Curriculum - Undergraduate
- Message from the Chair
- Education/Research Objectives
- Academic Exchange
Seminars for First-year Students
In the first semester of their first year, students are given a basic seminar comprising approximately 35 students. In order to provide new students with an opportunity to mentally prepare for higher education, rather than aiming for mere acquisition of knowledge, each faculty member taps into their expert knowledge and information about their field to discuss a variety of socioeconomic issues that we face in our daily lives, so that students may have their intellectual curiosity stimulated and embark on their coursework with an open mind. Direct contact with the faculty members immediately after admittance will help students to envisage their own approach to economics.
Required Courses and Major Courses (Introductory Level) for First-year Students
In addition to the basic seminar in economics, first-year students are required to take courses which give them fundamental knowledge essential for learning the major subjects provided in the Faculty of Economics in later years, such as Intermediate Micro Economics I・II, Introductory Economics, Economic History, and Statistics. They are also expected to take major courses (Introductory Level), which are offered commonly across all faculties, lecture classes such as Logic, Psychology, Sociology, Cultural Anthropology, and History of Social Thought, and mathematical subjects such as Linear Algebra and Calculus. Through these introductory courses, students are expected to build the fundamental knowledge necessary for the major courses that begin from the second year.
Wide-ranging Liberal Arts Courses
In addition to major courses, students are expected to take foreign languages, Health Sciences, and principles of liberal arts from among the liberal arts and sciences subjects common to all Faculties. With as many as eleven Faculties under its umbrella, Kobe University offers a wide variety of liberal arts courses. Because of the fact that economics attempts to analyze phenomena involving a number of complexly intertwined factors that play a part in our daily lives, it is important to have a broad range of knowledge, including natural sciences and humanities.
From the second year, students may take courses on major subjects on economics. Each member of our faculty provides the lecture which specializes in our eight research fields. With about fifty faculty members, the Faculty of Economics can deal with nearly every research field of economics. From the second semester of the second year, students may also choose courses which interest them from an even broader range of subjects, which includes those offered by the School of Business Administration and Faculty of Law.
The Front Lines of Business – Special Lectures
Every year, the Faculty of Economics invites guest speakers from research institutions and companies for lectures on issues concerning the Japanese economy. Based on real-life experience from the front lines of business, their talks offer an appeal unlike that of ordinary lectures. By knowing various industrial sectors and companies, students are able to make more informed decisions about their career paths and their future.
From the beginning of the third year, students receive guidance from teachers of their choice in seminars where they read scientific books in turn and do research together. In their fourth year, they make presentations on their indivudual theme and write a graduatioin thesis. The size of the seminars in our faculty is limited (about ten students per each year level), so that each student fully develop their expertise and presentation skills. Seminars are not just “places for studying.” Students in the same seminar occasionally go on trips for intensive study or just for fun. During social gatherings held regularly and after classes, professors and students can speak candidly, laying all formalities aside. By building up such interpersonal relationships, professors will become students’ mentors in life, while fellow students will become comrades in life. Valuable encounters with professors, seniors, juniors, and graduates at these seminars will surely enrich your college life.
Traditional Debate among Seminars from the Three Universities
Every year, seminars from Kobe University, Hitotsubashi University, and Osaka City University gather to present their research findings on common topics at a traditional debate among the successors of the “three former commercial colleges.” Preparing papers to be presented at this annual event takes a considerable amount of time and effort, and is often fraught with difficulties. There is no comparison with the sense of achievement and fulfillment that can be obtained when one has finished an entire paper with valuable input from professors. With each participant competing ardently not to lose out, the debate often becomes intensely heated. Such experiences at seminars and encounters with people outside of the university will surely stimulate the students, and provide them with the “nourishment” that they need to grow.
Some courses are commonly offered for both undergraduates and graduates. Intensive lectures are given to small classes on specialized topics on each major subjects.
Faculty of Economics gives great importance to the graduation thesis, which is the culmination of two years of research guidance. We believe that the process of writing a graduation thesis, which requires an advanced level of investigation, analysis, and theory construction skills, can provide students with the practical training necessary since asserting their positions using internationally-accepted logic is required under the ongoing globalization of the economy. Every year, we give awards to the authors of outstanding theses.
Special Programs and Courses for Expanding Expertise, Acquiring Interdisciplinary Knowledge, and Building International Perspective
In order to help students become capable of handling economic issues brought by the globalized, increasingly complex world, in addition to our structured curriculum on economics, we collaborate with other Faculties of Kobe University and partner institutions overseas to hold special programs and courses which help develop their expertise, interdisciplinary knowledge, and international perspective.
International Five-year Economics Education Program at Kobe（IFEEK)
IFEEK is a special program in which students acquire skills to make full use of their economics expertise in English. Courses are held in Japanese or English to develop international skills while gaining expertise in economics.
About twenty first-year students are selected each year for this program. The selected students are not only required to take specially designed seminars and courses held in English in their second year, but also encouraged to participate in English language programs and short-period study abroad programs to improve their proficiency in English. Students start their study at partner universities abroad for half a year in the second semester of their third year, but the schedule is flexible. Duration of studying abroad may be one year and students may start their study overseas in their fourth year. They continue writing a graduation thesis while abroad under the remote supervision of an advisor. IFEEK is a very flexible program with many career paths students may pursue after graduation, such as stepping up to the master's program or heading into the workforce.
The most enticing path students can take in IFEEK is to complete the coursework in five years by early graduation from the bachelor's program combined with early completion of the master's program. IFEEK students earn enough credits required for graduation by the end of their study abroad in the second semester of their third year. After returning to Kobe, they finish writing a thesis and graduate in the first semester of their fourth year. They are then admitted to a master's program on recommendation at the beginning of second semester in fall. With the insight they have acquired abroad, they write and submit a thesis and finish their master's coursework in a year and a half. Through the consistent course of study from bachelor's thesis to study abroad to master's thesis, their study can supposedly reach world standards in five years.In March 2019, five third generation students finished the program successfully and stepped onto their new career paths. They are expected to play an active role on the global stage with their five years of intensive training.
Kobe University Programme for European Studies (KUPES)
As the number of professionals with a master's degree grows, it becomes increasingly important to have a master's degree to take active parts in the world of global economy. Furthermore, there is an urgent need for talents who got expertise and abilities to see things from multifaceted viewpoints by through the courses for master's degrees both in Japan and abroad.
Students in this program examine the Economic, cultural, legal and political aspects of the EU (European Union) from a professional, interdisciplinary viewpoint. Before studying abroad students take European-style interactive courses such as "EU-Japan Comparative Seminar" and "Aspects of EU" taught by foreign instructors with expertise in Europe, and prepare for study in Europe with the support of an academic coordinator. They enter a master's program with their half-year study-abroad experience during the course of undergraduate study, and enroll in a master's program at a graduate school in Europe to obtain two master's degrees: one from Kobe University and the other from the European institution. With this qualification, they are expected to become global leaders.
EU Research Certificate Program
One of the characteristics of Kobe University is its strong tie with the European Union. In April 2006, former President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy gave a special lecture at Kobe University. Graduate School of Economics offers the "EU Research Certificate" Program using the credit transfer system we have with Kwansei Gakuin University and Osaka University for the purpose of learning EU, one of the most important political, economic regions in the world. In the Erasmus+, an EU educational program, we exchange students with Babeș-Bolyai University in Romania. Through the various programs, students will gain knowledge and experience that can be attained nowhere else.
Econo-Legal Study Program (ELS)
This program is jointly run by the Faculty of Economics and the Faculty of Law as the interdisciplinary education promoted by Social System Innovation Center. The distinguishing features of the ELS are; structured education given to students in both Faculties of Economics and Law by the faculty members from both Faculties, a great number of seminars offered in small classes, and most of all, the special curriculum enabling students to learn both economics and law. The ELS starts from the second semester of the 1st year, and students in their 2nd year take courses available only for the students registered in the program. The ELS Certificate of Completion is awarded to students who have completed the coursework by submitting a finishing research paper along with obtaining required credits.
Education for Sustainable Development（ESD）
In 2008, Faculty of Human Development, Faculty of Letters and Faculty of Economics jointly launched the sub-course of the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) program, and it has grown into a program which became available to all faculties of Kobe University in 2017. The Graduate School of Economics offers seminars and workshops where students collaborate with the local communities, enterprises, and NPOs to learn the importance of proactively working toward solving problems with community people, and lectures where industry leaders give students presentations on real problem-solving examples and self-motivated approaches to the problems.
The goal of the program is to foster motivated persons who can actively tackle problems arisen in the course of making a sustainable society, such as problems related to environment, human rights, welfare, international understanding, and health.
Mathematics・Data Sciences - Standard Curriculum Course
It is very important to objectively understand data without confused by data in the modern information society. Kobe University set up the Center for Mathematical and Data Science in 2017 to promote the education and research on mathematics and data sciences. Economics students can participate in the Standard Curriculum run by the center. Upon earning a necessary set of credits, they are awarded a "Certificate of Completion."