Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship

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.


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 April 2018)

Categories Research Students Undergraduate
Japanese Studies Students3


Overseas Selection
Around December1 Around
Around December Around February1
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 Those enrolled in an undergraduate program at an overseas university, and who expect to return to that university after completing a Japanese studies program in Japan (advanced Japanese language proficiency is also required)
(at time of acceptance)
34 or younger 17-21 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
Those residing in certain regions may be eligible for an additional monthly payment of 2,000 or 3,000 yen
School fees7 Examination, admission, and tuition fees are exempted
Traveling cost7 One round-trip ticket is provided
These periods are for application through Kyoto University.
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. 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.
For details on Kyoto University's Japanese studies program, see:
Japanese Studies Students Program (in Japanese).
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.
Those wishing to go on to a master's program, doctoral program, 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.
All scholarship benefits are subject to specified requirements.

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

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.

Before arriving in Japan March Application
May-July Screening by the Japanese diplomatic mission
Research Students: Application for a Letter of Acceptance from a Japanese university
October Screening by MEXT
February (-July)* Notification of results
March (September)* Immigration procedures
During the stay in Japan Early April
(late September)*
Arrival in Japan

Research (non-degree) students:

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

Undergraduate, master's, doctoral, or professional-degree program begins

Note: Students need to have passed the entrance exam before the program begins.
Entrance examination
Undergraduate, master's, doctoral, or professional-degree program begins6
Returning to home country

* Months in parentheses are for those arriving in late September.

Important notice regarding Embassy Recommendation (Research Students)

Please note that only those who have passed the screening by a Japanese diplomatic mission are qualified to request contact the university and request admission or a Letter of Acceptance.

Those who have passed the first screening and require a Letter of Acceptance from Kyoto University must choose their prospective academic advisor, such as by searching the webpages listed below. They must then prepare the following documents and email them to that person.

Those unable to find contact information on their prospective academic advisors are advised to inquire at the administrative office of the Faculty or Graduate School concerned, specifying the name of the person they wish to contact.

Application period for a letter of acceptance

Between the notification of preliminary selection and late August

For details, refer to the application guidelines "JAPANESE GOVERNMENT (MEXT) SCHOLARSHIP (RESEARCH STUDENTS)" at the MEXT website or the Japanese embassy or consulate website.

Required documents (not returnable)
  • Notification of preliminary selection issued by the Japanese diplomatic mission
  • A Letter of Acceptance (prescribed form)
  • Copies of documents submitted to the Japanese diplomatic mission
    1. Application form
    2. Field of study and research plan
    3. Official grade transcript
    4. Graduation or degree certificate
    5. Recommendation letter
    6. Abstracts of theses (if applicable)
    7. Certificate of language proficiency (if applicable)
    8. Recommendation letter from the present employer (if applicable)
  • Any additional documents requested by the prospective academic advisor or administrative office
Kyoto University webpages

2) University Recommendation

Kyoto University screens the applications and selects candidates to recommend to MEXT as research, master's, professional-degree, or doctoral students. To apply for a University Recommendation, contact the faculty member that you would like to have as your academic advisor, and ask that person for assistance.

Before arriving in Japan December Application
Early January Screening by Graduate School
Late January Screening by Kyoto University
February-March Screening by MEXT
June Notification of results
July-September Immigration procedures
During the stay in Japan Late September Arrival in Japan

Research (non-degree) students:

  • Preparing for entrance examinations
  • Conducting research

Master's, doctoral, or professional degree program begins

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

Entrance examination
Master's, doctoral, or professional degree program begins6
Returning to home country