The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences consists of four departments: Social and Human Studies, Language and Culture, Law, and Economics. The Faculty employs more than 90 full-time teachers. The Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, incorporating all these departments, also offers a variety of study programs.
Shizuoka University is located near the ocean and provides commanding views of the city of Shizuoka, the Southern Alps, Mt. Fuji, and Suruga Bay. The climate is mild.
One aim of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences is to create and maintain a symbiotic union between students and society, a union we trust will help us face and overcome the problems of the 21st century.
- Department of Social and Human Studies
- Department of Language and Culture
- Department of Law
- Department of Economics
Department of Social and Human Studies
In the Department of Social and Human Studies, we approach the study of human beings from a variety of viewpoints. We study mankind’s thoughts, activities, mind, livelihood, history, and society from a time deep in the past to the present age—and in all parts of the world. Our focus ranges from a single individual to enormous organizations. For us, fieldwork and experimenting are of the utmost importance.
Our department provides students with study in five disciplines: Philosophy and Ethics, Sociology, Cultural Anthropology, Psychology, and History and Archaeology.
Philosophy and Ethics
Philosophy and Ethics attempt to answer questions such as “How do we know if the world around us really exists?”, “How should we allocate scarce medical resources?”, “How can Buddhist training lead to the end of human suffering?” In order for students to find and justify their own answers, we provide them with opportunities to encounter great works on philosophy and ethics and to discuss them critically.
Sociology is a discipline that reveals what is going on in contemporary human society. We offer an educational program on methodology (social research methods) for empirical study of diverse social phenomena. Topics studied in the field of sociology include media, culture, family, welfare, gender, education, labor and local communities.
Cultural Anthropology is a discipline based upon ethnographic works. With fieldwork in a particular locale, we get close to “others” and learn their ways of living. We learn about their thoughts, practices, human relationships, and relationships with non-humans. Through these bodily experiences in the field, we perceive various ways of living in human societies, reconsider our common sense, and explore our own potential to live differently from who we are now.
Psychology is the scientific understanding of mental activity and its mechanisms. Mental activity occurs in various forms, for example, consciously, unconsciously, or behaviorally. The study of mental functions and mechanisms enables observation of oneself and others from various viewpoints. The joy of studying psychology comes in the discovery of a new understanding of human beings.
History and Archaeology
History and Archaeology is the study and understanding of the human past. To clarify past human experiences and episodes, historians study historic documents, while archaeologists study cultural remains, thinking about their meanings in current society. Study in these disciplines offer students the opportunity to study a broad range of historical issues in Japanese history, world history, and archeology, while using a variety of sources and materials.
In our department, more than 20 full-time faculty members provide small-group education for a total of 250 undergraduate students. It is our sincere wish that we produce graduates who can think freely from unique viewpoints and who can, armed with concrete knowledge and correct judgment, play active roles in society.
Our department considers it very valuable for students to go outside the university, communicate with the people in the local community, find problems related to their own interests, explore them, and find their own solutions. Learning through on-site observation, interviews with local people, and fieldwork data collection and sharing their findings constitute a key element of our educational program.
Department of Language and Culture
The Department of Language and Culture offers six different study programs to its students. Four of these programs focus on particular countries and cultures: the Japanese Language and Culture Program, the Asian Language and Culture Program, the British/American Language and Culture Program, and the European Language and Culture Program. In these four area-based programs, students develop proficiency in the main language, or one of the main languages, of their particular area (for example, English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Korean), while also studying that particular area’s literature, arts, performance arts, media, and/or ways of thinking. In the two other programs, the Comparative Literature and Culture Program, and the Linguistics Program, students focus on either 1) literature and culture, or 2) linguistics. In these two programs, students can put together a course of study that includes a variety of countries and regions, thus allowing them to carry out comparative studies of the literature and culture or the languages of more than one of the different areas.
Each program offers a large number of classes for students to choose from, enabling students to delve deeply into their main field of study, but the department’s curriculum also permits students to complement study in their main program with study in the other programs, thus allowing them to broaden their knowledge as they choose.
Core classes are further divided into three different types: 1) introductory classes, 2) language-acquisition classes, and 3) common classes for all department students. In their first year, students take introductory classes in both literature and linguistics. Throughout their four years, they have opportunities to develop their own language ability in English and other languages, through both regular classwork in our department and optional study-abroad programs. Also over their four years, the “common” classes allow them to find new areas of interest and to broaden their knowledge.
In specialty classes, students gradually deepen their knowledge of a particular area. In their first and second years, students take classes that provide an “outline” of a particular program’s field of study, as well as basic reading classes in particular areas. In their third and fourth years, students take more advanced reading classes and seminars related to their primary interests. Also, in their third years, students begin to study regularly in a small group of students with the advisor they choose (this group is called zemi, in Japanese). In their third and fourth years, they search out their own research theme, and with the support of their advisor and fellow zemi students, produce a graduation thesis.
Department of Law
The Department of Law, through studies ranging from jurisprudence to politics, develops students’ ability to understand phenomena in modern society and to find solutions to problems. What hinders our ability to realize the right granted to each of us to freely pursue happiness in peace? We help students develop the intellectual capacity to find answers to such questions in their four years of academic life. Our aim, overall, is to help qualify the graduates of the Department of Law for various positions within the broad field of the legal profession, ranging from law specialists and government officials, such as judges, public prosecutors, lawyers, judicial scriveners and licensed tax accountants, to positions in various kinds of private enterprises.
A team of 20 full-time teachers with a variety of research interests allows for a comprehensive 4-year program of education. One of the unique features of the department’s curriculum is small-group study being combined with lecture-type study over the entire four years of the program. Students take freshman seminar and a basic seminar in the first-year, specialized seminars in the second and third years, before carrying out graduation thesis research in the final year. Freshman seminar and the basic seminar are conducted in groups of approximately fifteen students, and the specialized seminars in groups of approximately ten students. With the guidance of the teaching staff, students acquire expertise knowledge and nurture their skills in giving reports, participating in discussion, and writing research papers. The chart below outlines themes taken up in the different seminars.
|Small-group subjects||Major Specialized Subjects|
|Year 4||Graduation research||Administrative remedy law, civil procedure law, criminal procedure law, labor law, social security law, taxation law, criminal justice, insurance law, economic law, public administration, family law, comparative politics, internship|
|Year 3||Specialized Seminar II|
|Year 2||Specialized Seminar I||Human rights, penal code, philosophy of law, contract law, corporation law, administrative law, international law, political thought, legal history, international politics, international relations, internship|
|Year 1||Freshman Seminar||Overview of constitution, governing structure, overview of human rights, introduction to law, introduction to civil law, introduction to criminal law, introduction to political science.|
For those who cannot attend school during regular daytime hours, our department also has a four-year night program in jurisprudence and politics (30 students per year). The department also allows transfer to the daytime program in the third year (up to 5 students) and to the night program in the second and third years (up to 5 students).
Department of Economics
The Department of Economics has more than 25 teachers. Their diverse expertise includes finance, economic policy, trade, international finance, labor, social policy, environmental economics, and corporate management and accounting. Expertise covers not only Japan, but extends to Asia and North America and Europe as well. Our department is one of the few in Japan that covers such a wide range of topics in economics and business administration. We also place importance on both IT education and small-group education throughout the four years of study.
Both students and teaching staff are eager to find solutions to the mountainous pile of social and economic problems. We believe that it is the mission of our department to produce graduates with the abilities and skills needed to succeed in a rapidly changing era.
Our students can study in three different fields: Theory and Information, Economy and Policy, and Business and Economy. We also offer a four-year night school undergraduate degree for working adults.
Theory and Information
Study in this field aims to provide students with the theoretical knowledge necessary to think logically through a variety of issues related to a complicated economy, and to develop their ability to analyze statistical data, an ability more and more in demand by both government and business.
With the aim stated above, we have established a systematic program in which students are introduced, in their first year, to economic theory, statistical information, mathematics for economics; and then move on, in the following years, to study microeconomics, macroeconomics, industrial organization, international economics, information economics, statistics, economic statistics, quantitative economics, social economics, and economic information processing.
Economy and Policy
The global society in the 21st century throws a variety of challenges at us, one after another, including environmental issues and the global-wide widening gap between rich and poor. Study in this field aims to nurture students’ abilities to formulate policies to solve such problems.
Students develop their capacity to understand, both globally and historically, the problems that both the world and Japan face, acquire the necessary “literacy”—ability in languages and ability using IT tools—and develop the capacity to apply abstract knowledge to real problems.
Business and Economy
Study in this field helps students acquire both the wide array of knowledge related to corporate economy and the ability to accurately use that knowledge to analyze a variety of conditions—so that they can help develop our society and the public welfare. We aim to develop students who can, as IT and globalization advance rapidly, provide visions for future corporations and organizational management.
Our graduates are likely to work at private corporations at home and overseas, for national and local governments, as consultants in think tanks, or to work as certified accountants, tax accountants, and management consultants. They also have an option to go to graduate school.