School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation Kyushu University


The School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation (ISI)

What are ISI’s distinctive features?

In a nutshell, ISI is an undergraduate school providing education in a form that differs completely from conventional undergraduate education, which aims to cultivate a single area of expertise. ISI’s objective is to nurture the talented individuals required to solve the various problems faced by humanity, such as global warming, disaster risk reduction, conflicts, and the aging of the population.

More specifically, ISI trains students through a curriculum centered on fostering the broad outlook and wide-ranging liberal arts education needed to identify the problems faced by society, while cultivating the multiple areas of expertise required to solve specific problems. In doing so, it attaches importance to English language education aimed at improving international communication skills.

How does ISI differ from other schools?

ISI is completely different from any other undergraduate school established at a Japanese university to date. The primary objective of undergraduate education in Japan has conventionally been the cultivation of experts through training in specific academic methodologies, such as law, economics, engineering, or science. In contrast, ISI has been designed to equip students with the wide-ranging abilities needed to solve the various concrete problems faced in the real world. More specifically, ISI achieves a good balance between fostering the broad outlook and wide-ranging liberal arts education necessary to gain an overview of problems, cultivating the multiple areas of expertise required to solve specific problems, and nurturing the English language abilities needed for international communication.

What does “interdisciplinary science and innovation” mean?

We regard “interdisciplinary science and innovation” as referring to activities that involve mobilizing the active learning skills, creative task-framing skills, practical teamwork skills, and international communication skills learned at ISI to resolve real-world issues in partnership with people from a variety of backgrounds in order to create a new society, state, region, or even world for the generations to come. At ISI, once students have gained the expertise required to solve problems, they learn the processes involved in finding solutions by communicating not only with each other, but also with people in the real world from different backgrounds, accepting each other, applying themselves diligently and learning from each other, and working together.

What scholarships are available?

Please refer to the page below for details of the scholarship programs available.

ISI’s Curriculum

What do you mean by “areas”?

ISI has established four areas to serve as new forums for learning: Humans and Life, People and Society, States and Regions, and Earth and Environment. Unlike existing university departments and courses, ISI’s areas have not been created with the expectation that each student will be affiliated to a particular area.

Rather, the areas have been designed as new forums for learning, based on the restructuring of existing academic frameworks to suit the various challenges faced by humanity. Students choose which subjects to take in each area according to their own personal awareness of issues. Education in these areas provides training in the methodologies, skills, and expertise required by students to solve the problems that they have set themselves.

What level of science (high school mathematics, etc.) or humanities knowledge do I need?

When applying for admission to ISI, it will not matter whether you majored in humanities or science at high school. However, once you enter ISI, you will need to achieve the right balance between humanities and science subjects in your studies, according to your own particular awareness of the problems on which you are focusing. For example, you might end up needing a knowledge of high school mathematics, but in that situation, you would study what you need when you need it. By choosing to take subjects in areas tailored to your own personal awareness of issues, you will learn approaches and theories in the multiple fields of specialism required to solve those issues, and about their scope as disciplines. Consequently, rather than adopting an approach in which class subjects are divided into humanities and science subjects, IHI has designed subjects that cut across and blend the existing academic fields of humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, creating a curriculum that enables students to study in a manner that equips them with diverse methodologies throughout their four-year undergraduate program, without being forced into an either/or choice between the humanities and the sciences. In other words, ISI is open to students even if they do not have high school mathematics or other specific science knowledge, or lack an in-depth knowledge of specific subjects in the humanities, such as history. Accordingly, it is crucial that you dismantle any mental barriers about the things you think you aren’t good at and that you are willing to study the things you need to solve problems, without drawing distinctions between science and the humanities. ISI’s interdisciplinary approach blending the humanities with science does not merely mean that science students study in the same classes as humanities students; it means that each and every student cultivates in themselves the ability to solve problems in a multifaceted way, studying the subjects needed to do so without distinguishing between whether they are categorized as humanities or science. This will likely involve studying a wide range of subjects tailored to what you want to achieve, including the history and culture of regions in which you are interested, and programming and statistical analysis to analyze data.

Can you be more specific about what the Collaborative Subjects are?

In the Collaborative Subjects, students learn how to engage in group debates about specific issues and how to tackle challenges as a team, in order to generate the repeated cycle of reflection, collaboration, and experience that ISI believes defines the learning process.

A key point in this group of subjects is that all ISI students are divided into groups and engage in discussions in English. The objective of this is to enhance their international communication skills.

Study Abroad

At which universities (partner institutions) are study abroad programs available?
Am I able to study at a university other than a partner institution if I want to?

Please refer to the Kyushu University website for details of partner institutions.

You may study abroad at a university other than a partner institution.

Entrance Examination

I understand that high school mathematics isn’t an entry requirement for ISI. Is it a school of humanities?

As ISI is an interdisciplinary school that blends the humanities with science, the entrance examination features questions common to the humanities and science (this does not apply to the admissions procedure for international students). We have prepared questions that all candidates will be able to answer, whether they majored in science or humanities at high school, to ensure that neither group is at a disadvantage.

Is English language ability required for the comprehensive admission system (formerly known as the AO exam).

Please refer to the Guidelines for Application ( (Japanese)) for details.

*The application guidelines for the comprehensive admission system are usually published in August each year.

What kind of questions are set for the short essay?
Will I have to answer the questions in English?

While we can’t tell you about the specific questions, the following provides an outline of the approach used in setting the questions.

“Texts and other materials (diagrams and photographs, etc.) concerning the issues that we face are used in setting the questions. Candidates undergo a comprehensive assessment of their reading comprehension ability and their ability to analyze a problem logically and appropriately describe their solution.”

Is a TOEIC (IP) examination score eligible for points conversion?


As the ISI entrance examination provides a multifaceted evaluation of English language ability, only scores from English proficiency examinations that evaluate all four skills are eligible for conversion.

May I simultaneously apply via ISI’s comprehensive admission system or recommendation-based admission system and also the general entrance examination for ISI or another undergraduate school?


I’d like to see past questions.

Please contact the Student Affairs Department’s Admission Division (092-802-2004).


What kind of academic degree can I earn?

Bachelor of Arts and Sciences.

Can I earn a teaching certificate?


Are there any requirements for being able to move into a university dormitory?

Please refer to the Kyushu University website.

Decisions on which students will be accepted to move into a dormitory will take into account their family’s economic circumstances (such as their parents’ income). In principle, the right to live in a dormitory is renewed on an annual basis.