Center for General Curriculum Development

Since its foundation in 1874, Rikkyo University has upheld the liberal arts as its educational ideal. Liberal arts education aims to nurture the various possibilities of each individual through the balanced development of the intellect, emotions, body, and spirit. At Rikkyo University all students study under the General Curriculum, which is taught in parallel with the core curricula of each college. The General Curriculum is a common curriculum administered across all colleges with the aim of fostering broad knowledge and culture, comprehensive judgment, and outstanding human qualities. It can be described as a new model of university education that embodies Rikkyo's liberal arts education.

In the General Curriculum, liberal arts education is viewed as the education of cultured people with specialized knowledge rather than that of cultured specialists. In addition to building a dynamic relationship between general cultural education and specialized education, this curriculum also aims to stimulate education and research in specialist fields, contributing significantly to the development of truly creative academic research.

The General Curriculum consists of two major educational sectors: Language Education, which fosters foreign language communication ability and intercultural competence, and Comprehensive Education, which develops the broad intellect and sensibility required in contemporary society.

Language Education

The aim of the language education sector of the General Curriculum is to foster both language communication ability and intercultural competence through the study of foreign languages. To this end, Rikkyo University has developed a diverse and original curriculum for all undergraduate students that both strengthens their basic skills and trains them to meet the needs of a broader and higher level of education.

The most distinctive characteristic of Rikkyo University's language education program is the system of studying two compulsory foreign languages. English is required, but additionally students choose a second foreign language: German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, or Russian. International students may use Japanese language courses to fill this requirement.

Language education is conducted according to two distinct approaches. The first is a communicative approach involving a basic shift from receptive to productive language learning. The second is a content-based approach that uses contemporary themes of the environment, peace, etc. to encourage students to express themselves spontaneously. The following methods and formats are used to implement these approaches.

Comprehensive Education

The Comprehensive Education sector consists of five subject groups that have been prepared to foster deep awareness, humanistic values, and comprehensive powers of judgment that transcend specialist fields: Comprehensive A Subjects, Comprehensive B Subjects, Study Skills for Rikkyo University Students, Information Science, and Sports Praxis.

Comprehensive A Courses

The rich and diverse Comprehensive A classes are divided into five categories: Human Studies, Social Perspective, Introduction to Art and Culture, Focus on Mind and Body, and Understanding of Nature. These classes include "Rikkyo classes" that consider themes specific to Rikkyo University, and "topical classes" that examine current affairs. Rikkyo classes are organized according to eight themes linked to the founding spirit of Rikkyo University: religion, the university, the city, human rights, the environment, peace, life, and wellness. Topical classes deal with current affairs themes that are particularly topical today.

In addition, the General Curriculum offers "Japan through English" classes whereby Japanese and international students discuss and learn about Japanese history, politics, society, and literature in English, and "on-demand classes" that enable students to study using personal computers connected to the Internet.

Comprehensive B Courses

The General Curriculum also offers Comprehensive B subjects that are organized to foster broad perspectives by integrating knowledge from various fields, an important goal of a comprehensive education. These subjects are distinctive even within the General Curriculum in their approach, which integrates within a single subject different views from various fields on a specific issue. These classes are arranged to assemble specialists from different academic backgrounds to lecture on a specific topic.

Study Skills for Students at Rikkyo University

These are small-group classes that enable students to engage in discussions with each other or with instructors. By discussing themes determined by the instructor, students cultivate the research, reading, thinking, writing, and self-expression abilities required of university graduates.

Information Science

In these classes, students undergo practical training from the fundamentals to application of information processing. They also acquire detailed knowledge of information literacy as well as the fundamentals and applications of information technology.

Sports Praxis

These classes assume a practical approach to the human body and health. In the Sports Program, students learn various sports skills with the aim of maintaining and improving their physical strength and health. Sports Study is a class that integrates practice and theory by combining sporting activities with lectures.


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