International Christian University: Acceptance Rate and What to Know

As I have been writing a few university acceptance rate articles so far, it has come to my attention that pursuing a degree in Japan is quite an affordable and good option available to students worldwide. Especially if you are interested in exploring and experiencing life in Japan. Pursuing and furthering your studies in Japan is a great step into life in Japan!

Source: Unsplash

In this article, I would like to introduce another prestigious university in the heart of Japan: Tokyo, International Christian University which is also known as ICU.

I know what you’re thinking, isn’t ICU a medical term? It caught me off guard too when I first heard of it, but it is actually a well-known university in Japan.

A brief introduction

International Christian University also known as ICU is a private higher education institution located in the small town of Mitaka in Tokyo.

This university boasts of its highly diverse international student body. Most of the graduates continue to go on in life, pursuing a career in their desired field or moving on to post-graduate courses around the world. ICU is ranked 11th in Japan for two straight years. Earning a degree from ICU is quite valuable.

ICU is recognized by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan as a coeducational Japanese higher education institution formally affiliated with the Christian-Nondenominational religion.

Founded in 1949, ICU remains one of the strongest liberal arts schools in Japan. The school campus spans over 150 acres and is said to be able to house 13 Tokyo domes (as per the student’s view). It is rather isolated from the city center, but the campus is surrounded by a lovely neighborhood.

Source: Unsplash

There is a wide variety of courses and programs offered at the ICU. ICU is one of the few universities in Japan that adhere to full bilingualism by making Japanese and English their official language. Students are required to graduate from either the English for Liberal Arts Program (ELA) or Japanese Language Program (JLP) programs. Another interesting fact about ICU is that one in three full-time faculty members is a non-Japanese national that is represented by a wide nationality around the world. For example, ICU has a Hungarian professor who teaches, Japanese history on site.  

English for Liberal Arts Program (ELA)

The English for Liberal Arts Program (ELA) was introduced to enhance students’ capacity in critical thinking and skills needed to study effectively at ICU. The majority of applicants for the ELA program will spend their first year enhancing their English abilities through intensive study. Students are then placed into 4 different levels based on their proficiency and will take approximately around 4 to 11 ELA classes depending on the level they are in.

Japanese Language Program (JLP)

Most universities in Japan require students to have a certain level of Japanese proficiency before enrolling in a university program. However, ICU admits students of all levels. Those with little to no Japanese language knowledge and experience can enroll in the JLP course where they will strengthen and improve their Japanese language ability in around two years of intensive, small-class instruction. After completion of said intensive courses, students will then be better equipped in taking future classes in Japanese.

This program’s goal is to help equip students with Japanese language proficiency that will allow them to further pursue their studies in ICU.

Source: Pixabay

Liberal Arts

ICU is famous for its Liberal Arts program. Over the four years under this program, students will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts with a broad understanding of humanities and sciences. Students are allowed to keep, or switch their majors within the humanities and sciences in search of the path that suits them.

Instead of sticking to and choosing on the get-go the major desires, this program allows students to explore and branch into their desired major over the course, providing flexibility and options.

Summer Courses in Japanese

The Summer Courses in Japanese (SCJ) offered by ICU is a 6-week intensive program that starts in July. This course’s goal is to help university or college students to increase their understanding of the Japanese language and culture. Students from over 20 countries and regions participate in this program every summer.

This course also offers cultural programs. Students will stay in dormitories on campus or with Japanese families off campus to experience life in Japan.

Graduate Studies

ICU also has a wide option of graduate studies to choose from, from master’s to doctoral courses. Master’s courses range from Education to Natural Sciences with students graduating with a Master of Arts.

Source: Unsplash

How to get into International Christian University?

Those who are applying for admission into ICU in English will undergo a documentary screening process. After submission of the application, applicants will proceed to submit other supplementary required documents.

Decisions are made based on several factors such as grades, recommendations, and application essays. The school year that begins in April has admissions usually starting around August to September the year before, and for September admissions, applications start around January the same year.

An application fee of ¥30,000 is applicable upon submission of the application. Requirements include an IELTS test score of 6.5 and above or a TOEFL score of 79 and above, two letters of recommendation, a personal essay and statement, an official transcript, and educational certification. Applications can be done online by creating a profile page on the school’s admission website.

For more information, please refer here:

What is International Christian University’s Acceptance rate?

A simple google search would say around 20 – 30%. If you have read some of our previous articles on university admissions in Japan, this number may not be alarming to you.

It is actually quite low in comparison to some other universities around Japan. As of 2022 April’s English language-based admissions, around 61 students were admitted out of around 150 admissions. As a whole including the other admissions that were conducted in Japanese, the total would come up to around 20-30% of the acceptance rate.

In comparison to Tokyo University’s acceptance rate of around 25%, ICU is not too far off from it. Again, earning a degree from ICU is quite valuable, which makes the acceptance rate a little lower and tougher than some other universities in Japan.

Tuition Fees

Undergraduate tuition fees for ICU per year comes up to ¥1,077,000. There is also an annual facilities fee which would bring the total tuition fee estimate to around ¥1,431,000. As ICU is a private higher education institution, the tuition fees might come as a shock to some.

Cost of living

Cost of living estimates not including accommodation could add up to around ¥107,000.

Living in Tokyo is known to be a little bit pricier than in other regions of Japan. However, living in Mitaka, Tokyo might still be pricey, but a little easy on the wallet compared to the central areas of Tokyo.

Student accommodation

The university provides on-campus dormitories at ¥25,750 to ¥51,350 per month and off-campus housing ranging from ¥45,000 to ¥85,000. It is good to note that off-campus housing such as individual apartment rents does not include utilities, which would be on a separate expense to students.


  • ICU has an acceptance rate of around 20-30%, which is rather low compared to many universities in Japan.
  • ICU is one of the few universities in Japan that adhere to full bilingualism.
  • Applicants can apply for the school year intake in English online.
  • ICU applicants are required to submit an essay, two letters of recommendation, and TESOL or IELTS scores.
  • The liberal arts program offered by ICU is a flexible and great way for students to explore and choose a major to study in.
  • Tuition fees are a little bit more expensive, but the university provides student support and financial aid.
  • Housing is also available for students.

Read Also:


Representative Director of Reboot Japan Co., Ltd., which operates EDOPEN JAPAN. Founded the company in 2018, which provides Japanese language education and assistance for studying in Japan. Started the company after living with international students at a Japanese language school. He enjoys learning about new people and cultures and has lived in Australia and Malaysia. Graduated from the Faculty of Economics, Sophia University.