PolicyMedicine, Medical Science, and Genomic Medicine

Ideals and Objectives

Faculty of Medicine Kyoto University aims to foster gifted clinicians and medical professionals to work on the frontline of medical care and also to nurture the next generation of researchers and educators in the medical field.

At Faculty of Medicine Kyoto University, we aim instill our students with the following qualities:

  1. Intellectual originality that will enable a pro-active approach and provide new insight into the treatment of diseases rather than relying on existing methods.
  2. Insight and awareness of patients’ feelings and a broad understanding of society and human behavior.
  3. Good morals and a high degree of motivation to contribute to the health of society as a whole.
  4. A global perspective and the ability to be active internationally.

Admission policy

Doctoral (PhD) Program in Medicine

It is the solemn duty of medical researchers to unravel the mysteries of the human body, elucidate the mechanisms that cause illness, and to apply this knowledge to the prevention and treatment of disease. Today we are witnessing unprecedented momentum in the compartmentalization of medical fields, diversification and internationalization. Therefore the burden of expectations placed upon medical researchers is now greater than ever. Modern medical researchers must not only possess unsurpassed knowledge in their respective fields of expertise, but broadening their horizons to the diverse array of academic sub-specialties is implied in their occupational mandate. Additionally, to become a truly well-rounded medical researcher in the era of globalization, one must be able to establish collaboration with other laboratories, and make an invaluable contribution to the international community. This is our vision for the researchers we hope to develop in the Graduate School of Medicine, PhD (Medicine) program.

Based on this vision, what started off as 6 independent research fields within the Graduate School of Medicine were consolidated in 2006 to help promote interdisciplinary interaction. In addition to traditional classroom instruction and training seminars, we introduced the Graduate School Training Course which bridges the gap between Clinical, Basic and Social Medicine. The PhD program offers this and other programs that place PhD candidates at their core. By nurturing the autonomy of PhD candidates, we hope to develop researchers who will lead medical research towards unprecedented progress in the 21st century. Individuals with demonstrated superior academic achievements actively seeking to put their knowledge and technical skills to use in the field of medical research are strongly encouraged to apply.

Master of Science (MS) Program in Medical Science

The Master of Science (MS) program in Medical Science was established for the noble purpose of developing highly qualified researchers in the field of medical science that meet the highest of professional and ethical standards. Consequently, candidates enrolled under the MS (Medical Science) degree program with no background in the natural sciences will be required to successfully negotiate a rigorous training regimen structured largely upon challenging classroom instruction in the fields of basic medical science, and complete intensive training in medical science research. As with all other programs offered under the Graduate School of Medicine, degree candidates will be exposed to a highly competitive, yet equally fulfilling academic environment that constantly redefines their cognitive potential.

The MS program at the Graduate School of Medicine boasts an open stance on admissions and actively seeks highly motivated individuals representing diverse academic backgrounds to conduct pioneering research in medical research at one of the world’s most prominent research institutions.

Doctoral (PhD) Program in Medical Science

Our rapidly evolving understanding of the life sciences has resulted in swift changes in the healthcare and medical environments. With that, research and educational initiatives within the medical community has also become increasingly more advanced and complex. Until now, the traditional medical education system revolved around the development of medical practitioners; however, with remarkable advances in our understanding of the life sciences, it is imperative that medical professionals effectively make use of this information for transition into novel therapeutic techniques.

We are now witnessing drastic changes in the way physicians diagnose patients. Today more than ever, physicians are relying heavily upon advanced medical devices for diagnostic assistance. Research encompassing these medical devices and diagnostic techniques are actively being conducted on a daily basis, and carry with them the hopes and dreams of a quickly aging population.

As society’s pinnacle of research and education, developing aggressive researchers to venture beyond the framework of traditional medical education and research is the solemn mission assigned to all universities.

In the PhD (Medical Science) program, we answer society’s call by bringing together individuals who have demonstrated superior academic achievement in the natural sciences and engineering, and training them on the many diverse perspectives of medicine to become the world’s leading researchers/educators in medical science.

Curriculum Policy

Curriculum in Medicine

In the PhD program, students will select their own respective posts of assignment from an assortment of renowned departments and laboratories at the Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University. It is there that prospective PhD candidates will acquire the fundamental skills and knowledge required to plan, conduct and complete a respectable project in basic and clinical medical research. PhD candidates will also be assigned to at least one of the Graduate School Training Courses, which bridges the gap between Clinical, Basic and Social Medicine.

In the Graduate School Training Course, degree candidates will hone their knowledge and sense of ethics as future researchers, and further benefit from periodic interactive seminars with professors where ideas can be freely exchanged. Through this active exchange, students will gain a broader perspective on the concept of medical research, and learn to nurture vital skills in establishing collaboration, which will enable them to erect new avenues of research.

Using this approach based on comprehensive training in the fundamental principles of medical science and emphasizing the importance of teamwork, it is our sincerest hope that the graduates of this program will transcend the boundaries that inhibit collaboration amongst researchers, and become the world’s leading medical researchers/educators.

Curriculum in Medical Science

Under the Master of Science (MS) program, students with no background in medicine receive instruction in the basic medical sciences and training in research methodologies to become broad-minded and extraordinary researchers in the challenging field of medicine. In just 2 years, students with no background in the biological sciences will acquire a working and fundamental understanding of the natural sciences via the comprehensive coursework offered under this program. The initial 4-month period in the MS program will be devoted to intensive classroom instruction in the essential sciences and laboratory training. After this phase, students will select one laboratory—from an assortment of more than 110—to conduct research throughout the remainder of their MS candidacies, where their knowledge and skills acquired in other academic disciplines will be utilized to the fullest extent.

On the other end of the spectrum, students enrolled in the PhD program will be directly assigned to their laboratory-of-choice upon entrance, where they will receive continuous training on how to plan and complete a medical research project on their own. To supplement their training, PhD candidates will also be assigned to one of the Graduate School Training Courses, which bridges the gap between Basic, Clinical and Social Medicine. In the Graduate School Training Course, PhD candidates will broaden their horizons via exposure to students and staff representing other fields of medical expertise. Through these interactions, PhD candidates will acquire a broader perspective and learn first-hand the importance of establishing collaboration on the sometimes arduous road to discovering uncharted territories in the field of medicine.

Based on this approach combining comprehensive instruction in the fundamental medical sciences and emphasizing the importance of collaboration, the PhD program aims to develop highly competent researchers that will transcend the boundaries of compartmentalization and become the world’s leading medical researchers/educators.

Diploma Policy

Degrees in Medicine

Under the PhD program, students will receive 4+ years of intensive post-graduate training. During this time, degree candidates must complete at least 24 units in subject courses, at least 6 units in Graduate School Training Courses, and have a manuscript published as the first author in a peer-reviewed international journal of prominent standing. Lastly, PhD candidates must successfully negotiate an oral thesis defense prior to being conferred upon the PhD degree.

Degrees may be awarded upon completion of the 3rd (or midway through the 4th) year of PhD studies under special circumstances in which a candidate’s absolute independence as a researcher has been clearly demonstrated. To qualify under this special provision, a candidate must demonstrate his/her ability to erect a concept for a medical research project, and be able to plan, implement and compile the results of the project in a manuscript of impeccable quality. Furthermore, the manuscript must be published in a prominent journal of exceptional standing within the global scientific community for consideration under this provision. After these requisites have been met, a candidate will next be administered a written PhD aptitude battery. Final conference of degrees will be determined following the candidate’s satisfactory completion of the aptitude battery.

Degrees in Medical Science

Under the Master of Science (MS) program, students must receive 2+ years of training, and will be required to complete at least 30 units in subject courses (in addition to completing subjective studies). Additionally, a master’s thesis detailing the candidate’s research topic must be submitted for review, and will be followed by an oral thesis defense prior to being conferred upon the MS degree.

Candidates under the PhD program must be enrolled and receive training in research for 3+ years, and are required to complete at least 11 units of graduate coursework (7 in major subjects, and 4 in minor subjects). Additionally, PhD candidates must have a manuscript published (as the first author) in a peer-reviewed international scientific journal of prominent standing and are required to undergo an oral thesis defense on the candidate’s published work prior to being awarded the PhD degree.