Master's Degree Program in English

We offer the Master's program in English, where no Japanese proficiency is required at the time of admission. This breaks down the language barrier which was one of the obstacles preventing international students from studying in Japan.

Interactive Evaluation

The Department of Integrated Biosciences provides the students with opportunities to interact with faculty members regardless of their laboratories. In the degree examination, all faculty members of the department will participate in the evaluation and guidance for the master course mid-term presentation, master thesis presentation and doctor's degree pre-examination. Advices from people who specialize in a research field vastly different from your supervisors' can often bring the opportunity to review your own research.

Specially Designed Curriculum

At the Department of Integrated Biosciences, faculty members gather from diverse study fields including fundamental, agriclutural, pharmaceutical, and medical sciences. With the goal of producing "Frontier" students who can exploit new fields over existing boundaries, the following lectures/seminars are held as a part of our education that cultivates "logical thinking skills", "communication skills" and "emboldened curiosity".  Lectures indicated by ** are held in English and those by * are held both in English and Japanese (selective). By taking these lectures, students can earn credits required for the completion of the Master’s Program without taking a lecture given in Japane.

1. Breakthrough Now and Then I (Pre-School)/ **Breakthrough Now and Then II (compulsory elective, 2 credits)

An overview is provided on what research takes place in every laboratory in the Department of Integrated Biosciences as well as on the code of conduct in scientific research at the University of Tokyo. For students in the post-admission laboratory assignment category, this is where you have the opportunity to hear about the details of the research in each laboratory and then choose your laboratory. From the take-home exams given by each laboratory, students are required to pick two and submit their reports. Excellent reports will be awarded as Pre-School Report Prize. Breakthrough Now and Then II is carried out in English for students who cannot understand Japanese.  

2. Debate on Ethics in Science and Technology/ **Debate on Topics in Science and Technology (compulsory elective, 2 credits)

For the purpose of developing researchers who can act appropriately on their opinions and uphold a proper sense of ethics, a lecture on student participation will be carried out. Debate on Topics in Science and Technology is carried out in English for students who cannot understand Japanese.  

3. *Frontiers in Molecular Biology I (compulsory, 1 credit), Frontiers in Molecular Biology II (semi-compulsory, 1 credit)

Invited lecturers introduce and discuss  the diverse field of life science to help students acquire a wide range of knowledge and develop their view on life and inter-relation with society. A credit for I (compulsory) is granted for eight or more attendances, and a credit for II (semi-compulsory) is granted for 16 or more attendances.   

4. *Research Project Planning (Mid-Term Presentation of Master Thesis) (compulsory, 2 credits)

As a mid-term presentation of master thesis research, students will create research achievement reports/plans, create posters, and perform oral presentation to be reviewed/examined by faculty members from other laboratories. In addition, poster presentation must be performed in front of other students. Participating in the panel discussion during the entrance guidance is also a part of the requirement to obtain credits.   

5. *Seminar in Integrated Biosciences (compulsory, 4 credits)

In preparation for master thesis, faculty members of each laboratory will take charge in laboratory seminars and instruct poster/oral presentations and manuscript preparation for publication.   

6. *Research of Integrated Biosciences I (compulsory, 12 credits)

In preparation for master thesis, faculty members of each laboratory will take charge in the selection of theme and conducting experiments.   

7. Lessons in Writing Scientific Papers in English (semi-compulsory, 1 credits)

Basic skills required for writing scientfic papers in English is lectured.   

8. *Practice in Oral Presentation in English (semi-compulsory, 1 credits)

The purpose of this practice is to develop poster/oral presentation skills in English at academic meetings. Through practicing actual English presentations of a poster,  points are insttucted to make the presentation understandable and attractive.   

9. Basic Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (non-compulsory, 1 credit)

For those who did not major in biochemistry or molecular biology during their undergraduate course, we teach the basics of biochemistry and molecular biology which are required for a comprehensive understanding of the wide range of biological phenomena covered in the Department of Integrated Biosciences. 

10. Statistical Analysis for Biosciences (non-compulsory, 1 credit)

Understand the statistics which is the base of life science research, and learn an objective method of data analysis. Also learn how to use different types of database.   

11. *Lectures on Specialized Research by Laboratories (non-compulsory, 1 credit)

Bio-Medicine, Drug Discovery

Currently, proteins such as cytokine and antibody are used in the treatment of various diseases. Antibody is of course a product of immunology, and many of the cytokines used as medicine nowadays are related to immunological reaction. The purpose of this lecture is to learn the basics of immunology which is essential to the development of such biopharmaceuticals and antibody drugs. Also, in recent years, it has become clear that the cell population called dendritic cells play a main role in the induction and adjustment of immune response, and this knowledge is expected to be applied in the development of vaccines. In this lecture, we will also discuss about the recognition by dendritic cells as well as their functions.     

Molecular Recognition

Living organisms build various regulation/control systems out of their own molecules to exchange information inside and outside the cells, tissues and organs, and uses these systems to maintain unity and coordination as individual species. The study of interaction between bio-information molecules such as low-molecular organic compounds and peptide hormones, and binding protein and receptor moleclues, is one of the key issues in today's biology. This lecture introduces the method of analysis for the molecular recognition and interaction, as well as the latest research cases.     

Biochemistry of Cell Responsiveness

Findings on cell responsiveness will be outlined from the basics to applications in order to gain a better understanding. As a separate topic, the latest findings on cell senescence and the characteristics of brain cells will be introduced. Then, students will be provided with opportunities to think/discuss about the adaptability towards the environment of individual species through cell responsiveness.     

Signal Transduction

The issues required for a fundamental understanding of the existence of life, especially the control mechanism of cell growth, the structure and function of intracellular body, and response phenomena of living organisms, will be outlined. With the study of budding yeast which is a single-cell eukaryote as the main subject, discussions about the latest image of cells will be held on the basis of what we have figured out through the use of exhaustive analysis methods. We will look at the shaping of multi-cellular organisms from the perspective of cell cycle control mechanisms, and learn about the molecular mechanism of expression of high-order function that occurs with cell differentiation. Furthermore, we will discuss the significance of various response phenomena shown by living organisms, with our vision for the future.

Molecular Mechanisms of Adaptation

Along with an overview of transposition mechanisms and evolution of transposable elements as selfish genes (especially non-LTR type retrotransposon) and telomerase genes, this lecture focuses on the target-specific transposition mechanisms of some retrotransposons and its use. Through the molecular mechanism of the evolution and development of insect appendages, students will be lectured about the basic concept of developmental biology and evolutionary developmental biology.     

Genomic Instability

Life form, which evolved through developing its self-defense mechanism against all types of internal and external mutagens, moved out of the water onto the land which led to gaining diversity up until today.
While genome variation can cause mutation, developmental anomaly or cancer, it can also be a major driving force behind the evolution of species. Although these types of variation are passed onto the next generation via reproductive cells, living things have managed to maintain its diversity through strategies of adapting to the environment. This lecture provides an overview on DNA repair as the most conservative mechanism of life form and mutagenesis as the most creative mechanism of life form, and outlines the biological significance and the analysis methods. Furthermore, the lecture touches on sexual differentiation, gametogenesis, and fertilization as the mechanism for passing the variations to the next generation, by mainly looking at vertebrates.     

Eucaryotic Cell Biology

The aim of this lecture is to help students acquire an understanding of the gene regulation in eucaryotes from a multilateral perspective. Topics covered in this lecture are the regulation of chromatin/nuclear dynamics and epigenetic regulation of gene expression, and post-transcriptional gene regulation in eucaryotic cells.

Evolutionary Genetics

The  purpose of this lecture is to provide theoretical framework for studying adaptive evolution of gene function. Since it is the population and genes that change over evolutionary time, it is essential to acquire basic knowledge of population genetics to understand molecular evolution. I shall review several basic concepts of population genetics such as gene frequencies, natural selection and random genetic drift, then introduce the neutral theory of molecular evolution. On the basis of the theorem, methods and their limitations for detecting adaptive evolution are discussed. Finally, direction of evolutionary genetic study will be discussed.

Control of Biological Function

This lecture is about the basics of animal reproduction and development (mainly insects and mammals), and developmental engineering as its application. Students are to learn the basic principles in the regulation mechanism of life activity, as well as the methods of artificial manipulation.     

Microbe vs Non-Microbe Interactions

Although invisible to us humans, microbes or small-sized living organisms are predominant on earth. We recognize them through visible outcomes of their interactions with animals and plants, such as outbreak of diseases. This lecture focuses upon interactions at molecular level among plant-pathogenic microbes (including viruses), host plants, and vectoring insects. The lecture will also cover how we can utilize these pieces of information to other field of science, such as development of gene vectors.     

Human Evolutionary Specificity

By studying about modern humans (Homo sapiens) and the path of our evolution, we can come to understand the biological characteristics of ourselves and extract the cultural elements of humans in the true sense. In this lecture, you will be introduced to many ways of researching the human evolution from the perspective of "evolution in the ecology of the food" to learn about the evolution of humankind. Once we manage to understand our own characteristics on the biological side and the cultral side, we may be able to grasp the root of the problems of modern society by the context of the human evolution.  

Evolutionary Genomics

Genomes, as the foundation of all life activities, have evolved by adapting to ever-changing environments. In this lecture, students will acquire knowledge on the cutting-edge techologies to reveal genome evolution and that on recent achievements in this area.  

Basic, translational and clinical oncology

This course provides the fundamentals of tumor biology and clinical oncology necessary for understanding oncogenesis, prevention, and research and development of new therapeutics.
In each lecture, students will understand (1) various biological findings at the cancer tissue and cellular level, (2) characteristics of cancer omics and imaging analysis data that are under development and in clinical application, and (3) the latest therapies developed based on the biological characteristics of cancer cells and tissues, including molecular-targeted therapies, tumor immunotherapies, and drug delivery systems.
Students will learn strategies for development of innovative drugs and medical devices, as well as the importance of integrating and utilizing various types of omics information necessary for such development.

12. Laboratory Course for Broadened Bioscience Skills (non-compulsory, 1 credit)

Out of the multiple intensive practice programs offered by the core laboratories at the Department of Integrated Biosciences, pick one that is not from your laboratory and participate in it. By studying the content in advance (preparation), taking part in the actual experiments, and discussing the obtained data, students can acquire new skills, knowledge and information while also developing the ability to think outside their specialty as well as skills in research exchange. 

13. *Advanced Seminar in Integrated Biosciences (compulsory, 8 credit)

In preparation for doctor thesis, faculty members of each laboratory will take charge in laboratory seminars and instruct poster/oral presentations and manuscript preparation for publication.   

14. *Research of Integrated Biosciences II (compulsory, 12 credits)

In preparation for doctor thesis, faculty members of each laboratory will take charge in the selection of theme and conducting experiments.

15. Graduate School of Frontier Sciences Common Subjects (non-compulsory, 1 credit)

  • Special Lecture on Frontier Science I, II, III, IV, V, VI
  • Special Lecture on Frontier Science VII, VIII, IX (Joint seminar I, II, III)
  • Special Lecture on Frontier Science X, XI (Science/Technical English A, B)
  • Overseas Researches on Frontier Science I, II, III, IV
  • Advanced Seminar in Frontier Science I, II
  • Stress Management - to enjoy your student life and social life

16. Archive Lectures University-Wide Open Courses: Life Science Archive Seminar for Graduate Course (non-compulsory, 1 credit),Life Science Archive Common Lecture (non-compulsory, 1 credit)

In order to make a contribution to the field of life science which is rapidly becoming more diverse and complex, researchers will need to acquire a broader knowledge and vision. Therefore, the departments and institutes of life sciences at the University of Tokyo have decided to work together to propose cross-disciplinary subjects that are not bound by existing academic fields, as well as new learning methods.