Admissions

FAQ

<Before You Apply>

Q: I would like to take the entrance exam next year, but it seems that the information is not available on web. I would like to know about the eligibility or paperwork I need to do in advance.
A: Please wait until early April. We usually fix the details of entrance exams in early April, so we cannot say anything officially until then. In past years, we had two schedules, namely, Schedule-A and Schedule-B. In Schedule-A, the application period ends around late June. Entrance exams are held around early August. You can enroll in September or April, according to your choice. In Schedule-B, the application period ends around late November. You might also find this page useful, but again, we have to emphasize that we release the details on web once they are fixed. Note that some students need to take individual screening approximately 2 months before the application period in some cases (e.g., students in 5- or 6-year undergraduate courses).

Q: Where can I download an application form? Or, can I apply online?
A: No, you cannot. You must mail a physical (paper) application form so please ask Students Affairs to send you a copy or come to Students Affairs in the Kashiwa campus in person to get a copy.

Q: What is Schedule-A and Schedule-B?
A: In Schedule A, entrance exams (written exams) are held in late July to early August. If you pass the entrance exams, you can enroll in September of the same year or in April of the next year. In Schedule B, entrance exams (written exams) are held in late January to early February. If you pass the entrance exams, you can enroll in April of the same year or in September of the same year.

Q: I am a student in a 6-year undergraduate course (one of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy), and would like to apply for the doctoral course of the Medical Sciences Group or of the Computational Biology Group. What should I have to do before filing a formal application for entrance exams?
A: In principle, we require that you have a master's degree when you get enrolled in the doctoral course, but we also accept a student who completed a 6-year undergraduate course for entrance exams after appropriate approval (the individual screening). The application period for the individual screening ends approximately two months before the application period for the entrance exams starts.

Q: Does Dept of Computational Biology and Medical Sciences hold “Special Selection for Applicants with Overseas Education”?
A: No. All applicants including foreign applicants must take "Ordinary Examination", though other departments in our school may hold Special Selection for Applicants with Overseas Education.

Q: Should I get enrolled in as a research student first? Would doing so increase my chance of passing the entrance exams?
A: Whether you pass the entrance exams depend only on your scores of the entrance exams; being a research student does not affect your scores. The benefits of becoming a research student before taking exams are (1) that you have time to get used to living in Japan, (2) that you have time to learn Japanese (if you want), (3) that you have more time to get a visa so you will not have to worry if you can get a visa before you take the entrance exams, (4) that you have more time to get yourself familiarized to a lab.

<Briefing Session for Admission & Choosing a Lab You Wish to Join>

Q: Do you use English in Briefing Session for Admission?
A: No. We talk in Japanese. However, you can talk with professors in English at “Meet the Professors” event after Briefing Session.

Q: Do I have to find a supervisor before taking the entrance exams?
A: If you are applying for the doctoral course, we strongly recommend that you ask a prospective supervisor in advance by e-mail, by video call, or by visiting their lab. If you are applying for the master course, still we recommend you ask in advance. Nevertheless, it is not 100% obligatory so you can file an application without asking.

Q: Can you find my supervisor?
A: Since individual labs have different research themes and have different geological locations, we recommend that you contact with a lab you wish to join before filing your application. A lab choice would affect your life in our department to a great extent. Especially when you apply for the Doctoral course, asking a prospective supervisor if you fit to a research theme in their lab is extremely important to avoid mismatches and resulting unfavorable situations. Nonetheless, that is not mandatory; in theory, you can still apply without having conversations with anyone in our department.

Q: I passed the entrance exams, but I was not allowed to join the lab I wished to join. Why?
A: Whether you pass the entrance exams and whether you join the lab you specified are orthogonal; we determine if you pass or not, and then we determine which lab you join. Therefore, you may not be able to join the lab you specified for some reason (e.g., lab quota).

Q: I am applying for the master’s course. The Guideline says that I must specify more than one lab I wish to join, but I got OK from the lab I really wish to join, so can I just give a single lab for my preference?
A: No. Please choose more than one lab when you apply for the master’s course. Whether you pass the entrance exams and whether you join the lab you specified are orthogonal; we determine if you pass or not, and then we determine which lab you join. Therefore, you may not be able to join the lab you specified for some reason (e.g., lab quota) even when you pass the entrance exams. Not specifying the second choice means that you just throw away a certain right you ought to have.

<Entrance Exams and Scores>

Q: Can I get answers for the past problems?
A: No, we do not provide answers for past problems.

Q: How much TOEFL/specialty score do I need to pass the entrance exams?
A: We do not disclose thresholds.

Q: What should I have to learn to prepare for the entrance exams?
A: It depends on which group/course you apply to.

  • The Medical Sciences Group and the Computational Biology Group: You must answer four questions out of twelve in biology, information science, and related fields. We have no recommendation for biology textbooks, but we recommend "T. Cormen et al., Introduction to Algorithms (The MIT Press)" for information science.
  • The Biomedical Innovation Course: You must answer two questions out of six in intellectual property, bioethics, medical statistics, and related fields.

Q: How should I dress in the oral exam?
A: Whatever you like. Some wear suits and a jacket with a tie, some wear a T-shirt and jeans. The rule of thumb is that if it is fine in a public train, it is fine.

Q: Do I have to take an entrance exam in Japanese?
A: You are given problems either in Japanese or English (but not in both). You must declare your preference when you file an application. You can answer in Japanese or in English (or in both) regardless of the language choice for the problems. The choice of the language will not affect your chance of passing the exams.

Q: I applied for the master's course. I submitted my score of TOEFL/TOEIC exams. Still do I have to take the foreign language (English) exam?
A: First, make sure that you applied for the master's course. You MUST take the TOEFL-ITP exam ON SITE. Submitted scores are just ignored.

Q: I applied for the doctoral course, taking the entrance exams at Schedule A. I submitted my TOEFL (or TOEIC; only for Computational Biology Group) score. Still do I have to take the foreign language (English) exam?
A: First, make sure that you applied for the doctoral course (Schedule A). You can skip the foreign language (English) exam when you submit your TOEFL (or TOEIC) score. You can still take the foreign language (English) exam if you wish to do so. If you submit multiple scores, the higher score will be used. Note that you must declare, in advance, in the application form whether you take the foreign language exam.

Q: I applied for the doctoral course, taking the entrance exams at Schedule B. Do I have to take the foreign language (English) exam?
A:First, make sure that you applied for the doctoral course (Schedule B). We do NOT provide the TOEFL-ITP exam at Schedule B. You must submit your TOEFL (or TOEIC; only for Computational Biology Group) score(s). If you submit multiple scores, the higher score will be used.

Q: I applied for the doctoral course. How do you compare TOEFL-iBT/TOEFL-ITP/TOEIC scores?
A: We do not disclose how to compare between these scores, but we will use only the highest score so please submit as many scores you have because it will maximize your chance of passing the exams.

Q: I applied for the master's course. I had been living for prolonged time in an English-speaking country. Still do I still have to take a foreign language exam (English exam)?
A: Yes. You must take TOEFL-ITP on site.

Q: I am not sure how long my TOEFL/TOEIC certificates take to reach UTokyo because those certificates are shipped from an appropriate organization. Is it fine if my certificates reach UTokyo before the application period starts?
A: We accept certificates that arrive before the application period starts.

Q:  I applied for the doctoral course. I have not yet taken TOEFL/TOEIC exams, so my score sheet may not reach Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, UTokyo, by the deadline for score sheet submission. Can I bring my score sheet on the day of the entrance exams?
A: No.

<After You Pass the Entrance Exams>

Q:  Can you recommend some scholarships for me?
A: Unfortunately, UTokyo does not directly offer scholarships. You must find scholarships on your own. One of the most common scholarships is from MEXT. UTokyo might offer scholarships sometimes but they are temporary so we cannot guarantee anything in advance; you can apply for them only after you get enrolled. The International Liaison Office (ILO) might be able to help you.

Q:  Can I take classes in English?
A: Yes and No. Some classes are given in English, though most classes are given in Japanese. If you apply for the doctoral course, you may be able to get all necessary credits for graduation by taking only classes given in English. If you apply for the master’s course, you need to take more credits, so there is more chance that you would like to take classes of your interests given in Japanese. Thesis defenses can be done in English.

Q:  Do I need to speak Japanese?
A: Yes and No. You can graduate without speaking even a single Japanese word in theory. However, most people in Japan outside UTokyo do not speak English so your life in Japan would be much easier if you read and speak Japanese. Also, if you can understand Japanese, you can take classes in Japanese that cover a wider range of topics and research fields. In any cases, you need to talk with lab members in English or Japanese.

Q:  How many years will I take to get a PhD degree?
A: Students in our doctoral course are supposed to earn their degrees in 3 years. Please bear in mind that it might take longer depending on your performance or circumstances.

Q:  Which campus will I take classes on? Do students in Department of Computational Biology and Medical Sciences must move across campuses for taking classes?
A: Students in our doctoral course are supposed to earn their degrees in 3 years. Please bear in mind that it might take longer depending on your performance or circumstances.

Admissions

The University of Tokyo
Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo

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