Tohoku University

Sendai, Japan
Website: Founded: 1907 year Type of University:Public 201–250 place StudyQA ranking: 613 pts. No. Students: 17885 Frgn. Students: 1944 No. Staff: 5756 Languages: Japanese Phone: +81227177800
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About Tohoku University

Tohoku University (東北大学 (東北帝國大學 prior to 1945) Tōhoku daigaku), abbreviated to Tohokudai (東北大 Tōhokudai), located in Sendai, Miyagi in the Tōhoku Region, Japan, is a Japanese national university. It is the third oldest Imperial University in Japan and among the National Seven Universities. It is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Japan, and one of the top fifty universities in the world.

In 2009, Tohoku University had ten colleges within the university, including fifteen departments with graduate students, with a total enrollment of 17,949 students. The university's three core values are "Research First (研究第一主義)," "Open-Door (門戸開放)," and "Practice-Oriented Research and Education (実学尊重)."

History of Tohoku University

The origin of the university was Meirin-yokendo (明倫養賢堂 Meirin yōkendō), which was founded as a medical school in Sendai in 1736. It was reorganized a few times. Later it became Sendai Medical College (仙台医学専門学校 Sendai igaku senmon gakkō); this was the forerunner of the medical department of the university.

On June 22, 1907, the university was established under the name Tohoku Imperial University (東北帝國大學 Tōhoku teikoku daigaku) by the Meiji government as the third Imperial University of Japan, following the Tokyo Imperial University (1877) and the Kyoto Imperial University (1897). From its start, it has advocated "Open-door" policies—it was the first university in Japan to accept female students (in 1913) and foreign students.

In September 1907, it set up the faculty of Agriculture in Sapporo; the Sapporo Agricultural College (札幌農學校 Sapporo nō gakkō).

It set up the Science Department in 1911, and the Medical Department (formerly the Sendai Medical College) in 1915. In 1918 it ceded the Faculty of Agriculture to Hokkaido Imperial University. It subsequently launched Faculties of Engineering in 1919, and Law and Literature in 1922.

In 1947 the university assumed its current name, Tohoku University, acquired a new Faculty of Agriculture. In 1949, the Faculty of Law and Literature was split to form new faculties of Law, Literature, and Economics. A Faculty of Education was added in 1949, Dentistry in 1965, and Pharmacy in 1972. Tohoku has been a national university corporation since April 2004.

11 March 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

Subsequent to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the university was declared closed until further notice, but with a tentative re-opening date of the end of the following April.

The Aobayama, Katahira, Amamiya, and Kawauchi campuses are all at least 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) from the ocean, towards the mountains, and therefore suffered no damage resulting from the tsunami. No deaths or serious injuries within the faculty and student body were reported on campus grounds. However, earthquake damage lead to the closure of 27 buildings and caused millions of dollars of damage to equipment. Classes have resumed normally since early May 2011 and plans for restoring, reinforcing or replacing damaged buildings are underway.

The radiology department has been actively measuring radiation levels throughout the city of Sendai since the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant meltdown, which is about 100 kilometers south. So far no alarming levels of radiation have been detected.


  • 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)


General Rankings

  • The university has been ranked 6th in 2009 and 7th in 2010 in the ranking "Truly Strong Universities" by Toyo Keizai.
  • In another ranking, Japanese prep school Kawaijuku ranked Tohoku as the 5th best university in Japan.
  • According to 2011 QS World University Rankings the university rose to 70th having dropped out of the top 100 in 2010 to 102nd, and having been 97th in the 2009 THE-QS World University Rankings (in 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings parted ways to produce separate rankings).
  • It was also ranked 49th worldwide according to the Global University Ranking in 2009.

Research Performance

  • Tohoku is one of the top research institutions in Japan. According to Thomson Reuters, Tohoku is the 4th best research university in Japan.
  • Its research excellence is especially distinctive in Materials Science (1st in Japan, 3rd in the world), Physics (2nd in Japan, 10th in the world), Pharmacology & Toxicology (3rd in Japan, 64th in the world) and Chemistry (6th in Japan, 20th in the world).
  • Weekly Diamond also reported that Tohoku has the 11th highest research standard in Japan in terms of research funding per researchers in COE Program. In the same article, it's also ranked 9th in terms of the quality of education by GP funds per student.
  • In addition, Nikkei Shimbun on 2004/2/16 surveyed about the research standards in Engineering studies based on Thomson Reuters, Grants in Aid for Scientific Research and questionnaires to heads of 93 leading Japanese Research Centers, and Tohoku was placed 3rd (research planning ability 9th//informative ability of research outcome 2nd/ability of business-academia collaboration 2nd) in this ranking.
  • According to the Qs World university rankings on 2012/9 surveyed about the general standards in Engineering&Technology field, Tohoku university was placed 56th (world), 5th(national).
  • As Tohoku University has been emphasizing on 'practical' research, Tohoku got the top place at the number of patents accepted (324) during 2009 among Japanese Universities.

Graduate school Rankings

  • Tohoku Law School is one of the most famous Law schools in Japan, as it was ranked 9th in the passing rate of Japanese Bar Examination in 2010.
  • Eduniversal ranked Tohoku Business school as 6th in the rankings of "Excellent Business Schools nationally strong and/or with continental links " in Japan.

Alumni Rankings

  • According to the Weekly Economist's 2010 rankings, graduates from Tohoku have the 21st best employment rate in 400 major companies in Japan.
  • Mines ParisTech : Professional Ranking World Universities ranks Tohoku University as 13th in the world in 2011 in terms of the number of alumni listed among CEOs in the 500 largest worldwide companies.

Student life @Tohoku University

The Student Friendship Association is a university-wide organization consisting of 47 sports and 24 cultural clubs. The university also provides facilities for extracurricular activity.

Sports Clubs

  • Aikido
  • Alpine Verein
  • American Football
  • Archery
  • Athletics
  • Automobile
  • Aviation
  • Badminton
  • Ballroom Dance
  • Baseball
  • Basketball(mens)
  • Basketball(womens)
  • Bodybuilding
  • Cart Racing
  • Cheering
  • Chinese Martial Arts
  • Cycling
  • Equestrian Art
  • Fencing
  • Futsal
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Handball
  • Ice Hockey
  • Ice Skating
  • Japanese Archery
  • Judo
  • Karate
  • Kendo
  • Kyokushin Karate
  • Lacrosse(Mens)
  • Lacrosse(Womens)
  • Orienteering
  • Protector Karate
  • Rowing
  • Rugby
  • Sailing
  • Semi-hardball Baseball
  • Ski
  • Shorinji Kempo
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Soft Tennis
  • Sumo
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball(mens)
  • Volleyball(womens)
  • Wandervogel


  • Amateur Radio
  • Audiophile
  • Broadcasting Study
  • Birdman
  • Calligraphy
  • Chemistry
  • Chorus(Mens)
  • Chorus(Mixed)
  • Drama
  • English Speaking Society
  • Fine Arts
  • Gospel Choir
  • Go (Japanese chess)
  • Hot Air Balloon
  • Japanese Music
  • Juggling
  • Light Music(the strangers)
  • Light Music(FeelinFree )
  • Literary Arts
  • Photography
  • Rakugo Study
  • Mandolin
  • Motion Picture
  • Noh Drama
  • Shogi (Japanese chess)
  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Tea Ceremony
  • Wind Orchestra

Services of Tohoku University

International Support Office

A place for international students and researchers to get support on a range of issues such as campus life, housing and healthcare.

IT Services

Computer labs, on-line learning platforms, email access and more.


  • Main Library
  • Kita Aobayama Library
  • Agricultural Library
  • Medical Library
  • Engineering Library

Dining & Shops

Student facilities, for use by students and instructors, are located on Tohoku University's campuses in Katahira, Kawauchi, Aobayama, Seiryo, and Amamiya.

Katahira Campus

  • Sakura Kitchen
  • Restaurant Hagi
  • Sakura Shop

Kawauchi Campus

  • Kawauchi no Mori Dining
  • Kitchen Terrace Couleur
  • Bush Clover Cafe
  • Bee ARENA Cafe
  • Kawauchi Co-op Restaurant
  • Mozart klees coffee
  • Seattle' s Best Coffee
  • Cafe Lupo
  • Multidisciplinary Research Building SHOP (POCKE)
  • Kawauchi Co-op Book Store (North)
  • Kawauchi Co-op Book Store (South)

Aobayama Campus

  • Aobayama Co-op Restaurant
  • Restaurant AOSIS
  • Espace Ouvert
  • Keyaki Dining
  • Espace Commun
  • Aoba Dining
  • Shikisai
  • Komorebi cafe
  • Aobayama Co-op Bookstore
  • book cafe 'BOOOK'
  • SevenEleven
  • Daily Yamazaki

Seiryo Campus

  • Seiryo Co-op Restaurant
  • Seiryo Co-op Shop

Amamiya Campus

  • Amamiya Co-op Restaurant
  • Amamiya Co-op Bookstore
Tohoku University on map:
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Study mode:On campus Languages: Japanese
Foreign:$ 4.06 k / Year(s)
Deadline: Jan 25, 2024 201–250 place StudyQA ranking: 815 You need IELTS certificate
Study mode:On campus Languages: Japanese
Foreign:$ 4.06 k / Year(s)
Deadline: Jan 23, 2024 201–250 place StudyQA ranking: 2173 You need IELTS certificate
Study mode:On campus Languages: Japanese
Foreign:$ 4.06 k / Year(s)
Deadline: May 31, 2023 201–250 place StudyQA ranking: 1018 You need IELTS certificate
Study mode:On campus Languages: Japanese
Foreign:$ 4.06 k / Year(s)
Deadline: Feb 6, 2024 201–250 place StudyQA ranking: 1589 You need IELTS certificate
Study mode:On campus Languages: Japanese
Foreign:$ 4.06 k / Year(s)
Deadline: Dec 22, 2023 201–250 place StudyQA ranking: 1790 You need IELTS certificate