School of Humanities and Social SciencesWaseda University

About the School

Curriculum

Educational Program and Curriculum

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences strengthens a traditional sphere and links it with the future. The School of Culture, Media and Society builds a bold new sphere of the humanities and cultural sciences, creating new forms of study. The following introduces the distinctive features of the educational programs and curriculum of each of these schools.

Characteristic 1 Educational objectives and curriculum with a well-defined vision of the humanities and cultural sciences; Clusters of diverse, high-quality seminars and semester seminars

The School of Culture, Media and Society and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences respond appropriately to the demands of the age. The School of Culture, Media and Society boldly develops new, interdisciplinary areas that respond to the demands of society and the trends of scholarship. The School of Humanities and Social Sciences carries on traditional fields of scholarship while pursuing new developments. Both schools have clear concepts and visions, which are reflected in diverse, high-quality groups of seminars and in the curriculum as a whole, creating schools which are entirely new in nature.

Characteristic 2 An unprecedented, diverse variety of courses (“Bridge Courses”)

The School of Culture, Media and Society and School of Humanities and Social Sciences share a uniform group of foreign language courses and lecture courses designated as “Bridge Courses.” These “Bridge Courses,” making the greatest possible use of the merits of both schools, consist of approximately 700 courses in the humanities and cultural sciences, ranging from the classics to entirely new fields. Without a doubt there are courses in this group for everyone. Regardless of the course a student belongs to, he or she can take any of these “Bridge Courses.”

Characteristic 3 Small-class education stressing communication

At the same time we achieve a large-scale realm of learning through the “Bridge Courses,” we also carry out thoroughgoing education through limited-enrollment courses such as seminars and foreign-language classes. These classes serve as places of learning that place strong emphasis on communication both between instructors and students and between student and student.

Characteristic 4 A flexible, substantial educational system: Thorough basic education in the 1st year, specialty education from the 2nd year (employing the “1-3 system” and “semester system”)

First-year students in the School of Culture, Media and Society and the School of Humanities and Sciences are not yet affiliated with a specific course of study, but rather pursue coursework that will form the foundation for future coursework. Beginning in the second year, they advance into a specific course in what is called the “1-3 system.”In both schools, basic education consists of guidance to the broad world of the humanities and cultural sciences and to academic literacy (ability to conduct surveys, consider issues and express opinions) through first-year seminars and lecture courses. In addition, the fundamental training includes English language and a Second Foreign Language (French, German, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Italian and Korean).
The specialty curriculum that commences with the second year consists of a wide variety of high-quality seminars and semester seminars which deepen specialty scholarship and lead in the fourth year to a graduation thesis or compilation in another final work of scholarship.
By dividing the academic year into two terms, allowing the completion of a course one semester at a time, the semester system doubles the opportunities for taking a particular course, making it easier for students to register in the course of their choice.

Characteristic 5 Opening the world through solid foreign-language education; Designing freedom of learning according to individual interests

In the School of Culture, Media and Society and the School of Humanities and Sciences, with the aim of attaining sufficient foreign-language training for use in the special fields, provide an organic, high-priority program of foreign languages, with two periods of English in the first semester and four periods of Second Foreign Language study (French, German, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Korean) over two semesters. There are various reasons for learning foreign languages. Beginning in the second year, it is possible to design a systematic way of learning that suits the individual student’s own purposes and interests. Courses are offered for those who aim at studying abroad, obtaining qualifications and continuing to graduate study, as well as a wide variety of courses in art, history, culture and society.

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