Jul 24, 2019

Rikkyo University to establish Japan’s first graduate school specialized in AI in April 2020



Rikkyo University will become Japan’s first educational institution to establish a graduate school specialized in artificial intelligence (AI) in April 2020. The school, called the “Graduate School of Artificial Intelligence and Science,” will initially offer courses for a master’s degree.

Japan has a severe shortage of AI and data science experts, while the United States and China are becoming global centers for AI research and development. Japanese educational institutions’ efforts to foster human resources knowledgeable about AI have consisted of courses lasting only several months or partial undertakings done by seminar classes. Students at Rikkyo University’s new graduate school will learn about and conduct research on various aspects of AI, mainly machine learning and deep learning. The program will promote interdisciplinary projects that fuse humanity and science domains. It also will provide an environment in which research conducted at the graduate school could be adopted for practical use in collaboration with leading companies in various sectors.

Looking ahead, Rikkyo University will aim to give all its undergraduate students an opportunity to learn about AI and establish a doctorate degree course to nurture AI researchers.


Establishing the graduate school is aimed at generating new knowledge in natural sciences, humanities and social sciences by using AI and innovative technology to analyze big data. It also aims to proactively contribute to the creation of a super-smart society by developing human resources versed in AI and data sciences.

Four advantages

  1. Full-fledged education about machine learning and deep learning.
  2. Innovative research and human resource development by using AI in social sciences.
  3. Extensive programs to use findings of research conducted by the university for practical purposes in society in collaboration with companies.
  4. Make it easier for working people to enroll by holding classes both in the daytime and at night.

Information about the new graduate school

  • Month of establishment: April 2020
  • Number of students: 63
  • Campus: Ikebukuro
  • Degree: Master’s degree in artificial intelligence sciences
  • Professors: 9
  • Class schedule: Most classes held from 6:55 p.m. on weekdays and during daytime on Saturday
  • Enrollment process: To be announced late April 2019 or later

*Classes are offered in Japanese. *Rikkyo University plans to submit documents needed to establish the graduate school to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in late April 2019. Information provided above is subject to change.

Reference material

AI and ethics

Due consideration must be given to ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) when using AI. The new graduate school regards AI-related ELSI as a crucial area to study, so it will have a faculty member who is specialized in ethics involving AI and require all first-year students to take a class on AI ELSI.

Students who complete the course will become:

AI scientists
The graduate school will foster AI scientists who deeply understand mathematical models on machine learning and are highly knowledgeable about information science and statistics, and who are capable of producing excellent articles and applying state-of-the-art AI technology to practical use in society. AI scientists have the skills to lead development of machine learning models.
AI engineers
It will foster human resources, who have experience working as an engineer or computer programmer, that can use both AI-related and existing technologies for developmental purposes.
AI planners
It will foster human resources who have basic knowledge about AI-related matters and are capable of planning ways to use AI for business operations. They also would have experience in putting AI software to practical use and could effectively communicate with engineers and programmers.
AI producers
It will provide working people who have extensive business experience with broad but deep knowledge about AI-related matters and technology. This expertise will enable them to lead product development and service planning.

Classes scheduled to be offered

The graduate school’s classes will systematically teach students about AI and data sciences, such as machine learning and deep learning. It also plans to offer classes in which students carry out projects incorporating advanced AI and business development by corporations, so they acquire practical skills.

Japan’s inadequate AI and data science education prompted graduate school’s establishment

At major U.S. universities, students may acquire a double major, for example in economics and computer science. These students are free to choose their majors in humanities and sciences. In Japan, a tiny number of undergraduate students learn to handle and analyze data. Rikkyo University’s new graduate school stands out because it will educate students who graduated from various university departments about AI and data science as a second area of expertise.

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