Orientation for Entrance Examination

In June each year, the Department of Arts Studies and Curatorial Practices in the Graduate School of Global Arts holds an Entrance Examination Orientation. This page provides an outline and Q&A based on our past orientations.

Outline of the Graduate School and Our Curriculum

・Tokyo University of the Arts is the only national arts university in Japan. It was established in 1949 through a merger of its predecessors Tokyo Fine Arts School and Tokyo Music School, both founded in 1887. The Graduate School of Global Arts and the Department of Arts Studies and Curatorial Practices were founded in April 2016. The Department offers a two-year Master’s course.

・Instruction is provided by six faculty members who specialize in research and practice in a variety of art fields, including fine arts, music, composite art, sociology, cultural studies, cultural policy, and cultural economics.

・Under the guidance of these faculty members, our students acquire knowledge and experience for planning and implementing art and culture projects in various forms, such as exhibitions, workshops, symposiums, and music concerts. Students can also conduct research activities and learn about art theories, and theories that address the relationship between art and society.

・When applying for the entrance examination, students select one of our three core areas of research: Arts Management, Curation, and Research. (It is also possible to change the core area after entering the Graduate School.) While engaging in research in one core area, students are encouraged to develop multifaceted and transdisciplinary perspectives by taking modules spread across multiple areas of specialization.

・The core program and lectures are divided into “core modules,” which provide lecture-based study of basic theories, and “practical modules,” in which students participate in practical seminars and conduct research activities. Moreover, we offer general modules, such as Aesthetics, History of Western Musical Culture, Introduction to Copyrights, Art and Media, Methodology of Criticism over Art and Culture, Studies on Asian Culture, Editorial Studies in Arts, and Cultural Funding and International Exchange (see “Summary of Master’s Course Modules” page). In addition, students can take courses offered by other faculties and graduate schools in the University.

・As core modules, students take “Introduction to Arts Studies and Curatorial Practices” in the first year and “Arts Studies and Curatorial Practices (Advanced)” in the second year. Examples of the core content of each class are provided below.

Introduction to Arts Studies and Curatorial Practices
Cultural policy, legal systems, and organizational management (Professor Kumakura); mechanisms for the production of performances based in concert halls (Lecturer Minoguchi); ecosystems and theories of art production, distribution, and demand (Professor Hasegawa); relationship between the art gallery and modern society and its transformations (Associate Professor Sumitomo); the economics of artwork (Professor Edagawa); and theory of cultural sociology” (Professor Mori).

Arts Studies and Curatorial Practices (Advanced)
Reading texts on arts management and research on examples of art projects in Japan and overseas (Professor Kumakura); foundations and practices of facilitators, who connect communities and performers (Lecturer Minoguchi); methods and theories of art creation as a trans-disciplinary domain (Professor Hasegawa); analysis of art produced collaboratively by artists and non-specialists (Associate Professor Sumitomo); research on cultural resources as unique local value (Professor Edagawa); research on media changes and art, culture, and society (Professor Mori).

・As seminar modules, students take “Arts Studies and Curatorial Practices Seminar” and “Arts Studies and Curatorial Practices Lab I” in the first year and “Arts Studies and Curatorial Practices Research Seminar” and “Arts Studies and Curatorial Practices Lab II” in the second year. Examples of the core content of each class are provided below.

Arts Studies and Curatorial Practices Seminar / Research Seminar
Production of local art projects (Professor Kumakura); production of concerts involving students from the Faculty of Music, etc. (Lecturer Minoguchi); case studies of past exhibitions and implementation of exhibition plans at the University Art Museum (Chinretsukan Gallery) (Professor Hasegawa); exhibition planning seminar, including selection of artists and works, configuration of exhibition venue, and implementation of related events (Associate Professor Sumitomo); discussions on legal aspects between nations, funding recipients, and viewers in cultural policy and details of funding (Professor Edagawa); and core seminar on aspects of qualitative social research, including questionnaires, fieldwork, and participant observation (Professor Mori).

Arts Studies and Curatorial Practices Lab I and II
Students deliver presentations on their practices and research and receive feedback from all faculty members.

・In addition, all students take the special class “Introduction to Art and Culture in the Global Age”. The classes are generally conducted in English and delivered in the omnibus format, with lectures by faculty members in all areas of specialization and a special lineup of guest lecturers working at the forefront of their fields in Japan and overseas. With the rapid progress of globalization, the various systems within which we now live routinely transcend national borders, giving rise to new forms of art and culture. The class examines how art and culture is changing amid globalization with the aim of nurturing individuals who can respond to such conditions both theoretically and practically.

Guest lecturers in AY 2016
Lawrence Grossberg (sociologist; Professor at the University of North Carolina)
Bruno Latour (anthropologist of science, sociologist of science; Vice President of Sciences Po)
James Tyson (theater director; theatrical producer; residing in London)
Anselm Franke (curator; Director of the Department of Visual Arts and Film, Berlin House of World Cultures)
Janet Pillai (art project director; residing in Kuala Lumpur)
Senisa Janamohanan (art project director; residing in Singapore)

・In addition, we offer short-term intensive international exchange programs, including the Art Study Abroad Program (ASAP), in which students make overseas study tours, participating in workshops and other events at overseas universities and cultural institutes, and the International Specialist Invitation Program (ISIP), which invites specialists from Japan and overseas to hold events such as symposiums and exhibitions.

Completion Requirements

Students choose one of the following to submit:
① Master’s thesis
② Master’s thesis + special task-oriented research report

The Master’s Thesis can be written in either English or Japanese. The standard word count is 40,000 Japanese characters or 20,000 English words. (However, if the student selects ②, the word count of the Master’s Thesis will vary depending on the content of special task-oriented research and is determined by the research supervisor.)

The special task-oriented research report involves disseminating information through exhibitions, concerts, art projects, publications, and online platforms and implementing plans for symposiums or other events before preparing and submitting a report on these plans.


・Classes are held at both the Senju Campus and the Ueno Campus.

・Applicants can apply to live in the “Geishinryo” student dormitory located in Adachi Ward.

・In addition, please see the following “University Guide” for details of University-wide facilities.

Admission and Tuition Fees [as of July 2017]

Admission fee: ¥338,400
Annual tuition fee: ¥535,800

The other costs payable upon entering the Graduate School are as follows:
Student casualty insurance premium: ¥1,750
Student casualty insurance additional liability insurance premium: ¥680
Global Arts Education and Research Foundation dues: ¥30,000

Please see the following “University Guide” for details of the tuition fee exemption/moratorium system and scholarship systems available to our students:

Information on Applications and Entrance Examinations

Please click the “Information on Entrance examinations” banner from this website, transfer to the “Entrance Examination Information Site,” and refer to the “Outline of the Entrance Examination System” and “Application Guidelines” documents available there.


Q1 Of the documents that need to be submitted with the application, I do not know the submission period for the “Research Plan,” “Statement of Purpose,” and “Written Discussion.”

A1 For the AY 2018 entrance examination, please submit the “Research Plan,” “Statement of Purpose,” and “Written Discussion” by uploading these in PDF format to the application site before August 9, 2017.
In addition, please send printed versions when mailing the documents (deadline: August 29, 2017).
Note that the printed documents that you send must be identical to those submitted in PDF format and no changes are permitted.

Q2 Is it possible to submit a copy or reproduction of the language proficiency certificate(s)?

A2 Please submit the original. We cannot accept your own printouts of test scores announced online.

Q3 Is it possible to send the language proficiency certificate(s) directly from the examining body to the university?

A3 Yes, it is possible. When doing so, please make this clear by enclosing a memo stating, “The language proficiency certificate(s) will be sent directly from the examining body.”

Q4 Is it possible to send multiple language proficiency certificates separately from multiple examining bodies?

A4 Yes, it is possible.

Q5 I do not know the submission period for the language proficiency certificate(s).

A5 Please send the original certificate(s) when mailing the application documents (deadline for AY 2018 entrance examination: August 29, 2017). It is not necessary to submit the certificate(s) during the online application (deadline: August 9, 2017).

Q6 Is it possible to acquire a curator qualification after entering the Graduate School?

A6 Yes, it is possible. However, you will need to complete all of the modules in two years.
Please also note that even if you have completed several modules from other departments or faculties at the University, there are also modules that you will need to retake in the Graduate School.

Q7 I only want to earn the Art Gallery Workshop credits at your University. Is that possible?

A7 Yes, it is possible, but please note that, as mentioned above, it is necessary to take at least 10 modules at the University in addition to any workshops.
Regarding the acquisition of the curator qualification, we operate according to the Faculty of Music curriculum available at the link below:

Q8 What kind of content do you expect the Written Discussion to explore? If I have not written a graduation thesis, is it necessary to write something like a graduation thesis? Or should I write about my personal history and activities to date? Normally, you would not write about your activities to date in a graduation thesis, so please tell me what principles I should follow when writing this piece.

A8 If you have already written a graduation thesis, you can write the piece based on that. If you plan to submit the graduation thesis this year and have not yet completed it, please write a discussion based on your ideas at the present stage. Generally, for Master’s programs, students are required to consider the kind of work they will continue with and develop based on what they have studied in the faculty.
Having said that, at the Graduate School of Global Arts, students engage in new forms transdisciplinary research and practice, which were not covered in much depth at undergraduate level. Therefore, some students will want to focus on content that is not necessarily connected to their area of specialization in the faculty. The Graduate School hopes to open its doors to such students. However, if you submit a graduation thesis written about a completely different research field to those offered by the Graduate School, we will be unable to judge it appropriately, so please submit a discussion that demonstrates that you have sufficient knowledge and experience for entering the Graduate School.
Although the Applicant Guidelines state that applicants should submit a “written discussion on “art-produce”, which means arts (including fine arts, music and any other artistic expression) theory and curatorial practices” the judgement criterion is meant to assess whether you have sufficient ability for conducting research at the Graduate School, so it is not necessary to limit your discussion to “art-produce” in the narrow sense. You should demonstrate what kind of analytical and descriptive abilities you have regarding the theory and practice of art and culture in the broad sense.

Q9 Are titles, etc. included in the word count of the Written Discussion? Do I have to adhere strictly to the designated word count?

A9 Please consider the “4,000 Japanese characters or 2,000 English words” stipulated in the Applicant Guidelines as a guideline for the word count when preparing the discussion.

Q10 Is it possible to include figures and tables in the Written Discussion? Can I attach videos such as DVDSs and sound materials?

A10 Yes, it is possible to include figures and tables. Students are not permitted to attach videos or sound materials.

Q11  What is the scoring system for the first-stage examination?

A11  We do not disclose the allocation of marks for each item. Since, particularly in the case language study, the required abilities will vary depending on your intended field of study, there is no cut-off score and examinees are judged on an individual basis.

Q12 To what extent are the grades on the academic transcript considered?

A12 This is handled in the same way as A11.

Q13 Do you disclose the number of examinees from outside the University?

A13 See the following link for details about what information we disclosed.

Q14 I am a non-Japanese citizen living in Japan. Should I take the General Entrance Examination or the Entrance Examination for Non-Japanese Students?

A14 You can apply for either, but you cannot apply for both, so please make your own decision about which one to apply for.