Meiji University was founded in January 1881 as the Meiji Law School by a group of young lawyers barely in their 30's: Tatsuo Kishimoto, Kozo Miyagi, and Misao Yashiro. It was an era characterized by Japan's urgent need to develop as a modern independent nation. The three founded the Meiji Law School in their fervent hope to "foster bright capable youths who would lead a modern civil society in Japan".
Although confronted with countless obstacles and hardships along the way, Meiji University was born as a site for learning and education. Continuing its growth without ever ceasing to ring the chimes of liberty, Meiji University has expanded as one of the prominent private universities of Japan, celebrating its 130th anniversary in 2011. With Rights, Liberty, Independence and Self-government as its guiding principles, Meiji University is committed to fostering students who satisfy the requirements of "austerity and sturdiness", "creation of new intellect" and "needs of the times". Having sent out more than 520,000 graduates into the world to date, it has contributed vastly to the progress of society. The achievements of the university's numerous alumni actively engaged in key roles in various walks of life are highly reputed.
Meiji University ranks solidly among the best universities in Japan, currently consisting of 10 schools: the School of Law, School of Commerce, School of Political Science and Economics, School of Business Administration, School of Arts and Letters, School of Information and Communication, School of Global Japanese Studies, School of Science and Technology, School of Agriculture, and the School of Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences. The Graduate School is made up of 16 Schools: the Graduate School of Law, Graduate School of Commerce, Graduate School of Political Science and Economics, Graduate School of Business Administration, Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Graduate School of Information and Communication, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Graduate School of Advanced mathematical Sciences, Graduate School of Humanities, Graduate School of Global Japanese Studies, and the Graduate School of Global Governance. There are independent schools in various disciplines, including the Law School, Graduate School of Governance Studies, Graduate School of Global Business, and the Graduate School of Professional Accountancy. The University also boasts the Meiji University Meiji High School and Meiji University Meiji Junior High School.
In fiscal 2004, in order to respond to the "needs of the times", Meiji University Women's College and the Evening Division ceased recruiting students.
In addition to the Surugadai Campus, Meiji University also comprises the Izumi Campus, Ikuta Campus, and the Nakano Campus newly opened in April, 2013. Along with excellent teaching staff, all of these campuses are linked with other institutions and facilities for education and research and feature the latest facilities, equipment and so on for extracurricular activities. Providing steady education and research opportunities, the Surugadai Campus in particular features the latest IT infrastructure and the Liberty Tower, with 23 stories above ground and three below. On top of this, the construction of “Global Front”, a cutting edge center of excellence in the age of globalization has been completed in January, 2013.
Meiji University aims to make dramatic advances into the world as the top 21st-century urban university in Japan.