Graduate School of Social Design Studies

Ikebukuro Campus


Developing individuals with the ability to dynamically create and debate 21st-century society, and to thrive by turning crisis into opportunity


Graduate School of Social Design Studies

Traveling between real situations and research sites with a flexible way of thinking

21st-century society needs individuals that can uncover the problems of civil society, pursue concrete methodologies to find the solutions to these problems, and then realize these solutions. In April 2002, the Rikkyo University Graduate School established the Graduate School of Social Design Studies – Graduate Program in Business Administration Network and Social Organization, the first of its kind in Japan, in an attempt to create a new collection of civil knowledge. The program is a new type of MBA/DBA course which is centered on three pillars: non-profit organizations, crisis management, and networks. With “networks” as a keyword, students can acquire specialized management skills related to comprehensive crisis management for social organizations existing locally and globally (from families and regions to the national/global level), as well as management skills relating to non-profit organizations that take on a new kind of civic-mindedness for the 21st century (NPOs, NGOs, volunteer activities, etc.), corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, and other social or community businesses. The graduate school offers a program to cultivate highly-specialized professionals with a curriculum that places importance on practical, hands-on research activities while maintaining a foundation in theoretical and systematic research (MBA and DBA in Social Design Studies). In addition to our specialist group of around ten members of full-time faculty with diverse backgrounds in work and research, we also promote exchange with people outside of the university, for example by inviting highly knowledgeable experts active in fields such as NPO/NGOs, foundations, government administration, finance, and the media, thereby broadening the possibilities of joint research and collaborative activities outside of the university. A new academic approach is needed to address the situations of new societies. The research framework for this purpose takes a cross-disciplinary structure that cuts across the borders of existing academic fields. In this program, students can travel between real-life situations and research with a flexible way of thinking that is not bound by established theory, and acquire concrete problem-solving skills and experience across various fields. We also fully accommodate working students by providing day and night courses as well as holding Saturday classes, and the program has been designated as an educational training course by the Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare. From April 2007, a doctoral program (DBA in Social Design Studies) was introduced, where we develop scholars and researchers as well.


  • Graduate Program in Business Administration Network and Social Organization [Day and Night Courses]

    Pursuing concrete methodologies to address the issues of 21st-century society—This is Japan’s first graduate school program to use systematization of knowledge and the strength of cooperative networks to address the issues of social management faced by 21st-century society in a practical manner, and pursue concrete methodologies. The doctoral program was established in April 2007, and we also work to cultivate scholars and researchers (the DBA course).

    Making progress focused around three areas of research
    The Graduate School of Social Design Studies is divided into three fields of study: Community Design Studies, which includes research into the non-profit activities, organizational and administrative principles, theory and practice of administration, and CSR activities of NPOs, NGOs, social businesses, and other such organizations; Global Risk Governance, which aims to develop research of comprehensive crisis management principles, methodologies, and skills in 21st-century civil society; and Social Organization Theory, which carries out historical and sociological analytical studies of social organizations created by human beings.

    Support for the research and hands-on activities of students
    While theoretical research serves as the foundation, we also provide guidance that emphasizes practical, empirical research. As such, in addition to full-time teaching faculty members, we also leverage our network of cutting-edge theorists and practitioners outside of the University with sophisticated knowledge in various fields to support the research and hands-on activities of students.

You are viewing this site in a browser that is no longer supported or secure.
For the best possible experience, we recommend that you use a modern browser.