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Doctoral Program in Art and Design Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba

The Doctoral Program in Art and Design aims to provide training for researchers and creators capable of conducting original research with highly academic knowledge in art and design and possess technical competence. It also seeks to foster world-class experts from constructing theories to creating art. Ten candidates are accepted each year for the Doctoral Program. Two main areas of studies are ‘Fine Art’ and‘ Design’.

The program in Fine Art covers basic aspects of creation, appraisal and appreciation, institution and history. In this program, efforts are made to unravel concepts of beauty in visual or fine art as a product of human cultural activity as well as creating it by a multifaceted approach in areas from philosophy to experimentation and production of it. The program in Design, on the other hand, aims to impart highly specialized education in the fields of information, visual communication, spatial analysis, environment, planning and protection of cultural sites. In addition to its fundamental and theoretical research, the faculty puts emphasis on interdisciplinary studies such as the creation of new industries for products through design, environment protection, new networking technologies for media, welfare design, and spatial analysis. 

In the first and second year, Doctoral students are required to take‘ Special Seminar in Fine Art I and II’ in the program of Fine Art, o‘r Special Seminar in Design I and II’ in the program of Design. These seminars are designed to have students prepare for the presentations for academic conferences and journals by instruction and evaluation given by professors. In the third year, a dissertation needs to be submitted, which will be reviewed by a dissertation committee. Upon completion of all the work, a Ph.D. in Art or Design will be granted. The Award of Excellence will be given to students who demonstrate superior research performance.


The University of Tsukuba engages in advanced research education from a global perspective as the only national university where one can obtain a doctorate in fine arts theory and production. From the time when it was known as the Graduate School of Art and Design up to now, more than 300 doctorates have been awarded from this program and many of the recipients have become active in various fields.The entrance examination system consists of a student presentation that is evaluated by all faculty members, and the three-year curriculum is based on special seminars, held each semester, in which the graduate students and all faculty members participate by presenting and evaluating the progress of their research. The holding of interim report review panels for dissertations represents the curriculum’s open collaborative guidance system. External reviewers participate in the reviewing process for Tsukuba Studies in Art and Design, our biannual journal, thereby guaranteeing the high level and accumulation of research achievements in this program.

To the new students in the doctoral program: I wish for you to understand that building up your research achievements and having “GRIT” more important than anything else when it comes to maintaining your academic life. I wish for you to seek opportunities to present your work inside and outside the university and secure competitive funding, as improving your research environment will enable you to conduct better research; I wish for you make the virtuous circle a reality as it leads you to your next achievement. Ask yourself, “What role does my research have in contemporary society”? This question will enable new developments and applications in art and design.

April 2018
Toshihiro Osada, Chairman of the Doctoral Program in Art & Design

Career paths for graduates

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo・Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties・The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama・The Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art・Pola Museum of Art・Ota Memorial Museum of Art・Calligraphy Museum・ Musée Hamaguchi Yozo : Yamasa Collection etc.

Instructors in universities
University of Tsukuba・Iwate University・Morioka university・Akita Municipal Junior College Of Arts and Crafts・Yamagata University・Utsunomiya University・National University Corporation Tsukuba University of Technology・Ibaraki University・Saitama University・Tama Art University・ Joshibi University of Art and Design・Seitoku University・Den-en Chofu University・Yokohama National University・Shinshu University・Shizuoka Sangyo University・Nagoya Zokei University・Osaka Institute of Technology・Shimane University・Okayama University・Saga University・Oita University・Kyushu Sangyo University・Gwangju University of Education・University of Ulsan・National Taiwan University of Arts・University of the Philippines・MIT Media Lab etc.

Companies・Public institutions
Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.・International Media Foundation・Public Works Research Institute  etc.

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