The Art and Design Degree Program (Doctoral Programs) aims to foster individuals exhibiting high-level knowledgeability and professional ability in art and design, while conducting independent research and creative activities; and, to share their work with the world as researchers and high-level professionals acceptable by international standards in a broad range of divisions from theory to production.

Through this program with the fixed enrolment of seven participants (including specially selected adults), students will conduct basic research on a range of aspects of art such as creation, evaluation, system, history, etc. They will work on the elucidation and creation of the “beauty” of art, generated as a product of human cultural activities, by taking a multifaceted approach from pure theory to experimental production in figurative arts (fine arts).
Meanwhile, in the field of visual and environmental design, students undertake highly sophisticated instruction based on the perspectives of information, vision, space, environments, design, conservation, etc., while developing research that strengthens interworking/interdisciplinary approaches with adjacent related fields including new-industry creation, environmental conservation, media-technology networking, welfare design, spatial construction, etc. in addition to basic theories.

The entrance examination system takes the form of presentations by candidates to be evaluated by all teachers.
In the first and second years of the three-year curriculum, students will cultivate their ability in order to present research at a conference and to contribute a thesis, by taking subjects such as “Art and Design, Special Practicums I, II. Graduate students and their teacher gather together to present about the progress of their research and to evaluate them.
In the third year, students submit a doctoral thesis, and may graduate with a Ph.D. in Art and Design, if successful in the examination at the thesis committee. The doctoral programs feature an open, collective advice system such that the Review Committee for Interim-presentation of Doctoral Dissertation is open. Furthermore, any students achieving excellent research results are awarded the “Excellent Research Prize”.
The Doctoral Programs also support student submissions to academic journals so as to ensure the level and accumulation of research results achieved through this degree program. “Society of Art and Design”, in which many teachers of the art and design fields of the University of Tsukuba participate, and “Journal of the Society of Art and Design” (twice-yearly) both of which have been established outside the university will serve as a reliable support for writing a doctoral thesis.


The University of Tsukuba implements advanced research and education from a global perspective, as the only national university at which students can obtain Ph.D. for art theory and production. From the days of the Doctoral Programs in Art and Design, the forerunner of this degree program, including those of the Graduate School of Arts, more than 150 degree recipients have graduated and entered the professional world to date, and are actively working in various fields.

Reference Chronology

1975 School of Art and Design opens.
1976 The Doctoral Program in Science of Art and Design (consecutive 5-year system) is established.
1977 The Master’s Program in Art and Design is established.
2001 The Doctoral Program in Comprehensive Human Sciences is established. Accordingly, the Doctoral Program in Science of Art and Design is reorganized as the Doctoral Program in Art and Design (consecutive 5-year system).
2006 The above programs are migrated to the segmented doctoral program of the Comprehensive Human Sciences. Accordingly, the Master’s Programs in Art and Design and the Doctoral Programs in Art and Design are established.
2020 The Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences and the Degree Programs in Comprehensive Human Sciences are established, and migrated to the new degree program system. Accordingly, the previous “Master’s Programs in Art and Design” and the “Doctoral Programs in Art and Design” reestablished respectively as four programs such as: (i) Degree Programs in Art (Master’s Programs), (ii) Degree Programs in Design (Master’s Programs), (iii) Degree Programs in Art (Doctoral Programs); and (iv) Degree Programs in Design (Doctoral Programs).
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