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同志社大学 | Doshisha University

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"Learn to Live and Live to Learn" with the history of 141 years, developing frontiers of "wisdom"

Our founding spirit consists of three main principles: Christianity, Liberalism and Internationalism. Doshisha was founded by Joseph Hardy Neesima in 1875 as the first Japanese school advocating the teaching of Christianity. Doshisha has more than 29,000 students and 1,517 of them are from outside Japan.
We offers English-based degree programs designed for degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students.

【English-based Degree Programs】
(Undergraduate Program)
・The Institute for the Liberal Arts

(Graduate Program) 
・International Science and Technology Course at the Graduate School of Science and Engineering / Life and Medical Sciences
・Global MBA
Master's Degree Program, Global Business and Management Studies
Doshisha Business School
・Graduate School of Global Studies


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The Institute for the Liberal Arts

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Faculty information

B.A. Liberal Arts Program

The Institute for the Liberal Arts at Doshisha University has a private liberal arts college atmosphere and diverse educational approach with an emphasis on building partnerships between students and professors in small classes. The Institute has over fifty faculty members from various countries that bring together a wide range of experiences from academia, business, education, journalism, government, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), as they endeavor to foster excellence in learning, teaching, and research. In addition to specialized knowledge on Japanese issues accumulated through extensive fieldwork and research, faculty members are able to relate practical knowledge from the perspective of an international student, having themselves been international students in Japan.
Each student will belong to either one of the following faculties-Letters, Social Studies, Law, Economics, Commerce, and Policy Studies; however, all students in this institute, regardless of which faculty they belong to, will have the same curriculum specially designed for The Liberal Arts Program.

Curriculum Outline

Students in this four-year degree program choose one of three concentrations: Humanities and the Human Sciences, Business and Economics, or Politics and Policy Studies. All students begin by studying Foundation Courses, where they master the methodologies and research skills required for comparative analysis. They then design their own individualized curriculum by selecting courses across the disciplines based on their interests. Students can take advanced courses in their concentration where they gain in-depth knowledge pertaining to specific fields: Humanities and the Human Sciences (Japanese Society and Global Culture), Business and Economics (Japanese Business and the Global Economy), Politics and Policy Studies (Japanese Politics and Global Studies). Students can choose to specialize within their chosen concentration or combine courses across fields, from the classes offered in English at the ILA, as well as in Japanese and English throughout the University. Students may also have the opportunity to spend a year abroad at one of Doshisha’s many partner universities worldwide. While taking academic courses, students can study the Japanese language at any level.

Japanese Society and Global Culture Concentration

What invisible forces are driving societies and the world? How do we build and belong to communities, cultures, nations and the world? How does the present relate to the past? What makes humans human?

Students taking classes in this concentration will study a wide range of topics and issues that set out to answer these four core questions. Topics include: migration; the formation of individual and group identities; the creation and maintenance of communities and social networks; new forms of communication and civil action; the development of cultural systems and concepts of nation; the emergence of global
youth cultures and global identities; the influence of new media and regional collectives; the breakdown of class systems and new divisions in global society; the influence of technology on individuals and their collectives; the psychological power of
visible and invisible borders; the roots of ethnic and religious conflict; the power of symbols in society and everyday life; the construction of the Japanese past and present.

Japanese Business and the Global Economy Concentration

How do economies function? What is the role of business in society? How can we evaluate economic systems? What creates wealth and poverty?

Highlighting local and regional Japanese business practices against the backdrop of an increasingly integrated world economy, courses in this concentration provide students with a strong grounding in the core elements of contemporary business practices, while fostering development of the breadth and depth in understanding that is characteristic of a liberal arts degree. Introductory and intermediate courses introduce students to accounting, economics, finance, marketing, and management theories using illustrations from Japan. In advanced courses, students have the opportunity to apply
their knowledge in an international context. Students who have concentrated their studies in business and economics are comfortable with both qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis, allowing them to use practical reasoning to resolve the
challenges that they are faced with in their jobs and daily lives.

Japanese Politics and Global Studies Concentration

What is power? Who has power? How did they get it? What do citizens want, what do citizens get?

The answers to these questions dominate every aspect of our lives. In our complex and interdependent world, responsible politics requires discourse, broad-based citizen participation and responsive leadership. To that end, the Politics and Policy Studies
Concentration promotes the critical analysis of politics and public policy, with both a Japan and a comparative focus. This concentration equips students with the tools to frame important questions; conduct theory-driven research; provide evidence-based answers; write clearly and persuasively; and participate in lively discussions. When theory and systematic empirical analysis drive purposeful analysis, significant insights for our communities and for the world emerge.

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