Trimester System

The academic year at ICU consists of the spring, autumn and winter terms, each lasting approximately 11 weeks. Each course concludes in one term. Students on the program design their own curriculum by taking courses that satisfy their needs and interests.

Please check length of your program at ICU with your study abroad advisors. We have different policies with individual partner university.

Autumn term: Early September to end of November
Winter term: Early December to early March
Spring term: Early April to end of June

For detailed dates, please check our Academic Calendar.

Grading System

ICU adopts "GPA" (Grade Point Average) to measure students' academic performance. Credit transfer system varies according to home universities. A student's achievement is to be based on factors such as class participation and reports, as well as quizzes, tests, and examinations.

The class hour (period) is 70 minutes. Basically, 10 weeks × 1 class period amount to one credit/unit. It is assumed that students spend 2 class hours studying outside the class room, in preparation, review and homework, for each hour in class. Most ICU courses count for either 2 or 3 credits/units.

Grades are fundamentally assigned in the 5 categories, A, B, C, D, and E, based on a scale of 100 points, with 60 points or above being evaluated as passing.

For further information, please check here.

Course Registration

Except for the English for Liberal Arts (ELA) Program courses, undergraduate-level exchange/invitee students can choose to take from almost all of the courses offered under the College of Liberal Arts. Graduate courses numbered in the 400-599 ranges are also open for upper-class undergraduate students with prior permission from the course instructor and academic advisor at ICU.

Currently, about 30% of all courses at ICU are offered in English.

The policy and rules concerning registration may be much different from those at your home university. We request each student to refer to our registration procedures, which will be explained in an orientation held upon your arrival.

Registration for classes takes place on the registration day of each term specified in the university calendar; therefore, no prior registration is necessary before arrival. Late Registration is accepted during the designated Late Registration/Registration Change Period of the term, but late registrants will be required to pay a fee of \3,000. If necessary, students can make changes within the designated period. After the registration change period, it is not possible to make any changes on the course registration.

The normal academic load is 13 credits/units per term. However, with the approval of your academic advisor, you may take courses within the limit of a maximum of 18 credits/units. As long as you, who are on a student visa status, register at least 9 slots of classes per week (70 minutes times 9 slots) each term in order to maintain their student visa status, you are bound only by the requirements of your home universities and/or your own capacities and choices.

How to Find Courses

Course offerings and class schedules for the following academic year (April to March) become available in February every year. You can check the current course offerings and syllabi here.

Please refer to [ICU] How to Search Courses.pdf that explains more specifically how to search courses.

If you are a graduate student, please consult your study abroad office before application.

Japanese Language Programs (JLP)

ICU is widely admired for its excellent Japanese Language Programs (JLP).  Information for JLP curriculum offered to students from our partner institutions can be found at "Exchange Students (One Year Regular Students)" at our official website.

Please note that the placement test for JLP is only given at the beginning of Autumn and Spring Terms.

Summer Courses in Japanese (SCJ)

If you would like to start studying Japanese ahead, you have an option to enroll in the six-week intensive Summer Courses in Japanese (SCJ) from July to mid-August. An additional fee is required in most cases.

Japan Studies One-Year Certificate Program 

The Major in Japan Studies uses an interdisciplinary approach to explore the people, languages and cultures that comprise Japan. Japan Studies encompasses numerous disciplinary fields including literature, history, art and cultural heritage, anthropology, sociology, politics, economics, and international relations. The Major employs a critical approach to the study of Japan. It interrelates and integrates knowledge about Japan while introducing contested representations of “Japan.” Through various disciplinary lenses, students learn to identify and confront assumptions about Japan that circulate in the world around them. The goal of the major is to enable students to apply a more nuanced understanding of Japan to their academic and professional careers.

The One-Year Certificate Program is designed for students from overseas who wish to focus on Japan. The Certificate Program consists of courses about Japan conducted in English or Japanese, as well as a Japanese language training component. Each year, over twenty courses on Japan are offered in English. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the even broader selection of courses taught in Japanese. The One-Year Certificate Program involves 33 units of academic credit. Students interested in receiving the Japan Studies Certificate at the end of their year at ICU normally apply for the Certificate Program during the fall semester. The application deadline is the last class day in September. At the end of the Program, the transcripts of students who applied for the Program are reviewed. Those students who attain both the requisite units and satisfactory grades (with a GPA of 2.5 or higher) are granted a Certificate of Completion. Certificates are signed by the Japan Studies Coordinator and Dean of the College and mailed to students when ICU resumes classes in September.

The requirements for the Japan Studies One-Year Certificate Program typically consist of approximately 33 units per year. Students in the One-Year Certificate Program are expected to take a full course load, usually equivalent to 12 units each term. (The number of units is an approximation because some courses do not conform to the regular pattern of 3 units.) 15 units are to be taken in Japanese Language Programs (JLP) courses. The remaining 18 units should be from courses related to Japan. Students are encouraged to consider taking classes in Japanese or involving Japanese language in order to fulfill this 18-unit Japan content course requirement.


Japanese Language Programs (JLP) courses 15 units/credits
Courses relating to Japan (Listed on the list of Japan Studies Courses)       18 units/credits
Total 33 units/credits


Courses relating to Japan are to be chosen from the list of Japan Studies Courses. For students with advanced Japanese language skills, courses taught in Japanese may be counted toward the Japanese language course requirements.

Sample List of Courses for Japan Studies One-year Program (AY2021).pdf

Students should note that there may be some courses offered at ICU related to Japan, but not listed in the Japan Studies course offerings. Applicants who wish to have such courses counted toward their requirements should inform the Japan Studies Program as soon as possible, and send a formal petition to the Coordinator of the Japan Studies Major. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and approval is not guaranteed.