Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Ibaraki University revised and expanded its Graduate School curricula in 2009, and students may now choose from two Master of Arts programs in the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, either in Cultural Sciences or Social Sciences.

With a major in Cultural Sciences, graduate students pursue interdisciplinary research in social science, historical and cultural heritage, literature and thought, linguistics, intercultural communications, and media culture.

A major in Social Sciences offers students the chance to investigate diverse topics including law and public administration, economy, management, area studies, and sociology.

In the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, students benefit from small classes and close collaboration with faculty over a two-year period. This enables the student to write a master's thesis on a technical theme. Through daily hard work and a positive spirit of rivalry with peers, students are exposed to a broad range of interdisciplinary topics and learn how to conduct in-depth investigation in the basic courses. More advanced research skills are developed and analytical and critical abilities are deepened in the advanced research courses. In addition, in the Career Education Program, students can take advantage of the opportunities to demonstrate and sharpen their professional and academic skills.

The Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences is proud to offer working adults flexible schedules. Moreover, it provides foreign students with Japanese language classes that have been carefully designed with them in mind.

General Course Outline

The Master of Arts program at Ibaraki University's Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences is a two-year program. Students are expected to acquire specified credits, carry out original research for their theses under the guidance of faculty, and pass final examinations prior to receiving their degrees. In addition, in our Education Program, students may want to consider specializing in Community Manager Training or Humanities and Sociology-related Sustainability Studies. This develops practical knowledge and skills through cooperative research and practice. Students who already possess class 1 teaching licenses for junior or senior high school can also pursue specialized certificates in their majors (Japanese, social science, geography and history, civics or English) in the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Educational and Research Objectives

Under faculty at the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, students pursue research on a variety of academic and administrative challenges facing our modern-day society and culture. The expertise that students can expect to gain in our programs will aid them in their professions, enabling them to play vital roles in today's knowledge-based society. We strive to produce solid professionals: highly sophisticated and intellectual individuals with the ability to meet contemporary challenges in business, industry, and society. Such professionals are more equipped to analyze and solve problems drawing from a broad knowledge base, in-depth expertise, as well as from their own backgrounds. This ensures that they have the judgment, foresight, and initiative required to meet the needs of today's changing society.

Working Adults and Foreign Students

The Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences is proud of its admission systems which encourage and support the participation of working adults and foreign students. Students may undertake programs on an extended schedule that includes evening classes, thus enabling them to complete coursework while maintaining daytime careers. Intensive Japanese language instruction is also available to help foreign students develop the required level of linguistic competencies.

Prospective Students

The Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences provides courses in various specialized academic fields to meet a wide range of interests. Those with a passion for learning are warmly welcomed. Special screening and admission standards are available for working adults and foreign students. Courses can be audited by preparatory graduate students and auditors.

Major in Cultural Science

1. Human Culture

The Human Culture concentration covers four broad academic fields: social science, historical and cultural heritage, literature and thought, and linguistics. Students specializing in Human Culture can expect to develop skills that will prepare them to contribute to the creative advancement of culture and society. Possible research areas in the respective academic fields are as follows:

  • Human science: psychology, sociology, anthropology
  • Historical and cultural heritage: archaeology, Japanese history, Eurasian history, Asian history, modern European history
  • Literature and thought: history of Japanese thought, philosophy, art history, Japanese language and literature, Chinese thought and literature, German literature, French literature, English literature, American literature
  • Linguistics: linguistics, English philology, English grammar

Graduates of the Human Culture concentration should be prepared for a variety of careers: they may study abroad, work as teachers, curators and civil servants or in private industry and non-profit organizations. Furthermore, students may decide to go on to enroll in doctoral studies in a number of fields.

2. Communication

The Communication concentration covers two academic fields: intercultural communications and media culture. In order to meet the needs of a globalized and technologically advanced society, students are trained in theories and applications of intercultural communications, international cooperation, media culture, and media environment. At the same time, students gain more advanced foreign language competence and other practical skills.

Graduates of the Communication concentration are qualified to play major roles in the fields of mass communication, international business, and cross-cultural management. Their skills will be valued in high demand in the public sector and in private industry, as well as in non-profit and non-government enterprises.

Major in Social Sciences

1. Law and Public Administration

The Law and Public Administration concentration is aimed at cultivating individuals with highly developed analytical and practical skills who can tackle the administrative challenges encountered in modern-day society. Various career possibilities for graduates of this concentration include research, analysis, or planning in administrative offices, private companies, or nonprofit organizations, as well as working in the public service in capacities such as judicial clerks or licensed tax accountants.

2. Economy and Management

This concentration is intended to foster specialized individuals with a broad and multilateral understanding of today's highly globalized and volatile economy. Students gain expertise in economics, management, and accounting. Future trajectories for graduates may include careers as licensed tax accountants, civil servants, or teachers. Contributions could be made in the area of financial affairs, accounting, personnel, sales, or planning departments in a variety of industries such as finance, manufacturing, or distribution. Students may want to consider pursing further studies at the doctoral level at other graduate schools.

3. Area Studies and Sociology

This concentration encourages students to research geopolitical "areas" from a global point of view, utilizing analytical methods from sociology, international politics, economy, geography, and history to address the challenges of the twenty-first century. After graduation, students could go on to enroll in doctoral studies at other graduate schools, work as teachers, or employ their leadership and expertise in administrative offices, business corporations, or nonprofit organizations in Japan or other countries. As well, they could encourage administrations and members of the public to cooperate more closely together in such areas as welfare, environment, and tourism.