College-Wide Courses

College-Wide Courses

Developing the Core Academic Skills

Cultivating international character is a key part of the educational mission at ICU, and students are required to develop proficiency in both Japanese and English. All students are thus required to complete either the English for Liberal Arts Program (ELA) or the Japanese Language Programs (JLP).

Meanwhile, students experience the essence of a wide variety of academic disciplines through General Education courses, which enables them to discover the fields that they want to pursue more deeply and examine their chosen fields of study from different perspectives.

The Physical Education component of the curriculum aims to nurture well-rounded individuals by helping students understand the workings of their bodies and the mechanism of movement through physical activities. These College-Wide Courses enable students to develop flexible thinking and a multifaceted outlook, which do not place a disproportionate emphasis on a single field.

Languages Required (English for Liberal Arts Program (ELA)/Japanese Language Programs (JLP))
General Education Required
Physical Education Required
World Languages Optional
Teacher Certification Program Optional
Curatorial Training Program Optional
Service Learning Optional
Other Optional

General Education Courses

ICU General Education Courses are not simply introductory courses. They represent the opportunity to learn about various academic fields and gain exposure to the essence of each discipline. Therefore, General Education Courses are made available throughout all four years of undergraduate study, depending on individual interests or learning progress. By taking these courses alongside Specialized Courses, it is possible to view one's major field of study from a different perspective, and understand it in relation to other fields of study.

Key Points of General Education

Students can take General Education Courses throughout all four years.

ICU General Education Courses can be taken throughout all four years of undergraduate study, depending on students' interests. The courses are characterized by their flexibility. They can be selected in accordance with one's interests, to learn the essence of a field before pursuing the field as one's major or to connect one's major field of study to a different field.

Faculty teaching Specialized Courses also teach General Education Courses.

At ICU, faculty members who teach Specialized Courses also teach General Education Courses. They share the essence of research and knowledge in their fields of expertise even with first-year students and students taking different majors. Faculty members respond to students' desire to learn through their scholarship and ways of living.

Students can learn broadly and deeply.

No field of academic specialization exists independently of other fields. By going beyond the boundaries of specialized fields and looking at a bigger picture, it becomes possible to learn even more deeply.

Students learn to consider issues from multiple perspectives.

The first step in learning is to realize that there are always other viewpoints and ways of thinking. Through General Education Courses, students become aware of issues and consider methods for approaching them from multiple perspectives./p>

Taking General Education Courses

General Education Courses must be selected from multiple areas. In principle, one course is worth three credits. In addition to the mandatory course Introduction to Christianity, students choose courses from the following categories: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and Liberal Arts Seminar - a small-class seminar course - in order to earn a total of 15 credits (ELA students must earn at least 21 credits.)

Introduction to Christianity

Introduction to Christianity is the only course for which completion is mandatory for all ICU students. It is offered in Japanese and English. Course content differs depending on faculty members, but the common objective of the course is to have students understand the basics of Christianity, consider its ideological significance and issues, and perceive Christianity in relation to other religions and cultures. An attractive feature of this course is the opportunity to deepen understanding of other ideologies and religions.

Traditional Areas of Study: Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences

Through the humanities, students learn about the state of humankind, how humankind should be, and representations of humankind. Through the social sciences, students learn about social systems, culture, and history. Through the natural sciences, students learn about mathematical concepts, physical phenomena, and life. Students can move on to consider contemporary topics after gaining this essential knowledge.

Health and Physical Education


As a graduation requirement, ICU students take "Health Science" (1 course worth 1 unit), which is a lecture course on health and physical education, as well as "Physical Education Exercise I, II, and III" (3 courses worth 1 unit i.e. 1/3 unit per course), which are exercise courses. In these courses, students learn not only about health and safety with respect to student life but also knowledge and skills for improving quality of life for a lifetime. In addition, through the exercise courses, students actively learn firsthand about improving communication skills in group activities, leadership, and followership.

In the second year and beyond, students can choose to enroll in a variety of exercise courses in accordance with their interests/needs. For example, in "Bouldering" or "Team Building," enrollees can learn the importance of communication among themselves, and in "Aikido" or "Kendo," enrollees can experience Japanese culture and the traditional spirit of martial arts. Of course, by taking "Soccer" or "Basketball," students can not only maintain/increase their amount of physical activity but also experience the fun and exhilaration associated with working up a sweat together with fellow students. Each exercise course is worth 1/3 unit, and up to 6 courses (or 2 units) can be included as electives in the units required for graduation. (However, fractions of units will be rounded down.)

Students who would like to obtain a teaching certificate while enrolled at ICU and become a junior high school or high school teacher in the future must take "Physical Education," which is a required course of the Teacher Certification Program. This requirement is stipulated by the Educational Personnel Certification Act of Japan. future teachers of English or mathematics may one day be responsible for supervising extracurricular activities or leading field trips (day trips, seaside summer school, etc.). "Physical Education" course aims to equip aspiring teachers with skills and knowledge that they can utilize on the ground: not only health management of junior and senior high school students, which is essential for all teachers to know, but also safe and effective sports and exercise coaching methods.

World Languages

In the ICU community, where students of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds come together, World Languages offer nine languages Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Russian, and Spanish in order to cultivate individuals who, free from any prejudice, can contribute to the world as global citizens. Students learn the values, culture and thought that involves each language. They can take courses from introductory level to intermediate and advanced level in accordance with their needs. At the advanced level, students aim to attain language proficiency adequate for studying at universities overseas.

A command of Japanese and English form the foundation of ICU's bilingual liberal arts education, but we strongly encourage students to become proficient in a third language as well, in order to become useful members of international society.