Autumn Matriculation System
Schools in Japan, in principle, operate on the spring matriculation system (*1), where the academic year starts every April. Recently amid the progress of globalization, the University of Tokyo has introduced the autumn matriculation system in some of its undergraduate and graduate programs to meet the expectations of the international community. Undergraduate programs that accept students in autumn are the Programs in English at Komaba (PEAK; College of Arts and Sciences) and the Global Science Course (GSC; Faculty of Science). In addition, some graduate programs in the Graduate School of Economics, Graduate School of Science, Graduate School of Engineering, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies and Graduate School of Public Policy accept students in autumn. Every year, more than 500 students enroll in the abovementioned programs in autumn (many of those students coming from countries other than Japan). As a result, the University has been holding autumn matriculation ceremonies every year since 2010.
Note 1: Upon the foundation of its first western-style university (the University of Tokyo) in 1877, the Japanese government decided to introduce an autumn matriculation system modeled on Western universities. In 1921, more than 40 years after this decision, the Japanese government discontinued the autumn matriculation system in favor of having students enter schools in the spring to coincide with the Japanese fiscal year. Since then, schools in Japan have continued to run on the spring matriculation system through to the present day.