FAQs for Prospective International Graduate Students — Master's Program

Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for international students applying to the master's degree program at the Graduate School of Science. Here, we address common queries to help guide you through the admission process.

Please be aware that the information provided here does not pertain to the International Course in Primatology and Research (ICPWR). If applying to ICPWR, please visit its program website for the relevant details.

What's the duration and degree title of the master's program offered by the Graduate School of Science?

The master's course is standard two years. When you complete the program, Kyoto University awards you a Master's Degree in the Graduate School of Science, "修士 Shushi (理学 Rigaku)" [Japanese].

Am I eligible to apply to the master's program?

You are eligible to apply if you meet any of these criteria:

1. Have graduated from a four-year university in Japan or completed a minimum three-year undergraduate program at an overseas university leading to a bachelor's degree.


2. On track to complete the above before your official start date of April 1st or October 1st.

If you wish to learn about other qualifications that may be evaluated on an individual basis, please refer to the PDF booklet of the application guidelines. Remember, just meeting the minimum requirements does not secure admission.

Can you share the steps for applying for the master's program?

To apply for the master's program, you must do the following after completing the AAO process. Dates must be confirmed on the relevant year's guide.

Mid to late June

  • Make payment for the application fee.
  • Complete and submit the necessary paperwork and online application form by the deadline.


  • Wait for your application to be processed and an examination voucher, "受験票 Jukenhyo", to be issued.


  • Take exams organized by your intended academic division.
  • Find the admissions results online; successful candidates will be notified by a letter of admission.

*Dates vary by academic division.

Please note that the dates must be checked in the relevant year's guidelines.

What's the AAO application, and do I have to use it?

If you've been enrolled in a university outside Japan, you must complete the AAO pre-application process before applying to the Graduate School of Science.

The Admissions Assistance Office (AAO) offers an online service to assess prospective students' international education background early to prepare for admissions. It also assists in connecting with professors if needed. Please visit the AAO website for more details.

What factors should I take into account when applying to the master's program?

You need to know that you must be able to attend the admissions exams in person at Kyoto University. (It's a test-taker's responsibility to organize their travel and stay, obtain a suitable visa, and cover the costs to take the entrance exam.)

To ensure a smooth application process, you are advised to read the application guidelines and pay attention to the detailed instructions.

What exactly are the "application guidelines" and where can I get a copy?

It refers to a downloadable document packed with crucial information, including application deadlines, required documents, and details about the entrance exams. When you apply for the master's program at the Graduate School of Science, this document will be the official go-to source for you. It's revised annually and becomes available on the Graduate School of Science website in late April.

Is there an English version of the master's application guidelines and forms?

The application packets are only available in Japanese.

Would it be okay if I filled out the forms in English?

Yes, you can fill out the forms and documents in English if necessary.

Is the master's course English-based?

The Master's in the Graduate School of Science is not an English-taught degree program except for the International Course in Primatology and Wildlife Research (ICPWR).

Is there a specialized admission route tailored for international students or those based abroad who wish to join the master's program?

In the Graduate School of Science, overseas and local applicants undergo the same admission examination, except for the ICPWR and some of the MEXT-sponsored students. You should follow the master's application guidelines of the Graduate School of Science when applying.

I want to take up a non-degree Kenkyusei position to prepare for the master's entrance exam. Can you tell me how to apply for this option?

To become a "研究生Kenkyusei", please follow these steps:

  1. Complete the AAO online process.
  2. Contact your preferred supervisor to ask if they accept you as a Kenkyusei.
  3. Once your supervisor approves, fill out the application form and pay the fee.
  4. Note - You can only apply with your supervisor's approval, and their decision is final.
I'm curious if I can apply to the doctoral program of the Graduate School of Science without doing a master's as I have a bachelor's degree.

Typically not. In our degree system, you proceed to the 3-year doctoral program after earning a master's degree following your undergraduate study. A good master's degree from Kyoto University or equivalent is the standard basic eligibility for doctoral admissions. Therefore, it is essential to note that it is highly uncommon for a person who has just completed a bachelor's degree to be admitted straight to the doctoral program.

cf. Graduate School of Science - Graduate Admissions (Doctoral Program)

How can I be admitted to the Graduate School of Science as a Japanese Government-sponsored MEXT Scholarship student?

There are two application tracks for the MEXT (Monbukagakusho) scholarships: "embassy’s recommendation" and "university’s recommendation." If you wish to enroll in the Graduate School of Science as a MEXT student, our advice would be that you apply for the MEXT scholarship by the embassy's recommendation. The vast majority of MEXT students admitted to the Graduate School of Science are enrolled through the embassy-recommended program.

After you pass the preliminary screening in the Japanese embassy in your home country, you should contact the faculty member (through the AAO) to ask for acceptance according to the embassy’s instructions.

Additionally, please ensure to review the university's website for any relevant information.

I'm inquiring about the MEXT Scholarship through a university recommendation, as I'm keen on pursuing this opportunity.

If you want to apply for this scholarship track, you should go through the AAO online process and contact a professor first. Unlike many scholarship programs, you can’t apply directly; instead, you need a professor to support and recommend you. Before applying for the scholarship, you must secure acceptance and a scholarship recommendation from a professor who would be your supervisor.

Kyoto University can choose up to three outstanding students every year from a diverse group of candidates across all graduate schools and research institutes. Please note that it's a competitive process. Even if a professor accepts and recommends you, it doesn't guarantee that you'll be one of the university's candidates for the scholarship.

Where can I find practical information like tuition fees and other aspects of studying at Kyoto University?

Please visit the "Study at KyotoU" website, which provides the necessary information for prospective international students. Its FAQ page will also be useful.