IMF Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (OAP) - Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia (JISPA): The University of Tokyo (UT)

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IMF Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (OAP)

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The University of Tokyo (UT)

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Program Director's Message

Prof. Iisuka

In 2017, the long-awaited completion of GraSPP’s new school building will provide an enhanced educational environment for an increasingly diversifying student body. The school continues to upgrade interdisciplinary training with a balanced mix of law, politics, and economics, including classes offered by faculty members with practical experience, as well as hands-on training that draws on real-world case studies. I hope that our students can make the most of these learning environments and transform themselves into public policy professionals.

Toshiaki Iizuka
Dean, Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo

Study at the University of Tokyo: Tradition of Excellence.As a leading research university with over 4,000 faculty and nearly 30,000 students, the UTokyo offers courses in essentially all academic disciplines at both undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition to providing students with a learning environment that is ideal for both intellectual development and professional skills attainment, the University is known worldwide for the cutting edge research undertaken within the institutions.

Graduate School of Public Policy (GraSPP)

GraSPP was established in 2004 with a mission to bridge the gap between academic learning and public policy practices. Academic staff and private / public sector policy practitioners work closely together to connect social science theory to real world problems. In the modern globalized world, effective policy-making requires an international perspective. This, coupled with strong foundational academic training, is what we seek to provide our student body in preparation for careers spanning government, business, and the public sector. Despite a short history, GraSPP is now recognized as a leading public policy school in Japan. More than a third of the GraSPP graduates have been placed in various Japanese government ministries.

Master of Public Policy, International Program (MPP/IP)

The UTokyo offers the 2-year Master of Public Policy, International Program (MPP/IP), which was launched in October 2010. An extensive and diverse menu of courses in English are offered to learn cutting edge approaches to the public policy arena from internationally renowned faculty members at the University of Tokyo. 1Student groups and school organized extra-curricular activities are combined events, allowing for increased social and scholarly exchange between Japanese-stream and English-stream MPP students. Furthermore, MPP/IP students are also able to take courses in other graduate schools (provided language proficiency requirements are met). MPP/IP applicants are expected to demonstrate basic competence for learning law, politics and economics.

MPP/IP consists of two policy streams, namely, Economic Policy, Finance and Development (EPFD) and Public Management and International Relations (PMIR), and JISPA scholars will be enrolled on EPFD.

The Faculty

Three UTokyo Graduate Schools (Public Policy, Economics, and Law and Politics) contribute the core teaching staff of the MPP/IP; although other Schools and Research Institutes also provide courses which integrate with the program. The school boasts expertise in macroeconomic and monetary or financial economics, thanks to faculty members with a breadth of applied experience from organizations such as the IMF, the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Japan, and the Council for Economic and Fiscal Policy. Located in central Tokyo, the university is able to exploit its proximity to corporate headquarters and public ministries to attract many prominent speakers and practitioners to the program.

The Curriculum

The GraSPP curriculum encompasses a wide range of public policy sub-fields including microeconomics, macroeconomics, policy process studies, governance and development. The JISPA scholars are required to complete 46 units in two years (please see a course listing for details).

Economic Policy, Finance and Development (EPFD)
All those involved in public policy now face greater opportunities and responsibilities to address various challenges stemming from globalizing economic activities with evolving social and political systems. Naturally, there is a growing demand for public policy practitioners equipped with professional knowledge and practical skills. Against this background, those who aspire to be globally competitive public policy practitioners are increasingly required to broaden their intellectual horizons, acquire specialized knowledge, sharpen analytical skills and strengthen practical capacities. EPFD is designed to meet this demand by offering courses suited for those who want to advance their careers in government, business, international organizations or NPOs in the field of economic policy, finance and development.

First Year: In the first year, students are expected to take most of the required core courses as well as one or two case studies.

Second Year: In the second year, on top of taking other elective courses, students focus on writing a research paper/thesis frequently focusing on topics examined in case study courses to apply to policymaking in the context of their home countries.

Other Recommended and Elective Courses
Elective courses cover a range of topics, including Development Economics: Macroeconomic Approach, Asian Financial Markets, Theory and Empirics of Unconventional Monetary Policy, Development Finance , and Asian Economic Development and Integration. GraSPP also hosts a Public Policy Seminar Series, inviting world leaders in government, academic and business fields to deliver lectures on current public policy issues.


Candidates must hold a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a recognized/accredited university and are expected to possess high English language proficiency to be able to pursue studies. A minimum TOEFL score of PBT 570 (CBT 230, iBT89) or IELTS 6.0-6.5 is expected. A strong undergraduate background and/or evidence of experience with public policy issues in economic management are also required.2


The main campus of the university is located in Hongo Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo and occupies about 56 hectares of the former Kaga Yashiki, the Tokyo estate of a major feudal lord. Parts of the seventeenth century landscaping of the original estate have been preserved to provide greenery and open space.

The University of Tokyo Library System is composed of about 40 libraries, including the General Library, the Komaba and Kashiwa Libraries, and departmental libraries. The General Library is the system‘s main coordinating body. Each faculty / institution library has a large number of materials in their specialized fields.

GraSPP’s International Student Adviser provides student support services to help students complete their enrolment and arrange for visas. It also helps coordinate applications for student dormitories or helps students to find accommodation through private real estate firms.

Japanese Language Courses: The University of Tokyo’s International Center offers a variety of Japanese language courses for international students. For further information, please visit the website:

In addition to the Japanese language courses above, GraSPP offers its own Japanese courses (no credits earned) from beginners to intermediate levels. The size of the class is normally 5-7 students.

1All courses offered in the MPP/IP are also open to English-proficient students in the Japanese MPP program.

2Successful candidates for GraSPP are additionally required to complete and pass the formalities of admissions process for the GraSPP, the UTokyo. A separate application form must be filled out and submitted to the MPP/IP Admissions Office, following the instructions from the university after the JISPA final selection in mid-April 2017. The application form will be sent from MPP/IP Admissions Office via email.

Further information on the program and our graduate school can be found on the following website:

Further information on the program can be found on the following website: