Curriculum Policy

Courses at the Department of Genetics are designed to provide training to become independent, creative scientists who are able to conduct research activity around the globe. Students are expected to take courses to acquire the following three essential components of the degree criteria.

To obtain a doctoral degree, 5-year program students must have received 32 credits, including 2 credits for the compulsory freshman course, and 3-year program students must have received 2 credits for the freshman course. (2 credits for the freshman course are mandatory only for the students enrolled in and after April, 2015)

(1) highly advanced research skills

Students receive advice on their thesis research from faculty who are leading frontier research in various topics. This is accomplished through mentoring by the thesis advisor (Life Science Experiments), as well as discussion with your Progress Report Committee (Life Science Progress).

(2) knowledge in various disciplines that allows one to design future research

Basic knowledge required in the field of life sciences (genetics) can be obtained by taking Molecular and Cell Biology II , Evolutionary Genomics and Genetics courses.

These four courses can be consecutively taken in two years, irrespective of the starting semester. Through successful completion of these courses students can learn all the main subjects of Genetics. Elective lecture courses include courses in interdepartmental programs such as Brain Science Joint Program and Integrative Bioscience Education Program, which are offered through a remote lecture system. Auditing single lectures does not require course registration; sampling lectures from various disciplines is encouraged to help acquire knowledge that enables one to survey the field.

(3) the ability to comprehend, express and discuss science

The power to transmit your results can be developed through Oral Scientific Communication I and Fundamentals of Scientific Writing I-III.Skills to comprehend scientific seminars can be enhanced in Oral Scientific Communication II), and using such skills, students will be able to enjoy numerous scientific seminars on frontline research (Life Science Seminar and to think about their implications. Discussion skills can be acquired through participating in discussion-based courses (e.g. Developmental Biology), as well as various journal clubs (Life Science Reading Seminar).


Qualifying Exam

In the 5-year program, students will go through a qualifying exam for advancement to D3. The qualifying exam will be conducted as a part of Life Science Progress IIB, and the decision is based on the assessment of the student’s knowledge in the field of life sciences and potential to become an independent researcher (advancement to the third year criterion). If one fails in the qualifying exam, one must retake Life Science Progress IIB. This exam also functions as an eligibility test for a master’s degree. For receiving the accreditation, students must have obtained 30 credits by the end of the D2 year. If one is judged eligible one can obtain a master’s degree upon withdrawal from the 5-year program.

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