Study Abroad Program Overview
Study science and engineering in Japan at Tohoku University. The Tohoku Faculties of
Engineering, Science and Agriculture emphasize research through lab work, with seminars in fields including biochemistry, geology, aerospace engineering, materials science, computer science, agricultural science, and more.
This program offers UC students the opportunity to:
- Join a lab team conducting cutting-edge research
- Conduct an individual project and submit your research results in English
- Take courses taught in English or Japanese
- Learn Japanese
Tohoku University is located in Sendai, a city of one million in the scenic northern part of Honshu. Sendai is renowned for its natural beauty, facing the Pacific Ocean on the east with mountains to the west. Known as the “city of green” and just a two-hour bullet train from Tokyo, Sendai is the cultural, commercial, and transportation center of the region of Tohoku.
View "How Did I Get Here," a video that beautifully captures the culture and wonder of Japan.
--2016 Student Ambassador Video Contest winner
Students attend classes with international and/or host country students.
Language of Instruction
language study is optional.
Go to the Participants
section to see current or past calendars.
early April to early August
late September to early August
Interested in learning Japanese language but haven't started yet? Previous participants recommend the summer Beginning Japanese program at Osaka University before going to Tohoku or take a course while at Tohoku.
As shared by a recent Tohoku Participant: "Even though you do not need to know Japanese for this program, I recommend people learn basic Japanese to communicate better with locals and professors."
UCEAP students stay at the University House Sanjo in 8 bedroom apartment units with Japanese and foreign students. More information on housing
Tohoku offers a rich variety of activities and student clubs
, such as martial arts, sports, and clubs for tea ceremony, drama, music, dance, flower arranging, and more. Clubs are an excellent way to meet local students and practice Japanese. The study center also coordinates volunteer teaching opportunities for high school students across Japan.
UCEAP students are supported by UC's network of EAP offices at every UC campus and partnerships with EAP host universities throughout the world. UC faculty and local staff abroad help students integrate into the culture of Japan and provide assistance with academics, housing, safety, and other issues.
The University of California Tokyo Study Center provides an enriching, educational, and safe experience for UCEAP students who study at nine Japanese host Universities.
See the UCEAP Program Guide
for program-specific details about host institutions, program structure, and courses; academic culture and conduct; internships, research, and independent study; units, exams, and grades; orientation; and housing.
All UCEAP students participate in a research group (lab) with Japanese and international students under the supervision of Tohoku University faculty. Tohoku University has a wide variety of research groups to meet student interests. Labs are available through the Faculty of Science in the physical sciences and mathematics, the Faculty of Engineering, and the Faculty of Agriculture. You will be placed in a group based on a research proposal (statement of purpose) you submit prior to departure.
The Engineering and Science Program at Tohoku University offers science, engineering, and Japanese language and culture courses taught in English through the Junior Year Program in English (JYPE).
Courses taught in Japanese are open to students with the required language skills.
Use the following resources to learn more:
Previous participants cite the ability to do an independent project and conduct hands-on research as unique attributes of the Tohoku program.
You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad; 21 quarter/14 semester UC units minimum per semester; most UCEAP students do required lab (8 UC quarter units) plus 4 or 5 courses per term.
Research and Independent Study
This program has a required lab research component. During the fall semester, you will spend approximately 15 to 20 hours per week in lab research (8 UC quarter units). During the spring semester, you can either continue your lab from the fall at 15 to 20 hours per week or you may participate in the intensive lab for approximately 30 hours per week (16 UC quarter units). The intensive lab option is only available during the spring and requires the approval of the lab supervisor.
Tohoku University, Sendai
Tohoku University is an elite national university. Founded as Tohoku Imperial University in 1907, Tohoku is one of Japan’s oldest and largest national universities and world famous as a leader in innovative research. As one of the first Japanese institutions to admit women and the first to open a Western-style research institute, Tohoku prides itself on being a pioneer. Its early emphasis on research and development has helped Japan to become the world leader in electronics.
Test Drive Your Future
Internships abroad are a great way to enhance your resume for today’s competitive job market. Stand out from your peers, gain hands-on experience, and develop your global professional network.
- US Embassy or Consulate
- Academic Mentor for local and international students
Please note-Current internship offerings may vary; you may do your own research to find additional internship opportunities.
Setting Up Your Internship
- You are encouraged to set up your own internship prior to arrival in Japan. If needed, the Tokyo Study Center may be able to assist you after arrival.
- Keep in mind that deadlines for internships at the US embassy and consulate are well before your program application deadline.
- Some internships are short-term during the semester break while others are ongoing during the academic year.
- In the past, some students have found internships with such entities as Panasonic, Asahi Beverage, and the U.S. Embassy.
"I decided that rather than work for an international organization or in politics, I wanted to do something that I already knew I would enjoy: become a teacher." -UCSB student
Participation in UCEAP is a great value! The cost of studying abroad on UCEAP programs is typically less than that of non-UC study abroad programs. The dollar figures listed in the chart below represent an estimate of: 1) the UCEAP fees for the current year, and 2) the additional amount needed to cover your living expenses in this location. Estimates for personal travel, entertainment and Non-Resident (out of state) Fees are not included.
Keep in mind that on UCEAP you take your financial aid with you. The amount of your financial aid package will take into account the total estimated costs of this experience. One advantage of selecting UCEAP for study abroad is that we facilitate the process by working with your UC Financial Aid Office (FAO), informing them of your UCEAP participation and providing them with your UCEAP budget. Just like your UC Campus billing office, we receive your financial aid and scholarships from your FAO, apply it to cover the UCEAP program fees, and disburse any remaining aid on a set schedule.
Estimated EAP Costs *
* Estimates do not include Miscellaneous Campus Fees or, if applicable, Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition, Graduate or Professional Fees. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay Non-Resident Fees on UCEAP.
1 UCEAP Fees: This represents an estimate of UCEAP fees for the current year. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. This figure includes UC tuition and fees for undergraduate, in-state residents. For a detailed breakdown of what’s included in this estimate, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Non-Resident Fees apply: If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay non-resident fees on UCEAP.
2 Additional Costs: Average living expenses include but are not limited to room and board, transportation, books, supplies, and other incidentals and do not include recreational travel or entertainment. The total cost will vary depending on your personal expenses, exchange rate fluctuation, and the program you attend. For a detailed breakdown of the estimate, visit the “Cost” tab of the appropriate program.
All fees are subject to change without notice.
These expenses are estimated for 2015-16. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. For a more detailed breakdown of 2015-16 payment information, visit the Participants Portal
and select the appropriate program. Estimates do not include non-resident supplemental tuition. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay the same non-resident fees on UCEAP.
Here’s what is included in the estimate:
- Predeparture expenses (visa, etc.)
- Round-trip transportation from California
- UC fees
- Tuition at partner institution
- Mandatory Host Country Health Insurance
- On-site orientation
- Room and board
- Program excursions
- Books and other incidental expenses
- Automatic transfer of credits and grades to your UC transcript
While on UCEAP, you are covered by UC’s accident and medical insurance, including non-medical benefits, and 24/7 travel assistance anywhere in the world.
UCEAP scholarships are available. Please visit our scholarships overview page for general information and details regarding eligibility requirements and application deadlines.
Study abroad scholarships for Japan
Bridging Scholarships for Study in Japan
The US-Japan Bridging Foundation awards 100 scholarships annually to US undergraduate students for study in Japan. The scholarships provide $2,500 for one semester or $4,000 for the academic year to cover travel and living expenses. In 2015, three UC students were awarded. Applications are due in April for fall/year programs and October for spring programs. Requirements include an application, transcript, short essay, and letter of recommendation. Find out more
Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) Scholarships
JASSO offers scholarships for international students who are accepted by a Japanese university, junior college or college of technology. Find out more
Morgan Stanley Scholarships for Study in Japan
Morgan Stanley Japan offers two $7,500 scholarships to US students with an interest in policy, economics, or international finance who will study abroad in Japan. The scholarships are co-sponsored by the US-Japan Bridging Foundation and the American Association of Teachers of Japanese. Applications are due in April. Find out more
American Association of Japanese University Women (AAJUW)
AAJUW was founded in 1970 to promote the education of women, as well as to contribute to the better U.S.-Japan relations, cultural exchanges, and development of leadership. AAJUW's scholarship
award $2,000 and the deadline is in October.
Junior, Senior, Graduate
3.00 cumulative GPA at the time of application and maintained through the end of the last term prior to departure.
Other Eligibility Requirements:
Transfer students applying to Tohoku must spend at least one term at UC prior to departure.
All applicants must also have:
- Serious academic goals and a clear plan for integrating EAP studies into the student's UC degree program.
- Social, interpersonal, and cross-cultural sensitivity; maturity; willingness to adapt successfully to different living and academic environments; appropriate behavior in a variety of situations.
- A willingness to abide by program regulations.
- Completed all campus- and program-specific requirements.
Application Information and Deadlines
Important: If you are planning to participate in back to back study abroad programs (with UCEAP or any other organization), you must notify your campus study abroad office. There are important things to consider when participating in consecutive programs, such as program dates and visa requirements. Not all program combinations are possible.
Application deadlines and information on the application process are available through your Campus EAP Office. Supplemental pre-departure materials will be required for many programs, including, but not limited to, host institution applications, visa and housing applications, medical clearances, etc.
For participation in the program, you must meet all deadlines and submit complete application materials.
These are minimum requirements. After selection by your UC Campus EAP Office, final admission is determined by Tohoku University.
Visit your Campus Study Abroad website for program-specific deadlines: