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Tohoku University Japan Scholarship 2021

Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship

There are roughly 350 Japanese Government Scholarship recipients studying at Tohoku University. The scholarship awards are as shown below. MEXT also pays the students' tuition fees.

Scholarship Awards (for Sendai City)
Undergraduate Student: JPY 119,000/month
Research Student: JPY 145,000/month
Graduate Student (MA): JPY 146,000/month
Graduate Student (PhD): JPY 147,000/month

There are three ways to apply: "Embassy Recommendation," "University Recommendation," and "Domestic Selection." The first two are open to students who currently reside in foreign countries and wish to study in Japan.

Embassy Recommendation

Applications are accepted by Japanese embassies or consular offices abroad (from February to around March). After passing an exam/interview, applicants are recommended to MEXT for approval.

How to Apply through Japanese Embassies or Consular Offices
  1. Obtain an application from the relevant overseas Japanese embassy or consular office, and prepare all the required documents.
  2. The embassy/consular office and MEXT will screen the applications and select recipients.

Academic Level

  1. Undergraduate Students
    Undergraduate international students will study Japanese at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies or Osaka University for 1 year before entering Tohoku University. Note that MEXT determines university placements, so not all applicants who request Tohoku University will be placed here.
  2. Special Auditing Students
    Students will belong to an undergraduate faculty for 1 year and study Japanese language and culture as Japanese Studies students.

Graduate Level

  1. Japanese Language Program Students
    Graduate-level embassy recommendation international students who are judged to require Japanese language training to enter the university will take a half-year intensive course on the Japanese language, culture, and context as Japanese Language Program students. Following this, they will enter the university by passing the entrance exam for either research students or for a graduate school master/doctoral curriculum.
  2. Research or Master/Doctoral Graduate Students
    Japanese Government Scholarship Students who require no Japanese language training will enter the university and join a research field by passing the entrance exam for either research students or for graduate students in a master/doctoral curriculum.

Important: Letter of Provisional Acceptance
After passing the primary screening by the Japanese embassy or consular office, graduate-level applicants must ask their prospective university to issue a Letter of Provisional Acceptance.
To obtain a Letter of Provisional Acceptance, it will be necessary for applicants to first select an academic advisor to guide their research. Information about Tohoku University instructors and their research can be found at the below websites.

After finding a prospective instructor, the applicants should then email that instructor directly about the Letter of Provisional Acceptance. If the instructor's email address is not listed on the above website, inquire with that instructor's graduate school or International Education Section at the Student Exchange Division (

Notes on Requesting a Letter of Provisional Acceptance
When contacting your prospective academic advisor by email, please do the following.
Provide the below information about yourself, in detail:
  1. Research field and theme
  2. Academic/research background
  3. Graduation thesis or research paper
  4. Research plan
Attach the following documents to the email:
  1. Copy of notification from the embassy/consular office stating that you passed the primary screening
  2. Copies of all documents submitted to the embassy/consular office
  3. MEXT's form for the Letter of Provisional Acceptance (Word file)

University Recommendation (October entrants only)

University Recommendation is a system that allows the university to apply to MEXT for scholarships for excellent foreign students newly arriving in Japan from countries with which the Japanese government has diplomatic relations. This system is generally open only to graduate-level foreign research students (apply around December of the year before arrival).

The system for applying by University Recommendation differs depending on the graduate school. Please inquire with the graduate school you wish to enter.

Useful Links

President Fellowship

It is unique to Tohoku University. It provides an amount covering tuition fees for international students of excellent character and academic standing. For application information, students should inquire with their desired faculty or graduate school.

Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship


Self-financed international students may be eligible for scholarships Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship by Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO).


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