Apr. 23, 2021
Wanted: Students who pursue interdisciplinarity and confront the present
Since its foundation in 2008, the Graduate School of Information and Communication has maintained its commitment to training students in acquiring the ability to understand problems and our lives in an advanced information society in a manner that connects and cuts across multiple disciplines from the perspective of information and communication.
Research at the Graduate School boils down to the key word “interdisciplinary.” Interdisciplinary research involves many forms of dialogue and interaction among different fields of study. The School’s diploma policy calls for students to acquire the qualifications and ability to grasp the complex contemporary issues of their choice in an interdisciplinary manner and come up with an effective academic and policy portfolio to address these issues. Students will need to prove that they have such qualifications in their master's thesis or doctoral dissertation and the examination thereof.
In order to allow students to acquire qualifications and abilities as required by the Diploma Policy, the Graduate School’s Curriculum offers opportunities for them to develop their interdisciplinary cognitive ability by offering an innovative "Interdisciplinary Milieu" that involves the following three features:
(1) The School offers lecture subjects in diverse disciplines. Through learning these subjects, students are expected to understand the existence and diversity of other fields of study, embrace them humbly, and thus broaden their horizons.
(2) The School holds the "Master's Thesis Interim Presentation Session". Attended by all the faculty advisors at the School, this session provides a valuable opportunity to receive in-depth advice that cuts across the boundaries of disciplines and faculty advisors. The "Pre-Doctoral Debriefing Session" for students planning to write a doctoral dissertation is attended by the entire faculty responsible for the doctoral program of the School – including their primary and secondary examiners – as well as external researchers.
(3) Faculty members organize interdisciplinary "collaborative research projects" that involve the participation of students. Additionally, the School guarantees the opportunity for research reporting and discussion by offering the subjects of Multidisciplinary Approaches to Information and Communication. It also organizes "special lectures" and the "Graduate School Forum" every year to offer opportunities to learn about some of the outcomes of world-level leading-edge research.
Nevertheless, providing an "Interdisciplinary Milieu" does not suffice as a curriculum. Students need to acquire academic skills required to present the themes of their choice in the form of a thesis or dissertation. To meet this particular need, the Graduate School’s curriculum includes the well-developed "Research Support Program" designed to acquire research techniques needed for interdisciplinary research. Full support is also provided to students from overseas.
The Graduate School of Information and Communication has a long and solid track record in grappling with the difficulties associated with interdisciplinary research. This has been made possible by students who, not content just with a haphazard observation of this complex modern society, continue to enroll themselves in the School with a critical mind of their own. We at the Graduate School continue to call for students who pursue interdisciplinarity and confront with the present.
Dean of the Graduate School of Information and Communication