and 1,20,000 Yen (roughly USD 145 to USD 915).

In addition to this, institutions may need additional funds to cover running expenses or tuition fees. Enrollment fees, which can range from 280,000 to 390,000 Yen, will also be assessed at the time of application (roughly USD 2,100 to USD 2,900).

Tuition Costs of Universities Offering Engineering Courses in Japan
University of Tokyo
USD 4,111
USD 4,087 - 22,124
Kyoto University
USD 4,469
USD 4,469
Osaka University
USD 4,077
USD 4,165
Kyushu University
USD 4,291
USD 4,291
Keio University
USD 6,391
USD 7,000

Best Cities in Japan for Students

There are a lot of alternatives accessible to you in terms of where to study if you wish to do so in Japan. Some of Japan's top cities for students are listed below, as well as the costs of living in each:

Living Costs Per Month
USD 990 - 1030
USD 840 - 915
USD 880 - 915
USD 915 - 990
USD 950 - 990

Scholarships for International Students

The great news is that there are numerous scholarships open to applications for overseas students. You may be eligible for a scholarship to help with the expense of your degree program at a Japanese university. Additionally, a number of collaborative scholarships are on offer. For example:

  • Scholarships by Mext
  • Jasso
  • Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship
  • Scholarships by private foundations and many more.

A good place to start looking is to the university’s website itself for international student scholarships. You can also look into whether the Japanese government or your home government offers relevant scholarships. For example, the Embassy of Japan in Bangladesh highlights its MEXT scholarship opportunities for local students.

Let’s Take a Look at Some Scholarships for Japanese Universities

Field of Study
ADB-Japan Scholarship Program for Developing Countries in Asia and Pacific

Postgraduate degrees in development-related subjects such as:

  • Engineering and
  • Management
  • Health
  • Education
  • Agriculture
  • Environment and
    natural resource management
  • Academic
  • Travel
  • Insurance
  • Monthly costs, etc.

Japanese Government Scholarships for International Research Students
The Japanese Embassy reserves the right to limit the research areas to a certain set of areas.
  • Monthly stipend
  • Monthly living expenses, travel costs
  • Educational costs and
  • Airfare to and from Japan
Japan Human Resource Development Scholarships (JDS) for Developing Countries in Asia
  • Law
  • Public policy
  • International relations
  • Information technology
  • Industrial development
  • Public administration
  • Business
  • Finance
  • Academic
  • Travel
  • Insurance
  • Monthly costs, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

After I graduate, what will happen to my Japanese visa?

When a company hires you after graduation, they'll help you get a work visa. Once they have given you a job offer, they will start this process. Japanese working visas often last one, three, or five years, depending on the employer you work for.

Can I Work Part - Time in Japan?

If you apply for and are given "permission to participate in activity different from that permitted under the status of residence previously granted" by the Immigration Bureau, you are allowed to work part-time at convenience stores, restaurants, etc. Students can work up to 28 hours a week under Japanese law.

Can I Get a Job On - Campus?

Most undergrads may readily obtain employment on-campus. You might have to wait approximately a year to learn Japanese, though, if you don't already speak it. There might be positions available on campus for graduate students to work as Teaching Assistants (TA).

Is Japan a Safe Country?

Japan is routinely ranked as one of the safest nations in the world based on quantifiable safety metrics. Tokyo and Osaka were ranked as the safest cities in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2019. In addition, Kyoto is renowned for being one of the safest cities.

Our Concluding Thoughts

If you're an international student considering studying in Japan, your best bet will be to enroll in a program that allows you to maintain your academic momentum beyond the classroom. Having a good time, meeting interesting people, and making friends for life should all be a part of the learning experience for anyone studying abroad. Hope our guidelines on Japanese engineering universities for international students like you will be a great help. So, choose your next move wisely! Make sure your choice will help you out in the long run.