Graduate School of Public Policy and Social Governance

Japanese-based Degree Programs

Public policy is in transition, and in recent years we have been called upon to expand our focus to new themes in academic research efforts. As the slogans “from government to governance” and “new public interest” reveal, the people engaged in public-interest issues are becoming more diverse, no longer limited to the government sector, and there is a growing need for comprehensive analysis in the area of resolving social issues.
The integration of political science and social sciences approaches, and shifting the point of view from the perspective of public-sector administration to public-sector management that employs business management techniques are indispensable to investigating current public policy issues. It will also undoubtedly become imperative to incorporate natural sciences and humanities expertise with regard to the issue of the sustainability of society, pushing beyond the framework of single policy domains in environmental policy research as well. In response, this graduate school restructured its policy education courses for working adults, and now has courses highlighting new government formats and the diverse efforts evident in civil society and focusing especially on both environmental and social sustainability. There are four courses—Public Management Course, Civil Society Governance Course, Environmental Management Course, and International Partnership Course. Students can create their own curriculum that cuts across these fields or systematically study topics within a single course.
The Graduate School of Public Policy and Social Governance is primarily designed for working adults. The training fosters specialists in public policy with a high level of diagnostic and planning capabilities. Specific examples are regular service public officials; specialists involved in international cooperation programs; specialized think tank staff; corporate compliance, environmental management, and CSR staff; journalists who undertake investigative reporting related to policy; public officials in special services; and the policy staff of civic and social organizations. Training also develops researchers pursuing solutions to public issues. The graduate school is also for people who seek to handle academic public policy research at universities and graduate schools or become researchers at think tanks and other policy research organizations.

Major in Public Policy and Social Governance

The Graduate School of Public Policy and Social Governance integrates the following four policy-related programs: the Policy Research Program in the Graduate School of Politics (major in politics); the Graduate School of Policy Sciences; the Graduate School of Environmental Management; and the Politics and Administration Program in the Graduate School of Regional Policy Design (major in regional policy design). To manage all of these as an integrated whole and improve their combined effectiveness, we have established a single major (the major in social governance) with four courses. This new major integrates the previous four majors and programs under the common theme of public policy, and strives to take advantage of the synergies between them while still leveraging the distinctive characteristics of each. The classes that are common to all the courses equip students with a broad range of knowledge and basic information, giving them access to systematic instruction in each individual field.

Distinctive Features

  1. Under this one-major, four-course framework, students can take the shared classes to acquire basic knowledge in various disciplines that will serve as the foundation of their specialized research, learn survey research methods used in social surveys, and develop their essay-writing skills. They are then able to take specialized courses to more intensively study the area in which they want to develop their expertise. It is also possible to create a study plan that cuts across courses to accommodate the interests of each student.
  2. In addition to assigning admissions counselors to each course, we have assigned instructors who will set aside individual instruction time with each student upon their admission and provide comprehensive curricular guidance and counseling for each course.
  3. Classes are taught by full-time professors who specialize in a wide range of fields, including not only the social sciences such as law, politics, sociology, and economics, but also literature, international development studies, and science and engineering. This gives the major a framework that meets diverse needs.


To cultivate talented professionals with the ability to make comprehensive policy proposals related to globalization, the knowledge-driven society, and population decline.

About the Courses

Some parts of contemporary society are formed through the exertion of government authority (nations) while others are created through the consensus of individuals (civil society). In the 21st century, there is growing interest in the public power that exists within civil society, and approaches to governance wherein the basis of social life is preserved through collaborations between the public power and government power are becoming more mainstream.
This graduate school is based on the premise of a partnership between government and civil society. We have therefore established a Public Management Course covering the public policy principles, basic concepts, policy content, and methods of policy use primarily adopted by the government, and a Civil Society Governance Course, covering the public policy principles, basic concepts, policy content, and methods of policy use primarily adopted in civil society.
We also have established an Environmental Management Course that focuses on environmental problems, which have become an issue of global concern in the 21st century, and covers environmental management executed by government administrations, companies, and citizens of various countries and regions. And finally, we have established the International Partnership Course, which covers the roles that the international community can play at the national or global level in the economic expansion of developing nations and the subsequent environmental problems this causes.

Course Field of Study
Public Management Local government systems, civil service worker systems, urban policies, public works projects
Civil Society Governance Community development, environmental campaigns, the local environment, public spaces
Environmental Management Environmental management, environmental administration, environment and society, balance/harmony with the natural environment
International Partnership Global environment, international cooperation, development economics, diplomatic policy