Comparative Law Program
Leading Graduate School
Asian Professionals Doctoral Program
Global 30 Program
Non-Degree Status
  • This page provides an outline of scholarships and admissions for overseas applicants to the Comparative Law and undergraduate programs of our faculty.
  • For scholarship and admissions information on the Leading Graduate School initiative and the Global 30 Program, please follow the links to the right.
  • For year-abroad or semester-abroad study, please refer to the NUPACE website and the Campus Asia pages.

University Admissions in Japan

Admission to Japanese university programs is ordinarily by written examination, administered either once or twice each year depending on the program, in Japan, at the target university. An interview may also be required, depending on the regulations of the program and of the university concerned. This admissions process is tailored to Japanese residents schooled within the Japanese education system, the core curriculum of which has a degree of national uniformity at both the secondary and undergraduate levels. It is not appropriate to most overseas applicants.

Overseas admissions are treated specially, in connection with certain scholarship programs or exchange agreements. The relevant paths for admission to programs within the School of Law are outlined below.

Postgraduate Comparative Law Program

Country-based integrated scholarship (JDS)

The JDS scholarship for participating Master’s programs is coordinated by the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE), and is open to candidates from selected jurisdictions. The Nagoya University Graduate School of Law accepts candidates under this program from the following jurisdictions:

  • Cambodia
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam

The selection of JDS fellows is a joint project of the government of the target jurisdiction, the academic staff of the receiving Japanese university, and JICE itself. Successful applicants to the JDS program who specify “Law” at “Nagoya University” as a Desired Study Course must successfully complete the application process for the LL.M. (Comparative Law) for April entry. An expedited application review is the basis for admission. The program in this instance is two and a half years in length.

Exchange-based integrated scholarship (Special Program)

The Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has set aside a limited number of Japanese Government (Mongukagakusho) Scholarships for use by universities participating in an initiative entitled Government-sponsored Special Programs for the Preferential Placement of Foreign Students (Foreign Students for Research). The Nagoya University Graduate School of Law has obtained approval under this scheme for its Human Resources Development Program to Contribute to Asian Technical Legal Assistance Projects. To save space, we will refer to this initiative here as “the Special Program”.

Under the Special Program, certain academic institutions that are party to academic exchange agreements with the GSL or the University may recommend candidates for admission to the LL.M. (Comparative Law) for October entry or the LL.D. (Comparative Law) programs. The relevant institutions are the following:

Selection is based on the submitted application materials, together with an interview in the candidate’s country, where feasible. The number of places for this category of preferred admission is coextensive with the number of scholarships available. Successful applicants are not required to sit a separate entrance examination. The program in this instance is two years in length.

Embassy recommendation (postgraduate)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) administers a scholarship screening process each year between March and May (a list of embassies and consulates general is available). Successful applicants are recommended to the Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) for the award of a Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship. This recommendation does not guarantee a place in an academic program in Japan; recommendees must separately secure admission on the basis of the study program laid out in their scholarship application. Admission requires both the consent of a supervising professor, and formal admission by the University concerned.

Because the notification of results is often made during summer break, when academic staff are either on holiday or immersed in research work, it is generally difficult to secure the agreement of a supervising professor without significant advance groundwork. We strongly urge candidates who believe they may be successful in the Embassy Recommendation screening process, and who hope to apply to the Graduate School of Law, to carefully study the research profiles of our faculty, and to make preliminary contact before the announcement of results, where possible. Leaving this step to the last minute may result in disappointment.

In the Nagoya University Graduate School of Law, candidates entering with Embassy Recommendation are initially admitted as Research Students, and must pass an entrance examination, in principle within one year of arrival, in order to enter the LL.M. (Comparative Law) program.

Other scholarships (postgraduate)

Postgraduate applicants other than JDS and Special Program scholars are subject to the same conditions as Embassy Recommendation candidates, entering as Research Students upon arrival in Japan, with admission to a degree program being subject to passing the relevant entrance examination.

For information on other scholarships, see the website of the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO).

Undergraduate Program

Embassy recommendation (undergraduate)

The Embassy Recommendation screening process described above is also open to undergraduate applicants. The conditions of admission to the School of Law are similar, requiring that applicants pass the relevant entrance examination administered at Nagoya University, after arrival in Japan. However, undergraduate students spend the initial year of non-degree study at the Tokyo or the Osaka University of Foreign Studies for an intensive period of language training.

Other scholarships (undergraduate)

Unfortunately, there is no provision for waiver of the entrance examination requirement for overseas applicants to the undergraduate program. The Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) does administer an Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (the EJU), at a number of overseas examination sites. This examination is recognized by some Japanese university programs as grounds for direct admission, without a separate entrance examination, in advance of arrival in Japan. While international applicants to the Nagoya University School of Law are required to sit this examination, it is not by itself sufficient for admission. In practice, therefore, the Embassy Recommendation process described above is the sole path of admission for foreign applicants to the undergraduate program.