PWS (the Leading Graduate Program in Primatology and Wildlife Science) aims to produce professionals in wildlife conservation, animal welfare, and outreach development.


How to Apply to the PWS Program

For International students wishing to apply to do a PhD at Kyoto University, CICASP provides the entry point. Once you are enrolled as a PhD candidate (or graduate student) of Kyoto University, you then become eligible to apply to the PWS Program.

The Leading Graduate Program in Primatology and Wildlife Science (PWS) is a 5‐year program. Students approved to join the PWS program from their first year of Master’s program will progress from L1, L2, L3, L4, L5, and will complete the program in 5 years.

The PWS program is completed by students parallel to their existing Kyoto University master’s and doctoral programs. Therefore, students do not need to change their supervisor or section/laboratory to join PWS. However, there are two necessary conditions for eligibility
1. A graduate student of Kyoto University: It is required to become a graduate student of the Division of Biological Science, Graduate School of Science (Kyoto University). However, we are in the process of adjustment for students of other graduate departments to enroll in our program, so please do not hesitate to inquire.
2. To apply and receive approval to enroll into our program: The process is the same for both Japanese natives and foreign students. Eligible students: 1st year Master’s students (will be called L1 student), or a doctoral students (will be called L3 student). Annually, we will disclose the guidelines for applicants in mid‐January, and administer the entrance exam in the beginning of March.

Apply now

The Center for International Collaboration and Advanced Studies in Primatology (CICASP) provides the entry point for those who wish to take entry exams, receive lectures in English. For further information, please visit the CICASP website.

PWS Research Bases


The Birthplace of Japanese Primatology


Fieldwork at an UNESCO World Heritage Site


Learn survival skills at an elevation of 1,300 m


Deepen and broaden your perspective by investigating topics at different levels of analysis.

Learn from cutting edge research teams

Japan Monkey Centre

Hands-on experience from experienced curators

Research Bases Abroad

Amazon, Congo, Borneo, and more...


Interdepartmental Exchange

To get a general idea of the diverse areas of study in the Division of Biological Science, Kyoto University.

Sasagamine Field Science Course

To learn survival skills as the basis for future fieldwork. Activities include:
- Wildlife observation
- Climbing Hiuchi Mountain (2,420m)
- Night-time bivouac practicum (improvised encampment)

Koshima Field Science Course

To learn the basis of wildlife research. Conduct observation on wild Japanese macaques (protected species) in Koshima, the birthplace of Japanese primatology. Required to develop independent research topic (e.g., Identification of food items in feces)

Yakushima Field Science Course

To learn the basis of wildlife research. Conduct fieldwork on animals/plants in Yakushima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. English is the official language in this course to facilitate exchange of ideas with international participants, e.g. from Tanzania, India, Malaysia and elsewhere. Samples collected during the course will be used in the following Genome Science Course.

Genome Science Course

Complementary to the Yakushima Field Science Course. Designed for participants who expect to engage in both laboratory work and fieldwork. Beginner (direct sequencing) and advanced (next generation sequencing) courses are available. English is the official language as in the previous course. The samples from Yakushima will be used to perform various experiments and analyses. Students give a poster presentation at the international symposium scheduled on the last day of the course.

Comparative Cognitive Science Course

To learn the basis of comparative cognitive science. Understand the procedures in cognitive experimentation and behavioral observation. Work with Chimpanzees and Horses.

Zoo/Museum Course

To get practical experience in environmental education in the field of primatology/wildlife science as well as to learn to work as a curator, one of the three exit points of the PWS program. This course provides lectures by zoo technicians and practical training as zookeepers.

Animal Welfare Course

Students learn about animal welfare in captive animals. They will engage in activities for environmental enrichment, feeding enrichment, and cognitive enrichment. They will also learn basics of behavioral observation and comparative cognitive science which are needed in practicing and evaluating those enrichment activities.


Because of its strongly international focus, PWS encourages all students to make their best efforts to become multilingual ambassadors of animals and their environments... [Read More]

Asura International Seminar

- Irregularly scheduled international seminars
- Lectures from researchers, government officials from the United Kingdom, Congo, Brazil, Butan, etc.
- Official language: English

Buddha Seminar

- Toward the “Harmonious Coexistence with Human and Ecological Community on This Planet” (Kyoto University’s Mission Statement)
- Lectures from WWF officers, ambassadors, governors, etc.
- Official language: not specified

CICASP Seminar

CICASP conducts a weekly CICASP Seminar in Science Communication which aims to develop students’ skills in scientific communication and critical thinking... [Read More]

Student-led Fieldwork

To develop skills in planning projects aimed at one or more of the three exit points (goals) of the PWS program (i.e., conservation specialization, curation, outreach). Required to design/conduct individual overseas training projects.

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