Study Abroad Programs In Japan For Biology Majors

Mary Joseph
Mary Joseph July 9, 2023
Updated 2023/07/23 at 12:45 PM

Biology degree programs provide students with knowledge of the fundamental principles that support life. In these courses, students explore the components of living organisms and learn about their mechanisms, interactions, and evolutionary processes.

The curriculum typically includes subjects such as General Chemistry, Microbial Science, Genetics, and Natural Science. Graduates with biology degrees can pursue careers in various fields, including biotechnology, microbiology, pharmacology, soil science, laboratory technology, and more.

Why Choose Japan?

Japan is renowned for its scientific and technological advancements and groundbreaking biomedical research. The country places great importance on education, evident from its nearly perfect literacy rate. Enrolling in a Japanese university not only offers access to top-notch academic programs but also provides a gateway to a captivating culture that has captivated the Western world for centuries. International students have the option to pursue degrees taught in English, with Mathematics and Sciences being particularly popular fields of study.

It is highly recommended to seize the opportunity to learn Japanese, as it can greatly enhance your prospects in the job market, whether you choose to settle in Japan or work for an international company. When it comes to leisure, students can enjoy exploring attractions such as the Imperial Palace, Osaka Castle, Mount Fuji, and many more, for a truly rejuvenating experience.

Study Abroad Programs In Japan For Biology Majors

Tokyo University:

The University of Tokyo, also known as Todai, has a long-standing tradition of offering biology education since 1877 with the establishment of its Department of Biology. Over the years, the school of science has experienced consistent growth and has achieved the establishment of 15 undergraduate and graduate departments, including Astronomy, Physics, Biophysics, Biochemistry, and Biological Sciences.

Furthermore, in 2018, Todai took another significant step by rebranding the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences as the Institute for Quantitative Biosciences. This transformation aimed to focus on research endeavours that employ quantitative approaches to the study of biology.

The undergraduate curriculum aims to establish a strong knowledge base among students regarding experimental methods, utilizing up-to-date techniques, experimental planning, and result observation. The focus is on actively conducting experiments and engaging in outdoor fieldwork at partner institutions.

On the other hand, graduate programs are primarily oriented towards educational research, with the objective of uncovering novel information and developing fresh concepts.

International students are welcome to apply, and the graduate programs are conducted in English (although having a basic understanding of Japanese is recommended for smoother communication). However, undergraduate programs are exclusively taught in Japanese, and fluency in the language is expected to comprehend lectures effectively.

Kyoto College:

The establishment of the Department of Biology in 1919 marked the early beginnings of what would later become the Department of Biological Sciences. Over time, the department expanded to include two sub-departments, namely Botany and Zoology. In 1967, the Department of Biophysics was introduced as a new addition to the departmental structure.

Each of these three departments specializes in different areas of biological research. Zoology primarily focuses on the study of living organisms, while botany centres on plants and their interactions with the environment. Biophysics, on the other hand, explores the molecular mechanisms underlying biological processes.

Kyoto University provides a diverse range of study courses that are available to international students. While specific English-Taught Degree Programs are offered, the majority of programs are conducted in Japanese, necessitating proficiency in the language.

Additionally, the university collaborates with partner institutions worldwide to offer double/joint degree programs. These collaborations encompass various fields, such as a master’s course in global environmental studies with Tsinghua University (China), a doctor’s course in economics with the University of Glasgow (United Kingdom), a doctor’s course in medicine with McGill University (Canada), and more.

University Of Osaka:

In the late 1990s, the Department of Biological Sciences underwent a restructuring process by merging the previously established Physiology and Biochemistry divisions.

The Graduate School of Science, along with its various departments, offers a wide range of programs for undergraduate, graduate, international exchange, short-term, and research students.

What sets apart the Department of Biological Sciences from other universities is its organizational structure, which is based on specific research focuses in its laboratories rather than traditional fields of study. Examples of these research focuses include cell biology, plant cell biology, cellular regulation, protein folding, and more.

Osaka University warmly welcomes foreign students who are interested in participating in the university’s curriculum. However, it’s important to note that most courses require a certain level of proficiency in Japanese.

For the bilingual International Undergraduate Programme in Science (IUPS), applicants are expected to have a minimum of JLPT N3 level of Japanese proficiency. Fortunately, for graduate programs (master’s and doctorate courses), there are programs available that are conducted entirely in English.

Job Opportunities In Japan For Biology Graduates

For individuals who have completed their studies in a scientific field, Japan offers a wide range of employment prospects. Here are a few potential career paths worth considering.


A biotechnologist explores living organisms and uncovers techniques for creating innovative and improved goods. They possess the ability to explore various domains, allowing them to specialize in diverse areas such as biochemistry, medical science, and beyond.


The role of an ecologist involves investigating phylogeny and conducting experiments pertaining to the ecosystem. Numerous companies in Japan are actively seeking environmental scientists, such as the Environmental Science Corporation based in Tokyo, which continuously seeks to expand its team by welcoming new members.


Educators in the field of biology often continue their academic journey after earning a master’s or doctoral degree by becoming full-time lecturers at their graduate universities. Those who opt for this career path typically exhibit a deep passion for their research field and specialized area. In addition to their teaching responsibilities, it is typical for these instructors to take on leadership roles or oversee research endeavours, effectively balancing their roles as both educators and researchers.


Pharmacologists are in high demand by leading pharmaceutical companies like Bayer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and Daiichi Sankyo, among others. They play a crucial role in examining how drugs interact with living organisms, specifically by analyzing the effects and movement of drugs within the body (known as pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics).


Researchers are often driven by a strong interest in biology, leading them to pursue a master’s degree followed by a doctorate. However, their thirst for knowledge is not easily quenched, as they encounter numerous unanswered questions.

To address this, many of these individuals embrace the role of a researcher, seeking to contribute to the advancement of biological understanding and discoveries. Various institutions, such as research centres, medical facilities, educational institutions, and pharmaceutical companies, actively seek out enthusiastic and intelligent researchers to join their teams.


Selecting the ideal location among the numerous esteemed universities available for studying biology in Japan can be a daunting task. Most institutions prioritize and allocate significant resources to their biology and science programs, ensuring top-notch research and positioning themselves as leaders in the field. Consequently, these universities produce exceptional students who possess great potential to excel in their chosen research domains. For international students, the journey may present challenges such as language barriers, high expenses, and cultural adaptation beyond their familiar surroundings. Nevertheless, this experience represents a unique and unforgettable opportunity that is bound to be cherished without any regrets.

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