Major of Sociology

(Master's and Doctoral Program)

Covering diverse fields in sociology with an outstanding faculty and a unique system of guidance

We lead our lives constantly connected to others, yet we repeatedly forget that those others differ fundamentally from ourselves. We repeatedly attempt to suppress or control them. They are likely to take us by surprise, and sometimes are difficult for us to understand. Some are so distant from us that we forget their very existence, even when they are supporting our lives from afar. I believe that contemporary society demands of us the courage and insight to open up connections with these others. If the task of sociology is to detect and investigate issues hidden within contemporary society and envision how to make that society better, then students in this program should respond to those issues by acquiring knowledge and skills that make them open to others. How are connections with others formed, and how are those others forgotten or suppressed? The aim of this program is for students to acquire the systematic knowledge and skills to ask these questions in relation to real-world phenomena and formulate solid answers. We have also established a system to admit working adults so that students with diverse social experiences can be actively involved in the education and research of this program. In addition, this major is part of a credit transfer program for graduate studies in sociology, allowing students to earn credits from 24 graduate schools or major programs at 22 universities in the Kanto region.

Admission Policy


Advanced Social Researcher Certification

The Social Researcher Certificate is official certification intended to produce expert researchers with the knowledge and skills to conduct statistical surveys for government agencies and municipal offices, market studies and opinion polls for companies, NPOs, and other such organizations, and who have the ability to understand societal phenomena that is essential for the study of sociology. The certificate is not a national qualification that requires applicants to pass a government exam. Students who have taken university courses in sociology that have been designated as courses for the Social Researcher Certificate, and earned credits for those courses, may apply for certification to the Japanese Association for Social Research, which was founded by The Japan Sociological Society and other academic societies, and receive the certificate when they graduate. (A certification fee is required.) There are two types of certification: Certified Social Researcher (for undergraduate students in a four-year program) and Certified Advanced Social Researcher (for graduate students in a master's degree program). Students in the Major of Sociology program who complete the designated classes may apply for the Advanced Social Researcher Certificate when they graduate from the master's degree program. In order to receive advanced certification, it is first necessary to receive a Social Researcher Certificate as an undergraduate student. However, graduate students who do not already have this certification may acquire it by taking the designated courses in the Faculty of Sociology & Social Work while also carrying out their graduate studies. For further details about the certification, please see Meiji Gakuin University's Faculty of Sociology & Social Work home page, or the website of the Japanese Association for Social Research [].


The Graduate School of Sociology offers scholarships to students in the Major of Sociology and Major of Social Work to support their research. Up to 10 students entering master's degree programs at the School are selected to receive Type 1 Scholarships of 250,000 yen each. Up to 15 students who are either in their second year of their master’s degree program or later or doctoral students in their first year or later are selected to receive Type 2 Scholarships of 150,000 yen each. Please contact the Graduate School Office for more information.