Kyoto University

Kyoto, Japan
Website: Founded: 1897 year Type of University:Public 54 place StudyQA ranking: 1064 pts. No. Students: 22707 Frgn. Students: 1611 No. Staff: 5397 Languages: Japanese Phone: +81757537531
Yoshida-Ryo (Kyoto, Japan) Kumano-Ryo (Kyoto, Japan) Joshi-Ryo (Women's dormitory) (Kyoto, Japan) Muromachi-Ryo (Kyoto, Japan)
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About Kyoto University

Kyoto University (京都大学 Kyōto daigaku), or Kyodai (京大 Kyōdai) is a national university in Kyoto, Japan. It is the second oldest Japanese university, one of Asia's highest ranked universities and one of Japan's National Seven Universities. One of Asia’s leading research-oriented institutions, Kyoto University is famed for producing world-class researchers, including ten Nobel Prize laureates, two Fields medalists and one Gauss Prize winner.

  • Faculty of Integrated Human Studies

    Division of Human Sciences, Division of Multi-Disciplinary Studies of Civilizations, Division of Cultural Environment Studies, Division of Cognitive and Information Sciences, Division of Natural Sciences


  • Faculty of Letters

    The Faculty of Letters currently consists of six divisions: Philosophy, Eastern Culture, Western Culture, History, Behavioral Studies, and Contemporary Culture

  • Faculty of Education

    The Faculty of Education consists of three divisions, whose areas of specialization are: Studies on Educational Foundation (Pedagogy, History of education, Guidance,  School curriculum, Human developmental studies); Educational Psychology (Cognitive Psychology in Education (HP), Clinical psychology, Psychotherapy); Interdisciplinary Studies of Education System (Sociology of education, Lifelong education, Library and information science, Media studies, Comparative education, Educational administration and finance)

  • Faculty of Law

  • Faculty of Economics

  • Faculty of Science

    Divisions: Division of Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences, Division of Physics and Astronomy, Division of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Division of Chemistry, Division of Biological Science

  • Faculty of Medicine

  • Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

  • Faculty of Engineering

    Divisions: Global Engineering (Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Earth Resources and Energy Engineering, International Course); Architecture; Engineering Science (Mechanical and Systems Engineering, Materials Science, Energy Science and Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Aeronautics and Astronautics); Electrical and Electronic Engineering; Informatics and Mathematical Science (Applied Mathematics and Physics, Computer Science); Industrial Chemistry (Frontier Chemistry, Fundamental Chemistry, Chemical Process Engineering)

  • Faculty of Agriculture

    Division of Agronomy and Horticultural Science (Japanese only); Division of Forest and Biomaterials Science; Division of Applied Life Sciences; Division of Applied Biosciences; Division of Environmental Science and Technology; Division of Natural Resource Economics (Japanese only); Division of Food Science and Biotechnology


  • Graduate School of Energy Science

  • Graduate School of Informatics

History of Kyoto University

Kyoto University's forerunner was the Chemistry School (舎密局 Seimi-kyoku) founded in Osaka in 1869, which, despite its name, taught physics as well. (舎密 is a transcription of a Dutch word chemie.) Later, the Third Higher School (第三髙等學校 Daisan-kōtō-gakkō) was established in the place of Seimi-kyoku in 1886, it then transferred to the university's present main campus in the same year.

Kyoto Imperial University (京都帝國大學 Kyōto-teikoku-daigaku) as a part of the Imperial University system was established on June 18, 1897, using the Third Higher School's buildings. The higher school moved to a patch of land across the street, where the Yoshida South Campus stands today. In the same year of the university's establishment, the College of Science and Technology was founded. The College of Law and the College of Medicine were founded in 1899, the College of Letters in 1906, expanding the university's activities to areas outside natural science.

After World War II, the current Kyoto University was established by merging the imperial university and the Third Higher School, which assumed the duty of teaching liberal arts as the Faculty of Liberal Arts (教養部 Kyōyō-bu). The faculty was dissolved with the foundation of the Faculty of Integrated Human Studies (総合人間学部 Sōgō-ningen-gakubu) in 1992.

Kyoto University has since 2004 been incorporated as a national university corporation under a new law which applies to all national universities.

Despite the incorporation which has led to increased financial independence and autonomy, Kyoto University is still partly controlled by the Japanese Ministry of Education (文部科学省 Monbu-kagaku-shō).

The University's Department of Geophysics and their Disaster Prevention Research Institute are represented on the national Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction.


  • Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan
  • Year of first Accreditation - 1952
  • Other Specialized or Programmatic Accreditations - Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA); National Institution for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation (NIAD-UE)


  • The university was ranked 3rd in 2008 and 2010 in the ranking "Truly Strong Universities" by Toyo Keizai.
  • In another ranking, Japanese prep school Kawaijuku ranked Kyodai as the 2nd best university in Japan.

Kyodai is also one of the top universities in the world. The following rankings are the example of Kyodai's ranking positions in the world rankings.

  • Kyoto University was ranked 24th in the world in the 2010 Academic Ranking of World Universities
  • 11th worldwide in the Global University Ranking.
  • A human competitiveness index and analysis by the Human Resources & Labor Review, and published in Chasecareer Network, ranked the university 24th internationally and 2nd in Asia for 2010.
  • QS World University Rankings in 2011 placed Kyoto University 32nd overall in the world, one behind University of Melbourne, seven places lower than the previous year.
  • The 2011 QS Asian Rankings make Kyoto University the seventh highest ranked university in Asia, the highest being The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Student life @Kyoto University

It is needless to mention that in university education students should build their characters primarily through regular curricula, but students' independent and voluntary collective activities in culture and sports are also considered to be essential for building their characters with fine sensibility as well as emotional and physical health.

Through participating in an organization fitting their individual personalities and conditions, students can enjoy their campus life with greater happiness and fun in a limited period of time.

Students who wish to join a student organization should apply directly to the organization of their interest.

November Festival

Kyoto University's school festival is called November Festival (and is commonly known as the "NF").

The name "November Festival" was first used in the annual autumn school festival in 1953, when the event was held under the name of "Kyoto University Autumn Cultural Festival - November Festival." The choice of words reflects the hope that the festival would become an event for the general public. The name soon became established, and it was used formally from the following year. True to its name, today, the festival, which takes place in November (on or after 20), is a significant annual event for the students.

Festival Eve

Held on the day before the November Festival (NF), Festival Eve is an event in which Kyoto University students gather together at Yoshida Ground after classes end and enjoy a bonfire, refreshment booths, and stage performances.

Festival Eve has been held each year since the second NF. The first NF did not attract many students, so the university's cheering party organized an event on the day before the second NF by gathering students on their way home after class, in an attempt to usher them into the second NF. This marked the beginning of Festival Eve. Probably thanks to their efforts, today large numbers of visitors attend both the NF and Festival Eve.

Today, Festival Eve is still hosted by the cheering group. It has an atmosphere that differs slightly from that of the November Festival itself, but the Yoshida Ground is always full of life on Festival Eve.

Kouhousai Festival

The Kouhousai Festival is an event to welcome new students that is hosted by their seniors. Many groups, including clubs and circles, take part in this event to publicize their activities by setting up their tents, passing out leaflets, and giving stage performances.

The Kouhousai Festival will provide new students with opportunities to find something that keeps them absorbed in their college life.


  • Kyoto University Library
  • The Kyoto University Museum
  • Academic Center for Computing and Media Studies (ACCMS)
  • Health Service
  • Counseling Center Of Kyoto University
  • Student Lounge "KI-ZU-NA"
  • Kyoto University International House
  • Kyoto University Co-op

Why Kyoto University?

1. Awards

From Hideki Yukawa, who, in 1949, became the first Japanese citizen to receive a Nobel Prize, to Isamu Akasaki, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014, there are now nine Nobel laureates who are either alumni of Kyoto University or who were researchers at the university during vital stages of their careers. Kyoto University has produced more Nobel laureates than any other university in the Asian region. Our scholars have also received many other international awards. These include:

  • The Fields Medal—considered to be “the Nobel Prize of mathematics.”
  • The Gauss Prize—presented to outstanding researchers in the field of mathematics applications.
  • The Lasker Award—regarded as the most prestigious award in the American medical community.
  • The Canada Gairdner International Award—awarded to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the medical field.

The number of cited papers written by Kyoto University-affiliated scholars in the period 2007–2011 was almost 282,000*—a remarkably high number for an institution in a non-English speaking country.

2. An outstanding research hub in the Asian Region

Kyoto University has assembled a community of approximately 3,500 world-class faculty members, including international researchers from many different countries. At present, the university comprises ten faculties, eighteen graduate schools, fourteen research institutes, and sixteen academic centers. In the spirit of Kyoto University’s long-standing tradition of academic freedom, our researchers pursue interdisciplinary research in search of solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

3. Diverse options to meet individual needs

The diverse range of programs offered by Kyoto University’s ten faculties and eighteen graduate schools enable students to acquire deep knowledge of their expertise whilst also engaging in broad cross-disciplinary studies. An expanding number of English-taught Degree Programs are offered for those without Japanese language skills.
Students enrolled in such courses are also free to attend Japanese language classes free of charge. Programs for international exchange students and short-term international researchers are provided in cooperation with our overseas partner institutions, as are dual-degree programs. The diverse range of programs offered means that any budding student or researcher should find something suited to their interests and situation.

4. A tradition of academic freedom

Since its foundation over 100 years ago, Kyoto University’s tradition of academic freedom has been at the core of its pioneering education and research endeavors, endowing its students and researchers with a distinct brand of talent and creativity. Based on this tradition of academic freedom and autonomy, the university encourages its students and faculty to engage in cross-disciplinary dialogues and engage in innovative and ground breaking research.

5. Small-group instruction

Kyoto University’s educational tradition emphasizes the value of dialogue. Our teacher–student ratio is approximately 1:6.5, a highly favorable ratio compared to other academic institutions both in Japan and overseas. Small-group seminars enable students to receive valuable advice and guidance from their instructors.

6. Japanese and Asian studies on Kyoto

The Studying Japan and Asia in Kyoto Program is a comprehensive inter-faculty program covering the cultures, societies, economies, and environments of Japan and other countries in the Asian region. The program makes full use of the university’s location in the culturally abundant City of Kyoto. The program guides local andinternational students through interdisciplinary studies of Asia and Japan, providing them with perspectives from outside of their own particular field of specialization. The format of the program enables international students to enrich their knowledge of Japan, while local Japanese students learn globally-minded approaches to the study of their own country and the Asian region.

7. Kyoto - Japan's ancient capital

Kyoto is a culturally rich city with a history that stretched back for over 1,200 years. Among Japanese people it is generally regarded as being the heartland of Japanese culture and the spiritual wellspring of the Japanese people. Many of the city’s historic locations, including several of its approximately 2,000 shrines and temples, have been classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city’s ancient cultural legacy coexists side by side with technological innovation and entrepreneurship. The city is home to several major technology companies, including Nintendo, Kyocera, and Omron, and also boasts a broad range of modern cultural facilities, such as the Kyoto International Manga Museum.

8. Ease of living

Enclosed on three sides by mountains, Kyoto’s unique climate offers residents and tourists an opportunity to enjoy the passing of the seasons in a rich natural setting. For example, the autumn foliage at certain of Kyoto’s scenic cultural heritage sites draws an enormous number of visitors each year from around the country and from overseas. Compared to cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, the city is not overwhelmingly large and its population density is moderate, making it easily understandable to new residents. Kyoto University has accommodation facilities specifically for international students.

9. After graduation

Kyoto University graduates commonly embark on rich careers as political, economic, and social leaders, or as leading international researchers on the world stage. A global network of regional alumni associations (28 in Japan and 23 overseas) supports our graduates as they soar toward ever-greater achievements.

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Study mode:On campus Languages: Japanese
Foreign:$ 4.03 k / Year(s)
Deadline: Jul 1, 2023 54 place StudyQA ranking: 2783 You need IELTS certificate
Study mode:On campus Languages: Japanese
Foreign:$ 4.03 k / Year(s)
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