Young Leaders’ Program (YLP) MEXT Scholarships for Master Level Courses in Japan, 2019-2020

Deadline:  varies according to the country
Open to: young international (undergraduate or graduate students) who wish to pursue non-degree course, Master’s degree, PhD or research
Scholarship: 125, 000 yen; economy class air ticket; accommodation


Applications are open for Young Leaders’ Program (YLP) for 2019-2020 academic year. These scholarships are available for international students to pursue master’s program in the field of Public Administration/Public Policy, Local Governance, Healthcare Administration, Business Administration and Law from October 2019 in Japan.

The Young Leaders’ Program (YLP) aims to contribute to the fostering of future national leaders in Asian and other countries. In addition, while deepening the participants’ understanding about Japan, it should help form a network among national leaders, contributing to the establishment of friendly relationships and improved policy planning activities among Asian and other countries, including Japan.

Launched in 2001 by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of the Government of Japan, the Young Leaders’ Program (YLP) is a yearlong academic scholarship program that aims to prepare and empower young professionals from all over the world for future leadership roles in their respective fields.


In order to be considered eligible to apply, you must fulfill all of the following criteria:

  • Nationality: Applicant must be nationals of countries eligible for the YLP (School of Government). An applicant who has Japanese nationality at the time of application is not eligible.
  • Age: Applicants must be, in principle, under 40 years of age as of October 1, 2019 (i.e. born on or after October 2, 1979).
  • Academic Background: Applicants must hold a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a recognized/accredited university or college, and have achieved excellent academic performance.
  • Work Experience: At least 3 years of full-time work experience in public administration (preferably 5 years or more).
  • English Ability: A minimum TOEFL iBT score of 79, IELTS Academic score of 6.0 or equivalent.
  • Health: Applicants must be judged that you are medically adequate to pursue study in Japan by an examining physician on a prescribed certificate of health.
  • Arrival in Japan: In principle, applicants must be able to arrive in Japan during the period specified by GRIPS, within two weeks before and after the first day of the course conducted by the accepting university. If the applicant cannot arrive in Japan during the specified period for personal reasons, travel expenses to Japan will not be paid.
  • Visa Requirement: In principle, a selected applicant must obtain a “Student” (??) visa at the Japanese diplomatic mission located in the applicant’s country of nationality, and enter Japan with the residence status of “Student.” Applicants who change their residence status to any status other than “Student” (??) after their arrival in Japan will immediately lose their status as a MEXT Scholarship student.
  • Non-Eligibility: Applicants who meet any or all of the following conditions are not eligible. If identified after acceptance of the scholarship grantees, the applicants will be required to withdraw from the scholarship: ? Those who are military personnel or military civilian employees at the time of their arrival in Japan or during the period of the payment of the scholarship; ? Those who cannot arrive in Japan by the last date of the period designated by GRIPS; ? Those who are already enrolled in a Japanese university or other institution with a residence status of “Student” (??) or who are going to be enrolled, or plan to enroll, in a Japanese university or other institution as a privately-financed international student from the time of application to the MEXT scholarship program in the applicant’s country until the commencement of the period for payment of the MEXT scholarship. However, this stipulation does not apply to privately-financed international students who, even though they are enrolled, or are planning to enroll, in a Japanese university, verifiably complete their studies before the start of the scholarship payment period, return to their home country at the time of the scholarship application, and newly acquire the “Student” residence status and come to Japan; ? Those who are planning to receive scholarship money from an organization other than MEXT (including a government organization of the applicant’s country) on top of the scholarship money provided by MEXT after the start of the scholarship payment period; ? Holders of dual nationality at the time of application who cannot verify that they will give up Japanese nationality by the time of the arrival in Japan; ? Those wishing to engage in fieldwork or an internship in a country other than Japan after submission of Application; or  Those who will lose their status as public administrators or government officials following the time of application or before completion of the program.


  • Allowance: 242,000 yen per month. Due to the situation of the Japanese Government’s budget, the amount of payment may be subject to change each fiscal year. The scholarship will not be paid to a grantee who takes a leave of absence or is long absent from the assigned university.
  • Traveling Costs:
  • Transportation to Japan: In principle, MEXT stipulates the travel schedule and route, and provides an economy-class airline ticket from the international airport nearest to his/her home address (in principle, the country of nationality) to Narita or Haneda International Airport. The grantee shall bear at his/her own expense all costs related to domestic travel from his/her home address to the nearest international airport, airport taxes, airport usage fees,special taxes necessary for travel, travel expenses within Japan (including airline transit costs), travel insurance expenses, carry-on luggage or unaccompanied baggage expenses, etc. The present address in the country of the grantee’s nationality stated in the application form is in principle regarded as the recipient’s “home address”. If, however, the address stated in the application form will be changed at the time of leaving from his/her country, the changed address will be regarded as the “home address”.
  • Transportation from Japan: Based on the application by the grantee, MEXT will provide an airline ticket to grantees who shall graduate the accepting university and return to the home country by the end of the final month of the period of scholarship (See “3. Period of Scholarship”) designated by MEXT. MEXT, in principle, shall provide an economy-class airline ticket from Narita or Haneda International Airport to the international airport (in principle, in the country of nationality) nearest to the returning grantee’s residence. The grantee shall bear at his/her own expense all costs related to travel from the grantee’s residence in Japan to Narita or Haneda international airport, airport taxes, airport usage fees, special taxes necessary for travel, travel expenses within the country of nationality (including airline transit costs), travel insurance expenses, carry-on luggage or unaccompanied baggage expenses, etc.
  • Education Fees: Fees for entrance examination, matriculation and tuition will be paid by MEXT.
  • Accommodations:  In principle, grantees may reside at residence halls provided by GRIPS. Private Boarding Houses or Apartment Houses: Those who cannot accommodate in the facilities described above will be arranged at private boarding houses or apartments recommended by the GRIPS Student Office.


All YLP applications must be made through the specific recommending authorities for each course. Applicants must submit the following documents to their recommending authorities by the designated date. Documents submitted will not be returned.

  • Application for Admission
  • Photographs
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended
  • Recommendation Letter from the recommending authority
  • Recommendation Letter from the applicant’s direct superior at work
  • Recommendation Letter from the applicant’s superior at work, or supervising professor of the university
  • Certificate of Health
  • Official degree certificates or certified copies of diplomas from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended
  • Essay explaining applicant’s aspirations and future plans following program  completion
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Family Register
  • Copy of the Passport
  • English Proficiency Certificate
  • Answer to the Essay Questions

The official web-page.