Hokkaido University

About the Hokkaido University

Hokkaido University, nestled in Japan’s northern region, is where academic excellence meets environmental consciousness. Surrounded by natural beauty, it’s a unique institution that fosters research and education dedicated to addressing global issues, including climate change and sustainability. Hokkaido University’s multidisciplinary approach encourages collaboration across various fields, creating a nurturing environment for groundbreaking discoveries. Graduates leave with not only academic knowledge but also a deep appreciation for the harmony between science, culture, and nature, poised to make a lasting impact on the world.

A brief history

Situated in Sapporo, Japan, Hokkaido University boasts a history that sets it apart within the realm of Japanese higher education. Its origins trace back to 1876 when it was founded as Sapporo Agricultural College. Notably, this college holds the distinction of being the first institution in Japan to confer bachelor’s degrees. Sapporo Agricultural College’s foundation was rooted in the adoption of progressive agricultural practices and crops suitable for Hokkaido’s colder climate. This approach took inspiration from the American model of pioneering new lands. Subsequently, the institution underwent a transformation, assuming the name Hokkaido University, and emerged as a leading Japanese university, recognized for both its research endeavors and its culturally diverse student body.
Over the years, Hokkaido University underwent various name changes. It became Tohoku Imperial University in 1907 and was later renamed Hokkaido Imperial University in 1918. The year 1947 marked the adoption of its current and enduring name, Hokkaido University. Since then, it has consistently maintained its position as one of Japan’s oldest, largest, and most esteemed academic institutions.

General information

Established in 1876 as Sapporo Agricultural College, Hokkaido University holds the distinction of being Japan’s pioneer in awarding bachelor’s degrees at the higher education level. The renowned quote “Boys, be ambitious!” attributed to Dr. William S. Clark, the inaugural Vice-Principal, has resonated widely among Japan’s youth and remains a cornerstone of Hokkaido University’s ethos.
Hokkaido University is guided by core principles: “The Frontier Spirit,” “Global Perspectives,” “All-round Education,” and “Practical Learning.” These principles, forged over a history spanning more than 130 years, form the bedrock of the institution’s educational and research philosophies. At present, the combined efforts of faculty members, students, and alumni are dedicated to transforming the campus into a global hub for education and researc

Quick facts about Kyoto

  • Hokkaido University is considered one of the top universities in Japan and was ranked 5th in THE Japan University Rankings.
  • It was also selected as a “Top Type” university by the Japanese government’s Top Global University Project.
  • The university has 12 undergraduate schools, 21 graduate schools, and 22 research institutes/centers.
  • Hokkaido University has a student population of 18,057 and a faculty and staff population of 3,920.
  • The university’s alumni network is extensive, with 242,319 alumni.
  • Hokkaido University is a leader in research activities, both in Japan and globally, and its research covers a wide range of fields, including agriculture, engineering, medicine, and environmental science.
  • The university has a diverse student population, with over 2,000 international students from more than 100 countries.
  • According to the QS World University Rankings, Hokkaido University is ranked 196th in the world as of 2024.

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Hokkaido University offers several competitive scholarships of differing amounts for students wishing to study there. Japanese Government Scholarships (MEXT) and Hokkaido University President’s Fellowships are among the scholarships available for prospective students.

The Supporter System is a program that pairs international students with Japanese students who can help them adjust to life at Hokkaido University. The program aims to provide international students with a support system and help them integrate into the university community

The Hokkaido University President’s Fellowship is a scholarship program offered by Hokkaido University to international students who wish to study there. The program aims to provide financial support to students who demonstrate academic excellence and leadership potential

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Popular Courses

Modern Japanese Studies Program

This program delves into intensive Japanese language study and explores four key areas about Japan: history, society, culture, and the environment.


Through this program, students gain a comprehensive grasp of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. The curriculum encompasses the latest advancements and insights in these fields.

Economics and Business

This program encompasses an array of economics and business courses, including microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics, finance, accounting, and management.


The Education program equips students to become educators or educational researchers, covering subjects like educational psychology, curriculum development, and educational administration.

Fisheries Sciences

This program provides a comprehensive education in fisheries science, encompassing the biology, ecology, and management of aquatic organisms such as fish.

Global Development

Focused on global development challenges, this program delves into issues like poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation. Students acquire knowledge of development theories, policies, and practices, as well as practical skills in project management and evaluation.

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Eligibility Criteria

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Score of 33 or higher

Percentage-based Entry

Minimum of 75% or higher

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Requirement of 3.0 or higher

For admission to Kyushu University, international applicants are expected to meet the following English language proficiency criteria

TOEFL: Minimum score of iBT 79
IELTS: Minimum score of 6.0

Fee Structure

Entrance Examination Fee:
Undergraduate Students: ¥17,000
Transfer Students: ¥30,000

Entrance Fee:
Post-offer: May or November

Tuition Fee:
Undergraduate Students: ¥282,000
Tuition Fee per Year: ¥535,800

Admission Deadlines

Master’s Course Application Deadline:

  • Application Deadline: October 31st, 2022
  • Admission: April 2023

Undergraduate Admission:

  • Qualifications and deadlines vary by program.
  • Prospective students should refer to the program links for specific details.
  • Some undergraduate programs’ deadline: June 15th, 2023.

Intake Deadlines:

  • Spring Intake: October/November
  • Summer Intake: February/April
  • Autumn Intake: June/July

Bachelor’s Program Deadline:

  • First Call Deadline: December 2nd, 2023
  • Varies for Different Programs.

Student Exchange Programs:

  • Fall One Year Program:
    • Deadline: February 2023
    • Program: October 2023 to mid-August 2024
  • Fall Half Year Program:
    • Deadline: February 2023
    • Program: October 2023 to mid-February 2024

Notable alumni