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Seminars for First-year Students

The Faculty of Economics offers basic seminar for around 35 students in the first semester of their first year. Under the objective of deepening the way students think about college education, and not simply acquiring knowledge, our professors capitalize on their respective expert knowledge and information to raise various socioeconomic issues we face in daily life in a bid to stimulate the intellectual curiosity of students and guide them go through the study of economics with a fresh outlook. Having direct contact with the professors of the Faculty of Economics soon after their admission will help students paint a picture of their own approach to the study of economics.

Required Courses and Basic Specialized Courses for First Year Students

In their first year, students will take the required courses, such as Intermediate Microeconomics I & II, Economics, Economic History, and Statistics, to acquire knowledge that is essential in studying specialized or major subjects in the Faculty of Economics. They will also study lecture classes such as Logics, Psychology, Sociology, Cultural Anthropology and Social Ideological History as general major courses, as well as Mathematics, including Linear Algebra and Calculus. By going through these basic subjects, students will acquire the fundamental knowledge that is necessary for the specialized major subjects that will begin from their second year.

Liberal Arts Courses on a Wide Variety of Fields

In addition to the major subjects, students will take Foreign Language, Health & Sports Science, and Principles of Liberal Arts from among the common subjects for all the faculties of the University. Kobe University is a comprehensive university consisting of 11 faculties, so students can take a variety of liberal arts subjects (general academic subjects). As the science of economics aims to analyze phenomena intricately involved with so many elements related to our lives, it is important for students to simultaneously learn a wide range of sciences such as natural sciences and humanities.

Major Courses

Starting in their second year, students may take major courses on economics. We offer various major courses on each of the eight major lecture and research fields. The Faculty of Economics has around 50 faculty members who are able to hold lectures on nearly all fields of economics. From the second semester of their second year, there is an option for students to study subjects in other fields they may be interested in from the specialized courses in the School of Business Administration and the Faculty of Law.

The Forefront of Business: Special Lectures

Each year, the Faculty of Economics invites lecturers from different research institutions and companies to give lectures on various issues surrounding the Japanese economy. Lectures given by real players at the forefront of business based on their actual experience have the kind of appeal that is different from ordinary lectures. Moreover, by knowing various industries and companies, students will be able to make better decisions in connection with their career paths and future.

Research Guidance (Seminars)

From the third year, students will begin to receive guidance on research (seminars) under professors of their choice, and they will read technical books and conduct joint research together. In their fourth year, students will present their individual research on the theme they choose and then write a graduation thesis. At the Faculty of Economics, the maximum capacity of seminars is limited (up to around 10 students per year level) to hone the expert knowledge and presentation skills of students through dedicated guidance and debates among the students. Further, professors and students are able to build social relationships that go beyond their relationship as professors and students through seminar camps, trips, gatherings and other events. Encounters with professors, senior/junior colleagues, and OB/OGs through these seminars are crucial in making your college life richer.

Traditional Intercollegiate Debate of Seminars from Three Universities

Serving as the venue for presenting research findings in seminars, the Intercollegiate Debate of Seminars from Three Universities (so-called Sanshodai Zemi) is held every year. It is a traditional debate held among the “Three Former Commercial Colleges”, namely Kobe University, Hitotsubashi University and Osaka City University. At the debate, each seminar presents its research findings on a common theme and then engages in a debate with the other seminars. With advice from the professors, the sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that the students feel when they finish their paper is something that is unique to the seminar. The debates are very exciting, as each seminar tries to defeat the others. These experiences and the encounters that cross the borders of the University will surely inspire the students and help them grow.

Higher Level Subjects:

There are courses that are shared with the graduate school. Intensive lectures for a limited number of students are conducted on highly specialized contents in all the major research fields in economics.

Graduation Thesis

While many universities do not require a graduation thesis anymore, the Faculty of Economics attaches importance to the graduation thesis as the culmination of research guidance over two years. This is because the creation of a graduation thesis that requires advanced investigation, analysis and theory construction is an important training for students given the fact the globalization of the economy now requires them to assert their ideas using logic that is accepted in the international arena. Awards are given to the outstanding theses every school year.

Special Programs and Courses for Expertise, Interdisciplinary Knowledge and International Perspective

The Faculty of Economics aims to foster human resources who can deal with the increasingly globalized and complicated world. For this end, we provide a curriculum for systematically studying economics, as well as special programs and courses for developing expertise, interdisciplinary knowledge and international perspective in association with other faculties of Kobe University and foreign universities.

International Five-year Economics Education Program at Kobe(IFEEK)

IFEEK is a special program for helping students acquire the ability to make use of economics in English through studying in universities abroad that have agreements with Kobe University. Under this Program, the courses are conducted in Japanese and English, with the focus on international perspective for utilizing their knowledge and expertise in economics.
Around 20 students will be selected in the second semester of their first year. The selected students will go through the special seminars and designated specialized courses in English from their second year. They are encouraged to participate in English learning programs in the University and short-term language trainings abroad to improve their English language skills. Students generally study at our partner universities abroad for six months from the second semester of their third year, but the timing and the term of study-abroad can be flexible. In some cases, students study abroad for one year, while in other cases, they study abroad on their fourth year. While studying abroad, they will write their graduation theses under the remote guidance of their advisers. IFEEK is a highly flexible program in which students can select diverse career paths. Some students move on to Graduate School after graduation, while others find jobs after graduating from their 4-year course.
The most appealing course in this Program is the case in which students graduate in five years by graduating from the bachelor’s program early and completing their master’s degree. First, students earn credits by studying abroad in the second semester in their third year (for six months or one year). Upon returning to Japan in the first semester of their fourth year, they will complete their graduation thesis to graduate earlier and then enter Graduate School in autumn after passing the entrance examination. In Graduate School, they will further their research based on the knowledge they acquired by studying abroad, and then submit the master’s thesis and complete the master degree program after a year and a half. The target is to enable students to reach world standards in five years through consistent guidance from their graduation thesis to their master’s thesis by having them study abroad.

In March 2019, five students from the third batch completed the Five-Year Program and went out into the world in different fields. With this five-year study, we expect the students to play important roles on the global stage.


Kobe University Programme for European Studies (KUPES)

The increase in human resources with master’s degree in foreign countries is making it all the more important to acquire a master’s degree to play an active role in the global arena. Further, there is a need for human resources who possess expertise and who are able to look at global positions from multifaceted perspectives by acquiring a master’s degree in Japan or in other countries.

Under the Kobe University Programme for European Studies (KUPES), students learn about the European Union (EU) from a professional and interdisciplinary viewpoint, focusing on the economic, sociocultural, legal and political aspects. Students take the European-style participation-type class before going abroad to study, including “Japan-EU Comparative Seminar” and “Aspects of EU” that are taught by foreign professors who are well versed in Europe, and prepare to study in Europe with the support of their academic coordinator. After studying abroad for more than half a year during their undergraduate years, students then enter graduate school and enroll in a graduate school in Europe while being enrolled in the Kobe University to acquire double degrees: master’s degrees from Kobe University and a European university. In this way, the students are expected to play important roles on the global stage.
EU Research Certificate Program

A major feature of Kobe University is its deep relationship with the EU. In April 2006, J. Barroso, ex-chairman of the European Commission, gave a lecture at Kobe University, while Herman Van Rompuy, ex-chairman of European Council (also former president of Belgium), gave a special lecture in April 2010. The Faculty of Economics offers the “EU research Certificate” Program that adopts the credit transfer system with Kwansei Gakuin University and Osaka University for studying the EU as one of the most important political and economic regions in the world. Under the Erasmus+ Program, students are exchanged with such universities as Babeș-Bolyai University in Romania. Through these various programs, students will be able to acquire knowledge and experience that can only be attained at Kobe University.

Econo-Legal Studies Program (ELS)

Jointly run by the Faculty of Economics and the Faculty of Law as an interdisciplinary education program sponsored by Social System Innovation Center, this program aims to develop comprehensive and multifaceted problem-solving capacity on issues involving economic and legal aspects such as intellectual properties and regulatory reforms. It is characterized by the structured education provided to students in both faculties by professors from both faculties, the long list of seminars with a small number of students such as the Econo-Legal Course, and most of all, the opportunity for students to learn both economics and law at the same time. The course starts from the second semester in their first year, and from their second year, the students take courses for students registered in the program. Students will be given the ELS Certificate of Completion after they have completed their research paper and received the required credits.

Education for Sustainable Development(ESD)

At Kobe University, the Faculty of Human Development (*1), Faculty of Letters and Faculty of Economics jointly launched the ESD Sub-Course in 2008. This Course has expanded thereafter and came to be offered in all the faculties of the University from 2017. As one of the three faculties that participated in the launch of this Course, the Faculty of Economics offers seminars where students get out to the local government, companies, NPOs and other fields in the region to learn about the importance of proactive problem-solving, as well as lectures where students learn about examples of real problem-solving from people at the forefront of each field. The purpose of this Course is to nurture human resources who can proactively deal with “various problems in creating a sustainable society”, including issues on the environment, human rights, welfare, international understanding, and health.

Mathematics/Data Sciences
Standard Curriculum Course

In an information-driven society like what we have today, it is very important to correctly and objectively understand information without being misled by data. Kobe University established the Center for Mathematical and Data Science in 2017 to promote education and research on mathematics and data sciences. Students in the Faculty of Economics can participate in the Mathematics and Data Science Standard Curriculum Course that is operated with the Center at the core. Students who acquire the required credits will be awarded the Certificate of Completion.