The history of Meiji Gakuin University's undergraduate Department of Social Work reaches back 90 years, while the Graduate Program in Social Work has a history of more than 50 years. In order to respond fully to Japan's social-work-related needs in the 21st century, the Graduate Program has revised its curriculum. The master's program offers a diverse range of lecture classes that match student interests and foster their ability to respond to contemporary social welfare issues. The doctoral program focuses on developing independent research ability and advanced practical skills through guidance in writing a doctoral dissertation. The program participates in a credit transfer system with 13 graduate schools in the Tokyo metropolitan area offering master's degrees in social work, enabling students to take classes at any of these schools. Both the master's and doctoral programs have systems supporting recurrent education and welcome non-traditional students.
Recurrent education refers primarily to the utilization of universities and other educational institutions by individuals who have completed their formal education. In 2008, both the master's and doctoral programs in social work introduced a recurrent education system for individuals currently employed as social workers. To enable concurrent work and study, these programs accommodate students through special admissions procedures, class times, and fee reductions, as follows:
Individuals who have worked in the field of social work for a designated number of years may be admitted to the program solely on the basis of a thesis and an interview.*
2. Class times
In order to facilitate class attendance by working students, the two required classes (Principles of Social Work and Theory of Social Work) are held after 6:40 p.m. All faculty offer evening and Saturday classes on rotation.
3. Payment of two years' fees for three years of study in the master's program
If students have difficulty submitting a master's thesis in two years for work-related or other reasons, they may extend their enrollment for a 3rd year without a corresponding increase in fees.
*The program also allows graduates of Meiji Gakuin University to apply solely through an interview.
The Graduate School of Sociology offers scholarships to students in the Sociology and Social Work programs to support their research. Up to 10 students entering master's programs at the School are selected to receive Type 1 Scholarships of 250,000 yen each, and up to 15 students in their second year or later (including doctoral students) are selected to receive Type 2 Scholarships of 150,000 yen each. Please contact the Graduate School’s Office for more information.