Graduate School Overview

Dean's Message

"A close-knit academic environment, a springboard to global society"

Dean, Graduate School

We aspire to cultivate students who will contribute to the realization of peace with intelligence, calmness and the ability to take action.

The ICU Graduate School is a small institution offering interdisciplinary instruction based on liberal arts education in fields such as Politics, Economics and Peace Studies. Since its establishment in 1953, ICU has cultivated highly-competent graduates, granting more than 2,400 Master's degrees and 220 PhDs.

Instruction is tailored to meet the needs of each student through small classes. Academic advisors instruct average of two students per year, treating each like a family member. The interdisciplinary program enables students to choose a topic of interest and carry out their research in various ways.

The high proportion of faculty and students from the international community is a feature of the ICU Graduate School. We have Japanese, European, American, Asian, and African students, who come from different cultural and social backgrounds. Through dialogue in this environment, students form a relative view of their specialized field and the world itself. Alumni are active around the world in a wide range of fields. The ICU Graduate School is a springboard to the world.

At the entrance ceremony, all new students sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a pledge to respect the dignity and rights of man. The Declaration has been part of ICU's philosophy since its foundation. The world is built on differing values: human resources must be capable of sustaining the planet in a multicultural society. Global corporations and public organizations will need people trained in a broad spectrum of subjects with a wide perspective.

We believe that ICU's specialized education, based on its educational philosophy, will contribute to inclusive peace and sustainability-building in international society.

Program Overview


Students in the Master's and Doctoral Courses can obtain the following degrees.

Degrees Offered in the Graduate School

SchoolCourseProgramArea of ConcentrationsDegree
Arts and Sciences Master's Course Education and Psychology Education Master of Arts in Education
Language education
Public Policy and Social Research Politics and International Studies Master of Arts in Public Administration or Master of Arts in International Relations
Social and Cultural Analysis Master of Arts in Social and Cultural Analysis
Media and Language Master of Arts in Media and Language
Public Economics Master of Arts in Public Economics
Peace Studies Master of Arts in Peace Studies
Comparative Culture Japanese Culture Studies Master of Arts in Comparative Culture
Transcultural Studies
Natural Sciences Mathematics and Information Science Master of Arts in Natural Sciences
Material Science
Life Science
Doctoral Course Arts and Sciences Doctor of Philosophy

Education System

Academic Year

Entrance: Students can enter the ICU Graduate School in April or September. For more details, please see the Applying page.
Completion: There are two graduations per year, in March and June. Students time their graduation to match their career options such as study abroad and employment.
Trimester system: The academic year is divided into the Spring, Autumn, and Winter terms, and courses are designed to be completed on a term-by-term basis.


Each course period is 70 minutes. The number of academic credits assigned to a course corresponds to the number of classroom periods per week, with the exception of laboratory hours.

Language of Instruction

ICU offers students both courses taught in Japanese and courses taught in English. Students can choose their courses in accordance with their needs and interests. Japanese students and non-Japanese students can improve their language skills in English and Japanese by participating in courses together. Japanese language programs for international students and English language courses to acquire the English skills essential for research are also provided.

In the Public Policy and Social Research Program, it is possible to complete the Master's degree by taking only classes in English.

Graduate School School-Wide Course

The Graduate School has introduced the following school-wide interdisciplinary courses that provide fundamental knowledge and build proficiency in academic writing, computing, and field research techniques. To improve their skills in research methodology, academic writing and presentations, all Master's Course students are required to take at least one of these courses, preferably during their first year of studies.

Course Title: Field Research and Professional Learning

This course provides students with opportunities and skills to link their fields of interest or specialization to personal and professional life outside the university, with the expectation that these links will provide enhanced academic motivation and new perspectives on learning and work. In this course students will be encouraged to find a way to make contributions to society by performing internship/service in sites related to their respective fields of specialization. Students will share their experiences and findings in class and learn to communicate effectively with people in different fields. Students provide services at NPOs/NGOs, Governmental organization, International organization, museums, schools, and companies.

Course Title: Writing for Researchers (English)

This course will help graduate students successfully engage in the research publication requirements of their chosen disciplines. Students will learn about the aspects of professional writing that are common to most academic fields. These will include reader expectations, required content, information ordering, logical aspects of argumentation in writing, data commentary, and qualification of claims. In addition, students will analyze examples of writing to identify discipline specific models of style, content and format. Students will be given writing assignments to practice and apply what they learn in the course.

Course Title: Writing for Researchers (Japanese)

This course will 1) explain the structure of academic writing including the formats and styles commonly used in Japan and 2) allow the students to choose the specific theme, write the paper, and receive feedback on corrections, deletions and additions, in order to learn how to write an academic paper in Japanese.

Course Title: Data Analysis for Researchers

This course will help graduate students from many academic fields develop computing skills for research. Students will learn computing techniques and basic tools for data processing, statistical analysis, charting, graphing, as well as the TeX/LaTeX software for typesetting research articles in professional style.

Curriculum and Syllabi

Follow the links below to view our curriculum and syllabi.

  • List of Courses (from the menu on the left side, select "Graduate School Courses")
  • Syllabi (select "English" / under "Major," select "Graduate School Courses")


Building on its Japanese-English bilingual education, the ICU Graduate School strives to cultivate highly specialized individuals who can use their leadership skills to act as bridges between Japan and the international community.


Right after World War II, a group of Christian educators in Japan and their supporters in the United States began fund-raising efforts with the hope of establishing a university based on Christian principles. ICU was established in April 1953 as the first liberal arts college in Japan. From its inception, ICU planned to place emphasis on graduate education, and established a graduate division of Education in April 1957; Public Administration in 1963; Comparative Culture in 1976; and Natural Sciences in 1987. In April 2010, with a view to advancing interdisciplinary education, these four graduate divisions were united and regenerated as the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Attractive and Diverse Campus

ICU's expansive campus includes student dormitories, where international students live together with students from within Japan.

Students and faculty members from various countries come together on campus in an academic environment where they can accept and respect one another's "differences," and students grow into individuals who can make the world their stage.

ICU Environmental Policy

ICU campus is endowed with extraordinary natural beauty and a cultural heritage. The university makes a commitment to preserve this treasured gift.

Bilingual Education in Japanese and English

ICU offers students both courses taught in Japanese and courses taught in English. Students can choose their classes in accordance with their needs and interests.

Japanese students and non-Japanese students can improve their language skills in English and Japanese by participating in courses together. Japanese language programs for international students and English language courses to acquire the English skills essential for research are also provided.

Learning with an Emphasis on "Dialogue"

As a liberal arts college, ICU places the utmost importance on dialogue between faculty and students. Our approach revolves around sharing information concerning "who thinks about what subject matter and how he/she thinks" with one another and generating new ideas through dialogue. This approach reflects our faculty members' strong awareness that they should respect students as individuals and strive to bring out the potential of the students.

Diversity on Campus

Students and faculty members from various countries come together on campus in an academic environment where they can accept and respect one another's "differences," and students grow into individuals who can make the world their stage.

Number of full-time faculty according to nationality

USA 20
UK 7
Total 152

*As of May 2016

Number of graduate students according to nationality

UK 4
Total 169

*As of April 2017

Teaching Assistant System

By assisting a class as teaching assistants (TAs), students can learn pedagogical methods directly from faculty members and be rewarded for their work. Together with ICU's scholarship programs, the TA system provides graduate students with financial support for their research activities.


Taking advantage of the small number of students on campus, ICU provides placement guidance and offers individualized consultations to all registered job seekers, helping each one of the students to pursue careers best suited to their aptitudes and interests.

As well as accessing the information and materials they need to find work, students can use dedicated computer terminals to search for ICU graduates already working in their areas of interest. The university also organizes a wide variety of events on the job-hunting process, including career seminars geared toward making participants more aware of what working means, industry study groups, company information sessions, seminars on civil service careers and job-seeking etiquette, and presentations where job seekers share their experiences.

Visit the ICU Placement Office Website for more details.

Employment/Destinations of AY2015 ICU Graduate School graduates

Company Accenture
Dress Table
C Connect
Mitsubishi Corporation
NTT Communications
Non-Profit Organization Japan Water Agency
Human Rights Now
Education Kokugakuin Univ.
Sagami Women's Univ.
Duta Wacana Christian Univ.
Kanagawa Pref. Public School
Ferris Women's Univ.
Yokohama City Public School
Univ. of Electro-Communications
Public Service Administrative Service/ Sri Lanka
Bangsamoro Development Agency(BDA)/ Philippines
Ministry of Social Welfare/ Sri Lanka
Ministry of Public Administration/ Sri Lanka
Statistics Authority/ Philippines
Ministry of Education/ Myanmar
Banking Academy of Vietnam
Ministry of Finance/ Vietnam
Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development/ Myanmar
The People's Bank of China
The State Ethnic Affairs Commission of the People's Republic of China
Ministry of Education and Sports/ Laos
Seeking higher degree ICU Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Doctoral Course
Harvard University, Harvard Divinity School, MA in Theology
Waseda Univ. Fundamental Science and Engineering Departments, Doctral Course
Waseda Japanese Language and Culture School

Graduate Voices

Currently in office at DADWAY, INC.
Ms. KISHI, Ikumi

I studied at ICU for six years in College of Liberal Arts and Graduate School, and currently work for a private company. As an undergraduate, I majored in education and minored in sociology. I wrote my senior thesis on the image of fathers in TV anime programs. I furthered my research into this topic while specializing in education for my Master's. In my Master's thesis, I looked not only at how fathers were depicted in TV anime, but also how those depictions relate to children's minds. I currently work for a company that imports and sells products for childrearing and pets.

Through the undergraduate and graduate courses, I was always interested in the image of fathers and their involvement in child-rearing, not just from an academic perspective, but in ordinary life. I asked myself questions like: Where does the general image of fathers come from? What defines a "good" father for each family member? I was able to translate these broad questions into concrete academic interests and research because of the liberal arts environment at ICU. I had the opportunity to delve into subjects other than my major by taking courses in different fields and having intense discussions not only with my adviser but with other professors on campus. This environment enabled me to include perspectives from psychology and sociology in approaching the topic of my Master's thesis on education.

Incorporating various disciplines in my studies had a profound effect not only on my research but in shaping my plans for the future. It enabled me to consider and study in depth about how fathers' involvement in child-rearing were perceived and treated in society, beyond the framework of education. Consequently, I became interested in finding ways for business institutions to support fathers in sharing childrearing tasks. This led me to a job at a company seeking to "introduce more fun for fathers raising their children" as its corporate philosophy. I believe that going to graduate school at ICU and gaining a broad-ranging liberal arts education really helped me find what I really want to do.

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