School of Human SciencesWaseda University

About the School


Characteristics of the Curriculum

Click here for the old curriculum used by students who entered the University in academic year 2012 or earlier.
The School of Human Sciences renewed its curriculum in academic year 2013.A cutting edge curriculum is used to develop in a practical and systematic way the ability of students to identify challenges, grasp the situation, and use their creative skills to solve social problems.The aim is to foster highly-skilled professionals and researchers who pursue honest human qualities, and who are capable of building a better society.

Seven key points about the curriculum

Students create their own “human science”

The fundamental question “What is a person?” lies at the heart of learning at the School of Human Sciences. In the Basic Seminar and Introduction to Human Science courses that students take in the first year, they acquire the knowledge and perspectives needed to examine this question from multiple approaches, while coming into contact with cutting edge research and the unique perspectives of the various fields of human sciences. In the Introduction to Human Behavior and Environment Sciences, Introduction to Health Sciences and Social Welfare, and Introduction to Human Informatics and Cognitive Sciences courses, which start in the second year, students increase their knowledge from the perspective of the respective departments. The School of Human Sciences’ new curriculum aims to allow students themselves to bring together multiple fields and create their own unique “human science”.

Systematic learning across multiple specialisms

The School of Human Sciences curriculum is characterized by the fact that it allows students to learn multiple specialisms in a systematic manner, from basic courses through to advanced courses. They are able to study themes that interest them in a way that goes beyond the limitations of the “humanities” or “sciences” studied up to senior high school, or the traditional academic frameworks of “natural science”, “social science” or “humanities”. Subject groups include the human sciences subject group, which allows students to select a broad range of subject from seven different fields. On the specialist courses, they are able to select from Group 1 (Experimental and Survey Research Methods), Group 2-A (Basic Courses) and Group 2-B (Advanced Courses). This allows systematic study across multiple specialisms.

Acquire the basic knowledge and skills needed to study at university

In order to solve real problems, the ability to “think for yourself” and “design your own career” is essential. Unlike senior high school, students need to find their own ways of learning and discover their own “compass”. In the first year, students acquire these practical skills on the Study Skills and Basic Seminar courses. On the Student Life and Self-Management course, students consider their own mental and physical health, and issues such as the University’s social responsibilities and ethical questions. Students have nothing to worry about if they want to try something new. There are courses available that will allow them to learn science subjects from the basics.

Hone basic skills in “literacy” subjects

In the first and second years, students sit intensive “literacy” courses through which they acquire the common skills they will need to face numerous situations in life. On the “Data Literacy” course, students build up from the basics the ability to read data and the statistical analysis techniques that are important to flourish in a global society. The skills learned during practical lessons using shared-platform PCs are of great use, not only during their lives as students but after they enter the world of work. Students also take classes to improve their report and essay-writing skills, receiving individual instruction from tutors.

Using small class-sizes to provide interactive learning

The School of Human Sciences has one of the lowest teacher-to-student ratios at Waseda University, and is characterized by the lack of distance between teachers and students. On the Experimental and Survey Research Methods course, students learn research methodology and take their time acquiring research skills from the basics, while participating in a variety of different activities in class sizes of 30 students. On the first-year “Tutorial English” course, students learn directly from native speakers in small classes of three or four students. There are also numerous small class-size language and seminar courses available for students to learn alongside their classmates.

Learning with a focus on experience and practice, both inside and outside the classroom

The School of Human Sciences actively employs new lesson formats, including project lessons in which students aim to identify and explore problems, workshop lessons in which they lead lessons as they study and give presentations, fieldwork lessons in which they leave the classroom and carry out surveys, and discussion lessons which progress with a focus on discussions between students. These lessons differ from the traditional lecture-style courses given in lecture theatres. The aim is to allow students to learn independently in an active manner, both inside and outside the classroom, while carrying out activities and research in the local community and workplace, in accordance with a specific theme or target. Students tackle the real problems faced by society, pursue practical exchange involving members of the local community, deepen their learning with a focus on opinion exchanges with other students, and stimulate their intellectual curiosity and awareness of the issues through a diverse range of lesson styles.

Deepen understanding of “human science” through graduation research

The School of Human Sciences does not restrict learning to the classroom. In order to stimulate students’ intellectual curiosity and awareness of the issues, a variety of lesson styles is offered, including “fieldwork lessons” (in which students leave the classroom and carry out surveys), “project lessons” (through which they aim to identify and explore the problems facing society), and “active learning lessons” (which includes “group work” tasks during which students participate in discussions in small groups). There are also short-term overseas exchange programs and intensive summer courses available for students who want to master foreign languages and increase their cultural understanding.

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