Tohoku University was established in Sendai in 1907 as Tohoku Imperial University by consolidating an agricultural college and a science college. It is the third oldest former Imperial University after Tokyo and Kyoto.
Tohoku University is well known for its open and progressive policies. It was the first University to admit women, and also pioneered in opening a university by offering public lectures. Already in 1911, Tohoku University graduated its first foreign students, thus becoming the Japanese university with the longest history of foreign graduates. All of these were epochmaking events in the history of Japanese higher education. The “Spirit of Open Doors” remains alive within the tradition of Tohoku University. Along with this spirit, the University has placed a high value on the “Spirit of Search for Truth” and emphasized original and creative research. Thus Tohoku University is known for its strong orientation toward academic research.
In the years following its establishment, Tohoku University has grown into an institution that includes the fields of medicine, science, and engineering among others. Currently the University has ten undergraduate and fifteen graduate schools, and five research institutes. The current student body consists of over 18,000 students, including roughly 1,500 international students from 84 countries. The university is staffed with about 5,900 employees, including about 850 full professors.