International Research Students

Admission Information for Graduate International Research Students ("kenkyusei") for 2020

Last updated: June 13, 2019

A Graduate International Research Student ("kenkyusei") is an international student admitted to the Graduate School of Science to study a specific subject under the supervision of a professor. Note that a "kenkyusei" is not entitled to receive any degree or qualification on completion of the program. If you wish to apply for admission as a candidate for a Master's or doctoral degree, see "Graduate Programs".

1. Qualifications for Applicants

One who holds foreign citizenship and who meets one of the following three qualifications listed below.

  1. One who has completed, or is expected to complete 16 years of education abroad before enrolling the University of Tokyo as a Graduate International Research Student .
  2. One who has been conferred a degree equivalent to that of a bachelor's degree or is expected to be conferred one before enrolling the University of Tokyo as a Graduate International Research Student from a foreign university or other foreign institution (limited to those whose comprehensive status of education and research activities have been assessed by the government of the said foreign country or a related organization), having completed a program with a completion period of three years or more.
  3. One who has been approved by the Graduate School of Science of the University of Tokyo as being academically equivalent or superior to a college graduate.

Those applying as an Embassy Recommended Monbukagakusho Scholarship for 2020 Candidate must be considered in the categories 1.-3. listed above and must also have passed the preliminary selection by a Japanese Embassy/Consulate General.

2. Application Period

  1. From July 1 to August 23, 2019: for applicants (Embassy Recommended Monbukagakusho Scholarship Students for 2020) wishing to enroll on April 1 or October 1, 2020
  2. From November 1 to November 29, 2019: for applicants (Self-Supported Students) wishing to enroll on April 1, 2020
  3. From May 1 to May 22, 2020: for applicants (Self-Supported Students) wishing to enroll on October 1, 2020

Note: All application documents must arrive by the last day of the application period.

3. Application Documents

Please contact a potential supervising professor, and obtain his or her approval to act as your host supervisor before submitting an application.

  1. Application for Admission as a Graduate International Research Student (Form provided)
  2. A photograph (3cmX4cm), taken within the past 6 months, should be attached to the application form
  3. Confirmation of degree or certificate of (expected*) graduation/completion issued by the university(ies) or college(s) attended (must state the name of the degree ) (must be an original document).
    * If you will complete your current degree program after our application period, you must submit an official statement of expected graduation/completion issued by your university. In such a case, you are required to submit a certificate of graduation/completion officially issued by your last university attended at the time of enrollment registration.
  4. Transcript of academic record issued by each of the university(ies) or college(s) attended(must be an original document).
  5. Recommendation letter written and signed by your current supervisor or individual who is familiar with your academic or scientific work.Digital signature is not acceptable. (must be an original document)
  6. Study Program(Form provided)
  7. Statement of balance of your bank account (only required for Self-Supported Students)
  8. Financial Plan Questionnaire(Form provided, only required for Self-Supported Students)
  9. Certificate of preliminary selection issued by the Japanese Embassy/Consulate General (only required for Embassy Recommended Monbukagakusho Scholarship Students for 2020)
  10. Payment confirmation of Examination Fee (only required for Self-Supported Students)
    Please refer to the section below for the details of payment confirmation.
    Payment confirmation of the Examination Fee
    Print out the "Result" page if using the e-shiharai online payment option.
  11. Applicants who wish to apply to the following departments must submit the test score(s) listed below as "Required".
    Embassy recommended Monbukagakusho Scholarship Students may take the GRE test and/or TOEFL test after arriving in Japan.
Department GRE
(Graduate Record Examination)
Subject Test
(Graduate Record Examination)
General Test
Physics not required not required not required
Astronomy not required not required not required
Earth and Planetary Science not required not required not required
Chemistry not required not required not required
Biological Sciences


Submit one of the following test scores

  • Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Biology

Note: Applicants who wish to major in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology may submit the score of Mathematics or Physics instead of the above subjects.

not required Required
  • You need to attach a Japanese or English translation issued by the university if the document is not written in either of these languages.
  • To view the above required documents (PDF files), you need "Adobe Reader" which may be downloaded from the Adobe site

4. Examination Fee

9,800 yen (Monbukagakusho Scholarship Students are exempted from paying the Examination Fee )

5. Application Mailing & Contact Address

Note: This is a paper application. You must send all application documents by post. Applications submitted via email (scanned documents, online documents etc.) will not be accepted.

Where to mail your application:
International Liaison Office, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo,
Room 278, 2nd Floor, East Wing, School of Science Building 1
7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 JAPAN
TEL +81-3-5841-7630
FAX +81-3-5841-8775
(do not send your application by email)

6. Selection Result

Applicants will be notified of the results at the following times:

  1. As soon as the decision has been made: for applicants (Embassy Recommended Monbukagakusho Scholarship Students for 2020) wishing to enroll on April 1 or October 1, 2020
  2. January, 2020: for applicants (Self-Supported Students) wishing to enroll on April 1, 2020
  3. July, 2020: for applicants (Self-Supported Students) wishing to enroll on October 1, 2020

7. Period of Enrollment

Normally the period of enrollment for a Graduate International Research Student is six months, but this period may be extended if an application for extension is approved by the Department. The total period as a Graduate International Research Student is limited to 2 years*.

*NOTE: For the Embassy Recommended Monbukagakusho(MEXT) Scholarship period, please be sure to check the APPLICATION GUIDELINES JAPANESE GOVERNMENT (MEXT) SCHOLARSHIP FOR 2020 (RESEARCH STUDENTS).

8. Other Important Points

  1. We will not return any submitted documents.
  2. A Graduate International Research Student (Self-Supported Student) is required to pay the admission fee and tuition fee after being admitted to the University. The current charges and fees are as follows (as of April, 2019).
    1. Admission Fee : 84,600 yen
    2. Tuition Fee : 173,400 yen (for 6 months)
    Successful applicants will be informed of the payment deadlines and procedures for 1.-2.. There are no tuition waivers for Graduate International Research Students.
  3. Graduate International Research Students are not in general eligible to purchase discount commuter passes or receive other student discounts.

9.FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Q.
    I would like to apply for Master's or Doctor's course. How can I apply?
    You can apply directly for the Master's/Ph.D course for international students without first being a “kenkyusei”. You can also take the general entrance exam for Master's/Ph.D course in competition with Japanese students and foreign students who reside in Japan.
  2. Q.
    Are there any university scholarships available at The University of Tokyo?
    There is a scholarship called the “Support Fund for International Students' awarded by The University of Tokyo Foundation, to which International Research Students are also eligible to apply. The stipend is 50,000 yen per month, and given for one year from April or for six months from October. Typically, one student (selected from Master Course, Doctoral Course, and International Research Student candidates) from the Graduate School of Science receives this scholarship each year.
    The details can be found in the following website (Japanese):
  3. Q.
    Are there any scholarships available from private foundations for which I can apply before coming to Japan?
    There are only few scholarships research students can apply for before coming to Japan. Also, most of the scholarships are for students who are enrolled in Master's and Doctor's programs rather than for research students ("kenkyusei"). Even international students enrolled as degree candidates find obtaining scholarships to be quite difficult. Therefore, we recommend that students obtain scholarships before leaving their own country if at all possible.
  4. Q.
    How can I apply for a Monbukagakusho Scholarship by Embassy Recommendation?
    Students can obtain both the application form and detailed information at the Japanese Embassy/Consulate in their own country. (The University of Tokyo does not have the application forms.) The application form and all other required supporting documents must be submitted to the Japanese Embassy/Consulate General.
    For further reference, the general Application Guidelines - Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship for 2020 (Research Students) published by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan can be found on MEXT's official website at :