Waseda University Exchange
This program is not available for Fall/Winter 2024-25 or Academic Year 2024-25.
Waseda University is a private university located in the heart of Tokyo. Consistently ranked as one of the best universities in Japan, Waseda has produced many of the nation’s top minds, including seven Japanese Prime Ministers and CEOs for Sony, Honda, Toshiba, Fujitsu, and UNIQLO.
A large international university, Waseda has more than 54,000 students, 5,000 of which are international students from more than 90 countries. Being at a large university means there are many opportunities and resources available to you, such as numerous student clubs, and the International Communication Center, which organizes events for international students. There are also a variety of support services, including the Health Support Center, the Student Counseling Room, and the Office for Students with Disabilities. In 2017, Waseda became the first university in Japan to have a Gender and Sexuality Center, which provides support services to LGBT students.
The Waseda campus is centrally located in Tokyo in a neighborhood that has an urban college town atmosphere, with both lush, natural surroundings and centuries-old traditions. The most populous city in the world, Tokyo has a global influence on par with cities such as New York, London, and Paris. Despite being a modern metropolis, Tokyo remains rich in culture; one is just as likely to see temples and shrines throughout the city as major skyscrapers.
Learn more about the highlights of Waseda University and Tokyo here: http://www.waseda.jp/inst/whywaseda/en/.
Note for students who have previously lived in Japan: Waseda has additional eligibility requirements related to attending elementary or high school in Japan. Undergraduate applicants, except those who apply to the School of International Liberal Studies (SILS), must have completed at least 12 years of school education or equivalent in a country other than Japan. SILS applicants must have completed most of the secondary education (6 years) in a non-Japanese educational system.
Scholarship opportunity: JASSO or MEXT scholarships may be available through the Japanese government. The JASSO scholarship is typically around $700/month, and the MEXT scholarship is typically around $1,000/month. If this funding is available, the scholarship application will be part of your secondary application for Waseda. Both scholarships are competitive. More information click here.
Listen to Austin Goven, a student double majoring in international studies and Japanese with a minor in business administration at the University of Oregon. Austin explains his experience studying language immersion in Tokyo, Japan during a 6-month exchange at Waseda University.
Note: credits listed below are estimates and are subject to change. Please refer to the Waseda links for the updated credit information on their classes. One credit at Waseda is equal to 1.5 UO quarter credits.
Exchange students studying at Waseda can choose from these three options:
School of International Liberal Studies (SILS) (3.3 UO GPA required):
This track allows you to improve your Japanese language skills while also studying other subjects in English. SILS is a department at Waseda University focused on a liberal arts education in which all classes are taught in English. SILS classes are available in a variety of disciplines such as international relations, business, history, political science, Japanese culture, literature, and more. You will be taking classes alongside Japanese students and other international students. To see SILS course lists from previous semesters, click on “Available Course List” on this page. To search for syllabi/ course descriptions, select SILS as the School on this page (Waseda Syllabus Search).
In the SILS program, you will earn:
- Around 9 UO credits of Japanese language
- Plus around 12 or more UO credits of SILS classes in English
More information on SILS here: https://www.waseda.jp/fire/sils/en/
Japanese Language Program (JLP) at the Center for Japanese Language (3.0 UO GPA required):
This track allows you to intensively study Japanese language and rapidly improve your language skills. The Center for Japanese Language (CJL) offers language classes from the beginning level up to highly advanced, and has a teaching staff of nearly 200 instructors. ‘Waseda Nihongo Support,’ a language support center with drop-in advising and tutoring, is available for students studying Japanese.
In the Japanese Language Program, you will earn:
- Around 20 UO credits of Japanese language per semester
- In addition, you have the option to take up to 2 content classes in English, which are typically each worth 3 UO credits.
More info on JLP & CJL here: https://www.waseda.jp/inst/cjl/en/
Other departments (3.3 UO GPA required):
Exchange students can also apply to enroll in a different department at Waseda. Some departments offer coursework in English, while other departments teach some or all of their classes in Japanese and thus require a high level of Japanese language proficiency. Departments include the School of Political Science and Economics, the School of Commerce, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and others. See Waseda's list of departments and the eligibility requirements under the English Based Program and Japanese Based Program sections on this page.
NOTE: if you’d like to apply for a department that is Japanese based, you will need to have previously taken the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) and received a score of N1. If you have not taken the JLPT but have advanced proficiency in Japanese, you may submit a letter from a Japanese instructor verifying your language level, however, it is not guaranteed that the department at Waseda will accept the letter in place of the JLPT score. Therefore, it is highly recommended to take the JLPT prior to applying to a Japanese based department at Waseda. The test is periodically offered in Portland and Seattle. For more information visit the American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ).
Important note about courses at Waseda University
Aside from designated university open courses, students are expected to take all of their courses in the school that they apply to. This means that when you are researching courses at Waseda, ensure that there is a sufficient number of courses of interest within the specific school that you are applying to in order to avoid disappointment (ex. School of International Liberal Studies, School of Commerce, etc).
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.
Note: Some programs at Waseda require UO students to have a 3.3 UO GPA.
The application process for this program is competitive: GEO 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.
Exchange students can choose to stay in a dormitory with international students, in a share house apartment, or with a host family. Dormitories are located within walking distance from campus and include a full kitchen for students to use. Single and double rooms are available, although dormitory space is limited and is not guaranteed. A share house offers the opportunity to live more independently with international or Japanese roommates. Living with a host family is a great way to fully experience Japanese family life and have an immersive cultural experience, although you should be prepared to have the authentic Tokyo experience of commuting up to an hour each way to school from your host family’s house.
Click here for more information on housing.