Hokkaido University is a national university of Japan. It is considered as a member of the National Seven Universities. It is situated in downtown Sapporo, just north of Sapporo Station, and stretching approximately 2.4 kilometers northward.
Hokkaido University (Hokudai for short) was originally founded in 1876 as Sapporo Agricultural College (?????, Sapporo n?gakk? ) by William S. Clark with the help of five faculty members and a first class size of 24 students. It became Hokkaido Imperial University (???????, Hokkaid? teikoku daigaku ) on April 1, 1918, during the Taish? period. It was one of nine Imperial Universities. The School of Medicine was established in 1919, at which time the Agricultural College became the Faculty of Agriculture. This was followed by the Faculty of Engineering, the Faculty of Science, and finally in 1947, the Faculty of Law and Literature. The current name of Hokkaido University also came into use in 1947. In 1953, the Graduate School was established.
Since 2004 the university has been incorporated as a National University Corporation under a new law which applies to all national universities. Although the incorporation has led to increased financial independence and autonomy, Hokkaido University is still partially controlled by the Japanese Ministry of Education.