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Fields of Study: Social Sciences

As an international student, you can become part of the academic community at Hitotsubashi University, an engaging Japanese campus environment. Hitotsubashi University offers coursework taught in Japanese and English, and its undergraduate programs include four faculties for UCEAP students: Commerce and Management, Economics, Law, and Social Sciences.

Unique study opportunities

  • Experience the university’s unique zemi (seminar) system in the social sciences with a local professor who acts as academic advisor, mentor, and instructor.
  • Get the complete Japanese university experience with an international community of students.
  • Enjoy small class sizes on a campus with the ambience of an Ivy League institution.
  • Find an internship specifically for international students with support from the university’s Career Support Center.
  • Access strong coursework taught in English in the fields of business, economics, international studies, and sociology.


Language of Instruction: English, Japanese

Japanese Language Study: Required

Japanese language study is required each semester unless you are fluent. Japanese language study is available from beginning to advanced levels. Course units range from 2 to 10 Hitotsubashi units (3 to 15 UC quarter units).

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Six to eight courses with a total of 21 quarter/14 semester UC units.
  • You can take a third of your courses per term pass/no pass.
  • To avoid a failing grade for a dropped course, keep the study center informed of any changes in course selection at the host university and follow UCEAP procedures for dropping a course.

Current Program Courses

You will finalize your study plans and register for classes after arrival with the assistance of the UCEAP. In addition to regular coursework, you have the opportunity to experience the university’s zemi (seminar) system which offers a year-long course in social sciences. A zemi usually has 10 to 25 students. Students study under one professor who acts as academic advisor, mentor, and instructor.


Research and independent study are possible at Hitotsubashi University. Many of the seminars​ culminate in a year-long research project. Arrangements are made after arrival in Japan.​

Catalogs and resources

Academic culture

Japan is a country where courtesy and behavioral propriety are extremely important in all social interactions. As a representative of UC, your respect toward teachers and sensitivity to the cultural styles and ethics of Japanese society will make a difference.

Most locals and Japanese professors will avoid correcting offensive or unacceptable behavior. If you have questions about what is considered acceptable behavior in Japan, talk to the study center director and staff.

Communication and Assessment

It is not the Japanese custom for instructors to give detailed comments on written work and final papers, and exams are not usually returned. Rather, the grade itself is generally considered appropriate and adequate feedback. You may inquire about your progress in a class, but do not discuss grades with your professors unless invited to do so; otherwise, it may appear that you are trying to negotiate your grade, which is frowned upon. Discuss questions related to grades or other classroom matters and appropriate plans for handling them with the UCEAP study center.

Some Japanese universities are similar to UC in their standards and grading system. Language courses in particular can be more demanding than at UC and the grading is often rigorous. In many cases, poor grades are the result of excessive absences, tardiness, missing assignments, and lack of communication with instructors. Grading is typically conducted by detracting points for errors, rather than rewarding points for correct work. If you experience difficulties with your language courses, inquire with the study center for tutoring assistance. Also beware of being influenced by the rigor—or lack thereof—with which Japanese students appear to be engaged in their studies. In contrast to UC students, Japanese students often place less emphasis on letter grades and more on merely passing their courses.


You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. Final grades for this program are usually available in late October.