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Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

GPES — The Graduate Program on Environmental Sciences

from a different perspective!
Study our planet

A modern approach to address modern problems

Some of the most pressing problems facing us all as human beings in the 21st Century are centered on our environment. These problems can be local (for example river pollution) or global (for example climate change) and may have their origins in natural phenomena (for example earthquakes or tornados) or increasingly in the impact of humankind’s activities (for example air pollution or deforestation). Addressing these problems requires that they be approached from multiple perspectives, which encompass knowledge and skills from the natural sciences, the life sciences and the social sciences. The Graduate Program on Environmental Sciences aims to equip students with the skills to tackle these problems.

The program

GPES offers both Masters and PhD level advanced programs with all lectures delivered entirely in English by about 60 professors and associate professors from a wide variety of departments across the university. The goal of the program is to provide students with a broad-based, inter- and multi-disciplinary understanding of the complex topic of environmental sciences. To achieve this, the program is designed to cover the following six basic areas:

(1) Environmental Principles. This area is concerned with the fundamental issues of the environment and approaches them from the perspectives of the humanities (ethics, history and philosophy) and related sciences.

(2) Management and Policy. This area deals with social science approaches to environmental issues. Research in this area explores the application of disciplines including economics, law, political science, sociology and psychology to real world problems with regard to environmental management and policy making.

(3) Measurement and Evaluation. Our environment is composed of many complex physical, chemical and biological systems, which interact with each other and with us as human beings. This area examines the theoretical principles and models, experimental methods and technologies and the analytical processes necessary to evaluate these systems and their interactions.

(4) Materials, Systems and Dynamics. This area is based on the physical and biological sciences. It focuses on the ways in which individual materials are composed and interact with each other to produce complex systems. Understanding the structure and dynamics of these systems allows us not only to predict their behavior, but also to influence and ultimately control them.

(5) Energy and Resources. This area reviews energy technologies and resources that include fossil fuels (for example oil, coal and natural gas), renewables (for example photovoltaics and wind power) and advanced generation technologies (for example nuclear power), and explores the engineering challenges associated with these different methods.

(6) Health and Security and Urban Planning. This area focuses on the ability of the environment to keep humans alive, healthy, safe and free from fear. It deals with many different aspects, with topics ranging from the risk and safety analysis of food production, processing and distribution to urban planning technology for designing efficient, clean modern living environments and mitigating the effects of potential disasters on society.

The choice is yours

Students develop a unique set of skills, which enables them to analyze, critique, propose and define environmental policy from economic, cultural and political viewpoints. Professional training in GPES is based on a platform of basic science and technology, which covers aspects from basic physics and chemistry to environmental processes such as ecological systems and methods for measuring global material circulation. Students choose their area of specialization from a wide range of relevant fields including natural and agricultural sciences, industrial technologies, and social sciences including economics, politics and other related disciplines.

Graduate Program on Global Society (GSP)

Program Overview

The Graduate Program on Global Society (GSP), which launched in 2012, focuses on the changing dimensions of human existence in the age of globalization.

The advance of globalization, together with the revolutions in communication and technology that it entails, have created new political, ecological, cultural, and ethical aspects to human society. In order to meet the challenges posed by these transformations and to take advantage of the possibilities that they offer, GSP has designed a curriculum based on critical thinking, practical action, and creative spirit that extends beyond the disciplinary borders of the humanities and social sciences.

The program aims to cultivate in its students the qualities of leadership capable of shaping the agendas and solving the problems that we confront in global civil society. It seeks to foster in them the ability to pioneer forms of governance capable of managing the global issues we confront today and adapting to those that we will face in the future.

The program focuses in particular on modern Japanese and Asian societies and their unique, ongoing experiences with Western modernity. It places these experiences into a wider comparative and contextual framework that sheds light on the diversity and interdependency of global society. Students from all over the world participate in the GSP program and work toward their M.A. or Ph.D. degrees in Global Studies. The operating language of the program is English, the lingua franca of this new global political economy. Student groups and university organized extra-curricular activities, such as internships and externships, may be included to encourage further social, cultural and scholarly exchange. In addition, GSP students have access to regular courses offered in English or Japanese at other graduate schools of the University, contingent upon language competency.

Students of GSP will belong to one of the four departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: Language and Information Sciences, Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Area Studies or Advanced Social and International Studies. Although officially assigned to one of these departments for affiliation purposes, students will take courses in the GSP program to satisfy their course requirements.

M.A. Program

The M.A. program is aimed at students who are interested in humanities and social sciences, in particular, the political, social, ecological and cultural aspects of the human existence in global society. The program is designed to provide an in-depth understanding and broad knowledge of the changing situation of Japan, the Asian region, and global society in general. Study is intended to lead to skills in shaping agendas and solving leadership problems. The program is, in particular, designed for those students who are seeking a M.A. degree before or after entering the business world, government service, the non-governmental sector, or the media as professionals in the fields relating to global society. It is also intended as a preparatory step for those wishing to enter the Ph.D. program in the above mentioned areas.

Ph.D. Program

The purpose of the Ph.D. program is to develop highly qualified researchers who can contribute to the humanities and social sciences, and, in particular, study on the political, social, ecological and cultural aspects of human existence in global society. Ph.D. students are expected to conduct their own research by focusing on one of the above mentioned issues. They are also expected to develop their own research expertise. The program is aimed at students who are pursuing careers as researchers or advanced professionals in fields relating to global society.

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