University Guide
Prefectural University of Kumamoto
Faculty of Environmental and Symbiotic Sciences

Towards an environmental and symbiotic societyEEE

Structure of the faculty
Faculty of Environmental and Symbiotic Sciences
Department of Environmental and Symbiotic Sciences
Division of Ecology and Environmental Resources
Admitting a Maximum of 20 students
Division of Human Habitat
Admitting a Maximum of 40 students
Division of Food and Health Environment
Admitting a Maximum of 40 students

Seeking a coexistence between the natural environment and human activities

A new faculty of natural science integrating the fields of science, engineering, agriculture and medicine, beyond the framework of conventional academic study 

Aiming to create an environmental, symbiotic society

Human beings have lived by altering and adjusting the natural environment throughout history. During the Industrial Revolution and beyond, a population explosion at the global level has contributed to the exploitation of natural resources. Excessive consumption of energy and mass production have led to the destruction of the environment and has reduced biodiversity. To resolve these problems, we must build a comfortable and healthy living environment, where humans and the natural environment coexist, where the environment is managed in a sustainable fashion, and where the development of society, the improvement of well-being, and the achievement of a symbiotic society are assured.
 As expressed in the phrase "Think Globally, Act Locally," drastic changes in production systems and lifestyles are needed. Simultaneously, more concrete and detailed approaches will be necessary to realize an environmental and symbiotic society. 
In conventional study, natural science issues are dealt with by the faculties of science and agriculture, while human activity issues are taught by the faculties of domestic science, engineering and medicine. Considering the diversity of issues related to environmental symbiosis, the problems cannot be solved unless they are handled through a multidisciplinary approach and a curriculum that crosses the conventional framework of learning. 
Under these circumstances, the Faculty of Environmental and Symbiotic Sciences has been established with an educational philosophy aimed at supporting regional development and improving human well-being through an understanding of issues from a multidisciplinary viewpoint.

The Curriculum: three key areas

  1. The fundamental theory of symbiosis between human activities and the natural environment through an understanding of the mechanisms of ecological systems, and analysis of the impact of human activities on the Earth
  2. Reduction in environmental loading, ordinary recycling of resources and construction of a living environment with regard to housing, construction, city planning and local community issues, focusing on health and welfare
  3. Development of environmental-friendly food products and design of diets based on the local environment, with health-maintenance approaches
   These three areas are interconnected under the theory of symbiosis and also include a philosophy for local welfare and culture. Under these concepts, this faculty has been established with the name "Faculty of environmental and Symbiotic Sciences" to pursue methods of ensuring through a scientific approach a substantial and consistent symbiosis between human activities and the local environment .


The faculty consists of three interrelated areas.

Fostering Human Resources to Help Build an Environmental and Symbiotic Society

1. Objectives

   The Faculty of Environmental and Symbiotic Sciences, established with the philosophy of building an environmental and symbiotic society, has as its objective the fostering of internationally-aware people with the multidisciplinary knowledge and technical skills to adapt to the information society, to understand advanced technologies, and thus to address environmental and symbiotic issues.

2. Concepts of curriculum design

   The curriculum is based on the following concepts to achieve these objectives.
A well-balanced and systematic curriculum ensuring a multidisciplinary approach and technical skills.
The courses especially vital in realizing an environmental and symbiotic society, the primary goals of study for this faculty, are designated as "Common faculty". Some of these are mandatory and some elective. In addition, "Major study courses" are provided to solidify and deepen knowledge, broaden methods of approach, and develop awareness of and intellectual interest in environmental and symbiotic issues.
Cultural studies are available from the freshman to senior years, so that students can take them as time and interest allow.

3. Focus on field experience in technical education

   Students experience actual work in the field, the starting point for environmental issues, through a range of experiments and exercises including field work and environment assessments. Students thus learn the ability to apply what they have learned.

(1) Introductory courses

Students learn an outline of issues related to the environment and symbiosis, helping them to understand the significance of the other subjects they will study within the field of environmental and symbiotic science.

(2) Core courses

These foster a multidisciplinary viewpoint by deepening the knowledge of major study subjects and learning environmental and symbiotic viewpoints and approaches.

(3) Major study courses

These courses develop technical skills and knowledge through the two groups of subjects: "basic subjects" to learn basic knowledge and skills in special studies, and "applied subjects" featuring advanced specialties.

(4) Environmental and symbiotic practical courses

Students perform voluntary work on issues related to environment and symbiosis, learning how to make comprehensive judgments from a wider viewpoint.

(5) Graduation study

Graduation study is the preparation work for the Undergraduate thesis.
Systematic curriculum

Division of Ecology and Environmental Resources

Understanding ecological systems/preservation and use of the environment

   Students cultivate knowledge and understanding of natural science to scientifically analyze and draw conclusions about a range of issues related to the environment and symbiosis. Simultaneously, they develop the ability to investigate, analyze and assess the impact of human activities on the environment as well as the mechanisms of ecological systems. Research is conducted on the measures needed to ensure sustainable social development through the preservation and proper use of natural resources.

œBasic courses

   These courses include nineteen in general science (physics, chemistry, biology and physical geography), mathematics, statistics and information processing to cultivate knowledge and understanding of natural science .

œApplied courses

   This part of the curriculum includes 42 subjects of which nine consist of experiments and field work, to develop the abilities of investigation and analysis in ecology, bioresources, physical resources and environmental planning required to achieve the educational objectives of this faculty. In particular, environmental assessment classes are demonstrative classes covering four key environments, namely coastal, forest, marine and agricultural.

a. Ecology-related courses

   Students will learn about ecosystems and the function of the oceans and forests, as well as their preservation and usage.

b. Bioresource-related courses

   Students in these courses will study the characteristics, functions, growth, and farming conditions and use of bioresources produced in the oceans and on the land.

c. Physical environment-related courses

   These classes are designed to provide chemical and physical knowledge on the transportation and recycling of materials, together with means of assessing their impact on the environment.

d. Environmental planning-related courses

   These classes focus on programming theory, legislation, policy making and institutions required for sustainable social development, while ensuring the preservation and everlasting usage of the environment.

Division of Human Habitat

Creation of a living environment good for both nature and humans

   From the perspective of "the environment and symbiosis," students cultivate a scientific understanding experimentally, by looking at the whole living environment, including housing, architecture, urban areas, agricultural areas and nature. Based on this understanding, students acquire knowledge and technical skills related to design, planning, adjustment and construction, which are needed for the improvement and creation of a living environment emphasizing health, welfare and the usage of local resources. Social scientific knowledge is stressed, as well as a knowledge of ecology.

œBasic courses

   This component of the curriculum includes eight courses in drafting and practical design and provides knowledge and skills essential throughout the degree program, together with the physics and mathematics that are inseparable from learning dynamics and environmental conditioning. 

œApplied courses

Students may choose from 54 subjects related to agricultural and urban environments, living space, environmental conditioning facilities, structures, materials and local planning through living environment planning science (field work, design and drafting), practicals, survey exercises, and living environment conditioning engineering experiments. 

a. Agricultural and urban environment courses

   These classes focus on the study of agricultural villages and districts where human activities and nature are directly connected, from the viewpoint of the environment and symbiosis. Students also learn planning theory and skills needed for environmentally-friendly urban living, focusing on sustainable development for agricultural villages and the scale of local cities.

b. Living space courses

   The foci of these classes are the history and actual conditions of living space, which are deeply connected to local nature and culture. Students work to acquire planning theory and skills to create a living environment that provides security in living and the social participation of the elderly and disabled, as well as ensuring living space enriched by local characteristics and the trends of the times.

c. Environmental survey facilities courses

   Students in these classes will gain knowledge of living environment conditioning and risk management to reduce the load on the environment and to help ensure resident health. Students are encouraged to acquire a knowledge of environmental facilities for a range of living spaces, and to learn the planning theory and skills needed for system construction.

d. Construction and materials courses

   These are classes on the construction of living space, taking local resources into account and focusing on recycling systems. Students study dynamics related to structural safety and space formation, and acquire knowledge, theory and skills related to the selection of materials, and their usage and structure .

e. Local planning courses

   These courses are designed to instill knowledge and the theory of local development planning,integrating the natural and social sciences; i.e., environmental science, environmental policy, legislation, local economy and policy making.

Division of Food and Health Environment

Creation of a food culture that considers the environment and the local community

   First of all, students cultivate knowledge and understanding of the basic natural science necessary for study in this field, as well as practical approaches for dieting and health, with the goal of reducing the load on the natural environment and reflecting local environmental characteristics. Students learn the characteristics of food and human mechanisms.
Based on these fundamental studies, students acquire the theories and techniques related to the development of food resources, the processing of food and hygiene control, nutrition, and health control through diet and exercise, as well as knowledge of the actual conditions in food production environments and the factors involved in sound environments for humans.

œBasic courses

Students study 12 subjects, including statistical science, as related to chemistry and biology which are the foundation for studying food, nutrition, exercise and health.

œApplied courses

These 54 subjects relate to the food and health environment and include 16 experimental and field work subjects in food biotechnology, food processing science, nutrition and clinical nutrition.

a. Food environment courses

Students in these courses will focus on the development and usage of food resources which are in symbiosis with the environment, by understanding the physical and chemical nature of food, and the means of processing, cooking and distributing food safely.

b. Health environment courses

These are classes to study the design and management of the living environment, including food which is essential in maintaining fitness and health. They also include an understanding of the structure, function and physiology of the human body, covering the areas of food function, nutrition science, anatomy and exercise physiology.