Tohoku University Exchange

Language Requirement: Varies
Academic Standing by Program Start: Varies
Location: Asia, Japan
GPA: 3.0
Program Overview
Application deadline extended to June 15 for Spring Quarter 2023.

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 $700 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 2022-23 01/01/2022 Late September Early February
Academic Year 2021-23 01/01/2022 Late September Early August
Spring Quarter 2023 6/15/2022 Early April Early August
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

Selection for the program is based on a review of your written application, transcripts, recommendations, and completion of the interview process. After the initial application is complete, GEO will review it and select candidates for nomination to Tohoku University. Nominations are made in January/February for the fall/winter semester and in September for the spring term of the following year. Students will then need to complete a secondary application for Tohoku University, which typically consists of a statement of purpose, certificate of enrollment at UO, official UO transcript, letter of recommendation, copy of passport, certificate of language proficiency (if applicable), etc. Notification about acceptance will happen in mid-May for fall students, and in late January for spring students. Students will need to select one of the 5 programs (JYPE, IPLA, COLBAS, DEEP, DEEp-Bridge) during the application period. 

NOTE: Acceptance into this exchange program is competitive, even after students have been nominated by UO. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for an additional 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.

Travel Advisories

GEO programs are under continuous review during this period of global uncertainty and limited travel. All program details outlined on this page, including program cost, are subject to change if global or location-specific conditions require modifications to program structure.

To learn more about COVID regulations while studying abroad, visit our FAQ page.