The Graduate School of International Cultural Studies is a graduate school consisting of a two-year Master’s program and a three-year Doctoral program in International Cultural Studies. The Graduate School promotes education and research with an interdisciplinary and comprehensive approach that goes beyond the framework of existing disciplines in three areas; (1) area studies from an international perspective focusing on Japan and diverse local cultures of the world, (2) social studies where people live together in a global world, and (3) scientific study of language that supports the base of a regional and global community. Within these areas, we aim to develop professionals with a strong sense of culture who act and think globally, as well as develop experts with advanced expertise and research capabilities.
The Graduate School was launched in 1993 consisting of the Divisions of Area Studies and Intercultural Relations. Subsequently, the Division of Language Studies was newly established in 2001, and we have developed a new research and education program based on the linguistic, cultural and social pluralism of human society. In addition, the Research Center for Language, Brain and Cognition was added to the graduate school’s facilities in order to inherit and develop the activities of the 21st Century COE Program, which raised diverse results before being discontinued.
Furthermore, in order to respond appropriately to the recent years of rapid development to globalization and changes in the diversification of educational needs in society as well as changes in international research trends, in April, 2015, we changed our three-major system to a one-major system to carry out further development in our practical education programs. We restructured the 18 departments to 8 departments, promoting more cutting-edge research and building an educational program unique to the Graduate School.
The eight departments that are newly established are organized into educational program units called “divisions” that coordinate multiple departments in order to realize the acquisition of advanced knowledge as well as capabilities that allow students to be active in the global society. Each division is responsible for realizing the three pillars of the educational goals of the Graduate School as an educational program. The three pillars are; (1) deep understanding of different cultures, (2) solving skills for global issues, and (3) communication skills. These three divisions integrate more closely and flexibly compared to the previous three major divisions, hence becoming the pillar that supports education of International Cultural Studies.