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Fields of Study: Engineering, Science

Students join one of Osaka University’s science and technology lab teams to conduct research ​through experiments, peer consultation, group work, and interactive discussions with graduate students and other undergraduates supervised by top scientists.

Unique study opportunities

  • Learn how to read scientific papers and apply the latest information to your research projects.
  • Design and conduct your own independent research project with a faculty mentor’s guidance.
  • Discover the best ways to present your research and make it accessible in cross-cultural settings.


Language of Instruction: English, Japanese

Language Study: Optional

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study:
    • Fall and spring: Lab research for a total of 21 quarter/14 semester UC units.
    • Summer: Lab research for a total of 12 quarter/8 semester UC units.
  • Letter grade required for research course. 

Current Program Courses

In this intensive research program, you will participate in the Osaka University Frontier Lab for approximately 30 hours per week.

Fall and Spring Lab Placement Examples:
  • Engineering (Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering)
  • Engineering Science (Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering)
  • Information Science and Technology (Data Science, Computer Science, Information System Engineering)
  • Natural Science (Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Earth and Space Science)
  • Medicine (Immunology, Bioscience, Neuroscience, Pharmaceutical Sciences)

During the fall or spring semester, you may take one or two international exchange subjects through the Osaka University Short-term Student Exchange Program (OUSSEP), Japanese language courses, or regular university courses, in addition to the lab research. All courses through OUSSEP, except Japanese language courses, are taught in English and are mostly lower-division. While the number of courses offered in English is limited, regular undergraduate Osaka university courses are open (prerequisites still need to be met, and graduate level courses are not possible). Some students choose to take a beginning or intermediate Japanese language course. 

Summer Lab Placement Examples:
  • Engineering Science
  • Information Science and Technology (including Statistics, Data Science)
  • Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (including Robotics)
  • Natural Science

Additional coursework for academic credit is not available during the summer program. 

Catalogs and resources

Academic culture

Japan is a country where courtesy and behavioral propriety are extremely important in all social interactions. Be respectful toward teachers at all times and sensitive to the cultural styles and ethics of Japanese society.

Most locals and Japanese professors will avoid correcting unacceptable behavior. Follow the example set by the Japanese students. If you have questions about what is considered acceptable behavior in Japan, talk to the study center staff.

To be successful academically, you must take the initiative. Take personal responsibility for your education, formulate clear academic goals, and then pursue those goals with determination rather than depending solely on UC or host university requirements for direction. Japanese university courses typically have less structure than UC courses. Professors rarely provide syllabi and, even if they do, may change the content of the course during the term. Check with each professor about specific course requirements, paper deadlines, exam dates, and any other matters related to your academic responsibilities.

Beware of being influenced by the rigor—or lack thereof—with which Japanese students appear to be engaged in their studies. In contrast to UC students, Japanese students often place less emphasis on letter grades and more on merely passing their courses.


You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. Grades for fall are usually available in late April. Spring and summer grades are usually available in late October.

Assessments are typically based on oral presentations, seminar presentation and participation, and written lab reports.

It is not the Japanese custom for instructors to give detailed comments on written work and final papers, and exams are not usually returned. the grade itself is generally considered appropriate and adequate feedback.

Grading is typically conducted by detracting points for errors, rather than rewarding points for correct work. If you experience difficulties with your courses, talk to the study center staff.

Some universities are similar to UC in their standards and grading system. Language courses in particular can be more demanding than at UC and the grading is often rigorous. In many cases, poor grades are the result of excessive absences, tardiness, missing assignments, and lack of communication between UC students and instructors. Class attendance is required unless you are explicitly excused for a valid reason. Many faculty members monitor and consider attendance in class, on field trips, and at academic events when determining the course grade.