Tohoku University Exchange

Language Requirement: Varies
Academic Standing by Program Start: Varies
Location: Asia, Japan
GPA: 3.0
Program Overview

In this exchange program, directly enroll in classes at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. Tohoku University is a major hub for research and STEM studies with 18,000 students and 2,900 international students. You can choose from four different programs that offer coursework in the sciences, social sciences, and more. Some programs offer classes taught in English, while other programs require Japanese proficiency, as the classes are taught in Japanese. Research opportunities are also available. The university has five campuses in a city of 1 million people. Tohoku University has over 300 clubs to join, including a sumo club. A variety of student support services are available, including counseling in English and many student and community support groups. 

Combining the convenience of a modern city with abundant natural scenery, Sendai is often called “the City of Trees.” There are seasonal events throughout the year, attracting tourists from around the nation and local residents alike, including a large festival that creates a colorful streamer forest to celebrate Tanabata, also known as the star festival. Sendai is situated between the ocean and mountains, with easy access to hot spring spas, ski resorts, and the scenic coastal islands of Matsushima. Sendai has its own subway system, and Tokyo is just 1.5 hours away by bullet train.

Scholarship Opportunity: Tohoku University sometimes has funding from the Japanese government for JASSO scholarships, which are around 80,000 JPY (550 USD) per month. This scholarship is competitive, and if funding is available, the application is part of the secondary exchange application process.

Dates and Deadlines
Term Year Deadline Arrival Date Departure Date
Fall/Winter Semester 2024-25 12/15/2023 Late September Early February
Academic Year 2024-25 12/15/2023 Late September Early August
Spring Quarter 2025 6/15/2024 Early April Early August

Discount for Pell Recipients

To expand access to study abroad, GEO is offering a $400 discount for this program (Summer 2024 and beyond) to UO students who currently have the Pell Grant as part of their federal financial aid (FAFSA).

Academic Details

As an exchange student, you will select one of the following programs at Tohoku University to participate in. See further information about each of these programs here

JYPE: Junior Year Program in English
Juniors and seniors are able to study science, engineering and agricultural studies taught in English. Students are encouraged to attend for an entire year, because some classes are designed for a whole year. However, a limited number of spaces are available for students attending for only one semester. This research oriented program requires an individual research training course, where students choose a current research topic related to their field of study. The program also offers some courses on Japanese language and culture aimed at promoting understanding of Japanese language and social customs. 

IPLA: International Program in Liberal Arts
Sophomores and juniors take courses taught in English in economics, management, education, literature, agricultural economics and law, for 1-2 semesters. The program also offers Japanese language and culture classes in order to assist students in understanding Japanese language and customs. Students who have attained adequate Japanese proficiency may take advanced Japanese language classes or attend regular classes with Japanese students. The program values cultural exchange and incorporates group activities and interaction with local Japanese students, both in classes and in extracurricular activities.

DEEP: Direct Enrollment Education Programs (Natural Science)
Undergraduate students who have a Japanese language proficiency test (JLPT) rating of N1 or higher can directly enroll in STEM courses such as mathematics, physics, geophysics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, and earth sciences. Students will be matched with supervising professors in accordance with their academic interests. Students may participate in this program for one semester or a full year. Courses are taught in Japanese. 

COLABS: Cooperative Laboratory Study Program
Graduate students can take natural science courses taught in English for 1-2 semesters such as life sciences, information sciences, and environmental studies. COLABS is research oriented and provides graduate students with opportunities to take part in scientific research trainings.

On the Tohoku University Exchange program, you will typically earn a minimum of 20 UO credits per semester.  Please refer to the Tohoku University website for more detailed credit information. One semester credit at Tohoku University is equal to 1.5 UO quarter credits.

Course Equivalencies

UO students: please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Non-UO students: Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

Additional requirements
  • Some programs at Tohoku are open to sophomores, and some require junior standing. See Academic Details section for more information. 
  • The DEEP program at Tohoku University has Japanese language requirements. See Academic Details section for more information. 
  • The JYPE, IPLA, and COLABS programs do not have Japanese language eligibility requirements. 
  • Note: students who are not native English speakers will need to submit a TOEFL certificate during the secondary application. Tohoku University has a higher TOEFL requirement than UO does. See further details on this page.


Application process

The application process for this program is competitiveGEO staff will review your application materials, and a decision about your enrollment will not be made until after the application deadline. In some cases, an interview is required. If your program requires an interview, you will be contacted with further details about this process after the application deadline. Early applications are encouraged.

Successful applicants will receive an exchange nomination from GEO. Selection will be based on a holistic review of your application. This includes a review of your GPA, transcripts (including courses taken and in-progress), any additional requirements or prerequisites (see section "Additional Requirements"), and written statements. 

Applying for an exchange program involves 2 steps. If you receive a nomination from GEO, you will also need to complete the host university's application, which is administered and reviewed by your host university directly. Instructions will be provided after acceptance by GEO. The host university makes the final decision regarding acceptance into the program.

Housing Description

Exchange students (JYPE/IPLA/COLABS/DEEP/DEEP-Bridge) will live in the university dormitories. You will fill out the housing application after being notified of the admission decision. See further information about the dormitories here.