Entrance Examinations

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 (GA), Department of Arts Studies and Curatorial Practices were founded in April 2016. The Department offers Master’s and doctoral courses.

・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, and Cultural Management 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

Arts Studies and Curatorial Practices (Advanced)

・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

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.

・We also 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.

Completion Requirements

Students choose one of the following to submit:
① Master’s thesis
② Master’s thesis + Special Research Project (SRP) 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 research project and is determined by the research supervisor.)

The special research project 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.

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

Information on Applications and Entrance Examinations

Please refer to our Admissions website and the video below.


Q1 Of the documents that need to be submitted with the application, when is the submission deadline for the “Research Plan,” “Statement of Purpose,” and “Written Discussion”?

A1 Please refer to our Admissions Website for the deadline. 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 do not 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. When doing so, please write it down on your application that your certificate 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.

Q5 When is the submission deadline for the language proficiency certificate(s)?

A5 Please send the original certificate(s) when mailing the application documents. It is not necessary to submit the certificate(s) during the online application.

Q6 Is it possible to acquire the national curatorial certification at GA?

A6 Yes, it is possible. Please refer to our curriculum outline (Japanese) for details. Please note that even if you have earned some or all credits from other universities, there are also some classes that you may need to retake, based on our internal reguration.

Q7 I have completed all classes required for the national curatorial certification already, but would only like to take the required final museum training at your University. Is that possible?

A7 Yes, but please note that, as stated above, there are also some classes that you may need to retake, based on our internal reguration.
Regarding the acquisition of the national curatorial certification, please refer to our curriculum outline (Japanese) for details.

Q8 What kind of content do you expect the Written Discussion to explore? If I have not written a under-graduate thesis related to what I would like to learn here, is it necessary to write something new?

A8 If you have already written a uner-graduate 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 admission 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 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 DVDs and sound materials?

A10 Yes, it is possible to include figures and tables. However applicants 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, we do not have minimum score, and examinees will be 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?

A13 See the Admission Results (Japanese) for details.

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.

Q15 Is it possible to study at GA while working?

A15 All classes are held during the daytime on weekdays, so it is difficult to study while working full-time.

Q16 Do you offer individual laboratory visits?

A16 Yes, we do. Please contact each laboratory for details.

Q17 Are international students who have graduated from a Japanese university classified as international students when they apply?

A17 If you are a foreign national, you can select either the General Entrance Examination or the Entrance Examination for International Students.

Q18 Do the language selection criteria differ between laboratories?

A18 They vary from labs.

Q19 What are the opportunities for exchange programs abroad?

A19 There are no exchange programs at GA.

Q20 I have a question about the student dormitory. Is there a case where I cannot enter the dormitory because it is full?

A20 Yes, there are cases as such.

Q21 Is the oral examination always conducted in person?

A21 If you live outside Japan, you can request an online interview.

Q22 Is it possible to work on a project in a laboratory other than the one I have chosen?

A22 Yes, you can.

Q23 If I am applying as a research student, will I be able to take the same Introduction to Arts and Culture in the Age of Globalization class as a master’s student? And are the classes for research students different from those in the master’s program?

A23 Please consult with your academic advisor about the courses you can take.

Q24 What is the percentage of graduates who obtain a doctoral degree each year?

A24 It varies from year to year, but in the year 2020, there was one graduate.

Q25 I have written a research plan, but is it okay if the subject or content of my research changes after I enter the program?

A25 Yes, that is possible.

Q26 Is there an age limit for the entrance examination?

A26 There is no upper age limit, but you must be at least 22 years old.

Q27 Regarding study abroad, is it possible to study abroad while still in university?

A27 Yes, it is possible.