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Field of Study: Social Sciences

UCEAP students take the majority of their coursework in one of three schools at Waseda University. The School of International Liberal Studies (SILS) offers courses in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Other schools are the School of Political Science and Economics (PSE) and the Contemporary Japanese Studies Program. UC Berkeley and UC Los Angeles students can apply for the Global Leadership Fellows Program.

Unique study opportunities

  • Comparatively analyze challenges faced by ethnic, racial, and sexual minorities.
  • Learn communication skills to navigate Japanese business settings.
  • Study the teachings of Buddhist, Shinto, Christian, and other religious philosophies that have influenced the development of Japanese society.
  • Analyze how the western world views the Japanese people and culture through state policies, literature, film, manga, and anime.
  • Arrange a research project after you arrive on campus.
  • Set up an internship at a company or organization before you arrive on campus.


Language of Instruction: English

Language Study: required

Japanese language study is required and is available from beginning through advanced levels. Your minimum requirement depends on your language level determined by a language placement exam at the beginning of the program.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Six to eight courses for a total of 21 quarter/14 semester UC units.
  • You may take a maximum of 30 quarter/20 semester UC units per semester.
  • You may take up to one-third of your courses per term on a pass/no pass basis.
  • You may take a maximum of 8 Waseda units, or 12 UC quarter units, of Japanese language per term.

Current Program Courses

Waseda University offers courses taught in English on East Asian and Asian studies in the areas of political science, journalism, art history, education, and industry. Interdisciplinary topics include domestic and transnational issues, with instruction preparing students to analyze and debate international and global challenges.

Catalogs and resources

See the Waseda University school and courses resources:

More catalogs and resources:

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 director and 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. Grades are usually available in mid- to late September. All grades are released at the end of the year. Waseda University does not provide separate fall grades.

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 language courses, talk to the study center director and staff.

Some 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 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.