HOME > Educatin >Undergraduate Program > Curriculum

print

Introduction of Curriculum

The undergraduate curriculum is divided into five major subject categories: language, area, special, general, and free subjects, and subjects for the teaching profession. Each category is subdivided into major language subjects, basic area subjects, and others according to the content of the classes. Each group of subjects consists of classes held by separate teachers. The minimum number of credits required for graduation is set for four of the major categories: language, area, special, and general subjects.

Language Subjects

Language subjects aim at allowing students to master two or more languages, including the one in which they major, acquire the ability to use them, and learn about the diversity of language, thereby obtaining a deep understanding of language and culture. Language subjects are divided into two categories: subjects directly related to the student's major language (for non-module majors, second-half major language subjects are also available), and minor language subjects and research language subjects, both of which students can choose freely.

Major language subjects

(Non-module majors)

If students choose to major in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Korean, or Japanese when applying for entrance examinations, they are required to earn 12 credits (six 90-minute classes a week for a total of 540 minutes) from major language subjects in each of their first and second years (international students majoring in Japanese, however, are required to earn 16 credits in their first year). The decision of whether students majoring in a non-module major language will be allowed to advance from the first to second year is made based on their performance in these subjects. Performance is also a requirement for determining whether students will be allowed to advance from the second to third year. Studies of eight languages other than English and Japanese start with pronunciation and the writing system, leading students nearly to the middle-class grammar level in two years. Studies of English start on the assumption that students have already acquired a level of fluency. Students majoring in Japanese complete the courses under a different system.

(Module majors)

If students choose to major in Polish, Czech, Mongolian, Indonesian, Malaysian, Filipino (Tagalog), Thai, Laotian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Burmese, Urdu, Hindi, Arabic, Persian, or Turkish when applying for entrance examinations, they need to earn a minimum of 28 credits from major language subjects in order to graduate. If they earn 28 credits or more, they can use up to 12 excess credits as credits required for graduation. Ninety-minute weekly classes held during one half-year semester are counted as one unit, and categories of study (grammar, composition, conversation, reading comprehension, etc.) and levels of ability (I, II, III, etc.) are allocated to each unit. If students complete one unit of classes and have reached the target ability level at the end of the semester, they earn one credit. The existing system of allowing students to advance from one year to the next according to their performance is not adopted for module majors, but as with non-module major languages, students are expected to study their module major language intensively in their first and second years in order to reach the middle-class grammar level or higher and advance to upper-level training in the third and fourth years. This requires solid planning with four years of study in mind.

Second-half major language subjects(For non-module majors)

Non-module major language subjects studied in the third and fourth years are designed to teach all four language skills (reading, listening, speaking, and writing) in a well-balanced manner. Students are required to earn four credits (equivalent to credits for two subjects if counted based on the number of classes held in one year) from these subjects. These subjects are not offered to students majoring in Japanese; those students study under a different system. Neither are they offered to students majoring in module major languages, although similar classes are incorporated into their major language subjects.

Minor language subjects

During the four-year undergraduate period, students are required to learn as a minor language at least one foreign language other than the one in which they major. The reason the languages offered in this category are called "minor languages" is that these subjects, along with major language subjects, aim at enabling students to reach practical levels in the use of the languages. They are considered important in the undergraduate curriculum. Most of the languages chosen are used as official languages by the United Nations and other international organizations.
After entering the university, students can freely choose one or more minor language from among the subjects offered (some classes accept only students who take certain courses of study, or only a limited number of students). Students need to earn eight credits as a requirement for graduation by completing both Courses A and B for each minor language (English Course C is optional).

English A (middle class) English B (advanced class) English C (specialist class)
German A (beginner's class) German B (advanced class)  
French A (beginner's class) French B (advanced class)
Italian A (beginner's class) Italian B (advanced class)
Spanish A (beginner's class) Spanish B (advanced class)
Russian A (beginner's class) Russian B (advanced class)
Chinese A (beginner's class) Chinese B (advanced class)
Korean A (beginner's class) Korean B (advanced class)
Arabic A (beginner's class) Arabic B (advanced class)

Research language subjects

Certain module major language classes are offered as "research language classes." Since research language subjects target all undergraduate students in their second year or higher (some can be studied in the third year or later), students majoring in a given language can study as many other languages as they wish (the number of students in some language classes, however, is limited). Credits gained from these subjects are not included in the number of credits from compulsory subjects required for graduation but in the number of credits required for graduation as part of the credits from free subjects.

Other available languages

Besides the above languages, students can learn the languages listed below as part of their special linguistic studies. Credits earned from studying these languages can be included in the number of credits required for graduation as part of the credits from special or free subjects.

Latin, Greek, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Esperanto, Romanian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Pali, Bengalese, Malayalam, Hebrew, Armenian, and Sanskrit

Area Subjects

Area subjects are designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of the area closely related to their major language. Since the official languages of various countries are basically chosen as the major languages at TUFS, students tend to regard each country as a complete area with a single language. In fact, however, a number of languages are spoken in some countries, and one language is sometimes used in several different countries. Thus the area covered by a given language does not necessarily correspond to a particular country or culture. As well, sometimes the issues a particular area faces require a framework of study that covers a wider area. In principle, taking this diversity into consideration, separate area subjects are offered for each course of study.

Basic area subjects

Basic area subjects are designed to allow students to obtain a basic and comprehensive understanding of the culture and society of a particular area from various viewpoints, including language, ethnicity, history, politics, economy, and the arts. These subjects are studied in the first and second years. In order to advance to the third year, students must earn eight credits or more from these subjects by the time they complete their second year.

Special area subjects

In these subjects, studied in the third and fourth years (some can be studied in the second year), students learn about linguistic, cultural, social, and other issues, a process required for moving forward in specialized area studies from a broad point of view. Students need to earn 12 or more credits from these subjects for graduation. In addition, they can study-as part of free studies-special area subjects offered outside the course of study (major language) they take and count the credits thus earned as part of the credits required for graduation.

Special Subjects

As already mentioned in the sections about TUFS's educational system, students choose one of three courses of study―language and information studies, culture and literary studies, or area and international studies―to learn methodologies for academic research in a systematic way. Special subjects constitute the core of each course of study. They include linguistics, phonetics, philosophy, cultural anthropology, political science, and economics―branches of learning that enable students to study a wide range of liberal arts and social sciences in a systematic way starting with the fundamentals. They also include studies of individual languages such as English and Korean and methods for teaching those languages, as well as studies of literature in various countries and those of politics, economics, society, and history in various areas.
All full-time teachers from the Faculty of Foreign Studies offer classes in these subjects. In principle, they hold three types of classes: lectures, seminars (mainly for third-year students) and seminars for graduation theses. Lecturers in particular areas of expertise are invited from outside as necessary.

Basic special subjects

Students learn basic matters required for moving forward with their studies in each course of study. The acceptable performance of students in these subjects is a requirement for making a final decision on the course of study they choose in their third year. A minimum of 12 credits are required for graduation. In addition, in order to advance to the course of study they desire, students must earn four credits or more from basic special subjects, which correspond to the course of study, by the time they complete the second-year courses.

Advanced special subjects

These subjects are open for each course of study. Students take these subjects in their third and fourth years after they choose the course of study they prefer (some subjects can be taken in the second year). A minimum of 20 credits are required for graduation, and students need to earn four credits from seminars for graduation theses or those for graduation research. They can study, as part of the free studies, subjects for advanced special subjects offered outside the course of study they take and include those credits as part of the credits required for graduation.

Graduation theses and graduation research

Starting with those who matriculated in 2000, TUFS has required students to write a graduation thesis or conduct graduation research, either of which is counted as eight credits. This change was in response to the diversification of intellectual production-previously limited to academic essays-in the age of computerization and the emergence of new types of intellectual production, such as visual works and computer software. Another aim is to provide students with a guideline for studying diligently with a clear sense of purpose. For this reason, after they make a final decision in their third year on the course of study they want to pursue, students begin to take seminars held by the teacher from whom they are to receive guidance in writing their graduation thesis or conducting graduation research, thus starting to receive guidance from an early stage.

General Subjects

In their first to fourth year, students are required to earn ten credits or more from general subjects I to VIII.
Apart from these subjects, the required subject "Information Literacy" is offered in the first year. The objective of Information Literacy is to understand the basics of computers and the Internet and acquire basic information processing abilities.
Another similar required subject is "Basic Sports and Physical Exercise (physical training)," from which students need to earn two credits or more in their first to third year (scheduled and intensive courses are available). Basic Sports and Physical Exercise is an important subject to develop techniques for and acquire knowledge of various sports, maintain and promote physical, mental, and social health, and acquire a foundation for enjoying sports throughout one's life.

Free Subjects

Students voluntarily choose free subjects in their second to fourth year according to their interest and needs, irrespective of the language in which they major and the course of study they take. If they study special area subjects and advanced special subjects offered in other major language courses or other courses of study, these subjects are registered as free subjects. Students can include up to twelve credits earned from these subjects in the number of credits required for graduation.

Subjects for Teaching Profession

Currently, TUFS's Faculty of Foreign Studies allows students to qualify for obtaining a teacher's license for most of the major languages and subjects taught, including English, Japanese, geography, history, and civics at senior high school, and social studies at junior high school (first-class senior high school teacher's license and first-class junior high school teacher's license).
In order to obtain a junior high school or senior high school teacher's license, in addition to earning a prescribed number of credits from subjects related to those which they will teach, students are required to study subjects related to the teaching profession. Some of those subjects are not included in the subjects described above and are offered strictly as subjects for the teaching profession. In principle, credits earned from these subjects are not recognized as credits required for graduation.

Advancing to Upper Levels

TUFS uses the performance of students in required subjects, including major language subjects, to decide whether to allow them to advance from the first to second year and from the second to third year. Students need to pay attention because non-module major students advance to upper levels under a different system from that for module major students.
In order to advance from the first to second year, non-module major students are required to earn twelve credits from major language subjects in the first year. In order to advance from the second to third year, they need to earn eight credits or more from basic area subjects in the second year in addition to twelve credits from major language subjects. Furthermore, in order to decide on the course of study to take, students have to earn four credits or more from basic special subjects required for their desired course of study. Since twelve credits for major language subjects are granted collectively, students repeating their first or second year are required to study all major language subjects again in the following year.
For module major students, on the other hand, there is no requirement for advancing to an upper level in terms of major language subjects. Two of the requirements for non-module major students, however, also apply to module major students. One is that they need to earn eight credits or more from basic area subjects in order to advance from the second to third year. The other is that in order to decide on the course of study to take, they have to earn four credits or more from basic special subjects required for their desired course of study.
Both non-module and module major students can advance from the third to fourth year irrespective of whether they have earned credits. Some subjects, however, such as lectures and seminars by teachers responsible for guiding students in writing a graduation thesis or conducting graduation research, are designated as ones that should be studied in the third year in order to write a graduation thesis or conduct graduation research in the fourth year.

Get Adobe Reader
Plug-in
Download Adobe Reader
to view, print and collaborate on PDF files.