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About FLA

Educational Policy

The Faculty’s academic programs are designed to equip graduates with flexible and critical thinking, linguistic abilities, and cultural skills necessary to take the lead in bridging differences and promoting understanding in today’s increasingly multicultural and complex world.Diversity in the FLA student body, comprised of over fifty nationalities, including students educated at Japanese and international high schools in Japan, as well as both degree students and exchange students from abroad, provides an ideal environment for achieving the FLA’s educational mission of humanity, history and the world can equip students with the practical skills and broad perspective that are essential in this age of globalization.


The FLA offers an English-language liberal arts curriculum which enables students to acquire a strong academic foundation and intellectual orientation before selecting a disciplinary major. During the freshman year, students are required to take “core courses” which train them thoroughly in critical thinking skills as well as in writing and public speaking skills. From the second year onward, the FLA curriculum requires students to choose a major from among three broad areas, comparative culture, international business and economics, and social studies, and to study that field in close connection with neighboring disciplines. In the junior and senior years, students take advanced courses in their selected major, while continuing to take courses outside their major. This interdisciplinary orientation is designed to foster students’ ability to approach issues from multiple perspectives.

Core Program

The FLA Core Program comprises a set of required courses for degree students. These courses include a sequence of composition courses, a public speaking course, and a course in critical thinking. Before the beginning of classes in both the spring and autumn semesters, all incoming students take a placement test to determine where in the sequence of Core Program courses they will begin. Students are expected to complete Core Program requirements during their first and second years of study. The Core Program serves several purposes within the FLA curriculum. Besides developing the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed at the college level, the Core Program curriculum helps students grasp the expansive and interdisciplinary nature of a liberal arts education and, through a close engagement with a wide range of texts and topics, prepares them for choosing a major field of study. The learning goals and objectives of the Core Program emphasize the development of clear, effective, and critical communication in both speaking and writing, as well as the habits of mind that foster integrative thinking and the ability to transfer knowledge and skills from one setting to another. The small size of classes in the Core Program also allows for close interaction between instructor and students as well as among the students themselves. In discussion groups, in peer reading and writing activities, and in other activities, students are encouraged to raise critical questions and to reflect on their interpretations and ideas. Such critical examination in the context of academically rigorous courses prepares students for successful futures and lifelong learning.

To see course descriptions, please click the link below, which will take you the Syllabus Inquiry page on Loyola.

FLA Writing Center

The Writing Center offers writing assistance for all students in the Faculty of Liberal Arts. Whether the student is working on an essay in one of the required courses in the Core Program or a research paper in an advanced course in the student’s chosen major, the tutors at the Writing Center can help. Tutorials can be scheduled Monday through Friday during class hours. These tutorials, mainly conducted by graduate students in the Graduate Program in Global Studies, are given on an individual basis, providing students with an opportunity to examine their ideas and arguments with an accomplished writer. Students can then revise their written work to satisfy the requirements of the assignment. In addition to individual tutorials, the Writing Center offers several workshops each semester, focusing on topics such as grammar, the principles of academic writing, and documenting sources. You will be introduced to the Writing Center at the beginning of your first semester and its helpful services will be available to you throughout your college career.

General Studies

General Studies (GS) courses allow students to study beyond a specialized area, facilitating interdisciplinary understanding of academic fields and reflection upon fundamental human and social issues. The scope of courses is broad, and, in addition to Studies in Christian Humanism, Language, Health and Physical Education, offers GS distribution courses in three categories: The Legacy of the Past, Cultural Traditions, and The Contemporary World. Furthermore, the various Elective Courses allow students to acquire a solid foundation in Computer Studies, Environmental Issues, Geography, Mathematics and Statistics.

To see course descriptions, please click the link below, which will take you the Syllabus Inquiry page on Loyola.

Three Majors

Comparative Culture

Comparative Culture (CC) is an interdisciplinary major in the humanities focusing on the fields of Art History/Visual Culture, Literature, and Religion and Philosophy. Dealing with a variety of cultural traditions, Art History/Visual Culture covers all fields of art and visual culture, such as architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, film, and mass media. The field of Literature explores the epics, novels, poetry, theatrical works, and other genres produced in a variety of cultures. Religion and Philosophy focuses on understanding the philosophical and religious orientations of different cultures as expressed in myths, philosophical and religious texts, the arts, rituals, and ethical practices. Many of the courses in the three fields of study share overlapping themes and interests. In particular, all three fields focus on understanding how peoples of different cultural traditions have attempted to understand themselves as well as those of other cultures. In addition, Comparative Culture focuses on developing students’ skills in critical reading and writing as well as in interpreting their own and other cultures. Comparative Culture thus aims to prepare students for a range of career tracks and life situations in an age that is increasingly marked by globalization, the encounter of different cultures, and the emergence of multi-cultural societies and workplaces.

To see course descriptions, please click the link below, which will take you the Syllabus Inquiry page on Loyola.

International Business and Economics

The International Business and Economics (IBE) major offers a unique opportunity for students to study both business and economics in a single major. The IBE program allows students to develop the strong skill sets required for employment in a wide range of fields. Students first build solid foundations by taking fundamental courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, management, marketing, accounting and statistics and then acquire advanced knowledge and skills in the area of their interest with courses such as internationaltrade, international finance, financial management, industrial organization and consumer behavior. Class lectures often involve in-class discussions, group assignments, and frequent interactions with students of diverse backgrounds from all over the world. The program thus enables students to experience a fully international, multicultural environment, which in turn allows them to make the smooth transition from college education to the international workplace. In addition, the flexible nature of the FLA program allows students to immerse themselves in classes outside of IBE – such as anthropology and religion – while taking up a foreign language and/or studying in other faculties at Sophia.

To see course descriptions, please click the link below, which will take you the Syllabus Inquiry page on Loyola.

Social Studies

Social Studies is a core component of any liberal arts curriculum. The Social Studies major comprises three concentrations – History, Political Science, and Anthropology-Sociology. It seeks to give students a deeper understanding of the social, political, and cultural environment in which they live, and to liberate them from being bound to their immediate milieu. Students majoring in Social Studies receive training in a wide range of job-relevant skills, including analytic reading, writing, logical thinking, data gathering, presentation, discussion, and group work. However, the main purpose of the Social Studies major is not to train students in technical skills. It is rather to encourage students to reflect upon the customs, principles, institutions, and values which inform the societies they live in, and to contribute to their betterment. Students majoring in Social Studies are required to choose a primary field and a secondary field from the three concentrations available within the major. Major courses build systematically, from introductory lectures to advanced, small-sized seminars. The curriculum emphasizes fostering intellectual curiosity, encouraging independent research, and exposure to a variety of perspectives.

To see course descriptions, please click the link below, which will take you the Syllabus Inquiry page on Loyola.