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Tohoku University

Tohoku University
Graduate School of Science and Faculty of Science, Tohoku University
Motto 実学尊重の精神 (Practice-Oriented Research and Education)
Established June 22, 1907
Type Public (National)
Endowment US$1.3 billion
(JP¥120,138 billion)
President Susumu Satomi
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 11,094
Postgraduates 7,704
Other students
1,346 (international students)
Location Sendai, Miyagi, Japan
Campus Urban,
2.5 km²
Athletics -- varsity teams
Colors Purple     
Affiliations APRU, AEARU

Tohoku University (東北大学 (東北帝國大學 prior to 1945) Tōhoku daigaku), abbreviated to Tohokudai (東北大 Tōhokudai), located in Sendai, Miyagi in the Tōhoku Region, Japan, is a Japanese national university. It is the third oldest Imperial University in Japan and among the National Seven Universities. It is considered as one of the most prestigious universities in Japan, and one of the top fifty universities in the world.[1][2][3]

In 2009, Tohoku University had ten colleges within the university, including fifteen departments with graduate students, with a total enrollment of 17,949 students.[4] The university's three core values are "Research First (研究第一主義)," "Open-Door (門戸開放)," and "Practice-Oriented Research and Education (実学尊重)."


  • International degree programs taught in English 1
    • Undergraduate Courses 1.1
    • Graduate Courses 1.2
  • History 2
    • 11 March 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami 2.1
  • Address 3
  • Campuses 4
  • Organization 5
    • Faculties (10) 5.1
    • Graduate Schools (15) 5.2
    • Professional graduate schools (3) 5.3
  • Research Institutes 6
  • Centers and Facilities 7
    • University Library 7.1
    • University Hospital 7.2
    • Inter-Department Institutes for Education and Research (9) 7.3
    • Collaborating Institutions (8) 7.4
    • Administration Unit 7.5
    • Tohoku University Overseas Office 7.6
    • Biomedical Engineering Research Organization 7.7
    • e-learning system 7.8
  • Dormitories 8
  • The 21st Century Center Of Excellence Programs 9
  • Academic Rankings 10
    • General Rankings 10.1
    • Research Performance 10.2
    • Graduate school Rankings 10.3
    • Alumni Rankings 10.4
    • Popularity and Selectivity 10.5
  • People 11
    • Successive presidents 11.1
    • Notable alumni 11.2
  • See also 12
  • Notes and references 13
  • External links 14

International degree programs taught in English

In 2009, Tohoku University was one of 13 universities selected by the Japanese government to lead the internationalisation of higher education in Japan. This venture, known as the Global 30 Project, takes the form of new international degree courses taught wholly in English, at both undergraduate and graduate level. At Tohoku University, this initiative is known as the Future Global Leadership Program (FGL).

Undergraduate Courses

Degrees taught in English at the undergraduate level include the International Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Course (IMAC-U), the Applied Marine Biology Course (AMB), and the Advanced Molecular Chemistry Course (AMC).

Graduate Courses

Courses taught in English at the graduate level include the International Program in Economics and Management (IPEM), the International Graduate Program for Advanced Science (IGPAS), the Network Medicine Course, the Basic Medicine Course, the Interface Oral Health Science Course, the International Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Course (IMAC-G), the International Materials Science and Engineering Course (IMSE), the International Doctoral Program in Engineering, Information Sciences and Environmental Studies, the International Graduate Program in Language Sciences, the International Course of Life Sciences, the Information Technology and Science Course, the International Program for Environmental Sustainability Science (IPESS), and the International Post-Graduate Program in Human Security.


Tohoku University (Katahira campus Main Gate)

The origin of the university was Meirin-yokendo (明倫養賢堂 Meirin yōkendō), which was founded as a medical school in Sendai in 1736. It was reorganized a few times. Later it became Sendai Medical College (仙台医学専門学校 Sendai igaku senmon gakkō); this was the forerunner of the medical department of the university.

On June 22, 1907, the university was established under the name Tohoku Imperial University (東北帝國大學 Tōhoku teikoku daigaku) by the Meiji government as the third Imperial University of Japan, following the Tokyo Imperial University (1877) and the Kyoto Imperial University (1897). From its start, it has advocated "Open-door" policies—it was the first university in Japan to accept female students and foreign students.

In September 1907, it set up the faculty of Agriculture in Sapporo; the Sapporo Agricultural College (札幌農學校 Sapporo nō gakkō).

It set up the Science Department in 1911, and the Medical Department (formerly the Sendai Medical College) in 1915. In 1918 it ceded the Faculty of Agriculture to Hokkaido Imperial University. It subsequently launched Faculties of Engineering in 1919, and Law and Literature in 1922.[5]

In 1947 the university assumed its current name, Tohoku University, acquired a new Faculty of Agriculture. In 1949, the Faculty of Law and Literature was split to form new faculties of Law, Literature, and Economics. A Faculty of Education was added in 1949, Dentistry in 1965, and Pharmacy in 1972. Tohoku has been a national university corporation since April 2004.[5]

11 March 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

Subsequent to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the university was declared closed until further notice, but with a tentative re-opening date of the end of the following April.[6]

The Aobayama, Katahira, Amamiya, and Kawauchi campuses are all at least 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) from the ocean, towards the mountains, and therefore suffered no damage resulting from the tsunami. No deaths or serious injuries within the faculty and student body were reported on campus grounds. However, earthquake damage lead to the closure of 27 buildings and caused millions of dollars of damage to equipment. Classes have resumed normally since early May 2011 and plans for restoring, reinforcing or replacing damaged buildings are underway.

The radiology department has been actively measuring radiation levels throughout the city of Sendai since the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant meltdown, which is about 100 kilometers south. So far no alarming levels of radiation have been detected.


2-1-1, Katahira, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8577 JAPAN


Campus locations

Principal five campuses are in the Sendai City, Japan;

  • Katahira (片平 Katahira)
Administration Unit. and Principal institutes
  • Kawauchi (川内 Kawauchi)
North-Kawauchi; The freshmen and sophomore of all undergraduates
South-Kawauchi; Law, Education, Economics, Letters
  • Seiryo (星陵 Seiryō)
Medicine, Dentistry
  • Aobayama (青葉山 Aobayama)
Science, Engineering, Pharmacy
  • Amamiya (雨宮 Amamiya)

Amamiya campus and some institutes are planned to transfer from the present place to the future New-Aobayama campus [1].


Graduate School of Engineering (Research Lab Complex)

Faculties (10)

  • Arts and Letters
  • Education
  • Law
  • Economics
  • Science
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Engineering
    • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
    • Information and Intelligent Systems
    • Applied Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Bio molecular Engineering
    • Materials Science and Engineering
    • Civil Engineering and Architecture
  • Agriculture

Graduate Schools (15)

  • Arts and Letters
  • Education
  • Law
  • Economics and Management
  • Science
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • International Cultural Studies
  • Information Sciences
  • Life Sciences
  • Environmental Studies
  • Educational Informatics Research Division / Education Division

Professional graduate schools (3)

  • Law School
  • School of Public Policy
  • Accounting School

The University's [7]

Research Institutes

  • Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer (加齢医学研究所 Karei Igaku Kenkyūjo)[9]
  • Institute of Fluid Science (流体科学研究所 Ryūtai Kagaku Kenkyūsyo)[10]
National Collaborative Research Institute
  • Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials (多元物質科学研究所 Tagen Busshitsu Kagaku Kenkyūjo)[12]
  • International Research Institute of Disaster Science (災害科学国際研究所 Saigai Kagaku Kokusai Kenkyūjo)[13]

Centers and Facilities

University Library

  • Tohoku University Library
  • Medical Library
  • Kita-Aobayama Library
  • Engineering Library
  • Agricultural Library

University Hospital

Tohoku University Hospital Seiryo [2]

Inter-Department Institutes for Education and Research (9)

  • Center for Northeast Asian Studies
  • Center for the Advancement of Higher Education
    • Health Administration Center
    • University Counseling Center
    • Admission Center
    • Center for Career Support
  • The Center for Academic Resources and Archives
  • Institute for International Advanced Research and Education Organization
  • Cyclotron and Radioisotope Center
  • New Industry Creation Hatchery Center(NICHe)
  • Center for Interdisciplinary Research
  • Technology Center for Research and Education Activities
    • Center for Low Temperature Science
    • High-Voltage Electron Microscope Laboratory
  • Information Synergy Organization
    • Information Synergy Center (National Collaboration Institution)

Collaborating Institutions (8)

  • Office of Cooperative Research and Development
  • Office for Strategic Promotion of Basic Research
  • Center for Research Strategy and Support(CRESS)
  • Environment Conservation Research Institute
  • Center for International Exchange
  • Archaeological Research office on the Campus
  • Global Operations center
  • Campus Planning office

Administration Unit

Tohoku University Overseas Office

Tohoku University US Office
Tohoku University China Office

Biomedical Engineering Research Organization

e-learning system

  • Internet School of Tohoku University (ISTU)
ISTU official website


  • Ibun-ryo (以文寮 Ibun ryō)
  • Josyun-ryo (如春寮 Josyun ryō)
  • Seifu-ryo (霽風寮 Seifū ryō)
  • Nissyu-ryo (日就寮 Nissyū ryō)
  • Meizen-ryo (明善寮 Meizen ryō)
  • Matsukaze (松風寮 Matsukaze ryō)
  • University House Sanjo (ユニバーシティ・ハウス三条 University House Sanjo)[3]

The 21st Century Center Of Excellence Programs

Fiscal Year Field Program Title
2002 Life Sciences Future Medical Engineering based on Bio-nanotechnology
Chemistry, material sciences International Center of Research & Education for Unexplored Chemistry
International Center of Research & Education for Materials
Information sciences, electrical and electronic engineering System Construction of Global-Network Oriented Information Electronics
Humanities A Strategic and Education Center for an Integrated Approach to Language and Cognition
2003 Medical sciences Center for Innovative Therapeutic Development for Common Diseases
Mathematics, physics, earth sciences Exploring New Science by Bridging Particle-Matter Hierarchy
Advanced Science and Technology Center for the Dynamic Earth
Mechanical, civil, architectural and other fields of engineering The Exploration of the Frontiers of Mechanical Science Based on Nanotechnology
International COE of Flow Dynamics
Social sciences Center for the Study of Social Stratification and Inequality
Gender Law and Policy Center
2004 New scientific fields Comprehensive Research and Education Center for Planning of Drug Development and Clinical Evaluation

The 21st COE Program

Academic Rankings

University rankings (overall)
Toyo Keizai National[14] General 7
Kawaijuku National[15] General 5
T. Reuters National[16] Research 4
WE National[17] Employment 21
Shimano National[18] Selectivity SA
QS Asia
(Asian Ranking version)[19]
General 9
ARWU Asia[20] Research 8
THE World[21] General 132
QS World[22] General 70
ARWU World[23] Research 84
ENSMP World[2] Alumni 13
University rankings (by subject)
Social Sciences & Humanities


Asahi National[24] Research 8
BE Success National[25] Qualification 10
BE Pass rate National[26] Qualification 9


Eduni MBA National[27] General 15
Eduni MBA World[28] General 536
Natural Sciences & Technology


Kawaijuku National[29] General 5
QS World[30] General 56


T.Reuters National[31] Research 1
T.Reuters World[31] Research 3


T.Reuters National[31] Research 2
T.Reuters World[31] Research 10


T.Reuters National[31] Research 4
T.Reuters World[31] Research 20


T.Reuters National[31] Research 7
T.Reuters World[31] Research 113


ARE Success National[32] Qualification 17
Life Sciences


T.Reuters National[31] Research 6
T.Reuters World[31] Research 142


T.Reuters National[31] Research 3
T.Reuters World[31] Research 64
* T. Reuters World rankings include non-educational institutions

Tohoku University is one of the most prestigious universities in Japan. It can be seen in the several rankings such as shown below.

General Rankings

The university has been ranked 6th in 2009 and 7th in 2010 in the ranking "Truly Strong Universities" by Toyo Keizai.[14] In another ranking, Japanese prep school Kawaijuku ranked Tohoku as the 5th best university in Japan.[15]

According to ARWU, Tohoku University was ranked 5th overall in Japan and internationally ranked 20th in the field of Engineering and Technology, and 39th in Natural science in 2009. In the 2011 QS Asian Universities Rankings Tohoku was placed 9th, while in the 2011 QS World University Rankings[33] the university rose to 70th having dropped out of the top 100 in 2010 to 102nd, and having been 97th in the 2009 THE-QS World University Rankings (in 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings parted ways to produce separate rankings).

It was also ranked 49th worldwide according to the Global University Ranking in 2009.[3]

Research Performance

Tohoku is one of the top research institutions in Japan. According to Thomson Reuters, Tohoku is the 4th best research university in Japan.[16] Its research excellence is especially distinctive in Materials Science (1st in Japan, 3rd in the world), Physics (2nd in Japan, 10th in the world), Pharmacology & Toxicology (3rd in Japan, 64th in the world) and Chemistry (6th in Japan, 20th in the world).[34]

Weekly Diamond also reported that Tohoku has the 11th highest research standard in Japan in terms of research funding per researchers in COE Program.[35] In the same article, it's also ranked 9th in terms of the quality of education by GP funds per student.

In addition, Nikkei Shimbun on 2004/2/16 surveyed about the research standards in Engineering studies based on Thomson Reuters, Grants in Aid for Scientific Research and questionnaires to heads of 93 leading Japanese Research Centers, and Tohoku was placed 3rd (research planning ability 9th//informative ability of research outcome 2nd/ability of business-academia collaboration 2nd) in this ranking.[36]

According to the Qs World university rankings on 2012/9 surveyed about the general standards in Engineering&Technology field, Tohoku university was placed 56th (world), 5th(national).[37]

As Tohoku University has been emphasizing on 'practical' research, Tohoku got the top place at the number of patents accepted (324) during 2009 among Japanese Universities.[38]

Graduate school Rankings

Tohoku Law School is one of the most famous Law schools in Japan, as it was ranked 9th in the passing rate of Japanese Bar Examination in 2010.[39]

Eduniversal ranked Tohoku Business school as 6th in the rankings of "Excellent Business Schools nationally strong and/or with continental links " in Japan.[40]

Alumni Rankings

According to the Weekly Economist's 2010 rankings, graduates from Tohoku have the 21st best employment rate in 400 major companies in Japan.[41]

Mines ParisTech : Professional Ranking World Universities ranks Tohoku University as 13th in the world in 2011 in terms of the number of alumni listed among CEOs in the 500 largest worldwide companies.[2]

Popularity and Selectivity

Tohoku is one of the most selective universities in Japan. Its entrance difficulty is usually considered as one of the top in Japan.[42][43]


Successive presidents

Akihisa Inoue (left) talked with James P. Zumwalt (chargé d'affaires) and Ann Kambara at Tohoku University in 2009.

Notable alumni

Besides them, many other famous alumni have notable achievements in diverse fields.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ [4] on Tohoku University's official website accessed at January 15, 2008
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^ Organizations with ties to CCEP CCEP, accessed 2011-03-19
  8. ^ Research Institute of Electrical Communication On Tohoku University's official website accessed at December 15, 2008
  9. ^ Institute of Development Aging and Cancer On Tohoku University's official website accessed at December 15, 2008
  10. ^ Institute of Fluid Science On Tohoku University's official website accessed at December 15, 2008
  11. ^ Institute for Material Research On Tohoku University's official website accessed at December 15, 2008
  12. ^ Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials On Tohoku University's official website accessed at December 15, 2008
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ a b
  16. ^ a b (this raking includes 5 non-educational institutions)
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ Asahi Shimbun University rankings 2010
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^

  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ (this raking includes non-educational institutions)
  35. ^ "週刊ダイヤモンド" ダイヤモンド社 2010/2/27
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^ (Japanese)2009年国内大学別特許公開件数, Japanese patent office, accessed May 3rd 2011
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ e.g. Yoyogi seminar published Hensachi (the indication showing the entrance difficulties by prep schools) rankings
  43. ^ Japanese journalist Kiyoshi Shimano ranks its entrance difficulty as SA (most selective/out of 11 scales) in Japan.
  44. ^ CNN rebroadcasting NHK, 13 March 2011
  45. ^

External links

  • Tohoku University
  • Annual review
  • Links

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