Kobe University

Kobe, Japan
Website: www.kobe-u.ac.jp Founded: 1949 year Type of University:Public StudyQA ranking: 642 pts. No. Students: 16391 Frgn. Students: 1152 No. Staff: 2580 Languages: Japanese Phone: +81788811212
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About Kobe University

Kobe University (神戸大学 Kōbe daigaku), also known in the Kansai region as Shindai (神大), is a leading Japanese national university located in the city of Kobe, in Hyōgo. It was established in 1949, but the academic origins of Kobe University trace back to the establishment of Kobe Higher Commercial School in 1902, which was renamed as Kobe University of Commerce, and Kobe University of Economics. Kobe University is one of the oldest and largest national universities in Japan, as well as one of the highest ranking national universities in the country. It comprises 14 graduate schools and 11 undergraduate faculties, and holds about 16,000 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs. The institution welcomes overseas students, which accounted for a total of 1,108 students, as of 2011. It also has 3,300 staff members, including professors, associate professors and administrative officials.

Located beside the foothills of Mount Rokkō, the university provides a view of the city and port of Kobe, providing a privileged environment for the pursuit of academic studies, especially in social science areas.

Kobe Higher Commercial School was one of the oldest institution with business and economics majors in Japan. Especially, the Graduate School of Economics benefits fully from a century of the history and the tradition. Kobe is also the first collegiate business school in Japan. Therefore, Kobe is called the birthplace of Japanese higher education in economics and business administration, and it has always been the center of Japanese business studies.

Furthermore, the Graduate School of Law was also established with the legal studies section of the former Kobe University of Economics. It has become a leading institution of high academic institution in the field of legal and political studies, and has been successful in becoming a reputable academic center.

The Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration, founded in 1919, has a history as a high-level research institution for international economics and international management. The Institute has been highly regarded internationally for its outstanding achievements in theoretical, historical, empirical, and quantitative research.

In the meantime, Kobe Hospital was established in 1869; it was a training center for medical practitioners, which was one of the oldest institutions in the modern medical education in Japan.

In 1990, they made new changes as one of the major universities specializing in graduate research and education. Under the Japanese Ministry of Education and Science, it has started a new Center of Excellence (COE) projects, the "Research and Education Center of New Japanese Economic Paradigms", "Development and Education Center for Advanced Business Systems", and "Research Center for Dynamic Legal Processes of Advanced Market Societies".

  • Faculty of Letters

    The Faculty of Letters is expected to play an increasingly important role in the university by promoting a "renaissance" of human culture through humanities education in the 21st century. To this end, the Faculty of Letters was reorganized in 2001, focusing on and conducting both traditional and contemporary researches in humanities, at the same time establishing close ties with other realms such as natural, social, and medical sciences. It also aims at educating people awakening to new social values geared to extraordinary creativities, who could actively contribute to global community in the future.

    The Faculty of Letters has 1 department (Department of Humanities) with 5 principal divisions, which are further divided into 15 areas. At the end of the first semester, first-year students are to declare their areas, in which they will study in the following years. (Since the number is limited, a selection test might be given.)

  • Faculty of Intercultural Studies

    In the new century characterized by significant globalization of economy, information, and culture, the major issue for human society is cooperation and coexistence of multi-ethnic communities and different cultures. The educational principle of the Faculty of Intercultural Studies is to enhance foreign language ability as well as information processing capabilities and an understanding of intercultural issues.

    In line with this, the undergraduate program has a department with 4 divisions, which enables students to study theories and methodologies in the field of culture and society, information and communication, and international and regional studies. Students are encouraged to probe further into these areas through free exchanges of opinions with the teaching staff. One of the distinctive features of the Faculty is that it has concluded academic exchange agreements with many universities overseas. Students have ample opportunities to study abroad to acquire a good understanding of various cultures and communities.

  • Faculty of Human Development

    Established in 1992, the Faculty of Human Development has assumed the long tradition of the Faculty of Education. It was the first Faculty in Japan launched to conduct education and research on issues concerning human development.

    To promote this research, the Graduate School of Human Sciences was reorganized in 2007 and the Graduate School of Human Development and Environment was established. With over one hundred faculty members, the Faculty and the Graduate School is a pioneering academic community pursuing the free exchange of various scholarly knowledge.

    The Faculty consists of four departments and one special course: the Department of Human Development and Education for the comprehensive study of human development from the perspective of lifelong education; the Department of Human Behavior for researching human development from the aspect of body, health, action and behavior; the Department of Human Expression which hopes to unravel human behavior by studying expressions; the Department of Human Environmental Science for creating and sustaining a new environment to support human development; and the Division of Support for Human and Community Development for conducting action research where research and education takes place in the field.

    There are approximately 1,200 students enrolled in the Faculty of Human Development. A bachelor’s degree will be awarded after four years of study and approval of the diploma thesis. The characteristics of the Faculty are: a) a curriculum that helps students acquire the ability to understand issues comprehensively, b) small-group education that encourages discussion, and c) an educational program that gives students the ability to solve practical issues.

  • Faculty of Law

    The Faculty of Law aims to provide its students with a broad cultural background, combined with specialized knowledge in law and political science, through a systematic curriculum presented in an environment that is both open and internationally minded. We provide a comprehensive education to students who are planning to enter the legal profession, or become public administrators, diplomats, or specialists in the private sector.

  • Faculty of Economics

    One of the longest-standing centers of economics research in Japan, the Faculty of Economic, Kobe University, has the largest number of fields of research and faculty members among the national universities in Kansai area and in Japan.

  • School of Business Administration

    Kobe University was the first university in Japan to have a School with the name “Business Administration.” The School is proud to be the birthplace of business administration studies in Japan, and enjoys an excellent reputation among both the business and academic communities.

    The undergraduate curriculum consists of three areas: management, accounting, and commerce. The educational goal is to cultivate young leaders for business and professional societies by equipping them with practical knowledge based upon a strong foundation in the social sciences.

  • Faculty of Science

    The Faculty of Science conducts education and research on fundamental issues in the field of natural sciences. It aims at fostering students' creative attitude toward research as well as the ability to directly contribute to society.

    Students are always encouraged to set their academic goals and endeavor to explore the realities of science. For this reason, the Faculty of Science seeks to promote close exchanges between teachers and students, which it strongly believes contributes to the development of fundamental scientific research through mature scientific attitude.

  • School of Medicine

    The School of Medicine consists of the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Health Sciences. The Kusunoki Campus-based Faculty of Medicine emerged from the re-organization of the Prefectural Technical College of Medicine established in 1944, which subsequently became the Hyogo Prefectural College of Medicine (1946), and the Kobe Prefectural College of Medicine (1952).

    It provides students with opportunities to acquire knowledge of medical ethics as well as basic clinical and medical techniques, while encouraging them to be competent, conscientious medical doctors.
    The Myodani Campus-based Faculty of Health Sciences was born from the School of Nursing attached to the Hyogo Prefectural College of Medicine, which was originally established in 1959. The Department has 4 major courses: Nursing, Medical Technology, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy.

  • Faculty of Engineering

    The Faculty of Engineering was established in 1949, growing out of the former Kobe Technical College, which was originally established in 1921. Since then, the Faculty has contributed to the development of modern industrial society in the latter half of the 20th Century through its education and research.

    The aim of the Faculty in the new millennium is to educate future researchers and engineers to be able to contribute to the welfare of humankind through cutting-edge technologies.

    The Faculty now has six departments: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Science and Engineering, and Computer and Systems Engineering, each of which consists of several divisions dedicated to specific purposes of education and research. Approximately two-thirds of students continue on to Master's program for higher education.

  • Faculty of Agriculture

    The Faculty of Agriculture has its own and important objectives in providing students with basic and applied education of agricultural science related to "Food, Environment and Health/Life". Major educational fields include science for food production, evaluation and utilization of bioresources and recently focused issues of biotechnology, food safety, and conservation of natural environment.

    At present, there are 87 faculty members teaching 666 undergraduate students in the Faculty of Agriculture. The Faculty aims at helping students improve their creative abilities compatible with technological advances in our rapidly changing society.

    The Faculty of Agriculture consists of the three Departments listed below. It also has an experimental farm (Food Resources Education and Research Center) in Kasai City, 70 km west of the Rokko-dai Campus. The Center has a 40 ha field and facilities for production of rice, vegetables, orchards, grasses and livestock as well as lodgings for students' practical training. Three other Centers (Center of Regional Cooperation, Center of Gene Experiment, and Center of Food Safety Science) are in cooperation with the Faculty.

  • Faculty of Maritime Sciences

    The Faculty of Maritime Sciences was established in October, 2003 with the integration of Kobe University of Mercantile Marine, which originated from the Kawasaki Merchant Marine School founded in 1917.

    The mission of this faculty is to foster experts who possess both a comprehensive knowledge of the marine sciences and are able to use this knowledge to contribute to the field of global transportation and logistics.In April 2013, the faculty embarked on a new chapter with restructured departments in response to the university's globalization goals. The Department of Global Transportation Sciences provides students with the education necessary to be marine logistics engineers and management specialists in international logistics and transportation. The Department of Ocean Safety Systems Science trains specialists in marine safety and marine environments who can contribute to the establishment of safe and secure social environments. The Department of Marine Engineering educates students to become engineers who can undertake advanced work in specialized areas as well as marine engineers for large vessels. On top of that, the International Maritime Research Center, and the training ship "Fukae Maru" co-operate with the faculty. Students can advance to the Master's Program of Maritime Sciences in the Graduate School of Maritime Sciences or to the Sea Training Course after graduation.

History of Kobe University

The roots of the university can be traced back to 1902, when the Kobe Higher Commercial School (神戸高等商業学校 Kōbe kōtō shōgyō gakkō) was established. Its first president was Tetsuya Mizushima (水島銕也, 1864—1928). In 1929 this school was renamed Kobe University of Commerce (神戸商業大学 Kōbe shōgyō daigaku), and it was further renamed in 1944, Kobe University of Economics (神戸経済大学 Kōbe keizai daigaku).

In 1949, under Japan's new educational systems, the university was merged with Hyogo Normal School, Hyogo Junior Normal School, Kobe Technical College and Himeji High School, all of which were in Hyōgo Prefecture, leading to the creation of Kobe University.

The university has since been expanded and has created new faculties to complement its main academic foundations, which have been strongly established in the fields of economics and commerce.

Applicants must be foreign nationals who do not hold Japanese nationality and have successfully completed 16 years of school education or the equivalent. Those who are expected to graduate by March 31 of the year they are entering are also eligible.


  • Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan
  • Year of first Accreditation - 1952


University rankings (overall)

Toyo Keizai National General 10
Kawaijuku National General 11
T. Reuters National Research 14
WE National Employment 18
NBP Kansai Reputation 6
Shimano National Selectivity A1
QS Asia
(Asian Ranking version)
General 26
ARWU Asia Research 44-68
QS World General 234
ARWU World Research 301-400
ENSMP World Alumni 25

University rankings (by subject)

Social Sciences & Humanities


Asahi National Research 5
BE Success National Qualification 8
BE Pass rate National Qualification 5


RePec National Research 7


Eduni MBA National General 6
Eduni MBA World General 129

Student life @Kobe University

Estimated Living Cost

The following is the estimated amount of money that the students spend per month.

Average monthly costs for Kobe University Students
 Books and materials ¥10,000
Accommodation Rent for public apartments ¥40,000~
Deposit, fees Depends on property
University Accommodation ¥5,900~¥37,300
Board & Living expense ¥30,000
Utility (Electricity, Gas, Water) ¥15,000
Transportation (Commuter Pass) ¥15,000~¥20,000
Cell phone ¥5,000
National Health Insurance ¥2,000
Others / Entertainment ¥10,000
TOTAL ¥100,000~ / month

Activities Other than those Authorized Under the Visa Status

Students residing in Japan on a student visa are not permitted to work. However, those students wishing to engage in part-time work or any other activities for which financial remuneration is received must apply to the Osaka Immigration Office, Kobe Branch to obtain permission. Engaging in such activities without permission is subject to penalty. Students found to be engaged in full-time employment may be subject to deportation and/or other penalties.
Working part time in the adult entertainment, amusement industries (including any business serving alcohol) and pachinko parlor are not permitted and subject to penalties. Foreign nationals, granted permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence previously granted at the port of entry, do not need to reapply for permission at the Immigration Office

Any part-time work must not interfere with studies and/or research, which is the main purpose of your being in Japan.
If you wish to engage in part-time work, apply to the Osaka Immigration Office, Kobe Branch directly with following documents; 1. Application for Permission to Engage in Activities Other Than That Permitted under the Status of Residence Previously Granted, 2.Residence Card, 3. Passport. After receiving permission from the Immigration Office, contact the respective faculty/graduate school.


Permitted to work up to 28 hours per week; (or 8 hours per day during spring, summer and winter vacation)
(Unless you work part-time as a TA, RA, or Tutor contracted with Kobe University official permission will be required.)

Services of Kobe University

Clubs and Circles

Studying is important, but joining a club or circle can provide you with valuable experiences and perspectives that cannot be found in the classroom.Extracurricular activities are an opportunity to learn new skills, make friends, and experience another side of student life in Japan.

The clubs, circles and societies at Kobe University are established and run independently by students. Starting a club, joining an existing club, and participating in club activities is done by students on a voluntary basis. Joining an extracurricular activity group is a chance to deepen your knowledge about Japanese language and culture, improve teamwork through group activities, and broaden your horizons. It’s also a lot of fun! We recognize the importance of these groups as part of a well-rounded student experience, and fully support student participation in extracurricular activities.

Clubs and circles linked on this page include groups authorized by Kobe University, groups open to all university members, and groups organized within individual faculties or graduate schools. If you would like to join a club or circle, please contact them directly. Kobe University has a huge variety of clubs and circles, and we hope that all students can find a group that suits their interests and personality. If you have any questions about extracurricular activities, please contact the Student Center (Extracurricular Activities Office) using the details below.

Cultural Groups

  • Society for the Study of Children's Culture
  • Drama Society
  • Glee Club (men’s chorus)
  • ERDE (mixed voices chorus)
  • Apollon (mixed voices chorus)
  • Mandolin Club
  • Photography Club
  • Noh Drama Club
  • E.S.S. (English Studying Society)
  • I.S.A (International Student Association)
  • Youth Hostel Club
  • Shogi Club (Japanese Chess)
  • Tea Ceremony and Flower Arrangement Club
  • Literature Society
  • Light Music Society
  • Expedition Club
  • Astronomy Society
  • Classical Guitar Club
  • Japanese Music Club
  • Children's Literature Society
  • Competitive Dance Club
  • Archeology Society
  • Freestyle Theater
  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Movie Society
  • Manga Society
  • Rakugo Society
  • Art Club (Ryoubikai)
  • Gardening Club
  • Bluegrass Circle
  • Japanese Karuta Club

Sports Groups

  • Track and Field Club
  • Swimming Club
  • Baseball Club
  • Soft Baseball Club
  • Tennis Club
  • Soft Tennis Club
  • Men’s Basketball Club
  • Women’s Basketball Club
  • Handball Club
  • Rugby Club
  • Football Club
  • Hockey Club
  • Men’s Volleyball Club
  • Women’s Volleyball Club
  • Table Tennis Club
  • Badminton Club
  • Kendo Club
  • Japanese Archery Club
  • Archery Club
  • Judo Club
  • Karate Club
  • Horse Riding Club
  • Alpine Club
  • Wander Vogel Club
  • Skating Club
  • Rowing Club
  • Yacht Racing Team
  • Automobile Club
  • Nippon Kempo Club
  • Shorinji Kempo Club
  • Ski Racing Team
  • Aikido Club
  • Glider Club
  • Golf Club
  • Fencing Team
  • Gymnastics Club
  • American Football Team
  • Cycling Club
  • Softball Club
  • Canoe Racing Team
  • Windsurfing Club
  • Ice Hockey Team
  • Men’s Lacrosse Club
  • Women’s Lacrosse Club
  • Kyokushin Karate Club
  • Futsal Club
  • Iaidou Club
  • Men’s Cutter Racing Club
  • Women’s Cutter Racing Club
  • Snowboading Club
  • Faculty of Maritime Sciences Basemall Club
  • Offshore Sailing Club
  • Women’s Touch Football Club

Cheer Group and Wind Orchestra

  • Cheer Group
  • Wind Orchestra
Kobe University on map:
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Study mode:On campus Languages: Japanese
Foreign:$ 4.03 k / Year(s)
Deadline: Jul 29, 2023 StudyQA ranking: 1156 You need IELTS certificate
Study mode:On campus Languages: Japanese
Foreign:$ 4.03 k / Year(s)
Deadline: Jul 29, 2023 StudyQA ranking: 629 You need IELTS certificate
Study mode:On campus Languages: Japanese
Foreign:$ 4.03 k / Year(s)
Deadline: Jul 20, 2023 StudyQA ranking: 2375 You need IELTS certificate
Study mode:On campus Languages: English
Foreign:$ 1.11 k / Year(s)
Deadline: Jan 20, 2024 StudyQA ranking: 1320 You need IELTS certificate
Study mode:Blended Languages: English
Local:$ 4.03 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 4.03 k / Year(s)
Deadline: Jan 1, 2024 StudyQA ranking: 596 You need IELTS certificate
Study mode:On campus Languages: English Japanese
Local:$ 4.03 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 4.03 k / Year(s)
Deadline: Feb 1, 2024 StudyQA ranking: 3031 You need IELTS certificate