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東京大学公共政策大学院 | GraSPP / Graduate School of Public Policy | The university of Tokyo

Program Description and Curriculum Program Description and Curriculum

Program Description


The Graduate School of Public Policy is pleased to announce that the doctoral program has launched from AY2016. The main research areas of the doctoral program are International Finance and Development, International Security and, Science and Technology. The program aims to nurture highly skilled researchers in law and politics and economics. In addition, it aims to foster cross-cutting, multidisciplinary and practical skills for policy-making.

Social demands

Globalization and major changes in the global environment are presenting modern society with increasingly diverse and complex challenges. Dealing with these challenges demands an advanced skillset—the ability to identify quickly and accurately the key issues from amidst complex phenomena, to apply sophisticated research skills to establish the relevant questions, and to synthesize expert knowledge from various fields to create a set of options for solutions. A choice must then be made from amongst the option set while building social consensus around that choice through communication, and the chosen option implemented expeditiously with an international perspective. Given this new level of complexity and diversity, it is hardly surprising that a growing ratio of international institution and government policy practitioners are doctorate-holders.

Expectations for Students

Responding to these social demands, our doctoral program trains students in the advanced research skills necessary to develop original questions from their research, construct and assess potential solutions that synthesize expert knowledge from various disciplines, and move these solutions quickly into practice with an international perspective, communicating with diverse stakeholders. Our graduates are policy professionals superbly equipped to handle specialist tasks and take the lead in core areas of society—whether they are leading policy development on diverse and complex social issues critical to state operation, representing the government in difficult international negotiations, leading international discussion at international organizations and research institutions, leading major multinational corporate projects that stimulate industry, or effecting social transformation as social entrepreneurs.

The program focuses on International Finance and Development, International Security and, Science and Technology as areas where these social demands are particularly strong and where there is a need for close international partnership.



Research Areas

The program focuses on “International Finance and Development”, “International Security” and “Science and Technology Policy” as areas where social demands are particularly strong and where there is a need for close international partnership.

International Finance and Development

The program covers several key areas such as monetary policy, exchange rate policy, fiscal policy, financial sector regulations and supervision, crisis prevention and recovery, economic development, inequality, trade and labor issues, and foreign investments. The program guides students to comprehend those policy issues and underlying causes, based primarily on the discipline of Economics, with possible applications of Law and Politics.

International Security

Globalization has highlighted the need to address complex interconnected risks, from pandemics, to global terrorism and cyber-attacks. Climate change and AI technologies also invite greater involvement of science and technology in policy making and risk assessment. Taking an international and interdisciplinary perspective, this program examines security challenges primarily grounded in the disciplines of Law and Politics with possible applications of Economics.

Science & Technology Policy

There are concerns that the progress of the digital society, the spread of the IoT, and other advances are not only changing the concept of competition that is the basis of the market economy and stimulating technological hegemonism by each country but could also be shaking the very foundations of democracy. Moreover, the areas where science and technology and public policy intersect are becoming increasingly important in such fields as energy policy, healthcare policy, space policy, maritime policy, and environmental policy. This research area fosters the development of high-level science and technology policy doctoral students with interdisciplinary and practical international capabilities by covering such fields in conjunction with departments of natural science while still being based on economics, political science, and law.

Educational Program

Our educational program is designed to develop top-class professionals with not only advanced specialist research skills in their particular fields (either Economics or Law and Politics) but also interdisciplinary skills and practical skills with international application.

Applied research courses

First, students undertake research in applied subjects within the three key areas of “International Security” and “International Finance and Development” and “Science and Technology Policy”. These subjects are primarily based on Economics and Law and Politics, and in order to ensure an interdisciplinary perspective, the program also offers three subjects serving as a point of contact with the science and technology.

  • International Finance and Development
  • International Security
  • Science and Technology Policy
Economics Perspective
Politics Perspective
Law Perspective
Interdisciplinary Perspective
Practical research courses

The next component is “Practical Research on International Public Policy”, designed to equip students with practical skills and taught by professors who are also career practitioners. This is an elective subject, and students will be advised by their supervisors whether or not they need to take the course based on their (practical) experience prior to entering the program.

“Research Design Seminar” & “Project Seminar”

Our educational program focuses on training students in the development of original research questions regarding the diverse and complex current society grounded in an international and interdisciplinary perspective, and in designing and implementing real-world research projects based on those questions. To that end, the course is jointly run by Economics and Law and Politics lecturers, and comprises two compulsory subjects: in the first year, a “Research Design Seminar” attended by students with a whole range of areas of expertise, and a Project Seminar in the second year. In the “Research Design Seminar”, students learn to recognize the different perspectives of different fields, learn to communication with experts in different fields and learn about research methods and research ethics. Each student also selects a research theme framed in such a way that they can explain it even to an experts in a different field. In the “Project Seminar”, students design and implement research projects related to real-world policy issues and present their results to diverse experts and stakeholders, receiving input and feedback from actual practitioners.

Doctoral Dissertation Supervision

A key part of the program is doctoral thesis supervision premised on the student developing their research question and then engaging in a research project that includes a real-world component. Thesis preparation for the various majors is undertaken within the compulsory subject “International Public Policy Research”, with supervision under the charge of a main supervisor along with collaborating supervisors. Discussion among diverse students and faculty members, including practitioners, are also encouraged. In the final examination, policy implications of doctoral thesis and implementation challenge of those policies will be also discussed.

Both the “Research Design Seminar” and “Project Seminar “are conducted in English and all the requirements for students can be completed only in English.

Course Requirements

In order to complete the doctoral program at the Graduate School of Public Policy (GraSPP), you must be enrolled for 3 years and earn 20 course credits (10-credits required courses and 10-credits elective courses) or more. In addition, you must complete the doctorate thesis supervised by one of the GraSPP professors.