Interdisciplinary Studies Program at the University of Tsukuba

Message from the Dean

College of International Studies, University of Tsukuba
Interdisciplinary Education: The Fusion of Liberal Arts and Engineering Science

Today, humankind benefits from rich culture and advanced technology, and advances in these areas have long been explored thoroughly in individual academic disciplines. Such advances, however, have led to various problems in areas such as the global resource environment, as intellectual enquiry in related disciplines remains limited to micro-level perspectives. In order to promote feasible development solutions throughout the world, we have to combine micro-level detailed with macro-level world views. To this end, the College of International Studies aims to challenge conventional academic approaches and develop interdisciplinary specialists who are able to cope with today’s problems with novel and comprehensive views.

Our Expectations

Our College’s students possess a tradition of academic excellence. Regardless of their academic year, students at various levels in their studies cooperate closely in their academic work and their extracurricular activities. Our students think positively and act proactively, and we encourage our future students to embrace these qualities as well.

Further expectations that we have for our future students are that they are able to distinguish between good and evil, and possess the courage and wisdom to eradicate the latter. We believe that indecision invites misunderstanding and, as a result, promotes evil. While many conflicts remain unsettled, encouraging shared approaches to such problems is a key point in achieving peaceful resolution. We hope that our students become internationally-minded people with no racial or cultural bias, and that they work hard to promote further development in the world.

Education for Internationally-minded People

The College of International Studies aims to educate talented people who will be able to play active roles in the international arena. Nowadays, activities on the global level in politics, the economy, culture, information, and the environment are intertwined and influenced mutually on a global scale. Therefore, it is necessary for educators to cultivate students with insightful analytical abilities who can discover the essence of problems and who can create unique and insightful solutions for increasingly complicated problems. Devising appropriate solutions for such problems requires exploratory approaches that span time and space. To meet these needs, the College has two designated fields, International Relations and International Development. These two fields are closely related and intellectually complementary. In this respect, even among the many high-ranked undergraduate colleges at the University of Tsukuba, our College of International Studies stands out, which in itself is evidence of its international and interdisciplinary features.

A Unique Curriculum

In order to understand the complexity of various international issues, the College of International Studies provides students with basic and interdisciplinary education in the fields of social sciences and humanities as well as information and the environment. In the upper years, students systematically study research methodology and application theory and practical analytical approaches through lectures and seminars.

In addition, the College emphasizes English proficiency and information technology, and provides basic training in these subjects as prerequisites for global communication.

From the third year, students enroll in an research-oriented seminar in a specialized field organized by a faculty member and launch their research activities. In this year-long seminar, they receive training in the basic concepts of intellectual investigation, logical ways of thinking and presentation skills, and write their Independent Thesis at the end of the third year. In the fourth year, students advance their study of concrete and practical issues by drawing on their interdisciplinary knowledge and methodological skills. In their final year, they will plan, research, write, and submit a Graduation Thesis that synthesizes their skill set. During their studies at the College, many students study abroad in international exchange programs and/or language training courses. In this manner, the College offers a flexible curriculum within which students can study independently.