Today’s modern society makes highly diversified demands for graduate education in economics. It is not only important to develop academic economists who explore the frontiers of their fields, but it is also critical to cultivate economic thinking in a variety of professional minds. With that in mind, the following abilities continue to be essential and commonly required for any type of economist, which the graduate programs offered by the School of Economics aim to enrich through lectures and supervisions. These abilities are (1) to think logically about a wide range of issues in economics and society as well as to intuitively understand them: (2) to have insight into current issues from historical viewpoints: (3) to analyze economic data through rigorous quantitative methods including statistics and econometrics: and (4) to resolve problems through collaboration with others.
Given the above, the School of Economics welcomes such applicants for graduate programs whose aim is to pursue economics beyond the undergraduate level, to be academic economists, or to work for businesses or in public sectors with outstanding knowledge and skills of quantitative methods for analyzing economic data. (For the “economist course” master’s program, the school welcomes those who desire to use economic and other social sciences as a kind of liberal arts discipline to solve everyday problems.)
The fundamental philosophy of the School of Economics in offering graduate programs is to contribute to the development of economics by nurturing academic and professional economists. This is to be achieved by building up a combination of education and research systems so that (1) students can keep abreast of current advancements in economics and (2) can explore interdisciplinary fields in close cooperation with other schools at the University. In order to accomplish this, the School has set a curriculum policy for the master’s programs and the doctoral program respectively.
The two-year master’s programs aim to enable students to develop advanced knowledge and methodologies of economics and to write high-quality theses or articles that deserve the Master of Economics degree. All students are required to attend coursework lectures on such “core” subjects as Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, which as a whole provide a strong foundation. Meanwhile, specialized courses are offered for graduate students to gain a particular knowledge and methodology that is relevant to their respective research areas. Moreover, the students have opportunities to receive advice from their supervisors on their study plans. Furthermore, every second-year student is required to present their detailed proposal at a seminar, which is disclosed so that speakers can receive feedback from a wide range of faculty members and other researchers.
The doctoral program of three years aims to enable students to complete a dissertation that deserves the Doctor of Economics according to the international standards (which means that our doctoral degree is comparable to a doctoral/Ph.D degree in any country or region in the world). To accomplish this, students work under the supervision of a professor; however, depending on the nature of his or her research, the student may be supervised by a team of supervisors who will closely coordinate with each other. Every doctoral student is required to present his or her research progress at a seminar, which is one of the requirements for submitting a doctoral dissertation.
In order to obtain a master’s degree, students are required to be enrolled for two years, acquire a designated number of credits, and receive a passing grade on his or her master’s thesis (or its alternative). Before submitting a master’s thesis, in their second year, he or she is required to present a detailed project proposal at a seminar to get feedback from faculty members along with their supervisor. An assessment of a master’s thesis hinges on its originality, and whether it is supported by a wide range of advanced economic knowledge and methodology.
In order to obtain a doctoral degree, students are required to be enrolled for at least three years, work under the tutorial of, and attend lecture courses specified by, his or her supervisor, and receive a passing grade on his or her doctoral thesis. Before submitting a doctoral thesis, the student is required to present two papers at different academic conferences, and to complete two or more research articles, getting at least one of them accepted by peer-reviewed journals. In order for a dissertation to deserve a doctoral degree, it has to be highly original, and it has to make a significant contribution to the academic community or the society at large, proving the author’s deep knowledge of economics and methodology.
N.B. If you are a student at a partner university of Kwansei Gakuin University, you can take several lecture courses offered by the School of Economics, by attending the “Contemporary Japan Program” at the University as an exchange student. For further information about the Program visit this page.