Type U (For Undergraduates)

December 25, 2019

Type U (For Undergraduates)

The University of Tokyo, as declared in its Charter, aims to “be a world-class platform for research and education, contributing to human knowledge in partnership with other leading global universities.”  USTEP (University-wide Exchange Program) is an embodiment of this goal, as it facilitates active undergraduate and graduate student exchanges with leading universities of the world.
USTEP at the University of Tokyo offers highly motivated and academically-oriented students an invaluable experience of studying at Japan's premier institution of higher education. The University is renowned for both its research and education throughout the world and offers a range of academic experiences through its College and Faculties as well as Graduate Schools. USTEP students at the University of Tokyo may take these courses both in English and Japanese, provided they satisfy certain language requirements.
USTEP also offers international students an opportunity to experience life in Japan. Students will reside in Tokyo, one of the most exciting metropolises of the world. They will learn about traditional and contemporary life in Japan and will also be able to reflect upon the meaning of living in a "global city" where an amazing range of values and expectations exist, at times in harmony and other times in tension.
Through USTEP and other educational programs, the University of Tokyo strives to nurture students with a global outlook who will become leaders of the next generations. We invite the students at our partner universities to come and join our community of excellence!

PDF version of the USTEP/TypeU information 

1. Qualifications


Exchange Students' Status

Students participating in the Type U program will be affiliated with the Division for Global Campus Initiatives of UTokyo. Their status will be “Special Auditors” who are eligible to register for university courses for credit. (Students should consult their home universities for procedures regarding credit transfers.)


Only students satisfying all of the following requirements may apply:

  1. Undergraduate Students who will be enrolled full-time at a Partner University during their entire period of study at UTokyo. (See “7 Partner Universities”)
  2. Undergraduate students who will return to their home university after completing their study at UTokyo.
  3. Undergraduate students who demonstrate excellent academic performance.
  4. Undergraduate students who have a clear intention to study at UTokyo.
  5. Undergraduate students who have official proof of their required language proficiency and meet other conditions at the time of submission of application.

Note: In principle, first and second year undergraduate students are not accepted for USTEP. For universities with three-year undergraduate programs, students must be at least in the second semester of their second year when studying at UTokyo.

Language Requirement

The Type U program requires exchange students to be proficient in English and/or Japanese. Unless they attend a university where English is the language of instruction or have graduated from a high school where the medium of instruction is English, those who wish to participate in the Type U program taking courses in English must submit an official certificate as listed below.
Those who wish to participate in the Type U program taking courses in Japanese should submit an official certificate as listed below unless they have graduated from a high school where the medium of instruction is in Japanese.

Students who wish to take courses offered in English A minimum TOEFL (iBT) score of 90, IELTS overall band score of 6.5, or Cambridge English Qualifications "C1 Advanced".
* TOEFL(iBT) “MyBest scores” is not accepted.
Students who wish to take courses offered in Japanese JLPT Level N1 or completion of high school where the medium of instruction was Japanese.

Note: Only those who have graduated from high schools where the medium of instruction is English or Japanese will not require proofs of proficiency in respective language.

2. Courses and Academic Calendar


Students will officially register for courses in April or September after their arrival and orientation at UTokyo.
Note: Since students admitted to the Type U program may take various courses offered across Faculties and College, please take careful note where the courses are held. There are two main campuses—Hongo and Komaba—and it takes about one hour by public transportation between the two. Because of this we recommend that you select most of your courses at one of the campuses. However, this does not mean you are not allowed to choose courses on the other campus.

Academic Calendar in AY 2019

Please refer to the AY 2019 Academic Calendar.

The Academic Calendar for AY 2020 will be available around January 2020.

Period of Study

1 April to August [S1S2]
2 April to March [S1S2 A1A2 (W)]
3 September to March [A1A2 (W)]
4 September to August [A1A2 (W) S1S2]

Note: S: summer, A: autumn, W: winter (W term is optional).

Course Catalogue

Courses offered in the Type U program can be found in the Course Catalogue for Type U students.

1. Available courses change every year and the courses currently on the website may not be offered in the following year.
2. List of Japanese and English courses open to USTEP students for AY 2020 (April-March) will be available in late March of 2020.
3.Courses offered by the College of Arts and Sciences (course codes starting with 08) will be held on Komaba Campus. Most of the other courses offered by other Faculties will be held on Hongo Campus.

Class periods are as follows. In principle, courses worth 2 credits meet once a week for 13 weeks. Each session is 105 minutes long.

AM Period 1 08:30-10:15
 Period 2 10:25-12:10
PM  Period 3  13:00-14:45
 Period 4  14:55-16:40
 Period 5  16:50-18:35
 Period 6  18:45-20:30

Special Certificate Programs

- Global Japan Studies (GJS)
- Global Studies in Asia (GSA) 
*The information for 2020 will be announced later.

Japanese Language Education

Type U students accepted to the student exchange program are eligible to register for these courses. Further information about the courses are available on the following websites:

(Hongo Campus) JLCSE
(Komaba Campus) Global Komaba


1. Students interested in taking seminars offered in “Japanese” and “Japanese and English” at the Faculty of Law are allowed to apply for only one seminar course per semester. Further information will be provided to those who have been successfully accepted to study at UTokyo. There is no restriction as to the number of courses you can take for seminars if you wish to apply for seminars that are noted as instructed in “English.”
2. In principle, Type U students are not allowed to participate in practical work (e.g. laboratory work, design studio work etc.)
3. Type U students are required to register for minimum of six classes per week during their stay (this is a Japanese legal requirement). At least one of the classes must be a non-language class.

3. Tuition and Fees


Pursuant to the memorandum on student exchange, exchange students are exempt from paying examination fees, admission fees and tuition fees to UTokyo.

4. University Housing

Exchange students may apply for University Housing arranged by UTokyo. However, due to the limited number of facilities available, housing cannot be guaranteed. The International Exchange Group at UTokyo will contact the students with further details about applying for housing once application to study at UTokyo has been approved.

Exchange students can also apply for privately managed residence of Kyoritsu Maintenance Co.,Ltd.
Kyoritsu Maintenance Co.,Ltd

Further information about university housing is available at the following website:
Housing Office

5. Additional Information


Entry to Japan (eligibility to reside in Japan)

Exchange students must have a valid passport during their stay in Japan. In principle, students must possess “College Student” visa during their stay.  After their application to study at UTokyo has been approved, the International Exchange Group at UTokyo will provide information about the process for obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility. Students will then need to take the Certificate of Eligibility and other required documents to the nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate to obtain a College Student visa.
In order to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility, you must be able to provide an official proof that you will have a minimum of 120,000 JPY per month during your stay. For example, if you are staying for seven months, you must submit a proof that you will have 840,000 JPY.


A Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) Scholarship for all students who meet the requirements as well as scholarships from private foundations may be available. For further information, please refer to each link:
Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) Scholarship: application will be provided once students are successfully accepted for USTEP.

*Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship (for students of Peking University, Nankai University, Fudan University): application will be provided through partner universities.

*Sato Yo International Scholarship Foundation (SISF) (for students of Gadjah Mada University, University of Indonesia, Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, University of the Philippines, University of Malaya, Chulalongkorn University): application will be provided through partner universities.

*These scholarships are available only for September Admission.
The above information is subject to change.
Students can apply for both JASSO and Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship/SISF at the same time. Students with scholarships from other foundations must check beforehand if their scholarship allows receiving other scholarships.
Replies to inquiries concerning these scholarships will only be sent to those who have been accepted to study at UTokyo.


• National Health Insurance Program
USTEP students must join the National Health Insurance (NHI) Program regardless of the kind of insurance they may already have. This is a strict legal requirement in Japan. Once they arrive in Japan, they must complete the required procedures at their local city/ward office.

• Personal Accident Insurance for Students Pursuing Education and Research  "Gakkensai" and the optional "Futai Gakuso".
"Gakkensai" provides necessary support in the case of accident or injury suffered in the course of activities related to research or education. Exchange students do not need to apply for this insurance as UTokyo enrolls all its students and pays premiums. "Futai Gakuso" is an optional insurance that can be added to the "Gakkensai" for a cost (JPY 8,060 for six months). It complements a scope of insurance liability in your life such as compensation responsibility. We particularly recommend that those who will be riding bicycles in Japan obtain "Futai Gakuso," as bicycle-related accidents are increasing.

• Students are strongly recommended to come with sufficient insurance coverage for the entire period of their stay. Payment of medical bills is the students' own responsibility and the university does not provide any assistance.

Inbound Medical Assistance Service (IMAS)

IMAS is the “Inbound Medical Assistance Service” for international students at UTokyo. (This is NOT an insurance.) All USTEP students must register for IMAS.

IMAS offers:
  •  Telephone consultation for medical issues, 24/7, 365 days a year.
  •  Referral to an appropriate hospital.
  •  Interpretation service over the phone while in the hospital or during transfer to the hospital.
  •  Contacting the University if necessary
  •  Arrangement of transportation to a medical facility or for transfer to another medical facility in Japan or in one's home country.
  •  Contacting and assisting family members in one's home country, etc.

See below for further information:
IMAS: Inbound Medical Assistance Service for International Students at UTokyo

6. 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 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. However, your university may have College/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. Thus in a four-year degree program, students must have completed 2 years of study at their home institutions before coming to UTokyo. For a three-year degree program, students may arrive after finishing 1.5 years of study at their home institutions.

Letters of reference
Q3. Who should write my letter of reference?
A3. The reference must be filled out and signed by a full-time faculty member of the department you are currently affiliated with. It should, in other words, be signed by a faculty member who can assess your academic performance in your specialty/major and who has the authority to give official grades to students at your institution. The reference should not be filled out by a Japanese language faculty unless the student is specializing in the field. The reference cannot be filled out by a teaching assistant. Additional references are accepted as long as you provide the first reference in accordance with the requirement explained above.

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 are not required to submit proficiency scores for these languages. Unless they attend or 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 Cambridge English Qualifications "C1 Advanced".
Students who wish to take courses offered in Japanese: JLPT Level N1

Course selection
Q5. I want to see the list of next year’s courses. When will it be available?
A5. Our online course catalog is updated in March.
Q6. The language of instruction for the course I wish to take at UTokyo is "Japanese/English". What does that mean?
A6. The language of instruction in "Japanese/English" indicates that the course is taught in both languages. Therefore, proficiency in both languages is required.
Q7. I want to take courses other than those in my major.
A7. You will receive such advice once you are admitted to USTEP, and you can modify your course list before registration.
Q8. I want to take courses other than those in my major.
A8. You can take any courses regardless of your major as long as you satisfy any prerequisites and it is listed in our Course Catalogue.

Q9. How are the credits defined?
A9. At UTokyo, courses worth 2 credits consist of 13 weeks of 105-minute classes. Please consult with your home university to see how those credits would be counted and whether the courses you wish to take would be transferable.
Q10. Are there scholarships available for USTEP students? How do I apply?
A10. Scholarships from other sources, such as the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), may be available. For further information, refer to "Scholarships" in 5. 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, housing cannot be guaranteed. The International Exchange Group at UTokyo will contact students with details about housing applications after their admission is granted. For further information, please visit our Housing Office website.


Q12. Does UTokyo offer any short-term, non-degree programs held in English?
A12. Every year, there are some short-term, non-degree programs offered in English for a limited number of students (subject to change). See:

7. Partner Universities (student exchanges administered by the Division for Global Campus Initiatives)

 Country/Region Partner Universities
Asia China Fudan University
Nankai University
Nanjing University
Peking University
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Tsinghua University
Zhejiang University
Hong Kong The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)
The University of Hong Kong
Indonesia Gadjah Mada University
University of Indonesia
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
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
Middle East Turkey Bogazici University
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
Spain Autonomous University of Madrid
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
London School of Economics and Political Science
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

8. Inquiries


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

You can contact the International Exchange Group using the form linked below. Be sure to include the following information in your message:
[Home university]
[Current year (Type U or Type G)]
[Planned period of exchange at UTokyo]

International Exchange Group Contact Form


Application Instructions


Application Procedures and Deadlines

See eligibility noted in “1 Qualifications.” Exchange students need to be nominated by the student's home university to UTokyo. They must contact the office responsible for student exchange at their home universities and check the application procedures for the exchange program to study or to research at UTokyo. All applicants nominated by their home universities to apply to the University of Tokyo will receive the link to access an online application form.

Application Instructions 

Application documents

[All documents must be in English or Japanese.]

Must be submitted through online system
  1. Application Form
  2. Passport Data which is valid through the end of your exchange period.
  3. Proof(s) of Language Proficiency
  4. ID Photo Data:  Taken within the last 6 months
          - File size: Less than 2MB
Must be submitted by exchange coordinators
     5.  One Letter of Reference by a full-time teaching faculty of the major/specialty of the student.
     6.  Official Academic Transcript from each college, university or any other institutions of higher learning the applicant has
          attended in PDF format.

Important notes:
1) In principle, first and second year undergraduate students are not accepted at the University of Tokyo due to the internal structure of the University. For universities that have a 3-year undergraduate degree program, nominees must have finished at least 1.5-year of the 3-year program at the time of their arrival at UTokyo.
2) Please advise your students that the coursework at the University of Tokyo is rigorous. Though legally possible for international students with a valid work permit, the University of Tokyo strongly advises its exchange students not to seek off-campus part-time work during the academic terms. We require students to register for six or more classes during a semester (this is a legal requirement as well), each of which can be quite demanding in its expectations. Students who wish to gain work experience while studying in Japan should not apply to USTEP. Any students who wish to work during the break(s) must obtain work permit before they begin their employment.
3) Nominees without required documents such as Proof of Language Proficiency and Academic Transcript will not be accepted.
4) Please make sure to nominate the students who are or will be registered at your University throughout the period of their academic stay at the University of Tokyo. Students who are not registered at your institution will not be accepted.

Deadline for application and its procedure

  • September Admission:
    February 29
  • April Admission:
    September 30
The deadlines for above are for the online application form. Partner universities may set their own deadlines for other documents for their students.

Application result

The result of your application will be available around December (for April Admission) or May (for September Admission). You will be notified of the result by your exchange coordinator. Those who are accepted will receive a welcome package directly from UTokyo.


  September Admission April Admission
Application period From January 1 to February 29 From August 1 to September 30
Application deadline February 29 September 30
Result announcement By early May By early December
Courses start (Note) Late September Early April
Courses end (Note) Early February (A1A2) or Late July (S1S2)
Transcripts available from April for A1A2 and September for S1S2

Note: The actual period of study (including examination periods) will vary depending on the College and Faculty. Please refer to the Academic Calendar.

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