YNU Program for SOCially Resilient And susTainable EcoSystems

Features of the Curriculum

Students in the YOKOHAMA Socrates Program will learn various issues and analytical methods in the humanities and social sciences relating to the themes of social resilience and social sustainability. By gaining knowledge and engaging in hands-on projects related to the global issues surrounding social resilience and sustainability in local fields including Yokohama and Japan, you will gain the ability to contribute new perspectives in your workplaces and in your communities. Many classes will be conducted in small seminar style settings in the Socratic method. Students in this Program will be awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Urban Science at the time of graduation.

Collaborative Project-Based Learning in the Socratic Method

You will participate in a variety of project-based group-activities together with Japanese students and other international students. The core of the curriculum is the Workshops in which you will determine your own themes and actively explore them through approaches such as field work, collaborative projects, and workshops. Through such active engagement, you will learn creative processes based on interdisciplinary knowledge. There are Workshops centered around the following four themes: Social and Cultural Studies, History and Geography, Environmental Studies, and Policy Management and Development.
Studio Modules and other core classes in this program will be conducted in small interactive seminar styles in the Socratic method. The Socratic method employs critical dialogues in class discussions to nurture the attitude and ability to effectively question and engage established preconceptions and realities.

Greater Range of Courses with Japanese Language Proficiency

This is a bilingual global education program with both English and Japanese as common languages. Depending on your Japanese language proficiency, you will learn Japanese language from your first year. Japanese language courses are offered from beginner to advanced (JLPT N1) level. Once you reach the required Japanese language level, you will be able to take courses and seminars in Japanese in the College of Urban Science’s Department of Urban & Social Collaboration in addition to program courses in English.

Three Requirements for Graduation

Students in YOKOHAMA Socrates Program will be awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Urban Science at the time of graduation. To graduate from the program, you must meet the following three requirements. Please also note that the minimum period required for graduation from the program is four years.

  • Earn at least the minimum amount of credits for each course category indicated in the YOKOHAMA Socrates Program Curriculum and Requirements Table below, for a total of 124 credits or more, as well as completing all compulsory courses.
  • Have a GPA of 2.0 or higher for the required credits.
  • Present your graduation research project and successfully defend it.

Curriculum Image

Curriculum Image

Curriculum & Requirements Table

Students in YOKOHAMA Socrates Program must earn at least 124 credits in total and the minimum amount of credits set by each course category and/or element as well as successfully completing all compulsory courses. You can learn about the characteristics of each category and element of courses from here.

Categories of EducationCredits
Japanese Language and General Education28
Academic Skills1464
Introductory Courses8
Specialized Elective Courses42
Other Elective Courses
Thesis Seminars8

Three Requirements for Graduation

Flow of Studies

1st Year
You will learn a wide range of academic perspectives and insights through General Education Courses. You will also acquire basic skills for further study through Foundational Skills Courses.

2nd and 3rd Years
You will learn about issues relating to social resilience and sustainability from a wide range of Specialized Courses. You will also join two of four Workshops from the following themes: Social and Cultural Studies, History and Geography, Environmental Studies, and Policy Management and Development.

4th Year
You will work on your thesis based on your choices of specialization. Through thesis-related seminars, your main focus will be to complete your graduation thesis, the culmination of your four years of study.

Topics of Specialization
Sustainability and Resilience, Social and Cultural Studies, History and Geography, Environmental Studies, Policy Management and Development, International Japanese Studies, Area Studies, Academic Skills, Social Research Method, International relations, Citizenship, Global Business and Economics, Social welfare, Gender and Sexuality, Diversity & inclusion, Human Security.

Introduction of Courses

Workshop in SDGs

Workshop in SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)

The workshop offers a workshop-type class related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).The students applied their acquired knowledge about SDGs from the previous semester and organized their own SDGs workshops. During the class of Fall 2022, the students organized a series of three workshops with a daycare in Yokohama city. In the first session, students introduced their countries and held a mini workshop about environmental problems. In the second session, they created a play incorporating themes of environmental and gender issues. In the final session, a flea market was organized for children to bring in their "used toys." The goal of the flea market was to experience the main idea of Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.

Yokohama Studies

Yokohama Studies

Yokohama was the primary gateway to modern Japan. In this seminar, we read and discussed themes related to Yokohama’s modern history from its emergence in the mid-nineteenth century in the context of the East Asian treaty port system, the end of extraterritoriality at the turn of the century, the rise of the “modan” in the interwar period, the destruction and reconstruction of the city in the 1920s and 1940s, the occupation period, and the rapid economic growth period from social ecological perspectives. Active class discussions were fueled by the questions students posted online before class. Students also completed group projects related to the themes discussed in class with comparative international perspectives. Like Yokohama, the class was enlivened by interactions between the diverse perspectives and interests of its participants.

Academic Writing and Discussion

Academic Writing and Discussion

In this course students gain an in-depth understanding of the form and function of different academic essay genres. Students learn to write effective thesis statements, introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions. They also learn to paraphrase, summarize, cite sources, and edit their peers’ and their own writing through various writing tasks. Once students acquire the basic skills, they will acquire advanced academic essay-writing skills from interpreting essay prompts to efficiently editing an essay. Students will learn to do research, take a position in an essay, evaluate outside sources, and write effective and cohesive paragraphs. Students will also learn to write with greater grammatical complexity and integrate source information into their own writing. In addition, students read academic and newspaper articles, not only to be exposed to different writing styles, but also to think critically about current global issues and to actively lead and engage in class discussions.

Intorduction to Environmental Studies

Intorduction to Environmental Studies

Everything that we do has an influence on the environment we live in. This programme offers a comprehensive exploration of the multi-disciplinary field of environmental studies. We will delve into complexity of our planets ecological, social and economic systems. This course serves as a gateway to your understanding of the pressing environmental challenges of our time such as overpopulation, urbanisation, climate change, resource scarcity and pollution. Through a multi-disciplinary approach, you will gain insights into how human activities impact the natural environment. We will critically examine crucial environmental issues and solutions through theoretical concepts, ethics, policy and societal implications. This course is an opportunity to engage with the critical issues of our time and explore your role as an informed and responsible global citizen.

Academic Guidelines

YNU Program for SOCially Resilient
And susTainable EcoSystems
Yokohama National University
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