Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - Master's Course (MA)

The purpose of the Master of Arts Program shall be to impart deep and extensive knowledge grounded in a wide-ranging perspective and to develop the ability to carry out research in a specialized field of study, and/or the superior competencies needed for meaningful careers in professions demanding a high level of expertise.

Master's Course Program and Area of Concentrations

ProgramArea of ConcentrationDegree
Education Master of Arts
in Education
Language Education
Public Policy
Social Research
Politics and International Studies Master of Arts
in Public Administration
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

Degree Requirements

To complete the Master's Course, a student must be enrolled in the degree program for a period of at least two years; complete at least 30 credits of the coursework; be granted master's degree candidacy; submit a master's thesis; and pass the thesis defense carried out by the Graduate School. The standard period of enrollment is two years.

Required Course and Units

Interdisciplinary Course
Program Foundation CourseSpecialization CourseResearch CourseTotal
Min. 2 units in 1 subject Min. 4 units in 2 subjects Min. 8 units in 4 subjects in. 6 units in 3 subjects Min. 30 units
Min. 6 units in 3 subjects from Program Foundation, Specialization and Research Course
Min. 4 units in 2 subjects from all Graduate School courses

You can view our curriculum and syllabi on the following links.

List of Courses (select "Graduate School Courses")
Syllabi (under "Major," select "Graduate School Courses")

Procedure of Conferring Master's Degree

1st year 1st term Matriculation ceremony, Orientation (Academic guidance) Completion of GS required courses
2nd term
3rd term Submission of [Application for Candidacy for the Degree of MA]
2nd year 1st term Approval of Candidacy for the Degree of MA
(Requirements: Residence of one year or more,
Completion of 18 units or more with a GPA* of 3.00 or above.)
Start writing Master's thesis
2nd term Submission of [Report on Outline of Master's Thesis] (Interim report / Interim presentation)
3rd term Submission of [Application for Submission of Master's thesis]
Submission of [Master's Thesis and summary]
The final examination for Master's Thesis
Completion of required courses with a grade point average of 3.00 or above for all grades received
Conferral of M.A. at the Commencement

※To know about GPA, please click here

You can view the list of master's thesis of past graduates.

AY2018 / AY2017 / AY2016 / AY2015 / AY2014

Education and Psychology Program

This program explores, in education-related disciplines, the educational conditions that nurture cooperative coexistence among creative and peace-loving peoples and trains its students to play a leading role in achieving these conditions in Japan and throughout the world.

Message from the Director

Program Director
Prof. JUNG, Insung

Our program is at the forefront of the conversation as it focuses on understanding, educating and preparing both children and adults for the future. It provides the knowledge, theoretical and methodological acumen, and hands-on experience necessary for successful researchers and practitioners in the fields of education, psychology and language education. Students examine their research problems in comparative perspective and develop skills of problem-solving, critical and creative analysis, professional communication and teamwork. Students have plenty of opportunities to interact and collaborate with nationally and internationally recognized faculty members and other students from different cultures.

Voice of Faculty

Prof. QUAY, Suzanne

Multilingualism in Childhood: Language and Literacy Development

I am currently juggling three projects: (1) on trilingual first language acquisition in a two-year-old; (2) on emergent literacy and translanguaging practices in bilingual homes in the pre-school years; and (3) on English literacy attainments in bilingual-bicultural children, aged 9 to 17, who are in the Japanese public education system and attending English Saturday schools. My motivation for such studies is to discover what can help families to raise bilingual and trilingual children and help educators to realize the best ways to support multilingual development. If you can find your "why" when seeking knowledge, that vision will result in endless research engagement.

Area of Concentrations

There are three "Area of Concentration" for Education and Psychology Program.

Based on liberal arts principles and the rigor of research methods, students will examine increasingly complex issues in education. Under close supervision of program faculty in diverse fields such as sociology of education, educational technology, development studies, psychology, and philosophy and history, students are expected to focus on one or more areas of research. The topics include international and domestic issues in education, applications of innovative computer and internet technology in instructional design and pedagogy, learning and teaching strategies in diverse contexts, societal and community structures and educational policies in Japan and developing countries, designing and implementing IB programs in higher education, and evaluating peace education.

we engage in research standing in a unique position, with an integrated perspective combining both scientific and human aspects. We work to cater to the needs of society for the training and development of highly specialized professionals. Through specialized lectures, our team of professors--with specialties in cognitive, linguistic, developmental, educational, social, cultural and clinical branches of psychology, and neuroscience--train students in experimental and investigative techniques, statistical methods and qualitative research; as well as conducting proactive joint seminars involving all faculty members. A cosmopolitan mixture of students from a diverse range of backgrounds apply themselves and learn from one another as they engage in university educational activities.

Students in this concentration will be trained in the theory and practice of teaching English and teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language. Based on the interdisciplinary knowledge of linguistics, psychology and education, and of the target language, students will engage in the research of focused areas such as first language acquisition, second language acquisition, foreign language teaching methodology, bilingual education, early foreign language education, and the relationship between language and culture. Aiming at the integration of theory and practice, students will participate in teaching practice at respective classrooms.

Public Policy and Social Research Program

This program conducts advanced research in public policy and related social science disciplines, along with interdisciplinary studies encompassing a wide range of relevant subject areas, while preparing students to play key administrative roles in Japan or in international and other organizations by developing the keen analytical and planning skills needed to resolve issues flexibly and creatively.

Message from the Director

Program Director
Prof. Kanazawa,

At the Public Policy and Social Research Program, we treat each student as an emerging scholar and place emphasis on scholarly study as an ongoing act of collaboration and collegiality between a student and a faculty member. We educate each student to become a thought leader, an authority in a specialized field whose expertise is eagerly sought.

Voice of Faculty

Joo-Young J. Jung

My research focuses on the social implications of new communication technologies such as the Internet and social media in particular spatial, social, and communication environments. In particular, I have examined new and old media in different spatial contexts such as urban communities in different cities; in social contexts such as disaster and post-disaster situations; and in rapidly changing communication environments. My recent research includes the role of the community storytelling network on disaster recovery in Fukushima and implications of the cross-level flow of communications on social media.

Area of Concentrations

There are five "Area of Concentration" for Public Policy and Social Research Program.

Politics and International Studies covers international relations, politics, public administration, public policy, and law. Courses offered include International Relations and Diplomacy, International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific, Peace and Conflict Studies, Political Thought, Public Policy, Refugee Law, and Security and Conflict Resolution. The concentration in political and international studies is aimed at cohesive education and research in multidisciplinary fields: international relations, politics, public administration, and law. The concentration provides a unique combination of three distinct approaches, i.e., normative studies, empirical analyses, and policy studies. It aims to deepen understanding and further education and research in each multidisciplinary field.

Social and Cultural Analysis offers students the opportunity to examine contemporary global problems using the methodological tools and theoretical insights of Sociology and Anthropology. Faculty specialize in a broad range of relevant topics, including Gender & Sexuality, Science & Technology, Global Health, Population & Development, Violence, Contemporary Religions, Social Inequality and Globalization. Students in the program engage in multidisciplinary research projects that combine any of these specialties and work closely with our Faculty to pursue their individual interests. Social and Cultural Analysis helps students develop the skills necessary to interpret some the most pressing issues facing the world today.

In the interdisciplinary Media and Language area of concentration, students can gain expertise in such fields as sociolinguistics, communication, media, and translation studies. Basic research skills are acquired and then applied in project-oriented courses, and students gain awareness and understanding of the important theoretical works in this interlocking range of disciplines. With this solid foundation of knowledge and methods, students will be able to engage in research that allows them to critically explore a wide range of topics related to the meanings, relationships and operations of media and language in contemporary society.

Students in the Public Economics Concentration choose either economics or business administration as their field of specialization: Students in economics are required to take core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometric analysis, and advanced econometrics, while students in business administration choose relevant courses from business administration, accounting, and finance. Students in both economics and business may take 300-level and above courses offered in the College of Liberal Arts, according to their needs. Upon entering the Public Economics Concentration program, students are assigned a faculty adviser to counsel them regarding their research topic and start preparing for their master thesis, while taking more advanced courses.

We offer a wide variety of courses relevant to peace, conflict and security. They range from foundation courses in peace and conflict studies, to more specialized courses on human rights, ideas and norms, gender, religion, conflict resolution, peace-building, development, traditional and post- traditional security threats, human security, the role of international organizations and international law. Graduates should then be able to analyze existing and potential conflicts, conduct empirical research, and should be able to work within national governments, international government or non-governmental institutions with a focus on peace and security issues.

Comparative Culture

While conducting intensive, problem-based comparative research into a wide spectrum of cultural phenomena, this program equips students with advanced training in the humanities wedded to the spirit of liberal arts, preparing them to play a role as responsible and far-sighted leaders in their chosen profession.

Message from the Director

Program Director
Prof. SANO, Yoshinori

In the Comparative Culture Program, students can develop the academic sense of grasping cultural phenomena in a comprehensive manner by studying subjects of humanities and historical studies, crossing over the borders between specialized fields. Various classes on history, religion, philosophy, fine art, music and literature in regions including Japan, Asia, Europe and North America are offered. The broad perspective, which is fostered through these small-sized classes where dialogue is emphasized, will be a foundation for procuring originality in each student's specialized research, which is conducted under the guidance of the thesis advisor.

Voice of Faculty

Prof. IKOMA, Natsumi

Thinking about philosophy and society through "humans" written in the literature

I am doing research focusing on the contemporary Japanese and English literature. Literature born in turbulent times from modern times to current days strongly reflects the history of war and colonial policy, and the philosophy unique to the times. Discrimination based on gender, race, eugenics, utilitarianism, neoliberalism, and their deconstructions by feminism and postcolonialism emerge out of the literature through the author's creativity. By reading the text closely and analysing it from social and historical standpoint, we are exploring ever-changing human perspectives and more inclusive future.

Area of Concentrations

There are two "Area of Concentration" for Comparative Culture Program.

Students gain an understanding of various cultural structures and learn comparative research methods as they seek to deepen their knowledge in their area of specialization. As they learn about various aspects of culture through discussions in small group seminars in basic subject modules such as Methods in Comparative Culture course (compulsory), specialized educational subject modules such as Japanese Culture course, and common cross-area subject modules such as Comparative Culture Research course, students also develop multidisciplinary approaches to their research themes. For example, students can engage in cross-disciplinary research of the kind in which they gain an understanding of literature and the arts that includes historical, ideological and religious viewpoints.

Students gain an understanding of various cultural structures and learn comparative research methods as they seek to deepen their knowledge in their area of specialization. As they learn about various aspects of culture through discussions in small group seminars in basic subject modules such as Methods in Comparative Culture course (compulsory), specialized educational subject modules such as Transcultural Studies course, and common cross-area subject modules such as Comparative Culture Research course, students also develop multidisciplinary approaches to their research themes. For example, students can engage in cross-disciplinary research of the kind in which they gain an understanding of literature and the arts that includes historical, ideological and religious viewpoints.

ICU Society for the Study of Comparative Culture

Faculty members, graduates and students in the Master's and Doctoral Course are the main members of the ICU Society for the Study of Comparative Culture. The Society supports members' research activities in various ways, including the publication of ICU Comparative Culture, an academic journal containing members'research papers, and the ICU Comparative Culture Series, which provides a medium for publishing outstanding yet unpublished doctoral theses on comparative culture. Through these efforts, the Society strives to promote the interaction and mutual development of members. Students are encouraged to join the Society at the time of their enrollment.

For detail: ICU Society for the Study of Comparative Culture website

Natural Sciences Program

This program carries out specialized specialized training and research in a variety of disciplines relating to the natural sciences, equipping students with the ability to understand their specialized fields in the broader context of science and to play a leading role by grasping the role of science in society.

Note to Prospective Applicants
We strongly recommend that all prospective applicants to the Natural Sciences Program communicate with our faculty members and visit the campus to ensure our facilities and laboratories meet their research needs. ICU facilities can be open to prospective applicants on a campus open day or by appointment.

Message from the Director

OKANO, Ken.jpg
Program Director
Prof. OKANO, Ken

The high faculty/student ratio in the Natural Sciences Graduate School program at ICU is a great benefit for each graduate student in their study and research. Primarily led by the main advisor, with additional input from faculty members of the student's areas of concentration and by the academic staff of the wider natural sciences program, each student receives individual attention, enabling them to maximize their potential.

Voice of Faculty

Prof. SHIMIZU, Yuji

Our strength lies in small groups, which facilitate close interaction between students and faculty.

The main field of my research is Algebraic Geometry. It is applied to various fields including String Theory which is deeply related to my studies. My research focuses on figures called algebraic varieties such as elliptic and hyperbolic curves defined by algebraic equations as well as related objects. I'm particularly interested in the derived categories of coherent sheaves from the perspective of noncommutative algebraic geometry.
When we provide instruction in advanced graduate school mathematics courses, we take full advantage of our small classes by helping students understand not just the technical aspect of the subject but also what motivated research in that topic and its future potential. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers courses that emphasize an interdisciplinary approach, providing students with a flexible perspective regardless of their speciality. Our environment is ideal for science education and for obtaining viewpoints of science directed to the public in general.

Area of Concentrations

There are three "Area of Concentration" for Natural Sciences Program.

In this program, students engage in complementary theoretical and applied or practical study, while at the same time advancing their research in close collaboration with their research supervisors, from classical themes to the latest cutting-edge areas of research drawn from both the Japanese and overseas research communities. After completing the program, students aim to enter employment in corporate or educational fields, or progress to higher levels of study on doctoral programs in Japan and abroad, with the aim of becoming professional researchers. In terms of background knowledge, it is desirable for students to have accumulated a wide range of knowledge up to the third year of undergraduate study and to have engaged in fundamental studies in their area of specialization. Students also require foreign language ability in order to read academic journals and dissertations written in foreign languages, including English.

While scientific studies relating to physical matter are mainly classified into experimental and theoretical study, calculation from first principles using computers is becoming another important area. Experimental work requires fundamental experimental skills and logical thinking to arrive at an understanding of physical substances based on experimental result; while theoretical work involves explanation of facts and making prediction based on basic laws of material science and modelling of phenomena. In this way, we seek to interlink and integrate the experimental, theoretical and computational sciences.

In this program, we engage in research in the three areas of botany, zoology and microbiology, ranging from the molecular level to the individual organism or ecological level. In terms of specific themes, some examples include biological rhythms, metabolism, DNA repair, generation, reproductive behavior and ecological conservation. In addition to specialized themes, we instruct students in scientific thinking and basic research methods. We also place importance on utilizing the unique features of ICU as a liberal arts university, thinking about connections between the life sciences and society, and developing scientific communication abilities.

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