5 PhD Scholarships in Japan: MEXT and Other Scholarship Programs

Sakura flowers, anime, Mount Fuji, these are just some of the things the world knows about Japan. With one of the most advanced education systems and rigorous curriculum, Japan is a fantastic opportunity for students who would like to experience the country’s progressive academic world. If you plan on pursuing PhD scholarships in Japan as an international student, check out these scholarships below.

phd scholarships in japan

Japan is global phenomenon that keeps surprising the world. With major cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, Japan is a tourist’s paradise. Young people all over world visit the country to experience the fast hustle and bustle of its metropolitan madness, to the quiet serenity of its nature. In the country where sakura flowers bloom, many people come to Japan for a once in a lifetime experience and feel the unique culture that surrounds the nation.

Popular for its progressive academic system and their high educational standards, Japan is home to some of the world’s leading universities, such as The University of Tokyo, Meiji University, Kyoto University, Osaka University, and more in store. Most recently, more and more of Japan universities are opening its doors to foreign students. Expect more scholarships and grants for fellow international scholars!

International students who wish to study in Japan should not be surprised with the culture clash. Despite the many differences, Japan welcomes its arms to anyone who wishes to study here. With approximately 200,000 international students in the country, Japan is aiming for more and more students as the year progresses by.

Feel like pursuing your future PhD degree in the land of Pikachu? You’re in luck! Here are five PhD scholarships in Japan for international students.

University of Tokyo PhD Scholarships in Japan

The MEXT Scholarship is a scholarship offered by the University of Tokyo, one of Japan’s leading public research universities located in the capital city of Tokyo. This scholarship is aimed at international students who are intending to pursue their PhD degrees at the Graduate School of Science.

This scholarship only caters to a certain list of subjects that are offered by the Graduate School of Science. International students who intend to try out for this scholarship must pursue a doctoral degree within the specializations of Physics, Earth & Planetary Science, Biological Sciences, Astronomy, and Chemistry.

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Criteria: future candidates who are interested in applying for this scholarship must have a GPA of at least 2.30 (out of a 3.00 total score) and are expected to maintain their academic grades throughout the course, must provide proof of fluency in both written and spoken English using through TOEFL or IELTS tests, born on or after the 2nd of April 1985, be physically and mentally fit enough to undergo through their curriculum, and lastly, apply for the degree that the candidate had applied for in their previous studies.

Benefits: successful candidates of the MEXT Scholarship will receive a monthly allowance of 145,000 yen, and all expenses paid trip to Japan and from Japan, and also an additional 2,000-3,000 yen who are doing research in Japan.

How to Apply: PhD scholars who are interested in applying for this scholarship can visit the official University of Tokyo MEXT Scholarship website for more details.

University of Tokyo Todai Fellowship

The Todai Fellowship is another scholarship offered by the University of Tokyo. This scholarship is given out to international students who are keen on pursuing their higher education in Japan, and it also aims to help future bright students who require financial assistance as well.

This scholarship is only available for PhD students who plan on taking a doctoral program provided by the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences at the University of Tokyo. The programs that are provided are within the research areas of Transdisciplinary Sciences (e.g. Advanced Materials Science, Advanced Energy), Biosciences (e.g. Integrated Biosciences, Computational Biology and Medical Sciences), and Environmental Studies (e.g. Natural Environmental Studies, Human and Engineered Environmental Studies).

Criteria: future PhD scholars who are planning to take up this scholarship must apply for a Doctoral program at the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences at the University of Tokyo beforehand, must have at least a Master’s degree, required to provide proof of fluency in both written on spoken English, and must hold a legitimate student Visa to stay in Japan.

Benefits: successful candidates of the Todai Fellowship will received a monthly stipend of 200,000 yen throughout the course of three years.

How to Apply: PhD scholars who are interested in applying for this scholarship can visit the Todai Fellowship University of Tokyo official website for more information regarding this scholarship.

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OIST Graduate Program

The OIST Graduate Program is a scholarship offered by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, an institution located in Okinawa. This course is offered to students who are of foreign nationalities and would like to pursue their PhD degrees in scientific fields.

This scholarship only caters to programs that are provided by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University. These programs include Environmental and Ecological Sciences, Mathematical and Computational Sciences, Neuroscience, Chemistry, Marine Sciences, Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, and Physics.

Criteria: future candidates who are planning to apply for this scholarship must have a keen interest in the science department, send in their applications to the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, must have at least a Master’s degree, and must provide proof of their fluency in written and spoken English through TOELF or IELTS tests.

Benefits: selected candidates of the OIST Graduate Program will be able to partake in their respective PhD programs and everything will be fully-funded by the institution. On top of that, recipients will also be granted with research assistantship.

How to apply: PhD scholars who are interested in applying for this scholarship can visit the official OIST Graduate Program website for more information regarding this scholarship.

Sato Yo International Scholarship Foundation Program

The Sato Yo International Scholarship Foundation is a scholarship offered by Kyushu University in Fukuoka, located in the island of Kyushu. This scholarship is offered to international students who do not have any citizenship in Japan.

This scholarship caters to programs provided by the Kyushu University. However, only certain international students are able to sign up for the scholarship. Students must come from either Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, East Timor, or Vietnam.

Criteria: future candidates who are interested in applying for this scholarship must have an astounding academic track record, have experience partaking in social organizations or acts of volunteerism, must be fluent in both English and Japanese language, must have at least a Masters degree, and should submit in all the documents that are required.

Benefits: selected PhD candidates of the Sato Yo International Scholarship Foundation will receive a monthly stipend of 180,000 yen.

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How to Apply: applications for the Sato Yo International Scholarship Foundation are currently closed for this year. However, if you are interested in applying for this scholarship, visit the official Sato Yo International Scholarship Foundation website for more information regarding this scholarship.

PhD Scholarships in Japan in Sustainability Science

The PhD in Sustainability Science Scholarships is a scholarship offered by the United Nations University, the academic research facility of the United Nations located in Tokyo, Japan. This scholarship is offered to international students mainly coming from developing countries.

This scholarship offers several different courses that are provided by the United Nations University. The entire PhD program will involve taking a list of compulsory courses that include The United Nations System and Sustainable Development, Global Change and Planetary Boundaries, Natural Capital and Biodiversity, Resilience and Adaptation Science, and Frontier of Sustainability Science.

Criteria: future candidates who are keen on applying for this scholarship must show an interest towards the field of sustainability studies, a commitment to learn about global issues, have a Master degree in sustainability studies, an excellent academic track record (minimal GPA of 3.5 out of a 4.0 score), and proven fluency in written and spoken language through TOELF or IELTS tests.

Benefits: selected recipients of the PhD in Sustainability Science Scholarships will be granted an allowance of 120,000 yen per month over the course of three years, and an all expenses-paid tuition during their studies.

How to Apply: applications for the PhD in Sustainability Science Scholarships are currently closed for this year. However, if you are interested in applying for this scholarship, visit the official PhD in Sustainability Science Scholarships website for more information regarding this scholarship.

While getting an education in Japan can be quite intimidating, there is no need to worry! New challenges can be fun and exciting. And with generous scholarships like the ones provided above, you won’t have to worry much about the financial aspects as you continue to pursue your further studies. As the local Japanese people would say before signing off, “sayonara!”

Still need more information? Not to fret! we’ll make sure we give you the latest information about PhD Scholarships in Japan. Stay tuned to our future articles at www.scholarshipstory.com.

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4 thoughts on “5 PhD Scholarships in Japan: MEXT and Other Scholarship Programs

  1. I am weldeabrha kiros kidanemaryam from Ethiopia, graduated in BA degree in purchasing and supply management from Bahirdar university and masters degree in logistics and supply chain management from Aksum university. Thus i need a scholarship in japan.

  2. Hi I’m kufa Bedaso from Ethiopia I have a master degree in manufacturing technology I would like to pursue my PhD in one of your university…Can you help me please

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