An English-language graduate program at the University of Tokyo


International Master's/Doctoral Degree Program:
Information, Technology, and Society in Asia (ITASIA)

- An Innovative Approach to Understanding Asia in the Information Age

In 2008, the University of Tokyo launched a new International Master's/Doctoral Degree Program: Information, Technology, and Society in Asia (ITASIA) at the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies (GSII). This program offers intensive graduate level education designed to foster analytical strength and insight into Asian societies and international relations, at a time when information and communication technology is having an increasingly profound impact on the region.

The program is tailored to both international and Japanese students who are motivated to pursue active professional careers on the regional and global stages. All instruction is given in English, so proficiency in Japanese is not a prerequisite. Unlike the conventional Japanese academic calendar, the academic year at ITASIA begins in September.

ITASIA is comprised of two degree programs: one that grants an M.A.S. (Master of Arts and Sciences) degree and the other a Ph.D. degree.

Students in the M.A.S. program are trained to grasp changing political, economic, and social realities of globalizing Asia through media, communication, and information studies together with the related methodology and skills, so that after graduation they can make appropriate judgments and recommendations in their respective professional environments. The M.A.S. program is appropriate for those interested in pursuing careers in public administration, media, business, and academic institutions.

The Ph.D. program is intended to produce high-level researchers and professionals in the fields of Asian studies and information studies. Students will acquire a broad-based knowledge of arts and sciences as well as expertise in the investigative techniques and theoretical analysis required for advanced research in politics, economics, media studies, and other social sciences.

Admissions decisions will be based on a written application that includes TOEFL and GRE scores, rather than on the customary entrance examination. In some cases the admissions committee also will conduct some kind of interview.

A certain number of scholarships will be made available based on merit.

Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies

- The Ideal Place for the ITASIA Program

The Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies (GSII), which houses the ITASIA program, is a unique entity offering graduate level education. Graduate courses and research supervision are conducted mainly by faculty members belonging to the Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies (III), which was created together with the GSII in April 2000. Members of many other faculties in the university also teach and guide students. In this way, the GSII is able to gather teaching staff across various disciplinary backgrounds in the arts and sciences. A system of dual advisors enables each student to engage with a “primary” and “secondary” faculty mentor, and a number of courses are open to all GSII students, no matter their program affiliation. In such an environment interdisciplinary education in information studies can thrive. The ITASIA program, for example, is fully supported by specialists of Asian Studies posted in various faculties and research institutes within the university, including the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA).

Besides the ITASIA program, the GSII offers four graduate programs as of August 2017: Socio-information and Communication Studies Course; Cultural and Human Information Studies Course; Emerging Design and Informatics Course; and Applied Computer Science Course. The academic year for these programs begins in April, and the majority of instruction is offered in Japanese.

Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies

The Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies (III) was founded in April 2000, together with the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies (GSII), as a unique organization meant to carry out interdisciplinary studies of information that transcends conventional boundaries of humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. The Initiative gathers researchers of information from various parts of the University of Tokyo. These faculty members, bridging multiple disciplines, are full participants in the educational programs of the GSII.

The University of Tokyo

Based on

The University of Tokyo (UTokyo) was established in 1877 as the first national university in Japan. As a leading research university, UTokyo offers courses in essentially all academic disciplines at both undergraduate and graduate levels and conducts research across the full spectrum of academic activity. The University aims to provide its students with a rich and varied academic environment that ensures opportunities for both intellectual development and the acquisition of professional knowledge and skills.

As of May 1, 2017, UTokyo had a total staff of around 10,677 and an enrollment of about 28,253, evenly divided between undergraduate and graduate students. There were 3,696 international students, and 4,448 foreign researchers visited the university in the academic year 2016 for both short and extended visits. In the same academic year 11,246 academics visited foreign universities for academic purposes. UTokyo is known for the excellence of its faculty and students, and ever since its foundation many of its graduates have gone on to become leaders in government, business, and the academic world.