Study in Japan Without IELTS


Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Jul 19, 2022 12:31 PM IST

Do not have an IELTS score? No worries! International students can study in Japan without IELTS to pursue undergraduate, masters or PhD degree programmes. As there is no IELTS requirement at certain Japanese universities, applicants can apply for Japanese scholarships without having an IELTS score.

Study in Japan Without IELTS

Japan is known as one of the most literate nations with a successful democracy. Tourists and even international students are attracted to its breathtaking scenery, delectable seafood, and acclaimed educational system. Just as it tops many tourists' lists of travel destinations, there is no denying that it tops several international students lists of study abroad destinations as well. Throughout the years, Japan has consistently ranked among the top 10 countries for education and student safety.

The annual enrollment of foreign students in Japan is estimated to be around 298,000. Numerous courses offered by Japanese institutions are taught exclusively in English. When applying to a Japanese institution's English-based programme, IELTS is not a mandatory requirement.

Furthermore, as there is no application fee for Japanese universities, you can submit multiple applications at once. Additionally, a handful of government scholarships are available at these universities without IELTS. All degree levels and disciplines are covered by these Japanese scholarships for both domestic and international students. Before discussing various scholarships to study in Japan without IELTS, let us discuss five ways you can study in Japan without IELTS.

Planning to study in Japan without IELTS? Or, are you finding it difficult to prepare for English proficiency exams as a non-native speaker of English? Let our experts help you with your exam preparation.

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Eligibility Criteria To Study in Japan Without IELTS

Universities in Japan offer a variety of options for students who do not have an IELTS score. Your enrollment at the university could depend on whether you meet the following conditions.

Study Japanese at a Language School

Studying Japanese as a language could be an excellent initial step for students who are committed to studying in this country. It is much easier to learn the language quickly if you are compelled to practise and are immersed in Japanese culture. Additionally, being proficient in Japanese will aid you later in life when you apply for jobs.

Study in Japanese

If you have had a long-standing interest in Japanese culture and have since been taking language classes, you may have reached a level where you can pursue higher education in the language. The language will no longer be an issue for you once you can demonstrate your proficiency in it. The Japanese Language Proficiency Test can be used to gauge your level of Japanese comprehension.

English As A Medium of Instruction in High School

You will not need an IELTS score if you attended school in a nation where English is the primary language. Even if you are not a native of the country, graduating from such a school is sufficient evidence that you can communicate smoothly in English. You can study in Japan without IELTS if your school taught classes in English despite not being in an English-speaking nation. You must, however, offer sufficient proof that you received an English-language education.

A Native Speaker Does Not Have to Take IELTS

You would not need to submit the IELTS scorecard if you can demonstrate that you are a native English speaker. A copy of your passport and, in some cases, your birth certificate may be required as proof of this.

Submit IELTS Alternative Test Scores

Japanese universities recognise scores from tests other than IELTS as proof of language proficiency. Additionally, you can upload your TOEFL scores and Cambridge Assessment English results. However, the admission requirements may differ from one university to another between the programmes being offered.

Top Universities To Study in Japan Without IELTS

These are certain Japanese universities that do not require applicants to take the IELTS exam. The table below shows a list of such universities along with their accepted IELTS alternative exams:

University Name

IELTS Alternative

Hokkaido University

TOEFL, Cambridge ESOL Exam, TOEIC Exam

Keio University


Kyoto University

TOEFL iBT, Cambridge English FCE, TOEIC

Kyushu University


Nagoya University


Osaka University


Tohoku University


Tokyo Institute of Technology


University of Tokyo


Waseda University


Now that you have an idea that you international students can Study Abroad Without IELTS, you may check out these links where you can study without taking the IELTS exam:

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Scholarships to Study in Japan Without IELTS

A substantial number of international students are hosted by Japanese universities and the government by providing scholarships. There are scholarships available for all academic subjects, specialisations and degree levels. So let us get straight to the top scholarship programmes in Japan without taking the IELTS exam or the TOEFL exam:

University of Kyoto Nominated Scholarships

The University of Kyoto bestows this scholarship programme. The scholarship application does not require a TOEFL or IELTS score. Any candidate with the status of a student can apply for this scholarship. Students receive awards based on their leadership, financial necessity, and academic excellence. Separate applications are needed for the scholarships as they cover all faculties and degree levels.

Monbukagakhusho Honors Scholarship for Privately Financed International Students

This Japanese scholarship is designed for international students who are privately sponsored and do not hold any government scholarship. Both undergraduate and graduate students at Japanese universities are eligible for the grant. It is offered by the Japan Student Services Organisation (JASSO).

According to the programme, qualified students get a monthly award of JPY 48,000. Following the conclusion of your matriculation, you may submit an application for this programme.

ADB Japan Scholarships

In the case that applicants can prove their English language proficiency with any of the alternative IELTS certificates, they will be considered for ADB Japanese Scholarships without submitting IELTS scores. Each ADB-Japan scholarship covers tuition fees, housing expenses, personal expenses, literature expenses, visas, and experimentation expenses per year.

Japanese Government MEXT Scholarships

One of the most well-known scholarship programmes being offered by the Japanese government is the MEXT scholarship. This programme is open to students at all academic levels, including graduates, undergraduates, postgraduates, as well as those enrolled in short courses.

A staggering JPY 1,43,000 is given as a monthly stipend to non-degree students. The sum is set at JPY 1,44,000 for students pursuing professional and master's degrees. For PhD students, it rises as high as JPY 1,45,000. Furthermore, the tuition fee is also covered, along with some travel insurance.

Hokkaido University President's Fellowships

This grant is open to applicants who want to enrol in a Master's, doctorate, or professional degree programme at Hokkaido University. Academic achievement is the key factor considered while awarding the scholarship. However, other variables are taken into account, such as interest or curiosity to study at Hokkaido University and the culture and heritage of Japan.

Aichi Scholarship Programme

This fellowship was created exclusively for students from Asia. The programme will provide financial assistance to the students so they can enrol in graduate programmes in Aichi. However, enrollment can only be approved when a six-month research period in areas of study that are relevant to the Aichi industrial sector has been completed.

University of Tokyo Special Scholarship for International Students

This programme has been started by the University of Tokyo for postgraduate students enrolled at the university. A research grant is made available to students under this programme. It is offered to students with the greatest academic standing and is supported privately. The programme is mainly available to students outside Japan. In the case of research students, a monthly grant of JPY 1,50,000 to JPY 2,00,000 is given to students for a period of one year.

Hokkaido University Special Grant Program for Self-Supporting International Students

The programme is being launched for doctorate candidates at Hokkaido University. The student's tuition is free under this programme in exchange for their willingness to workas a research assistant. You must demonstrate your academic prowess to be considered for this Japanese scholarship. Also, you must fully detail how your research will have an influence that will last for years to come.

The University of Tokyo Scholarship

One of the most prestigious scholarships offered by the University of Tokyo is this one. Under the terms of the scholarship, students receive JPY 1,26,000 each month to cover admission fees, living expenses, and tuition.

Eligibility Criteria for Scholarships to Study in Japan Without IELTS

Scholarships awarded by the Japanese government are based on a variety of merits. The criteria for awarding scholarships in Japan include community involvement, academic excellence, extracurricular activities, financial need, and leadership skills. Scholarships are awarded based on academic performance as well, which is determined by the candidates' Grade Point Average (GPA) and other provided certifications.

The applicants for need-based initiatives must demonstrate their financial needs. Additionally, proof of English language proficiency is still required. This can be submitted as alternate test scores to the IELTS and TOEFL as well as by completing accredited English language programmes.

In case you have decided to study in Japan without IELTS or with IELTS, an entirely new horizon of opportunities awaits you. The university systems in Japan are among the greatest in the world. You will be pushed to perform at your highest level every day when you are immersed in a culture that relentlessly pursues greatness.

Our highly experienced team of study abroad experts have assisted numerous Indian students to study abroad without taking IELTS. For detailed information, email us at

Let Our Experts Help You Find the Right Japanese University!


Can I study in Japan without IELTS?

Yes, students can study in Japan without IELTS. As most of the programmes are taught in the English language, international students are required to provide proof that their medium of instruction in high school was English. Or, if they are a native speaker of English, they will need to provide their birth certificate as proof.

Can I get a MEXT scholarship without IELTS?

Yes, you can get a MEXT scholarship without IELTS. MEXT is a scholarship offered by the Japanese government and hence international students are now required to provide IELTS or TOEFL scores. MEXT is available to students at all academic levels as well as to those students enrolled in short courses.

Which exam is preferred in Japan, IELTS or TOEFL?

It can be said that TOEFL is preferred in Japan as compared to the IELTS. Japanese institutions recognise the IELTS and TOEFL iBT tests, both of which can be taken at your convenience in your home country. As per the test-takers convenience, they can take anyone.

Can I study in Germany without IELTS?

Yes, you can study in Germany without IELTS. Numerous prestigious universities in Germany allow applicants to undertake their desired courses without submitting IELTS scores. In order to be considered for admission, applicants must provide an MOI certificate (Medium of Instruction) at the time of their admission. For more information, check out How to Study in Germany Without IELTS.

Can I get a USA student visa without IELTS?

Yes, you can get a USA student visa without IELTS if you have previously studied in English or if you have an international baccalaureate degree. However, if you do not match any of the criteria, you will be required to attend a visa interview if you are accepted to a highly ranked USA university.

Can I study in Ireland without IELTS?

Yes, you can study in Ireland without IELTS. For this, students must show that they have a solid command of the English language in order to be admitted to a degree programme at one of Ireland's prestigious universities. Also, many universities in Ireland offer English language training programmes. To get detailed information, check our article- Study in Ireland Without IELTS.

Can I study in France without IELTS?

Yes, you can study in France without IELTS. You can submit your academic transcripts as an alternative to IELTS to show that you attended a college or school where English was the medium of instruction. You might be asked to take part in a skype/video interview with an admissions officer in order for them to assess your language skills. For more information, you may check out How to Study in France Without IELTS.

Can I study in New Zealand without IELTS?

Yes, you can study in New Zealand without IELTS. Some universities interview prospective international students to determine their level of English proficiency. Instead of IELTS, international students can send PTE scores or TOEFL scores to get admission to universities in New Zealand. To get more information, please visit Study in New Zealand Without IELTS.

Can I study in Canada without IELTS?

Yes, you can study in Canada without IELTS. Applicants can submit other English proficiency test scores such as TOEFL, PTE, or Duolingo English test scores. However, students can also take Cambridge Assessment English (C1 Advanced/C2 Proficiency), Canadian Academic English Language Assessment – CAEL, CAEL-CE, CAEL online, Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP), and Academic English Program for University and College Entry (AEPUCE). To get more information, check out Study in Canada Without IELTS.

Can I study in Australia without IELTS?

Yes, you can study in Australia without IELTS. Students may provide proof of any other English language proficiency test, such as the TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo, or Cambridge English Assessment. They can also provide proof of having studied English as the medium of instruction for at least four years. For detailed information, visit - Study in Australia Without IELTS.

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