Overview of General Education at the University

At Hitotsubashi University, professional education in each discipline begins in the student’s first year. There is no such thing as a liberal arts department. On the other hand, because the university recognizes that the liberal arts foster a foundation for critical thinking, students may take various courses in the liberal arts in tandem with classes in their chosen fields of study in a systematic fashion over four years until they graduate. As many of these liberal arts courses can be taken regardless of a student’s field of study or year in college, they are referred to as “university general education courses.”

The university’s general education curriculum consists of six disciplines: Foreign Languages, Mathematics, Science & IT, Physical & Sporting Culture, Humanities, Career Development, and Seminars. While Hitotsubashi University extols its virtues as a social sciences research university, it is also important for students to come in contact with such traditional disciplines as the natural sciences and humanities, which do not fall within the “social sciences.” Hitotsubashi University’s administrators also recognize that students need to exercise their bodies and get knowledge about Physical & Sporting Culture. Thus, some disciplines require that students take courses from Sports & Culture.

The Foreign Languages discipline includes many required courses. PACE, an English language skill course, is required for all first-year students so that they may acquire the English language ability needed to succeed in the global era. Moreover, in the Faculties of Law and Social Sciences, a second foreign language is also required, with students having to choose German, French, Chinese, Russian, Korean, or Spanish (there is special Japanese language curriculum for international students). Students in the Faculty of Commerce and Management and the Faculty of Economics may also take these foreign languages in accordance with their interests. Elective subjects include Arabic, Latin, and Greek. All foreign languages can be learned step-by-step from elementary to intermediate to advanced levels.

Most lectures in the Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Physical & Sporting Culture are elective courses and, depending on their interests, students can continue on from basic to advanced studies. Students can also further deepen their learning by taking such à la carte seminars as “Introduction to Essential Texts” and “Readings in Sciences”. Seminars include “Seminar(General Education)”, which is open to all students, and “Seminar(Liberal Arts)”the General Seminar, which is open to juniors and seniors. Students taking the latter seminar are able to take classes intensively in a field of study of personal interest for a two-year period.

In the Career Development curriculum, free lectures are offered through the robust support of the Josuikai, Hitotsubashi University’s alumni association. This curriculum includes comprehensive career development support and education through dialogues with social workers and business leaders active on the front lines of their respective professions.

Under the rules for registration, global exchange courses for overseas and international exchange students (HGP curriculum) are not included in the general education curriculum. However, these can be considered common “general” education subjects that any student can take as needed.

General education courses are valuable in that students can acquire a broad range of knowledge that goes beyond their respective fields of study and—at the same time—interact with other students across departments. As you put together your schedule, it is our hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity to broaden your horizons.

However, course rules vary somewhat depending on curriculum classification and department, so please refer to registration materials for more information.