Osaka University


Osaka University is a public research university located in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. The university is often ranked among the top three public universities in Japan. Osaka University is committed to promoting research and education to build a resilient and sustainable future society to empower “Life” and “Living” and will play a leading role in social transformation to boldly address social issues by harnessing new knowledge, human resources, and the latest technology. Learn more about Osaka U here

Students can apply for one of two programs:

  • OUSSEP (Osaka University Short-term Student Exchange Program) to take special academic lectures taught in English. Japanese language courses are available as well.
  •  iExPO (Immersion Exchange Program Osaka) to take regular courses taught in Japanese. JLPT N1 or N2 is required to enroll in this program.

Quick Facts

Partner Program Type –  Exchange

Minimum GPA – 3.0

Eligibility – Good academic and disciplinary standing, Min Age: 18, Open to All Majors, Junior, or Senior Standing by the time of departure. 

Prerequisites – OsakaU spring semester is not recommended for new fall-admit transfer students, nor is fall semester recommended for new winter-admit transfer students because of the letter of recommendation requirement. Transfer students should complete at least one year within their major at UCSC before applying to OsakaU. Language Requirement – For iExPO Program ONLY: Courses are taught in Japanese, students need proof of JLPT level N2 or N1 (depends on department students wish to enter) at the time of application.

Term Options

Fall Semester: mid-September – mid-February

  • you must miss both fall and winter quarters to participate in this session

Spring Semester:  early April – mid AugustAcademic Year: mid-September – mid-August

Partner Program deadline dates



City & University

Osaka University was one of the earliest modern universities in Japan at its founding in 1931. With 58 sports oriented groups and 71 cultural groups, there are many opportunities and events for students on campus. 

The university has three campuses: Toyonaka, Suita, and Minoh, all located north of Osaka City. Osaka City is Japan’s 3rd largest metropolis. Known for its architecture, nightlife, and delicious street food, Osaka City has plenty to offer. The Shinkansen trains from Shin-Osaka station also allow easy access to Kyoto, Kobe, and Tokyo. 

At Osaka University, there is both on-campus and off-campus housing available for students. As a general rule, those from universities with agreements with OU who will participate in the University-wide Exchange Program are guaranteed a single room in university housing; however, due to lack of housing or other circumstances, you may not be placed in the dormitory of your choice. 

On Campus Housing: General On Campus Housing information can be found here. Rooms through the Global Village are available for exchange students. In some cases, a lottery may be held if there are more applicants than the number of rooms available. More information about the student room can be found on the Global Village link above. Costs may change depending on the type of room you apply for. 

Off-Campus Housing: Osaka U can assist in finding a private accommodation. Further information can be found here

Student Support

The Support office at OsakaU offers assistance and provides information for international students, scholars, and their families, on such matters as visa procedures, the search for accommodations, and other necessary procedures, focusing its service on prior to and soon after arrival in Japan.

Additionally, OsakaU offers resources and opportunities for you to integrate successfully into the culture and society.

Students with Disabilities

If you need support services abroad, notify your UCSC Disability Resource Center (DRC) Coordinator

Exchange students can use the International Student Affairs Division at OsakaU.

Identities Abroad and Away

UC Santa Cruz Global Learning is committed to inclusion and equity in our various program options as well as striving to make everyone’s experiences abroad enriching, positive, and safe.

Learn more on our Identities Abroad and Away webpage.


Host University Courses

As an OsakaU exchange student, you will enroll full-time in courses alongside other local and international students.

  • OUSSEP: Courses are taught in English. 
  • iExPO: Courses are taught in Japanese

Course Search

  • OUSSEP: English Course catalog can be accessed here. Course catalog is updated closer to the start of the host university’s semester. 
  • iExPO: Japanese Course catalog can be accessed here.

Satisfying Requirements
It may be possible to satisfy major, minor, GE, and/or electives on this program.

Learn more about:

Course Load Requirements

You are required to enroll in a full-time course load while abroad as defined by your host institution:

  • Min:14 semester credits for iExPO and OUSSEP
  • Max:18 semester credits for iExPO and OUSSEP
  • Most courses are worth 2 semester credits 

As a UCSC student, you must also continue to meet UCSC Satisfactory Academic Progress, which requires students to enroll in a minimum of 12 UCSC quarter credits per quarter. At OsakaU, you are required to ensure you meet this requirement by enrolling in the equivalent of at least 24 quarter credits in fall semester (fall+winter quarters) and at least 12 quarter credits in spring semester (spring quarter) after conversion (see below).

If you are not enrolled in the minimum number of quarter credits required, then you will fall out of Satisfactory Academic Progress. This could lead to financial aid and academic repercussions

If you are unable to enroll in the minimum number of quarter credits through courses at your host university, you may be able to fill in the gap by enrolling in one remote course through UCSC or UC online.

Credit Conversion

OsakaU uses semester credits. These will be converted to UCSC quarter credits when added to your UC transcript.

  • 1 semester credit = 2 UCSC quarter credits
  • 2 semester credits = 3 UCSC quarter credits
  • 3 semester credits = 5 UCSC quarter credits
  • 4 semester credits = 6 UCSC quarter credits

Academic Restrictions

Some courses abroad may have enrollment limitations and/or restrictions, such as prerequisites. Review course information provided by the university partner to understand any course limitations and/or restrictions prior to official course enrollment abroad.

If you are unsure about your eligibility to enroll, please contact UCSC Global Learning at before applying to this program.

Academic Differences

Please note that the academic system, such as assignments, exams, course structure, grading system, etc., at your host institution may be different from what you are used to at UCSC. We highly recommend researching the academic system at your host university in advance to best prepare for your experience abroad.

Academic CalendarWe recommend comparing the host university academic calendar to the UCSC academic calendar to see how the academic calendars, holidays, and breaks differ.