School of Political Science and EconomicsWaseda University

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Message from the English-based Degree Program Director

Marisa KELLAM
English-based Degree Program Director

I am enthusiastic about the ongoing internationalization of Waseda University, and I see a bright future for the English-based Degree Program of the School of Political Science and Economics (SPSE). Let me explain why…

I place tremendous value on an intangible aspect of university education – which cannot be found in books or online – that is created through diversity on campus. When students from various countries and different backgrounds meet in the classroom with open and interested minds, each of us (the professor included!) deepens our understanding of the world and of our own point of view.

My colleagues and I bring substantial international experience in both research and teaching. Many of us obtained our doctoral degrees in the US, the UK or Europe, and worked at research universities overseas. Many of us are Japanese, but not all of us. Faculty diversity also contributes to the dynamic and exciting academic environment of SPSE.

Our curriculum offers breadth and depth in the fields of political science and economics. Our classes are rigorous and participatory, similar in format and expectations to those of U.S. universities with which I am familiar. At the same time, our program adopts one of the best aspects of Japanese university education, in my opinion, which is the “zemi” (or seminar) series that allows faculty and students to study together in a small class over the course of two years or more.

The synthesis of political science and economics at SPSE fosters innovation and interdisciplinary research. Likewise, the integration of Japanese and international scholarship at SPSE supports a wide-ranging exchange of ideas and fosters globally relevant research. Although we refer to an “English-based Degree Program” and a “Japanese-based Degree Program,” we are in fact one faculty, Japanese and International students sit side-by-side, and all our students receive the same diploma.

I believe that our strength lies in this integration, and that a bright future awaits us if we learn together.

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