Can I do my BA / MA and PhD at different universities?


  • Yes, You may be allowed to if you meet the following conditions:
  • If there is no significant change in the research field or major in your college.
  • And if there are ‘reasonable’ reasons for changing university for a MA’s or Doctoral Program.

Written by: Jihyeon Kim

As a rule, MEXT students are expected to apply for a university that they majored in, but they may be able to change their university for two years of a Masters, professional’s degrees or three years for doctoral courses if they meet the following conditions.


Applicants should apply for the field of study they majored in at their university, or a related field when applying for different universities. Your field of study must be a subject which you will be able to study, and take graduate‐level courses in, at a Japanese university.

Since you need to pass the final screenings by MEXT for a scholarship extension to enter Masters or PhD courses, there should be ‘reasonable’ reasons for changing to a different university that is acceptable for MEXT. A ‘reasonable’ reason may include: professors’ absence in university for personal reasons or any other justifiable reasons for doing research at different universities.


(Image taken from (2017/10/25))

These guide articles are meant to be advice based on the experience of current and previous scholars. Given how situations may change depending on the school, region or year etc., we urge any scholars to approach the relevant authorities in your school if you have any doubts or concerns.

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