Policies on Curricula and Granting Degrees

Hirosaki University Faculty of Agriculture and Life Science
Policies on Curricula and Granting Degrees

1.Target at Graduation

  • Mastery of fundamental and specialized knowledge in agricultural and life sciences
  • Development of problem seeking and solving skills as an expert or researcher
  • Development of the rich human qualities needed to be an active, creative, independent member of local and international communities

2.Policies on Curriculum Organization

First-year students are expected to broadly acquire academic and cultural basics, and will take courses from 21st Century education courses and fundamental courses. First-year students will also take specialized fundamental courses during their second semester to develop a foundation for their respective academic disciplines. Second- and third-year students will take specialized courses. Fourth-year students will focus on graduation research by addressing a specific research question using the fundamental and specialized knowledge and basic skills acquired in past lectures, laboratories, exercises, and fieldwork.

3.Assessment Criteria

Credits are generally granted based on examination scores; however, some courses will grant credits based on everyday grades or results from reports and other materials. Grades for each course strictly adhere to the criteria stipulated below.

A(100–90)

Is able to further develop mastered fundamental and specialized knowledge and skills

B( 89–80)

Mastered fundamental and specialized knowledge and skills, and is to practice the skills obtained

C( 79–70)

Mastered fundamental and specialized knowledge and skills

D( 69–60)

Mastered a minimal level of fundamental knowledge and skills

F( 59–0)

Did not master a minimal level of fundamental knowledge and skills

Department of Biology

1.Curriculum Overview

By understanding fundamental life phenomena, knowledge on biodiversity, adaptive strategy, mechanisms of evolution, and ecology and environmental sciences, as well as by conducting fieldwork in the abundant nature of Aomori prefecture—including the World Heritage Site Shirakami mountain range—students will foster abilities that may develop from fundamental biology to specialized fields. As such, they will be able to contribute to the understanding of fundamental biological phenomena and development of biological sciences, while possessing a dynamic and composite understanding of bio-ecology and a practical, relevant perspective of the conservation of the natural environment.

The Department’s curriculum ensures that students comprehensively understand the relationship between biological phenomena and individual lives and the environment. This aim is achieved through specialized lectures focusing on the molecular, cellular, individual, and group level and by conducting biological and ecological experiments and oceanfront fieldwork. The curriculum also allows students to understand biodiversity, adaptive strategy, and the mechanisms of evolution.

Students acquire the ability to think logically and solve problems through individual efforts, small-group laboratory practice and fieldwork, as well as through graduation research. Practical skills like communication and presentation skills are nurtured through discussions, lab seminars, and presentations, preparing students to be proactive members of society.

2.Curriculum Target

① Knowledge and Understanding
  1. Fundamental ability to develop from fundamental biology to specialized fields
  2. Mastery and understanding of fundamental biology, related experiments, and the fundamental general science behind biology
  3. Mastery and understanding of field education related to the abundant nature of Aomori prefecture, including the World Heritage site Shirakami Mountains, and the fundamental general science behind field education
② Discipline-Specific Abilities
  1. Dynamic and comprehensive understanding of organisms, biological phenomena, and environment, and a practical, relevant perspective of the conservation of the natural environment
  2. Understand, explain, and practice science and technologies related to biological phenomena and their environment
  3. An ability to read, understand, and explain biological phenomena and their environment based on English sources. Computer literacy. An ability to think critically and present thoughts based on technical, knowledge-based, scientific thinking, and challenge issues that transcend the boundaries of specific disciplines.
③ General Abilities
  1. Flexible human skills based on education from 21st century courses
  2. An ability to self-manage as a member of an organization and society, and practice interpersonal communication, collaboration, and cooperation, while understanding the importance of each.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

1.Curriculum Overview

Using the latest in biotechnologies, and by utilizing related academic fields including physical chemistry and information science, students from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology understand various life phenomena at a cellular, molecular, and substance level. By studying micro-organisms and enzymes from biochemical and molecular biological perspectives, and by working with the latest biotechnologies such as genetic engineering and glycotechnology, students are able to apply the latent potential of organisms and contribute to the use and development of next-generation resources such as the biomass.

Students are required to take fundamental courses including organic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, cellular biology, and related courses such as biological physical chemistry and computer molecular design between the second half of the first year to the third year. Students are also required to take fundamental and applied courses in biotechnology courses such as applied microbiology, enzyme chemistry, and genetic engineering during the second and third years of study. Courses on technical English and academic literature reading are also required during the second semester of the second year to the third year. An ability to solve problems is nurtured through fundamental and specialized knowledge and skills acquired from lectures, experiments, and laboratory activities and through graduation research in which students address a specific research question.

2.Curriculum Target

① Knowledge and Understanding
  1. Structured understanding of the fundamentals of life sciences
  2. Structured understanding of applicable fundamental knowledge of life science
② Discipline-Specific Abilities
  1. An ability to understand, explain, and practice theories and technologies in sciences including   biochemistry, organic chemistry, molecular biology, and cellular biology, at a cellular, genetic, and molecular level
  2. An ability to understand, explain, and practice applied technology in disciplines such as enzyme chemistry and applied microbiology
③ General Abilities
  1. Abilities such as information gathering, logical thinking, interpersonal communication, and self-management to efficiently conduct intellectual activities in civil life

Department of Applied Biosciences

1.Curriculum Overview

Students acquire knowledge and skills related to fundamental sciences that support food production and the health science of food products. Specifically, students learn the science and technology behind breeding new species of food plants, soil and pest management in food plant production, and food product function and safety. Students gain an understanding of the important link between fundamental and applied sciences in food production through fundamental courses including plant genomes, plant breeding, soil science, crop nutrition science, plant pathology, applied entomology, food science, and food nutrient chemistry, as well as in related lectures and laboratory courses.

2.Curriculum Target

① Knowledge and Understanding
  1. Understanding biotechnology related to plant breeding and science and technologies related to  food production function and safety
  2. Acquiring and understanding the fundamentals of soil environment management and plant pest  management to ensure healthy crop growth
② Discipline-Specific Abilities
  1. An ability to understand science and technologies related to plant growth at various levels—from genetic to field levels—and to scientifically explain the function and safety of food products
  2. An ability to understand, explain, and practice science and technologies related to soil environment management and plant pest control at various levels—from molecular to field levels
③ General Abilities
  1. An ability to self-manage as a member of an organization and society, and practice interpersonal communication, collaboration, and cooperation, while understanding the importance of each

Department of Agriculture and Horticulture

1.Curriculum Overview

Students at the Department of Agriculture and Horticulture grasp social and economic issues in food and agricultural production ranging from issues in fruit science, localized study, to crop science, olericultural science, ornamental science, livestock science, and production machinery science, in a multifaceted, comprehensive, and practical way. Along the way, students also acquire practical knowledge and capabilities for agricultural management that seeks efficient production and improved distribution mechanisms for agricultural and livestock products.

2.Curriculum Target

① Knowledge and Understanding
  1. Structured understanding of the fundamentals of the specific discipline
  2. An understanding of agricultural production problems and their solutions
  3. Applicable understanding of food and agricultural functions in cultural, social, and natural contexts
② Discipline-Specific Abilities
  1. Ability to explain technical characteristics in the production of agricultural products and various modern issues
  2. Ability to understand and explain improvement in agricultural production efficiency
  3. Knowledge for the practical application of agricultural production technologies
  4. Ability to understand and explain the management, economy, and distribution of agriculture
  5. Comprehensive understanding and explanation of challenges in food and agriculture from a natural and social sciences perspective
  6. Ability to cultivate practical and applicable capabilities related to agricultural and horticultural courses, and explain policies for solving issues based on the understanding outlined in points A to E.
③ General Abilities
  1. Self-management, self-discipline, and self-control
  2. Communication skills and consideration for others and surroundings
  3. A social responsibility awareness and willingness to serve others
  4. Improved general skills (computer literacy, English, etc.)

Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering

1.Curriculum Overview

(1) The Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering has developed a curriculum to develop engineers demonstrating creativity, deep insight, proactive problem-solving skills, and logical thinking skills, who can see the issues at hand scientifically.
The courses comprise those that satisfy the education system stipulated by the Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education (JABEE), and those that encompass comprehensive matters addressing both engineering fundamentals and rural environment management and conservation.

(2) Fundamental topics are positioned as specialized courses and serve as core courses. These courses are covered in the first to second years of study.

(3) Courses focusing on water, soil, infrastructure, environment, and planned social economy are organized as specialized fundamental courses and specialized courses. These courses are available for second- to third-year students.

(4) Laboratory courses are offered in the third year to solidify the knowledge gained from lectures and to understand the role of this in society.

(5) To improve independence and creativity, students focus on graduation research for one and a half years, starting in the second semester of the third year.

(6) To steadily work on graduation research, students are required to complete at least 32 units of 21st Century education courses by the end of the second year, and at least 50 units of specialized courses by the end of the first half of the third year.
If these requirements are not met, students will not be able to begin their graduation research.

2.Curriculum Target

① Knowledge and Understanding
  1. Structured understanding of the fundamentals of the specific discipline
  2. Applicable understanding of agricultural engineering and natural environment conservation
② Discipline-Specific Abilities
  1. Comprehensive skills for agricultural and rural infrastructure management
  2. Knowledge of specific engineering disciplines
  3. Knowledge of systems and planning techniques
  4. Knowledge related to local community contribution
  5. Application of knowledge from an international perspective
  6. Behavior demonstrating the social responsibility awareness expected from an engineer
  7. Ability to comprehensively apply the abovementioned knowledge aspects
③ General Abilities
  1. An ability to self-manage as a member of an organization and society, and practice interpersonal communication, collaboration, and cooperation, while understanding the importance of each
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