The University at Albany, SUNY continues to monitor and assess the COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus pandemic. All Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 education abroad programs worldwide are suspended, and Fall 2021 remains uncertain. While there are no definite answers on when education abroad programming will resume, programs abroad are not expected to all re-open at the same time. Instead, when education abroad relaunches only a limited number of programs and destinations will be available, evaluated based on global travel conditions, health and safety guidelines, SUNY System Administration re-opening protocols, and UAlbany priorities. Therefore at this time, students cannot apply for any UAlbany education abroad programs for Fall 2021 or any future term, as we await guidance and approval from SUNY System Administration. The process of review and approval to re-open programs and destinations will be ongoing. As you plan now for your global future, our dedicated Education Abroad team remains ready and available to assist and guide you! Join our virtual events throughout the Spring 2021 semester and check out our credit bearing virtual options for Summer 2021.
Enjoy the vibrant city of Sendai with street festivals and nightlife. Visit Date Masamune’s Castle that dates from the age of the Samurai. Less than an hour outside of the city is beautiful Matsushima, on the water, which is rated among Japan’s top three most scenic sites.
Study in Japan at a world-renowned university with a tradition of excellence. Benefit from the cultural resources and activities hosted by Tohoku University with performances at Kawauchi Hagi Hall and libraries, gardens and museums on campus. Tohoku University was the first university in Japan to admit female students.
Tohoku University offers a wide range of courses for undergraduate students. You can choose among the four undergraduate programs specially designed for incoming exchange students.
Course Descriptions and Syllabi
Tohoku University’s Academic Calendar:
Early April – Early August
Late September – Early February
1. International Program in Liberal Arts (IPLA)
- Liberal Arts classes taught in English
- Classes include Economics, Management, Education, Law and Literature, Sociology, Education, etc.
- This program also offers Japanese language and culture classes.
- You must take a minimum of 13 credits/semester.
2. Junior Year Program in English (JYPE): Science, Engineering, and Agricultural Science
JYPE ONLY ACCEPTS APPLICATIONS FOR FALL AND ACADEMIC YEAR (No Spring applicants)
- All lectures are taught in English.
- Classes include Physical Chemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Computer Software Engineering, Biotechnology, Engineering, etc.
- The core (required) course of this program is the Individual Research Training course. This course allows you to conduct research with the support of research groups to which you are assigned, in a current topic that is related to your field of study.
- The program also offers courses on Japanese language, culture, and society aimed at promotion of understanding of Japan’s language and social customs. JYPE students are required to take Japanese language courses.
- The one-year program begins in October, and approximately thirty students are admitted.
- You are recommended to take the one-year program because some classes are designed for a whole year. However, a few students may be admitted to the 6-month course.
- You can take 13 credits (or more)/semester, consisting of 15 weeks of classwork each semester.
- This program is conducted in Japanese. You must have a JLPT rating of N3 or higher in order to participate in this program.
- The program offers coursework in Arts and Letters, Education, Law, Economics and Management.
- You can improve your academic Japanese, and study/research in your subject area in Japanese.
- Lectures are conducted in English and Japanese.
- The program offers coursework in Science, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, Engineering, and Agriculture.
Review Tohoku University’s website for more information regarding course offerings.
Please see the Tohoku University Application Timeline for more information regarding the complete application process.
General Education Information for UAlbany Students
Credits earned on this program will automatically satisfy the International Perspectives requirement. Three credits of foreign language study will satisfy the Foreign Language requirement. No additional approval is required for you to earn these general elective credits.
Major/Minor Information for UAlbany Students
Courses may also satisfy major and minor requirements, upon approval by the department.
All courses taken abroad count towards UAlbany General Elective credits. Credits and grades will appear on your UAlbany transcript. You may file a request to have additional courses approved for equivalency as necessary.
You will be required to live on campus in Tohoku University International House (1&2) or University House Sanjo (A/B/II/III) during this study abroad program.
International House 1: Single occupancy dorm with kitchen (gas stove, refrigerator, electric kettle), cupboard, dining table, wardrobe, bookshelf, study desk, chair, bed (bedding not provided), gas heater, air conditioner.
Shared facilities include: showers, toilets, and vacuum cleaners. Building has coin-operated laundry machines.
International House 2: Single occupancy dorm with refrigerator, wardrobe, bookshelf, study desk, chair, bed (bedding not provided), air conditioner, in-unit bathroom. Common dining room includes microwave oven and electric water heater. Building has coin-operated laundry machines.
University House Sanjo A and B: Single occupancy dorm with wardrobe, bookshelf, study desk/chair, air conditioner and bed (bedding is provided). Shared facilities include kitchen (IH stove, refrigerator, oven/microwave, rice cooker, cooking tool and dishes), dining table/chairs, washing machine, dryer, vacuum cleaner, iron, TV, shower-room, toilets.
University House Sanjo II: Single occupancy dorm with wardrobe, bookshelf, study desk/chair, air conditioner and bed (bedding is not provided). Shared facilities include kitchen (IH stove, refrigerator, dishwashing machine with dryer, microwave, rice cooker, kitchen knife, and cutting board), dining table/chairs, storage spaces, washing machine, dryer, vacuum cleaner, iron, TV, shower-room, toilets in the shared space.
University House Sanjo III: Single occupancy dorm with wardrobe, study desk/chair, air conditioner and bed (bedding is not provided). Shared facilities include kitchen (IH stove, refrigerator, microwave ricecooker), dining table/chairs, washing machine, dryer, vacuum cleaner, iron, TV, shower-room, toilets.
There is no meal plan for this program. You may choose to purchase meals in the cafeteria, cook, or eat out at local restaurants.
Estimate of Costs
For reference, review the Academic Year 2019-20 Estimate of Costs
Click for more information on Program Costs and Financial Aid.
Remember to speak with the Office of Financial Aid at your home campus to determine how your aid package could apply towards your program abroad.
Second-semester sophomores, juniors, and seniors with at least a 3.0 GPA are eligible to apply.
This program is only open to SUNY students. Non-SUNY students are not eligible to apply.
Student Clubs and Organizations
The Student Friendship Association at Tohoku University is a university-wide organization consisting of 47 sports and 24 cultural clubs. Some circles and clubs arrange field trips and tours. The university also provides facilities for extracurricular activity. You are encouraged to join clubs and circles at Tohoku University. A circle is a group of students who share a common interest in an activity and gather periodically to explore this interest together. Clubs tend to require more commitment than circles, and are often the equivalent to university-level team sports. You should be aware that you may not be able to join certain clubs/circles due to the length of your exchange program.
Most financial aid and academic awards will apply to semester programs.
External scholarships, listed on our website, are a good way to partially fund your study abroad experience. In addition, the Center for International Education and Global Strategy offers two scholarship programs for UAlbany students studying abroad on UAlbany or 4-year SUNY programs.
More information on applying to these scholarships is located on the Scholarships web page.
“Spending a semester at Tohoku University has been, undoubtedly, one of the greatest experiences of my life. Sendai is a beautiful, vibrant city, and the university is amongst the most respected in Japan. From the instant I arrived in Sendai, I had a web of both Japanese and international peers that helped me settle in, and who ultimately became my closest friends. Before I came to Japan, I thought that Sendai would be a small, boring town, far removed from the metropolises such as Tokyo or Osaka; but I quickly realized that not only is that not the case, but I actually enjoyed living in Sendai much more than I would either of those cities. Sendai offers all of the excitement and opportunities of a bustling city, but also allows for access to nature, and to more relaxing, lower density neighborhoods. These make Sendai an incredibly walkable city. All in all, everything from the course selection and format, to the endless cultures that you get to experience from your fellow international students, makes the IPLA program at Tohoku University one of the greatest study abroad experiences one can have. My only regret is that I did not stay longer.”
Nicholas Gilbert, Sociology Major
About the City
Tohoku University is located in Sendai City, a vibrant Japanese city known as Mori no Miyako (City of Trees). There are more than 18,000 students enrolled at Tohoku University, including approximately 1,400 international students from 78 countries and regions.
Tohoku University has a train station that is conveniently located on campus, which is very convenient for travelling around Japan and getting to/from the airport.
A valid passport is required to participate in this program. If you are a U.S. citizen, you are required to obtain a visa to enter Japan. Further visa instructions will be provided by the University at Albany’s Office of Education upon acceptance into the program.
For all other nationalities, please check with your government and the Consulate General of Japan website to determine whether you are required to obtain a visa for this program.
More information regarding the visa application process is available upon acceptance to the program.
Applications become available online one semester before the program start date, based on the following timeline:
- Spring/Winter/Spring Break programs: July
- Fall/Year/Summer programs: December
Academic Year 2020-2021
Due to the host university’s academic calendar, a Fall semester program is not offered.
About the Program
Established in 1907 as Japan’s third national university, Tohoku University is internationally recognized for its outstanding standards in education and research. It offers an extensive range of student exchange programs, and is proud to be ranked among Japan’s leading universities.
Upon acceptance to the program, you will be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation. During this time, you will have the opportunity to meet other program participants, discuss in-depth the details of your program, and prepare of the overall education abroad experience. The fall semester pre-departure orientation will be conducted the Saturday before the end of Spring UAlbany classes and in late November/early December for the spring term abroad.
Upon arrival at Tohoku University, you will attend a mandatory program orientation. This is an important and informative set of sessions organized by International Office of your host university.
UAlbany’s Office of Education Abroad staff assists you during the application process, in your preparation to travel abroad, and on-site if necessary.
Tohoku University’s International Office staff serve as an experienced resource for resolving issues that you may encounter in while abroad.