Sophia University

Academics Faculty of Liberal Arts

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO NEW STUDENTS OF AUTUMN 2020

Dear New Students of Autumn 2020

Welcome to the Faculty of Liberal Arts (FLA), Sophia University!
Due to COVID19, all of the courses in FLA will remain online in Autumn 2020.

Please make sure that you stay in a safe and suitable place for online learning. There is no need for you to be in Tokyo this semester, though the synchronous elements of online learning will be scheduled in Japan Standard Time, and therefore, time difference may present difficulties depending on where you are.

For online learning, you will need a desktop or laptop computer to participate in your classes. If you have purchased your computer within the past 3 years, it is likely your computer will be sufficient for online learning. Just be sure to check that your operating system (e.g., Windows 10, Mac iOS Catalina) has been updated to the latest version and that you have a functioning webcam and headset (microphone and earphones).

However, if you are planning to purchase a new computer for your studies, please consider the suggested specs below as a baseline for guiding your purchase or for confirming that your current technology is sufficiently up to date.

CPU: as close to 8th-generation Intel Core i3 or greater, or, Ryzen 3 or greater for AMD processors
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620, Nvidia GeForce MX150 (optional)
RAM: 8GB or more
Screen: minimally 11 inches, but 13+ inches is better
Storage: 250GB or more
Peripherals: headset (microphone and earphones) and webcam. Minimally, the computer’s onboard speaker and omnibus microphone will suffice for homework and individual study, but in group sessions ambient noise can become a distraction.

Note. For Windows operating systems, please upgrade your operating system if you are currently using Windows 7. As of January 2020, Microsoft has terminated all support for Windows 7, which makes Windows 7 devices highly susceptible to viruses.

Chromebooks.
Sophia university does not recommend using Google Chromebooks. Chromebooks are web-based devices that run apps (like the ones on a smartphone) and not software. While their price points make them an attractive choice, students considering Chromebooks should note that compatibility with Microsoft Office applications can be an issue and handling various file types can be problematic depending on a mixture of factors, which makes them a risky choice.

Tablets and smartphones.
Tablets and smartphones are not recommended because their design prevents them from being useful for online learning. If you want to use a tablet computer, it will be best if it is used with a keyboard. Given the amount of typing required in online lessons, using a touch-screen interface to complete your assignments will likely become challenging. This advice also applies to using smartphones as your primary device. In addition to an external keyboard, you also will need an external monitor (approximately 11-inches or more) if you plan to use a smartphone.

Software.
Sophia university provides (at no additional cost) all enrolled students with a license to download Microsoft Office 365 (which includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). You will need your Sophia ICT account login information to download your copy, and that downloading Office requires several GB of data. Please be sure you can stay connected to the Internet for sustained period of time (which will depend on your connection speed), and be careful of possible limitations in your data plan. In addition to Office 365, you will also need a PDF reader. Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded for free. Finally, you will need antivirus software, which is also provided free of charge by Sophia. We will provide you with further details once you receive your Sophia ICT account information in September.

Data plans.
On average, students use between 40GB and 60GB of data per month.

Students gain a broad perspective essential in the age of globalization.

The Faculty of Liberal Arts is a cosmopolitan community of scholars and students, who are brought together in Yotsuya by the shared goal of pursuing knowledge. In the first two semesters our students go through an intensive program that provides them with the core competencies and skills—most importantly critical thinking—necessary for academic pursuit. They subsequently proceed to select their courses from a wide and diverse range of disciplinary majors, from the humanities and social sciences to business studies and economics. The ultimate goal of our liberal arts education is to provide students with an all-round education so that they can grow to be the masters of their own lives. At the FLA, we firmly believe that only knowledge grounded on a deep understanding of humanity, history and the world can equip students with the practical skills and broad perspective that are essential in this age of globalization.

A Liberal Arts Education that Cultivates Globally Competent Individuals

A Liberal Arts Education that Cultivates Globally Competent Individuals As a pioneer of international education in Japan for more than half a century, the Faculty of Liberal Arts has been providing a liberal arts education that fosters wide-ranging knowledge and logical thinking skills in English. The program offers basic education for freshmen and three specialized fields( Comparative Culture, International Business and Economics, Social Studies) one of which is selected as a major from the latter half of the sophomore year. By developing advanced language skills, outstanding expertise and proficiency in intercultural communication, we educate “globally competent” individuals who can play active roles in international organizations, multinational enterprises, and other globally active organizations.

Professors

Comparative Culture Major

 
Name
Field
Religion
Art History
Literature
Art History
Religion
Religion
STRECHER Matthew
Literature
Literature
Literature
 

International Business and Economics Major

Name
Fields
Economics
Marketing
FUENTES CORDOBA Gabriel Economics
Business
Economics
Finance
Business and Management
Economics
Business
 

Social Studies

 
Name
Field
Political Science
Political Science
Anthropology
Sociology
History
History
Political Science
Political Science
History
Anthropology
Sociology
Sociology
Anthropology
 

Core Program

 
Name
Field
English
HARWOOD Chris English
KOYAMA Dennis English
English
 

Student Voices

Our Alumni

Students Sought After

By the time of graduation, FLA students have acquired many of the skills and attributes highly sought after by potential employers and graduate schools. Such attributes include: full communication skills in English, multicultural communication competence, critical and analytical thinking ability, a passion for knowledge, an appreciation of the global environment, and in-depth knowledge in major subject areas. Hence FLA students readily find employment in Japanese and foreign firms, as well as entrance into some of the best graduate programs in the world.

Interview

Research Related to FLA

FLA professors participate in a wide variety of research projects in their areas of expertise and publish widely in international research journals.

For a full list of publications, search for Faculty names in the University Researcher Database.

Journal Publications

Monumenta Nipponica

Monumenta Nipponica (MN), a biannual journal on Japanese culture and society, was founded in 1938, making it one of the oldest English-language academic journals in the field of Asian studies. Published by Sophia, MN provides a fully refereed platform for Japan scholars from around the world to present research. It carries original scholarship and translations in the fields of history, literature, art history, religion, philosophy, and anthropology. Monumenta is edited by a member of the FLA.
Monumenta Nipponica

AGLOS: Journal of Area-Based Global Studies

AGLOS Journal of Area-Based Global Studies is a refereed online journal published by
the Sophia University Graduate School of Global Studies (GSGS)The journal publishes submissions, in English or Japanese, from current graduate students and alumni of the GSGS in a range of disciplines and from the diverse intellectual perspectives embodied in the three graduate programs: Global Studies, Area Studies and International Relations. It aims to encourage rigorous research activities and serve as a forum for intellectual exchange among students and scholars. Many GSGS professors are also members of the FLA.
AGLOS Journal of Area-Based Global Studies

Project

Reacting to the Past

Contributions to educational innovation have been made by bringing the “Reacting to the Past” (RTTP) pedagogy to higher education in Japan. RTTP is an innovative approach to Liberal Arts Education consisting of interactive classroom activities that promote student engagement in big ideas and improve critical thinking skills. In SophiaUniversity’s Liberal Arts program, since 2012 every semester approximately 100 students–every degree student in the faculty–are learning important, lifelong skills by experiencing RTTP in the core program’s required public speaking course. RTTP-style materials have also been developed and tested that explore important moments in Japanese history (e.g. the arrival of Commodore Perry and the Akō incident) for use in the FLA core, history, and literature programs. This research project includes a plan to publish a series of RTTP textbooks and manuals that will make the RTTP method widely available for use in classes relating to Japanese history or critical thinking not only at Sophia but other Japanese and Western universities as well.

Research Institutes

Institute of Comparative Culture

The Institute of Comparative Culture (ICC), established in 1981, is a research organization for developing and promoting interdisciplinary studies in social sciences and humanities from a comparative perspective. The Institute promotes and assists the research activities of ICC members, hosts guest speakers, holds conferences and workshops, and supports the research activities of visiting researchers. ICC members’ areas of specialization include business, economics, history, literature, art, political science, sociology and anthropology, focusing strongly on Asia, especially Japan. Because the ICC supports research activities in English, its membership is based largely in the FLA.
Institute of Comparative Culture