to icu official site


About ICU

History & Commitments

International Christian University (ICU) was founded by Japanese and North American Christian educators in 1949, four years after the Second World War. In March 1953, the Japanese Ministry of Education authorized ICU as an incorporated educational institution, and the College of Liberal Arts opened on April 1 as the first four-year liberal arts college in Japan. The Graduate School was later added in 1957.

ICU was envisaged as a "University of Tomorrow," a place where Japanese and international students would live together and learn to serve the needs of emerging, more interconnected world. Since its founding, it has been a tradition at ICU for newly enrolled students to sign the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to help bring about social justice and world peace during their student years and beyond. ICU asks all the exchange/invitee students to attend the matriculation ceremony and sign the Declaration, too.

In 2008, an academic reform was enforced in the College of Liberal Arts, which replaced the system of 6 divisions with a new organization of the "Division of Arts and Sciences" and a new system of academic majors. Since then, all new students simply start as College of Liberal Arts students, making their choice of major from 31 areas by the end of their sophomore year. In 2010, the Graduate School also conducted a reform and integrated the 4 divisions into a new "School of Arts and Sciences."

ICU holds as its mission the establishment of an academic tradition of freedom and reverence based on Christian ideals, and the education of individuals of conscience, internationally cultured and with a strong sense of citizenship in a democratic society. As demonstrated in its name, International Christian University, ICU has followed three principal commitments as its mission: Academic, Christian and International Commitments.

page top


The academic programs of the College of Liberal Arts and the Graduate School are individually chartered by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. ICU is accredited by the Japanese University Accreditation Association between April 2011 and March 2018. 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 provided they fit into the student's overall program at his or her home university.

page top

Bilingualism and Languages of Instruction

ICU welcomes students from around the world, regardless of their ethnic background, gender, nationality or religion. In order to accommodate a diverse student body, the university runs on a trimester schedule. Incoming students who come from a Japanese educational background begin their academic year in April, while students from a non-Japanese educational background start in September. Students who enroll in either April or September all study on the same campus under the same curriculum, with the exception of the English and Japanese language programs. ICU holds matriculation and commencement ceremonies two times a year to meet the needs of incoming students from and outgoing students to institutions overseas.

Our bilingual education enables students to cultivate college-level linguistic abilities in both English and Japanese through the English for Liberal Arts (ELA) Program for those who enter ICU in April and the Japanese Language Programs (JLP) for those who enter ICU in September.

Exchange/invitee students from abroad interested in studying for a year in Japan may enroll in ICU as One-Year-Regular (OYR) Students, taking both Japanese language courses and English-taught courses or English- or/and Japanese-taught courses only. About 30% of courses are taught in English across different majors. Please refer to our a list of courses and syllabi online, and consult your study abroad advisors in advance about their program at ICU and about credit transfer.

page top


ICU is blessed with modern facilities and a wooded campus environment unrivaled in the greater Tokyo area. The 153-acre wooded campus in Mitaka City, western part of Tokyo, is rich in history and nature. Students can get a glimpse of ancient pre-Jomon life by visiting the Hachiro Yuasa Memorial Museum, which displays remnants found from on-campus archaeological sites, and a traditional Japanese garden and a tea house called Taizanso, built in the 1920’s, both on campus.

Despite the historically and naturally rich environment, in half an hour via public transportation, students can find themselves in the busy streets of Tokyo. The popular neighborhood called Kichijoji and the Ghibli Museum is a short bicycle or bus ride away. The quiet and peaceful ICU campus provides a balance to the surrounding urban environment and students take full advantage of both.
Campus Map, Directions to ICU

page top

Facts (as of October 1, 2017)

Student Enrollment
Total : 3,070
Undergraduates : 2,907
Graduates : 163
Nationality of Students (excluding Auditors)
Japanese : 2,775 (90.4%)
Non-Japanese : 295 (9.6%)
Full-time : 153
Nationality of Faculty
Japanese: 96(62.7%)
Non-Japanese: 57 (37.3%)

page top