Since its foundation in 1881, Meiji University has grown as a social science university for teaching knowledge and disciplines applicable to society, but within that tradition the university was early to recognize the need for the School of Arts and Letters for investigating areas outside the realm of practical application. As a result, the Department of Arts and Letters, the direct ancestor of the current School of Arts and Letters, was created in 1932. In 1949, it was reorganized into its modern day form.
The School of Arts and Letters consists of the Department of Literature, Department of History and Geography, and Department of Psycho-Social Studies, which are further divided into 14 courses. Through small class based education and a meticulous curriculum, these departments examine all eras and areas of human life in every region of the world from numerous viewpoints to ultimately shed light on the eternal question of "what it means to be human". We also have a pinpointed curriculum centered on exercise-based “seminars” featuring low student-teacher ratios that provide our students with the ideal environment to carry out studies in a spontaneous manner.
The Department of Literature looks at issues in culture related to "words" and other forms of physical expression. The department consists of the Japanese Literature, Britsh and American Literature, German Literature, French Literature, Drama and Theatre Arts, Literary Arts and Media majors. The Department of History and Geography researches emergent phenomena in human society from "historical" and " regional" perspectives in five areas: Japanese History, Asian History, Western History, Archaeology, and Geography. The Department of Psycho-Social studies focuses on research into modern "matters of the mind and the society". The three courses in the department, Clinical Psychology, Contemporary Sociology, and Philosophy cooperate to explore practical solutions to these issues.
The School of Arts and Letters also offers 5 courses for teacher, curator, supervisor of social education, librarian, and school librarian certification.