The name "Graduate School of Regional Design" expresses the school's mission of contributing to the well-being of individuals and society by bringing together knowledge in the humanities and social sciences to conceptualize and create model regional communities where people can lead rich and fulfilling lives in harmony with nature.
"Regional" refers not to a specific area such as a prefecture or a municipality, but to a multi-layered "place," rooted in the natural environment, where society is formed and cultural and economic activities take place. As people cannot exist apart from their "regions," 21st-century social issues necessarily appear at the "regional" level, and the well-being of individuals and society depends on the value of the region as a whole.
It is said that "design thinking" is indispensable for bringing about innovation. "Design thinking" includes (1) observing and identifying with customers, (2) organizing tasks, (3) generating hypothetical ideas, and (4) testing prototypes. There is a need for design thinking in community development as well: envisioning future communities from the perspective of residents, sorting out various challenges, and then formulating, designing, and trying out concrete solutions.
The Graduate School of Regional Design provides students with advanced and systematic specialist knowledge and research skills in the humanities and social sciences, including linguistics and culture, sports and health science, music, fine arts, psychology, law, political science, public administration, sociology, economics, and business administration, with the aim of developing highly specialized professionals (innovators) with wide-ranging abilities who can collaborate with a variety of people to design prosperous regional communities and engage at a practical level with the challenges of the 21st century. To this end, we offer three majors, "Human Culture and Science," "Public Policy and Regional Administration," and "Economics and Business Administration," each with its own research area.
Based on "people and culture," the Human Culture and Science major develops the innovative human resources needed to build regional communities through collaboration among a diverse variety of people. We design holistic ways of living via interdisciplinary inquiry into culture, psychology, the body, and other fields of human science that mankind has developed historically to create things like language and art. In today's world, with society undergoing major changes, we train highly specialized professionals with advanced and wide-ranging expertise who can play a leading role in addressing various issues by creating new value through collaboration with local communities. This major has four courses of study: "Language and Culture," "Regional Culture," "Sports and the Arts," and "Human Developmental Psychology."
Based on specialized knowledge of linguistics, cultural studies, and language and culture education, this course of study trains students in the understanding, inheritance, teaching, and creation of culture, so that they can help build a culturally affluent society. We welcome students who seek to acquire the ability to contribute to the creation and development of culture based on specialized knowledge of language and culture.
Based on specialized knowledge in the social and life sciences concerning the various forms of culture that exist in regional communities, this course of study trains students in the understanding, inheritance, and creation of culture, so that they can help create a culturally rich society. We welcome students who seek to acquire the ability to contribute to the creation and development of culture based on specialized knowledge about local regions, society, and ways of life.
Based on specialized knowledge of sports and health science, music, and the arts, this course of study trains students in the understanding, inheritance, teaching, and creation of sports and the arts, so that they can help create a culturally rich society. We welcome students who seek to acquire the ability to contribute to the creation and development of sports, the arts, and culture based on specialized knowledge and skills in the fields of sports, health, music, and the arts.
Based on specialized knowledge of human development and psychology, this course of study trains students who can help create an affluent society by contributing to children's development and providing support for disadvantaged children. We welcome students who seek to contribute to the field of human developmental psychology based on specialized knowledge of human development and psychology.
The various challenges that regional communities face are complex and multidisciplinary in nature, extending beyond the scope of any single academic field. The predecessor of the Public Policy and Regional Administration major is the Graduate School of Public Policy and Regional Administration, which was launched in 1991 with a pioneering program that embraced an interdisciplinary approach to various issues affecting local communities. Accordingly, this major also organically integrates diverse fields of study, including law, political science, public administration, sociology, cultural studies, and history, creating a structure that enables and encourages cross-disciplinary research. At the same time, we offer highly specialized and applied subjects that enable students to not only acquire specialized knowledge, but to guide policy planning and the search for practical solutions. The major's mission is to give both ordinary citizens and highly specialized professionals the tools, knowledge, and understanding they need to redesign self-government and reconceptualize community in ways that address various local issues, while respecting the identities and diversity of different regions.
This major offers two courses of study: "Law and Policy" and "Community Research." The program provides students with basic literacy and research ethics common to both of these courses, while also covering themes that straddle multiple academic fields and majors.
The Law and Policy course of study comprises a research area that informs the development of policy designed to address regional issues. Its educational and research domain includes law, political science, and public administration. The goal of this program is to develop human resources who can apply expertise in administration and legal systems to the devising of proposals that help local communities deal with various issues, and who can redesign municipalities in ways that respect and welcome diversity.
The Community Research course of study comprises a research area that explores resident-led community development. Its educational and research domain includes society planning, regional culture, comparative culture, and sociology. The goal of this program is to develop human resources who can apply specialized knowledge of society and culture to the devising of proposals that help local communities deal with various issues, and who can redesign municipalities in ways that allow and encourage local citizens to take the lead in policy-making and community development.
This major leads to a master's degree. Its aim is to develop professionals with specialized knowledge and strong research capabilities in the fields of economics and business administration. For their graduation research, students can undertake either an academic "master's thesis" or a "problem-based project" designed for working adults that applies what they have learned to a real-world problem. We are also working to enrich delivery of the curriculum by offering daytime and evening classes, an extended program option, intensive courses, and lectures by outside experts who are leaders in their fields.
In 2023, with the restructuring of Fukushima University's graduate schools, we launched a new program, unbound by conventional wisdom or precedent, that is designed to develop "innovative human resources" (highly-skilled professionals) who combine solidly-grounded research themes, rich imagination, and strong implementation ability to boldly take on 21st-century challenges at the regional and global levels and bring about change in society.
In this course of study, students will deepen their understanding of systems and policy, consider phenomena and events from a historical perspective, delve into various issues faced by the international and local communities, and conduct theoretical and empirical analyses that sharpen their ability to think logically. Through their study and research, students will acquire the imagination and judgment ability required to administer public and private organizations. We welcome not only students who wish to gain various skills that allow them to play an active role in society, but also those who wish to gain a higher-level understanding of and perspective on their many years of accumulated work experience.
The Business Administration course of study is divided into two streams: Management and Accounting. Students focus on one stream or the other, but can take courses that interest them from either stream. Management offers a diverse lineup of courses that provide a systematic understanding of business. Accounting students intensively study a set of subjects related to accounting and taxation with the cooperation of tax accountant graduates of the former Faculty of Economics as well as local accounting specialists.