Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship

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The following information is intended for prospective international students currently based overseas and wishing to attend Kyoto University on the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho: MEXT) Scholarship.

For information for privately-financed international students currently enrolled at Kyoto University, see Scholarships applied for through the University .

Categories

The Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship, funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), is available to seven categories of students: 1) Research Students (Graduate-Degree Students and Research [non-degree] Students), 2) Teacher Training Students, 3) Undergraduate Students, 4) Japanese Studies Students, 5) College of Technology Students, 6) Professional Training College Students, and 7) Young Leaders Program (YLP) Students.

Kyoto University accepts the following categories of international students:

Research Students Undergraduate Students Japanese Studies Students
Graduate degree and non-degree students Undergraduate degree students Credited auditors

Application period, eligibility, and benefits (as of January 2021)

The information provided below is based on past application guidelines and subject to change. Prospective applicants are advised to read the guidelines applicable to their intended year of entry.

Reference:

MEXT: "About the MEXT Scholarships"

The above webpage is written mostly in Japanese, but is linked to pages providing links to application guidelines in English.

Category Research Students Undergraduate
Students2
Japanese Studies Students3

Application
method

Overseas Selection
Embassy
Recommendation
University
Recommendation
(general program)
Embassy
Recommendation4
Embassy
Recommendation
University
Recommendation
Application
period
Around April – May Around late December – January1 Around April – May Around December Around February1
Arrival in Japan Early April or late September of the following year8 Late September Around April of the following year Late September of the following year Late September
Selection
method
Evaluation of submitted documents, a written exam, an interview, and others Evaluation of submitted documents, an interview, and others
Eligibility Those who have graduated, or expect to graduate, from an undergraduate or higher degree program Those who have graduated, or expect to graduate, from a secondary school or equivalent Overseas undergraduate students majoring in fields related to the Japanese language and/or culture (having studied these subjects for a total period of one year or more as of 1 September of the year they expect to arrive in Japan), and expecting to return to their home universities after completing a program in Japan
Age
(as of 1 April of the year of arrival)
34 or younger 24 or younger 18–29
Duration Non-degree students: up to 2 years, including a six-month Japanese-language training period5, 6 (not mandatory for those with sufficient language skills) Non-degree students: up to 18 months6 Five years, including a one-year Japanese language training period2 One year
Degree students (master's, professional, and doctoral): until completion of the degree program (not to exceed the standard number of years required)6
Monthly stipend7
  • Non-degree students 143,000 yen
  • Master's and professional-degree students 144,000 yen
  • Doctoral students 145,000 yen
117,000 yen 117,000 yen

Additional monthly payment:

  • 3,000 yen for those studying/conducting research in Kyoto City
  • 2,000 yen for those conducting research in Uji or Inuyama City
School fees7 Examination, admission, and tuition fees are exempted
Traveling cost7 One round-trip ticket is provided
1
These periods are for application through Kyoto University.
2
The language training is provided at either the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies or Osaka University during the first year of the scholarship period. The program includes Japanese language and other subjects needed to prepare for undergraduate studies, and must be completed before the student goes on to university. The university to be attended by the student for undergraduate studies is determined by MEXT in consultation with the preparatory educational institution and the university itself. For details, refer to the MEXT Scholarship application guidelines.
Please note that undergraduate MEXT Scholarship students are not eligible to enroll in the six-year programs at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences’ Division of Pharmacy and the Faculty of Medicine’s School of Medical Science at Kyoto University.
3
For details on Kyoto University's Japanese studies program, see:
Japanese Studies Students Program (in Japanese).
4
University Recommendation is also available, but is limited to the following programs:

For details, please contact the administrative office of each program.

5
Intensive Japanese language training is available to MEXT Research and Teacher Training Students expecting to conduct graduate-level research in the Kyoto or Shiga region. For details, see Intensive Japanese Language Course for Monbukagakusho Scholarship Students.
6
Those wishing to go on to a master's, doctoral, or professional degree program may apply for an extension of the scholarship to cover their postgraduate studies. Applications are evaluated by the university and MEXT, and may be granted based on academic records and other criteria.
Please note that not all the applications are approved.
7
All scholarship benefits are subject to specified requirements.
8
April enrollment is not available for 2021.

Application procedures (overseas selection)

Pre-arrival applications should be submitted through either:
1) a Japanese diplomatic mission (Embassy Recommendation) or
2) a Japanese university (University Recommendation).

Most of the MEXT Scholarship students at Kyoto University earned their scholarships through Embassy Recommendation.

Note: For information for privately-financed international students currently enrolled at Kyoto University, see Scholarships applied for through the University.

1. Embassy Recommendation (application closed for 2021 enrollment)

To obtain an "Embassy Recommendation", applicants must submit their applications to the Japanese embassy (or consulate) in their home countries for the initial screening. Those interested are advised to contact an appropriate Japanese diplomatic mission in their countries.

In China, however, applications should be submitted to the country's Ministry of Education for the first screening. The application requirements, schedule, and process differ from those for Embassy Recommendation. Successful applicants usually arrive in Japan in October. Contact your home university in China or China Scholarship Council (CSC) for more details.

Important notes on the 2021 Embassy Recommendation schedule (shown below)

  • There were delays in the "Before arriving in Japan" part of the schedule (from "Application" to "Notification of results").
  • There will be no April enrollment; the "Arrival in Japan" period will be late September or early October.

For details, please read the MEXT Scholarship application guidelines at an embassy or consulate website.

Regular schedule (subject to change)

Before arriving in Japan April – May Application

May – August

Japanese diplomatic mission review ("first screening")
In the case of research students: Application for a Letter of Provisional Acceptance from a Japanese university10
October MEXT review
February (– July)9 Notification of results
March (September)9 Immigration procedures
During the stay in Japan Early April
(late September)9
Arrival in Japan
 

A. Research (non-degree) students:

  • Japanese language training
  • Preparation for entrance exams
  • Conducting research

B. Degree students:

Undergraduate, master's, doctoral, or professional-degree studies6

Note: Students need to have passed the entrance exam before the program begins.

Entrance examination
Undergraduate, master's, doctoral, or professional-degree studies6
Returning to home country

9 Months in parentheses are for those arriving in late September.
10 See the following section "For those wishing to obtain a Letter of Provisional Acceptance from Kyoto University".

For those wishing to obtain a Letter of Provisional Acceptance from Kyoto University for 2022 or later enrollment as a research student

Follow the procedures outlined below after receiving the Passing Certificate of the First Screening or a notification of selection from a Japanese diplomatic mission.

Application period

From the date of receipt of the Passing Certificate through August 2021 (exact deadline to be announced later)

Procedures and contact method
  1. Choose a prospective academic advisor, such as by searching the webpages listed below.
    The University is not available to make any recommendations; applicants are responsible for selecting their academic advisors based on their own research interests.
  2. Obtain a Passing Certificate of the First Screening from a Japanese diplomatic mission, apply to the University's Admissions Assistance Office (the 'AAO process') for permission to contact the prospective academic advisor, and request a Letter of Provisional Acceptance from that faculty.
    • Read the following document to learn how the AAO process works.
      AAO Application Procedures for MEXT (Embassy Recommendation) applicants
    • Click here to initiate the AAO process.
      Make sure that your Passing Certificate of the First Screening bears the official seal of a diplomatic mission, convert it to PDF format, and upload it with other required documents to the AAO page above. Text and images on the submitted documents must be clear and legible, or the application will not be accepted.

Notes:

  • It may take a month or more for the graduate school or the faculty member concerned to evaluate the submitted materials and make a decision about the application.
    The above-mentioned date, August 2021, is not the day when the application results are announced (successful applicants will be issued a completed Letter of Provisional Acceptance). It is therefore advisable to apply for the AAO process in plenty of time.
  • Those issued a Letter of Provisional Acceptance must apply not only for the scholarship but also for the University.
    In particular, those wishing to enroll in a master's, doctoral, or professional-degree program are required to pass the entrance exam carried out by the graduate school concerned. Learn about the application period and other details by reading the guidelines provided on the graduate school websites.
  • Those who decide to withdraw their application after being issued a Letter of Provisional Acceptance are asked to immediately contact their prospective academic advisor.
Resources for finding a prospective academic advisor

Information on the education and research activities of KyotoU teaching staff can be found at the following websites as well:

Language of instruction

All Kyoto University undergraduate, master's, and professional degree courses and examinations, with the exception of English-taught degree programs, are generally conducted in the Japanese language. Therefore, most of those intending to enroll in the University's undergraduate, master's, and professional degree programs must have sufficient proficiency in Japanese at the time of matriculation.

Please read this page to learn about English-taught degree programs offered by the University, and this page for Japanese-language learning opportunities available after enrollment.

2. University Recommendation (general program)

The application process varies by graduate school, so prospective applicants are advised to contact the administrative office of the school they wish to apply for.

Kyoto University screens the applications and selects candidates to recommend to MEXT as research(non-degree), master's, professional-degree, or doctoral students. In general, those who do not intend to enter a degree (master's, doctoral, or professional) program are not eligible to apply for university recommendations. Those interested in an undergraduate program are advised to read Note 4 in "Application period, eligibility, and benefits".

Eligibility for the University Recommendation Scholarship (general program) is limited to nationals and citizens of the countries and regions designated by MEXT.

Regular schedule (subject to change)

Before arriving in Japan December – February Application
Graduate School review*
March Kyoto University review*
April – May MEXT review
June Notification of results
July – September Immigration procedures
During the stay in Japan Late September Arrival in Japan
 

A. Research (non-degree) students:

  • Preparing for entrance examinations
  • Conducting research

B. Degree students:

Master's, doctoral, or professional degree studies6

Note: Students need to have passed the entrance exam before the program begins.

Entrance examination
Master's, doctoral, or professional degree studies6
Returning to home country
*
In the 2021 selection process (general program), each Graduate School is allowed to nominate one applicant to the University, and the University is allowed to nominate up to three applicants to MEXT.

Contact

International Student Support Section
International Education and Student Mobility Division
Kyoto University
Email: studyku*mail2.adm.kyoto-u.ac.jp (replace * with @)