Graduate School of International Relations
Educational Missions and Policies

EDUCATIONAL MISSIONS

The Graduate School of International Relations (GSIR) is committed to excellence in graduate training. The GSIR’s general mission is to produce scholars of international relations who can contribute to the better understanding of political, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of globalizing societies with interdisciplinary social-scientific approaches, and professionals in various fields who possess the knowledge and skills rooted in the academic background of international relations to solve problems in international community.

[ Master’s Program ]

The Graduate School of International Relations’ MA program seeks to foster professionals with advanced analytic ability, who can cope with agendas such as building order and peace in the international community, promoting international cooperation and development, and solving the problems of multicultural society, from the interdisciplinary viewpoint based on specialized knowledge and skills of inter-cultural communication. We also emphasize Japanese perspectives on issues in the international community and global perspectives on issues in Japanese society.

[ Doctoral Program ]

The Graduate School of International Relations (GSIR) is committed to excellence in graduate training. The GSIR’s general mission is to produce scholars of international relations who can contribute to the better understanding of political, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of globalizing societies with interdisciplinary social-scientific approaches, and professionals in various fields who possess the knowledge and skills rooted in the academic background of international relations to solve problems in international community.

ADMISSION POLICY

[ Master’s Program ]

The Graduate School of International Relations’ MA Program welcomes applicants who seek to advance their knowledge of international relations, capacity in multicultural communication, and professional knowledge and skills based on an interdisciplinary perspective. It is aimed at enabling them to cope with the agendas such as building order and peace in the international community, promoting international cooperation and development, and solving problems that arise in multicultural society. The MA program also welcomes applicants who wish to pursue careers in fields such as academia, research, journalism, international organizations in both private and government sectors, especially those at the junctures between Japan and the international communities.

[ Doctoral Program ]

The Graduate School of International Relations’ Doctoral Program welcomes applicants who wish to pursue careers as researchers engaging in innovative scholarship at various higher educational and research institutes including universities, and those who are aiming at advanced professional careers which require a relevant academic background and problem-solving capacity in the international arena, including at various international organizations. All students admitted to the program are expected to earn a PhD degree successfully, through enhancing their academic knowledge of international relations, elaborating their capacity in multicultural communication, and developing their professional knowledge and skills based on an interdisciplinary perspective, allowing them to cope with the agendas such as building order and peace in the international community, promoting international cooperation and development, and solving problems that arise in multicultural societies.

CURRICULUM POLICY

[ Master’s Program ]

In order to achieve its education goals, the Master’s Program in the Graduate School of International Relations provides five Programs; Global Governance Program(Japanese-based), International Cooperation and Development Program (Japanese-based), Multicultural Co-existence Program(Japanese-based), Global and Japanese Perspectives Program (GJP) and Global Cooperation Program(GCP). Each program consists of Core Courses, which build the foundations of study of international relations, and Program Courses, which deepen specialized knowledge in a variety of professional fields. In addition, we provide Area Studies, Academic Writing and other Common Courses through which students in all programs can acquire methods and knowledge for their specialized research. Graduate students acquire necessary factual and methodological knowledge through coursework and the Advanced Seminars during which students receive guidance from their advisor. Finally, students complete a Master’s thesis as a synthesis of their course study and their own research. The Master’s thesis is a proof of students’ achievement. Students are expected to demonstrate intellectual interests in international relations and to be able to analyze the research topic based on advanced knowledge. GSIR holds two open colloquiums to support the process of writing the Master’s thesis in which a student can received advice and guidance from professors.

GSIR emphasizes inter-program exchange and cooperation while each program has its particular research subjects and mission. Students from every program, regardless of its basic language, can take Program Courses in other programs as common courses. GSIR has a Curriculum Map to show what courses offer what kinds of competencies in its Diploma Policy. Students are expected to refer to the Map to develop their own study plan. The curriculum for each program is as follows.

(1) Global Governance Program, International Cooperation and Development Program, and Multicultural Co-existence Program (Japanese-based program)

Through Core Courses, students learn foundational knowledge, attitudes, and ways of thinking in international relations across the fields of global governance, international cooperation and development, and multicultural understandings. Program Courses offer opportunities to study specialized knowledge, academic trends, and practical issues in each special field.

The common Program Courses are designed for all programs and Common Courses support students in;

  1. learning academic skills necessary for dealing with source documents,
  2. performing research using both qualitative and quantitative methods,
  3. deepening their understandings of regions and areas in their research topics, and,
  4. acquiring the practical linguistic abilities for their research.
(2) Global and Japanese Perspectives Program (GJP) (English-based program)

Through Core Courses, students learn foundational knowledge, attitudes, and ways of thinking in international relations. Core Courses include GJP Platform courses. Students whose first language is not English learn methods of English communication for studying international relations through GJP Platform (E). Students whose first language is not Japanese can acquire an introductory knowledge of Japan studies while studying academic usage of Japanese through the GJP Platform (J). Program Courses offer opportunities to study specialized knowledge, academic trends, and practical issues in each particular field. Program Courses in GJP include Japanese-based courses which help students to reinforce their specialized knowledge in Japanese.

The common Program Courses designed for all programs and Common Courses are as shown in (1) above.

(3) Global Cooperation Program (GCP) (English-based program)

Through Core Courses, students learn foundational knowledge, attitudes, and ways of thinking in international relations. Program Courses offer opportunities to study specialized knowledge, academic trends, and practical issues in each special field. The GCP’s curriculum includes Professional Training and other courses for professionals in which students can participate in practical projects in the fields of international development and cooperation.

The common Program Courses designed for all programs and Common Courses are as shown in (1) above.

[ Doctoral Program ]

GSIR’s Doctoral Program offers a curriculum designed to achieve its educational mission.

Graduate students in the doctoral program are expected to make presentations in academic meetings, publish research articles in academic journals, and combine them into a dissertation as a result of their research. A requirement to submit the dissertation is to publish 3 or more academic papers on the research topic. The dissertation is required to be an academic work which demonstrates a high degree of specialization and creativity, which seeks to deepen insight into academic knowledge and renovate its framework from the interdisciplinary viewpoint of international relations. The Doctoral program provides a compulsory course, Kenkyu Shido Enshu (Academic Guidance Seminar), to nurture student’s academic competence and support them in carrying out their research plan.

DIPLOMA POLICY

The Graduate School of International Relations (GSIR), as an institution for interdisciplinary studies of international relations, seeks to develop advanced capabilities for expanding the frontier of the academics and foster professional personnel who meet social demands with practical ability and advanced knowledge of international relations. To meet these aims, GSIR sets four areas of competency which students have to acquire during the program.

Master’s program: the four competencies are deemed acquired when students earn necessary credits according to the curriculum policy and curriculum map and fulfill the all requirements for completing the master’s thesis.

Doctoral program: the four competencies are deemed acquired when students earn credits from research guidance by their advisor and fulfill all the requirements for the dissertation and its defense examination.

When students fulfill the above requirements, the Doctoral program awards them the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

1. Interest, motivation, and attitude

Students should have broad interests in current conditions in their specialized field and compile their research into an academic paper.

2. Deliberation and judgment

Students should be able to analyze issues in international relations based on an advanced academic knowledge of international relations.

3. Knowledge and understanding

Students should possess an advanced knowledge of their specialized fields and of their particular research area, they are able to use this knowledge in analysis of relevant issues.

4. Skills and expression

Students should possess academic skills such as the ability to understand and analyze a variety of materials and documents, a knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies in the social sciences. They should acquire the practical language abilities to carry out their research and publish the outcomes in appropriate ways.

Students are required to enhance their academic knowledge of international relations, expand their capacity in multicultural communication. For completion of the Master’s program, they are also required to submit a Master’s thesis which demonstrates a high-level of specialization and acquire academic skills deserving the Master’s degree. The requirements and criteria of the Master’s thesis are as follows,

Master’s Thesis Requirements and Evaluation Criteria

The thesis must;

  1. fulfill requirements regarding the required number of words.
  2. be formatted appropriately (for example, the sources of diagrams must be noted, appropriate footnotes and citations, etc.).
  3. include an attached abstract.
  4. be sufficiently grounded on previous academic work in the relevant field.
  5. In the case of empirical research: must demonstrate an accurate understanding of the facts. For theoretical research: must contain a well-organized outline of theories and critical review.
  6. be organized appropriately into chapters, sections etc., and show logical consistency (logical development and linkage of each chapter/section)
  7. demonstrate creativity (new points of view and new findings)

  8. be defended through appropriate responses during the oral defense (koto shimon)
Dissertation Requirements and Evaluation Criteria
  1. Requirements in format:
    1. Japanese language: More than 60,000 characters (ji)
    2. English language: More than 30,000 words (excluding footnotes and bibliography)
  2. Academic significance and appropriateness of research theme
  3. Structure: not just collected papers but pursuing one theme as a whole
  4. Survey of relevant previous works
  5. Rational analysis, Empirical analysis: documents and data collection, field research (interview, questionnaire) and statistical procedures
  6. Consistency
  7. Creativity