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Department of Human Environmental Science, Faculty of Human Development, Kobe University

Degradation of the earth's natural environment, weaknesses in energy security, ramifications of economic globalization, nuclear proliferation and the spread of strife, repercussions from the tremendous progress in information processing technology, and disturbing demographic trends are some of the pressing issues that mankind faces today. They all concern in the broadest sense of the term, the human environment. Dealing with these problems requires multi-faceted approaches that cut through the boundaries between conventional academic disciplines. The Department of Human Environmental Science provides a comprehensive interdisciplinary education so that students can acquire a solid foundation for use in exploring ways to understand and effectively manage human environments.

Key words:
Ecology, Quality of Life, Globalization
Degree Programs offered:
  • Social Environment
  • Living Environment
  • Natural Environmental Science
  • Mathematics and Informatics

Main Features of the Degree Programs

The degree programs offered by the Department of Human Environmental Science have the following three main features.

Firstly, comprehensive and interdisciplinary approaches are emphasized. This is essential to any serious attempt to investigate human environments, given their extremely complex nature. Students acquire a broad background in various subject areas, and are challenged to fuse their knowledge into an integrated methodology for gaining a deeper understanding of human environments.

Secondly, students are required to pursue a high level of specialization. Each of the four programs runs a strong curriculum designed to give its students solid training in both theory and practice. This ensures that they avoid the pitfall of covering a lot of ground but without attaining depth in any particular component, as is often the case with academic programs that tout comprehensiveness. It is not uncommon for the modest work that a student starts as part of his or her undergraduate study to blossom into a research project of major significance as he or she carries it on at graduate level.

Finally, the programs encourage students to take an active interest in problems of contemporary relevance to the real world. The degree requirements include a significant amount of laboratory work, fieldwork, and other activities of empirical or practical orientation in addition to lecture-based classroom instruction. It is designed to help students acquire a sound balance of theory and practice, and to develop the skills needed to deliver credible results as they work to find sensible ways to manage human environments.

Updated: 2008/04/15 (Tue) 18:41