The Acceptance Rate of Hitotsubashi University (Undergraduate Program)


Maybe it is the first time for many international students to know about this university. As a national university, we can’t deny that Hitotsubashi University has earned its great reputation in the field of social sciences and the study of civil society. In this university, there are only 4 undergraduate schools and about 6 graduate schools. Compared with many other universities, the choice is really limited. However, this is what makes Hitotsubashi University a great place for obtaining knowledge.

You might wonder where is Hitotsu University located. All three campuses are in Tokyo and the main campus situates in Kunitachi City. This is a city said to be built with the image of academic cities of Europe.

In this article, let’s check out the introduction, school ranking, acceptance rate, and other information about Hitotsubashi University before you get started sending your application. 

1. A brief introduction to Hitotsubashi University 

According to the data in May 2021, there are 6287 undergraduate and graduate students in total. Among them, 742 are international students. With the small number of students, it is possible to conduct a small class and make sure every student is on the right way to pursue knowledge.

Nine Reasons to Choose Hitotsubashi’s Undergraduate Program

  1. Leading Japanese university in the social sciences
  2. Produces future leaders of all areas of society under the motto “Captains of Industry”
  3. Small class sizes put students in close contact with faculty
  4. Integrated courses make it possible to earn a Master’s degree in as little as five years
  5. Member of the Union of Four Universities in Tokyo, which allows students to earn credits or degrees outside Hitotsubashi
  6. Students can design their future careers through the Career Design Seminar and endowed lectures by practitioners
  7. One of the largest university libraries
  8. Vibrant extracurricular activity, including over 100 sports and cultural groups
  9. Excellent living environment and educational support to help international students enjoy a safe and comfortable learning experience

A Look into the history 

The Japanese for Hitotsubashi University is 一橋大学 (hitotsu-bashi-dai-gaku). Traceback to 1875, Commercial Training School (Shoho Koshujo) was founded by a 28 years old man named Arinori Mori.  

Before the establishment of this institution, he studied at University College London in Great Britain and majored in western techniques in mathematics, physics, and naval surveying. Besides that, he was the first Japanese ambassador to the United States from 1871 to 1873. With the education and experience gained from western countries, Arinori Mori made a significant contribution to modern society, including being one of the members of the Meiji Restoration. Later, Arinori Mori established this Commercial Training School with the purpose of fostering modern commerce in Japan. Moreover, it was in 1886 that he became the first Minister of Education. 

It was in 1885, that this institution came under the control of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of Japan and was merged with Tokyo Foreign Language School and renamed Tokyo Commercial School. At the same time, this institution moved to a district called Hitotsubashi (一ツ橋), which is how this university get its present name.  

Actually, in the pages of the history of this school, Hitotsubashi University is the eighth named for nearly 150 years until now.  

2. Study at Hitotsubashi University 

At Hitotsubashi University, there are four faculties for undergraduate programs in this university, including the Faculty of Commerce and Management, Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Law, and Faculty of Social Sciences. 

As for graduate school, there are six schools, which are Hitotsubashi University Business School (HUB), Graduate School of Economics, Graduate School of Law, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Graduate School of Language and Society, and School of International and Public Policy. 

All the above schools are gathered in three campuses in Tokyo, which are

  • Kunitachi Campus, which is the main campus
  • Kodaira International Campus
  • Chiyoda Campus

How to apply?

For international applicants who possess no Japanese nationality and permanent residency in Japan, there are three categories of admission at Hitotsubashi University.  

The introduction below focuses on privately financed students. Please refer to the link that goes directly to the page for the other two admissions.

Privately Financed Students (Japanese courses)

Applicants can apply to all the four faculties at Hitotsubashi University.  

Generally, the new academic year starts around April each year. In the previous September, applicants can find the application guideline released by Hitotsubashi University. The beginning of the application falls around December and lasts for about a month. The applicants should attend the entrance examination around February. After around a month, the result of enrollment will be released. 

  • Entrance exam fee: 17,000 yen 
  • Release of application guideline: Around previous September 
  • Start of application: Around previous December 
  • Entrance examination: Around February 
  • Result of enrollment: Around the end of February 

Screening of applicants 

To get a better chance to enroll in Hitotsubashi University, it is necessary to know how the university rate each applicant. The screening of admission for the academic year in 2022, is roughly divided into two categories, which are English and Japanese.  

  • For English screening, applicants should attend TOEFL(iBT, PBT) during the assigned period, which falls from 2/2/2020 to 10/31/2021 (JST) for the academic year 2022.  
  • As to Japanese screening, applicants need to attend the entrance examination of Hitotsubashi University.

It is worth noticing that there is some modification made on the admission these years the influenced by COVID-19. Therefore, once the influence eases up, the possibility of amending on admission policy is rather high.

Tuition and fees

For undergraduate students enrolled after 2020, except for the entrance exam fee of 17,000 yen, there is a one-time admission fee of 282,000 yen. The tuition fee takes 321,480 yen every semester, which means 642,960 yen of tuition fee per year.

Japanese Language Education Program (JLE)

This is a program provided to degree-pursuing undergraduate and graduate international students, exchange students, Japanese Studies Students (MEXT students), and research students. Course levels are divided into beginner, Intermediate Low, Intermediate, Pre-Advanced, Advanced Low, and Advanced High levels.

According to the official page, here is the course information:

  1. Global Education Courses (Hitotsubashi Global Education Program/ HGP)
    Intensive Japanese Language Education Programs of between 2 to 5 class periods per week are offered, with a focus on students who have not previously studied Japanese.
  2. General Education Courses (GE)
    Intermediate to advanced-level courses are offered which develop the Japanese language ability necessary to study at university, with separate courses for each skill.
  3. Courses offered by faculties
    Courses are offered in the specialist Japanese language needed for study in the field of social sciences.

3. Acceptance Rate: Is it hard to get into Hitotsubashi University? 

Since Hitotsubashi University only accepts a few privately financed students each academic year, let’s check the acceptance rate of both general admissions and privately financed students. 

General admission 

Faculty of Commerce and Management Number of
Number of
Acceptance Rate 
2022 entry871 269 31% 
2021 entry698 268 28% 
2020 entry752 263 36% 
Faculty of Economics    
2022  entry474 212 45% 
2021 entry695 208 30% 
2020 entry538 222 41% 
Faculty of Law    
2022  entry547 178 33% 
2021 entry507 163 32% 
2020 entry483 169 35% 
Faculty of Social Sciences     
2022 entry696 229 33% 
2021 entry664 230 35% 
2020 entry717 226 32% 

Privately Financed Students (International students)

Faculty of Commerce and Management Number of
Number of
Acceptance Rate 
2021 entry46 22 48% 
Faculty of Economics    
2021 entry20 30% 
Faculty of Law    
2021 entry44% 
Faculty of Social Sciences     
2021 entry57 20 35% 

Generally, the acceptance rate for each faculty falls between 30 percent to less than 50 percent.

From the numbers above, we can find that the Faculty of Commerce and Faculty of Social Sciences are popular among both international students and Japanese students. On the other hand, the Faculty of Law tends to accept lesser students and has fewer applicants than other faculties.  

4. World university ranking 

According to QS World University Ranking 2022, Hitotsubashi University is ranked between 531 to 540, which paralleled Lehigh University, Oregon State University, and the University of Delaware in the United States.  

As to the information provided by Times Higher Education (2022), Hitotsubashi University is ranked as the 16th best university in Japan, following Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU). 


  • Hitotsubashi University is renowned in the field of social sciences and the study of civil society
  • With about 6287 undergraduate and graduate students in total, it is possible to conduct the courses with small-sized classes.
  • Only a few international students are accepted for one academic year. In the 2021 entry, there are about 52 in total enrolled in the undergraduate program.

As you have found from the information in this article, there is no full English course provided for obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Applicants need to equip a certain level of Japanese proficiency to apply for Hitotsubashi University.

If you are considering applying to Hitotsubashi University, hope the information help you have a better understanding of the process and requirements. Still, the requirements might differ every year, here is the official page where you can find the latest admission information. 

Lastly, for students who would like to spend time studying the Japanese language, we have other articles for Japanese language schools here:


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.