International Christian University (ICU)


ICU is a pioneer of liberal arts in Japan. Liberal arts allows students to gain a broad background in both the humanities and the sciences, but at the same time encourage them to delve deeper into specialized fields, training students to think creatively and critically with a solid grounding in the real world.

With a view to educating internationally minded citizens, ICU proclaimed its commitment to internationalism when it was first dedicated. Greatest advantage in ICU is they provide 31 majors for students to choose from, offering a diverse range of academic fields to enable students to discover what they truly want to study. Additionally, they practice Japanese-English Bilingual Education. Only about 30% of their courses are conducted in English. 


By studying another language, students gain knowledge of unfamiliar cultures and ways of thinking, enhance their own critical thinking skills, and gain the ability to view things in a broad perspective. The university seeks to cultivate individuals with an open sense of values and the initiative to continue their learning throughout life; individuals who, as responsible global citizens, can cooperate with others to contribute to peace and coexistence among all peoples in international and local settings, in Japan and across the world, in a variety of vocations and spheres of work, and in their personal lives.

English for Liberal Arts Program (ELA) / Japanese Language Programs (JLP)

ICU believes in "later specialization," a feature of liberal arts education which allows students more time to study a variety of subjects before deciding on a major. Students choose courses, many offered in small classes, according to their individual needs with help from faculty.

in ICU, Students take language courses in their freshman and sophomore year (Depending on the student's language requirements, English for Liberal Arts or Japanese Language Programs). In addition to language proficiency, these courses provide training in academic skills such as thesis writing and discussion to enhance competence in critical thinking and communication. 

For Singaporeans, as our main language taken in our 12 years of education or more is English, students would need to take Japanese Language Programs (JLP) in order to enrol into ICU. 

The goal of JLP is to equip students with proficiency in the Japanese language that will enable them to pursue academic studies in ICU.

ELA are for students who do not have any English proficiency. 



Click in for list of modules under each major.



This major provides 1) insight into the significance of art in society, 2) capacity to critically understand and judge the content of various artistic expressions, 3) understanding of the importance of interdisciplinary study in collaboration with other academic fields, 4) appreciation of the value of artistic endeavor as seen from a global perspective.


Under this major, students can gain an understanding of philosophy and religion as one of fundamental people activities as well as indispensable foundations of such activities, and learn the fundamental concepts of philosophy and religion, and learn the methodologies to academically configure such complex subject matter of these fields.


This major does not offer practice courses in musical performance or composition, but rather focuses upon how to analyze the meanings of musical theories and examines the music history of western and other cultures. By applying this knowledge to examine possible influences on performance expression, this major tries to promote students who are not necessarily professional performers or composers, that to think about and analyze how humans have created music means a quest for what we are.


Students majoring in Literature can cultivate a heightened sensitivity towards words, and gain an intuitive understanding of metaphoric and polysemous words. Through classes and research paper writing, students can acquire both traditional and also modern analytical research skills in the field of literature. You can also learn how to objectively analyse texts using critical thinking skills, interpret texts from one's own critical standpoint (supported by theoretical reasoning and taking into account prior research), and produce reports and research papers that advance ideas open to others in the communal knowledge domain. 

Economics and Business


The main goal of Economics is to carry out theoretical research that satisfies international standards, but it also aims to train human resources to who can, through empirical research, contribute solutions to specific economic problems faced by governments and economic societies today. Students majoring in Economics will learn how to analyse current social problems using a variety of economics based perspectives. 


In particular, students in this major will be conducting research utilizing theories from the fields of business, and accounting and finance. Students will learn analytical methods to work with contemporary issues in areas such as corporate management and accounting.



History is a discipline that analyzes and comprehends past social events from a critical, empathetic, and multidirectional perspective. Historical study is unachievable without a clear awareness of current issues, but at the same time it is not possible to understand current issues without deep insight into and knowledge of the past. Thus, in order to major in History, students need to acquire document analysis skills, the ability to integrate complex events, and the capacity to think logically so to depict historical events. After taking Foundation courses in history, students will choose their individual research themes from Japanese history, Asian history, Western history, and other fields. They will then take advanced courses, and finally will write their own senior thesis.

Politics and International Relations


The major conducts basic, developmental, and advanced research and education that deals with juristic issues on the international, domestic and regional level, such as effective and equitable resolution of various complex conflicts, peace-building and the promotion and securement of human rights, the realization of rule by law, the smooth operation of civil society, and the establishment of citizen autonomy.


In the Foundation Courses, students are familiarised with fundamental concepts of international relations and international politics, and establish basic knowledge of the history of international relations and Japan's international relations. In the Area Major Courses, students understand the trend in international relations by conducting studies on regions including Japan, Asia, the U.S., Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, based on theoretical studies of foreign policy, international security, international political economy, international development cooperation, and the global environment.


The Public Policy major does not necessarily adhere to any traditional disciplinary classification and it can include a politics, international relations, economics, education, law amongst other fields. By using a knowledge of theories and systems and the practice of public policy, policy studies, politics and international relations, and public administration, we aim to educate students who can identify public issues on regional, national, and international levels using empirical questioning and critical thinking.


A Politics major can be the start of a career in many fields, including academia, politics, the media and public services, both in Japan and internationally. In the Foundation Courses, students will gain understanding of the basic concepts of political science, international politics and methodological approaches to political analysis. Then in the Area Major Courses, students will deepen logical and critical thinking through elective learning about pivotal issues in political theory, political thought, comparative politics, and international politics. Lastly, in writing a Senior Thesis, students will be able to develop their ability to identify a research subject, situate their research within relevant literature, analyze the problem using an appropriate method, draw implications, and effectively communicate the outcomes of the research.

Society, Culture and Media


The goal of the Sociology major is to provide students with the intellectual tools needed to analyze social phenomena theoretically and empirically. To that end, the curriculum provides a wide range of courses. During the first and second years of study students are trained in the basics of sociology and later students choose a specific area of sociology. Possible areas of specialization include gender, international migration, science/technology, globalization, nationalism, social movements, political sociology, environmental sociology, sociology of development, or other specific areas. 


Anthropology is a discipline devoted to the study of human diversity. Although as humans we are all members of one species, homo sapiens, there is tremendous variation between cultures on the globe. We can see this variation in terms of languages, religions, rituals, and culinary traditions, which significantly distinguishes us humans from other animals. Our goal in anthropology is to understand both the shared aspects of our human existence and this remarkable variation. The Anthropology major at ICU emphasizes the following five aspects - Internationalism, Flexibility, Hands-On Training, Critical Analysis and Global Citizenship.


Students majoring in Media, Communication and Culture will learn interdisciplinary theories and methodologies, and cultivate skills to actively engage with society. Media, Communication and Culture is divided into four fields, Media Studies, Communication, Translation and Interpretations, and Language and Society, which all share a common academic outlook.

Natural Sciences


The major in Biology aims to give students a fundamental understanding of various fields in biology such as cell biology, molecular biology, physiology and ecology as well as providing advanced training in preparation for graduate school programs. Students learn basic knowledge of biology in lectures, seminars, and laboratory studies. Especially in laboratory studies, students will handle some living animals so that actual observations can be obtained. Students will also have an opportunity to study the latest frontiers of biology from professors at ICU and other universities and research institutions. It is also required for students to study mathematics, physics, chemistry, and statistics for further understanding in biology.


The goal of the Mathematics major is to provide education in the basic concepts and methods of modern mathematics as enabling the study of standard mathematical subjects at more advanced level. Students majoring in Mathematics learn the basic concepts and methods of modern mathematics, as well as developing the ability to think critically, analytically, and logically. Additionally, by using axiomatic methods, students gain the ability to assimilate mathematical notions and methods and apply these ideas to other disciplines.


Students majoring in Physics will cultivate knowledge and critical thinking, as well as gaining a set of values that enables them to deal with scientific issues as responsible member of society whether they plan to pursue careers, in science or not. Students interested in majoring in Physics are encouraged to take the following courses concurrently with their ELA/JLP courses: Introduction to Physics, Foundation of Physics, Modern Physics A & B, Introduction to Physics Laboratory, and Foundations of Physics Laboratory. These courses are meant to provide a systematic introduction to university level physics to students of differing backgrounds, including those who have not studied physics in high school.


The goal of the Information Science major is to provide students with a superior grounding in the discipline of computer science, including the mathematical dimensions of information science, its physical implementation on computer hardware, and excellent practical skills and deep insight into the realm of software. The major seeks thereby to enable the applications of information science to have a major impact in our society and economy. Students majoring in Information Science are expected to become capable of designing, and deployment and evaluation of computerized information systems in general, and gain specialized skills in at least one area, such as programming, network administration, computer graphics, scientific computing or artificial intelligence.


The major in Chemistry will provide you with a comprehensive education in the fundamentals of matter and its changes, through lectures and practical laboratory courses, seminars and research projects offered within a liberal arts tradition. Abilities fostered in the major will prove indispensable not only for graduates going on to higher degrees in chemistry, but also those pursuing careers in the natural sciences more broadly and other fields demanding scientific literacy.

Education and Language Education


To realize this aim, the major develops students' pedagogical knowledge and practical expertise with respect to their native language and/or other specific language, and cultivates capable and globally-minded individuals with specific language skills sufficient to contribute to the improvement of language education both within Japan and internationally. The graduates of this major are expected to become professionals who can demonstrate their leadership in the world of language education not only as educators but also as researchers and designers of curriculum and teaching materials.


The Education major is committed to 1) cultivating deeper understanding of the theories and practice of education through sociological, philosophical and historical analysis in various contexts, 2) Developing global and comparative perspectives on education, global society, and global citizenship, and awareness of the diverse ideas, values, and cultures in an ever-changing global landscape, 3) Understanding the influences of media and technology on children and the youth as well as communication processes in education, 4) earning strategies to maximize educational experiences by integrating media and technology, with the aim of developing innovative methods concerning classwork design and actual teaching.

Psychology and Linguistics


The main goal of Linguistics is to provide scientific answers to questions such as "Why is it that only humans can speak language?" and "What kind of creatures are humans?" by examining human language. The Linguistics major's mission is to explain, in a scientific manner, salient properties of human language, which cannot be found in the communication system of other animals. In the Linguistics major, we attempt to analyze complex and elaborate structures found in human language. Based on the core fields of linguistics, including Phonetics (study of linguistic sounds), Phonology (theory of sound system), Morphology (study of the internal structure of words), Syntax (study of the internal structure of phrases and sentences), Semantics (study of linguistic meaning) and Pragmatics (study of linguistic expressions and contexts), we investigate theoretically what constitutes the system of language that is incorporated in the human brain/mind. 


The goal for Psychology graduates is to have an understanding of both the idea of an individual's personality - in other words, how the mind works - and the dynamics of organisations, societies and furthermore, international society , and thereby to cultivate their ability to contribute to world peace as "global citizens". In order to achieve this goal, it is important to facilitate not only students' capacity to meaningfully contribute to the field of psychological research but also their understanding of spirituality and religiosity, their international communication skills, and their capacity to engage actively in interpersonal relationships and organizational operations internationally.

Multidisciplinary Majors organised by Multiple Departments


American Studies

Students use their Liberal Arts education, English language education, exchange programs and other opportunities provided by ICU to the full in order to understand the origins and characteristics of the United States of America both objectively and empirically. The major begins with the Principles of American Studies course, which facilitates a broad understanding of the origins and characteristics of the United States. This is followed by foundation courses such as Issues in American Culture, History of the United States , and History of American Literature, which introduce students to interdisciplinary research methodology. At the same time, students take specialized courses that introduce American religion, education, language, and ethnicity, such as Society and Culture in the U.S.A. , American Prose, and American Poetry. Finally, they decide on a senior thesis topic and write their thesis in English. Students may also participate in the ICU's student exchange programs and take courses relevant to American Studies at a university in the United States. This is an extremely worthwhile addition to their studies in the major.


Environmental Studies is a field that offers critical literacy for citizens of the earth, raising questions that people everywhere should strive to answer. It focuses on environmental issues that straddle the natural, human and social environment, and produces individuals able to think and act positively in confronting problems in the world today. For those aspiring to specialized roles in tackling environmental issues, Environmental Studies cultivates strong academic foundations and the ability to resolve key problems. Some of the goals in this major include to assume positions of leadership in helping to solve some of the critical environmental issues confronting the world today and contribute to the realization of the Environmental Policy for ICU.


The major in Japan Studies explores the people, languages and cultures of Japan; it encompasses the interdisciplinary study of Japanese politics, economics, international relations, religion and other areas. The major employs a critical perspective to discuss representations of "Japan", in addition to interrelating and integrating knowledge about Japan. The goal is to enable students not only to advance their understanding of Japan, but also to apply what they have learned in their future academic and professional careers.


In the General Education courses, students are expected to expand their horizons of thought before starting the interdisciplinary major program. Those courses include "Invitation to Asian Studies". The Foundation courses provide students with basic knowledge and research skills needed for the Asian Studies major. Students are also encouraged to study Asian languages, such as Chinese and Korean. In Area Major Courses, students advance their understanding of Asia, by focusing on some issues such as philosophy, history, politics, economics, international relations, education, culture, society, and languages. Students are also encouraged to participate in the study abroad programs in Asian universities and service-learning experiences in the Asian region.


This major aims to break new ground in the field of Gender and Sexuality Studies through full deployment of interdisciplinary approaches to question existing "knowledge" from the perspectives of gender and sexuality. This area of study is still new and dynamic developments are expected over the coming years, but issues of gender and sexuality are also being taken up in other fields of research. It is anticipated therefore that students in this major will firstly employ a gender/sexuality perspective to comprehend the basic concepts and social constructions of sex, gender, and sexuality. Secondly, they should understand the processes of constructing/reconstructing a gender order in educational, occupational and domestic settings, and be able to identify gender messages in languages and various media, which are accepted as a matter of everyday occurrence, from a gender/sexuality perspective. Thirdly, they should develop positive attitudes to engaging with theoretical problems of a large scale, such as inequality, class, power, and the conflict between "nature" and "culture."


Peace Studies aims to nurture the next generation of peacemakers who can respect the law and devote themselves to peace and the democratic progress of a global community based on the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Students study the influence of societal structures, political and economic conditions, educational practices, and the historical roots of war, conflict, poverty and human rights suppression in order to seek the means for a peaceful resolution to these interrelated issues. Students examine peace issues utilizing an interdisciplinary approach,covering areas such as philosophy, religion, law, politics, economics, social sciences, anthropology, education, psychology and international relations, in order to acquire theory and practice in peace-related contexts. Students learn skills to integrate their theoretical understanding with practical experiences in the field.


Students will learn about Japanese postwar reconstruction and development experiences, as well as its history of development assistance, and acquire a basic understanding of the theoretical studies and policy research concerning economic development, human/social development, and development and the environment in a globalizing world. You will also examine developmental issues using an interdisciplinary approach, covering fields such as history, political science, social science, anthropology, education, international relations, technology and environmental studies, and will also develop practical skills and techniques. Students will cultivate skills to integrate their practical experiences in the field and at development related institutions with their theoretical studies.


Global Studies aims to educate responsible, global citizens who can identify significant world issues, examine the structure and related phenomena of global governance using an interdisciplinary approach, and exercise leadership and create partnerships to promote conflict resolution in the global community of the 21st century. Students learn to draw connections between global processes and their effects on local communities, develop critical skills to understand the roles played by different entities acting on a global scale: states, corporations, NGOs, international agencies, activists, etc, and develop the ability to use interdisciplinary approaches to gain insight on issues such as religion, politics, economics, culture, language, ethnicity and the environment from an academic viewpoint.



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Once enrolled at ICU, students begin taking ELA/JLP, General Education, Physical Education, and other Foundation Courses.


This approach comes from ICU's belief in "later specialization," which gives students more time to study a variety of subjects before deciding on a major. ICU encourages its students to nurture a broad perspective and cultivate flexible thinking by experiencing different worlds of knowledge, and form a comprehensive, versatile academic foundation before beginning the process of selecting a major.

At the end of their 2nd year, students choose their Majors (from the 31 majors) and set off on more individualized, major-specific tracks. The final leg of the academic journey comes in the 4th year, when students bring together all the things they have learned for a year-long senior thesis project. Although some universities have started to eliminate their senior thesis (research) project requirements, ICU believes that graduation work is a crucial opportunity for students to test the knowledge and abilities that they have cultivated over their four years of undergraduate studies.

ICU General Education Courses can be taken throughout all four years of undergraduate study, depending on students' interests. The courses are characterized by their flexibility. They can be selected in accordance with one's interests, to learn the essence of a field before pursuing the field as one's major or to connect one's major field of study to a different field.

Most Courses under General Education are worth 3 or 2 credits.


General Education

Course name
Language Conducted
The World of Art
Music and Society
The World of Music
The World of Classics
The World of Literature (Gender and Literature)
The World of Literature (French Literature)
The World of Literature (English Literature)
The World of Literature (Japanese Literature)
The World of Traditional Japanese Culture
The World of Philosophy
The World of Ethics
The World of Eastern Thought
Language Education
Languages and Cultures of the World
The World of Sign Languages
World of English, English of the World
Japanese Language Phenomena, an Introduction
The World of Metaphor
Behavioral Sciences and Humanistic Sciences (A)
Global Health Innovation
Japanese or English
Visualizing Japan in the Modern World
Introduction to Film Studies
Liberal Arts Seminar
Japanese or English
Life Science (A)
World of Physics (A) - Scientific Thinking
World of Physics (B) - Answers from Physics
The Chemical Basis of Nature
Invitation to Astronomy
Computers and Human Interaction
Introduction to Computer Science
Mathematical Methods in Science
World of Mathematics
Ideas of Data Science
Experimental Approach to Natural Science
Senior Integrating Seminar in Natural Sciences
Food Science
History of Science
Philosophy of Science
Environmental Studies
Computer Literacy
Digital Network Information Literacy
Multimedia Communication Literacy
Economy and Economics
Japanese or English
Capitalism and Society
Issues in International Relations
Religion and Global Politics
Debates in International Relations
Political Science (A)
Political Science (B)
Political Science (C)
Japanese Constitutional Law
Sign, Thought and Culture
Society and Culture
New Media and Society in Everyday Life
Social Media and Education
Japanese or English
Statistical Information Literacy
Japanese or English
Media and Cultural Signs
The World of Cultural Translation
Media and Identity Formation
Education Projects for Global and Social Change
Group Based Life Skill Learning
Japanese or English
Humanity and Peace
Peace Research
Culture, Gender and Health
Gender in Everyday Life
Science, Technology and Society
Human, Society and Culture in Post-disaster Era
Introduction to Christianity
Japanese or English

Physical Education

As a graduation requirement, ICU students must take one course of Health Science (worth one credit ), which comprises lectures on health and physical education, as well as the three courses Physical Education Exercise I, II, and III (together worth one credit), which consist of practical exercises.

In these courses, students learn not only about health and safety in student life but also gain knowledge and skills for improving quality of life over their entire lifetime. In addition, through the exercise courses students learn firsthand about improving communication skills in group activities, leadership, and followership, actively and independent-mindedly, with fun.

In the second year and beyond, students can choose to enroll in a variety of exercise courses in accordance with their interests. For example, in Bouldering or Team Building, students can learn the importance of communication with their peers, and students of Aikido or Introduction to Japanese BUDO (JUDO) can experience Japanese culture and the traditional spirit of martial arts. Of course, by taking personal sports (swimming, golf etc.), major team sports, and sports of a racket and so on,, students can not only maintain and increase their physical fitness but also experience the fun and exhilaration of working up a sweat together with fellow students. Each exercise course is worth one-third of a credit, and up to six courses (or 2 credits) can be included as electives in the credits required for graduation. (However, fractions of credits will be rounded down.)




To obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree, ICU students must earn at least 136 credits.

Under Japanese Language Program Students

  •  For JLP, students must achieve at least 35 credits.

  • For General Education, students must achieve at least 15 credits. 

  • For Physical Education, students must achieve at least 2 credits.

  • For Specialised Course (Foundation Courses and the Courses taken under your Major), students must achieve at least 84 credits. 

Note: Credit requirements under JLP and Specialised Courses vary according to the student's language proficiency. ELA students have different criteria for course credits, hence do consult us if you want to know more information on that! 


International Christian University (ICU) is located in Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan.

For more information, check out ICU's main website

Or consult with our Educational Consultants if you have any confusions!