Frequently Asked Questions


Is the program still active after the restructuring of the Primate Research Institute?

The short answer is yes. The course is not affected by this restructuring. However, faculty supervisors will now be distributed across the Center for the Origins of Human Behavior, the Wildlife Research Center, the Center for Ecological Research and the Kyoto University Museum. Graduate students in the International Course in Primatology and Wildlife Research remain in the Graduate School of Science, Division of Biological Sciences.

What do we need to start with in preparing the application?

First, read the application guidelines on our website carefully, then decide whom you want to work with, and contact him/her.

Is there an age limit for students?

No, we have no age limit for the applicants.

Must we already have extensive research experience?

You need not have any research experience when applying to the master course program. We, however, are limited in the number of candidates that we can accept, and so research experience is a bonus. For applicants to the doctoral course, research experience is expected and will be used in the evaluation criteria, e.g. through evaluation of the master's thesis and master's thesis presentation.

What do we need in preparation for the examination?

The examination includes an oral test in basic biology as well as one in the applicants' research area (landing department). The tests are time limited. The basic biology test contains multiple questions from various subjects and the applicants are asked to choose some of them which they want to answer. The applicants are also required to be interviewed by the evaluation committee. *In response to COVID-19, we have adjusted the examination procedure, so please read the guidelines carefully.

What kinds of questions are asked during the exams?

Please consult the example past General Biology and Field of Specialty exams by clicking HERE

For the General Biology Exam, questions are broadly broken down into questions of macrobiology and questions of microbiology, which you will see in equal parts. The categories covered within each broad question type include:


  • behavior
  • ecology
  • phylogeny
  • anthropology


  • Biochemistry,  Protein, Energy metabolism
  • DNA, RNA
  • Cell, Cell cycle, Genetics, Sex, Evolution, Tissues
  • Cell membrane,  Organelle,  Signal transduction,  Cytoskeleton

As a Report on Research Interest for International Course application, are title and citations included in the word count (500-1000 words)?

No. We exclude references, the title page, key words, from the word count.

What courses are offered in the graduate program?

Students enrolled in the MSc program undertake a full course schedule between April and June (in their first full year of study only) during which students are introduced to all disciplines of research being undertaken at PRI (if based at PRI) or a smaller set of courses related to wildlife research (if based at WRC). Coursework includes both lectures and practicals such as laboratory training (including genomics) and field courses (e.g. at Yakushima and Koshima in southern Japan). Aside from this period, students are expected to devote their time to their Master's research projects until completion of the degree program.

Students enrolled at either the PRI or WRC will also have the special opportunity of applying to the Leading Graduate Program in Primatology and Wildlife Science (PWS) offered by Kyoto University. This program aims to extend students' skill sets beyond basic research and thereby produce professionals in conservation, welfare, and outreach development. To achieve this goal, the PWS Program emphasizes education in wildlife conservation, animal welfare, and skills for outreach programs. In addition to offering various extra educational components, inclusive of field- and laboratory-based training practicums, students enrolled in the PWS program may benefit from limited funds for travel- and research-related expenses. For more information on the program, please visit the PWS website

Is my attendance at Kyoto University mandatory for the entrance exam?

Traditionally, for applicants to the master's course, attendance at KUPRI is mandatory without exception. For applicant's to the doctoral course, examinations can be performed via Skype as long as a suitable connection (confirmed in advance of hte examination) can be established. *In response to COVID-19, our exam location regulations have changed, so please pay close attention to the guidelines for updated information.

How long is the graduate program with CICASP?

Achieving the master's degree through CICASP typically takes 2 years. If carrying on to the doctoral course, students should expect a total of 5 years of graduate study. For students enrolling in the doctoral program from the start, the expected duration of the program is 3 years. However, many of our students entering at this level extend for an additional year of study to complete their dissertations.

I have applied for a MEXT scholarship. Do I still need to apply to CICASP?

Yes. Government-Sponsored foreign students (i.e. those receiving the MEXT scholarship) are required to take the examination through CICASP, and must therefore submit an application during the application period. However, applicants who have already passed the second screening stage of MEXT and are alerady placed at Kyoto University as a student are exempt from paying the application fee. Applicants who receive the MEXT scholarship or who wish to receive the MEXT scholarship and are later placed at Kyoto University after the CICASP examination is conducted must pay the application fee, though will be reimbursed by the university at a later date. Also note that the English certification requirement is currently waived for MEXT scholarship awardees.

I would like to apply for the master's program. Can I take the entrance examination online?

Historically, all applicants to the master's course had been required to be present at Kyoto University to take the entrance examination. However, because of challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, all CICASP entrance examinations are currently being conducted online.