Center for Liberal Arts

Meiji Gakuin University provides students with the opportunity and curriculum to take up an area of learning other than their major subject for study in depth during their four years at the university. From this separate area of learning, take another look at the world, think about it, and understand it. That experience fills out our way of seeing things and doing thing, it fosters our ability to turn our imaginations toward different peoples and cultures, and it no doubt contributes to doing away with prejudice and violence. When our ability to imagine the other grows weaker, that weakness foments much discrimination and violence. The power of imagination is a human strength that is the direct opposite of the capacity for violence. It is my heartfelt hope that you will develop that strength during your four years at Meiji Gakuin University.

Shigehiro Nagano, Dean, Center for Liberal Arts

Educational Objectives and Human Resource Development Objectives

The aim of liberal arts study through Meiji Gakuin core courses is to develop talented people who address the various problems that arise in the world with flexibility and sincerity, seeking to coexist with others. In order to achieve that aim, the Center promotes comprehensive education by coordinating instruction in foreign languages with coursework in various areas of study, and by developing sound powers of thought and abilities of expression. In foreign language instruction, the Center encourages the improvement of communication skills and the promotion of understanding of cultures, one’s own and others, which have fostered language. We also provide the environment needed for students to cultivate a stance of independence in learning. In their coursework in various areas of study, students are given instruction in specialized knowledge to guide them toward development of the interpretive and analytical abilities required to reach an accurate understanding of problems as well as the multifaceted powers of thought for resolving problems.

Policy on Conferral of Degrees (Diploma Policy)

Through systematic instruction in Meiji Gakuin core courses and acquisition of the specified credits, students can develop the following stance, knowledge, and skills.

  1. A stance of understanding toward the founding spirit of the university, of respect toward various different values, and of commitment to contributing to others by participation in society.
  2. Possessing fundamental knowledge in a wide range of scholarly fields and the ability to think in a multifaceted manner about the problems in present-day society as well as to make accurate value judgments.
  3. Having the skills required to bring wide-ranging knowledge to bear on issues discovered by the person, and to suggest appropriate and precise solutions.
  4. Having acquired the fundamental skills required to communicate with others, and the stance to sustain the lifelong independent effort to continue developing those skills.

Academic Program Organization and Implementation Policy (Curriculum Policy)

Based on the Educational Principles and Objectives of Meiji Gakuin core courses and on the Policy on Conferral of Degrees, the following guidelines for organizing the academic curriculum are prescribed.

  1. Meiji Gakuin core courses belong to the following clusters: C cluster (required and required elective courses), D cluster (foundation lecture courses by field), E cluster (experimental workshops, seminar-style courses), H cluster (developmental courses), and I cluster (courses conducted in English).

  2. C cluster (required courses and required elective courses)
    (1) Foreign language courses
    The following courses are offered with the aim of improving English-language communication skills and developing fundamental practical competence in a foreign language being studied for the first time.
    Required: Communication in English is to be taken in the first year.
    Students who did not study English in high school or elsewhere are to take Beginning English Language in the first year.
    Foreign students are to take Japanese Language courses.
    Required elective courses: French, German, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Korean are elective language courses.
    Foreign students are required to take a language other than Japanese or Japanese Language Research in E cluster.
    (2) Area courses
    The following courses are offered with the aim of instilling the knowledge and skills required to understand the founding spirit of the university and contribute to others.
    Required courses: Fundamentals of Christianity is to be taken in the first year.
    Required elective courses: Computer Literacy, Introduction and Elementary, are to be taken in the first year.
    Compulsory course: Academic Literacy is open to students in the Department of Political Science and is to be taken in the first year.

  3. D cluster courses (foundation lecture courses by field: free electives)
    For items 1 to 4 of the diploma policy for Meiji Gakuin core courses, courses in the following fields and areas are offered in order to cultivate fundamental knowledge and accurate judgment in a wide range of scholarly fields: Courses in the humanities, courses in the social sciences, courses in the natural sciences, courses in health and sports, and courses in general education. The courses in each of these subjects will have their own particular topics.

  4. E cluster courses (experimental workshops, seminar-style courses: free electives)
    For items 1 to 4 of the diploma policy for Meiji Gakuin core courses, the following courses are offered in order to develop abilities that are more progressive and practical.
    (1) Foreign language courses
    English language research is assigned in the second year and beyond in order to strengthen English-language oracy (listening and speaking) and literacy (reading and writing).
    In order to advance in learning of a foreign language being studied for the first time, special seminars in each foreign language selected in C cluster for first-time study are assigned in the first year and beyond as intensive classes in those languages. In addition, Fundamentals courses in the languages other than those selected in C cluster are assigned in the first year and beyond as foundational study of those languages.
    In order to cultivate the ability to communicate in a foreign language being studied for the first time, courses of (First-Time Study) Language Research are assigned in the second year and beyond.
    Courses of Special Research in the languages concerned are offered in support of students who wish to study in other countries.
    (2) Area courses
    In connection with information processing abilities, scientific thinking abilities, physical abilities, participation in civil society, and thesis writing abilities, courses in Computer Literacy Research, Natural Science Methodology (Physics, Chemistry, Biology), Seasonal Sports Research, Special Research Workshop in Volunteer Activity, and Academic Literacy Research are provided for pragmatic study in these areas.

  5. H cluster courses
    Research and Presentation courses are assigned to the second year and beyond as the applied and developmental stages of Meiji Gakuin core courses, with the aim of improving the comprehensive presentation skills required for problem-solving in the course of conducting literature searches, surveys, experiments, and other such activities on topics of interest to the individual student. In addition, courses on Research in Asia and Japan, Research on the European Cultural Sphere, and Research on Present-Day Science are assigned in the third year and beyond.

  6. I cluster courses
    Courses involving study in English with exchange students are assigned in the first year and beyond with the aim of engaging in mutual exchange with people of various different cultural backgrounds on the basis of wide-ranging cultivation, and also acquiring a relative perspective on one’s own and other cultures.