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Fields of Study: Humanities and Social Science

The program at International Christian University (ICU) provides courses taught in English or Japanese or Japanese language study. The bilingual campus is ideal for students with limited or no Japanese language ability who need courses taught in English.

Unique study opportunities

  • Learn to identify and confront current assumptions about Japan in the modern world with a certificate program focused entirely on Japan.
  • Internships, independent research, and volunteer opportunities can be arranged independently.


Language of Instruction: English, Japanese

Language Study: Optional

Intensive ​Japanese language study is available from beginning through advanced levels. Students enrolling in Japanese language take a language placement exam at the beginning of the term.

If you are a novice to Japanese language, ICU strongly recommends you learn  the basic scripts of Hiragana and Katakana before starting language courses.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Minimum of 15 quarter/10 semester UC units. The number of courses will vary depending on units for each course, for example:
    • Most Japanese studies courses are 4 quarter UC units.
    • Intensive Japanese language courses are 10-12 quarter UC units.
    • Other courses are 2.5 to 4 quarter UC units.
  • You may take up to one-third of your courses pass/no pass.

Current Program Courses

ICU coursework taught in English is available in humanities and social sciences. Strong fields include Japanese literature, linguistics, history, art history, and international relations. Of special note are Japanese area studies, with courses in art history, communication, cultural studies, media, sociology, history, politics, and society. Courses taught in Japanese are available in most fields. ICU science courses are taught in Japanese.

Catalogs and resources

  • ICU Courses and Syllabi: Find courses taught in English or Japanese. Refer to the Course Search Guide video for a tutorial on how to navigate the ICU course catalog.
  • ICU Japanese Language Programs: Review course information for ICU's Japanese language courses.
  • UCEAP Course Catalog: See a list of courses students have taken on this program. This is not a current representation of course offerings on this program. Reference the above links to review recent course offerings. 
  • Campus Credit Abroad: Learn the types of credit (major, minor, general education, elective) students from your campus received at this location.

Academic culture

Japan is a country where courtesy and behavioral propriety are extremely important in all social interactions. Be respectful toward teachers at all times and sensitive to the cultural styles and ethics of Japanese society.

Most locals and Japanese professors will avoid correcting unacceptable behavior. Follow the example set by the Japanese students. If you have questions about what is considered acceptable behavior in Japan, talk to the study center staff.

To be successful academically, you must take the initiative. Take personal responsibility for your education, formulate clear academic goals, and then pursue those goals with determination rather than depending solely on UC or host university requirements for direction. Japanese university courses typically have less structure than UC courses. Professors rarely provide syllabi and, even if they do, may change the content of the course during the term. Check with each professor about specific course requirements, paper deadlines, exam dates, and any other matters related to your academic responsibilities.

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. ​Fall grades are usually available in mid-December to early January. Winter grades are usually available in late April. Final grades for the spring and year programs are usually available in early August.

It is not the Japanese custom for instructors to give detailed comments on written work and final papers, and exams are not usually returned. the grade itself is generally considered appropriate and adequate feedback.

Grading is typically conducted by detracting points for errors, rather than rewarding points for correct work. If you experience difficulties with your courses, talk to the study center staff.

Some universities are similar to UC in their standards and grading system. In many cases, poor grades are the result of excessive absences, tardiness, missing assignments, and lack of communication between UC students and instructors. Class attendance is required unless you are explicitly excused for a valid reason. Many faculty members monitor and consider attendance in class, on field trips, and at academic events when determining the course grade.