Department of Integrated Biosciences - Graduate School of Frontier Science, The university of Tokyo

Admissions

Q: I am taking the entrance examinations for master course. Should I contact the faculty member from my desired laboratory?

A: How about participating in the Open Lab (Biosciences Building) at Kashiwa Campus? Even if you are not available, we recommend you to contact the faculty member from your desired laboratory separately so you can meet in person and talk to him/her. You are welcomed to directly e-mail or phone to him/her. You can also ask the Head of the Entrance Exam Committee to mediate your contact wish to the faculty member(s). Do not hesitate. You will spend 2 years for master course or 5 years for master and doctor courses at the laboratory. So it is important that you check for yourself to see whether the laboratory would suit you, if there is any problem commuting to Kashiwa Campus, or how the living environment is around the campus. It would be a good idea to also visit other research laboratories you are interested in, because there is a chance that you might be assigned to a laboratory other than the one you desired at the application. When you visit the laboratories, we also recommend talking to the senior students to get some information related to research or the living. However, you can only contact the faculty member before submitting the application. Once the application is submitted, please be aware that only inquiries to the Head of the Entrace Exam Committee of our department about administrative matters will be accepted.  

Q: Could you tell me about the contents and difficulty level of the "specialized and fundamental bioscience", and the number of questions? Also, what kind of topics will be given for the "essay" examination?

A: The "specialized and fundamental bioscience" examination will include questions from high school level biology to university level (general education) biology, biochemistry and genetics to test your basic knowledge on life science.  Also, all questions need to be answered but we cannot tell you how many questions there will be. For last year's "essay" examination, 2 questions related to life science were given and students had to answer each question in about 500 characters (of Japanese letters).  The evaluation will be mainly focused on the logicality and writing ability.  On an additional note, you will be given 2 hours for "specialized and fundamental bioscience and essay" which is the same as the past years. 

Q: How competitive is the entrance examination?

A: For an accurate number/ratio of successful applicants, refer to the GSFS website.   

Q: What is the difference between "declaring" and "not declaring" my desired laboratory, and how do you assign the students to each laboratory?

A: "I am not declaring a desired laboratory" is for people who wish to hear about each laboratory after the enrollment first, and then choose their laboratory. Or for those who are just undecided about it upon submitting their application. Selecting "I am not declaring a desired preferred laboratory" will not affect the results at all. However, if you wish to join the Laboratory of Cancer Biology, Laboratory of Evolution and Development, or Laboratory of Advanced Marine Biosciences, you need to declare your desired laboratory upon application because these laboratories do not accept new students after enrollment. Admission decisions are made from the performance for the entrance examinations, and it is not related to your laboratory preference. Also, in case the number of accepted applicants (who picked the same laboratory as you) exceeds that laboratory's set number (laboratories have limits, a few students per faculty member), the admission decision gives priority to higher scores. Thus, you may not be assigned to the desired laboratory depending on your performance for the entrance examinations. In that case, you will be assigned after the Pre-School period to a laboratory from the Core laboratories (Group of Structural Biosciences and Group of Functional Biosciences), Laboratory of Applied Bioresources, or Laboratory of Isotope Ecology, on "post-admission laboratory assignment" status with those who picked "I am not declaring a desired laboratory".   

Q: I'm not Japanese and I graduated (will graduate) from a Japanese university, but I'm not good at writing Japanese. Do all written examinations need to be answered in Japanese?

A: Except for the Special Selection for Applicants with Overseas Education, we do not distinguish between Japanese and International students in the examinations. However, "specialized and fundamental bioscience and essay" can be answered in English even if you are Japanese. There is no special consideration for "English".

Q: What kind of questions will I be asked in the oral examination? Also, what does the "prospective candidate" mean?

A: In the oral examination, you will be asked to answer several questions such as the research/experiments in your undergraduate school, or what you would like to study after enrollment. The oral examination excludes the faculty members of your desired laboratory in order to evaluate in a fair, objective manner. At the interview for successful applicants, you will be informed of your laboratory (or supervisor) and for those yet to be assigned, we will explain about how your laboratory is going to be decided and the procedures required. Around noon on the day of the interview, a list of students who can proceed to the interview will be announced according to our judgments of the written examination and oral examination.

Q: I'm a student from the Faulty of Engineering. My current major is hardly related to life science, but is it still okay to apply?

A: Our department welcomes passionate students from all fields. This is because we want to become pioneers crossing boundaries of existing research/study fields. Of course, admission decisions are based on the performance for the entrance examinations, and there is no division by your academic backgrounds. As a matter of fact, 56 out of the 375 students who were admitted between 2007 and 2011 had academic backgrounds unrelated to life science, including some divisions of engineering faculty and even from the faculty of letters and faculty of law. Even if you didn't study biology in your faculty, please do not worry because we have the "Basic Biochemistry and Molecular Biology" lecture to teach you the basics in biology. Also, there is a lecture called "Statistical Analysis for Biosciences" which will guide you through the basic methods required in experimental biology for analyzing experiment data statistically. However, basic knowledge on life science will be necessary in order to understand these lectures. We recommend that you study life science for the purpose of acquiring the basic knowledge rather than studying for the graduate school exam.  

Q: Where can I get a hold of the past entrance examination tests?

A: You can download the past entrance examinations for here.

Q: I am interested in life sciences in general, but it's difficult for me to decide what I want to study as of now. Since I don't know any instructor in University of Tokyo either, I cannot choose which laboratory I'd like to join. Can I still take the tests?

A: That is okay. We have a unique system for our department's admission, called “post-admission laboratory assignment”, that allows you to leave the preference of laboratory undecided at the time of application, then choose after the post-enrollment orientation. Moreover, all laboratories from the Core laboratories groups secure positions for at least 1 person to be assigned after enrollment. If you haven't decided a laboratory, you can choose after getting enough information at the post-enrollment orientation and the "Pre-School" (about a whole week is used to explain the research of each lab, in the form of a class). Please remember the importance of this, seeing as you will spend 2 years for master course or 5 years for master and doctor courses at the laboratory. For the purpose of gaining a better understanding of the researches at this department as well, it is strongly recommended to contact the faculty member of your desired laboratory for more details and think thoroughly about your choice.  

Q: Compared to the students from the University of Tokyo, will I be at disadvantage for the admission because I'm not from the University of Tokyo?

A: There is no system that takes internal recommendations or prioritizes those who graduated the University of Tokyo. The Department of Integrated Biosciences welcomes not only students from Japan but also from other universities all over the world. The following shows the universities attended by the students admitted between 2008 and 2016 academic year.

(2016 academic year)

Zhejiang University (China) (2), Nanjing University (China) (1), Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) (1), Soochow University (China) (1), The National Institute of Technology Durgapur (India) (1), Ibaraki University (1), Yokohama City University (2), Gakushuin University (3), Iwate University (1), Kyusyu Institute of Technology (1), Keio University (1), Hiroshima University (2), International Christian University (1), Saitama University (1), Akita University (1), Sophia University (1), Shinshu University (1), Kanagawa University (2), Chiba University (3), Maebashi Institute of Technology (1), Waseda University (2), Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (1), Tokyo Gakugei University (1), Tokyo Institute of Technology (2), The University of Tokyo (4), Tokyo Denki University (1), Tokyo University of Agriculture (1), Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (1), Tokyo University of Science (12), Toyo University (1), Doshisha University (3), Tokushima University (1), Nara Women’s University (2), The Open University of Japan (1), Hosei University (3), Hokkaido University (1), Meiji University (1) (in no particular order)

(2015 academic year)

Beijing University of Chinese Medicine (China) (1), Dalian University of Technology (China) (1), Ochanomizu University (1), Ehime University (1), Yokohama City University (3), Gakushuin University (2), Gifu University (1), Miyagi University (1), Keio University (2), Hirosaki University (1), International Christian University (4), Shibaura Institute of Technology (2), Akita Prefectural University (1), Waseda University (1), University of Tsukuba (1), Chuo University (1), Tokai University (1), Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (1), Tokyo Gakugei University (1), The University of Tokyo (1), Tokyo Denki University (2), Tokyo University of Agriculture (2), Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (2), Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences (1), Tokyo University of Science (16), Tohoku University (1), Doshisha University (1), Japan Women’s University (1), Hosei University (5), Hokkaido University (4), Rikkyo University (2), University of the Ryukyus (1) (in no particular order)

(2014 academic year)

Peking University (China) (1), Zhejiang University (China) (1), Tianjin Normal University (China) (1), Osaka University (1), Osaka Prefecture University (1), Kanagawa University (1), Kobe University (1) Saitama University (3), Shinshu University (1), Sojo University (1), Seikei University (1), Chiba University (4), The University of Electro-Communications (1), Tokyo University of Science (8), Doshisha University (1), Hosei University (3), Hokkaido University (1), Yamagata University (1), Yokohama City University (3), Rikkyo University (1), University of the Ryukyus (1) (in no particular order)

(2013 academic year)

Shandong University (China) (1), Osaka University (1), Ochanomizu University (1), Kanagawa University (2), National Institute of Technology, Gumma College (1) Keio University (1), International Christian University (2), Saitama University (1), Shinshu University (2), Chiba University (1), University of Tsukuba (3), The University of Electro-Communications (1), The University of Tokyo (5), Tokyo Institute of Technology (1), Tokyo Denki University (1), Tokyo University of Agriculture (4), Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (2), Tokyo University of Science (10), Tottori University (1), Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University (1), Japan Women’s University (3), Hosei University (4), Hoshi University (1), Meiji University (1), Meiji Pharmaceutical University (1), Yokohama City University (1), Rikkyo University (1), University of the Ryukyus (1), Waseda University (1) (in no particular order)

(2012 academic year)

National Taiwan University (1), Ochanomizu University (1), Utsunomiya University (1), Yokohama National University (1), Yokohama City University (4), Sophia University (1), Shinshu University (2), Kanagawa University (1), Seikei University (1), Chiba University (3), Waseda University (2), Tsukuba University (3), Chuo University (2), Tokyo University of Technology (1), Tokyo Institute of Technology (2), The University of Tokyo (5), Tokyo Denki University (1), Tokyo University of Agriculture (2), Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (13), Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences (2), Tokyo University of Science (10), Toho University (1), Tohoku University (1), Tokushima University (1), Nihon University (3), Fukuoka Women's University (1), Hosei University (3), Hokkaido University (1), Nagoya Institute of Technology (1), Rikkyo University (3), Ritsumeikan University (6), University of the Ryukyus (1)   (in no particular order)

(2011 academic year)

Emory University (USA) (1), Ochanomizu University (1), Utsunomiya University (2), Yokohama National University (1), Yokohama City University (1), Kyoto University (1), Gunma National College of Technology (1), International Christian University (2), Saitama University (5), Tokyo Metropolitan University (3), Shinshu University (1), Seikei University (1), Aoyama Gakuin University (1), Chiba University (1), Waseda University (2), Chuo University (1), Nagahama Institute of Bio-Science and Technology (1),  The University of Electro-Communications (1), Shimane University (1), Donghua University (China) (1), Tokyo Institute of Technology (4), The University of Tokyo (6), Tokyo University of Agriculture (5), Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (13), Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences (1), Tokyo University of Science (7), Toyo University (1), Japan Women's University (1), Nihon University (1), Hosei University (1), Nagoya University (2), Meiji University (3), Rikkyo University (6) (in no particular order)

(2010 academic year)

Universidade Federol de Samta Cotarina (Brazil) (1), Ibaraki University (2), Utsunomiya University (2), Yokohama National University (1), Okayama University (1), Kanazawa University (1), Keio University (1), International Christian University (1), Saitama University (4), Yamagata University (1), Yamaguchi University (1), Tokyo Metropolitan University (1), Niigata University (1), Waseda University (3), Tsukuba University (1), Tokyo Institute of Technology (2), The University of Tokyo (5), Tokyo University of Agriculture (5), Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (11), Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences (2),  Tokyo University of Science (12), Toho University (4), Tohoku University (1), Japan Women's University (1), Nihon University (2), Toyama University (1), Hokkaido University (2), Meijo University (1), Meiji University (1), Rikkyo University (4), Ritsumeikan University (1) (in no particular order)

(2009 academic year)

Hitotsubashi University (1), Utsunomiya University (1), Yokohama City University (2), Okayama University (1), Kyoto University (1), Kyoto Pharmaceutical University (1), Keio University (1), Hiroshima University (1), Saitama University (3), Tokyo Metropolitan University (3), Showa University (1), Chiba University (3), Waseda University (1), Osaka University (3), Tsukuba University (1), Tottori University (1), The University of Tokyo (9), Tokyo University of Agriculture (1), Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (3), Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences (5), Tokyo University of Science (13), Toho University (2), Nihon University (3), University of Hyogo (1), Hokkaido University (2), Kitakyushu National College of Technology (1), Kitazato University (1), Nagoya University (1), Meiji University (6), Rikkyo University (1), University of the Ryukyus (1) (in no particular order)

(2008 academic year)

Ochanomizu University (1), Ibaraki University (1), Utsunomiya University (1), Kyoto Institute of Technology (1), Kyoritsu College of Pharmacy (1), Keio University (3), International Christian University (3), Saitama University (1), Akita Prefectural University (1), Kanagawa University (1), Shizuoka University (2), Waseda University (2), Tsukuba University (3), Chuo University (1), Tottori University (1), Tokyo Institute of Technology (1), The University of Tokyo (4), Tokyo Denki University (1), Tokyo Metropolitan University (2), Tokyo University of Agriculture (2), Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (3), Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences (5), Tokyo University of Science (7), Toho University (2), Tohoku University (2), Toyo University (1), Japan Women's University (1), Nihon University (3), Musashino University (1), Nagoya University (1), Meijo University (1), Meiji University (1), Rikkyo University (1)  (in no particular order)

Q: I cannot make it to the briefing session on the entrance examinations. Instead, could I visit the laboratory directly?

A: It is not a requirement to attend the briefing session on the entrance examinations. Please refer to the Entrance Examination Guide of the Department of Integrated Biosciences and the Guidelines for Applicants  to Master (or Doctor) Course of GSFS. You can also obtain information from this website. However, we do recommend your participation if possible because the briefing session does not only cover matters on the entrance examinations, but also goes through the details on the Department of Integrated Biosciences. Also, you are welcome to visit the laboratories on another date. In that case, please make sure to  contact the faculty member of the laboratory in advance via e-mail or phone. Since many of them are busy, the faculty member might be absent if you come without making an appointment. You are welcomed to directly e-mail or phone to him/her. You can also ask the Head of the Entrance Exam Committee to mediate your contact wish to the faculty member(s). Do not hesitate. However, you can only contact the faculty member or visit the laboratory before submitting the application. Once the application is submitted, please be aware that only inquiries to the Head of the Entrance Exam Committee of our department about administrative matters will be accepted.