School of Political Science and EconomicsWaseda University

About the School

English-based Degree Program

Why SPSE at Waseda U?

Unique Student Experience, Highly Ranked University

The School of Political Science and Economics is one of the original academic units established when
Waseda University was founded in 1882. SPSE offers a unique combination of its vibrant,
international student culture in central Tokyo and curricula in political science and economics that
are fully comparable to those of top universities in North America and Europe. This means that
students can take full advantage of being at one of the most prestigious and selective universities in
Japan,1 and at the same time acquire universal skills and knowledge that make them “employable”
all around the world.2

1  No 1 private university in Japan (QS World University Rankings 2019).

2 No 27 graduate employability in the world (QS World University Rankings 2019).

Specialized Degrees in Political Science and Economics

Our BA degree programs in Political Science and in Economics are fully comparable in quality to majors in these disciplines from top universities in North America and to the respective single honors degree programs at leading UK universities. Our BA in Global Political Economy is similar to a double major where students take an even balance of coursework in both subjects, but are not required to complete any more credits than in the two other BA programs we offer. Our curriculum emphasizes quantitative methods and data analysis, which have become particularly sought-after skills in recent years. For both political science and economics, we teach essential methodology, including mathematics, statistics, game theory, experimental methods, network analysis, and programming. Furthermore, we have a course sharing agreement with the School of Fundamental Science and Engineering, which allows our students to take advanced mathematics and computer science courses with science and engineering students at Waseda.

International Faculty with Genuine International Experience

Many of our full-time faculty members who teach for the English-based Degree Program (EDP) at SPSE have extensive teaching and research experience at leading universities outside of Japan.

Our Program Director Prof. Marisa Kellam (PhD in Political Science, UCLA) taught at Texas A&M University for six years before joining Waseda. Prof. Kohei Kawamura (PhD in Economics, Oxford) was a college lecturer at the University of Oxford and later taught at the University of Edinburgh for nine years. Prof. Masaru Kohno (PhD in Political Science, Stanford) taught at the University of British Columbia. Prof. Dmitriy Kvasov (PhD in Economics, Penn State) taught at the University of Auckland (New Zealand) and the University of Adelaide (Australia). Prof. Satoru Shimokawa (PhD in Agricultural Economics, Cornell) taught at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Prof. Yunkyu Sohn (PhD in Political Science, UCSD) was a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton. Prof. Michiko Ueda (PhD in Political Science, MIT) taught at the California Institute of Technology. Prof. Robert Veszteg (PhD in Economics, Autonoma de Barcelona) taught at Carlos III University (Spain).
In addition to those just mentioned, other faculty members received PhDs from Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Essex, MIT, UCLA, Chicago, Columbia, UCSD, Cornell, Rochester, Wisconsin-Madison, UC Irvine, Grenoble, and Rennes.

Working Closely with Professors

Students at SPSE take discussion-based courses (“seminars”) throughout their studies. The seminars are organized in small groups, typically with 5 to 15 students, in which students collaborate with and learn from their peers and discuss their ideas with their professor. Some professors organize a dinner party or seminar trip once or twice a year, in order to provide informal and relaxed opportunities to interact with students. Developing a life-long relationship with a professor is not rare at Waseda. Students have the option of writing a thesis in their final year under the supervision of their seminar professor.

The following members of our faculty offer Advanced Seminars in the English-based Degree Program:

Many other professors at SPSE teach courses in English, for instance:

Fully Bilingual Program

The SPSE welcomes about 800 new students each year in April into the Japanese-based Degree Program (JDP), while approximately 100 new students enter each year in September into the English-based Degree Program (EDP).

While our students can obtain all credits for completion by taking courses entirely in English, we offer most courses at all levels (introductory, intermediate, and advanced) in both English and Japanese. Taking courses in Japanese may well be particularly beneficial for students who are proficient in both languages and seek careers in or related to Japanese companies or organizations.

Exchange Opportunities

Waseda has student exchange agreements with universities around the world. Recent SPSE students’ destinations include: Yale University, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, New York University, McGill University, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, VU Amsterdam, University of Sydney, National University of Singapore, City University of Hong Kong, National Taiwan University, Fudan University, and Peking University.

Thanks to our equal partnerships, our students only need to pay SPSE’s standard tuition fee to Waseda while they study at universities under our exchange agreements.

Further Studies

In addition to excellence in employability, the quality of our program is also reflected in the universities our graduates progress to. For example, since 2014, SPSE students have sought further studies in Master’s and PhD programmes at Yale University, New York University, Johns Hopkins University, UCLA, University of Rochester, University of Cambridge, London School of Economics, University of Warwick, University of Bonn, University of Sydney, Peking University and University of Tokyo, among others.

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