MEXT Scholarship: University Recommendation

Host University Recommendation Scholarships

Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho: MEXT) University Recommendation Scholarship

Applications for 2023 enrollment are now closed, thank you to all who applied. The following should be treated as reference only.

The MEXT University Recommendation Scholarship is a comprehensive "full-ride" scholarship sponsored by the government of Japan. As indicated by the name, an applicant must be recommended by a Japanese university to MEXT, or as it's formally known, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (known as the "Monbukagakusho" in Japanese), in order to be considered for the scholarship. At Ritsumeikan University, applicants who wish to be recommended for this scholarship must apply for admission to the university via special admission procedures as described on this homepage. Each applicant who passes these special admission procedures is subsequently recommended to MEXT for scholarship. Scholarship recommendation slots are few, and only a number of applicants equal to or less than the number of available scholarship recommendations are granted admission and an accompanying university recommendation for scholarship via these procedures.

Once recommended to MEXT, recommendees undergo a subsequent scholarship review, and finally, awardees are selected by MEXT. The following explains procedures for students who wish to seek admission to Ritsumeikan University accompanied by a university recommendation to MEXT for scholarship.

1. Scholarship Eligibility Requirements and Scholarship Benefits

To be eligible to apply for Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship, an applicant must:

  • Have the nationality of a country that has diplomatic relations with the Japanese government. Applicants who have Japanese nationality are not eligible (Japanese dual-nationality citizens who plan on renouncing their Japanese citizenship, however, may apply).
  • Have been born on or after April 2, 1988.
  • Be in both good physical and mental health.
  • Be willing to newly acquire a student visa and newly enter Japan for the purpose of study upon receipt of the scholarship.
  • Be able to arrive in Japan on a date designated by Ritsumeikan University in the middle of September 2023.
  • Have a CGPA equal to or higher than 2.30 out of 3.00 for current degree program as calculated by MEXT's formula (or most recently attended degree program for persons not currently enrolled. You DO NOT need to calculate this on your own. The university will calculate your GPA according to MEXT's formula after recieving your formal application).
  • For applicants to English language medium degree programs: Have English language ability equal to or greater than Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) B2 level, or have studied in English in most recent (or currently enrolled) degree program. See our CEFR Conversion Chart and MEXT Language Requirements for details.

Additional Requirements, Criteria, and Scholarship Benefits: Please refer to the scholarship outline for a description of scholarship benefits as well as a more detailed overview of scholarship eligibility and conditions.

2. Application

At Ritsumeikan University, applicants may apply for enrollment to the Master's and/or Doctoral degree programs of certain graduate schools via the application procedures described below. Applicants granted admission to the university via these specific procedures will also be granted a university recommendation for MEXT scholarship.

Understand that the graduate schools listed in the application guidelines are recruiting applicants for admission for either their Master's or Doctoral degree programs (or both) as indicated in the application guidelines, only. Graduate schools and/or degree programs NOT listed in the guidelines are NOT being recruited for. Read the guidelines ON YOUR OWN to determine whether or not your graduate school of interest is recruiting applicants, and if so, whether it is recruiting for just the Master's Program, just the Doctoral Program, or both.

  • For prospective applicants to our Graduate School of Science and Engineering (GSSE): During years when GSSE has scholarship positions available, recommendees for the MEXT University Recommendation Scholarship at this graduate school are chosen from the pool of GSSE Regular Admissions applicants. If you wish to be considered for recommendation for MEXT Scholarship at our GSSE, follow the instructions for Regular Admissions procedures here.
  • Depending on the type and number of additional scholarship recommendation positions allocated to the university (if any), other graduate schools not currently listed below may openly recruit MEXT Scholarship applicants from early January. In that case, relevant Application Guidelines and Forms will be added below between late November and early January.

Please carefully read through all sections of the application guidelines and the FAQ before beginning to complete an application:
*Please download the documents to your computer first then fill them in digitally before printing. Before printing the PDF, be sure to either delete or turn off the “Sticky Note” comment boxes on the PDF application forms. Further reference materials may be found below.

Application Procedures and Forms
All prospective applicants must download the Application Guidelines and Application Form PDF for the graduate school they wish to apply to, as well as the separate "Field of Study and Research Plan" template (WORD), from the links below. Number three below, the "Letter of Reference Template", is an optional template which you may choose to use when requesting your Dean, etc... to write you your Letter of Reference (to be clear, submission of a Letter of Reference is mandatory and there is no set format for the letter, however, using this optional template should ensure that the submitted letter meets the minimum requirements for acceptance).

3. Notes to Keep in Mind before Posting your Application

1) Make sure that ALL of your application documents meet ALL requirements described in the guidelines checklist.
2) In particular, your Letter of Recommendation, and in turn your application, will not be accepted if it does not meet all requirements mentioned in the guidelines.
3) Additionally, your transcripts, and in turn your application, will not be accepted if they do not meet all requirements mentioned in the guidelines. If your transcripts do not meet the criteria in the guidelines, please obtain additional supplemental documentation, such as a detailed explanation of the grade scale, as necessary from your university before submitting your application.
4) If the rest of your documents are ready but you are waiting for the arrival or announcement of an English language test score, please send the rest of your application in advance before the deadline. Follow up by delivering a scan of your language test score certificate via email as soon as it is ready.

4. General Schedule from Application to Enrollment

The following is a general schedule prediction based on last year's process. Timing of all points below, but in particular the announcement of scholarship results and so on, are at the discretion of MEXT and the university and are subject to change.

Timeframe Activity
Dec 2022 - Jan 2023 Applicants submit applications to Ritsumeikan University (hereinafter "RU")
Feb - Mar 2023 RU announces admission results to applicants
Mar - Jun 2023 RU submits scholarship recommendations for applicants who succeeded in the admissions process to MEXT
Jun - Aug 2023 MEXT notifies scholarship results to RU
RU notifies applicants of their scholarship selection results
Aug - Sep 2023 RU issues MEXT Scholarship Certificates to those granted MEXT scholarship
Successful applicants submit the MEXT Scholarship Certificate to their local Embassy or Consulate of Japan to apply for a student visa as a Japanese government scholar
Mid-Sep 2023 Scholars travel to Japan on a date designated by RU, attend orientation, etc.
Sep 26, 2023 The Fall Semester begins and scholars begin their formal studies at RU

5. Additional Requirements and Supporting Information

  • ”Monbukagakusho” is the Japanese word for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, which is also known by its acronym, MEXT.
  • Please note that you may only receive University Recommendation for MEXT scholarship from one university.
  • Please review our Researcher Database to assist with finding potential research supervisors. You do not need to ask a professor permission to include his or her name on your application.
  • Students who need to request an individual review of their eligibility, as explained in the guidelines, should contact the International Center before the first day of the application period. Please see the contact information listed in the application guidelines.
  • Students who are currently enrolled in a university in China or who have graduated from a university in China may find information on how to obtain their China Higher-Education Student Information Online Verification System certificates here.
  • The Letter of Recommendation is free-format, but a sample including the required points such as to whom the letter must be addressed to and the writer's title, may be found here.
  • For more information about MEXT, please visit their home page:
  • For more information about graduate programs we offer in English and Japanese, please see our admissions page:
  • If you wish to apply for a Japanese-taught program, please be sure to view our Japanese application guidelines and forms, follow the directions on that page, and complete your forms in Japanese, where appropriate.
  • If you have questions about the application process, please contact the International Center:

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