International Christian University

ICU is a pioneer of liberal arts in Japan. Liberal arts allows students to gain a broad background in both the humanities and the sciences, but at the same time encourage them to delve deeper into specialized fields, training students to think creatively and critically with a solid grounding in the real world.


About the School

With a view to educating internationally minded citizens, ICU proclaimed its commitment to internationalism when it was first dedicated. Greatest advantage in ICU is they provide 31 majors for students to choose from, offering a diverse range of academic fields to enable students to discover what they truly want to study. Additionally, they practice Japanese-English Bilingual Education. Only about 30% of their courses are conducted in English. 

Through studying another language, students gain knowledge of unfamiliar cultures and ways of thinking, enhance their own critical thinking skills, and gain the ability to view things in a broad perspective. The university seeks to cultivate individuals with an open sense of values and the initiative to continue their learning throughout life; individuals who, as responsible global citizens, can cooperate with others to contribute to peace and coexistence among all peoples in international and local settings, in Japan and across the world, in a variety of vocations and spheres of work, and in their personal lives.

English for Liberal Arts Program (ELA) / Japanese Language Programs (JLP)

ICU believes in “later specialization,” a feature of liberal arts education which allows students more time to study a variety of subjects before deciding on a major. Students choose courses, many offered in small classes, according to their individual needs with help from faculty.

In ICU, Students take language courses in their freshman and sophomore year (Depending on the student’s language requirements, English for Liberal Arts or Japanese Language Programs). In addition to language proficiency, these courses provide training in academic skills such as thesis writing and discussion to enhance competence in critical thinking and communication. 

For Singaporeans, as our main language taken in our 12 years of education or more is English, students would need to take Japanese Language Programs (JLP) in order to enrol into ICU. 

The goal of JLP is to equip students with proficiency in the Japanese language that will enable them to pursue academic studies in ICU.

ELA are for students who do not have any English proficiency. 

31 Majors available under ICU


Economics and Business


Politics and International Relations

Society, Culture & Media

Natural Sciences

Education and Language Education

Psychology and Lingustics

Multidisciplinary Majors organised by Multiple Departments

Your 4 Years at ICU

Once enrolled at ICU, students begin taking ELA/JLP, General Education, Physical Education, and other Foundation Courses.

This approach comes from ICU’s belief in “later specialisation,” which gives students more time to study a variety of subjects before deciding on a major. ICU encourages its students to nurture a broad perspective and cultivate flexible thinking by experiencing different worlds of knowledge, and form a comprehensive, versatile academic foundation before beginning the process of selecting a major.

At the end of their 2nd year, students choose their Majors (from the 31 majors) and set off on more individualised, major-specific tracks. The final leg of the academic journey comes in the 4th year, when students bring together all the things they have learned for a year-long senior thesis project. Although some universities have started to eliminate their senior thesis (research) project requirements, ICU believes that graduation work is a crucial opportunity for students to test the knowledge and abilities that they have cultivated over their four years of undergraduate studies.

General Education

ICU General Education Courses can be taken throughout all four years of undergraduate study, depending on students’ interests. The courses are characterised by their flexibility. They can be selected in accordance with one’s interests, to learn the essence of a field before pursuing the field as one’s major or to connect one’s major field of study to a different field.

Most Courses under General Education are worth 3 or 2 credits.

Physical Education

As a graduation requirement, ICU students must take one course of Health Science (worth one credit ), which comprises lectures on health and physical education, as well as the three courses Physical Education Exercise I, II, and III (together worth one credit), which consist of practical exercises.

In these courses, students learn not only about health and safety in student life but also gain knowledge and skills for improving quality of life over their entire lifetime. In addition, through the exercise courses students learn firsthand about improving communication skills in group activities, leadership, and followership, actively and independently, with fun.

In the second year and beyond, students can choose to enroll in a variety of exercise courses in accordance with their interests. For example, in Bouldering or Team Building, students can learn the importance of communication with their peers, and students of Aikido or Introduction to Japanese BUDO (JUDO) can experience Japanese culture and the traditional spirit of martial arts. Of course, by taking personal sports (swimming, golf etc.), major team sports, and sports of a racket and so on,, students can not only maintain and increase their physical fitness but also experience the fun and exhilaration of working up a sweat together with fellow students. Each exercise course is worth one-third of a credit, and up to six courses (or 2 credits) can be included as electives in the credits required for graduation. (However, fractions of credits will be rounded down.)

Graduation Requirements

To obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree, ICU students must earn at least 136 credits.

  • For JLP, students must achieve at least 35 credits.
  • For General Education, students must achieve at least 15 credits. 
  • For Physical Education, students must achieve at least 2 credits.
  • For Specialised Course (Foundation Courses and the Courses taken under your Major), students must achieve at least 84 credits. 

Note: Credit requirements under JLP and Specialised Courses vary according to the student’s language proficiency. ELA students have different criteria for course credits, hence do consult us if you want to know more information on that!

School Location

International Christian University (ICU) is located in Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan.


For more information, please contact us or International Christian University.

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Disclaimer: The information written on this site is accurate to the best of Study in Japan’s knowledge at the time of posting. This information is compiled out of goodwill and for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as an official source of information. Check with the relevant official sources for the latest accurate information. 

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