Student Categories and Their Eligibility Criteria

ICU does not require undergraduate students to choose a specific major at the time of matriculation. Students nurture their basic academic abilities through a wide range of courses, gradually narrow their fields of interest, and then decide their majors before starting their third year. There are four student categories in our undergraduate program: two for degree-seeking students [Regular (First-Year) Students and Transfer Students] and two for non-degree students [One-Year-Regular Students and Kenkyusei (Special Students)].

  • Check the information below first in accordance with the student category you choose. If you are still not sure whether you are eligible to apply, fill in the Eligibility Check Form and send it to the Admissions Center.
  • If you are 23 years old or older and have a high school diploma, or if you left university more than five years before applying to ICU, submit the Eligibility Check Form as you may need to submit additional documentation such as SAT or ACT Plus Writing (taken within 5 years).
  • The FAQ page is also helpful for you to find additional answers to your questions.

Degree-Seeking Students (Bachelor's Degree):

Regular (First-Year) Students
Must meet one of the following criteria at the time of enrollment to ICU:
  1. Completed 12 years of formal education in Japanese schools accredited by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
  2. Completed 12 years or more of formal education outside of Japan.
  3. Have International Baccalaureate Full Diploma, French Baccalauréat, Abitur, or GCE Advanced Level.
  4. Graduated from an officially accredited international/foreign school in Japan.
  5. Passed an examination demonstrating academic ability equivalent to 12 years of formal education, such as the GED (General Educational Development) test or the Upper Secondary School Equivalency Examination, and is at least 18 years of age.
  6. Completed 11 years or more of formal education where the high school curriculum is based on the system of Uzbekistan, Sudan, Belarus, Peru, Russia, or Myanmar. The applicant needs to contact the Admissions Center in advance as specific conditions are required.
Transfer Students
Must meet one of the criteria listed above for Regular (First-Year) Students and also meet one of the following criteria at the time of enrollment to ICU:
  1. Completed at least one academic year of a bachelor's degree program as a degree-seeking student.
  2. Completed an associate's degree at an institution of higher education (university/college).
    • The minimum number of years transfer students must complete at ICU is 3 years.
    • Transfer credits will be granted only after students complete the credit transfer procedure after entering ICU. You may refer to some information from the link below regarding credit transfer:
      Information on Transfer of Credits (for Transfer Students)

Non-Degree Students:

One-Year-Regular Students
Must meet both of the following criteria at the time of enrollment to ICU:
  1. Completed at least one year of higher education (university/college) outside of Japan.
  2. During the previous two years, the applicant must have attended formal education outside of Japan.
    • Students of our partner universities should consult with their home institution's study abroad office regarding the application to ICU. For the list of our partner universities, please refer to
      List of Partner Institutions (Exchange Program)
Kenkyusei (Special Students)
Must meet the following criterion at the time of enrollment to ICU:
  • Completed a bachelor's degree, i.e. 16 years or more of formal education.
    Those who wish to pursue research in a specific field for one academic year may apply as a Kenkyusei.

For more details, make sure to check the Admissions Guide below.

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