Gifu University is the first national university in Japan that established a Faculty of Regional Studies (FOREST). Anticipating the needs of the 21st century, the FOREST curriculum has been designed to reflect the dynamic changes in an increasing complex world where geographic, regional, national, and disciplinary boundaries are disappearing or being redefined. Its unique cross-disciplinary approach recognizes that the interdynamics between the natural and man-made environment, culture and society, region and metropole, and center and periphery cannot be easily contained within discrete disciplinary boundaries. As such, FOREST is seeking independent, well-rounded, and highly motivated students who will take advantage of its holistic approach to the study of regional development and contribute to the department's intellectual and cultural environment.
In keeping with its commitment to quality education, the FOREST program seeks to create an academic environment conducive to learning, personal growth and intellectual inquiry. In its pursuit of these objectives, the program has been structured to facilitate interaction between instructors and students.
The cornerstone of the FOREST program is the Major Seminar. Beginning in their second year and continuing through their fourth year, students will enroll in seminars in the area in which they choose to major. In keeping with the faculty's commitment, the maximum number of students per seminar is limited to four per year. These seminars are designed to provide students with the basic knowledge and specialized skills required of their major. Motivated by the philosophy that true education does not end in the classroom, FOREST encourages students to broaden and deepen their awareness of regional issues by participating in field trips and engaging in field work related to their major and research interests. Fourth year students are required to write a graduation thesis. Students who successfully complete the four-year program will receive the BA degree in Regional Studies.
The courses are designed to cover studies in a wide variety of fields while also allowing students to specialize in their particular areas of interest. The undergraduates can choose one of the following six courses:
- Industry and City Planning
- Local Autonomy Policy
- Environmental Policy
- Lifestyle and Society
- Humanity and Culture
- International Studies in Liberal Arts