We live in constant relationship with others, yet we are constantly prone to forgetting that those others differ fundamentally from ourselves. We frequently attempt to oppress or control them. They are likely to take us by surprise, and sometimes are difficult for us to understand. Some are so distant we forget their very existence, even when they are supporting our lives from afar. Contemporary society demands of us the courage and insight to open up our relationships to these others. If the task of sociology is to pursue and uncover the various problems hidden within contemporary society and envision how to make that society better, then our mission in the graduate sociology program is to give students the specialized knowledge and skills to open themselves to others and respond to these problems. How are relationships with others formed, and how are these others forgotten or oppressed? Our students acquire the systematic knowledge and skills to ask these questions in relation to real-world phenomena and formulate solid answers. In order to further link diverse real-world experience with education and research, the program has established a system for admitting non-traditional students. We also participate in a credit-transfer system that allows our students to receive credit for classes taken at twenty-six programs at twenty-three universities in the Kanto region.
The Social Researcher Certificate is an official certificate intended to foster professional researchers with the knowledge and skills to conduct statistical surveys for government agencies and municipal offices, market studies and opinion polls for companies and NPOs, and other such research, and who have the ability to understand societal phenomena essential to the study of sociology. The certificate is not a national qualification requiring that applicants pass a government exam. Rather, it is a program established by the Japanese Association for Social Research (founded by the Japan Sociological Society and two other academic societies) under which students who take designated courses and complete a certain number of credits may apply for and receive certification upon graduation (a fee is required for certification). 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 program). Students in the Graduate Program in Sociology who complete the designated classes may apply for Advanced Social Researcher certification at the time of graduation from the master's 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 attain it by taking the designated courses in the Faculty of Sociology while also carrying out their graduate studies. For details on the certificate, please see Meiji Gakuin University's Faculty of Sociology home page, or the website of the Japanese Association for Social Research [http://jasr.or.jp/english/].
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.