In most years, MEXT releases the official application guidelines and application forms for the University-Recommended MEXT Scholarship after universities in Japan have already completed their screening. That means that universities have to rely on the previous year’s instructions and forms during their screening.
This article is meant for applicants applying in 2021 for the University-Recommended MEXT Scholarship beginning in 2022, but because of the situation described above, I am using the 2020 version of the application form as my reference below. Please be aware that there may be some minor changes when the final form comes out!
Where to get the form
If you’re signed up to my mailing list, I’ve already sent you a sample filled copy of the form that I use for the examples below. If you aren’t signed up yet, then you can get your sample by signing up here. I’ll also write you as soon as I have any new articles or resources about the MEXT scholarship available.
You can also download the 2020/2021 form from MEXT’s website in excel format from the links below. Do not submit this form, though. Even if there are no changes, the dates in the form are still for the 2020/2021 application cycle. Wait to get the appropriate form from the university that you are applying to!
For the purpose of the sample form, I am going to cheat: I will use the 2021 form, but I am updating all of the dates to 2022 manually in order to give you a more accurate sample.
As you can see, above, there are different forms for the General Category and PGP programs. The university you are applying to should be able to tell you which one is appropriate for you.
There are only two minor differences between the forms, which I will describe in the appropriate parts of the explanation section below.
Unless otherwise specified, all sections of the description apply to both versions of the form.
Note: Form is for graduate studies, only
This article is about the application form for the Graduate-Level Scholarship Application. There are also a very limited number of University-Recommended MEXT Scholarship places available at some Japanese universities under the PGP program. I have not reviewed the form for undergraduate PGP applicants, but you can download it here if you are looking for it.
Instructions: Key Points
- You should type the form using Excel, if at all possible. Not only is it easier for evaluators to read, it makes it easier for you to make corrections, if you have to. If you are going to write by hand, use black pen and write in all capital letters.
Another option is to edit the form directly as a pdf. I use GIMP (a free, open source Photoshop clone) and pdftk, both free, to edit and compile pdfs.
If typing, use black text (I use red in my sample form only for the sake of showing which parts are my sample entries, but you should not use red!) and do not type in all capital letters.
- The instructions say to use Arabic numerals, which means “1, 2, 3” etc. Do not write out numbers (e.g. “one”) in the application form, even if it would be grammatically appropriate to do so. You should also use numbers, not words, when writing out months. (e.g. “05”, not “May”)
- Writing year numbers: Be sure to write all numbers in the CE or AD calendar used in most of the Western world. Do not use the Japanese, Buddhist, Islamic, or Coptic Christian system of counting years.
- You have to write out proper nouns, including cities, states, countries, etc. Do not abbreviate. (e.g. Write “United States of America”, not “USA”)
- This is not mentioned directly in the form, but even if you are filling out the form in Japanese, write all non-Japanese proper nouns (such as names, places, school names, etc.) in English letters. Do not try to write them in Katakana and do not translate terms into English. (For example, if your language uses words that mean “city” or “district” in addresses, write the original word in your language, in English letters, do not translate it to the English word).
A note about check marks: In the sample form, I used a special character that looks like a checked box. This is from a Japanese font set, but you can also use a checked box symbol from the font Segoe UI Symbol, which is standard with Excel. You can insert it using the “Insert symbol” command. For more information, check out this article.
Page 1: Basic InformationPhoto: Your photo must meet the dimensions specified in the form, be clear and no more than 6 months old, and show your upper body.
You can insert a digital image directly into the form (insert photo) before printing or attach a physical photo afterward. If you decide to attach a physical photo, then as I described in my article about How to Apply for the 2021/2022 University-Recommended MEXT Scholarship it must be printed on photo paper and you should attach it with paste or a glue stick. DO NOT use staples, as that will damage your photo and make it useless.
Your name (especially in the “alphabet” line) has to match your passport, exactly. You must fill in both lines, even it they are identical. In general, the “Native language” line should match what is written in the top half of your passport, near the photo. If your country uses a language other than English, or uses English with special characters, use the appropriate characters from your language in “native language” line.
The “Alphabet” line should match the computerized text at the bottom of your passport, as follows:
To find your “alphabet” name and the correct order for the form, refer to the bottom two lines of your passport. On the second-to-bottom line, you should see a three-digit country code along with your name. For example:
Everything between the Country Code (USA in the example) and the first double “<<” is your surname. Everything after the “<<” is your given and middle name, in that order. It is your choice whether to list all of your given and middle names in the “given name” box or to split them between given and middle name, but you must include everything and cannot change the order, even if that’s not what you use in daily life.
If you do not have a “<<” because you do not have a legal surname or have only one legal name, then you should leave the surname block blank and fill in your name in the “Given name” (and “Middle name”, if appropriate) boxes.
You cannot enter any special characters, such as accented letters, in the “Alphabet” line. Those should go only in the “Native Language” line, only.
Yes, that’s a lot of instructions for a “name” line, but I’ve seen a shocking number of mistakes with this one in the past.
This refers to your biological gender as stated in your passport, not your gender identity. Do not expect special treatment or even official acknowledgement of alternate gender identities in Japan. On an individual level, I have found that Japanese people are accepting of non-binary genders – or, perhaps it would be most appropriate to say that most don’t care about personal details one way or another. However, the government is woefully behind most of the developed world in terms or recognition and treatment, and universities will have to follow government guidance, so do not expect special treatment or accommodation for non-binary gender identities.
3. Marital Status:
This one is pretty straightforward! You should fill in your current marital status. It is not a problem if your status changes later before you travel to Japan.
Write the name of the country that issued your passport. (In Japan, your “nationality” is a noun, not an adjective. For example, you would write “Japan” not “Japanese.”) If you have multiple nationalities, choose your “primary” nationality, which should be the country where you currently reside or, if you do not currently reside in a country where you have nationality, than the country in which you have primarily resided during your life so far.
5. Japanese Nationality:
Japanese nationals are not eligible to apply for the scholarship, but if you have multiple nationalities, including Japan, and choose to give up your Japanese citizenship to apply, they you would be eligible.
Most applicants will check “No” and leave the rest of the line blank, but if you do have Japanese nationality, then you would have to check “yes” and complete the line.
6. Date of Birth:
The tricky part of this line is filling in your age. You need to enter how old you will be as of April 1, 2022. (Note: the 2020/2021 form said “April 1, 2021”, but for the sake of the example, I have manually changed this to 2022, which is what it will say in the next application cycle!) In the downloadable example, you will see that the fake applicant has a birthday of Jan 1. That means that he is 22 when he’s filling in the form but will pass his birthday before April 2022, so he needs to enter “23.”
Note: In Japan, your age goes up on your birthday. It does not automatically go up on January 1 or on the lunar new year as it does in some other countries. Your age at birth in Japan is “0”. I am aware that in other countries, newborn babies are considered to be “1” at birth, but use the Japanese system for this form.
7.(1) Current Address:
Your address as of the day you submit the form. If you will move between when you submit the form and when you travel to Japan to start the scholarship (for example, if you will graduate from college and move home), you will fill in your address after the move in 7.(2). In the downloadable example, the applicant is studying abroad in Japan when he applies for the scholarship. (And, based on his address, he lives at MEXT headquarters). You would also use this line if you were living in a college dorm, etc.
If your current address in is Japan, you need to fill out your current visa status (residence status), too. This is important for confirming how you conform to the eligibility criteria.
7.(2) Your address before departure to Japan
In line (2), either check the box saying that your current address is your permanent address or fill your permanent address (e.g. your parents’ address, etc.), if you plan to move between when you submit the application and when you come to Japan. This is the address that MEXT will use to determine whether or not you are eligible for a MEXT-funded plane ticket to Japan and also to determine where you will apply for your visa and the flight route you will use.
You also need to acknowledge that you will not receive a plane ticket to Japan paid by MEXT if your permanent address (7.(2) or 7.(1) if you checked same as above) is not in your country of nationality.
7.(3) Phone number
For your phone number and email address, I recommend putting contact information that can be used to reach you at any time. If you’re living abroad, as in the example, and plan to return home before you start the scholarship, put a phone number in your home country.
Be sure to include the country code for your phone number!
For your email address, if you do not already have a professional-sounding email address, such as your first and last name, or a student email address from your current university, then I recommend creating one before you submit the application. This is particularly true if your current email address is something that could be seen as “silly”, like the name of your favorite anime character. When I processed applications for my previous university, we saw some pretty outrageous email addresses, including rude references to anatomy, and those applicants became known around the office by their email, not the quality of their application. You do not want that happening to you.
Page 2: Scholarship Records
8.(1) Past awarded record:
The JASSO scholarship and MEXT Honors scholarship do not count for this question. If you are not sure about your past scholarship type, you can ask the embassy or consulate for more guidance. However, if you have never studied in Japan before, then this question does not apply to you and you can check “No”.
If you check “No”, you can skip to question 9. If you answered “Yes”, you have to fill out 8.(2) and 8.(3)
8. (2). Past MEXT Details
In 8.(2) fill in the start and end dates of your scholarship award and the name of the university in Japan. Then check the scholarship program in the section below.
If you checked scholarship types 1, 2, 3, 4, or 6 in 9.(2), then you need to complete 8.(3) as well. If you checked scholarship types 5, 7, or 8, then you can skip to question 9. Your past scholarship award is not in conflict with receiving another award.
8. (3). Experience since last MEXT Scholarship
In 8.(3), if required, you would need to fill in your education and work experience since the end of your last MEXT scholarship award and up until the month before you start your scholarship in Japan (which may be one year in the future, depending on when you are filling out this form). Typically, you would have to show that you have spent 36 total months either enrolled in degree programs or working as a full-time employee since your last scholarship award.
For the purpose of this table, count the actual years and months you spent in the program or employed, not the “standard years of study” as we will discuss for the Academic Record, below.
You may notice that this question seems to conflict with itself. The description in 8.(3) asks for “education or work experience” but the explanation under the table asks you to calculate the “total period of experience of education/research”. As far as I can tell, this is because the requirements were updated in 2019 to allow working experience, but the form was only partially corrected. The eligibility requirements clearly say that working experience counts, so you should include both education (full-time degree programs) and full-time employment in the table and in the calculation at the bottom.
9. Applying for Other MEXT Scholarship for 2022*:
If you have already applied for the Embassy-Recommended MEXT Scholarship for 2022 and you have passed the Primary Screening, then you would have to tick “Yes” and you would not be eligible to apply for the University-Recommended MEXT Scholarship this year. However, if you applied for the Embassy MEXT and did not pass the Primary Screening, then that application would be considered to be over, so it would not count.
*Note: Although I am using the form from the 2021 application, I have manually changed the dates to 2022.
10.(1) Overlapping receipt of other scholarships:
MEXT does not allow concurrent receipt of other scholarships, so you must verify that you are not receiving or already approved to receive other scholarships that will cover the same period as the MEXT scholarship or that you will withdraw from any others upon receipt of MEXT.
If you are receiving a scholarship for your current degree, etc., that will end before your MEXT scholarship begins, you do not need to fill in that information here.
While receiving the MEXT scholarship, you are eligible to apply for and receive one-time grants that do not overlap with MEXT payments. For example, you could apply for a grant to pay the cost of travel to a conference, or for a specific research activity. But you cannot receive any other scholarships that cover travel expenses to Japan, tuition, or living expenses, even if that other scholarship is meant to cover the expenses of dependent family members traveling with you.
It is allowable to apply to other scholarships at the same time as a back-up plan. If you are applying for another scholarship, but the results are not yet released, then you would check “No” in the first line of 10.(1). If you have already applied for and been awarded a scholarship for 2022, but you plan to give up that scholarship if you are also selected for MEXT, then you should select “Yes” in line 1 and “No” in line 2, to indicate that you will cancel the other scholarship if you are selected for MEXT.
10.(2) Other Scholarship
If you do have a scholarship offer for your time in Japan already, fill in that information here. If you checked “No” in the first line of 10.(1), you can leave this blank or write “none.”
Page 3: Academic Background
Most of the instructions are straightforward, but there are a few items that can cause confusion, explained below.
- 3. University Entrance Qualification Examinations: This refers to an exam taken instead of graduating high school. Usually, it is for home-schooled students, students who dropped out, etc. It will not apply to most MEXT applicants.
- 5. Attended Multiple Schools: As you can see in the “Primary Education” line of the example, I have included multiple schools for the sample applicant. You can fill it out the same way for your situation. If there is not enough space, you would write “See attached” in the Name line and explain the details in an attached sheet.
If you are attaching an extra sheet, you should still write the overall start and end dates on the application form!
- 6. Total number of years studied: When you fill in the number of years for each level of schooling, it asks for the standard period of enrollment, NOT the amount of time that you spent to complete your schooling. So, if you skipped a grade and graduated early, etc., you would fill in the number of years that it was expected for you to take to finish according to the system at the school. The same also applied if you took longer than expected to graduate.
When calculating total number of school years, you should include extended vacations as part of the year! The simplest way to think about it is that you are counting “school years” not “calendar years.” If your school year goes from September to June, that is 1 full year (even though it is only 10 calendar months).
- 7. Attaching an Additional Sheet: If you attach an additional sheet because you attended multiple schools and cannot fit them in in the same column, then the additional sheet should include a full duplicate of the column you are replacing, with all fields. In that case, still include the overall start date, overall end date, and total years of study in the form, itself.
Typically, this would be your first 6 years of education. Do not include Kindergarten. If you attended a single school that covered elementary and middle school or elementary all through high school, but these are considered separate levels of education in your country, then you should separate it into the appropriate lines. To find out what the “official” levels of education are in your country, Google “Education system in [COUNTRY NAME]”. One of the top results will usually be a Wikipedia article that describes the system, and this is usually good enough.
Lower Secondary Education:
Typically 2 or 3 years. As with elementary school, above, if you attended the same school from Middle School through high school, separate it into the two lines, if appropriate for your country. This is the most common level of schooling to be “missing” in some countries’ education systems. For example, Bangladesh has no “Lower Secondary” school and goes straight from Primary to [Upper] Secondary. If your country (not just your town) does not have a Lower Secondary School, then fill in “n/a” for the name and explain in the Remarks line that your country does not have Lower Secondary School. Do not expect the university to know this without your explanation.
Upper Secondary Education:
This includes high school and any college prep school you might have attended, if that took place between high school and college. Do not count community college or polytech experience here, as those would be considered Tertiary Education and should be in the next column.
Enter college or university undergraduate education in the first line and subsequent bachelor’s degrees (if multiple) or graduate degrees in the second and third (if applicable). If you studied abroad, transferred universities, took longer or shorter than the standard years to complete your program, etc., fill that in in the Remarks.
Only the city and state is required. You don’t need the full address. As you see in the example I have separated the two states and two cities with a slash in the Elementary column when I mentioned multiple schools.
Remember, do not abbreviate proper nouns, this includes cities, states, provinces, etc.
Dates and Period required for graduation:
For the dates, enter your actual start and end dates for your enrollment (year and month, only). If you attended multiple schools and are attaching a separate sheet to explain that, then you should still enter the overall start and end dates here.
For the “Period required for graduation”, you should enter the number of school years that it is expected to take you to complete that level of schooling, even if you took longer or shorter to do so. For example, if you skipped a grade, or repeated a year, etc., you would still enter the number of years that it is expected to take to graduate, not the time it actually took you.
If you are still enrolled in your undergraduate degree when you apply, you should fill in the expected date of graduation and still fill in the standard number of years for the degree.
If there is a difference, you should be sure to explain that in the “Remarks”.
Status (*As of enrolment in the university in Japan):
This entry appears for the tertiary education only. Check the appropriate box. Note that you should fill in the status as of when you start your enrolment in Japan, so if you are still enrolled in your current degree as of the application but will graduate before arriving in Japan, then you should fill in “Completed”.
Check the name of the degree you have earned.
Total Years of Education:
This should be the total years as of the time you enrol in the university in Japan, so it should be the total time of all the programs that you will have completed as of that time. If you marked “Withdrawal” from any of your Tertiary programs, indicating that you will withdraw from that program to study in Japan again, then you would not count any years in that program toward your total. Only count programs that you will have completed as of your enrolment in Japan.
Page 4: Academic Background (Continued)
12. Field of specialization studied in the past:
List your focus, major(s) and minor, plus the department, faculty, college, etc., that you belonged to during all previous degrees.
For example, if you got a BA in History you wouldn’t write simply “History.” You would write something like:
Majored in Japanese history, with a focus on Bakumatsu-era industrial reform. (Department of Asian History, Faculty of History, College of Arts and Sciences)
13. Have you ever written a thesis?This question refers to either a graduation thesis at the bachelor’s or master’s level or to published works, not to term papers written for a single class (unless they were later published).
If you have any publications, including articles or conference proceedings, or any works that have been accepted for publication but not yet published, write them here. You should also list your graduation thesis, even if it has not been published. In that case, after the title and your name as author, write (graduation thesis, not published)
Don’t worry if you don’t have anything to list or if you have no graduation thesis. Many applicants, particularly those applying for Master’s degrees, do not at this point.
Don’t forget to attach abstracts of all papers you list here in the “Abstracts of theses” section of the application documents.
Page 4: Your MEXT Scholarship Plans
15. The first course you plan to take in Japan:
Where do you want to start your studies? (Note: you might not always get what you want. It depends on the university that accepts you).
- “Non-regular (Non-degree) course” (sometimes called “Research student” by universities): In general, for the University-Recommended MEXT Scholarship, this is only an option if you are applying to a degree program in Japan that only accepts new students in the spring semester. Since all University-Recommended MEXT Scholars arrive in the fall, if your degree does not accept students until the spring, you would spend your first semester as a “Non-regular” student then start the degree program in the following April.
PGP Applicants: “Non-regular course” is not an option in the PGP application form, since there are no non-regular programs approved for the PGP!
- Master’s Degree Course: This would include MA, MS, MSc, etc. You might also see a reference to “Doctoral degree, first half”, which is another way of saying Master’s Degree in Japan. A Master’s two-year course and, as a MEXT scholar, you would need to finish in two years or you would lose the scholarship.
- Doctoral Course: PhD program. In Japan, this is a 3-year program, except for some medical degrees that are 4 years. The same time condition as Master’s Degree applies.
You might see some programs in Japan listed as “Integrated Doctoral Degrees” or 5-year doctoral degrees. These programs are essentially Master’s Degrees plus doctoral degrees rolled into one program, but with no interim Master’s degree awarded in the middle. If you are applying for one of these degrees and you want to start in year one, that would count as applying for a Master’s degree. However, if you already have a relevant Master’s degree, it is possible to apply to start in year three of the program. In that case, you would select Doctoral course.
- Professional Graduate Course: This covers all non-academic graduate degrees, such as MBA, MFA, JD, MD, and programs such as Teacher Training programs. These programs can be at the Master’s or Doctoral level.
16. Term you wish to study in Japan:
This is only for reference, but you should be honest in your goals. Regardless of your entry here, you would only be accepted for the “first course” listed above and you would need to apply for an extension of your MEXT Scholarship later when you want to move on to a subsequent program (such as “Non-Regular” student to degree student, or from Master’s degree to Doctoral Degree.)
Page 4: Employment Records:
Fill in this information accurate as to the date that you submit your application. Focus on full-time, paid employment throughout this section, not part time jobs.
If you have are still a student and have no employment history, that will not be counted against you, so don’t worry about it.
17. Do you currently have a job?
You should only fill in yes if you are working full-time. A part-time student job is not relevant.
Part of the intent behind this question is for the University to determine if you will be able to leave your current job to go to Japan if you are accepted. (If you’re working part-time, it’s assumed you can quit whenever you want).
18. Employment Record:
List your most recent two full-time positions here. The most recent position should be in the top line.
For the “location” of your organization, the country, city, and state are sufficient. You would only need to include the country if it is outside of your current country.
The period of employment should include the year and month. You do not need to include the day.
When you describe your “Type of work” you should use a general description, such as “clerical work”, “customer service”, “programmer”, etc. This is not a CV where you would be trying to impress the readers with statements like “Delivered high-quality responses to over 200 customer inquiries per week.” Instead of that mouthful, “customer service” would be much better.
Page 5: Language Ability
19. Language Ability:You must enter an answer in each block of both the Japanese and English line here, even if the answer is “0”. Note that while the English translation for “0” is “poor”, in Japanese, the term can also mean “no ability”.
20. Japanese language qualifications:
The question in Japanese specifically asks for your certifications. If you have passed the JLPT, fill in the level in the first block (N1-N5). If you have another official Japanese language proficiency test score, such as one conducted by your country’s foreign service office, you can list that in “other.”
If you’ve taken Japanese classes in undergrad, etc., but had no official test score, that would not count as a certification, but you can list it anyway (e.g. “8 semesters of Japanese language education”).
Attach a copy of your test results to the application, if available.
21. English language qualifications:
Similar to the question above, fill in your test scores for any official TOEFL (be sure to note the type) or IELTS test. You will probably be asked to produce the certificates from these tests when you apply to university. “Other” can include CEFR ratings, O levels, TOEIC, and country-specific tests like GEPT, but understand that those may not be accepted by all universities, so the universities may ask you to submit formal test results when you apply for a Letter of Acceptance. Refer to the requirements for the university you are applying to.
Attach a copy of your test results to the application.
If you completed your previous degree entirely in English, that also counts as proof of language ability, so you would write “Completed qualifying degree in English” in the “Other” block in that case.
Page 5: Family
22. Accompanying Dependents (PGP Application Form, only):
For some reason, MEXT only asks PGP scholars about whether or not they plan to bring dependents, though in the past they asked all scholarship applicants.
MEXT (and universities) discourages bringing your dependents with you when you first come to Japan. (In fact, in terms of visa requirements, you may find it impossible to do so.) Neither MEXT nor the universities will take any responsibility for your dependents or provide any support for them.
If you do plan to bring dependents with you, list their names and relationship to you in this table. (Relationship should be from your perspective, so a son would be “son”, not “father-son relationship”).
In any case, you’ll have to come to Japan first then apply for a Dependent Certificate of Eligibility for each family member you want to bring.
Anyone that you fill in in this section cannot be your emergency contact in the next question.
If you are filling out the PGP form, note that because of this additional question, all question numbers below will be off by one.
22. Emergency Contact in home country:
To put it bluntly, if you were to die in Japan, who should the university call to pick up your body and bring it home to your country?
I know that sounds morbid, but MEXT wants a point of contact that is that close to you.
The person should also meet the following criteria:
- Must have an email address and access to a phone
- Should, if at all possible, have English or Japanese language ability
- Be an immediate family member if possible
When I was reviewing these applications, any time an applicant wrote “friend,” “boyfriend/girlfriend,” “supervisor,” or anything other than a close family member, we would encourage applicants to choose someone closer.
You must complete every item in this section (although you can leave out the fax number).
Remember to include the country in the address, the country code in the phone number, and use no abbreviations in the address.
Page 5: Past Visits to Japan
23. Past visits or stays in Japan:
List your two most recent trips to Japan, if any. In the “purpose” section, the purpose of your visa is sufficient (e.g. “Student”). You do not need to go into detail.
If you have never visited Japan, then fill in “None” in the “Purpose” column of the first line.
Page 5: Signature Block
You want to sign and date by hand after printing the form. A typed signature is never acceptable.
Hooray! You’re finished!
Special thanks to the TranSenz supporters on Patreon, who help keep this site running through their generous contributions. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for your continued support! If this site has helped you in your application process and you want to “pay it forward” to keep the site running to help future applicants, every contribution helps!
Let me know in the comments below!
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Thank you for your efforts in helping people with such generosity. I have a question regarding the process of the MEXT, especially the part in which we have to write three preferred universities we are willing to apply as a graduate student. I got quite confused with the instructions and guidelines of the form itself and that’s why I’m here. Be the way, forgive my impudence if the following questions are so long, boring or irrelated.
In that specific form, we are allowed to write down the name of three preferred universities, but as far as I remember only two of them can be followed (or something like that); in that case, what is the usage of writing down the third preferred university in the first place?
secondly, there are going to be entrance exams for each preferred university. In that case, with consideration of 6 months of learning Japanese and doing research stuff before the entrance examination, is there a place for us to stay? I mean, is the MEXT in charge of our residence? if yes, where? in the preferred university dormitories? Which one? the first or second in the preferred list? what happens if we reject one of the three universities’ entrance exams?
Thank you for your time, there are a lot of questions that I don’t know to whom shall I ask, but I’m afraid it’s ought to be considered rude. So I’ll ask them in parts.
With my best regards,
Hi Hooman Puyandeh,
You posted your question on the article about the University-Recommended MEXT Scholarship, but the Placement Preference Form is only part of the Embassy-Recommended MEXT Scholarship. If you’re applying for the University, you don’t need that form (and you can only apply to one university).
For the Placement Preference Form, you can write the name of up to three universities, but after you pass the Primary Screening, you are only allowed to be in contact with up to two of them to request a Letter of Provisional Acceptance. If one of the two you contacted rejects your application before the deadline, you can contact the third.
Also, when you turn in the final version along with the LoAs, if the first two universities on your list ultimately do not decide to accept you (regardless of whether they gave you an LoA or not), MEXT may still contact the third university on the list to ask them to accept you, even though you never applied there. So, it gives you a little extra security.
For the entrance exams, some are actual tests and some are just submitting documents. It depends on the university.
During your first semester in Japan, if you are in a language program, you will need to find housing near that language program. (It may or may not be close to the university where you will eventually study). That university should be able to help you. You are responsible for finding your own housing, but the university will have a housing office that can offer assistance in introducing potential apartments or may even have it’s own housing that you can apply for.
You would already know what you university you will end up in before you start the language program. During the language semester, you might take the entrance exam for that university or you might go from being a language student to being a research student/non-degree student at your assigned university and then take the entrance exam later.
– Travis from TranSenz
Thank you very much for the helpful information.
– I have a question about the (13. HAVE YOU EVER WRITTEN A THESIS?) section. I had a graduation project, not a graduation thesis in my university. Should I write YES or NO?
– In the (14. PUBLICATIONS) section. Can I write my graduation project name instead?
NAME_OF_PROJECT (graduation project, not published).
– Can I submit the summary of my graduation project with the documents?
Thanks for your effort.
If your graduation project was equivalent to a thesis, and it sounds like it was, then you should use that project wherever the application asks for your graduation thesis. As you wrote, fill in 13 with “Yes” and write the details in 14 as you suggested. In that case, you should also submit a summary of that project.
– Travis from TranSenz
Hi, Travis. Thank you very much for the helpful information.
I’ve been recommended by university of Tsukuba to MEXT and I want to prepare myself before getting the final results, so if you know which documents should I prepare for now (if there’s) .
Thanks in advance.
If you have made it through the university’s screening and been recommended to MEXT, then you shouldn’t need to submit anything else. You just have to sit back and wait for the final results.
However, if you applied before you completed your previous degree and submitted a transcript that didn’t cover your full degree and a certificate of expected graduation, then you will have to submit the final transcript and certificate of graduation later, once they are available.
– Travis from TranSenz
Thank you very much and very appreciate for replying me
1. I was referring that the image of my signature put in the MEXT Form directly using Microsoft Excel program and then I printed and sent it out to my university
2. Yes, I hope nothing needed to be revised since there is no information about that from my university
Thanks travis, have a good day
This April, I became a graduate school student at a Japanese university. Can I apply for university recommendation in August? I’m pretty confused about this.
P.S. : I’m an international student.
Thank you very much.
Hi Kagome Tsujimoto,
You have to apply for the MEXT Scholarship prior to enrolling in university in Japan. If you are already enrolled in a degree program in Japan, then you are not eligible to apply for MEXT, unless you are applying for it for a new degree. (For example, if you are currently enrolled in a Master’s Degree and want to apply for the MEXT Scholarship for a PhD after you finish the Master’s.)
– Travis from TranSenz
What a nice reading your blog, tons of informations could be taken from your blog.
First of all, big thanks for giving me attention and replying me.
Actually, this might be my mistake, since my university was pursuing me to send my mext documents quickly, And both by email and post mail need to be sent, undeliberately because the file I sent by email was already signatured using online signature (already in the soft file of the doc) , I did also send the form by mail post using the same online signature document, My inquiry is: Is it a big problem for me to get accepted as MEXT awardee? Since I read on your blog, it says typed signature is never accepted. I am eagerly waiting for your answer and solution, Thanks, have a good day.
I think the university should contact you to ask you to send a replacement document if it is necessary to do so.
When you say “online signature”, are you referring to digital signature software, or simply your name typed in a signature-like font? If you used a digital signature software like DocuSign or Adobe Sign or something like that, it might be acceptable. In any case, by this time, the university should have already sent your documents to MEXT, so that should mean that they did not think that the document needed to be replaced.
– Travis from TranSenz
Thank you so much and very appreciate for your answer
1. I was referring that I put my image of my written signature into the form directly in that Microsoft excel file and I printed it out
2. Yes, I hope nothing needed to be replaced, since my university has not informed me til now.
I got the offer from Ritsumeikan University for the MEXT University Recommendation Scholarship (Special Type) for undergraduate students. I have some questions about it, please answer these questions for me, many thanks:
1. I have filled the form, and in the “Remarks” of Upper Secondary Education section, I typed “Has passed the university entrance qualification”. I read on your guidance that “University Entrance qualification exam” is an exam instead of graduating from high school, but in my case, I graduated from high school normally (I was not a home-schooled student or dropped out of high school); and also I am attending a university in my home country already (I am a second-year student in my country and I decided to drop out of it to attend RU). Is it a problem for my MEXT application form?
2. How is my chance to get the MEXT scholarship when I was nominated by the University?
Congratulations on being selected for the undergraduate PGP scholarship! Those opportunities are quite rare.
At this point, you have already passed the university screening and been recommended to MEXT, so the competitive part of the screening is over and you shouldn’t have to worry about anything.
1. You didn’t have to fill it in, but adding that information won’t hurt you. If it was a problem, Ritsumeikan would have contacted you about it during their screening.
2. You are almost certain to receive the scholarship. I have never heard of a Special Type nominee who was nominated to MEXT but didn’t receive the scholarship in the end!
– Travis from TranSenz
Thank you so much, I feel relieved when receiving your answers. Also thank you for your dedicate posts, because I read about it a lot and it helped me to prepare for my admission interview! Best wish for your work.
Thank you very much for your kind feedback! I hope you hear good news about your results soon.
– Travis from TranSenz
Thank you Travis! I have received the notification from my university that I have been officially selected as a MEXT International Student. Hope the best for everyone who is doing in their preparations for MEXT scholarship.
Congratulations! That is great to hear.
I’m sure it was suspenseful waiting for the answer, but I’m glad to hear that it was good news.
Good Luck with your studies in Japan!
– Travis from TranSenz
I have a plan to apply in mext embassy recommendation and I am preparing my documents according to your suggestions and guidelines. Your information is really worthwhile for beginners.
My question is that either we can fill the application form in block letters or simple with first capital letter?
The background of passport size photo should be white or blue?
I am in contact with a professor of Japanese university and he is saying that he will share a recommendation letter and I have to attach it along with other embassy track application materials. Is it really a good idea to do so or not?
I am eagerly waiting for your response.
If you are filling out the application form digitally, you should not use all block letters, just capitalize the first letter as required (usual writing style). The requirement to write in block letters only applies if you are filling out the form by hand.
The background of the passport photo should be white.
You need a letter of recommendation from your previous university, not the university in Japan, so make sure you have that one. If you want to attach an additional letter from the professor in Japan, I don’t know if the embassy will consider it or not, but it cannot hurt!
By the way, this article is about the application form for the University-Recommended MEXT Scholarship. The form for the Embassy-Recommended MEXT Scholarship has an additional section with essay questions. Here is my most recent guide to the Embassy-Recommended MEXT Scholarship application form, but it is from last year. I will be updating it for this year as soon as possible. (Very little has changed!)
– Travis from TranSenz
Great blog thank you. I would like to regarding the research proposal. The space included to write my research proposal is limited to half of page. Should I continue writing in the form or just add new attachment at the end?
Hi Sulaiman Shah,
Thank you for your kind words!
I have an article all about the Field of Study and Research Program Plan that might help with your preparation.
You can add another page, but you do need to keep the total length under 2 pages (including the instructions), at least for the Embassy-Recommended MEXT Scholarship.
– Travis from TranSenz
Hi Travis, Thank You in Advance For solving my Questions,
My Question is about choice of Courses,
I really want to study certain course, Can I fill the same course for 2nd and 3rd choice or do I have to fill a certain course even though I’m not opting for it?
I know it’s really sounds silly(please Forgive me).
But it really Bothers me cause I have to fill up why did I chose those courses,
Thank you Travis, I’m waiting for your reply.
You should not fill in the same selection for all three choices. From the perspective of a reviewer, that looks immature, since the expectation is that you will fill in separate fields, and might lead to your application being reviewed more harshly.
If you only have one field that you are interested in, then you should only fill in one of the boxes. The guidelines say that applicants “may” select up to three choices, so it is not strictly mandatory to select all three. It might be a risk to only choose one, but if you’d prefer to not be a MEXT scholar at all rather than end up in a field that you’re not interested in, then that seems like a reasonable risk to me.
– Travis from TranSenz
Your blog really helped me understand about the MEXT scholarship by University recommendation. After passing the departmental level, I was submitted for selection at the university level. And just now I got an email from my professor that “You successfully passed the internal selection in University. Your application officially submitted to the MEXT”. My question
1. Until this stage, what are my chances of getting a MEXT scholarship?
2. Is there a possibility of a second selection at MEXT and quota cuts?
3. Has MEXT actually notified the university clearly about the university’s quota?
I really need an answer from you. Thank you
Hi A. Sebastion,
Thank you very much for your feedback. I am thrilled to hear that!
This is the time of year that universities have to submit their nominations to MEXT, so your professor’s email matches the schedule. Congratulations!
1. At this stage, your chances of getting the scholarship are practically 100%
2. MEXT does not perform a second selection, they just double-check the paperwork to make sure the university has done everything correctly. I have only heard of more cuts happening after this point once in the history of the MEXT Scholarship, and that year, there were other cuts that happened to the Embassy-Recommended MEXT Scholarship, first, which served as a warning sign. I have no reason to expect that will happen again.
3. Yes. The application guidelines show how many students each university can nominate based on the number of international students they had enrolled.
So, all you have to do now is wait for the final announcement, which should be coming in late June or early July.
– Travis from TranSenz
Thank you very much for your answer. It really helped me and made me a little relieved. I want to confirm once again. Apart from 2019, is it true that MEXT does not cut or reject candidates given by universities? And is it possible if the quota for the university is only 1 slot, but the university recommends 3 students to MEXT? Honestly I’m worried about the final decision, because we were already recommended by the university, it’s impossible to register MEXT G to G as a backup right?
Thank you so much
Hi A. Sebastiam.
Apart from 2019, I am not aware of any other cases of MEXT cutting or rejecting scholarship nominees who where nominated by universities or embassies!
Universities know their quota and I have also never heard of a university nominating more students than they are allowed, so there should be nothing to worry about there, either.
I’m not sure what “MEXT G to G” is, but you cannot have two open applications to MEXT scholarships at the same time, even if they are different types/years. That would disqualify all of your applications.
I think you have nothing to worry about (although I certainly understand the stress and uncertainty of having to wait!)
– Travis from TranSenz
thank you very much. I’m quite relieved. Keep inspiring and sharing information about MEXT scholarships. Thank you for the help.
Hope you are doing well,
I applied for Special Graduate Program (SGP) got selected, signed the pledge form and afterwards cleared two email interviews from department professors. At the start of this month they announced results of successful applicant after screening for University Recommended MEXT scholarship. Afterwards I was asked to complete MEXT form, field of study research plan, recommendation to president of the university etc. and send it by post. Does this confirm my selection for university recommended MEXT scholarship or are there going to be any further steps besides confirmation from Japanese Government in June.
It sounds like you’ve cleared all of the steps for the university’s nomination, so now the only thing left is to wait for the final approval by the Japanese government, which should be in June (though they’re often late).
Since universities have a specific number of scholarship places pre-approved for the PGP scholarships and would only select that number of students, the government’s check is really just a double-check that everything was done correctly and you should have nothing to be concerned about! It’s just going to be a waiting game.
– Travis from TranSenz
Thank you for your reply. I have some quarries about Special Graduate Programs:
1. Do universities already have SGP already approved from MEXT, as the university(Yokohama National University) I got recommended from is offering Civil/Development & Civil/ICT and I have been selected in Civil/ICT program, They have recommended in total 11 candidates from both the programs combined.
2. On the MEXT website I cannot see the Special Programs approved for year 2022. Does this get updated later on?
1. For the PGP programs, once selected, they are valid for three years. So, for applicants starting in 2022, the programs selected in 2021, 2020, and 2019 are still available. All three of those program selection processes have finished, so you can find the list of accepted programs on MEXT’s site, but it does not say how many slots each program was approved for.
In the most recent 2021 application cycle, YNU was approved for two programs: “International Graduate Program for Innovation of Civil Engineering through ICT Technologies” and “Program for fostering key persons contributing to the co-evolutions of heavy industries in Japan and overseas.”
2. You should be looking for the programs approved in 2021. They are listed by the fiscal year when MEXT called for applications and accepted the programs, not by the year the programs will start accepting applicants. Here’s the list: https://www.mext.go.jp/content/20211209-mxt_gakushi02-000019383.pdf
– Travis from TranSenz
Thanks for your reply Travis,
Do universities know how many slots they have?, since on the program website it is stated as following “The Japanese government (MEXT) scholarships have been allocated to the program as priority, and at present, two MEXT scholarships for the master course and five MEXT scholarships for the doctor course are allocated every year for “Civil and Development” program, and four MEXT scholarships for the doctor course are allocated every year for “Civil and ICT/IoT” program.” Does this mean that if university recommends the amount of slots mentioned above, they will all get approved or MEXT will preform their own evaluation?
Yes. Universities know how many slots they have. For PGP programs, they apply for a specific number of slots and when the program is approved, so is that number. Not all universities choose to make that information public, but it sounds like YNU has done so!
MEXT does not conduct a separate competitive screening after the university submits nominations, they just double-check for eligibility, make sure that you haven’t been nominated by two different universities, etc. It is almost entirely a formality, so if you are nominated for the scholarship by the university, you can be almost sure that you will receive it in the end.
– Travis from TranSenz
Hope This comment finds you well.
I’d like to know if There’s any minimum Mark requirement exist in order to pass the Embassy Recommended Examination (Maths and English).?
I’m just Curious,to be honest when I go through Previous Year’s question math papers , I was able to answer only 3 to 4 Response boxes!.
Thank you for your reply,The other day.
Thanks In advance for This Reply.
I’m awaiting for your response.
I’m not sure if there is a minimum passing score, but remember, it’s ultimately a zero-sum game competition, so ultimately, you need to perform better than the other applicants. There are a limited number of scholarships to go around, so if your score is above a minimum threshold, but below the other applicants in your year, you would still most likely be eliminated.
If you’re practicing the sample tests, I recommend that you don’t stop until you’re sure you can answer every question.
– Travis from TranSenz
Thank you fo your advice. I am looking for the univirsity recommended MEXT scholarship for graduate study. I am already selected through interview and my supervisor is interested to working with him. But I have a query regarding to the applicstion form. I think the educational period required up to the completion of bachelor degree should be 16yrs. But in my case it is inly 15 yrs because it was only 3 years for bachelor degree completion in my country, but now it is changed to 4 yrs
It is not a problem if your period of education was 15 years. MEXT does not require a specific number of years of study for your education up through your bachelor’s degree for the University-Recommended MEXT Scholarship. As long as the university accepts that you meet their qualifications for admission to the Master’s degree, that is sufficient.
In the application form, you should fill in the actual number of years that you studied, don’t try to make it 16 years if you only studied 15.
– Travis from TranSenz
Hello Travis, How are You? Thank you for this beautiful article. I wanted to ask you that can I avail Mext Scholarship as an Exchange Student? My university provides the opportunity to study at Iwate Prefectural University as an Exchange student. So, I wonder if it is possible for me to grab the scholarship. If not could you please mention the scholarship available for an exchange student? I would really appreciate your response.
Thanks in advance.
Hi Souvik Basak,
This article is about the scholarship for graduate students, as are most of the articles on this site.
There is a type of MEXT Scholarship for exchange students called the Japanese Studies Students scholarship, but I haven’t researched that one in depth. You can find the application guidelines here on MEXT’s official website and check to see if it is something that you would be eligible for. I know the scholarship is only available to students majoring in Japanese language or Japanese culture and requires a high level of fluency since you would be expected to study courses taught in Japanese. It is also only available for studies at a few specific universities, so if you are eligible, you might want to check with Iwate Prefectural University to make sure that they are one of the approved universities.
– Travis from TranSenz
Hi, Travis. Thank you for the post. It’s really helpful. I wanted to ask if it’s possible for a candidate to get rejected even after getting accepted by the university professor for the University Track MEXT fellowship? I have been selected by a professor at Nagoya University to join his lab and I am currently writing a study plan. And, I have no idea what else I should do? The website mentioned that the applications will be accepted in December. What else should I prepare for apart from the study plan? Recommendation letter? And do I have to send the documents to the University via mail or I can submit them online? Do I have to notarize my documents even if they are in English?
I would really appreciate a response as I am quite nervous.
Hi Joyeeta Kar,
Yes, it is certainly possible to be rejected still, especially since the application process does not appear to have started! One professor does not have the authority to confirm your acceptance/nomination on behalf of the university.
So, you should make sure that you are putting your full effort into creating as strong an application as you can. I have another article about how to apply in general that lists all of the documents that you should need, but if you can find application guidelines on Nagoya University’s website from last year, etc., that would be a good reference to let you know what to prepare.
Between my article and the website, you should be able to find the information you need about the required documents and how to prepare them, but if you have any follow-up questions after reading those, please let me know.
– Travis from TranSenz