Faculty of INTEGRATED HUMAN STUDIES
Holistic understanding of human beings and their surroundings through interdisciplinary curricula
10 Divisions for developing unique human resources
The Faculty of Integrated Human Studies is the undergraduate college of the Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, and it consists of 10 Divisions: (1) Mathematical and Information Sciences, (2) Humanity, Society and Thought, (3) Arts and Letters, (4) Cognitive, Behavioral and Health Sciences, (5) Language Sciences, (6) Civilizations of Eastern Asia, (7) Studies on Global Coexistence, (8) Cultural, Regional and Historical Studies on the Environment, (9) Materials Science, (10) Earth, Life and Environment. Each Division sets its own education and research objectives; at the same time, the 10 Divisions share a common goal of developing new and unique types of human resources. In order to achieve this goal, the Divisions cooperate with each other to provide a dynamic and interdisciplinary environment where students can learn about human beings and their surroundings from broad perspectives.
* See below for more details on each division.
Selecting a major specialization from a wide range of academic fields
Most high school students in Japan need to decide on their field of study at university before applying for university; however, the Faculty challenges this widespread convention. The Faculty provides an education in a wide range of academic fields spanning the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, and freshmen can fully take advantage of such an education by being exposed to various academic disciplines and exploring their interests. Students select their major specializations from among the 10 Divisions and continue their study toward graduation research. The Faculty's interdisciplinary nature can always benefit the students during their school years.
Four-year integrated curricula combining liberal arts education and specialized courses
The Faculty has developed curricula that link "general courses" for helping students develop flexible and broad knowledge, and "specialized courses" provided by each of the 10 Divisions. The integrated curricula offer both liberal arts education and interdisciplinary study of specialized courses throughout the four-year program. General and specialized courses are taught by the first-rate professors from the Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies and other graduate schools to ensure that students receive education at the highest level. The Faculty offers the Professor Advisory System to support students with guidance on course selection and advice on student life.
The minor specialization system providing students with broad perspectives and creativity
The Faculty offers the minor specialization system that allows students to take courses outside their field of major specialization. The system aims to nurture students with broad perspectives and creativity, enabling them not only to acquire advanced expertise in their major specializations, but also to deepen knowledge in other academic fields. Students can decide on their minor specializations with the help of consultation with their academic advisors. At graduation, students completing minor specializations will receive certificates acknowledging their completion of the minor program in addition to their degree in major specializations.
Continuing study at the Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies and other institutions
Nearly 40% of the graduates of the Faculty continue their study/research at the Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies. (Graduates can also pursue their graduate study at other graduate schools at Kyoto University or at other academic institutions.) The Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies has 10 divisions corresponding to the 10 divisions of the Faculty of Integrated Human Studies, allowing students to continue to learn and deepen knowledge in their specialized field of study seamlessly under the same professor who taught them as undergraduates.
10 Divisions of the Faculty of Integrated Human Studies
Each division represents a group of faculty members from neighboring disciplines. Students, who also belong to their selected division, deepen their learning systematically, focusing on courses in their specialized discipline.
Mathematical and Information Sciences
In mathematical science, we aim to uncover the mathematical structures underlying fluctuating processes in various phenomena, primarily using analytical methods. In information science, we explore a wide range of problems from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Our focus in mathematical science is on analyzing diverse mathematical phenomena, such as those described using ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations, stochastic differential equations, stochastic processes, discrete dynamical systems, complex dynamical systems, and theories of chaos and fractals. In information science, our studies encompass theories and applications in various fields such as machine learning, data science, media information processing, as well as the mathematical foundations of puzzles, games, and the emerging field of quantum computing. Additionally, we engage in studies for understanding the essence of computation, particularly computational concepts that arise in mathematics, through areas such as programming language theory, mathematical logic, interactive theorem proving systems, category theory, and descriptive set theory.
Humanity, Society and Thought
Humans are beings that live by forming societies and engaging with the world, others, and themselves. Language and thought are more than just human inventions to be regarded as subsequent additions. Rather, they fundamentally define and characterize the relationships between humans and societies. In this division, we seek to develop a fundamental understanding of humans as social beings that have language and thought as well as of their interactions with societies, by tracing back to their origins. Based on such understanding, we conduct empirical research, taking a detailed look at individual societies as well as specific human behavior and development within respective societies with an eye on their pathological states, and attempt to apply research findings in practice.
Arts and Letters
This division explores the essence of the arts and their future possibilities, looking at English-language literature originating from the United Kingdom and the United States that has spread across the world, continental European literature founded on a multi-language culture such as literature from German- and French-speaking countries, and Hebrew literature. We focus on the creative activities of various genres, ranging from the writing of literary works such as novels, poems, and plays to the creation of movies, performing arts, music, and fine arts. Students learn literary criticism, dramatic theory, film theory, and philosophy of art to acquire skills to illuminate each work of art as a dynamic and three-dimensional representation while taking heed of its cultural, social, and ideological backgrounds. By shedding light on both local and global aspects, we seek to ascertain the uniqueness and universality of works of art to explore ways to achieve a symbiosis of different cultures.
Cognitive, Behavioral and Health Sciences
In this division, we conduct basic research on the mechanisms of psychological and physical functions, processes of their development, and ways of their formation, as well as practical research on health promotion and sports activities. Its base is the foundation of knowledge in diverse areas of study such as neuroscience, cognitive science, psychology, physiology, kinesiology, health science, sports medicine and science, and psychiatry. We also carry out holistic research on various challenges facing humanity arising from social changes-such as the accelerating informatization of society, growing biological and cultural diversity, and symbiosis between humans and machines-and put research findings into action. On that basis, we explore the ways and means for human beings to better realize vital functions, health, and development.
The most distinctive feature of human beings, language is essential to various intellectual activities. This division offers research programs designed to understand the nature of language from multiple perspectives, with a particular focus on the disciplines of theoretical linguistics, descriptive linguistics, and applied linguistics (education and learning). In the discipline of theoretical linguistics, we seek to understand the grammar and semantics of human language and the cognitive ability of human beings, using the theories of generative grammar, cognitive linguistics, and so forth. In the discipline of descriptive linguistics, we explore the universality and diversity of human language by investigating and comparing various languages in terms of historical and geographical variations and variety. In the discipline of applied linguistics, we investigate, among other things, the mechanisms and processes of learning foreign languages, as well as challenges in and systems of foreign language education from cognitive, psychological, and social perspectives.
Civilizations of Eastern Asia
Regions in East Asia have developed their own unique cultures, and yet they have together formed a politically, economically, and culturally coherent zone through active inter-regional interactions. In this division, we conduct extensive research on regional languages, literature, histories, and thought that have been developed over time in various parts of East Asia, building on research in specialized areas-such as Japanese language and literature, Chinese language and literature, Japanese and Chinese histories, and Chinese and Korean thought- and converging research across disciplinary boundaries. Through these activities, we aim to establish a holistic understanding of the history, culture, and society of East Asia as distinguished from Western civilization.
Studies on Global Coexistence
This division seeks to examine social systems and social relationships from a pluralistic perspective toward the realization of a new community based on peaceful coexistence, looking at both the possibility and difficulty of realizing a sustainable symbiotic world or society. To this end, we focus on a wide range of phenomena, including international and diplomatic relations, histories and societies of various regions in the world (America, Europe, India, etc.), economic and capitalist systems, the environment and resources, immigration, labor relations, public policy and democracy, the media, and constitutional and judicial systems. We seek to develop holistic knowledge conducive to the purpose stated above by crisscrossing a wide variety of academic fields including studies of politics, public policy, diplomacy, economics, the environment, law, society, history, and thought. We also train students to be able to put into practice and utilize such knowledge.
Cultural, Regional and Historical Studies on the Environment
In this division, we consider ethnic, cultural, regional, spatial, and landscape traits and habitational characteristics that have been uniquely developed over a long history as "cultural and regional environments," and seek to understand the process of their formation, development, and preservation as well as their current state. Covering various fieldwork-based disciplines such as cultural anthropology, architecture and urban planning, and human geography, we offer research and education programs that combine basic and practical studies on cultural and regional environments. We train future practitioners, instructors, and researchers who can contribute to urban development and city planning, neighborhood revitalization, preservation and utilization of cultural heritage, cross-cultural and cross-regional exchanges, and solutions to regional issues.
In this division, we conduct research on diverse material systems that vary in size and dimensionality, ranging from electrons and atoms, which are basic units of matter, and small molecules such as H2 and CO2, to more complex material systems such as organic and biological molecules and three-dimensional solid materials. Specifically, we conduct research to 1) make new organic molecules, nanomaterials, solid catalysts, battery materials, molecular crystals, and photo-functional materials, and explore their potential functions; 2) develop new methods and techniques of analysis and measurement such as mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry, photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, optical emission spectroscopy, and tunneling microscopy; 3) discover novel physical phenomena such as high-temperature superconductivity, strongly correlated electron systems, cold atom systems, and low-dimensional materials, and elucidate the mechanisms of their occurrence; and 4) determine the energy conversion mechanisms of photocatalysts and photothermal catalysts, fuel cells, and photo-functional materials.
Earth, Life and Environment
In an attempt to create a more symbiotic relationship between human beings and nature, we conduct research on the past, present, and future of the universe and earth; relationship between living things and the interior and surface of the earth; and functions of living things. Using knowledge and techniques, such as those in geophysics, geology, paleontology, geochemistry, and planetary science, we investigate the formation process of planets and satellites, movements in the earth's interior and surface, and changes in materials and the environment. We also look into the mechanism under which diverse living things exist and the stability of the ecosystem, by investigating the interrelationships between different species of living things. Furthermore, we conduct educational research on how living things adapt to their environments, how they take in and transform energy, and how we can make sound use of natural resources including living things.