The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) offers scholarships to international students who wish to study in graduate courses at Japanese universities either as (non-degree) student or regular student for a degree under the Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship Program for 2015 as follows.


Applicants should apply for the field of study they majored in at university or its related field. And fields of study must be subjects which applicants will be able to study and research in graduate courses at Japanese universities.
The fields of study may be restricted to particular fields by the Japanese Embassy/Consulate General(hereinafter referred to as the “Japanese diplomatic mission”).
A student who majors in medicine, dentistry or welfare science will not be allowed to engage in clinical training such as medical care and operative surgery until he/she obtains a permit from the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare under applicable Japanese laws. Majors in traditional entertainment such as Kabuki and classical Japanese dances, or in subjects that seek practical training in specific technologies or techniques at factories or companies are excluded.


(1) Nationality:

Applicants must have the nationality of a country which has diplomatic relations with the Japanese government. Stateless persons can be applicants, too. Applicants who have Japanese nationality at the time of application are not eligible. However, applicants of dual nationality who reside outside of Japan is eligible only if they will expatriate from Japan by the time of arrival in Japan. Screening of applicants will be made at the Japanese diplomatic mission in the country of applicants’ nationality.

(2) Age:

Applicants must have been born on or after April 2,1980.

(3) Academic Background:

Applicants must be a graduate from a Japanese university or have academic ability equal or superior to that of a Japanese university graduate. A person will be deemed to have academic ability equal or superior to that of a university graduate, if he/she
[1]has completed or will complete a 16-year school curriculum in a foreign country (or an 18-year school curriculum if he/she desires to enroll in a doctoral course in the field of medicine, dentistry or veterinary science, or pharmacy which is founded on a 6-year department or faculty); or
[2]is or will be aged 22 or older and has taken an individual entrance qualification examination and has been judged by a Japanese graduate school as being equal or superior in academic ability to a university graduate (or 24 or older if he/she desires to enroll in a doctoral course in the field of medicine, dentistry or veterinary science, or pharmacy which is founded on a 6-year department or faculty).

Note:  Eligible applicants include those who otherwise satisfy or will satisfy qualification requirements for admission to a Japanese graduate school. As a general rule, a person who has completed a doctoral course may not apply unless he/she seeks to obtain a degree.

(4) Japanese Language:

Applicants must be willing to learn the Japanese language, interested in Japan and enthusiastic about deepening their understanding of Japan after arriving, and capable of engaging in study and research while adapting   themselves to life in Japan.

(5) Health:

Applicants must be physically and mentally healthy enough to take graduate studies at universities in Japan.

(6) Arrival in Japan:

In principle, applicants must be able to arrive in Japan between the 1st and 7th of April 2015, or within two weeks of the date set by the receiving university for the beginning of the semester (in principle, in September or October).

(7) Visa Requirement:

In principle, selected applicants must acquire “College Student” (ryugaku,留学) visas before entering Japan. The visas should be issued at the Japanese legation, located in the country of applicants’ nationality.
Applicants who change their resident status to any status other than “College Student” after their arrival in Japan will immediately lose their status as Japanese government scholarship student.

(8) Applicants who meet any or all of the following conditions are not eligible. If identified after acceptance of the scholarship grantees, the applicants will be required to withdraw from the scholarship:

[1] If an applicant is a service member or a civilian employee registered on the active military list at the time of his/her arrival in Japan;

[2] Those who cannot arrive in Japan during the period designated by MEXT or the accepting university;

[3] If an applicant is a previous recipient of a Japanese government scholarship, and, does not have educational research experience more than three years from the first day of the month following the final payment of the previous scholarship to the beginning of the payment of this scholarship, as of April 1, 2015 . This does not apply to the past recipient of 日研&日韓共同理工scholarships who have graduated or are to graduate their universities in their countries and the past students under the Yang Leaders Program;

[4] If an applicant is, in principle, currently enrolled in a Japanese university or other type of school with the resident status of “College Student,” or will be enrolled in a Japanese university, etc. as another 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 courses of study and return to their countries before the end of the current fiscal year;

[5] If an applicant is a grantee of a scholarship from other organization(including any governmental organization of his/her own country) than the Japanese government (MEXT) (Prospective beneficiaries are included);

[6] Applicants who are expected to graduate at the time of application and, cannot satisfy the qualifications and the conditions of academic background by the deadline given;

[7] Applicants of dual nationality who cannot prove their expatriation of the Japanese nationality by the time of arrival; or

[8] Applicants who wish, from the time of application, to conduct fieldwork or internship outside of Japan, since this scholarship program is intended for overseas students who wish to enroll in a Japanese university and do graduate research in Japan.


The term of scholarship will differ as follows depending on the types of students as accepted in Japanese universities.

(1) In a case where a grantee will enroll as a research student, part-time non-degree student, or auditor, etc. (hereinafter referred to as “Research Student (no-regular student”) after coming to Japan:
[1] If a grantee comes to Japan in April 2015, his/her scholarship will be payable for 24 months from April 2015 through March 2017;
[2] If a grantee comes to Japan in October 2015, his/her scholarship will be payable for 18 months from October 2015 through March 2017.
(In either case, the above-mentioned term of scholarship includes a 6-month Japanese language training period for grantees who require such training)

(2) If a grantee enrolls as regular student in a master's course, doctoral course, or professional graduate course for a degree after coming to Japan, regardless of the time of his/her arrival in Japan the scholarship will be payable for a period necessary for him/her to complete his/her regular course (standard course term). (Plus a 6-month Japanese language training period for the grantees who need such training.)

(3) The extension of scholarship period:  If a grantee desires to proceed to a regular graduate course for a degree from a Research Student (non-degree) course, or to a doctoral course from a master’s course or a professional graduate course, he/she may have the term of his/her scholarship extended upon successful examination by MEXT provided that he/she has outstanding academic achievement that meets certain criteria.

Note1:  A grantee cannot have the term of his/her scholarship extended as Research Student.
Note2:  If a grantee proceeds to a higher level of education without receiving approval for an extension of the term of the scholarship, the scholarship will be cancelled. He/she may, however, proceed to a higher level of education or continue with his/her study as a privately-financed student.
Note3:  A Research Student is not able to apply for extension of scholarship period if he/she cannot proceed to master’s or doctoral course by the end of the term of Research Student’s scholarship. Entree in to higher courses in April 2017does not mean entrance by the end of the scholarship period. 
Note4:  If a grantee returns home without an extension though having applied for extension of scholarship period (when a grantee fails his/her examination to proceed to master’s or doctoral course for a degree), the travel expenses to return home will not be paid in general.


(1) Allowance:

Each grantee will be provided monthly with 143,000 yen(Research Students(non-regular students),144,000yen (regular students in Master’s courses or professional graduate courses), or 145,000yen(regular students in doctoral courses). 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, the amount of allowance will be subject to change depending upon the annual budget of the Japanese government for each fiscal 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 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 supplied in general, according to his/her itinerary and route as designated by MEXT,  with an economy-class airplane ticket from the international airport nearest to his/her home address* to the New Tokyo International Airport or any other international airport that the assigned university usually uses. Expenses such as domestic transportation from his/her home address to the international airport, airport tax, airport usage fees, special taxes on travel, or inland transportation within Japan will NOT be supplied.

 *The address in the country of the grantee’s nationality stated in the application form is in principle regarded as the recipient’s “home address.”.
Note: Those who cannot arrive on the day that is described in "2. QUALIFICATIONS (6) Arrival in Japan" shall not be paid the travel expenses coming to Japan.

[2] Transportation from Japan:

The grantee who returns to his/her home country within the fixed period after the expiration of his/her scholarship will be supplied, in general, upon application, with an economy-class airplane ticket for the travel from the New Tokyo International Airport (or any other international airport that the assigned university uses as a normal route) to the international airport nearest to his/her home address.

Note 1: If a grantee returns home without an extension though having applied for extension of scholarship period, he/she will not be paid travel expenses to return home in general.
Note 2: Insurance premiums for travel to/from Japan shall be borne by the grantee.
Note 3: If a grantee continues to stay in Japan after the scholarship period has ended, he/she will not be paid travel expenses to return home as the temporary return.

(3) School Fees:

Fees for matriculation, tuition and entrance examinations at a university will be paid by the Japanese government. If the grantee moves on to higher education as a non-degree student or fails the entrance examinations, he/she will pay for entrance examinations. 


(1) In cooperation with the governments of the applicants’ countries the Japanese diplomatic mission will conduct primary screening of applicants by means of submitted application documents, written examinations (language) and interviews.

(2) Written examinations will be English and Japanese tests. The Japanese examination must be taken by all applicants. and the English by those who wish.
Note1: The result of the Japanese examination will be used as reference data for placement of university and Japanese-language education to be provided upon applicants’ arrival in Japan.
Note2: In particular, if an applicant with limited proficiency in Japanese desires to pursue fields of study such as Japanese linguistics, Japanese literature, Japanese history, or Japanese laws ―fields that require sufficient knowledge of the Japanese language ―he/she will not be selected as a grantee unless there are exceptional circumstances.

(3) The following policy will apply to each screening:
[1] Application documents: Must show that the applicant obtained academic achievement higher than a certain level at the university he/she last graduated from, and state the applicant’s desired research program in a detailed and concrete manner.
[2] Written examination: Must show that the applicant obtained scores better than a certain level either in Japanese or English.
[3] Interview: Must reveal that the applicant has a clear sense of purpose relating to his/her study in Japan and has gathered information about Japanese universities. Interview must also reveal that the applicant has sufficient Japanese or English language ability to communicate with his/her adviser in Japan. If the applicant desires to study a subject that requires higher Japanese language proficiency, interview must reveal that the applicant has a considerable degree of Japanese language proficiency.

(4) Results of the primary screening will be notified on the date separately designated by the Japanese diplomatic mission.

(5) Each person who has passed this primary screening is required to contact directly the Japanese university of his/her choice in order to  obtain admission as regular student for a degree or Research Student(non-regular student)in graduate courses, or a letter of provisional acceptance as a research student (hereinafter referred to as “Admission”) by the 29th of August. In order to obtain Admission, candidates can gain information on contact office for international students of each university, websites to search universities and researchers, etc. from the Japanese diplomatic mission.
Note: Candidates are not allowed to contact Japanese universities after the 30th of August.

(6) Each candidate must submit to the university of his/her choice a set of the documents that are submitted to and returned by the Japanese diplomatic mission (application, academic transcript of the university attended, research program plan,etc.) all with a confirmation seal of the Japanese diplomatic mission affixed, and a certificate of the primary selection issued by the Japanese diplomatic mission. Additional documents may have to be submitted upon request of the university.

(7) MEXT will conduct a secondary screening based on the results of the primary screening conducted by the Japanese diplomatic mission, and select applicants as  MEXT scholarship grantees whose placement of universities was made.
Note1: Applicants who have passed the primary screening at a Japanese diplomatic mission are not necessarily accepted as MEXT scholarship grantees.
Note 2: Applicants who were not accepted by any universities which the applicants named in their Placement Preference Form, will not be selected as MEXT scholarship grantees.


(1) Placement of a grantee at a university will be made following a relevant request which was made to the university by the applicant who has passed the primary screening and obtained Admission. MEXT will request the universities named in the Placement Preference Form to accept the grantee, and place him/her there upon its approval in principal ( candidate who has received admission to a regular course for a degree will be placed directly in such course without needing to pass through a Research Student(non-degree) period).
If a candidate wants to enter either a public or a private university other than national university, the grantee’s preference specified in the Placement Preference Form may not be met due to budgetary reasons concerning school fees, etc. Moreover, any objection by a candidate to the decision will not be allowed.
In case a candidate is not able to request Admission to any universities due to bad communication circumstances, MEXT will discuss with the universities which a candidate named in the Placement Preference Form. However the candidate may not be accepted nor may he/she selected by the universities and them by MEXT if his/her research program plan is vague, unclear, or insufficient in content , or his/her desired major field presents difficulty from the perspective of research guidance in Japan. In this case, any objection by a candidate to the decision will not be allowed.

(2) Research guidance such as lectures, experiments and practical training at universities is basically conducted in Japanese.

(3) If a grantee is judged to be insufficient in Japanese language proficiencies by the receiving university, usually he/she will be placed in a Japanese- language training institution designated by the university of placement or MEXT for the first six-month period after his/her arrival in Japan. Upon completion of the language training the grantee will be placed at a university for advanced education. If a grantee has poor achievement in the language training course and is considered unfit for advanced education at the university, scholarship payment will stop. (See 4.(1).)

(4) If a grantee is deemed by his/her recipient university to be sufficient in Japanese language proficiency for conducting his/her research in Japan, he/she may be placed in the university as Research Student (non-degree) or a graduate student for a degree without going through Japanese-language training.

(5) If a grantee desires to move on to a regular  course for a degree from a Research Student (non-degree) course, or to a doctoral course from a master’s course or a professional graduate course, he/she needs to take an entrance examination provided by the relevant university and pass it. To continue receiving the MEXT scholarship after advancing to a higher level, the grantee must undergo another screening examination and be awarded an extension of the scholarship. (See 3.(2).)
 A grantee cannot apply for an extension of scholarship term while being enrolled in a Research Student (non-degree) course.

(6) If a grantee desires to step up to a regular  course for a degree from a Research Student non-degree course, in principle, he/she must move on to the graduate school of the university at which he/she is studying as Research Student. If proceeding to the graduate school is deemed to be inappropriate given the grantee’s major field or ability, he/she may be allowed to transfer to another graduate school provided that he/she is admitted to enroll in.

Note 1: Under the educational system of Japan, a typical master's course lasts for two years subsequent to graduation from a university (i.e. after completion of a 16-year school curriculum), and a typical doctoral course lasts for three years after completion of a master's course. If a student has completed such two-, or three-year course, obtained necessary credits, and passed the final examination after submitting his/her graduation thesis, he/she will be given relevant degrees.

Note 2: In the fields of medicine, dentistry and veterinary science, and pharmacy which is founded on a 6-year department or faculty, most of the universities offer only 4-year doctoral courses. For admission to such doctoral course an applicant is required to have completed an 18-year school curriculum. If an applicant completed a 16-year school curriculum, he/she is required to have engaged for two or more years in research activities at universities or research institutions subsequent to completion of the 16-year curriculum, and to be deemed by a graduate school in Japan as being academically equal to an applicant who completed an 18-year curriculum.

Note 3: Professional graduate schools were implemented in 2003 designed to develop profound learning and outstanding ability that support professions that require sophisticated expertise. The standard required duration of study is two years. In some fields of study, the duration is less than two years but more than one year. Upon completion of the course a master’s degree (specialized occupation) will be conferred. 
Among the professional graduate schools are “graduates schools of law.” This school requires the standard duration of study of three years. Upon completion of the course a student will be granted the degree of “Doctor of Law (specialized occupation).”

Note 4: Entrance examinations given by a graduate school vary from one university to another. In general, applicants have to take examinations in two foreign languages, his/her major subject, and an essay test.


Each applicant must submit the following documents to the Japanese diplomatic mission by its specified date. One set is required to be original documents. The other two sets may be photocopies thereof.







1(circled number)

 Application Form (a prescribed form)




2(circled number)

 Placement Preference Form (a prescribed form)




3(circled number)

 Field of Study and Research Program Plan (a prescribed form)





 Photograph (4.5×3.5 cm, taken within the past six months, upper body, full-faced, uncapped.
Write your name and nationality on the reverse and paste them onto the Application Form (3 originals) and Placement Preference Form.
Digital photographs are also acceptable.)




4(circled number)

 Academic transcript of each academic year of the last university attended (issued by the
university attended)




5(circled number)

 Graduation certificate or degree certificate of the last university attended (or an attested
document certifying that the applicant will graduate from the school, where applicable)




6(circled number)

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




7(circled number)

 Recommendation from the present employer (if currently employed)




8(circled number)

 Medical certificate on the prescribed form issued by the medical institution




9(circled number)

 Abstracts of theses




10(circled number)

 Photograph showing applicant's own works of art or a recorded CD of musical performance (only for those majoring in fine arts or music)



Note 1: These documents must be written in either Japanese or English. A document written in any other language must be attached with a Japanese or English translation.
Note 2: Photographs attached to the original application must be originals; copies are not acceptable.
Note 3: Field of Study and Research Program Plan should describe concretely and in detail the applicant’s own research program because it will serve as important materials for placement of the applicant at a university.
Note 4: The academic transcripts of the last university attended should be prepared to show the grade scale applied and the grades earned by the applicant on all the subjects studied for each year studied at a university department/faculty and a graduate school. (A degree certificate or a graduation certificate simply showing the ranking of the applicant at graduation will not substitute for academic transcripts.)
Note 5: The graduation certificate and the degree certificate obtained from the last university attended may be substituted for by a photocopy thereof provided that the copy is attested by the authorized person of the university.
Note 6: For abstracts of the theses, abstracts of the graduation thesis and presented papers will suffice. Please note that these abstracts will be used as basic data for evaluation of the applicant’s academic ability.
Note 7: Number the documents from 1 to 10(circled number) in the right upper corner.


(1) Each recipient is advised to learn the Japanese language and to acquire basic information on Japanese climate, geography, customs, university education, and social conditions in Japan, as well as about the differences between the Japanese legal system and that of his/her home country before departing for Japan.

(2) The recipient should bring approximately US $2,000 or the equivalent to cover immediate needs after arrival in Japan since the scholarship will be paid a while later.

(3)  Accommodations:
[1] Residence halls for international students provided by universities.
Some universities have residence halls for international students. The grantees enrolled at national universities where such facilities are available may reside, in these residence halls under certain conditions. However, because of the limited number of rooms, some of these facilities may not be able to accommodate all the students who wish to live in them.
[2] Private boarding houses or apartments.
Those who are not able to find accommodation in the aforementioned facilities may live in regular dormitories of the university or in a private boarding house/apartment.
It is very difficult for grantees with dependents to find appropriate housing in Japan. The grantee is advised to arrive in Japan alone first to secure housing before having his/her spouse and/or family come over to Japan.

(4) The English texts attached to the Application Guideline and the Application Form are for convenience only. English expressions do not change the Japanese content, so if you have any questions about the content of the written text, you should inquire at the Japanese diplomatic mission.

(5) More detailed information on this scholarship program is available at the Japanese diplomatic mission in your country.    




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