Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship Program
For District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia Residents


MEXT

UPDATED: Notice concerning application procedures of the 2021 Japanese Government (MEXT) scholarships for Undergraduate Students and Research (graduate) Students


This year’s application schedule for the 2021 MEXT scholarships was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC, in consideration of governmental regulations and projected local conditions, and in planning to take proper precautions, believes that we can safely conduct exams and interviews in August and September of this year for Undergraduate Student Scholarship applicants. Therefore, the Embassy has decided to conduct the selection process for the 2021 scholarships and will be posting application materials on June 8th for residents of our jurisdiction (DC, VA, MD). However, given that the course of the pandemic cannot be sufficiently predicted, there remains the possibility of the sudden cancellation of selection procedures, or of the scholarships themselves, throughout the entire process.


For the Research Students scholarship, typically two starting dates are offered, spring (April) and fall (September/October); however, for the 2021 scholarship, only the fall start date is offered. In response to the spread of COVID-19, the in-person language exams (both Japanese and English) for Research Students will not be conducted. This rule applies only to the 2021 MEXT Scholarship application term. Therefore, please submit documentation which demonstrates your Japanese or English language ability, such as those listed below, along with your application.


*Applicants are still eligible to apply even without the below documentation. In that case, applicants must prove their language proficiency at the interview stage after passing the first application screening.


Japanese

  1. Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) documentation indicating proficiency of N2 or higher.
  2. A graduation certificate indicating completion of a Japanese curriculum that satisfies the admission requirements for a Japanese university or graduate school with Japanese as the main language of instruction.

English

  1. Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) documentation indicating proficiency of B2 or higher.
  2. A graduation certificate indicating completion of an English curriculum that satisfies the admission requirements for a Japanese university or graduate school with English as the main language of instruction.

The MEXT Undergraduate Studies Scholarship is intended for high school seniors or recent graduates who intend to complete their undergraduate degree at a Japanese university. It provides for airfare to Japan, tuition for the university, and a stipend for cost of living. In addition to the information provided on this page, all applicants are responsible for reading and following the instructions in the 2021 MEXT Undergraduate Scholarship Application Guidelines.


Applicants must indicate their intended program of study (major) in the application. The scholarship is open to students pursuing any major and is intended to provide the student with a one-year program of intensive Japanese study and then complete an undergraduate degree (typically a four-year program), for five years on the scholarship. Individuals who already have knowledge of the Japanese language sufficient to function in an academic setting may choose to opt out of the one-year intensive study of Japanese language. The term of the 2021 MEXT Undergraduate Studies Scholarship is from April 2021 to March 2026. The scholarship period for those majoring in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or a six-year course in pharmacy is from April 2021 to March 2028.


For information on studying at Japanese universities, please use the resources below as a starting point:


Eligibility Requirements:*

  • U.S. citizenship and residence in Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia
  • Born on or after April 2, 1996
  • Completion of high school diploma (or equivalent) by March 2021

*Read the Application Guidelines for more detailed descriptions and additional requirements


Knowledge of Japanese Language


While Japanese language ability is not a requirement for participation, all applicants will be required to take a Japanese language exam as part of the Embassy screening process for placement purposes, so some study of Japanese language prior to application is highly encouraged. Applicants must also be willing to learn Japanese if selected for participation as part of the one-year intensive study program prior to beginning their degree, though individuals who already have a strong functional command of Japanese may choose to opt out and instead be directly placed into a Japanese university to start their program of study.


Interviews and Examinations


All interviews may be conducted in person or online through Microsoft Teams depending on the situation due to COVID-19. This decision will be announced in the interview invitation. In addition to the interview itself, all applicants will sit for written exams held at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC, including a Japanese Language Exam, an English Language Exam, and a Mathematics Exam. Additionally, applicants who choose a science-related field must take a chemistry exam and either a biology or physics exam. Sample examination questions from previous years can be found here:  https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/scholarship/application/examination.html


Application Timeline


June 2020 MEXT scholarship application documents become available
August 27, 2020 Application documents deadline
September, 2020 Notification of being invited to interview
September - October, 2020 Interviews and examinations take place (first screening)
October 2020 Notification of results for the first screening
Applicant documents are sent to MEXT in Tokyo for secondary screening
January 2021 Notification of results for the secondary screening
January 2021 – February 2021 Notification of university placement
March 2021 Travel arrangements to Japan are made for scholarship recipient
April 2021 Departure for Japan and beginning of scholarship period


How to Apply

*The deadline for the 2021 MEXT Undergraduate Student Scholarship has passed.

Applicants must carefully read the Application Guidelines before beginning to prepare their application packet. Please refer to the Study in Japan Comprehensive Guide below to find the necessary forms.

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/smap_stopj-applications_undergraduate.html

All documents should be included in a single envelope and mailed to:

MEXT Scholarship
Embassy of Japan
2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008


The deadline for application documents to be submitted to the Embassy is August 27, 2020*.

*This is not a “post-marked by” deadline. Late applications will not be considered.

If you have questions about the MEXT Undergraduate Studies Scholarship, please contact education@ws.mofa.go.jp or anna.beischer@ws.mofa.go.jp

The MEXT Research Scholarship is intended for graduate or post-graduate students to complete a master’s or doctoral degree at a Japanese institution. It provides for airfare to Japan, tuition for the university, and a stipend for cost of living. In addition to the information listed on this page, all applicants are responsible for reading and following the instructions in the 2021 MEXT Research Scholarship Application Guidelines.


Applicants must explain their intended program of study (major) in the application and should take care to explain why they wish to complete their degree in Japan and how their research will benefit US-Japan relations. It should be related to their undergraduate field of study and should be a program which they can pursue at a Japanese university. The scholarship is open to students pursuing any major and is typically for a period of two years or the length of time to complete the degree program, including a six-month term of intensive Japanese language training. The term of 2021 MEXT Research Scholarship is from October 2021 to March 2023.


Applicants should research universities in Japan before applying, to understand what programs are available and whether they will accept international students.


For information on studying at Japanese universities, please use the resources below as a starting point:


Eligibility Requirements:*

  • U.S. citizenship and residence in Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia
  • Born on or after April 2, 1986
  • Completion (or expected completion) of an undergraduate degree before the term of the scholarship begins

*Read the Application Guidelines for more detailed descriptions and additional requirements


Knowledge of Japanese Language


While Japanese language ability is not a requirement for participation, all applicants will be required to demonstrate their language proficiency either through documentation or during the interview as part of the Embassy screening process for placement purposes, so some study of Japanese language prior to application is highly encouraged. Applicants must also be willing to learn Japanese if selected for participation, though individuals who already have a strong functional command of Japanese may choose to opt out of the six-month intensive Japanese language training period.


Interviews and Examinations


All interviews may be conducted in person or online through Microsoft Teams depending on the situation due to COVID-19. This decision will be announced in the interview invitation. In response to the spread of COVID-19, the in-person language exams (both Japanese and English) for Research Students will not be conducted. This rule applies only to the 2021 MEXT Scholarship application term. Therefore, please submit documentation which demonstrates your Japanese or English language ability, such as those listed below, along with your application.


*Applicants are still eligible to apply even without the below documentation. In that case, applicants must prove their language proficiency at the interview stage after passing the first application screening.


Japanese

  1. Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) documentation indicating proficiency of N2 or higher.
  2. A graduation certificate indicating completion of a Japanese curriculum that satisfies the admission requirements for a Japanese university or graduate school with Japanese as the main language of instruction.

English

  1. Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) documentation indicating proficiency of B2 or higher.
  2. A graduation certificate indicating completion of an English curriculum that satisfies the admission requirements for a Japanese university or graduate school with English as the main language of instruction.

Sample examination questions from previous years can be found here: https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/scholarship/application/examination.html


Application Timeline


June 2020MEXT scholarship application documents become available
August 27, 2020 Application documents deadline
September, 2020 Notification of being invited to interview
September- October 2020Interviews and examinations take place (first screening)
October 2020 Notification of results for the first screening
Applicants who pass the screening receive additional instructions for next steps
Applicant documents are sent to MEXT in Tokyo for secondary screening
December 25, 2020 Applicant must contact Japanese universities requesting admission by December 25, 2020
January 2021 Applicant must provide proof of gaining admission
February 2021 Notification of results for the secondary (MEXT) screening
MEXT contacts the university
June 2021 Notification of scholarship recipient and university placement
September 2021 Travel arrangements to Japan are made for scholarship recipient
October 2021 Departure for Japan and beginning of scholarship period


How to Apply

*The deadline for the 2021 MEXT Research Student Scholarship has passed.

Applicants must carefully read the Application Guidelines before beginning to prepare their application packet. Please refer to the study in Japan Comprehensive Guide below.

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/smap-stopj-applications-research.html

All documents should be included in a single envelope and mailed to:

MEXT Scholarship
Embassy of Japan
2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008


The deadline for application documents to be submitted to the Embassy is August 27, 2020*.

*This is not a “post-marked by” deadline. Late applications will not be considered.

If you have questions about the MEXT Research Students Scholarship, please contact education@ws.mofa.go.jp or anna.beischer@ws.mofa.go.jp


The application deadline for the 2020 MEXT Scholarship for Japanese Studies is now open. The Embassy is currently accepting applications.


The MEXT Japanese Studies Scholarship is intended for undergraduate students to study Japanese language and culture at a Japanese institution for one year. It provides airfare to Japan, tuition for the university, and a stipend for cost of living for one school year. In addition to the information listed on this page, all applicants are responsible for reading and following the instructions in the 2020 MEXT Japanese Studies Scholarship Application Guidelines.


Applicants must be undergraduates at a foreign (non-Japanese) university at the time of arriving in and leaving Japan and must be majoring in field related to the Japanese language or Japanese culture. The term of the 2020 MEXT Japanese Studies Scholarship is within one year from September or October 2020.


For information on studying at Japanese universities, please use the resources below as a starting point:


Eligibility Requirements:*

  • U.S. citizenship and residence in Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia
  • Born between April 2, 1990 and April 1, 2002
  • Must be an undergraduate student majoring in fields related to Japanese language or Japanese culture.
  • Must have studied Japanese Studies at a university for a total period of one year or more as of September 1, 2020.
  • Must return to home country and continue to study at their home institution immediately after the end of the scholarship period.

*Read the Application Guidelines for more detailed descriptions and additional requirements


Knowledge of Japanese Language


Applicants must have Japanese language ability sufficient for receiving education at a Japanese university in Japan.


Interviews and Examinations


All interviews will be conducted, in person, at the Embassy of Japan in Washington DC. No exceptions under any circumstances. In addition to the interview itself, all applicants will sit for written exams, including a Japanese Language Exam. Sample examination questions from previous years are not disclosed, but sample questions from other MEXT scholarships can be found HERE.


Application Timeline


February 7, 2020Deadline for the submission of application documents
February 14-18, 2020Notification of being invited to interview
February 27 or 28, 2020Interviews and examinations take place (first screening)
Mid-March 2020Notification of results for the first screening
Applicant documents are sent to MEXT in Tokyo for secondary screening
Late May 2020 Notification of results for the secondary (MEXT) screening
July 2020~ Notification of scholarship recipient and university placement
~August 2020 Travel arrangements to Japan are made for scholarship recipient
September~October 2020 Departure for Japan and beginning of scholarship period


How to Apply


Applicants must carefully read the Application Guidelines before beginning to prepare their application packet. Applications submitted with incomplete information or documentation will not be considered, so please carefully review that all required forms and documents are completely filled out and submitted together. A full checklist of required documents is provided in the Application Guidelines, including some documents not listed among the forms below because they must be provided by the applicant (such as transcripts).


Documents for Application

Required Forms

All documents should be included in a single envelope and mailed to:

MEXT Scholarship
Embassy of Japan
2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008


The deadline for application documents to be submitted to the Embassy is February 7, 2020*.

*This is not a “post-marked by” deadline. Late applications will not be considered.

If you have questions about the MEXT Scholarship for Japanese Studies, please contact education@ws.mofa.go.jp