How To Get Admission In Osaka University

Last Updated on December 28, 2022

Admission to Osaka University is extremely competitive. According to rankings, it’s among the top thirty universities in Japan (that sounds good right? But that means it’s incredibly tough). The acceptance rate at Osaka University decodes to an average of 1 student for every 45 applicants! 10,000 students compete for about 300 places on campus.

Read more about Osaka University, osaka university courses, osaka university scholarship, osaka university ranking and osaka university courses in english. You can also find articles related to osaka university admission on collegelearners.

Osaka University (also called the University of Osaka), or Handai ), is a public research university located in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. It was one of the Imperial Universities in Japan, and is now a Designated National University listed as a “Top Type” university in the Top Global University Project. It is often ranked among the top three public universities in Japan, along with the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University. It is ranked third overall among Japanese universities and 75th worldwide in the 2022 QS World University Rankings.

Osaka University was one of the earliest modern universities in Japan at its founding in 1931. However, the history of the institution includes much older predecessors in Osaka such as the Kaitokudō founded in 1724 and the Tekijuku founded in 1838. Numerous prominent scholars and scientists have attended or worked at Osaka University, such as Nobel Laureate in Physics Hideki Yukawa, manga artist Osamu Tezuka, Lasker Award winner Hidesaburō Hanafusa, author Ryōtarō Shiba, and discoverer of regulatory T cells Shimon Sakaguchi.

History

The academic traditions of the university reach back to the Kaitokudō (懐徳堂), an Edo-period school for local citizens founded in 1724, and the Tekijuku , a school of Rangaku for samurai founded by Ogata Kōan in 1838. The spirit of the university’s humanities programmes is believed to be intimately rooted in the history of the Kaitokudō, whereas that of the natural and applied sciences is based upon the traditions of the Tekijuku. Osaka University traces its modern origins back the founding of Osaka Prefectural Medical School in downtown Osaka City in 1869. The school was later designated the Osaka Prefectural Medical College with university status by the University Ordinance (Imperial Ordinance No. 388) in 1919. The Medical College merged with the newly founded College of Science to form Osaka Imperial University in 1931. Osaka Imperial University was the sixth imperial university in Japan. Osaka Technical College was incorporated to form the School of Engineering two years later. The entire university was renamed Osaka University in 1947.

After merging with Naniwa High School and Osaka High School as a result of the government’s education system reform in 1949, Osaka University started its postwar era with five faculties: Science, Medicine, Engineering, Letters, and Law. Since that time new faculties and research institutes have been established, including the first Japanese School of Engineering Science and the School of Human Sciences, which covers such cross-disciplinary research interests as broadly as psychology, sociology, and education. Built on the then-existing faculties, ten graduate schools were set up as part of the government’s education system reform program in 1953. Two more graduate faculties were added in 1994.

In 1993, Osaka University Hospital was relocated from the Nakanoshima campus in downtown Osaka to the Suita campus, completing the implementation of the university’s plan to integrate the scattered facilities into the Suita and Toyonaka campuses. In October 2007, a merger between Osaka University and the Osaka University of Foreign Studies in Minoh was completed. The merger made Osaka University one of two national universities in the country with a School of Foreign Studies, along with the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. The merger also made Osaka University the largest national university in Japan.

osaka university ranking

University rankings
Global – Overall
QS World75 (2022)
THE World301-350 (2022)

Osaka University is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Japan, as seen in various foreign and domestic rankings. Internationally, Osaka University was ranked 71st among the world’s best universities and the third best Japanese university in 2020 according to the QS World University Rankings produced by Quacquarelli Symonds. Osaka University is third in Japan and 53rd worldwide in the 2019 Center for World University Rankings. It is also ranked third in Japan in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Domestically, the university was ranked third in 2009 and fourth in 2008 and 2010 in the ranking “Truly Strong Universities” by Toyo Keizai, which measures alumni productivity.

Osaka University is one of the most productive research institutions in Japan. According to Thomson Reuters, Osaka University among the three top research universities in Japan and is the second most innovative university in the country (22nd worldwide). Its research is noted in such fields as immunology (first in Japan and fourth in the world), material science (fourth in Japan, fifteenth in the world), and chemistry (fifth in Japan, fourteenth in the world). Weekly Diamond [ja] also reported that Osaka University has the seventh highest research funding per researcher in the Japanese COE Program [ja]. Osaka University had the third most patents accepted (150) among Japanese universities during 2017.

Osaka University also has a high research reputation in Economics. Repec ranked Osaka’s economics department second in Japan in 2011. Osaka University graduates has served as presidents of the Japanese Economic Association five times in its history.

According to the Weekly Economist 2010 rankings, graduates from Osaka University have the seventh highest employment rate among the 400 major companies in Japan.

osaka university scholarship

Japanese Government Scholarships

The Japanese government supports international students through Japanese Government Scholarships sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). These scholarships are divided into Embassy Recommendation and University Recommendation.

  • Japanese Government Scholarship Students

Chinese Government Graduate Student Overseas Study Program

Osaka University will implement a tuition fee support system for individuals who wish to study for a doctor’s degree (from October 2016) at an OU graduate school under the Chinese Government Graduate Student Overseas Study Program [国家建设高水平大学公派研究生项目] sponsored by the Chinese Government through the China Scholarship Council (CSC).

Approximately 20 Chinese exchange students will be selected by the Osaka University International Affairs Committee for tuition fee support through this system.

  • Chinese Government Graduate Student Overseas Study Program

Indonesia Presidential Scholarship Lembaga Pengelola Dana Pendidikan (LPDP)

For Indonesian students who wish to study for a degree at an OU graduate school under the Indonesia Presidential Scholarship Lembaga Pengelola Dana Pendidikan (LPDP), Osaka University has a system of exemption of the entrance fee. To learn more about the eligibility and the application process, please visit: https://www.osaka-u.ac.jp/en/international/inbound/lpdp.

Other Financial Aid

Osaka University provides a number of options for individuals having financial difficulties.

  • Financial Aid

The Japan Student Services Organization also provides financial aid for international students.

  • Scholarships for Study in Japan

Living Expenses

Estimated expenses regarding daily necessities are about ¥100,000 per month.
Estimated expenses for students participating in exchange programs at Osaka University:

Tuition feesShould be paid to your home university. Exchange students do not pay tuition at Osaka University.
Flight ticketActual cost
Traveling expenses from and back to your country of originActual cost
Medical expensesYou are expected to participate in National Health Insurance. In that case, you are responsible for 30% of any medical expenses you incur. (Unless the problem is rare or extreme, a 30% out-patient hospital bill is probably a fairly nominal figure.)
FoodApproximately ¥30,000 per month
Dormitory or residence expenses¥16,000 ~ ¥40,000 per month
TransportationApproximately ¥5,000 ~ ¥15,000 per month
General school-related expenses (supplies, etc.)¥6,000
Misc. personal expensesUp to ¥30,000

Degree Programs

Undergraduate Students

  • If you wish to study at Osaka University as a full time degree-seeking student in our undergraduate programs, you have a variety of choices of study programs in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering and life science and medicine. Programs in English are also available at the International College.

For details on these programs, please visit the websites for the respective schools and the International College.

  • Departments in our Schools
  • Admission Policies of Schools
  • International College

Entrance Examinations

Entrance Examination for Privately-funded International Students (Undergraduates)1

Applicants hoping to take this examination need a certificate of the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) and TOEFL scores.
Applicants must take the entrance examination at Osaka University.

  • What is EJU?

TimelineTOEFL score

Not more than 2 years before the date of entrance examination. It may take a maximum of 2 months to get your TOEFL Score.Jun. or Nov.

Take EJU.Jan.

Make application during the application period.Feb. or Mar.

Take Entrance Examination for Privately-funded International Students at Osaka UniversityMar.

Announcement of successful applicants

For more information:

For support for students with special needs with regards to entrance examinations, please contact:Admission Division, Department of Education Promotion
Tel: 81-6-6879-7097
Email: gakusei-nyusi-dai1*office.osaka-u.ac.jp

When using this email address, please replace * with @.

Special Entrance Examination for Privately-Funded International Students Living Overseas (Center for the Study of Higher Education and Global Admissions (CHEGA))2

In these special examinations, applicants are not required to come to Japan to take an examination and can be accepted through document screening. Interview may be conducted as necessary. EJU score is not required to apply. However, students need to have a Japanese language proficiency at JLPT level N1, N2, or equivalent.
Those with Japanese nationality or a Japanese permanent residency visa are not eligible to apply.

The application is announced around early July, with an application submission deadilne in October each year. Selected students will arrive in Japan in the folowing year and will take preliminary and extensive Japanese language education program first (October to March) followed by the enrollment in the 1st year of the undergraduate program from April.

For admissions of English Programs, please refer to the following sites.

  • Special Entrance Examination for Privately-Funded International Students Living Overseas
  • CHEGA (Center for the Study of Higher Education and Global Admissions) homepage

Entrance Exam for programs in English3

International College

  • Human Sciences International Undergraduate Degree ProgramThe Human Sciences program offers a wide range of courses in social sciences in English. Students start the program in October. The online application begins from December with a deadline in January. Please check their website above for more details.
  • International Undergraduate Program in ScienceThe IUPS program offers courses in mathematics, physics, and chemistry. For the initial 1.5 years, students take academic classes in English while also learning Japanese. Then students continue their respective majors in Japanese. The program starts in April. The application begins in February-March. Please check their website above for more details.

Graduate Students

Graduate Admissions (common flow)Government-sponsored studentsJapaneseStudents from universitieswith agreement with OUContact a supervisor who will acceptyou to get advice on admissionCome to Japan as a “Research Student”(in most cases)Entrance exams at the graduate school of your choice(in most cases)Courses at graduate schoolsPrivately-funded students

As a top-tier comprehensive research university in Japan, Osaka University offers a variety of graduate programs by prominent researchers who produce world-class research achievements.
For details about your field of study and admissions for each graduate school, please visit graduate school webpages.

  • Departments in our Graduate Schools
  • Admission Policies of Schools


Graduate schools accept international students through the general admission application process. Some graduate schools conduct special screenings of international students. For more information about entrance examinations, please direct questions to the graduate school of your choice.

  • Special screening for international graduate students

Non-Degree Programs

Exchange Programs

At Osaka University,we have short-term exchange programs for students from overseas institutions that have an exchange agreement with us.

  • Immersion Exchange Program Osaka (iExPO)
  • Osaka University Short-term Student Exchange Program (OUSSEP)
  • FrontierLab@OsakaU
  • Maple

Other than the above programs, some classes are conducted in English.

  • List of classes taught in English

NoteInternational students are requested to investigate in enrolling in these classes after arriving in Japan due to possible restrictions on enrollment eligibility.J-ShIPAn intensive Japanese language course that runs for two months in either the summer or winter.

Research Students

Osaka University accepts research students (those who research specific subjects) and non-degree students (those who take specific subjects and receive credits) at each graduate school.

  • Info for Auditors and other special students

Enrollment as a Japanese Government Scholarship Student

The Japanese government supports international students through Japanese Government Scholarships sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). These scholarships are divided into Embassy Recommendation and University Recommendation.

The MEXT Scholarship: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know

Who doesn’t dream of studying abroad?

You get to travel, see the world, learn new things and meet new people, all while getting an education at a reputable school. If you’re a Japanese language student, what better way to get fluent than to be around native speakers?

This, unfortunately, is just a fantasy for most of us.

Traveling and studying abroad is expensive. You have to consider travel costs, food, housing, transportation, tuition and a ton of other expenses. It’s not really something you can do on a whim unless you have the means.

Thankfully for Japanese learners, there’s the MEXT Scholarship.

We’re running through everything you need to know about this Japanese study abroad opportunity, from what it is and how to apply, to all the requirements you need to meet to qualify for a free semester (or more) of schooling in Japan!

What Is the MEXT Scholarship?

For those who want to travel to Japan and study abroad but don’t have the means to do so, this scholarship is an incredible opportunity.

mext-scholarship

The MEXT Scholarship stands for “the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Scholarship” and is also known as “Monbukagakusho.” It’s a scholarship given out each year to help foreign students enroll in Japanese universities.

Essentially, the MEXT Scholarship is a student exchange program for students who want to be part of a Japanese university. No matter which level of the scholarship you apply for, there are two main requirements for getting accepted:

  1. Get recommended by a Japanese embassy or consulate general.
  2. Get recommended by a Japanese university of your choice that accepts you for study.

You’ll achieve the first through the application process, which requires a form to be sent to your local Japanese embassy. You’ll achieve the second by applying to different Japanese universities and noting in your submissions that you’re applying for the MEXT Scholarship.

Two more key stipulations are that you must be a citizen of a country that has diplomatic relationship with Japan and you must have a valid student visa.

We have more specific information for application below.

If you successfully qualify for the MEXT Scholarship, you’ll receive:

  • ¥120,000 yen per month for undergraduate students.
  • ¥146,000 yen per month for Japanese Intensive Course students and research students.
  • ¥147,000 yen per month for master’s program students.
  • ¥148,000 yen per month for doctoral program students.
  • An economy class air ticket to Narita or Haneda International Airport in Japan. (Currently, the MEXT Scholarship doesn’t cover additional travel costs from the airport.)
  • Waived or refunded application fees for the university.
  • Waived admission fees for the university.
  • Waived tuition fees for the university.

Roughly, you’ll receive around a minimum of $1,000 USD per month to live, eat and travel in Japan and have all your tuition costs covered. That’s a pretty decent gig, we think!

But still, if you’re not convinced…

Why Should I Apply for the MEXT Scholarship?

If any (or all!) of the following apply to you, then it’s worth trying out for this golden opportunity:

  • You’re interested in studying abroad in Japan.
  • You want to improve your Japanese language skills through an immersive experience at a Japanese school.
  • You want to attend school for free.
  • You’d like to have money to live in Japan while studying in school.
  • You want to travel but want to have a larger purpose or objective while doing so.
  • You want to learn more about Japanese modern culture and meet Japanese people.

Types of MEXT Scholarships

There are multiple types of MEXT Scholarships one could look into and each of them have unique requirements that must be met. In addition to meeting the following requirements, you’ll also need to pass one or a few examinations in order to receive a recommendation from an embassy.

Research Student Scholarship

This scholarship is for those who are enrolled or want to be enrolled in a master’s, doctoral or professional graduate course and want to conduct research in a particular field in Japan. Typically, these students are linguistic or cultural studies majors.

Requirements:

  • Be under 35 years old.
  • Be a college graduate or have completed 16 years of schooling.
  • If you haven’t graduated yet, apply for this MEXT Scholarship before the expected day of departure as a scholarship holder.

Undergraduate Student Scholarship

This type of scholarship is for fresh high school graduates who want to start college in Japan.

Requirements:

  • Be between 17 and 22 years old.
  • Have completed 12 years of education or have a high school diploma.
  • If you haven’t graduated yet, wait to apply until the year you’re expected to graduate.

Specialized Training College Student Scholarship

This scholarship is for foreign students who wish to spend up to three years at a Japanese technical or vocational college.

Requirements:

  • Be between 17 and 22 years old.
  • Have completed 12 years of education or have a high school diploma.
  • If you haven’t graduated yet, wait to apply until the year you’re expected to graduate.

Japanese Studies Scholarship

This is essentially the “exchange student” scholarship. You’ll go to Japan for a certain amount of time to study, then return to your home institution.

Requirements:

  • Be between 18 and 30 years old.
  • Have completed 12 years of education or have a high school diploma.
  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate student in a country outside of Japan before applying and be able to return to that institution upon your return from Japan.
  • Major in Japanese language or Japanese culture.
mext-scholarship

It’s worth noting that some students may be interested in a Japanese scholarship if they study particular aspects of Japan, such as economics or engineering. While you won’t qualify for the MEXT Japanese Studies Scholarship, it’d be worth looking into the JASSO Student Exchange Support Program.

How Do I Apply for the MEXT Scholarship?

Here’s a simple 10-step plan to follow in order to apply for the scholarship, which takes into account the requirements and other aspects of the application process:

  1. Have or acquire a passport. Depending on your home country, there are many different ways to go about this.
  2. Acquire a Japanese student visa.
  3. Be between 17 and 35 years of age, depending on which scholarship you decide to apply for.
  4. Be a citizen of the country you reside in and be sure that the country has diplomatic relations with Japan.
  5. Be aware of important dates related to applying.
  6. Select a university in Japan that you want to attend and submit an application to that school ahead of time. It’d be wise to apply to multiple schools of interest.
  7. Study past examination questions to improve your chances of getting the scholarship.
  8. Fill out an application online by the designated deadline.
  9. Submit all application materials to an Embassy or Consulate General of Japan near your area.
  10. Have at least an elementary level of Japanese before applying—you will need to pass a Japanese exam in most cases to receive an embassy recommendation.
mext-scholarship

You might not be able to change your age or citizenship in order to apply, but you can definitely pull off the final step at super-speed with FluentU.

FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

The authentic experience will also be a great way to prepare for hearing real Japanese speakers once you make the move to Japan. Choose FluentU if your goal is to cover everything and stimulate every skill, fast. Sounds ambitious, but the immersive FluentU approach really gets the job done at every skill level.

What to Do if You Don’t Receive the MEXT Scholarship

Maybe you’re afraid of applying for the MEXT Scholarship and failing. Maybe you’ve received a letter telling you that you, unfortunately, don’t qualify.

Don’t fret. Students apply for scholarships of all sorts and don’t qualify for them on a daily basis. Sometimes it isn’t meant to be and you should look into other scholarship opportunities. Sometimes it isn’t meant to be right now and you can always apply for the MEXT Scholarship next year.

It’s also important to remember that you can learn Japanese without going to Japan quite easily, so if that’s a major reason that you want to apply for this scholarship, you’re in luck. In-person and online Japanese classes, courses and lessons are abundant all over the world. Many are affordable and some are even completely free!

Are you interested in applying for the MEXT Scholarship now that you know more about it? You’d be surprised how many opportunities there are out there for Japanese language learners who want to travel to the Land of the Rising Sun.

About the author

Study on Scholarship Today -- Check your eligibility for up to 100% scholarship.