Master’s (Doctoral) Program in Journalism

Learn about Media, Journalism, Information, Culture, and Society

The Department of Journalism established a master’s program in April 1971 and a doctoral program in April 1974.

It is one of the leading graduate schools in Japan for the academic study of journalism, media activities, social information systems, public relations, public opinion, and popular culture. Graduate students studying in the Department of Journalism are not only from Sophia University faculties, but also from other faculties and departments of other universities, as well as students from abroad, mainly from Asia, and many who were employed. This makes small but lively discussion groups with a rich international flavor.


In the Master’s Program, the curriculum focuses on mass communication theory, journalism theory, media analysis, and seminar classes to conduct research based on the current situation. In the second and subsequent years, students are encouraged to pursue their own research under the guidance of their academic advisors to complete their master’s thesis

The goal of the doctoral program is to foster individuals who will be active on an international level and be involved in research and education in this field in the future. In their research activities, students are encouraged to improve their academic methodology and level of expertise. At the same time, they are guided to establish their own thematic areas as researchers.

In addition, only those who have passed an examination that qualifies them to submit a thesis after one year of enrollment will be permitted to write a thesis for their degree. Because advancement to the Doctoral Program is deeply connected to the choice of a future career, the Department of Journalism believes it should not be an easy decision to make. We ask applicants to be particularly aware of this point.

Granted Degree


Available Teaching Licenses and Subjects

  • High School Specialized Teacher (Civics)

*Only available in Master’s degree programs. Also, it is only available in subjects in which a Type 1 license has been obtained or the requirements for Type 1 have been fulfilled. Not all subjects are available.

Program Features

Development and Refinement of Self-issue Concerns

In the Master’s Program, students cover a wide range of fields for the study of mass communication and journalism, deepening their interest in problem areas and refining their own particular interests. In addition, the Master’s Program offers an entrance examination for working adults in order to cultivate a wide range of human resources.

Active in Fields Abroad

We accept a large number of international students, mainly from Asian countries, and many of them enter the program after gaining work experience. This means discussions, analysis, and deliberations from an international perspective happen on a daily basis in seminars and other activities. Many of our graduates are active in higher education institutions, international organizations, and universities in Japan and abroad.

Selected Thesis Topics

Master’s Program

  • Paperback Publication in Japan*
  • Historical Genealogy and Classification of Media Literacy in Japan*
  • A Study on the Image of the Common People Constructed by Chinese Television
  • A News Frame Analysis of North Korea Coverage in the Asahi Shimbun and the Yomiuri Shimbun
  • A Comparative Study of Polling Polls in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
  • Media Frame on the Relocation of Futenma Air Station, Okinawa*

*Theme selected by those who have work experience

Doctoral Program

  • A Study of the Interaction between Internet Use, Selfish Attitudes, and Career Attitudes: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Survey of College Students
  • A Study on the Long-Term Transition of Public Administration Public Relations: Focusing on the History of Public Relations in Tokyo
  • A Comparative Study of Japanese and Korean TV Producers – Perceptions of TV Journalism and Work Development of the Producers of TBS’s “Hodo Special” and MBC’s “PD Notebook”
  • A Study on Youth Protection and Freedom of Expression: Focusing on the Current Status and Characteristics of Laws and Self-Regulations Concerning Youth Harmful Expression in Japan
  • A Study of Media and Events in the Asahi Shimbun: Leisure Culture Events in Japanese Society since 1965
  • Research on Digital Content Distribution in the Era of Cooperation and Convergence between Broadcasting and Telecommunications: Focusing on Broadcast Video Content Production Systems in Japan and Korea
  • Self-Regulation” of Mass Media Reporting: The Negative Structure of the Media’s Inability to Examine Themselves
  • A Study on the History of Sports Journalism in Japan: From the 17th Century to the Media Age of the 21st Century

Higher Education and Research Institution Enrollment by Graduates of the Program


Hokkai-Gakuen University, Fukushima College Women’s Junior College , Sophia University*, Tokyo Gakugei University, Tokyo Keizai University*, Tokyo International University, Toyo University, Toyo Eiwa University, Nihon University*, Bunkyo University, Musashi University, Meiji University, Rikkyo University, Ryukoku University, Doshisha University, Osaka Gakuin University, Nara Prefectural University, Hagoromo University of International Studies, Hiroshima Shudo University, University of Nagasaki, University of the Ryukyus


State University of New York (Buffalo), Sun Moon University, Seoul National University, Sangji University, Hunan University, Kaya University, Dongseo University, Communication University of China, Central University of Finance and Economics , Chinese Culture University (Taiwan), Chiang Mai University

National and International Research Institutes

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)*, Media Development Research Institute*, Korea Creative Content Agency*, Mediasenryaku Research Institute , Korea Communications Commission (Seoul), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Beijing)

*Multiple people enroll

Educational Policies

Master’s Program

The Master’s Program in Journalism sets standards for the skills and knowledge students should acquire before graduation as described below: Those who broadly study mass communication and journalism and earn the required credits, submit their thesis and pass their thesis defense shall be deemed to have acquired these qualities and will be awarded a diploma.


  1. The ability to acquire the basic knowledge of the three areas set out in the Curriculum Policy and the ability to use it in solving the immediate issues associated with media and journalism
  2. Interest in a wide range of subjects and the ability to pay attention to issues successively occurring in the information society and to address them with a unique and sophisticated acknowledgement of the issues
  3. The ability to complete a thesis with an inquisitive mind and proper methodology, and receive grades exceeding a certain level
  4. The ability to be alert to information from outside the university, collect information and make individual efforts to acquire information that would benefit one’s own research
  5. The ability to communicate one’s research outcomes and thoughts in reports or oral presentations with a given format

Doctoral Program

The Doctoral Program in Journalism sets standards for the skills and knowledge students should acquire before graduation as described below: Those who earn the required credits, submit their dissertation and pass their dissertation defense shall be deemed to have acquired these qualities and will be awarded a diploma.


  1. Knowledge of academic methodologies and high expertise of one’s research discipline and the ability to establish one’s own research theme based on journalism studies, media studies and information society studies
  2. The ability to communicate the summary of past studies associated with one’s research theme, as required, based on a wide review of the literature
  3. The ability to engage in discussion or analysis from an international perspective and present cutting-edge research outcomes at academic meetings in Japan and overseas
  4. The ability to embrace an individual research theme and to establish a plan to pursue one’s research individually as a researcher
  5. The ability to contribute to international society through the sophisticates expertise and ethical values nurtured in the pursuit of one’s research theme

Master’s Program

In light of its aim to have students achieve the goals indicated in the Diploma Policy, the Master’s Program in Journalism constructs its curriculum with courses aligned to the following purposes:


  1. Develop a curriculum centered on the three fields of Mass Communication Studies, Journalism Studies and Media Analysis, and offer Seminars to enable students to proactively engage in academic studies.
  2. Offer courses that cover contemporary media and journalism-related issues as they evolve, and thus enable graduate students to flexibly pursue research in line with their interests and trends.
  3. Enable students to promote their individual research under the guidance of their research advisor toward completing their thesis. By holding an interim thesis presentation, all faculty members can be aware of the progress made by each student
  4. Allow students to take courses offered at Graduate Schools at other universities under the interchangeable credit system with other graduate school sociology courses.

Doctoral Program

In accordance with the diploma policy, in light of its aim to have students establish their own themes as researchers, the Doctoral Program in Journalism constructs its curriculum with courses aligned to the following purposes:


  1. Have students acquire 12 credits in Seminar courses and research guidance within three years of enrollment, so that they can aim to complete their dissertation while they are enrolled
  2. Provide students who, after one year of enrollment have passed the examination qualifying them to submit a dissertation, approval to write their dissertation.
  3. Encourage students to actively present their research themes at the Japan Society for Studies in Journalism and Mass Communication and other domestic and international academic society meetings.
  4. Establish a system that enables students to ask their mentors and other faculty members specializing in the research theme for advice and evaluation as needed in the course of writing their dissertation.
  5. Dissertations shall be evaluated by a Dissertation Committee including Second Examiners from outside Sophia University. A diploma shall be conferred when the student receives a passing grade from the Dissertation Committee after the dissertation defense.

Master’s Program

The Master’s Program in Journalism seeks students with the following qualities:


  1. Basically, students who have received a specialized education in media and journalism as an undergraduate, as it is essential for students to have the basic knowledge of the three areas identified in the Curriculum Policy in order to keep up with classes offered in the Master’s program
  2. Given the frequency of reading foreign literature, students will need language skills centered on English. Foreign students are required to have passed the N1 level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test or the equivalent, or to prove Japanese language skills exceeding such levels
  3. We have opened our doors to adults as a place where students with practical experience in media or journalism can conduct research based on experience-based problem recognition

Doctoral Program

The Doctoral Program in Journalism seeks students with the following qualities:


  1. Students who are motivated to pursue a certain individual theme in the fields of mass
    communication, journalism or media, and aspire to engage in cutting-edge research in each field
  2. Students with the ability to approach their research theme using different methodologies based on their rich expertise
  3. Students who constantly aim to expand their research fields and serve the better understanding of international society from new perspectives

Faculty Members

Toshihiro OKUYAMA Professor

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Yoshihiro OTO Professor

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Kyoko SHIBANO Professor

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Hiroaki MIZUSHIMA Professor

Hisanori WATANABE Professor

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Tomoki KUNIEDA Associate Professor

Naoharu TAKAHASHI Associate Professor

Arun Prakash D SOUZA Assistant Professor

Research Areas Secular Ethics,Religious Media,Journalistic Responsibilities

Sophia University

For Others, With Others