College-Wide Courses

College-Wide Courses

Developing the Core Academic Skills

At ICU, where cultivating an international character is a key part of the educational mission, all students are required to develop sufficient proficiency in both Japanese and English. Thus, the English for Liberal Arts Program (ELA) or the Japanese Language Programs (JLP) is a required part of the curriculum.

Through General Education courses, meanwhile, students encounter a variety of academic disciplines to discover the fields that they want to pursue more deeply and look at their chosen fields of study from different angles.

The Physical Education component of the curriculum aims to help students understand the workings of the human body and grow holistically through physical activity. These College-Wide Courses thus lay the foundation from which students can develop a flexible, multifaceted outlook that ensures a solid grounding across many areas instead of placing a disproportionate emphasis on a single field.

General Education Courses

ICU General Education Courses are not simply introductory courses. They are opportunities to experience various academic fields while getting exposure to the essence of a particular field. Therefore, it is possible to take General Education Courses throughout all 4 years depending on individual interest or learning progress. By taking these courses alongside Specialized Courses, it is possible to perceive one's major field of study from a different angle and consider it in relation to other fields of study.

Key Points of General Education

Students can take General Education Courses throughout all 4 years.

ICU General Education Courses can be taken throughout all 4 years depending on students' interests. The courses are characterized by flexibility. They can be selected in accordance with one's interests, to learn the essence of a field before pursuing a major field of study or to connect one's major field of study to a different field.

Faculty who teach Specialized Courses also teach General Education Courses.

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

It is possible to learn broadly and deeply.

A particular field is not independent of other fields. By going beyond the framework of majors and surveying matter from a wide perspective, it becomes possible to learn even more deeply.

Students learn to consider issues from multiple angles.

The first step is to realize, "Ah, there is also this viewpoint or way of thinking." Through General Education Courses, students become aware of issues and consider methods for approaching them from multiple angles.

Taking General Education Courses

General Education Courses must be selected from multiple areas. In principle, 1 course is worth 3 credits, and students must complete a total of 21 credits. (JLP students must complete at least 15 credits.) In addition to the mandatory course Introduction to Christianity, students take 3 credits from each of the following categories: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and "Liberal Arts Seminar", small-size seminar.

Introduction to Christianity

Introduction to Christianity is the only course that is required of all ICU students. It is offered in Japanese and English. Course content differs depending on the instructor, but all instructors aim 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. After understanding such central matters, students consider contemporary topics.

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 take "Physical Education," which is a required course of the Teacher Certification Program. This requirement is stipulated by the Educational Personnel Certification Law of Japan. Even English or math teachers may be tasked with directing extracurricular activities or leading field trips (day trips, seaside summer school, etc.). "Physical Education" aims to have students first learn health management of junior high school and high school students, which they must know as teachers, and then learn safe and effective sports/exercise coaching methods, which they can utilize on the ground.

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. The final goal of our program is to attain a university level of language ability for studying overseas.