Future Global Leadership Program
- Undergraduate degree courses taught in English -
About Tohoku University & FGL
Q1. What is Tohoku University
A : Tohoku University was founded in Sendai City in 1907, and is now one of Japan's foremost universities. The university contains 10 undergraduate schools, 16 graduate schools, 3 professional graduate schools, 6 research institutes, and numerous research organizations and facilities. It employs about 6,500 academic, research, and administrative staff and has a student body of approximately 11,000 undergraduate students and 7,000 graduate students. This includes about 2,200 international students from 97 countries and regions as of May 2017.
The university's academic culture is characterized by its policies of ‘Research First’, ‘Open Doors’, and ‘Practice-Oriented Research and Education’. This culture has given the world much original research and many excellent graduates. For example, Koichi Tanaka, a graduate of the undergraduate program of School of Engineering, received the 2002 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Tohoku University was also among the first universities in Japan to open its doors to international students, graduating two (from India and China) in 1911. This tradition continues today, and the university is known for its broad acceptance of international students.
Tohoku University is raked second in a new Times Higher Education Japan University Rankings 2017. Most recently the university was selected as one of three Designated National Universities in Japan by the government.
For further details, please see the official website.
Information on international student numbers can be also found here.
Q2. What is FGL?
A : FGL is a degree-conferring undergraduate program taught in English. The program recruits students from around the world who share an international perspective, desire to be active on a global scale, and have excellent fundamental academic abilities. We encourage students who are interested in Japan and want to study at Tohoku University to apply.
Applicants will undergo a screening process, but no Japanese language proficiency is needed at the application. The program provides opportunities for learning about Japanese language and culture.
We also offer scholarship opportunities and housing support (e.g. preferential dormitory housing for first two years) to successful applicants.
Q3. Where can I learn about the countries in this program in more details?
A : The Tohoku University FGL undergraduate program offers three courses: Advanced Molecular Chemistry (AMC), International Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (IMAC), and Applied Marine Biology (AMB).
For further details on what you can study in these courses, please see the following websites:
- Advanced Molecular Chemistry (AMC)
- International Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Course (IMAC-U)
- Applied Marine Biology (AMB)
Q4. What are the advantages of this program?
A : All three courses provide an environment where students can learn everything from the basics to the very latest knowledge of their field under top-level instructors.
Students who satisfy the requirements of their course will earn the undergraduate degree offered by that course -a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Engineering, or Bachelor of Agriculture. Career Support is provided for students wishing to enroll in a graduate program, or find employment, after graduation.
Although no Japanese ability is required to enter the FGL program, the curriculum includes Japanese language classes. Students who obtain sufficient Japanese ability will be allowed to take the same classes that Japanese students take. Many classes in which the FGL students can learn about global issues and culture differences with Japanese students are also offered.
Q5. How is Tohoku University's research regarded?
A : Tohoku University is ranked 76th in the QS World University Raking® 2018. This is 18th in Asia and 5th in Japan. The university is also ranked 31th in ‘The World Most Innovative Universities 2016’ by Thomson Reuters. In terms of its research fields, QS’s 2017 survey ranked the university in the world 22th in materials science, 31th in physics and in mechanical and aerospace engineering, and 45th in chemistry. These results reflect one of Tohoku University's fundamental principles, that of "Research First."
Updated information and hot news on research activities at Tohoku University is always available at the following sites:
- Tohoku University News - Research
- Tohoku University Research Highlights
Q1. I'm from a country where education is completed in 11 years (or fewer). Can I apply to this program?
A : No, unfortunately. At this point we accept applications only from persons who have completed a 12-year educational program. Therefore, if you have not undergone a full 12-years of education, you will need to supplement your education with a higher education curriculum or a university preparatory curriculum in your country/Japan. However, in some cases you may still be able to apply. If you are uncertain in about your case, please contact us.
Q2. I have completed (would have completed) a 12-year educational program in a school or high school outside Japan by September 30, 2018. However, I will not be 18 years old by then. Can I apply to this program?
A : Yes. Even if you are not yet 18 you are eligible as long as you have completed 12 years of education. You should inform Tohoku University of your circumstances (e.g. started primary education earlier than usual, skipped a year thus shortening school attendance by a year, etc.).
Q3. I want to apply, but I have been studying at an institution that is not a regular school. Can I apply to this program?
A : You are eligible as long as you hold one of the qualifications listed in ‘4.-(1) Basic Qualifications of the Application Guide, such as an International Baccalaureate Degree (Diploma), etc., and are 18 years old by September 30, 2018.
If you do not hold one of the listed qualifications, you may undergo a review by Tohoku University to determine whether or not you are eligible to apply. When undergoing this review, you will be asked to submit your entire academic history, along with records of educational achievements (transcripts, qualifications) at least one month before the application deadline.
Q4. I graduated from a school or high school outside Japan, but I underwent part of my education in Japan. Can I apply to this program?
A : As long as you completed the 12th (final) year of the school education curriculum overseas, and also the total period during which you received education in Japan (or at a school run under the Japanese educational system overseas) is equal to or less than six years, you are eligible to apply.
Q5. I graduated from a school or high school outside Japan but I am a Japanese citizen. Can I apply tho this program? (Also applies to those with Permanent Resident status.)
A : In general, the program is only open to non-Japanese citizens without a Permanent Resident permit. However, exceptions may be made for Japanese citizens and foreign permanent residents under the following conditions.
For example, if you have undergone a full 12-years of education at local schools outside Japan, and are considered to have an educational background identical to that of an international student, you may be eligible. Here, "local school" refers to a regular school for local residents in another country. However, if schools are located outside Japan, but they offer education based on the Japanese educational system, and/or are recognized by Japan's Minister of Education (e.g. high schools in foreign countries for Japanese citizens), you are not eligible.
If you wish to apply under this exception, you should contact us to confirm your eligibility well in advance.
This also applies if you hold dual-citizenship in Japan and another country.
Q6. I graduated from an International School (IS) in Japan. Can I apply to this program?
A : Yes. If you are not a Japanese citizen and have received WASC, ACSI or CIS certification after completing a 12-year curriculum at an IS, you are eligible to apply. Also, if you attended a Japanese school for equal to or fewer than six years of your 12-year curriculum, you are eligible to apply.
However, if you graduated from an IS school but hold Japanese citizenship or permanent residency in Japan, you are not eligible.
Q7. The FGL Application Guide mentions the scores needed when taking the Japan Student Services Organization's Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (JASSO EJU). However, no scores are listed for other types of examination. What are the score requirements for the other tests?
A : As it is impossible to compare scores for global and national standardized university admission exams, such as the IB, SAT and GCE etc., in each country, we are unable to provide specific score requirements for admission.
Since FGL offers courses in science, engineering, and agriculture, students with excellent mathematics and science scores are preferred. You are encouraged to complete and grade the practice EJU test questions yourself (http://www.jasso.go.jp/eju/examination_e.html). If you can attain a score of 80% or better on the EJU, you will be considered to have sufficient basic academic abilities to apply to the FGL program.
For your reference, the IMAC-U website provides data showing submitted standardized test scores and success rates in the 2nd Stage Screening.
Admissions (application procedures, screenings, etc)
Q1. How will Tohoku University contact me?
A : You will be contacted individually by T-cens message. Particularly important communications will be also sent by post.
Q2. How do I make a payment of examination fee
A : A link to a payment service (e-shiharai net) will be provided on the FGL website. You will pay by credit card. The name on the credit card do not need to match your name. So, you can use a credit card under the name of your parent/guardian. Please follow the instructions on the site to complete the payment.
Please note that your application is not complete until the examination fee is paid, even if all application documents have been submitted by the deadline.
Q3. Are there any differences between the 1st and 2nd Application Rounds?
A : No. The selection process and criteria are basically the same for both the 1st and 2nd rounds. Each course will accept approximately 10 students for both the 1st and 2nd rounds combined from among those who pass the screening process.
Tohoku University offers two application rounds because for some students in specific countries it is impossible to satisfy all our application requirements due to their country's academic system (e.g., the date of national standardized university exams, etc.). Our current application system gives them an opportunity to apply during the 2nd Application Round. Also, the two application rounds are offered to give multiple application opportunities to some students.
However, in order to study in Japan, a number of procedures are required (e.g., getting a Student visa etc.). Therefore, if you fulfill the application requirements early, we strongly recommend you to apply during the 1st Application Round to give you ample time to complete these procedures.
Q4. I live in a country that offers the Examination for Japanese University Admissions for International Students (EJU test). However, I wasn't able to take the EJU test in time. Can I submit a different test score instead?
A : Yes. The EJU is not mandatory. So you can apply by submitting scores for the subjects required by your desired course in one of the standardized exams listed in the Application Guide.
Q5. How is the 1st Stage Screening conducted?
A : Submitted documents will be examined and applicants will be selected based on whether or not they possess sufficient fundamental academic abilities to study at Tohoku University.
Notification of screening results will be sent to each applicant via T-cens message, and examination numbers of successful applicants will be announced on the FGL website.
Q6. How is the 2nd Stage Screening conducted? Are past test questions from the 2nd Stage Screening published?
A : (1) The 2nd Stage Screening consists of an interview and a written test for some courses, and it was conducted on-location by a Tohoku University instructor, or via Skype video call or teleconferencing system at when the conditions met. It will be conducted in English.
(2) Notification of screening results will be sent to each applicant through the T-cens system, and examination numbers of successful applicants will be announced on the FGL website.
(3) Samples of past questions for the written portion of the 2nd Stage Screening will be sent to IMAC-U applicants who pass the 1st Stage Screening.
Q7. Where is the 2nd Stage Screening conducted?
A : (1) Tohoku University will designate locations for the 2nd Stage Screening. Please be aware that the screening may not be conducted in the city/region where you live. If you already live in Japan, the 2nd Stage Screening will be conducted at Tohoku University (in Sendai).
(2) Details of the date/time, location, and method for the 2nd Stage Screening will be provided via T-cens message.
Q8. Where can I find past applicant numbers and acceptance rates by country?
A : FGL undergraduate admissions results from October 2011 to October 2017 are shown below :
October 2011 Admission
Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan
Iran, Thailand, Germany, Turkey, India, China, US, Pakistan
Turkey, Thailand, India, China, US
Turkey, Thailand, India, China, US
Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Indonesia, China
Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Indonesia, China
Sri Lanka, Turkey, Indonesia, China
October 2012 Admission
Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, China, Korea, Japan
Thailand, Indonesia, China, Korea, Japan
Thailand, Indonesia, China, Korea
Thailand, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Iran, Turkey, Nigeria, Argentina, China, Korea
Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan, China, Korea
Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan, China, Korea
Indonesia, Pakistan, Denmark, China
Indonesia, Pakistan, China
Indonesia, Pakistan, China
October 2013 Admission
Thailand, China, Uzbekistan, India, Indonesia
Thailand, China, Indonesia
Thailand, China, Indonesia
India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Iran, Italy, America, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia
Thailand, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal
Thailand, China, Malaysia, Nepal
US, Thailand, Indonesia, Morocco, Singapore, Nigeria, Korea
US, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Nigeria, Korea
US, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore
October 2014 Admission
China, Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Netherlands, US
China, Indonesia, Thailand
China, Korea, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Pakistan, Nepal, Netherlands, Malaysia, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe
China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand, Nepa
China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand
China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria
October 2015 Admission
Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, China, Indonesia, Singapore, US
Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, US
Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, US
Egypt, Luxembourg, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Palestine, China, Indonesia, Tunisia, Vietnam, Nepal, UK, Japan,Thailand/Indonesia, US
China, Indonesia, Tunisia, Thailand, Nepal, Vietnam
China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam
India, Pakistan, China, Nepal, US/Taiwan, Indonesia, Cameroon, Singapore, US/Japan
US/Taiwan, Singapore, China, US/Japan, US
October 2016 Admission
Bangladesh, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Malaysia, Malaysia/Japan, Indonesia, Nepal, India, Korea, Thailand, Germany, UK, US
China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Mongolia, Korea, Thailand
China, Malaysia, Nepal, Mongolia
Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Egypt/US, Germany/US/Japan, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Uganda, US, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Jordan, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey, Australia
China, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Egypt/US, Egypt
China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Egypt/US, Egypt
China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Korea, Thailand, US
Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, US
Indonesia, US, Korea, Thailand
October 2017 Admission
China, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, UK/US, US, Viet Nam
China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Korea, Thailand, UK/US, Viet Nam
China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Korea, Viet Nam
Bangladesh, China, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Pakistan, Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, US,US/Japan, Viet Nam
China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Viet Nam
China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, Thailand
China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines/Canada, Korea, Viet Nam
China, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines/Canada, Korea
China, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines/Canada, Korea
Q1. What kind of classes can I take on this program?
A : An outline of the curriculum is available on the FGL website for your reference. Also see the General Education syllabuses for October 2016 and October 2017 entrants. You can refer to the syllabuses for specialized subjects, too.
Q2. Will I be able to take classes together with Japanese students?
A : This program has no Japanese language requirement, but the curriculum is structured to provide as many opportunities for interaction with Japanese students as possible.
Generally, during the first and second year you will have to take classes taught in English, but we are considering making it possible to take some classes together with Japanese students. (e.g. physical education, etc.) Classes for Japanese students are usually taught in Japanese, but there are also some that are taught in English. FGL students who want to take classes for Japanese students that are taught in English may be allowed to take them.
Q3. Can I transfer to a different course after entering this program?
A : No. The FGL program uses a specialized admission process. As a result, you cannot transfer to another course after entering.
Please obtain sufficient information on each course before applying to the program.
Q4. I'm attending a university now. Can I transfer to this program?
A : No, you can’t transfer to the 2nd or 3rd year of the program even if you have attended a university. You will start from the first year.
Q5. Can I study Japanese at Tohoku University?
A : Yes, FGL students can study Japanese as a foreign language (10 credits). Credits earned in this foreign language course will count towards Tohoku University's graduation requirements.
We also provide a system for receiving language credits based on examination scores, such as the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test.
Q6. Can I progress to a Tohoku University Graduate School after completing this program?
A : Yes. Upon graduating from this program, you will receive a bachelor's degree in Science, Engineering, or Agriculture, depending on your course. This qualifies you to enter graduate school.
One of Tohoku University's defining characteristics is that most students proceed to a graduate school after completing undergraduate studies. The percentage of students who go on to graduate school averages 80-90% for the Faculty of Science, School of Engineering, and Faculty of Agriculture. For information on graduate school admissions, please visit the website of the department you are interested in applying to. It is possible to enter a graduate school in October instead of April.
Tohoku University is creating a support system that will provide career consulting and employment information to students to assist with their post-graduation plans.
Scholarship & Housing
Q1. What kind of scholarships and other support are provided to students?
A : Tohoku University actively supports FGL students by providing scholarships and dormitory housing to those with exceptional academic abilities.
1) Eight successful FGL applicants (total for the 3 courses) who achieved excellent scores on the entrance examination and meet the criteria specified by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), will be recommended for the Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship. If selected for this scholarship, you will receive JPY 119,000/month for four years while entrance and tuition fees will be waived. You will also receive an economy-class air ticket for travel between the international airport closest to your residence and Narita International Airport upon enrollment (for arrival) and graduation (for departure).
2) Self-financed international students, other than recipients of the Japanese Government Scholarship described in 1), will be awarded the President Fellowship, which provides a scholarship that covers examination, entrance, and tuition fees.
Please note that this scholarship does not include a living stipend. Living expenses for 1st-year students in Sendai are about JPY 70,000-80,000 per month.
3) International students who achieved an excellent score on the entrance examination, are of excellent character, and for whom studying poses economic hardships, will be recommended for the MEXT Honors Scholarship for Privately Financed International Students (excludes recipients of the MEXT Scholarship mentioned in 1) above, those who underwent the 2nd Stage Screening in Japan, and those who are already living in, Japan). Scholarship recipients will receive a monthly stipend of JPY 48,000 for half a year after they enroll.
|1) Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship||2) President Fellowship*||3) MEXT Honors Scholarship
for Privately Financed
|Examination Fee||-||JPY 5,000||-|
|Entrance Fee||Waived||JPY 282,000||-|
|Living Stipend||JPY 119,000/month
for max. 4 years
for the first 6 months
(Oct. 2018 to Mar. 2019)
(JPY 267,900 x 2)
for max. 4 years)
* Those not receiving 1) Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship are eligible. 2) and 3) can be received simultaneously.
FGL undergraduate students are given preferential access to the University House Sanjo dormitory for their first two years.
University House Sanjo rooms are furnished with desks and beds, and are inexpensive. More specific details will be given during the enrollment procedures.
Dormitories are for the sole use of the dorm residents. Friends and family of the residents are not allowed to stay in dorm rooms. The kitchens, showers, toilets, and laundry room are shared with other residents.
Dormitory fees (rent + maintenance fees) are approximately JPY 19,000/month plus a deposit (JPY 30,000) upon moving in. You must pay these fees yourself. You will also be charged for utilities such as water, gas, etc. each month. (The above fee amounts are scheduled to be adjusted in 2019.)
University House details can be found the URLs below :
- TU Support : University House for International Students
- University House Sanjo
From your third year, you will have to live in a private apartment. Rent costs about JPY 30,000-60,000/month. You will also have to pay 1-3 months of rent as key money/deposit.
Q2. What is the President Fellowship System?
A : This is a unique scholarship system offered by Tohoku University to international students who possess both outstanding academic abilities and character. By providing this scholarship, the system aims to promote enrollment by international students, contribute to international diversity in our undergraduate curriculum, and foster leaders, both foreign and Japanese, who will be active on a global scale.
The President Fellowship covers the entrance fee and four years' worth of tuition as long as your academic performance is satisfactory. Since it does not cover living expenses, you should arrange to receive financial support from your home country (parent/guardian, government, etc.).
Q3. How much are monthly living expenses in Sendai?
A : Sendai’s cost of living is relatively lower than that of other major cities in Japan. The average living expenses of a student in Sendai is approximately JPY 50,000-60,000 excluding rent of JPY 30,000-60,000. If you are concerned about living expenses, you should arrange to receive financial support from your home country (parent/guardian, government, etc.). The class schedule is also extremely tight and it will take time to settle into your new life, so it will be difficult to do part-time work soon after you arrive. Do not rely on scholarships and part-time work to pay your way after enrolling. It is essential that you get financial support from your home country somehow. You can find useful information in Tohoku University Guidebook.
Q1. Where is Tohoku University located?
A : Tohoku University is located in Sendai City about 1.5 hours by train (Tohoku Shinkansen) from Tokyo. Sendai boasts a lovely natural environment, and is considered one of the most pleasant and livable cities in Japan. Most of the campuses are situated near downtown Sendai. For more information, please visit here.
Q2. I am worried about the Sendai earthquake and radioactivity. What is the current situation?
A : The earthquake of March 11, 2011 triggered massive tsunami over the entire eastern part of Japan, causing much damage. Moreover, it led to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.
Concentrated efforts at restoration have been ongoing since then, both on the local and national level. We are very grateful for the warm support we received from people around the world immediately after the disaster. Although some of Tohoku University's buildings and facilities were greatly damaged, we quickly began recovery efforts, and the university's research and educational activities are now completely back to their pre-earthquake state.
With regards to radiation, Tohoku University is located in Sendai, which is about 100 km from the Fukushima nuclear plant. The Nuclear Regulation Authority publishes the results of environmental radiation surveys daily, and Sendai's levels are basically the same as those in other major Japanese cities. Compared with radiation in cities around the world, Sendai's levels are actually fairly low.
Even so, we understand that those considering studying here are very concerned about radiation in Sendai. For reference, here is a comparison of environmental radiation levels in Japan and major world cities, as of March 2017.
Readings are shown in microsieverts.
- Sendai : 0.039
- Tokyo : 0.037
- Nagoya : 0.042
- Osaka : 0.042
- Beijing : 0.071
- Seoul : 0.119
- Taipei : 0.071
- Singapore : 0.100
- London : 0.106
- Paris : 0.044
- New York : 0.041
Tohoku University is committed to providing a safe, secure environment for its students.
Q3. Is there any information on private scholarships? About how many of the international students at Tohoku University receive a scholarship?
A : Information on scholarships for international students offered by private organizations can be found here.
If you require a scholarship, you should actively obtain information independently. But please be aware that you can’t necessarily apply for any scholarships you wish to apply for.
Also, there are about 2,200 international students enrolled at Tohoku University. Their financial arrangements are summarized below. (FY 2016).
|Japanese Government Scholarship Students (MEXT Scholarship)||About 400|
|Students financed by the governments of their home countries||About 100|
|Honors Scholarship||About 120|
|Private scholarship recipients||About 120|
|Other (self-financed)||About 1,450|
Q4. Am I allowed to work at a part-time job?
A : Yes, students may work part-time as long as it doesn't interfere with their studies. International students are allowed to work a maximum of 28 hours per week.
If you plan to engage in part-time work, you can apply for permission to do so when entering Japan. If you do not submit the application when entering the country, you can do so at the Sendai Immigration Bureau. For more information, please visit the Immigration Bureau website.
Q5. Can I participate in student clubs?
A : Yes, beyond academic study, Tohoku University conducts sports and cultural activities through the campus-wide Gakuyu-kai (Students' Friendship Association). You can see a list of student clubs and circles at the website below. Many Tohoku University students participate in these activities.
Future Global Leadership Program
Student Exchange Division
41 Kawauchi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi, 980-8576 Japan