2021 University Recommended Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship - General

Last updated: September 17, 2020
NOTE: Submission method has changed

1. Qualifications

(1) Number of Places

The number of applicants to be nominated by the Graduate School of Science to the University of Tokyo, as well as the number to be subsequently nominated by the University of Tokyo to MEXT, shall be finalized after the application period has closed. In the last round (application for 2020 entrance) each Graduate School was allowed to nominate at most one applicant, and the University of Tokyo was allowed to nominate at most three applicants to MEXT.

(2) Eligibility

International students with outstanding academic records (*1) who wish to enter Japan in September, 2021 as a new student (*2) to study in the Master's or Doctoral Program at the Graduate School of Science.

  • (*1) Applicants who have already graduated from their latest degree program should have a final grade point of 2.30 or higher, while current students should have a grade point of 2.30 or higher for their current courses, and both should be expected to maintain the same academic standards during the course of the scholarship program.
    * Grade points shall be calculated according to a formula specified by MEXT.
    Furthermore, students must meet one of the criteria given under “(7) Language Proficiency” given below.
  • (*2) Please refer to (11) Non-eligibility 5. to confirm your eligibility.

(3) Nationality

We are only able to nominate an applicant who holds one of the nationalities specified by MEXT.
This year's nationality provisions have yet to be announced (the announcement is expected to reach us after the application period has closed), however, in the last round, only those who hold a nationality found on MEXT's list of Priority Nationalities below were eligible for nomination.

To see the list of priority nationalities, please click here.

Also, applicants must have the nationality of a country with diplomatic relations with the Japanese government. Applicants who have Japanese nationality at the time of application are ineligible. However, Japanese nationals that reside outside of Japan at the time of application, having dual citizenship with another country, and plan on relinquishing their Japanese nationality before arrival, may apply.

(4) Age

Applicants must be born on or after April 2, 1986.

(5) Academic background

Applicants must have the necessary qualifications to be admitted to the Graduate School of Science, the University of Tokyo as a Master's or a Doctoral Program student.

(6) Field of Study

Applicants must apply for the field of study that they studied at their previous university or a related field.

(7) Language Proficiency

Applicants must meet one of the language requirements in either English or in Japanese as described below:

  • English
    1. Holds an English proficiency test score equivalent to B2 or above on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale (e.g. TOEFL iBT 72 or above, IELTS 5.5 or above).
      * To see what counts as "B2 or above on the CEFR scale", please refer to the CEFR Equivalency Chart.:
      To see the CEFR Equivalency Chart, please click here.
    2. Has completed an educational program whose primary language of instruction is English that satisfies the entrance requirements to the Master's Program or Doctoral Program at the Graduate School of Science, the University of Tokyo.
  • Japanese
    1. Has passed the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) with a score of N2 or higher.
    2. Has completed an educational program whose primary language of instruction is Japanese that satisfies the entrance requirements to the Master's Program or Doctoral Program at the Graduate School of Science, the University of Tokyo.

(8) Health

Applicants must be physically and mentally healthy enough to pursue their studies.

(9) Arrival in Japan

Applicants must be able to leave their country and arrive in Japan by the date specified by the University of Tokyo. If an applicant is unable to travel to Japan within the designated period, he or she must decline the scholarship offer. If, for personal reasons, an applicant arrives in Japan outside the designated period, travel expenses for coming to Japan will not be paid to the applicant.

(10) Visa Requirements

Applicants must enter the country with the resident status of "Student", having obtained the visa anew prior to traveling to Japan. The visa is to be issued by the Japanese embassy or consulate in the applicant's country of nationality. Those who already have another residency status (permanent resident, long-term resident, etc.) will be required to return to their country of nationality, change their status to that of "Student" and then travel to Japan. Note that there is no guarantee that an application to change your resident status back to that of "permanent resident" or "long-term resident" etc. will be approved once you have completed your time as a Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship recipient.

Applicants should be aware that the scholarship will be cancelled if he/she arrives in Japan without a newly obtained "student" visa.

(11) Non-eligibility

Applicants in the following categories are ineligible for the Japanese Government (MEXT) scholarship. They must decline the scholarship offer if they are found to fall under any one of the following criteria upon their selection.

  1. An active member of the military or a civilian employed by the military at the time of arrival or at any point during the period of the Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship;
  2. An applicant who is unable to travel to Japan within the period designated by MEXT or the University of Tokyo;
  3. A former recipient of a Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship (including those who withdrew from the scholarship after coming to Japan) is ineligible unless he or she has had at least three years of educational or working experience since the month after completing the former scholarship period as of the beginning of the new scholarship period. This ineligibility criterion also does not apply if the formerly received scholarship is of one of the following types: (i) Japanese Studies Student (as long as the applicant has since returned to and graduated from or is expected to graduate from his or her home university), (ii) Japan-Korea Joint Government Scholarship Program for the Students in Science and Engineering, (iii) Young Leaders Program. Also, for the purpose of this clause, the MEXT Honors Scholarship does not count as a Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship.
  4. An applicant who is also applying for a Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship for another AY2021 program.
  5. An applicant who (i) is already enrolled in a Japanese university, institution, etc. under the "College Student" visa as of the time of application, or (ii) is or plans to be enrolled in a Japanese university, institution, etc. as a self-supported international student between the time of application and the start of the scholarship period. This clause does not apply to self-supported international students who are currently enrolled or are expected to enroll at a Japanese university but can confirm at the time of application that they will return to their country of nationality, newly obtain a "student" visa before the start of the scholarship period, and travel to Japan on the new visa.
  6. An applicant who expects to receive a scholarship from any source other than the Japanese Government (MEXT), including those from their own country's government body, at or after the beginning of the scholarship period.
  7. An applicant who is "expected to graduate by the entrance date" at the time of application but then cannot provide proof of completing a degree by the designated deadline.
  8. A Japanese national who has dual nationality with another country, and is not able to provide proof of relinquishing Japanese nationality by the day of arrival.
  9. An applicant who is, as of the time of application, planning a long period of fieldwork or internship in a country other than Japan or a long-term leave of absence, etc.
  10. One who has completed a Doctoral program and does not plan on obtaining another degree.

(12) Other Provisions

While they are studying in Japan, applicants are expected, as someone who will contribute to the globalization of Japan, to broadly participate in regional schools and activities to contribute towards the mutual understanding between their home country and Japan. Furthermore, they are expected to maintain a close link with the universities they studied at even after they have graduated and cooperate in various manners, such as answering questionnaires etc. Also, on returning to their home country, they must take part in the various activities organized by the Japanese government's missions overseas to enhance the relationship between Japan and their home country.

2. Period of Scholarships

(1)For a recipient who will enroll in a Master's Program or Doctoral Program, the scholarship will be payable for the standard period of time necessary for the recipient to complete his or her program (standard course term), starting from October 2021.

  • Master's Program = October, 2021 – September, 2023 (2years)
  • Doctoral Program = October, 2021 – September, 2024 (3years)

(2)Extension of the Scholarship Period

If a grantee in the Master's Program desires to proceed to the Doctoral Program, he/she may have the term of his/her scholarship extended upon a successful examination by MEXT and provided that he/she has made outstanding academic achievement that meets certain criteria. Note that extension will not be granted to all those who apply for an extension. Please also note that if he/she is to qualify for an extension of the MEXT scholarship but enters another graduate school or a graduate school of another university when entering the Doctoral Program, the approval of an extension of the scholarship is cancelled and the term of the scholarship is not extended.

3. Scholarship Benefits

(1) Allowance

The amounts of monthly stipend for AY2021 have yet to be determined. As an example, the monthly amounts for AY2020 will be presented below. (These amounts are subject to change depending on the size of the annual fiscal budget each year, commodity prices, etc.)

AY2020 actual amounts
144,000 yen/month (for a student of a Master's Program), or 145,000 yen/month (for a student of a Doctoral Program)
(an additional monthly stipend of 2,000 or 3,000 yen may be added to those students undertaking study or research in some designated regions of the country).

The scholarship will not be paid to a recipient who is on a leave of absence or who has long been absent from his or her university.

(2) Traveling Costs

① Transportation to Japan:
Recipients awarded travel allowance will be provided, according to the itinerary and route designated for them by MEXT, with an economy class air ticket from the international airport closest to their place of residence to one of the international airports of Tokyo (Narita (NRT) or Haneda (HND)) (or an international airport the recipient's host university normally uses). Please note that the cost of transportation from the recipient's residence to the nearest international airport; airport tax and surcharges; other special local taxes incurred by travelling; local travel expenses within Japan (including any costs if transferring by air); travel insurance premiums; baggage and unaccompanied baggage; are the sole responsibility of the recipient.
MEXT or the university will provide an economy class air ticket to Narita International Airport (NRT) or the closest international airport to the university from a third country through which the applicant obtained their "Student" visa, if Japan does not have an overseas diplomatic establishment in their country of nationality. However, any costs incurred in travelling to the third country, travels within the third country and cost of accommodations incurred is the sole responsibility of the recipient.
The recipient's residence is taken to be the current address given in the application. However, if a change of address is known beforehand (limited to within the recipient's home country), residence will be taken as the latter. Moreover, an air ticket will not be provided if the recipient travels to Japan from a country other than that of their nationality. Air tickets will not be provided for travel from a third country for any reasons other than for obtaining visas.
② Transportation from Japan:
In principle, MEXT will issue airline tickets to recipients who return to their home country within the final month of the scholarship period as specified in "2. Period of Scholarship" above upon application following their graduation from university or completion of their research. Recipients will be provided with an economy class air ticket for a flight from Narita International Airport (or an international airport the recipient's university normally uses) to the international airport closest to their place of return (in principle, within their home country). Please be aware that costs incurred for transportation from the recipient's residence to the nearest international airport in Japan; airport tax and surcharges; other special local taxes incurred when travelling; local travel expenses within Japan (including any costs if transferring by air); insurance premiums for travel to Japan; sending baggage as well as unaccompanied baggage; are the sole responsibility of the recipient.
Recipients who return to their home country before the end of the scholarship period for personal reasons or because of items as stipulated in 4. Suspension of Scholarship Payment below will not be provided with return airfare.
Note:
Traveling expenses will not be included in the travel allowance if a recipient decides to remain in Japan (for example; continuing the education at a higher level or entering employment in Japan) after the period of scholarship ends and temporarily leaves Japan.

(3) School Fees

Enrollment and Tuition fees will be exempted.

(4) Suspension of Scholarship Payment

The scholarship will be cancelled in the following cases. If a recipient receives the scholarship even though he or she is ineligible due to one of the following reasons, the recipient may be ordered to return the amount of scholarship money received for the period concerned. Please note that payment of the scholarship may be stopped during the time decision is being made on the disciplinary action.

  1. If any portion of the recipient's application documents is found to be falsely or wrongly stated;
  2. If the recipient is in breach of his or her pledge made to the Minister of MEXT (Monbukagakusho);
  3. Expelled, suspended or given warnings or receive equivalent form of punishment from the university following disciplinary action according to the rules and regulations of the university or removed from the registry;
  4. If the recipient breaks the Japanese law and is sentenced to more than one year of imprisonment with or without hard labor;
  5. If it is determined that the recipient will not be able to complete his or her course within the standard course term, for example because of his or her poor academic achievement, suspension or leave of absence;
  6. If the recipient leaves the University of Tokyo or is transferred to another graduate school;
  7. If the recipient does not obtain a new "College student" visa status before entering Japan or if the recipient's resident status changes to anything other than that of "College Student" at any point;
  8. If the recipient receives another scholarship (except for a scholarship designated for research expenses);
  9. If the recipient proceeds to a higher academic program without obtaining permission to extend the scholarship period from MEXT;

4. Application & Screening

(1) Application Documents

  (Original) (Copy)
1) Application form (must be in double-sided print)
Please click here for download
* Note that applicants may be required to resubmit the application form in January 2021.
1  
2) Field of Study and Research Plan
Please click here for download
1  
3)

Letter of recommendation from "dean or above"

* This letter must fulfill all of the following conditions:

  1. The name of the addressee stated in the letter must be "the President of the University of Tokyo"
  2. The letter must be printed on your university's letterhead.
  3. The letter must be written by and signed by a dean or above. Digital signature is not acceptable.

1  
4)

Passport-type photo taken within the last 6 months (4.5 x 3.5 cm, upper-body, full-faced, without a cap)

Write name and nationality on the back and glue it to the application form. A photo in electronic data format is acceptable.

1  
5)

An official transcript from the last university attended (at undergraduate or graduate level).

If you are currently enrolled in a university (at undergraduate or graduate level), please submit an official transcript of the last degree program (Bachelor's, Master's, or PhD) that you have graduate from, as well as an official transcript of your currentdegree programe.

You must also submit (an) official document(s) that specifies and explains the grading system(s) if it is not indicated in your transcript(s).

1  
6)

Proof of language ability certifying that one of the Language Proficiency conditions apply

(for example, a TOEFL, IELTS or JLPT score report or a language of education certificate from your previous university)

* See 1. Qualifications (7) Language Proficiency

1  
7)

Abstract of graduation thesis(should be concise and to the point)

1  
8)

Official statement of (expected) graduation of the last university attended.

* If you will graduate from your current program after submitting your MEXT application, you must submit an official statement provided by your university that indicates the date of your expected graduation.

1  
9) A copy of the student's passport (The page with photo)   1

Note:

Application Instructions

  • Applicants must send in the required documents for MEXT Scholarship as well as complete their admission application for entering the Master's/Doctoral Program, following the "Instruction for Graduate School Application for International Students".
  • These documents must be written in either Japanese or English. They must be created in A4 format using software such as MS Word and must be printed double-sided (duplex printing). A document written in any other language must be accompanied with a Japanese translation.
  • Submitted documents will not be returned.
  • An application passed the submission deadline is not acceptable.
  • An application will not be considered unless all application forms and necessary documents are completed correctly and all accompanying documents are complete.
  • In some countries, a graduation certificate and other documents are issued by a government administrative office. In this case, the University of Tokyo may need to confirm with a student's previous university that the certificate issued contains no erroneous information.
  • The applicants should be in good enough health to pursue their studies.

(2) Nomination Process

After nomination by the Graduate School of Science, nominees for the MEXT selection will be decided in a selection process for the entire University of Tokyo. After the University of Tokyo nominates its candidates, the grantees will be decided upon screening at MEXT.

5. Application Period [Updated]

From October 1 to 17:00 on October 30, 2020, Japan Standard Time
for both electronic submission and dispatching of original documents by post

6. Application Submission Method & Contact Address [Updated]

Applicants must submit the required documents to apply for MEXT Scholarship in addition to applying for admission into the Graduate School of Science (Master's/Doctoral Program). To submit their MEXT Scholarship application documents, all applicants must follow the below instructions to electronically upload, as well as send out in original paper document form, all of their application documents by the deadline. For an application to count, both the upload as well as paper-form shipment dispatch must be completed before the application deadline. (For the purpose of the paper-form dispatch but not for the upload, the date and time of completion can be by the applicant's local time zone.)

(1) Electronic Upload

For the electronic submission, applicants must upload all application documents to the designated URL in the manner described below before the deadline. Note that we cannot accept submissions via email or of a different file format.

How to upload your application documents in electronic form:

Scan and upload all of your application documents to the designated URL, following all of the instructions below:

  1. Your submission file must be in PDF format. Scan and combine all of your application documents into one single PDF file.
  2. The file name must include the applicant's first and last names.
    (Example - If your name is Jane Ann Bethany Catherine Tokyo: JaneTOKYO_MEXT_Documents.pdf )
  3. Upload your submission file to the URL below before the application deadline:
    https://webfs.adm.u-tokyo.ac.jp/public/zK08AABIkc7AIikBhL507zOL-ERo_Jg6tGEkcS9Duj54
    *Files uploaded after 17:00 on October 30, 2020, Japan Standard Time, will not be accepted.
  4. After uploading your file, immediately email the International Liaison Office at the email address below, letting us know of your submission and of your filename. (We will email you back in three business days, upon confirming that we have indeed received your file.)

(2) Shipment of original paper documents

After they have been scanned and electronically uploaded as above, all application documents must also be sent out in an envelope, in original paper document form, to the below destination (International Liaison Office) before the application deadline, using a postal or courier service that gives the sender a tracking number for the shipment. Upon sending out the application documents, as soon as the shipment has been entered into the tracking system, the applicant must upload a copy (such as screen capture image) of the tracking result which shows proof of the date of dispatch onto the URL for electronic upload above, and email the International Liaison Office with the tracking number for the shipment as well as how to track it (the URL for tracking the shipment).

【Mailing address & Contact information】

  • International Liaison Office (ILO), Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo
ADDRESS Room 278, 2nd floor, School of Science Building 1, Hongo Campus
7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 JAPAN
TEL +81-3-5841-7630
FAX +81-3-5841-8775
MAIL

7. Notification

The result will be notified to applicants according to the following schedule.

*Notification of Nominees

The nominees selected by the Graduate School of Science will be notified by e-mail in January, 2021. The unsuccessful candidates are also notified by e-mail.

The nominees selected at the University of Tokyo selection stage will be further notified by e-mail in April 2021. The candidates found unsuccessful at this stage are also notified by e-mail.

*Official Notification of Grantees

On receipt of the official announcement of the decision by MEXT, the grantees will be notified by postal mail in June, 2021(tentative). The unsuccessful nominees are also notified by postal mail.

[ Inquiry about the result ]

International Liaison Office (ILO), Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo

Email:

8. Other [Updated]

  • The recipient of this scholarship is guaranteed a room in the University of Tokyo International Lodge (furnished room with a rent of approximately 50,000 yen/month (Kashiwa), 60,000 yen/month (Komaba)) for the first one year (a student whose laboratory is located in Hongo Campus=Komaba Lodge, a student whose laboratory is located in Kashiwa Campus=Kashiwa Lodge).
  • This application will close before MEXT announces its Application Guidelines for Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship 2021 by University Recommendation. As such, details including but not limited to the result notification schedule are subject to change. Also note that, depending on the rules to be specified in the Application Guidelines, an applicant selected for nomination by the Graduate School of Science may later be withdrawn from the university-level selection in cases such as where their paper-form application documents sent out as instructed in 6. cannot be expected to arrive in time for the submission deadline designated by MEXT, due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.