Overview of USTEP

July 12, 2017

1. Summary

The University of Tokyo (UTokyo) accepts exchange students from partner universities with which the University has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding concerning student exchange. Exchange students can choose between the Type G and Type U programs.

The Type G program is designed for graduate students. Type G participants will belong to one of the Graduate Schools which they applied for and be able to take various courses or conduct research under the guidance of faculty members.

The Type U program is designed for undergraduate students to take various courses given in English and/or Japanese in the various Faculties in accordance with their English and/or Japanese language proficiency.

2. Features of Type G & Type U

  Type G Type U
Student status Graduate Undergraduate
Affiliation at UTokyo Graduate School to which they applied and were admitted USTEP Office
Courses [Special Auditor] Taking regular courses predominantly in Japanese Taking regular English and/or Japanese courses across Faculties
Research guidance [Special Research Student] Conducting research under the guidance of a faculty member In principal, N/A
Language requirement English and/or Japanese English and/or Japanese

For more details on Type G and Type U, please refer to their websites:

3. Partner Universities (student exchanges administered by the Division of International Affairs)

 Country/Region Partner University
Asia China Fudan University
Nankai University
Nanjing University
Peking University
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Tsinghua University
Hong Kong The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)
The University of Hong Kong
Indonesia Gadjah Mada University
Malaysia University of Malaya
Philippines University of the Philippines
Republic of Korea Korea University
Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)
Seoul National University
Yonsei University
Singapore Nanyang Technological University
National University of Singapore
Taiwan National Chiao Tung University
National Taiwan University
Thailand Chulalongkorn University
Central and South America Brazil University of São Paulo
Chile The Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
The University of Chile
Mexico El Colegio de México
The National Autonomous University of Mexico
North America Canada McGill University
University of British Columbia
University of Toronto
University of Victoria
United States of America Johns Hopkins University
Northeastern University
Princeton University
Swarthmore College
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
University of Washington
Yale University (Yale Fox International Fellowship Program)
Oceania Australia Australian National University
Monash University
The University of Adelaide
The University of Melbourne
The University of Queensland
The University of Sydney
The University of New South Wales
New Zealand The University of Auckland
University of Otago
Europe Denmark University of Copenhagen
Finland University of Helsinki
France École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS)
École Polytechnique
Institut d'etudes politiques de Paris (SciencesPo)
The Université Grenoble Alpes
University of Strasbourg
Germany Free University of Berlin
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
University of Cologne
Ireland Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin
University College Dublin
Italy Sapienza University of Rome
Netherlands Leiden University
University of Groningen
Russia Saint Petersburg State University
Sweden KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Lund University
Stockholm University
Uppsala University
Switzerland Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich)
University of Geneva
United Kingdom Durham University
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London
The University of Glasgow
The University of Sheffield
University College London
University of Exeter
University of Southampton
The University of Warwick

4. FAQs



Q1. My university is not listed on the USTEP site as a partner university. Can I still apply?
A1. No. UTokyo accepts exchange students from partner universities with which the University has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding concerning university-wide student exchange. Applications to USTEP will be accepted only through the partner universities’ offices responsible for student exchange. Having said that, your university may have School/Faculty-level exchange agreement(s) with UTokyo. Please consult your home institution first.
Q2. I would like to participate in the Type U during my first (or second) year in a 4-year bachelor's program. Am I eligible?
A2. No. The Type U students will be registered in the Senior Division of UTokyo, which is for the 3rd and 4th year undergraduate students, and thus, we would recommend that students complete at least 3 semesters in their 4-year bachelor's program before applying to the Type U.

Letters of reference
Q3. Does my referee have to be a professor whose class(es) I have taken before at my university?
A3.  Yes, it must be signed by a professor of your major. Also, additional references are very welcome as long as you provide at least one letter of reference issued by a faculty member at your home university who knows your academic performance.

Language and other requirements
Q4. I am a Type U (undergraduate) applicant. What is the language requirement?
A4. The Type U program requires exchange students to be proficient in English and/or Japanese, depending on the courses they wish to take. Those who have graduated from high schools where the medium of instruction is English or Japanese will be regarded as English or Japanese native speakers, respectively. Unless they attend/have attended universities where English is the language of instruction, non-native English speakers must submit an official certificate as indicated below.
Students who wish to take courses offered in English: A minimum TOEFL (iBT) score of 90, IELTS overall band score of 6.5 or CAE
Students who wish to take courses offered in Japanese: JLPT Level N1
Q5. I am a Type G (graduate) applicant. Are there any language requirements?
A5. Each Graduate School has its own requirements for language proficiency and other conditions depending on your exchange student status, "Special Auditor" or "Special Research Student". For details, please refer to Prerequisites for USTEP Type G Applicants.

Course selection
Q6. I want to see the list of courses for the next year(s) I will be at UTokyo. When will it be available?
A6. Our online course catalog is updated in March.
Q7. The language of instruction for the course I wish to take at UTokyo is "Japanese/English". What does that mean?
A7. The language of instruction in "Japanese/English" indicates that the course is taught in both languages. Therefore, proficiency in both languages is required.
Q8. I want to receive course selection advice.
A8. You will receive such advice once you are admitted to USTEP, and you can modify your course list before registration.

Q9. I need to earn and transfer certain credits to my home university. How many credits should I register at UTokyo?
A9. At UTokyo, courses worth 2 credits consist of 13 x 105-minute classes. Some Graduate Schools have a minimum number of required credits. Please refer to Prerequisites for USTEP Type G Applicants and consult with your home university to see how those credits would be counted and whether the courses you wish to take would be transferable.

Financial support

Q10. Are there scholarships available for USTEP students?  If there are, how do I apply?
A10. Scholarships from other sources, such as the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), may be available. For further information, please refer to "Scholarships" in 6. Additional Information.

Student life

Q11. Is university housing guaranteed?
A11. No. Exchange students may apply for university housing. However, because of the limited number of facilities, the assignment of university housing is not guaranteed. The International Exchange Group at UTokyo will contact students with details of the procedure after their admission is granted. For further information, please visit our Housing Office website at


Q12. Does UTokyo offer any short-term, non-degree programs held in English?
A12. You will find a list of short-term, non-degree programs offered in English at the following link:

5. Brochure


6. Inquiries

Please read our FAQs before sending an email. We are unable to reply to inquiries already addressed in the FAQs.

You can contact the International Exchange Group using the form linked below.
Please include the following information in your message:
[Home university]
[Current year (TYPE U or G)]
[Planned period of exchange at UTokyo]
[(For TYPE G) Graduate School you would like to enroll in]

International Exchange Group Contact Form
Related Links