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. Composed of 10 undergraduate schools, 15 graduate schools, 3 professional graduate schools, 6 research institutes, it is one of Japan's distinguished comprehensive universities.
It employs about 6,300 teaching 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 92 countries and regions. (as of November 2019)
The university upholds its own academic traditions 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 Tohoku University Undergraduate 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's education and research standards are regarded highly both domestically and abroad; it is 3rd in the Times Higher Education Japan University Rankings and was selected as one of three Designated National Universities by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in August 2017.
For more details, please see the official website.
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.
We offer a scholarship and dormitory housing to successful applicants. The program also provides opportunities for learning about Japanese language and culture.
Q3. Where can I learn about the courses 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 of their field to the very latest knowledge 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. Support is provided for students wishing to enroll in a graduate program, or find employment, after graduation.
Q5. How is Tohoku University's research regarded?
A : Tohoku University is ranked 82nd in the QS World University Raking® 2020. It is ranked 23rd in Asia and 5th in Japan. Thomson Reuters ranked Tohoku University 61st among the World's Most Innovative Universities 2019. In the QS World University Ranking® 2019, the university was ranked 43rd in terms of research results in the field of materials science, 41st in physics, and 38th in mechanical/aerospace engineering. These results reflect the university's tradition of "Research First."
You can read about Tohoku University's latest research results on the following websites:
- Tohoku University News - Research
- Tohoku University Research Highlights
Q1. I'm from a country where education is completed in 11 years. Can I apply to this program?
A : Whether you are qualified will be determined based on your academic history, so please contact us before applying.
Q2. 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 the Application Guide, such as an International Baccalaureate Degree etc.
If you do not hold one of the listed qualifications, you may undergo screening by Tohoku University to determine whether or not you are eligible to apply. When undergoing this screening, 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.
Q3. I graduated from 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 as long as you received education in Japan (or at a school for Japanese citizens overseas) for fewer than six years, you are eligible to apply.
Q4. I graduated from high school outside Japan, but I am a Japanese citizen. Can I apply to this program? (Also applies to those with Permanent Resident status.)
A : In general, the program is only open to non-Japanese citizens (excluding those with Permanent Resident status). However, exceptions may be made for Japanese citizens and non-Japanese citizens with permanent resident status under the following conditions.
For example, if you have undergone a full 12 years of education at a local school 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 school for local residents in another country. Students who went to schools based in Japan, or schools overseas that are recognized by Japan's Ministry of Education (e.g. high schools outside Japan for Japanese citizens) 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.
Q5. 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 completed a 12-year curriculum at an IS accredited by WASC, ACSI or CIS, 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.
Q6. 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 exam score requirements for the other tests?
A : There is no minimum score requirements for the other examinations.
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 sent by post.
Q2. How do I pay the 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 need not match your name. So, you can use a credit card belonging to your parent/guardian. Please follow the instructions on the site to complete payment.
Please note that your application submission is not complete until the examination fee is paid, even if all application documents have been submitted by the deadline. Be extremely careful.
Q3. 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 submit scores for the subjects tests required by your desired course in one of the standardized exams listed in the Application Guide.
Q4. 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 through the T-cens system, and examination numbers of successful applicants will be listed on the FGL website.
Q5. How is the 2nd Stage Screening conducted?
A : The 2nd Stage Screening consists of a written test and interview to assess basic academic ability, level of motivation, and communication skills. It will be conducted in English.
Notification of screening results will be sent to each applicant through the T-cens system, and examination numbers of successful applicants will be listed on the FGL website.
Q6. Where is the 2nd Stage Screening conducted?
A : 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).
Details of the date/time, location, and format of the 2nd Stage Screening will be provided via T-cens message.
Q7. The 2nd Stage Screening schedule is different for India. Will the screening process be different there?
A : The schedule for the 2nd Stage Screening is decided with consideration for the relevant country's educational system, but the screening process and criteria are essentially the same everywhere.
Q8. Where can I find past applicant numbers and acceptance rates by country?
A : FGL undergraduate admissions results from October 2018 to October 2020 are shown below :
October 2018 Admission
China, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, UK/India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India, US, Equador
China, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Bangladesh
China, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, US, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India, Mongolia, Philippines, Malaysia, Nepal, Maldives, Turkey, Egypt, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mexico/Japan, US/Japan, Pakistan, Syria, Ghana
Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Mongolia, Syria
China, Indonesia, Thailand, US
China, Indonesia, US
October 2019 Admission
China, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Korea, Vietnam, Pakistan, Japan, Mongolia, Singapore, Malaysia, Iran, US/Japan, US/Taiwan
China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Iran
China, Indonesia, Thailand, India, US, Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, Pakistan, Japan, Mongolia, Singapore, Jordan, Oman, Bangladesh, Nepal, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Poland, Sri Lanka, Germany, Japan/Pakistan, Korea/Thailand, US/Sweden, France/Spain, US/Japan
China, Indonesia, Thailand, India, US, Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore, Poland
China, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Taiwan, Japan, Mongolia, Singapore, Syria
China, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Syria
October 2020 Admission
China, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Vietnam, US, Taiwan, Mauritius, South Africa
China, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan
China, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Vietnam, US, Taiwan, India, Japan, Bangladesh, Philippines, Mongolia, US/Japan, US/Sweden, Rwanda, Brazil, Sri Lanka, France, Singapore, Denmark
China, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Philippines
China, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Germany
China, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea
See here for FGL entrance exam results prior to October 2017.
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 2019 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.
The classes on generalized subjects, other than physical education, for FGL students will be taught in English. 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. There are also many classes in which FGL students can learn about global issues and cultural differences together with Japanese students.
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 currently enrolled at a university. Is it possible to transfer to an FGL course midway through the curriculum?
A : No, you can’t transfer to FGL as a 2nd or 3rd year student even if you have attended a university. You would have start from the first year.
Q5. Can I study Japanese at Tohoku University?
A : Yes, FGL students will 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 enter 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 the 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 see the website of the department you are interested in applying to. It is also 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.
Q7. Do I have to buy a computer after enrolling?
A : Please prepare a laptop PC for use in classes. It will be necessary bring a computer to class if asked to do so by the instructor. Details, such as specification requirements, will be provided after enrollment procedures.
Scholarship & Housing
Q1. What kind of scholarships and other support are provided to students?
A : Tohoku University may provide any of the following financed support to accepted applicants who indicated that they wish to receive a scholarship at the time of their application.
1) International students who achieved excellent scores on the entrance examination, and meet the criteria specified by Japanese Government (MEXT), will be recommended for the MEXT Scholarship, if our new proposal to reserve MEXT Scholarship seats for FGL students in 2021-2023 Admissions is accepted.* If selected for this scholarship, they will receive JPY 119,000/month for four years, and entrance and tuition fees will be waived. They will also receive an economy-class air ticket for travel between an international airport in/near their country of citizenship and Narita International Airport upon enrollment (arrival) and graduation (departure).
* The result of the proposal will be announced around December, 2020.
2) Except for recipients of the scholarship described in 1) above, international students who both indicated that they wish to receive a scholarship at the time of their application, and have outstanding academic records and characters, are eligible for the President Fellowship at Tohoku University. This fellowship provides a sufficient financial support to cover examination, entrance, and tuition fees.
NOTE: 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) Self-financed international students, other than recipients of the scholarship described in 1) above, who achieved an excellent score on the entrance examination, are of excellent character, and for whom studying poses economic hardships, are eligible for the MEXT Honors Scholarship for Privately Financed International Students (excludes 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
(JPY 267,900 x 2)
for max. 4 years)
FGL undergraduate students are given preferential access to the University House Aobayama dormitories for their first two years. University House rooms are inexpensive and furnished with desks and beds. More specific details will be given during the enrollment procedures.
Dorm rooms are all single rooms. Friends and family of the residents are not allowed to stay in them. The kitchens, showers, toilets, and laundry room are shared with other residents.
Dormitory fees (rent + maintenance fees) are approximately JPY 36,000/month. A deposit (JPY 30,000) is required upon moving in. You must pay these fees yourself. You will also be charged for utilities such as water, gas, etc. each month. University House details can be found here.
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 outstanding qualities in terms of both 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. Living expenses are not covered. If you are concerned about living expenses, you should arrange to receive financial support from your home country (parent/guardian, government, etc.).
Q3. How much are living expenses in Sendai?
A : Sendai is a relatively inexpensive city compared with other major cities in Japan. You should budget about JPY 30,000 to 60,000 per month for rent, and JPY 70,000 to 80,000 for other living expenses. If you are concerned that you will have insufficient funds to cover living expenses without relying on scholarships or part-time work, you should arrange to receive financial support from your home country (parent/guardian, government, etc.). 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 see here.
Q2. Is there any information on private scholarships? How many international students at Tohoku University receive scholarships?
A : Some information on scholarships for international students offered by private organizations can be found here.
If you require a scholarship, please look for information yourself. Please be aware that you may not be eligible for all scholarships.
There are about 2,400 international students enrolled at Tohoku University. Their financial arrangements are summarized below. (FY 2019).
|Japanese Government Scholarship Students (MEXT Scholarship)||About 400|
|Students financed by the governments of their home countries||About 80|
|Honors Scholarship||About 80|
|Private scholarship recipients||About 120|
|Other (self-financed)||About 1,700|
Q3. 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. Please note that the FGL class schedule is extremely tight and it will take time to settle into your new life. So it would be very difficult to do part-time work soon after you will arrive in Sendai. For more information, please visit the Immigration Bureau website.
Q4. 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, Tohoku University
41 Kawauchi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi, 980-8576 Japan