UMD: A Globally Connected University

ENGR Exchange: Tohoku University (Japan)

Sendai City, Japan
Terms offered: 
Year (Fall-Spring)
Program Type: 
Credit Type: 
Minimum GPA: 
Non-UMD Students Eligible to Apply: 
EA Advisor: 
Katherine Schwarzentraub
Language of Instruction: 


All students accepted to an Exchange program are automatically considered for an award of $1,000! See Cost tab for more information.

Tohoku University offers UMD students the opportunity to study at a highly ranked Japanese university. Tohoku Univesity offers the perfect combination of Japanese language and culture and top academics.

Host Institution
Tohoku University was established in Sendai in 1907 as Tohoku Imperial University by consolidating an agricultural college and a science college. It is the third oldest former Imperial University after Tokyo and Kyoto.

Tohoku University is well known for its open and progressive policies. It was the first Imperial University to admit women and foreign students, and also pioneered in opening a university by offering public lectures. Already in 1911, Tohoku University graduated its first foreign students, thus becoming the Japanese university with the longest history of foreign graduates. All of these were epoch-making events in the history of Japanese higher education. The "Spirit of Open Doors" remains alive within the tradition of Tohoku University. Along with this spirit, the University has placed a high value on the "Spirit of Search for Truth" and emphasized original and creative research. Thus, Tohoku University is known for its strong orientation toward academic research.

In the years following its establishment, Tohoku University has grown into an institution that includes the fields of medicine, science, and engineering among others. Currently the University has ten undergraduate and fifteen graduate schools, and five research institutes. The current student body consists of over 17,800 students, including roughly 1,210 international students from 75 countries. The university is staffed with about 5,550 employees, including about 840 full professors.

Host City
Tohoku Univesity is located in Sendai, Japan, which is the largest city in the Tohoku region and one of Japan's 15 largest cities. Sendai is known as the City of Trees and is ranked as one of Japan's greenest cities. Sendai hosts several large festivals throughout the year and is home to many historical sites and museums. 

The ancient castle grounds of Sendai's famous feudal war lord Masamune Date, are home to the majority of Tohoku University's facilities. In addition to the five main campuses is the new Aobayama campus on Aobayama mountain surrounded by beautiful fir forests native to the region's hilly terrain.

The primeval forest served as a natural fortress for Sendai castle, which was built in 1602. It was protected under the strict supervision of the Sendai clan. This protection continued under the auspices of the national military following the Meiji Restoration in 1968. When World War 2 ended in 1945, the area was home to a military base of the occupation forces. It remained off limits to civilians for many years.

The Tohoku University Botanical Gardens, was founded for research and education on Aobayama mountain, in 1958. Due to its preservation for 400 years it is now home to flora and fauna of priceless academic value. In 1972, the garden was designated a natural monument, a first for a national university botanical garden. It is one of only three national university botanical gardens in Japan.

Today, Aobayama's 400 year history of natural beauty endures next door to the thriving metropolis of Sendai city, home to more than one million people.

Exchange programs are highly competitive and space in each program is limited. You must meet the following eligibility requirements in order to apply to this program:

  • 3.0 GPA
  • Completion of 2 semesters at UMD
  • You must be an ENGR major

Exchange programs are a good fit for students looking for immersion, personal growth, and the opportunity to strengthen qualities such as independence and adaptability.

Student Visa Information
A student visa is required for participation on this exchange. For more information, please visit our study abroad visa guide to view instructions for the country you will be visiting. Please note that visa information is subject to change and you are responsible for checking the embassy website for updates.

  1. Click "Apply Now" at the top of this page. You will log in with your UMD directory ID and password.
  2. Submit all application materials by the deadline listed below. This includes meeting with your EA advisor (listed at the top of this page), requesting a faculty letter of recommendation, and submitting an official transcript.
  3. After the application deadline, we will review all completed applications and nominate students for available spots in each exchange program.
  4. If you are nominated to participate in this exchange, you will work with your EA advisor (listed above) to apply directly to the host university, who will formally admit you to the exchange program.
  5. Nominated students will then work with their EA advisor (listed above) and our partner universities to coordinate all aspects of the stay at the host university such as course registration, visas and arrival.

Academic Planning

Visit the Academics & Study Abroad page which outlines key considerations for your academic planning as you navigate different phases of study abroad:


Students studying at Tohoku University enroll in engineering courses. Not all courses are offered each semester. You are advised to check the semester availability of courses based on the current academic year.

Disciplines available: Biotechnology, Computer, Environmental, Materials, Materials Science, Separation Science & Engineering, Software


There may be other course offerings on this program that are not currently listed in the Study Abroad Course Database (SACD). 



All credit you earn on this program will count as transfer credit towards your UMD degree.  Most courses at Tohoku University will be converted as follows:

Tohoku University Credit UMD Credit
1 Tohoku credit (research) 1.6 UMD credits
1 Tohoku credit (non-language lecture) 0.9 UMD credit
1 Tohoku credit (Japanese language) 1.2 UMD credits

Undergraduates must receive a C- equivalent or better in order to be eligible for the transfer of credit.


Undergraduates must receive a C- equivalent or better in order to be eligible for the transfer of credit.

Tohoku University Grade UMD Grade
C or 70*  C -

Tohoku offers assistance in finding housing. There is limited on-campus accommodation available. Please review the housing information provided on Tohoku's website.

Exchange Program Cost of Attendance
UMD students participating in an Exchange program have the benefit of paying UMD tuition rates to attend an institution abroad. For specific information about this Exchange program, please reference the Cost of Attendance Chart.

Tuition and fees for exchange programs are charged directly to your UMD account, which means you can apply UMD scholarships, state and federal financial aid, and alternative loans towards the cost of an exchange. Students participating in a BMGT or ENGR exchange program are not charged differential tuition. Housing costs are paid directly to the host institution or on-site housing agency.

You can use the cost of attendance comparison worksheet to view how study abroad programs compare to each other and the amount you pay on campus at UMD. As always, your EA advisor (listed above) is available to help you complete this worksheet and find affordable programs that fit your study abroad goals.

Exchange Scholarship
All students accepted to an Exchange program are considered for an automatic award of $1,000! To be considered for this scholarship, you must:

  • Be a current degree seeking undergraduate UMD student (graduate students are not eligible for this award)
  • Not currently receive full tuition scholarship/benefits (i.e. Banneker Key, tuition remission, Frederick Douglass Scholarship, etc.)

Additional Financial Resources

Maximize your time abroad by taking advantage of resources at your host institution!

Student Clubs and Organizations
There are several organizations of university students at Tohoku University whose mission addresses international students directly.

International Welcome/Orientation
Tohoku University offers an International Students Orientation and a Welcome Package when moving into your dormitory.

Counseling & Health Services
Tohoku University offers both a Clinical Service and a Counseling Service for students.

Resource Guide for Students with Disabilities*
Resource Guide for LGBTQ+ Identities*

*These resource guides provide general information about services at UMD’s partner institution. For more information, consult your EA advisor.

Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Year (Fall-Spring) 2022 02/14/2022 02/20/2022
Fall 2022 02/14/2022 02/20/2022