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Studying in a foreign country is one of the most pivotal decisions you’ll make in life, granting you a cherishing experience both in terms of education and lifestyle, so you should make sure to take the bull by the horns during your entrance exams.

Japan has long caught the attention worldwide for its top-notch educational system that is as rewarding as it is stringent. So if you’re planning to study in this forward-thinking country, you’ll need to sharpen your skills before applying. Remember, the person who fails to prepare prepares to fail!

We give you all the tips and tricks to stand out from the crowd when applying to the top Japanese universities in 2023. ​Requirements, application process, deadlines we cover it all. 


University Entry Requirements 

Japan is home to one of the best universities worldwide, yet its educational system is among the strictest in the world. This is why you should carefully assess your abilities before applying to find the option that best suits your goals and skills. While each university has unique entry requirements, there are standard documents that you will need to prepare for all of them:


  • A filled-out application form that differs with each university;
  • Proof of application fee payment (if applicable);
  • Proof of previous education (e.g., high school diploma for Bachelor’s);
  • Transcript of records, with the majority of Japanese universities requiring meticulous data to the point of individual grades;
  • Professional photo(s);
  • A copy of personal ID and/or passport;
  • A motivation letter;
  • Recommendation letters (if applicable).


The university may require additional documents, depending on the study program you choose. Keep in mind that a motivation letter is by far the most crucial component of your application, where you can let your imagination run wild to highlight your strongest skills and present your persona in full light.

Be sure to consult the WritingUniverse professional academic writing consultants who can help you use word magic to impress even the meanest professor. Why pass up the chance to masterfully use words when they have such magical power?


Admission Examinations 

To evaluate if international students possess due academic qualifications and Japanese language proficiency (if required) to enrol in desired study programs, most universities use the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU). Be sure to check if your dream college requires the test to start preparing early.

EJU evaluates fundamental academic skills in critical thinking, science, mathematics, and Japanese as a foreign language. Thankfully, there is no restriction on the number of times you can pass the test, but the better you prepare, the lower the likelihood you will fail. 

The universities that require EJU for admission can be found on the Japan Student Services Organization’s website. The best part is that students who perform well can apply for the most prestigious Japanese scholarships.


Language Requirements 

All countries in our increasingly globalized world offer one-of-a-kind English-language programs, so you can easily apply to world-known universities without knowing a single Japanese word. However, if you’re the inquisitive type who wants to fully immerse oneself in the culture by embracing its language, you can pursue a degree in Japanese or study it upon arrival. The choice is all yours!

In both cases, you’ll have to prove your English and/or Japanese language proficiency level. For English, most universities accept either TOEFL, iBT or IELTS. For the native language, you’ll have to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). 


Application Deadlines 

The application deadlines for Japanese universities vary, so you should check official websites to take note of the important dates. This might seem like the most trivial part of your application, yet setting priorities well in advance will help you avoid missing any vital deadlines or cramming too much work into a short period of time, which may compromise the quality of your work.


Here are some dates for usual intake periods to give you a general idea:

  • The deadline for spring admissions: is early November (for colleges with two intake periods);
  • The deadline for fall admissions: is early April (for colleges with two intake periods);
  • The deadline for spring admissions: October/November (for colleges with three intake periods);
  • The deadline for summer admissions: February/April (for colleges with three intake periods);
  • The deadline for autumn admissions: June/July (for colleges with three intake periods).


The Way Forward

By now, you should have an overarching idea of the application requirements and general process for Japanese universities. Be sure to delve deeper and devise a step-by-step plan for crafting a standout application that will become a gateway to your dream college.

Remember that you should also familiarize yourself with the necessary steps following your admission, which include applying for a student visa, medical insurance, and grants. Best of luck!