COLABS Curriculum

1. Course Offered in Academic Year

The COLABS program consists of two courses, Core course (Individual Research Training in Lab*) and Elective courses, which are thoroughly offered in English. *IRTLab

- IRTLab 4 or 3 is strongly advised for COLABS students.
- Some elective courses may be unavailable during an enrolled semester. Its detailed information can be confirmed at each graduate school when a new semester starts.

CORE COURSE (Required)

・Individual Research Training in Lab (12-30 ECTS equivalent)

IRTLab offers four categories in each semester and COLABS students will be awarded 12-30 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) equivalent after successful performances approved by the committees. (It is not a requirement for COLABS students to complete their own thesis.) *ECTS equivalents will be awarded based on "Total School Hours" accordingly to the ECTS-compliant School Hours as shown the table for IRTLab.

Students are to consult with an assigned academic advisor including following topics before the semester begins:
- IRTLab category (1, 2, 3 or 4)
- IRTLab (Research) Theme


Mandatory IRTLab Assignments:
- IRTLab Presentation (poster and/or oral) at the end of every semester
- Assignment Submission (summary and a research-paper) by the prescribed deadlines


Discussing updates, progress, results and so on with an academic advisor on a daily basis is essential in order to get the best outcome from IRTLab.


Past Theme Titles of IRTLab


A) Offered by the relevant Graduate School:
Detailed information on courses will be obtained at the relevant Graduate School as below.
Class availabilities may vary by semester and each Graduate School.


Graduate School of Science
*Courses of International Graduate Program for Advanced Science (IGPAS) offers graduate-level classes in English.
Graduate School of Medicine
Graduate School of Dentistry
Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Graduate School of Engineering
Graduate School of Agricultural Science
Graduate School of Information Sciences
Graduate School of Life Sciences 
Graduate School of Environmental Studies 
Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering  

B) Offered by Junior Year Program in English (JYPE): *Undergraduate Program
It is possible for COLABS students to take JYPE courses, although, JYPE is designed for undergraduates. ‘Nuclear Physics,’ ‘Solid State Physics & Statistical Physics,’ and ‘Material Science’ are graduate-level courses.
More information about the JYPE course descriptions can be found here.

2. Course Description of Individual Research Training in Lab

Course categories:
The IRTLab offers COLABS Students four categories in each semester as shown in the table below. IRTLab 4 requires full school hours (750 hours per semester / 50 hours per week) to achieve 30 ECTS equivalents. Choosing IRTLab 1, 2 or 3 must earn designated TU credits by taking elective courses.

- IRTLab 4 or 3 is strongly advised.
- Course information is available at the beginning of each semester.
- It is important to discuss/consult the IRTLab category (1, 2, 3 or 4) and selections of elective courses with an academic advisor before semester begins.

Mandatory IRTLab Assignments:
- Summary
- Poster Presentation (one-year participating students only)
- Oral Presentation (at the end of the exchange term)
- Research Paper (at the end of the exchange term)
*The program orientation provides with more details.


Category Name IRTLab 1 IRTLab 2 IRTLab 3 IRTLab 4
School Hours for IRTLab
(per semester)
Implementation Hours (Research) 150 240 300 420
Participation Hours in Laboratory Activities 150 210 250 330
Total School Hours (per semester) 300 450 550 750
ECTS Equivalent of School Hours (25hours=1ECTS) 12 18 22 30
Total credit units of elective courses per semester necessary for completion (Tohoku University credits) 9 6 4 0


Workload Table:
- School Hours: a total workload (hours) per semester (15 weeks)
- Implementation Hours: 2.0, 3.2, 4.0 and 5.6 hours per day on the average for each category
- Above the ECTS-compliant table can be referred to facilitate credit transfer between partner institutions and Tohoku University.

- ECTS equivalents will be awarded based on the 'Total School Hours,' when performances get approved by the committee members.
- COLABS students are not required to complete a thesis, however, the IRTLab activities could be a part* of a master/doctoral thesis.
(*permission needed from an academic advisor)
- The above 'School Hours' are standard numbers which can be variable depending on each laboratory, graduate school and department as those sections have their own rules.

Description of the School hours for IRTLab

1. Implementation Hours
Implementation hours are spent by students working with the support of the research groups (laboratories) to which they are assigned, doing individual research on current topics closely related to their majors, as a part of a master/doctor thesis. During implementation hours, students conduct experiments, calculations, theorizations and related activities, and are expected to acquire basic research-related knowledge and techniques for doing real research. To achieve IRTLab course goals and objectives, which emphasize fundamental and high-quality research experiences, the implementation hours are set at 150-420 hours/semester in the four categories, more than 50% of the total school hours.

2. Participation Hours:
Various activities at an assigned laboratory for COLABS students:
- Oral Presentation
- Seminars
- Meetings
- Tutorials
- Independent Study
- Other activities
*Detailed information/schedules of above can be provided by an assigned academic advisor.

3. Related Graduate Schools and Research Activities for IRTLab

Students will be enrolled at an assigned graduate school as a Special Research Student.
Course information also can be found on a below website of each graduate school.

Graduate School Department
Science Mathematics
Earth Science
Medicine Medical Sciences
Disability Sciences
Health Sciences
Public Health
Dentistry Dental Sciences
Pharmaceutical Sciences Molecular Pharmaceutical Science
Life and Pharmaceutical Science
Engineering Mechanical Systems Engineering
Aerospace Engineering
Quantum Science and Energy Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Communications Engineering
Electronic Engineering
Applied Physics
Applied Chemistry
Chemical Engineering
Bimolecular Engineering
Materials Science
Materials Processing
Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering
Architecture and Building Science
Management Science and Technology
Agricultural Science Biological Resource Science
Life Sciences
Bioscience and Biotechnology for Future Bioindustries
Information Sciences Computer and Mathematical Sciences
System Information Sciences
Human-Social Information Sciences
Applied Information Sciences
Life Sciences Integrative Life Sciences
Ecological Developmental Adaptability Life Sciences
Molecular and Chemical Life Sciences
Environmental Studies Environmental Studies for Advanced Society
Frontier Sciences for Advanced Environment
Biomedical Engineering Biomedical Engineering


You can also find other related information from ACADEMIC RESEARCH STAFF AT TOHOKU UNIVERSITY,
Research Profiles and/or each graduate school website.

4. Academic Calendar for COLABS  (Last updated: March 5, 2024)

Fall Semester 2023 (Oct. 2023 - Mar. 2024)★Mandatory

Orientation September 25, 2023
Class begins Oct. 2, 2023
Winter Holiday Dec. 28, 2023 - Jan. 3, 2024
Class ends February 7, 2024
Presentation February 6 -7, 2024
Self-Education Period* Mid-February - Early April 2024


Spring Semester 2024 (Apr. 2024 - Sep. 2024)★Mandatory

Orientation April 2, 2024
Class begins April 8, 2024
Class ends August 5, 2024
Presentation August 6 - 8, 2024


Fall Semester 2024 (Oct. 2024 - Mar. 2025)★Mandatory

Orientation Late September, 2024 (TBA)
Class begins October 1, 2024
Winter Holiday Dec. 27, 2024 - Jan. 5, 2025
Class ends February 3, 2025
Presentation Early February 2025 (TBA)
Self-Education Period* Mid-February - Early April 2025

*applicable to one-year (Fall and Spring) enrolled students only



- Dates are subject to change. (Detailed COLABS schedules available in early September)
- Presentations are to be held in early February for the Fall semester and early August for the Spring semester.