Established in 1877 as the first imperial university, the University of Tokyo is one of Japan’s most storied and prestigious higher education establishments. In 2011, the university, which is nicknamed Todai, was ranked second in the world behind Harvard for the number of alumni in CEO positions at Fortune 500 companies. Also, 15 of Japan’s 62 prime ministers were educated at the University of Tokyo, and five alumni have gone on to become astronauts.
Tokyo consists of 10 faculties and 15 graduate schools, and has 30,000 students enrolled, of which 2,100 are from overseas. Unusually for a Japanese university, it also runs undergraduate programs taught entirely in English: the International Program on Japan in East Asia and the International Program on Environmental Sciences.
In 2014, the university’s School of Science introduced an all-English undergraduate transfer program called Global Science Course. Todai has five campuses, in the districts of Hongō, Komaba, Kashiwa, Shirokane and Nakano.
Tokyo is a vibrant metropolis with a distinct urban character and unique culture that is ideal for growing minds and youthful adventure. The main Hongo campus occupies the former estate of the Maeda family, once the feudal lords of Kaga Province. It therefore attracts tourists due to landmarks such as Akamon (the Red Gate) and the majestic Yasuda Auditorium. It’s also where UTokyo’s annual May festival is held.
The other campuses have more modern features. Komaba campus ¬– home to the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate School of Mathematical Sciences – is home to 7,000 freshmen and sophomores.
The undergraduate experience at the University of Tokyo is unique as it’s the only Japanese university with a system of two years of general education before students choose their major. The campus has been designated a "center of excellence" for three new areas of research by Japan’s Ministry of Education and Science.