The University of Tsukuba is the only university in Japan offering a degree in geoscience in English. The 4-year program in English started in 2011 and is now well established. The program is aimed at students who hold a non-Japanese passport. Knowledge in Japanese is not expected. Students who can read and write Japanese at native-speaker level have the option to take equivalent courses in the Japanese program.
The educational program allows students to overview diverse fields of geoscience. Students learn concepts, ideas and techniques of geoscience through a variety of course types. Students are required to complete 124 credits mainly as lectures along with field work courses, seminars, and other course types. One lecture credit represents 10 lectures, with each lecture being 75 minutes long. For each hour of class time, students are expected to complete 2.5 hours of self-study.
Students enter in September of their first year and complete six semesters of taught courses. The final year is mainly reserved for a research project resulting in a mandatory graduation thesis. Students who have accumulated sufficient credits with a high GPA can apply for early graduation, completing the four-year course in 3.5 years.
About 60% of our graduates continue in Master/PhD programs. Half of them prefer to continue their education in Tsukuba while others joined highly ranked universities in the USA and western Europe. The other students decided to work, either in Japan or in their home countries.