The University of Tsukuba (筑波大学 Tsukuba Daigaku), is, along with the rokudai schools and Kyoto University, one of the most prestigious universities in Japan. It was founded in 1973, in the "Science City" of Tsukuba, as a satellite campus of Tokyo Education University. By 1978, the entire university had migrated to Tsukuba.

Tsukuba can be conceptualized as the Stanford University of Japan. While it is a relatively young school, its faculty includes three Nobel Prize laureates (Tomonaga Shinichiro, Ezaki Reona, and Shirakawa Hideki), and some of the best hard science programs in the country. Unlike virtually every other university in Japan, Tsukuba places an emphasis on its graduate schools: it's one of the only places in the country where you can get a decent Ph.D. Before Tsukuba, most of Japan's science students went overseas for graduate work: now, they can do it all at home.