Emphasizing the relationships between people and society is one of the key features of the Department of Psychology. Students acquire a scientific understanding of the mind’s mechanisms and the ability to respond to any type of person or situation within today’s increasingly complex society – in other words, analytical and practical skills rooted in psychology. The Department seeks students with an interest in the scientific exploration of the mind and a desire to contribute to society through the application of psychological knowledge and research methods.
The Department offers an education in psychology that is both highly specialized and broad-based. Students have the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects taught by 14 full-time faculty members, from the foundations of studying the mind through scientific methods to clinical topics such as methods for supporting individuals, families, groups, and communities.
The corporate/business course of study is geared toward students pursuing a career in the private sector. A focus on communication and problem-solving skills leads to high employment rates after graduation. The civil service/teaching course of study is geared toward students who wish to work as psychologists in the public sector (family court probation officers, etc.), regional civil servants (staff at children’s welfare centers or prefectural offices, police officers, etc.), or junior high or high school teachers. The counseling course of study is for students who wish to attain licensure in the profession of psychology, for instance as a licensed psychologist or clinical psychologist. Participants in this program go on to jobs as school counselors, psychologists at medical institutions or child welfare facilities, and educational counselors. The researcher course of study is aimed at those who wish to become a university professor or a scholar at a university, private, or public-sector research center. Many participants in this program have gone on to graduate study at Meiji Gakuin University and elsewhere.
Students begin acquiring the study methods used in psychology in Basic Seminar that begins immediately after enrollment. They continue their study of practical psychology throughout the next 4 years in small practicums and seminars where they also develop communication and problem-solving skills through lively discussions with faculty and other students.
Students who enroll starting in April 2018 and complete all designated courses during their time as undergraduates, then go on to complete all designated courses in a graduate program or complete a required number of hours of work at a facility designated by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare or the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, are eligible to take the national examination to become a licensed psychologist.
Classes such as English Readings on Psychology A and B expose students to English-language texts, enabling them to understand cutting-edge international research trends. The Department also offers support for students with a proactive desire to study abroad.
The Department is equipped with experimental facilities and observational instruments to help students hone advanced skills and knowledge of the field. In the context of increasing use of statistical methods at corporations and other workplaces, the Department has also purchased computers capable of processing big data, which serve an important role in research and analysis.
3rd-year students may enroll in the Careers and Psychology class, which features guest speakers active in various fields. Students in the class learn practical knowledge and skills for applying their background in psychology to their careers. The Department also hosts talks by current and past graduate students, and events on attending graduate school organized by the Shirokane Psychology Association.
Students take overview, research methodology, and statistics classes to learn the basics of psychology. In small seminars, they acquire the logical thinking, writing, and discussion skills that will be indispensable throughout their time at university.
While deepening knowledge through foundational and advanced classes, students learn how to scientifically study the mind through seminars where they plan and carry out experiments and studies. In English Readings on Psychology, they become competent in reading psychology papers in English.
The Department offers eleven practical classes, such as a Practicum in Psychological Testing. Students choose an area of focus from 5 specialized fields: Psychology of Perception and Learning, Physiological and Comparative Psychology, Educational and Developmental Psychology, Clinical and Personality Psychology, and Social, Industrial, and Organizational Psychology. In seminars, students choose a theme and conduct research for a graduation project. By writing a thesis, they develop logical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Approximately 70 percent of Department graduates are employed in education or the private sector. Others work in diverse fields including medicine, social welfare, and civil service. Work relating to the human mind exists in many fields, leading to a wide range of career options for graduates in psychology. Those who wish to continue specialized studies or to become a professional in the field, such as a clinical psychologist, may attend Meiji Gakuin University’s graduate psychology program (offering both master’s and doctoral degrees). The master’s program is divided into a Psychology and a Clinical Psychology Program. The clinical psychology curriculum fully prepares students for national licensure as a psychologist, and students who complete all designated classes are eligible to take the national licensing examination. This program is also a designated Type 1 Graduate School for clinical psychology, which means that students who complete the designated curriculum are eligible for the clinical psychologist licensing examination.