Best Universities in Japan for Computer Science Program 2022


Computer and intelligence science advance rapidly in Japan, but it is not followed by sufficient human resources. Japan Times reported the shortage prediction of 789,000 IT engineers in 2030 due to the aging population. It’s a tremendous opportunity for foreign nationalities who want to live in Japan.


There are a couple of ways to be an IT engineer in Japan, but one of the easiest is to graduate from computer science programs in Japanese universities. Japanese companies have a unique recruitment system once a year for soon-to-graduate students called shukatsu. You will also have the advantages of the language and experience as you have lived there for several years already.


Many universities in Japan provide an excellent environment for studying computer science. Some also offer international programs so you can get your degree without using Japanese. There are also partial and full scholarships for international students.


Here are the top universities in Japan for computer science programs.


University of Tokyo, Tokyo

Degrees Offered: Bachelor, Master, Doctoral

#45 in Best Universities for Computer Science (QS World University Rankings 2022)


The University of Tokyo, also known as Todai (short for Tokyo Daigaku, its name in Japanese), was the first imperial university built in 1877. It’s one of the most prestigious universities that produced 13 Nobel Prize awardees, 2 the Fields Medal or Gauss Prize awardees, 4 Pritzker Architecture Prize awardees, 15 Japan’s prime ministers, and many more notable alumni.


Photo: University of Tokyo


The Computer Science program is part of the Department of Information Science and Technology University of Tokyo. It was established in 1975 and has offered undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


For a bachelor’s degree, the program’s name is in the Department of Information Science under the Faculty of Science. The University of Tokyo has a unique system where students learn liberal arts courses in two first years and then choose their major in the third year. The lectures will be held in Japanese.


Master’s and doctoral students enrolled in the Department of Computer Science under the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology.

The research area includes algorithms, genome informatics, machine learning, computational linguistics, bioinformatics, geoinformatics, and many more.


The admissions for graduate school are twice a year, in October and April. The languages of instruction are Japanese and English. Moreover, they also have a special program named English Program on Intelligent Information Processing. All courses will be conducted in English.


There are a couple of options of scholarships you can get to support your study at the University of Tokyo. There are Japanese government Scholarships (MEXT), the University of Tokyo Special Scholarship for International Students (University of Tokyo Fellowship), University scholarships for PEAK students, and more scholarships from private organizations.

Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo

Degrees Offered: Bachelor, Master, Doctoral

#100 in Best Universities for Computer Science (QS World University Rankings 2022)


Located in the Greater Tokyo Area, the Tokyo Institute of Technology is Japan’s largest higher education school specializing in science and technology. The Japanese government established the institution as a vocational school in 1881 before changing it into a university in 1929.


Photo: Tokyo Institute of Technology


The computer science majors for undergraduate and graduate have the same name and are under the Department of Computer Science, School of Computing. It eases the process for students pursuing higher education on a linear path. The admissions of undergraduate students is once a year while postgraduate students twice a year.


Suppose you want to enroll in an undergraduate program but have little to no Japanese skills. Tokyo Tech (nickname for Tokyo Institute of Technology) offers The Global Scientist and Engineer Program (GSEP), in which all subjects will be taught in English. The top 8 students who passed the selection will be awarded a full scholarship from the Japanese government (MEXT).


You can find other scholarships in Tokyo Tech’s scholarship information page.


Kyoto University, Kyoto

Degrees Offered: Bachelor, Master, Doctoral

#109 in Best Universities for Computer Science (QS World University Rankings 2022)


The computer science undergraduate program is registered in the Department of Informatics and Mathematical Science, Faculty of Engineering. It is a four years program in which they will start learning their specific major at the end of the first academic year.


Interestingly, Kyoto University offers an International Undergraduate Program for non-Japanese students. No Japanese is required to enroll as the students will get an intensive six-month preparatory course followed by two years of advanced Japanese courses besides their major subjects. Prospective students can complete the selection process from overseas unless the interview is held in person.


The graduate school of informatics of Kyoto University consists of six departments. They are the Department of Intelligence Science and Technology, Department of Social Informatics, Department of Applied Analysis and Complex Dynamical System, Department of Applied Mathematics and Physics, Department of Systems Science, and Department of Communications and Computer Engineering.


If you want to get a master’s or doctoral degree in English, there are international courses in The Department of Intelligence Science and Technology, the Department of Social Informatics, and the Department of Communications and Computer Engineering. The language of instruction is exclusively English. International and Japanese students can apply to this program.


Photo: Kyoto University


Students of Kyoto University are eligible for many scholarships, including the Japanese Government Scholarship (MEXT), foreign governments, and private foundations. Every year, Kyoto University nominates students for approximately 60 private scholarship programs.


Kyoto University is also part of the Asian Future Leaders Scholarship Program. This is a scholarship for master’s degree students. It’s open to graduates from the bachelor’s program at Kyoto University or selected universities in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Korea, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thai, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, East Timor, Philippines, Bhutan, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Maldives, Mongolia, or Laos.


Osaka University, Osaka

Degrees Offered: Bachelor, Master, Doctoral

#146 in Best Universities for Computer Science (QS World University Rankings 2022)


Osaka University is one of the oldest universities in Japan. It has a long history traced back to Kaitokudō, a private school founded in 1724. After merging with multiple schools, Osaka University became the largest national university in Japan, with 11 undergraduate schools, 16 graduate schools, and 5 research institutions.


Photo: Osaka University


The computer science undergraduate course is under The Department of Information and Computer Sciences, Faculty of Engineering. In their first year, students learn the general course of Information and Computer Sciences. They will be assigned to a specialized course, such as Computer Science, in the second year.


The computer science postgraduate program is listed in the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology. The school provides an Information Technology Special Course in English (ITSCE) for master’s or doctoral students who want to take all classes and do research in English.


There are various government scholarships offered for Osaka University students, such as the Japanese Government Scholarship (MEXT), CSC-OU Joint Scholarship Program (the China Scholarship Council), and Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education Scholarship (LPDP). Students can also apply for financial aid from private scholarships from the university’s information page.


 

Apart from the four universities mentioned above, Japan has more universities with excellent computer science programs. For instance, Keio University and Waseda University in Tokyo ranked among #151-200 Best Universities for Computer Science (QS World University Rankings 2022).


If you want to study in other parts of Japan, check out these universities:

  • Tohoku University, Sendai ranked among #201-250 Best Universities for Computer Science (QS World University Rankings 2022)

  • Kyushu University, Fukuoka ranked among #251-300 Best Universities for Computer Science (QS World University Rankings 2022)

  • Nagoya University, Nagoya ranked among #301-350 Best Universities for Computer Science (QS World University Rankings 2022)

  • University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba ranked among #351-400 Best Universities for Computer Science (QS World University Rankings 2022)


In this article, we sort the universities based on rank. However, it’s not the only thing to determine which university is the best for you. We encourage you to do deep research about the scholarship opportunity, the location, the professors and labs (especially for master and doctoral students), the curriculums, the Japanese language requirements, and other aspects.

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