Graduate School of Public ManagementWaseda University

About the School

Our Vision, Our Mission, An Overview

Our Vision for the Talent We Will Foster

At the Graduate School of Public Management, we have brought together all the resources of Waseda University’s Faculty of Political Science and Economics, enabling students to master a wide array specialized knowledge with an emphasis on the field of political economy. This knowledge is simultaneously pursued through both academic research and practical instruction by faculty members with real-world experience. While cultivating in ourselves the spirit of thinking of the public interest, we deepen our understanding of, and ability to derive insights into, that public interest. We master methods of public administration and management techniques, fostering the talent needed to operate organizations and social systems with precision. In other words, we offer an educational program for gaining the most crucial perspectives for engaging in public management, namely, balancing between equity and efficiency and sustainability; we accept a diverse body of talented individuals who desire to resolve issues that affect the public to foster the capabilities that are put into practice in formulating and evaluating policies based on social science. From the academic perspective we hold as advanced professionals, we aim to send out into the world talented individuals with the precise judgment and analytical abilities to understand the various real problems now faced in societies and economies that have grown highly complex, as well as with ambitious imaginations and the ability to effectuate the ideas that they develop, leading to solutions to those problems. The Graduate School of Public Management has engineered a curriculum and system of research guidance that support each student’s post-completion career path based on their unique needs so that they may contribute to society. These contributions will thus be made through practical work requiring specialist knowledge and techniques from various fields—regardless of whether students go on to work in Japan or anywhere else in the world and be it as national or local public servants or politicians, actors in for-profit companies or non-profit/non-governmental organizations, or as researchers or consultants at think tanks.

 1. Diploma Policy

Common Policies for All Courses

We aim to foster advanced professionals who will be expected to be active in the global community from the perspectives that are most crucial to public management—those of balancing between equity and efficiency and of sustainability, always backed by the spirit of concern for the public interest. Students will be conferred with the degree of “Master of Public Management (Professional)” after gaining the following set of skills and qualities requisite for such human capital: insight into various issues affecting the public, analytical abilities required for formulating and evaluating policy, management capabilities that will help to resolve various issues, and a robust sense of humanity and internationalism. Based on this basic objective, we have established the following individual objectives for each course of study and academic focus, in consideration of the different numbers of years to complete course works and the final outcomes to be submitted before completion.

For those prospective students who have already obtained master’s degrees and who wish to pursue even more advanced studies, the Graduate School of Political Science and the Graduate School of Economics provide the paths toward obtaining doctorates in either political science or economics.

(1) Two-Year Course

Over two years of training and guidance, students will learn the unique means of theoretical and empirical analysis to be applied to their research themes, how to interpret the results of this analysis and the ability to offer proposals based on these skills. Those who compile their findings into a research paper equivalent to a master’s thesis that truly emphasizes research and who have obtained the number of credits required by this course will be awarded with their degrees.

(2) One Year Course: Policy Research Focus

Over one year of training and guidance, students will learn the unique means of theoretical and empirical analysis to be applied to their research themes, how to interpret the results of this analysis and the ability to offer proposals based on these skills. Those who compile their findings into a research paper equivalent to a master’s thesis that truly emphasizes research and who have obtained the number of credits required by this course will be awarded their degrees.

(3) One-Year Course: Policy in Practice Focus

During one year of in-class studies and guidance, students will figure out and/or clarify roadmaps to solving issues faced by society in the real world and the capabilities to offer proposals that consider the feasibility of plans. Those who compile a proposal into a “project paper” with a strong view toward practicality and who have obtained the number of credits required by this course will be awarded their degrees.

 

2. Curriculum Policy

Common Policies for All Courses

We utilize the diversity that thrives in Waseda University’s Faculty of Political Science and Economics to provide systematic educational courses and an environment that promotes interactions with those with a variety of backgrounds in terms of academics, culture, language, and values. Specifically, we pursue a balance between equity and efficiency in public management. To foster advanced specialist capabilities that will enable our graduates to put “scientific evidence-based policy making that is sustainable” into practice based on this pursuit, we will establish four subject groups: “basic subjects,” “core subjects,” “advanced subjects,” and “practical subjects.” In basic subjects, we will train students in the fundamental ways of thinking and theoretical, analytical and technical skills common to all the social sciences. In core subjects and advanced subjects, we will teach the specialist knowledge and practical research abilities essential from the viewpoint of public management—with emphases on political science and economics. In practical subject, we will focus on real-world practices, offering internships, fieldwork, and workshops as part of our curriculum to help students gain the negotiation skills, management acumen, and leadership required for managing public affairs—all in relation to the design, implementation, and evaluation of policy.

Based on this common policies, we have established course-taking features tailored to each course of study and focus of our diploma policy,.

(1) Two-Year Course

We have prepared a curriculum that emphasizes balancing research with actual practice to enable students to develop capabilities that straddle “theory and empirical studies” and “actual practice.” Through basic subjects, core subjects, and advanced subjects, students will first learn a broad array of interdisciplinary methods of theory and empirical studies. They will then make use of those methods in on-the-ground training in practical subjects. Within a professional graduate school environment with many instructor-led courses that are lecture-centric, this course has set the following as its requirements for graduation: Students must systematically apply what they have learned to their individual research themes, conduct their own theoretical and empirical analysis, and write a research paper equivalent to a master’s thesis whose emphasis is on research.

(2) One Year Course: Policy Research Focus

The target students of this course are fully fledged adults recognized as having ample real-world work experience prior to enrollment. We thus provide continuing education that accords with our curriculum policy that emphasizes a balance between academic research and practice. The difference with the two-year course is that, because the target students are seasoned adults who already understand problems from concrete, real-world work and who have faced the issues that society needs resolved, training and guidance is concentrated into one year; and each student writes a research paper equivalent to a master’s thesis and with an emphasis on research that will contribute to solving issues in a relatively short period. Therefore, we offer a curriculum in which these students can intensively master specialist knowledge and analytical methods, enrolling in lecture courses for the same number of credits as students in the two-year course.

(3) One-Year Course: Policy in Practice Focus

The difference with the one-year course Policy Research Focus is that the target students—seasoned adults who already understand problems from concrete, real-world work and who have faced the issues that society needs resolved—take instructor-led courses that are lecture-centric. Therefore, training-based guidance and the writing of a research paper equivalent to a master’s thesis and with an emphasis on research are not requirements for graduation. Under the individualized instruction and guidance of a supervising faculty member in this course, students are tasked with writing “project papers” with a strong view toward practicality on roadmaps to solving issues faced by society in the real world and proposals that consider the feasibility of plans, or—if they have already accomplished such plans—on the development and results of those plans in order to graduate.

 

3. Admissions Policy

Common Policies for All Courses

Based on its educational philosophy of “independence of learning,” Waseda University accepts students from throughout Japan and around the world who have sufficiently high fundamental academic ability, are tolerant of diverse values, abound with Waseda’s ideal of an enterprising spirit, and have a strong drive to study bolstered by robust intellectual curiosity. The Graduate School of Public Management, itself, focuses on providing advanced professional education for adult learners who already possess real-world work experience and are active at the forefront of various fields—in addition to providing such opportunities for students who have just completed their undergraduate studies and other returning students. The admissions process is conducted twice per year, with enrollment in either April or September. In either case, the first stage of the process involves a written examination and the review of documents submitted, and the second stage of the process consists of an interview-based examination. During the admissions process, applicants’ aspirations (research plans) and fit with the interdisciplinary, practical curriculum provided by the Graduate School of Public Management to span the divide between theory plus empirical studies and practice are considered especially important grounds for acceptance. Based on this common policies, we have established student selection features tailored to each course of study and focus of our diploma policy.

(1) Two-Year Course

Having or lacking real-world experience is not a factor. Applicants are accepted on the basis of whether they adequately understand the philosophy of the graduate school’s curriculum, possess the sufficiently high level of fundamental academic ability and drive to study necessary to engage with that curriculum, and are capable of respecting the spirit of interaction with diverse academic disciplines, cultures, languages, and values.

(2) One Year Course: Policy Research Focus

Applicants who are accepted are adult learners who will have accumulated sufficient real-world experience by the time of enrollment, are recognized as possessing the ability to master specialist knowledge and analytical methods over the course of a single year, already have a concrete, clear understanding of the problems dealt with in the course and a research plan concerning such an issue that needs to be resolved, and are judged capable of writing a research paper equivalent to a master’s thesis with an emphasis on research while receiving one year of training-based guidance.

(3) One-Year Course: Policy in Practice Focus

Applicants who are accepted are adult learners who will have accumulated sufficient real-world experience by the time of enrollment, are recognized as possessing the ability to master specialist knowledge and analytical methods over the course of a single year, demonstrate a clear understanding of the problems and issues faced in real-world practice, have a concrete action plan to help resolve such an issue, and are judged capable of writing a “project paper” with a strong view toward practicality under the individualized instruction and guidance of a supervising faculty member on either of the following: a roadmap to solving an issue and a proposal that takes into account the feasibility of a plan, or, if they have already accomplished such a plan, the development and results of that plan.

In April of 2003, Waseda University’s Okuma School of Public Management was established as the nation’s first public policy type professional graduate school. The Graduate School took on a trail-blazing role in the practical education and research of new policies that were being undertaken in our country, and began to turn out talented persons to work in the field. Also, we have accumulated a vast amount of knowhow made up to this point in the public management and public policy realms from the educational and research achievements, the hands-on practical extracurricular activities, the cooperation between industry, academia and government, and the papers that have been written by our graduates.

Examining both the achievements made thus far, as well as our continued training and graduation of persons that contribute to the public, we’ve reconfirmed the need for students to acquire broad, interdisciplinary specialized knowledge in not only political science, but also economics, law, information and journalism, natural sciences and the like. So, in 2011, eight years later since its foundation, we enacted measures so that these could be learned in a systematic and ordered way, and starting in 2012, the Okuma School of Public Management was merged with the School of Political Science and was reborn as the “Graduate School of Public Management”. Waseda University’s Graduate School of Public Management responds to the demands of the times to train true leaders to support the next generation.

Our Strength

We offer a professional degree program that emphasizes practical application as well as theoretical research performed at the Faculty of Political Science and Economics. Students acquire a theoretical foundation through systematic curriculum offered in cooperation with the Graduate School of Political Science and the Graduate School of Economics. Students also acquire highly specialized professional abilities from members of the faculty with exceptional practical experience who teach with academic expertise in the field of Public Management. By offering a high-level and practical education that connect between theory and practice, our program meets the needs of modern society for the training and education of highly specialized professionals in a wide range of fields.

Research Supervision

Upon enrollment, GSPM assigns a main supervisor and a sub-supervisor to each student according to the student’s research theme and carrier vision. The supervisors provide students with guidance on study, research, and other aspects of academic life. As a rule, each student is assigned a faculty member with professional experience and a faculty member with academic expertise as either the main or sub-supervisor. This system enables students to receive guidance provided from both a theoretical and practical point of view. They may be changed each semester.

Course Work

There is a wide range of issues in the public management sector and modern society. In order to solve them, organizations as well as individuals who are active in the public sector need both practical and natural science. To teach interdisciplinary and practical knowledge effectively, GSPM has established four groups of courses: basic courses, core courses, advanced courses, and practicum courses. In addition, students can receive research supervision, which suits their respective theme. Research supervision enables students apply to the knowledge and ability acquired in these courses to writing a research paper.

Basic Courses

Basic courses, which include required courses in basic analytical methods, teach research and reasoning methods common to all social sciences and research paper writing techniques. By dealing with analytical techniques and evaluation methods and the fundamental theories and policies of the field of public policy, required courses build the foundation needed to deal effectively with various social issues.

Course Examples: Elementary Quantitative Methods, Basic Economics, Public Philosophy

Core Courses

Core courses develop the specialized knowledge and practical research ability that are critical for effective public management. Core courses are classified into three areas:“National/Local Government and Administration,” “Politics and International Affairs,” and “Public Policy.” Students are free to take courses in any of these areas in accordance with their particular research topic.

Course Examples: Public Organization, Local Government, International Relations, Comparative Politics, Public Policy, Public Economics

Advanced Courses

Advanced Courses utilize the foundation provided by core courses and are designed to endow students with the abilities they need to explore their respective research topics. Like core courses, advanced courses are classified into three areas, from which students are free to choose.Course Examples: Science of Development Administration, Special Lectures on Japanese Government Administration, Lecture on International Relations, The Theory of Politics, Medical Economics, Topics in Public Policy

Practicum Courses

Designed to develop specialized knowledge and abilities, practicum courses focus on practical application. Through internships and field work that take into account the day-to-day work of civil servants, politicians, policy assistants, NPOs and NGOs, think tanks,consulting firms, these courses sharpen the management abilities needed to formulate,apply, and evaluate policy.Course Examples: Internship (Diet/Waseda Tomonkai), Internship (Self-Government). Field Studies (Chiikisousei), Field Studies (Regional Independence), Case Studies (Programing Management), Policy Study (Science and Technology Policy)

Seminars

Seminars are designed to train students in how to formulate policy that is both theoretically sound and well grounded in reality. Seminars help students acquire this training by guiding them in the writing of a research paper. Students are required to take their main supervisor’s seminar and are encouraged to take their sub-supervisor’s seminar as well. Seminar Examples: Regional Policy Seminar, Public Accounting Seminar, Personnel Administration Seminar, Policy Evaluation Practice Seminar, Process of Decision-Making Seminar, Public Economics Seminar

Research Paper

A student attends research paper interim report sessions, energetically competes with other students, and applies the knowledge and skills gained in GSPM to writing a research paper. A student’s paper is refereed by 3 faculty members including his or her main and sub-supervisors.

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