Financial Aid

Tohoku University offers reduction or exemption of tuition fees for students in financial difficulty.

Prospective and current international students of Tohoku University may have scholarship opportunities as follows.

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
研究 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. 研究 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. 研究 field and theme
  2. Academic/research background
  3. Graduation thesis or research paper
  4. 研究 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. A set of copies of the documents submitted to the Japanese diplomatic mission that have been stamped by the Japanese diplomatic mission and returned
* Do not attach "Placement Preference Application Form" to the email.

Please note that it may take a week for the appropriate person to respond to your inquiry. It may take even longer during the holiday season, such as the summer / Obon break in mid-August when some offices are closed.

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

Financial Support for PhD Students

Tohoku University has recently established two new projects to improve the research environment of PhD students, and to help alleviate any economic anxieties that might occur. These are in the form of a monthly stipend and research grant. Since these projects are carried out with assistance from national funding, the support period and content may change depending on national policy.


Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship


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

Eligibility Self-financed international college students in Japan

monthly stipends for 12 months from April
(Undergrad 48,000 yen / Grad 48,000 yen)

Scholarship starts April only for current students, October for prospective students
Application through Tohoku University
Inquiry Academic Affairs Section of Schools you belong

Other Scholarships


Some private foundations or other organization in Japan offer scholarships for international students. These scholarships vary with regards to recruitment procedures, eligible fields of study and amount. Some may be granted before admission, but in many cases application shall be made through Tohoku University after admission.

Inquiry Academic Affairs Section of Schools you belong

Guidebook for Prospective Students

  • This guidebook contains information for Tohoku University international students on procedural matters at the university as well as helpful information about daily life.

Pocket Guide for Procedures International Students

  • Pocket Guide
    This booklet contains various kinds of information on procedures international students and scholars coming to Tohoku University should take before coming to Japan, when you enter Japan and after your arrival.
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