Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University


Curriculum Overview

The Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences has a 5 year doctorate program. A master's degree can be awarded in less time assuming the necessary requirements are fulfilled. Below is a description of the requirements for both the master's and doctorate degrees.

Because students at the FBS come from a wide range of disciplines and the school emphasizes interdisciplinary research, many of the lectures and practicals are designed to give students a comprehensive view of the sciences.

To make students more internationally competitive, the FBS offers year weekly English conversation classes. There is also a monthly seminar series for students to discuss a scientific topic of their choice in English and a weekly research article writing seminar.


First and Second Year
Students are expected to take a series of core courses that include lectures and practicals, a minimum number of elective courses, and their thesis dissertation.

The core courses are taken in the first year from April to July. These include a series of subjects including math, physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine. The practicals involve experiments and simulations.

Electives can be taken at anytime during the two years.

The thesis dissertation credits are to acknowledge steady progress in one's research. This includes the thesis defense. For details, please speak to your supervisor.

Master's Degree

In February of the 2nd year, students wishing to opt out of the doctorate program can still earn a master's degree following a passing the Interim Examination on their research. This exam is in the form of a presentation by the student on his/her research.

Doctorate Stream from the 3rd Year

Project Research (Lab rotations) and thesis research
For the purpose of promoting interdisciplinary research, students will be expected to conduct research in a separate lab for a short period. The research there should have some relation to their doctoral research, but should also diverge in order to give some new scientific perspectives on their work. Of course, students will also be required to continue their dissertation research that will eventually lead to a thesis publication. The details for this should be discussed directly with the supervisor.

Completion of the Doctorate

After 5 years (or 3 for those entering with a master's degree), assuming the required number of credits including the dissertation defense, the student will be awarded a doctorate.

Early Completion

In extraordinary circumstances, a student may graduate with a doctorate in less than the allotted 5 years.