MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) offers scholarships to international students who wish to study at Japanese universities as undergraduate students under the Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship Program for 2013 as follows.


Those who wish to study in Japan as an undergraduate student must choose a field of major from (1) or (2) below. Applicants may enter a first, second, and third choice.

(1)Social Sciences and Humanities

Social Sciences and Humanities-A: Laws, Politics, Pedagogy, Sociology, Literature, History, Japanese language, and others.

Social Sciences and Humanities-B: Economics, and Business Administration.

Note #1: Applicants who wish to major in the fields categorized as “others” may have difficulties in finding universities that can accept them.

Note #2:  Major field content related to “Economics” and “Business Administration” of Humanities B is not included in “others.”

(2)Natural Sciences

Natural Sciences-A: Science (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry), Electric and Electronic Studies (Electronics, Electrical Engineering, Information Engineering), Mechanical Studies (Mechanical Engineering, Naval Architecture), Civil Engineering and Architecture (Civil Engineering, Architecture, Environmental Engineering), Chemical Studies (Applied Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Industrial Chemistry, Textile Engineering), and other fields (Metallurgical Engineering, Mining Engineering, Maritime Engineering, Biotechnology).

Natural Sciences-B:Agricultural studies (Agriculture, Agricultural Chemistry, Agricultural Engineering, Animal Science, Veterinary Medicine, Forestry, Food Science, Fisheries), Hygienic studies (Pharmacy, Hygienics, Nursing), and Science (Biology).

Natural Sciences-C: Medicine, and Dentistry.

Note: An international student who intends to major in Natural Sciences and would like to choose more than one major is required to choose and select first-, second-, and third-choice subjects from the subjects in brackets from within the same course (i.e. Natural Sciences A, B or C). However, a student who selects Course C as his/her first choice may choose his/her second-choice subjects from Course B or C and third-choice subject from Course B because Course C offers only two subjects.



Applicant must have the nationality of a country which has diplomatic relations with the Japanese government. This applies at such times to stateless persons, too. Applicant who has Japanese nationality at the time of application will not be eligible. Applicant screening will be made at the Japanese Embassy/Consulate General (hereinafter, referred to as “Japanese legation”) in the country of Applicant’s nationality (except where two or more countries are attended by the same Japanese legation).   


Applicant must have been born between April 2, 1991 and April 1, 1996.

(3)Academic Background:

Applicant must either have completed a 12-year regular course of school education or have graduated from a school equivalent to an upper secondary school in Japan. (Included is any Applicant who will satisfy the above qualifications by March, 2013.)

Note: Also included is any Applicant who otherwise satisfies entrance eligibility for a Japanese university.

(4)Japanese Language:

The Applicant must be willing to learn the Japanese language and receive university education in it.


The Applicant must be physically and mentally healthy enough to pursue study at a university in Japan.

(6)Arrival in Japan:

In principle, the selected Applicant must be able to leave for and arrive in Japan between the 1st and 7th of April 2013. Travel expenses will not be provided if the Applicant chooses to travel to Japan before this set period. If the Applicant is unable to travel to Japan within the dates set, the scholarship will be cancelled.

In case where the student starts from the fall semester through direct placement  (i.e English courses), the selected applicant must be able to leave for and arrive in Japan by the date specified by the university.

(7)Visa Requirement:

Selected Applicants must obtain a College Student (ryuugaku 留学) visa prior to his arrival in Japan. Applicants who are already in Japan before the start of the scholarship period under a visa other than College Student are required to change it to College Student by the end of the month preceding the start of the scholarship. Applicants who change their resident status to any status other than “College Student” after their arrival in Japan will immediately lose their status as a Japanese government scholarship student.

(8)Any applicant who meets any or all of the following conditions is not eligible. If identified after the start of the scholarship period, the applicant will be required to withdraw from the scholarship:

[1]If Applicant is a service member or a civilian employee registered on the active military list at the time the scholarship period is due to begin.

[2]If Applicant is a grantee of a scholarship from an organization(including a governmental organization of his/her own country) other than the Japanese government (MONBUKAGAKUSHO:MEXT);

[3]If the applicant is a previous recipient of a Japanese government scholarship. Unless more than three years have passed since the first day of the month following the final payment of the previous scholarship, as of April 1, 2013 (In case where the student starts from the fall semester, the month of entrance.); or

[4]If Applicant is, in principle, currently enrolled in a Japanese university with the resident status of “College Student,” or will be enrolled in a Japanese university as an other source or self- financed international student between the time of application for this scholarship in his/her country and the time the scholarship period is due to begin. This does not apply to current self- financed international students at Japanese universities who will complete their course of study and return to their country before the end of the current year.


Scholarship awards will be tenable for five years from April 2013 to March 2018, including one-year preparatory education in the Japanese language and other subjects due to be provided upon arrival in Japan. For scholarship grantees majoring in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or a six-year course in pharmacy, the term of scholarship will be seven years until March 2020.

Note 1: The preparatory education requirement can be waived for grantees who have sufficient knowledge of the Japanese language to pursue their study or who wish to enter a university which demands no Japanese language ability (via direct placement). In this case, the awards will be tenable for four years (or for six years for those majoring in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or in a six-year course in pharmacy). If a grantee graduates earlier or withdraws from his/her undergraduate course for early college entrance, the awards will be tenable until his/her graduation or withdrawal.

Note 2: The term of scholarship in case of direct placement will start from the time of entrance to the university, taking into account the circumstances of the accepting university.

Note 3: In regard to six-year majors in Pharmacy, the student must undergo the common examinations (CBT= Computer-based Testing, OSCE= Objective Structured Clinical Examination) implemented prior to practical training.  In cases when it is impossible to fulfill the set standards necessary for practical training, the scholarship may be cancelled.

Note 4: If a grantee graduates from an undergraduate course and is admitted to a master's course at a graduate school during the term of his/her scholarship, he/she may have the term extended upon successful examination by MEXT provided that he/she has outstanding academic achievement that meets certain criteria. The scholarship will be discontinued if approval is not granted.



Under the fiscal 2012 budget each grantee will be provided monthly with 117,000 yen. (an additional monthly stipend of 2,000 or 3,000 yen may be provided to those undertaking study or research in specially designated regions.) (However, this will be subject to change, depending upon the annual budget for each year). The scholarship will not be paid to a grantee who takes a leave of absence or is long absent from the assigned university or the preparatory Japanese-teaching institution.

The scholarship will be cancelled for a grantee in the following cases. Furthermore, if scholarship payments were made during the period the following cases applied, the grantee may be ordered to return scholarship payments received during that period.

[1]If any of his/her application documents is found to be falsely stated;

[2]If he/she is in breach of his/her pledge made to the Minister of MONBUKAGAKUSHO(MEXT);

[3]If he/she is subjected to disciplinary action such as expulsion or removal from register by his/her university or the preparatory Japanese-teaching institution;

[4]If it becomes definitive that the grantee will not be able to graduate(or complete his/her course) within the standard course term because of his/her poor academic achievement or suspension;

[5]If his/her resident status of “College Student” as provided for in Paragraph 1-4 of Appendix to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act changes to any other status;

[6]If he/she is provided with another scholarship(except for a scholarship designated for research expenses); or

[7]If he/she proceeds to a higher level of education without receiving approval for an extension of the term of the scholarship.

(2) Traveling Costs

[1]Transportation to Japan: Each grantee will be provided, according to his/her itinerary and route as designated by MEXT, with an economy class air ticket from the international airport closest to his/her place of residence to Narita International Airport (or following the itinerary normally used by the university where the grantee is placed). Expenses such as inland transportation from his/her place of residence to the nearest international airport, airport tax, airport usage charges, special taxes on overseas travel and travel expenses within Japan will be borne by the grantee (the place of residence of the grantee shall in principle be the address stated in the application form). Air travel from a country other than the grantee’s nationality will not be covered, nor travel to Japan before April 1, 2013.

[2]Transportation from Japan: A grantee who returns to his/her home country within the last month of scholarship payment will be provided, upon application, with an economy class air ticket for a flight from Narita International Airport (or following the itinerary normally used by the university where the grantee is placed) to the international airport closest to his/her place of return.

Note: Insurance premiums for travel to/from Japan shall be borne by the grantee. The airport the grantee departs from or returns to must be an airport of the country of his/her nationality.

(3)School Fees:

Fees for entrance examinations, matriculation and tuition at universities will be paid by the Japanese government.


(1)In cooperation with the governments of the applicants’ countries the Japanese legation will perform primary screening of applicants by means of submitted application documents, interviews and academic examinations (see below for subjects of examination).

[Subjects for examination]

For applicants for a major in Social Sciences and Humanities: All applicants must sit for mathematics, English, and Japanese (3 subjects in all).

For applicants for a major in Natural Sciences: All applicants must sit for mathematics, English, two subjects selected from among physics, chemistry and biology, and Japanese (5 subjects in all). For selecting two from physics, chemistry and biology, applicants must choose

Physics and chemistry when applying for Natural Sciences A; and 

Chemistry and biology when applying for Natural Sciences B or C.

(2)Results of primary screening will be notified to each applicant on the date designated by the Japanese legation.

(3)Applicants who have been selected by this primary screening will be recommended to MEXT.

(4)MEXT will perform final selection of the recommended applicants and select scholarship grantees.



(1)Preparatory Education prior to Placement at University:

Each grantee will be enrolled at a preparatory school designated by MEXT for a one-year intensive course in the Japanese language and other subjects necessary for preparation for proceeding to university. The preparatory course lasts for one year. Its curriculum will mainly consist of education in the Japanese language, but will include other subjects such as Japanese Affairs, mathematics, English, and social studies for those majoring in Social Science and Humanities, and physics, chemistry and biology for those majoring in Natural Sciences. Please note that a grantee will not be allowed to proceed to university if he/she is determined incapable of completing the prescribed course at the preparatory school. (He/she will be required to return home upon such determination.) This preparatory education requirement can be waived for a grantee who has sufficient knowledge of the Japanese language to pursue his/her study at university or who wishes to enter a university without the Japanese language requirement (via direct placement).

(2)Change of Major Field of Study:

A grantee will not be permitted to change his/her major field of study between Social Sciences, Humanities and Natural Sciences, nor between Social Sciences and Humanities A and B, or between Natural Sciences A, B, and C.

(3)Subjects to be Studied:

A grantee must study compulsory subjects as determined by the preparatory school even if he/she has already studied them at a university outside Japan.


(1)Entrance into University:

A grantee who has completed the preparatory education will go on to the university designated by MEXT upon passing its entrance examination. The university whose examination a grantee will take will be decided by MEXT in consultation with the university and the preparatory school and in comprehensive consideration of the results of the academic examination in the primary screening held in his/her home country, academic achievement at the preparatory school, the grantee’s proposed major subject, and the receiving capacity of the university. No objection by the grantee against the decision will be allowed.

(2)Academic Year:

The academic year begins on April 1 each year and ends on March 31 the next year.  

(3)Language Used in Education:

All classes will be given in the Japanese language (except where a grantee is placed at a university which requires no Japanese language ability).

(4)Degree of “Gakushi”( Bachelor's Degree ):

If a grantee attends the designated university for the prescribed number of years and earns the number of credits as determined by the university, he/she will be awarded the degree of “Gakushi.”

(5) Change of Major Field of Study and Subjects to be Studied:

6 (2) and 6 (3) above will apply.

Note: For direct placement of a grantee at a university, MEXT will decide the recipient university upon discussion with prospective universities. An applicant desirous of direct placement must enter a university without preparatory education, and if the desired university does not accept the applicant, his/her application will be rejected by MEXT. If you want to apply for direct placement, be careful in selecting the university, faculty and school and their capacity to accept direct placement. For further information on universities capable of receiving students via direct placement, please inquire at the Japanese legation


Applicants must submit the following documents to the Japanese legation by the required date. The submitted documents will not be returned.                                                              







1(circled number)

Application (by the prescribed forms)




4(circled number)

Application (Attachment) (prescribed form for applicants for direct placement)





Photographs (4.5 x 3.5 cm, Upper body, Full-faced, Uncapped) taken within the past 6 months (name and nationality should be written on the reverse;photo to be pasted onto the application documents. Digital photographs also acceptable) 




2(circled number)

Academic transcript for the past 3 years




3(circled number)-1

Recommendation from the principal or the adviser of the last school attended




3(circled number)-2

Graduation certificate of the last school attended (or certificate of expected graduation for an applicant due to graduate) 




3(circled number)-3

Certificate of passage of university entrance qualification examination (if applicable) 




5(circled number)

Certificate of enrollment (for an applicant currently enrolled in a university)




6(circled number)

Medical certificate (on the prescribed form)



Note 1: These documents must be written in Japanese or English. A document written in any other language must be attached with an English or Japanese translation.

Note 2: For items (6) and (7) above, a photocopy of the graduation certificate and/or the qualification certificate will do, provided that the copy is attested by the relevant school or examining organization.

Note 3: An application will not be examined unless all the documents mentioned above are fully and correctly completed. For applicants with (7) Certificate of passage of university entrance qualification examination, this document may be submitted in place of documents (4), (5) and (6).

Note 4: Number the documents(1 through 6) in the right upper corner.


(1)All grantees are advised to learn the Japanese language and have basic knowledge about the weather, climate, customs, and university education in Japan as well as about the differences between the Japanese legal system and that of his/her home country before they leave for Japan.

(2)Grantees should bring the approximate equivalent of US $2,000 to cover immediate needs after their arrival in Japan.


[1]During the period of preparatory education,scholarship recipients can reside in the residential accommodations of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies or Osaka University,where these foreign exchange students are enrolled.

[2]Residence halls for international students established by national universities

At present, the national universities have residence halls available for international students. Grantees enrolled at national universities where such facilities are available may reside, if they so desire, at these residence halls under prescribed conditions. However, these facilities may not be able to accommodate all the students who wish to live there.

[3]Private-run boarding houses or apartments.

Grantees who do not live in any of the above facilities will have to live in a dormitory of the university or in private-run boarding houses or apartments introduced by the university. Please keep in mind that it is very difficult to secure family housing. A married grantee is advised therefore to first come to Japan alone, secure a boarding house for his/her family, and then bring in his/her spouse and children.

(4) If you have any question about the matters set forth/not set forth herein, inquire at the Japanese legation, and follow their instructions, if any are given.

(5)In addition to the information determined in this guideline, matters which are necessary to implement Japanese Government Scholarship are determined by the Japanese Government.






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