Courses

How courses are conducted

Academic year and semesters

The academic year begins April 1 and ends March 31 of the following year. The academic year is divided into a first semester (April 1–September 30) and a second semester (October 1–March 31). Each semester consists of fifteen weeks of instruction.

One academic year
First semester Second semester
April 1 – September 30 October 1 – March 31

It should be noted that these schedules may change for subjects taught at specific schools due to circumstances affecting those schools only.

Terms

Because the duration of study is normally four years (six years for the Department of Medicine, School of Medicine), the period of study is eight semesters (twelve for the Department of Medicine, School of Medicine). Starting with the academic year a student enrolls in, academic years are labeled in the following manner.

It should be noted that Roman numerals are used to denote terms.

First year Second year Third year Fourth Year
First semester Second semester First semester Second semester First semester Second semester First semester Second semester
Terms Ⅰ Terms Ⅱ Terms Ⅲ Terms Ⅳ Terms Ⅴ Terms Ⅵ Terms Ⅶ Terms Ⅷ

Student-free days

Days on which classes are not held are called student-free days. Nagoya University student-free days are as follows.

Regular student-free days Single student-free days
  • Sundays
  • Saturdays
  • Public holidays stipulated in Japan's National Holidays Act
Periods of more than one student-free day
  • Summer vacation
  • Winter vacation
Special student-free day
  • Nagoya University Festival (Meidai-sai), etc.

Class times

At Nagoya University, classes normally continue for two hours (90 minutes of actual instruction). However, classes for some courses such as physics labs, chemistry labs, biology labs, and earth science labs are three hours long (135 minutes of actual instruction).

The time classes begin and end are given below. Classes are labeled in the following manner starting with the first class of the day. These times are fixed throughout the entire year. They apply to classes at all schools.

Three-hour classes (135 minutes of actual instruction) continue across two normal class times.

First period Second period Third period Fourth period Fifth period
8:45 a.m. –
10:15 a.m.
10:30 a.m. –
12:00 p.m. (noon)
1:00 p.m. –
2:30 p.m.
2:45 p.m. –
4:15 p.m.
4:30 p.m. –
6:00 p.m.

Class form (style) and unit type

In some cases both courses and open lectures are simply referred to as courses. Courses can be divided into the following types of classes according to the course format.

At Nagoya University a credit system is used to quantitatively indicate the amount of course work a student has completed. To complete a university curriculum program a student must earn a required number of credits in prescribed liberal arts and sciences courses and a required number of credits in courses prescribed by their university school. This is handled in accordance with the standards set by each school.

Class form (style) Content For classes held once per week, the number of credits per semester Course category
Lecture

Classes that mainly consist of lectures by instructor teaching the course.

2 hours (90 minutes of actual instruction) x 15 weeks 2.0 credits
  • Health and Sports Science: Lecture
  • Basic Courses in Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Basic Courses in Natural Sciences
    (excluding laboratory classes)
  • Liberal Education Courses in Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Liberal Education Courses in Natural Sciences
  • Liberal Education Courses in Interdisciplinary Fields
Seminar

Classes that a limited number of students can enroll in and that consist mainly of student-driven study.

2 hours (90 minutes of actual instruction) x 15 weeks 1.0, 1.5, or 2.0 credits*
  • First Year Seminar
  • Language and Culture
Practical training

Classes that principally involve students participating in hands-on practical activities, examining items or materials, or practicing techniques or special procedures.

2 hours (90 minutes of actual instruction) x 15 weeks 1.0 credits
  • Health and Sports Science: Practical Class
Laboratory

Classes comprising lab work or the like.

3 hours (135 minutes of actual instruction) x 15 weeks 1.5 credits
  • Laboratory in Physics
  • Laboratory in Chemistry
  • Laboratory in Biology
  • Laboratory in Earth Science

Grading standards

In the past, Nagoya University used a four-level evaluation system of "superior," "good," "passing," and "fail," but starting with students who entered in the 2011 academic year, the university has used a five-level system of S, A, B, C, and F. (S, A, B, and C are passing grades, while F is a failing grade.) However, courses for which the five-level grading system is deemed unsuitable are graded on a pass/fail basis.

The university has also introduced a using grade point average system (GPA) for undergraduate education.

  • GPA is calculated using the formula below.
    GPA =(4.3 × number of units completed (credits earned) with an S grade awarded) + (4 × number of units completed with an A grade) + (3 × number of units completed with a B grade) + (2 × number of units completed with a C grade)
    number of units completed with an S grade + number of units completed with an A grade + number of units completed with a B grade + number of units completed with a C grade + number of units completed with an F grade
  • Courses that students register for but do not attend are not included the GPA.
  • Courses graded on a pass/fail basis are not reflected in the GPA.
  • Credits for courses taken at another university and transferred to Nagoya University are not used in calculating GPA.
  • Optional courses that are graded using the five-level system but fall outside the graduation requirements are not reflected in the GPA.
  • If a student receives an F for a course, but retakes the course and earns either an S, A, B, C, or F, the F for the previously taken course will not be included in the GPA.
  • Grades are assigned at the end of each semester, and are reflected both in the semester GPA and cumulative GPA.
    • Semester GPA: GPA calculated using the grade points earned divided by the number of units the student completed and the number of units attempted for which the student received an F in during a particular semester.
    • Cumulative GPA: GPA calculated using the number of grade points the student has earned divided by the number units the student has completed plus the number of units the student has attempted for which an F grade was received since he or she enrolled in the university.

It is hoped that this system will increase all students’ awareness of the courses they are taking and support the student’s own efforts to learn.