Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about ICU


Is ICU accredited?

Yes. The academic programs of the College of Liberal Arts and the Graduate School are individually chartered by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in Japan. ICU is also a member institution of the Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA). Credits earned at ICU are fully recognized by graduate schools of major universities in Japan, the United States and elsewhere; they are also normally accepted for transfer purposes as long as they fit into the student's overall program at their home institution.

What is the student population? How many international students?

Total number of students are about 3,000, which is very small if you compare with other many Japanese universities that have more than tens of thousands of students. Students with diverse backgrounds are coming from over 50 countries. Please refer to University Data for more details.

Are dormitory rooms guaranteed for all new students from abroad?

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee dormitory rooms for all students. However, we have capacity for around 900 students, or 30% of the total student population. Please see the following webpage for more details:
In case you did not get a room at one of our dormitories, ICU Service Co., Ltd.will support you to find off-campus housing.

Do I need to make an appointment to visit your campus?

You can visit our campus anytime, but if you wish to talk to admissions counselors, we recommend you to inform us in advance. Click here for further information regarding the campus visit. Also, Open Campus events are held every year in Summer (July and August) and Spring (March). The event dates are announced on the ICU homepage.
*Due to the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus), access to the campus and office hours are limited.
Please see Access to the Campus and Office Hours for more details.


What is the language(s) of instruction?

Japanese and English. Over 30% of all courses offered at ICU (excluding language learning courses such as ELA and JLP) are taught in English, and that number is scheduled to increase to 40% by 2023. The rest of the courses are offered in Japanese or in both.

Can I obtain a bachelor's degree by taking courses in English only?

No. Students admitted through the English Language Based Admissions are required to take some Japanese-taught courses (besides JLP courses) in order to graduate. Please refer to Japanese-English Bilingual Education to know about ICU's idea of bilingual education.

Can I participate in ELA? (Question from those applying in English)

No. Students admitted through the English Language Based Admissions are supposed to possess enough English language proficiency to take university-level courses in English. That means, by definition, the English for Liberal Arts Program is not for them. However, some elective courses are available such as "English College Composition for JLP Track Students" and "Advanced English Studies" courses. Please check out the course offerings for more details.

I'm fluent in Japanese. Do I still have to go through the JLP track?

All students admitted through the English Language Based Admissions need to take a placement test for JLP. The test is to place them into the most appropriate courses in accordance with their levels of Japanese proficiency. Many returnees students who regard Japanese as their first or heritage language are placed in "Special Japanese Program" (see Japanese Language Programs) to improve the skills they are lacking.

I am supposed to be a non-degree student. Can I take the Japanese language courses: Japanese Language Programs?

The Japanese Language Programs are open to non-degree students at ICU: One-Year-Regular Students and Kenkyusei (Special Students). Please check the respective student categories.

If you are rather interested in a short-term summer program, see the Summer Courses in Japanese (SCJ).

Are AP and IB credits transferable?

We recognize AP and IB as advanced level courses at the time of admissions, but unfortunately we do not give any university credits for these tests.

Can I find out how many credits can be transferred before enrollment?

Credits may be granted recognition only after students are officially enrolled at ICU. Please refer to Information on Transfer of Credits for more details.

How can I apply for the six-week Summer Courses in Japanese (SCJ) before September matriculation?

Those who wish to participate in Summer Courses in Japanese before September matriculation should submit the SCJ application together with the one for the English Language Based Admissions (September Entry). The SCJ is applicable to applicants for September Entry only. Please refer to the requirements of the year you intend to apply.

Financial Aids

Any scholarships/financial aids applicable prior to enrollment?

Yes. Please refer to Tuition and Aid.

Does the FAFSA Loan qualify for your university?

Unfortunately, not at this point. Please contact FAFSA directly regarding any related issues.


Any other sources I can refer to in order to learn more about ICU?

Please visit Stories where you can find messages from students, faculty, and alumni of ICU.

Applying to ICU


I'm not a Christian. Can I still apply?

Yes. ICU is not a proselytizing institution and it does not see nurturing Christians as its main goal. However, it holds as its mission the establishment of an academic tradition of freedom and reverence based on Christian ideals. For more information about ICU 's mission, please refer to The Three Commitments of ICU.

I don't know any Japanese. Can I still apply?

Yes. Regardless of the Japanese language proficiency, prospective students can apply to ICU in English. Students admitted through the English Language Based Admissions need to complete Japanese Language Programs (JLP) in order to graduate. Please be aware that, when applying in English, the applicants need to have enough English proficiency that enables them to pursue academic studies at ICU in English.

Can high school students in Japan apply to ICU through the English Language Based Admissions?

Yes. Those who have graduated or are expected to graduate a Japanese high school are required to submit SAT, ACT Plus Writing or GCE A level as their Educational Certification.

Any minimum score requirement for IELTS/TOEFL/SAT/ACT/IB?

The Minimum requirement for IELTS is 6.5 and for TOEFL iBT is 79. There is no minimum requirement for other tests. For your information, the approximate average score of those admitted to ICU through the English Language Based Admissions between 2016 and 2020 is as below:

TestsAverage Scores Between 2016 and 2020
ACT Plus Writing28.7
IB Full Diploma34
*NOTE: Only for SAT, it shows an average score between 2017-2020.

What is the minimum GPA required?

We do not set a minimum GPA requirement because GPA system is not used in some countries. Also, the screening committee will carefully examine not only your cumulative GPA, but also your progress through high school and each course level of grades.


Is the application deadline a post-mark date?

No. All documents must be uploaded to the Online Application System or reach ICU by the submission deadline.

What is the difference between the First and Second Application Period?

The only difference between the two periods is the application schedule. There is no advantage or disadvantage in applying to either.

Can I reapply for the September entry after receiving the result of April entry process?

No. One year interval is required if applicants wish to reapply. Applicants for April 2022 entry will be unable to reapply for September 2022, but able to apply for April 2023. Applicants for September 2022 entry will be unable to reapply for April 2023, but able to apply for September 2023.

Can I reapply for the Second Application Period after receiving the result of First Application Period?

No. One year interval is required if applicants wish to reapply regardless of their admission results.


I am an IB Diploma candidate and applying with my IB predicted scores as my Educational Certification. Do I need to submit my SAT scores as well?

No. You don't need to submit your SAT scores if you are submitting your IB predicted grades as your Educational Certification. Or, you can submit your SAT scores as your Educational Certification instead of your IB predicted grades.

Do you offer conditional acceptance based on predicted IB scores?

Yes. Please request your school to issue your IB predicted grades using the Predicted IB Grades Form. Decisions will be made based on your predicted IB grades and other application documents, and if acceptance is conditional, your admissions decision will be finalized when ICU confirms your final IB results.

I cannot submit the final result of Abitur (Germany) by the deadline for submission of documents. Can I still apply?

Yes. If you are unable to obtain the result of the examination by the Second Application deadline of each admission season, please submit all other documents by the deadline and send the final result as soon as it becomes available. Please note that the admission decision will not be made until we receive the final result.

Can I send additional recommendation letters?

As long as we receive the two recommendation letters from persons we require, additional recommendation letters can be sent.

Does a native speaker of English still need to submit the proof of English proficiency such as TOEFL?

A proof of English proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS) is optional if the applicants meet the following criteria:

  • Have spent both junior and senior high school years - the last continuous six school years - at an institution in which English is the language of instruction, OR
  • Are IB Diploma Candidates and have taken IB English A ("Literature" or "Language and Literature")

Please check the Admissions Guide for further information on the requirement.

My diploma is the only copy and cannot be reissued. How should I do?

If your certificate or diploma / results of national exam is the only copy and cannot be reissued, please ask your school to prepare a certified copy. If this arrangement cannot be made for some reason, please consult the Admissions Center before the start of each online application period.

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