Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (ISS) is an academic discipline which aims to shed light on the various phenomena which present themselves in contemporary society, by adopting an interdisciplinary approach where the basic pillars of social sciences – that is, the disciplines of Law, Political Science, Economics and Sociology – are all being applied at the same time.

Undergraduate students majoring in ISS are exposed to the rudiments in each of the aforementioned disciplines; and trained to analyze (1) the structure and dynamics of contemporary society, (2) the creation of value systems for coexistence, and (3) the nature of mechanisms aimed at the resolution of social problems. Based on an issue-oriented approach, the training that students undergo surpasses the conventional boundaries that demarcate specific academic disciplines, and allows students to gain expertise in the subjects of their interests.

The aim of the course major is two-fold: to expand the horizon of research via cross disciplinary approach based upon thorough understanding of each discipline, and to infuse students with a sense of responsible citizenship that allows them to cope with the challenging demands of the current times.


3 Fields of Study 6 Concepts Keywords

Social Dynamics

The emergence of order and conflict in various aspects of human society

Contemporary Global Society

The study of the various difficulties and possibilities faced by globalized human society

Global communities / Borders in a borderless age / Global market economy / Race and ethnicity / Cultural friction and values for peaceful coexistence / War and peace / Poverty / Migration and refugees / Development and aid

The Structure and History of the Public Sphere

The comparative study of structures and ideas of various communities formed by humanity

Foundation of the public / Nation-states formation / Family, gender and generations / Nature and culture within human society / Norms and deviation / Law and justice / Nations and human rights / Healthcare and society / Volunteers and public awarness

Analysis of Contemporary Political Economy

The dynamics, structure, and functions of contemporary industrial society

The Interdependence and Autonomy of States, Markets and Organizations

The study on ‘internal limitations’of contemporary industrial society: the changing nature of the relationship between autonomous versus coercive orders

Dynamics in the market economies and political systems of nation-states / Economic analysis over large areas / Political process and legislation / Law and social regulation / Multi-dimensional welfare society / Linkage between domestic policy and diplomacy / Markets and hierarchies / Political science of cultures / Art of power / Urban policy / Corporative and economic ethnics

Industries and Technologies under the Constraints of the Environment

The study on ‘external limitations’of contemporary industrial society: the problems of resources, environment and population growth, and their effects on human society

The limits to growth / Industrial states in the 21st century / Science & technology / Manufacturing and agriculture / Over-population and under-population / Management of ecology and the environment / Assessment / Recycling / Japan’s population and world population

Information Social Sciences

The modeling, analysis and prediction of uncertain social phenomena with the growing accumulation of data

Information Environment

The study of the macro-level effects of the proliferation of IT on politics, economics and society

The history of the “computational society” / Information society, information industry and information ethics / Culture and communication / Advanced consumer society / Urban cultural dynamics / Markets and information / Mass media / Networking

Data analysis and modeling

The analysis of social phenomena by statistical and mathematical means

High-dimensional, high-frequency and massive data / Quantitative social science / Mathematical models / Social research / Information sampling / Risk and uncertainty


A special characteristic of the Course in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences is that all classes are small in size. This facilitates active interaction between professors and students. The curriculum is comprised of a diverse mix of subjects, and is tailored to meet the specific learning needs or areas of interest of each and every student.

Since 2009 students are permitted to participate in the program organized by the Japan Associate of Social Research(JASR), which, upon successful completion, allows them to obtain a certificate for social researcher upon graduation.

  1. Common Subjects: These are designed with the aim of helping students to acquire basic academic knowledge across a wide range of disciplines. Students can expect to learn the basic foundations of the major social sciences by learning these subjects.
    • Examples: Introduction to Liberal Arts Department I-VI, Statistics, Quantitative Social Science I/II, Law I/II, Political Theories, Economics I/II, Sociological Theories
  2. Course Subjects: Students will receive extensive training in the Interdisciplinary Social Sciences through these classes. Materials taught in these classes will span across the 3 fields and 6 concepts mentioned above.
    • Compulsory Subjects (students are to read at least 3 compulsory subjects): Basics in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences I/II, Studies on Contemporary Society I/II
    • Examples of Elective Course Subjects (Lectures): Studies on Social Thought, Studies on Social Consciousness, Mathematical Social Science, Studies on Social Systems, Legal Studies, Public Philosophy, Public Policy, Socio-economics, Environmental Social Science, Analysis of Local Communities, Analysis of Contemporary Societies, Developmental Economics, Cultural Social Science
    • Examples of Elective Course Subjects (Seminars): Seminar on Modern Sociology, Seminar on Public Philosophy, Seminar on Social Statistics, Seminar on Modern Economics, Seminar on Legal Studies, Seminar on Modern Political Theories, Seminar on Local Communities, Seminar on Environmental Social Science, Seminar on Sociological Theories, Seminar on Gender Studies
  3. Thematic research: Students majoring in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences are strongly encouraged to conduct their own independent research based on a specific theme of interest. The main aim of this exercise is to allow students to pursue, and to acquire a certain level of expertise on a given theme which interests them. Upon having chosen a specific theme, each student will be given specific advice on how to chart a study plan in order to meet the objectives of his or her research.
    • Examples of Specific Themes of Research: The policy process in advanced industrial societies, Policy science, Comparative studies on modern societies and organizations, Environment and everyday life, Wide-region analysis of contemporary economies, Social order, Public philosophy, Contemporary social analysis, Comparitive analysis of communication
  4. Emphasis on First-hand Learning: In our course, strong emphasis is placed on first-hand learning, as we believe that direct experience of the various aspects of real-life society is an absolutely necessary part of a holistic education. In this spirit, we strongly support and advocate the latest developments in social science education. On top of that, we also organize field research, field studies, panel discussions, multimedia education, and lectures conducted by guest speakers who are working members of the society, on a frequent basis.
  5. Honors Thesis: The honors thesis is an especially important criterion for graduation, as it is a measure with which to asses the amount of academic skills and knowledge which students have acquired throughout their 4 years of undergraduate study. Students are given one-to-one advice and guidance by their mentors throughout the entire course of writing their theses. In addition, students receive additional help through the organization of the “honors thesis explanatory session” (in May each year); the distribution of the “honors thesis handbook”; and the organization of honors thesis seminars which are staged on a frequent basis.