The education philosophy of the International Joint Graduate Program in Earth and Environmental Sciences (GP‐EES) is to develop human resources with the motivation and ability to understand the entire earth system, and to build an international education research program that integrate different areas of research seamlessly. Students who have completed GP‐EES are expected to acquire not only high‐level research capabilities to publish international‐quality theses but also the following abilities, thereby enhancing international leadership and presence of Japan in the field of earth and environmental sciences.
To conduct research overseas for at least six months in principle and become a person who can play an active role in the global environment, students are required to have the ability to pursue research as well as basic academic skills, which are tested in a graduate school entrance examination. A selective examination for GP-EES is conducted at the end of the 1st year of the Master’s Program to determine whether students have such ability and skills. Students who pass the examination can enroll in GP-EES from their 2nd year in the Master’s Program. Criteria for the selective examination include scores for the courses taken by students during their 1st year of the Master’s Program and English proficiency (such as TOEFL scores). The selective examination consists mainly of interviews, which are conducted to confirm students’ intention to go on to the Doctoral Program and evaluate their motivation and aptitude for overseas research and education activities. The final decision for acceptance is made based on the agreement of the Program Committee of GP-EES and through discussion by the Academic Affairs Committee in the Division for International Joint Graduate Programs, Institute for Promoting Graduate Degree Programs, Tohoku University.
Thesis defense is performed at the Graduate School of Science and the Graduate School of Environmental Studies, to which relevant students belong. Regarding students who aim to complete a jointly supervised degree in GP-EES, instructors and researchers from overseas partner institutions participate in the thesis defense process as examiners. In Qualifying Examinations (QEs) conducted at the end of each of the Master’s and Doctoral Programs, the number of credits that students have earned in International Joint Graduate Programs and their achievements in research article publication and conference presentation are confirmed. In addition, the ability to explain the meaning and purpose of their research in a comprehensive way to examiners from a wide range of areas is evaluated through presentation in English and Q&A sessions.
Students who have completed GP-EES are expected not only to obtain high-level research capabilities, but also to more easily acquire positions as postdoctoral researchers or tenure-track instructors at universities and research institutes abroad as well as in Japan by increasing their name recognition in international communities of researchers. They can also build deep relationships with overseas researchers, which will be useful in the future. Moreover, there are expected to be certain personnel needs in global companies, government agencies, and international institutions, according to the research contents. Instructors in this program will work to widely introduce this program and students who have completed the program to people at home and abroad by conducting public relations activities and using a network of contacts developed through the International Joint Graduate Programs. They will also work to help students acquire work positions and increase positions for postdoctoral researchers by making use of external funds including government subsidies for scientific research.