Overview

Research and education across a broad range of scientific fields are being conducted at the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Science (GSS) and Faculty of Science with the basic aim of exploring the myriad facets and mechanisms of nature in order to understand them and uncover the immutable laws of nature behind them. In almost all cases, scientific research is motivated and advanced by the intellectual interests of communities of researchers and not by the desire to seek the immediate application of findings. The resulting profound understanding of nature we have obtained then underpins through practical applications the many conveniences of modern civilization, while enriching our view of nature and the universe. Science forms the deepest foundation of the civilization humankind has created, and is the driving force for opening the way to our future. The Charter of the School of Science sets this "creation and handing down of knowledge" as the School's main mission.

The GSS comprises six departments: Physics, Astronomy, Earth and Planetary Science, Chemistry, Biophysics and Biochemistry, and Biological Sciences. In addition, the GSS has nine affiliated centers and research institutions: the Koishikawa Botanical Gardens, Misaki Marine Biological Station, Research Centre for Spectrochemistry, Geochemical Research Center, Institute of Astronomy, Center for Nuclear Study, Research Center for the Early Universe, Center for Ultrafast Intense Laser Science, and Molecular Genetics Research Laboratory.

The GSS departments cover a wide range of the specialized fields of science, and courses are taught by departmental faculty members as well as by faculty belonging to other departments and research institutes of the University of Tokyo or other institutions. World-class research and superb graduate school-level education are conducted in each department. GSS faculty and graduates have received a great many international prizes and awards, including three Nobel Prizes and a Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics.

The Faculty of Science, which is responsible for undergraduate education in science, has ten departments. It is the sole undergraduate faculty at the University of Tokyo that covers nearly all of the fields of basic science. For the first time in the University of Tokyo, an all-English undergraduate transfer program has been launched. Under the Global Science Course (GSC), the Faculty of Science will accept undergraduate transfer students from abroad into the third year. As part of its efforts to develop people who will play active roles in the international community, the Faculty of Science has various programs for sending excellent students abroad for study and experience, and it also offers a special summer school program (UTRIP) that selects keenly motivated undergraduate students from universities in other countries to experience conducting research at GSS laboratories.

In these ways, the Faculty of Science and the Graduate School of Science, encompassing in a broad and cross-cutting way the frontier fields of science, pursue cutting-edge research in the most advanced fields, while also focusing on the fostering of students who will lead the next generation in science. Through their instruction in the concepts and methodologies of science, students will be equipped with the knowledge and means to solve future problems as well as acquire the capability to identify and address new, unknown problems.

Having developed into deeply creative and internationally-minded scientists, many GSS graduates are currently active at the frontlines of research as postdoctoral fellows at universities, research institutes, and enterprises around the world.

Very much a part of the important trend toward academic exchanges and the training of human resources from around the world, the GSS and the Faculty of Science invite talented students and researchers from abroad to pursue advanced scientific research, and they have created a welcoming academic environment that promotes understanding of and mutual respect for global cultural differences. The School offers various research and educational programs that allow overseas students and researchers to enjoy a pleasant daily life in Japan as they carry out their studies and research. We hope that students and researchers from all regions of the world, such as Oceania and Africa, will join their peers from North America, Europe, and Asia at the GSS and the School of Science to play active parts in a dynamic, international environment.