April 1994 College of Policy Science established
April 1997 Master's Program in Graduate School of Policy Science established
April 1999 Doctoral Program in Graduate School of Policy Science established

Successive Deans of the College and Graduate School of Policy Science

Dean of the College of Policy Science

April 1994 - March 1996 YAMAGUCHI, Yasushi Professor
April 1996 - March 1998 SHIBATA, Hirofumi Professor
April 1998 - March 2001 IWAMI, Toshikatsu Professor
April 2001 - March 2003 MIZUGUCHI, Norihito Professor
April 2003 - MURAYAMA, Hiroshi Professor

Dean of the Graduate School of Policy Science

April 1997 - March 1998 MIYAMOTO, Kenichi Professor
Since April 1998 Dean of the College holds the post

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Educational Philosophy and Objective of College of Policy Science


The major objective of the College of Policy Science is to nurture students who can assess problems and work out the right solutions for them. It is very controversial what "problems" or "solutions" exist in this society, where there are many problems and solutions. Social science started originally and now is developing as a problem-solving-oriented science, which is based on objective analyses of social structures and laws of general social growth. Contemporary society faces drastic changes on a global scale. That fact was the impetus for developing policy science as a new field of social science, one that reverts to the original purpose of social science -- problem assessment and solutions in order to review social structure and the laws of general social growth.

In this college, students can learn basic approaches to identify and solve problems, and the methodologies and processes necessary to create workable policies. Accordingly, policy science does not necessarily offer professional skills and techniques. What is more important is to stimulate the desire to solve various issues and foster "policy-making mindedness" among students.

Grasp problems and form purposes

What should be done in order to solve problems is firstly to grasp the core of problems and clarify a direction for solving problems. The process is affected largely by individual values and historic viewpoints. While at present there are various values that should be respected, in this college students are expected to deepen an understanding of global environments, peace, democracy, human rights and coexistence. In addition, it is essential to develop practical understanding to grasp what the problem is so that students are required to experience not only the study of texts but also case study and fieldwork.

Learn methodologies

Solving problems includes the process of collecting information, analyzing it, thinking of practical solutions, making a decision, putting it into practice and evaluating the results. For this purpose, students need to learn various skills in a general sense. First, in order to grasp issues from a global perspective and propel policy based on an understanding of international society, students are required to improve their skills in using foreign languages. Second, in order to exchange information and communicate regardless of nationality, place, and time, skills of information technology are indispensable to them. Third, students are required to learn the skill of pursuing practical solutions through summarizing ideas, explaining their own opinion (presentation) and discussing with those who have different ideas (debate). Thus, an important objective of the College of Policy Science is to acquire these skills as well.

Participatory Policy Maker

Although people have a image of policy makers as a competent officials having specific management skills and making policy for the government, we regard policy for citizens as more important. This idea indicates the importance of citizens and students actively committing themselves to and participating in policy-making processes. Similarly, students are expected to actively commit themselves to and participate in their studies.

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1. Courses Offered

1) Placement of Courses Offered

Policy in reality is usually complex. In order to understand policy issues clearly and work out right solutions, students need to acquire basic knowledge and build a broad perspective to observe social phenomena from many angles.

Also, it goes without saying that the ability to communicate is essential for students to be engaged in policy-making processes in this society.

Accordingly, the Courses Offered are the subject for acquiring basic knowledge to research professional policies and make practical policies.

2) Courses in General Subjects and Courses in Basic Subjects

We encourage students to build a board perspective towards society, humanity and nature in the Courses in General Subjects, and to acquire knowledge of social science in the Courses in Basic Subjects. We hardly aim for a society in which technocrats make policy. Only those who combine specialist skills and an understanding of culture can be deemed competent for the position of policy-makers. We hope that you will understand our belief from the aim of the establishment of those subjects and then study well.

"Introductory Policy Science" in the Courses Offered is a subject that offers the methods to harmonize much knowledge and information with a discipline of the College of Policy Science. This subject takes a central part as "a compass" and you will put a ship to "the grand ocean", that is, to learn policy.

"Introductory Policy Science" is closely related with contents and methods of Basic Introductory Seminar which students will take at the same time. We hope that you will make the best use of what you study in this subject for Basic Introductory Seminar and develop a critical mind through the study of this subject. The college provides more detailed syllabuses on all subjects. We would like you to look at the syllabuses for further information on the interrelationship of subjects.

3) Courses in Computer Science

We regard subjects of information as courses in language and technique in the Courses in Computer Science because computer literacy becomes indispensable for students.

As "Introduction to Computer I" and "Introductory Computer Science I" are required courses, we assume that all students can acquire the ability to use a computer as an essential tool in studying Policy Science. The courses also make it possible to register subjects systematically such as courses in advanced computer skills so that students can freely choose subjects according to their own interests and needs. We also hope that students are able to effectively use information network systems in this college as a tool. We encourage students not only to learn basic skills but also to acquire rules and manners, which they can utilize in public environments such as network systems.

Concerning introductory required courses, "Introduction to Computer I" is a subject for learning basic computer skills as a tool, and "Introductory Computer Science I" is one for acquiring knowledge of computer science and learning rules.

4) Foreign Language Courses

Without languages, can we recognize society, think matters over, communicate and express our own ideas?

Learning foreign languages in the college means that people objectively and consciously study languages as the basis of study, and that they understand different cultures through studying languages as cultural assets, and finally that they make personal and academic exchanges with foreign countries

In that case, which languages are necessary to study? In this college, we offer courses in the following foreign languages: English, Chinese, German and French.

English, which already has the status of the "international language". Chinese can be clearly understood as important, in terms of cultural, geographical and historical relationships between Japan and China. German and French are also important languages, taking into consideration that those two countries have affected the whole world for over 1,000 years.

Studying foreign languages requires much time and effort. In this college, students can take an intensive language course and learn one language from English, Chinese, German and French. The language courses focus on fostering the four skills of "reading, listening, writing and speaking ". However, the most important thing is self-knowledge and self-expression, which can be achieved by earnest effort in all fields of study.

2. Courses Offered in Areas of Specialization

1) System of Courses Offered in Areas of Specialization

A fundamental subject in the College of Policy Science is the Courses Offered in Areas of Specialization. Freshmen study methods of study in Policy Science through the Basic Introductory Seminar. Sophomores begin to study subjects on policy-making processes (Courses in Policy Process and Organization), whatever policy fields they have interests in. At the same time, as they experience the policy-making process on the spot in "Introduction to Research" and make efforts to give presentations, we expect students to find their special fields. Juniors enroll in the Advanced Seminar and take the "Courses in Policy Process and Organization" and the "Courses in Advanced Policy" which are closely related to their special fields in the Advanced Seminar. Seniors register for the "Advanced Seminar II" in order to generalize the results of their studies for four years.

The following will explain "Basic Introductory Seminar", "Introduction to research", "Advanced Seminar I" and "Advanced Seminar II" assigned to each year.

2) Seminar Courses

1. Basic Introductory Seminar

In the Basic Introductory Seminar, about 35 class students are formed into 5-6 small groups and then members of each group debate problems in policies, taking a specific stand. In the discussion, as students play a role in support of specific policies and dispute with group members who support different policies, they experience how to plan policies and propel them, and understand what they should do in order to realize their objectives. In addition, one of important aims of the course is to understand the process of group work through study within small groups.

In the policy-making process in real society, there are all sorts of different answers according to the interests, situations and concerns of various people and groups, although no right answers may be found. It is natural that "a legislator" may not lead to the right policy and that policy can be formed as a result of organizing people and cooperating together.

In this sense, the Basic Introductory Seminar in the classroom reproduces the situation of conflicts in policy-making processes in society, and offers the opportunities to practice policy-making organization for facing up to conflicts.

The college provides an "office hour" where all of the full-time professors advise on the study. We expect students to make use of this office hour.
"Introduction to Computer I", a required subject, makes it possible for students to become accustomed to using the information networks in this college. As a result, they can continue with discussions in the Basic Introductory Seminar on the networks, and also utilize the networks in preparing for presentations. This emphasizes the practical applied parts of the computer literacy education.

2. Introduction to Research

Different from the Basic Introductory Seminar, the Introduction to Research for sophomores allows students to choose a class according to their interests.

Introduction to Research is divided into a specific project and a general project. The specific project is one the college prepares for research fields outside and within the country. The general project is one where students make plans for research by finding a subject and the method of research by themselves. In each class, small groups with around 10 members are formed, and they set a specific theme of research, make research plans, and summarize the results of this research. The specific project is not largely different in terms of proceeding with independent group work, except that it is hard to change the main direction of research, because outside organizations such as local governments and corporations provide fields for us.

The main point of this course is that every student is actively engaged in independent studies in the group.

Another point of Introduction to Research is to gain "experience in policy-making fields ". The objective is to foster a critical mind, and further offer the opportunities to deepen a specialty of studies after the junior year. Students are expected to broaden the knowledge gained in the freshman year.

The Introduction to Research course aims to foster "policy-making mindedness" through fieldwork and group work.

3. Advanced Seminar I

The Advanced Seminar I provides many themes from specific analysis of policy to the system of policy planning.

The objective of this course is to deepen the students' own academic interests aroused from an accumulation of their studies. We provide two types of seminar. One is a seminar that professors who teach the contents of policy in the Advanced Policy course undertake the task of tutoring students. Another is a seminar that professors who teach policy-making process in Courses in Policy Process and Organization take the job of tutoring students. Students can choose the most interesting field as their own specialty.

4. Advanced Seminar II

The Advanced Seminar II is research guidance to complete theses on outcomes of studies using foreign language skills, computer skills, a broad perspective and professional knowledge fostered through the education of the previous three years.

Though we assume that students write a thesis to show the results of their own research, we also expect them to establish databases that can be made available as materials of research and develop programs useful for other students. These projects can be inherited as intellectual assets of this college for a long time.

3) Courses in Policy Process and Organization

What should be studied about policy can be divided into two parts; contents of policy and policy-making process. It is a difficult task to comprehend everything about policy, and if possible, the study ends in accumulation of miscellaneous knowledge. On the other hand, the Courses in Policy Process and Organization include subjects applied to any policy processes, and offer the necessary knowledge for specialization in policy planning, whatever interests students may have.

The College of Policy Science places this course as a core subject in Courses Offered in Areas of Specialization and this course is at the center of the educational philosophy of the college. Thus, this course represents our objective of fostering a "policy maker " as a generalist.

4) Courses in Advanced Policy

The Courses in Advanced Policy equip students with the core contents of each policy. It is hardly possible to comprehend and teach all the points of present policies. Accordingly, we arrange and focus on important subjects of policies around a period of transition.

We encourage all students to register subjects referring to the syllabus as they discover what fields they are particularly interested in.

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Ritsumeikan University,
College/School of Policy Science

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