Graduate School of Agriculture, Iwate University (Master Program)
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Master's Program

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Message from the Dean of the Graduate School of Agriculture

Yoshihito Takahata
Dean of Graduate School of Agriculture

 The Graduate School of Agriculture offers 2-year master’s programs designed to nurture people capable of serving society in an intellectual capacity by building on the foundations laid during 4 years of undergraduate study to develop specialized knowledge. Present-day society owes its evolution in large part to advances in science and technology. In the field of agriculture, advances in biotechnology, environmental science, information science, and other disciplines have been on such a scale that 4 years of undergraduate study is not always enough, and many of the technicians currently working in both private and public sectors have attended graduate school. In short, a high level of specialization and an ability to view issues from a broad perspective are now essential.
 Master’s program students take 30 credits over the space of 2 years, including the basic subjects of English for Science and Technology, Research Plan Design Practice, and Venture Business Theory, as well as subjects specific to the chosen master’s program and the research thesis. The research thesis counts for 10 credits?a third of the number required for completion, which means that it carries more weight than the graduation thesis. Results of master’s research are also often presented at academic conferences and study groups. The research thesis accordingly helps to develop abilities in problem solving and presentation, and nurtures people with the kind of specialized knowledge and intellectual breadth required by present-day society.
 Our society currently faces a plethora of problems stemming from human activities. In the field of agriculture, these issues include impending global food crises as a result of population growth, competition between food and bioenergy production, global warming and environmental degradation caused by increasing CO2 emissions, food safety, and in Japan, a level of food self-sufficiency that has long been the lowest among developed countries, coupled with a growing expanse of abandoned farmland and a lack of young farmers.
 To nurture minds capable of addressing such issues, Iwate University Graduate School of Agriculture has this year reorganized its master’s programs to create majors with clearer specializations, replacing the 2 majors offered up to now, Agro-bioscience and Environmental Science, with the following 5 majors: Agro-biosciences, Biological Chemistry and Food Sciences, Environmental Sciences for Sustainability, Animal Sciences, and Biofrontier Sciences. For further details, please refer to the web pages for each major. I hope that our master’s programs will help to produce individuals capable of independent study, research, and communication of knowledge who will go on to leave their mark on the intellectual map of the world.

Yoshihito Takahata
Dean, Graduate School of Agriculture, Iwate University

April 1, 2009