The ISP is based on a modular and credit based structure. Each course within the program represents a certain number of credits, the amount of which is based upon the lecture hours involved in that particular course. Each year the students must satisfy the minimum number of credits required to progress to the next year of study. In general, students are free to choose from the available courses. However, courses outside of the first year may require pre-requisite modules (e.g. Electromagnetism I may require the foundation knowledge from Physics I and the mathematical tools from Calculus I).
In the first 6 months of study, students will choose courses specifically from the General Education Courses. These subjects are designed to give students a strong initial foundation in their respective areas, paving the way for the more advanced topics in later years. The board nature of the subjects also provides a good opportunity for students who have not yet decided on their scientific focus some exposure to the what future study will be like in each field. The purpose is to ensure that the students are well informed on their options for specialisation later on in the program. The science component of the General Education Courses are intended for 1st year students, and will not be offered to those in later years of the program.
While fundamentally a science based program, courses are also offered in the Liberal Arts, ensuring a more well-rounded education and appreciation of topics and themes outside of a strictly scientific education. For example, the Generic Skills course includes elements of business studies and managerial skills. Japanese courses are also offered, even though all ISP courses are given in English, to aid in students’ adjustment to daily life in Sapporo. Unlike the science courses mentioned above, the liberal arts courses are offered throughout the duration of the program.
Once students have affiliated with one of the main schools of science (biology, chemistry or physics), they are allowed to choose subjects from more focused and specialised fields. These courses give the students a much more detailed education than those of the General Educational Courses, and give the necessary background needed for undertaking projects at the end of the Bachelor’s and Master’s components if they wish (see here for more details on the Master’s component).
For detailed information on the courses offered, organised by discipline, please follow the links below. See the sections below for a brief overview of the types of courses offered.
Students cannot major in Mathematics in the ISP. However, we put emphasis on Mathematics because calculus and linear algebra form the basics of science and engineering as a whole. Mathematics subjects provide students with knowledge necessary for Specialized Subjects and encourage them to develop logical thinking ability.
For a full list of all courses offered by university, see the syllabus selection form.