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Educational objectives, diploma policy, curriculum policy and admission policy

Educational objectives

In accordance with the educational objectives of Osaka University, the primary goal of the Graduate School of Language and Culture is to develop individuals with advanced expertise and extensive knowledge related to language and culture, as well as comprehensive understanding, synthetic Imagination, and transcultural communicability.
In today’s increasingly global and information-based world, embracing cultural and linguistic differences is vital to fostering cross-cultural understanding between regions and peoples of the world, particularly in the political, economic and educational spheres. Equally important are linguistic competence that enables constructive communication across linguistic and cultural boundaries, a keen eye for the development of languages and cultures, and the ability to disseminate the acquired knowledge using a variety of information tools.
In response to such circumstances surrounding languages and cultures, the Graduate School of Language and Culture offers the following three specialized departments. The Studies in Language and Culture program studies the formation of languages and cultures, as well as their essential nature, from an interdisciplinary, universal and theoretical perspective. The Studies in Language and Society program covers both theory and practice surrounding world languages, and the cultures and societies where they are/were spoken. The Studies in Japanese Language and Culture program, given the current climate surrounding Japanese language and culture, conducts research and education that explore the organic connection between the language/culture of Japan, and those of other nations.
Through the master and doctor courses, the Graduate School of Language and Culture seeks to produce talented individuals who can excel as future leaders in a wide range of sectors, while respecting the distinct characteristics of these three specialized areas of studies.

Diploma Policy

In accordance with the diploma policy of Osaka University, the Graduate School of Language and Culture awards a degree to those who attain deep expertise and extensive knowledge concerning languages and cultures, comprehensive understanding, synthetic imagination, and transcultural communicability. The students must also gain the required credits, and pass the thesis assessment and final examination.
In the master course, students who have meet the following criteria will be awarded a master’s degree in Studies in Language and Culture, or a master’s degree in Studies in Japanese Language and Culture.
・ The student is able to properly gather, comprehend and analyze resources such as data and academic papers, on a given topic related to language and culture.
・ The student is able to write academic papers on his/her area of expertise, which are original, evidence-based, logical and precise.
・ The student displays a high level of linguistic competence, with which to foster effective communication beyond linguistic and cultural boundaries.
・ The student possesses a broad range of interdisciplinary scholarship and interest, in diverse linguistic and cultural phenomena in Japan and the world at large.

For the doctor course, students who meet the following criteria will be awarded a doctor’s degree in Studies in Language and Culture, or a doctor’s degree in Studies in Japanese Language and Culture.
・ The student displays profound knowledge and expert research skills concerning language and culture, as are required for independent researchers and highly-specialized professionals
・ The student has the ability to set his/her own research goals, and conduct original and cutting-edge research in his/her area of expertise, based on findings from previous studies
・ The student has advanced language skills, backed by broad-ranging, interdisciplinary learning, with which to present his/her own research findings both in Japan and abroad
・ The student has a strong interest, as a researcher of language and culture, in today’s increasingly global and information-based society, as well as an attitude that seeks to understand and value the importance of language and culture in general

Curriculum Policy

In accordance with the curriculum policy of Osaka University, the Graduate School of Language and Culture provides structured and varied course subjects and thesis guidance, in order that its students acquire such advanced knowledge and skills as described in the diploma policy. Course credits will be approved based on written examinations, oral examinations or research reports.
The Studies in Language and Culture program features three specialized fields, as a rough division: a field which focuses on Comparative Studies in Language and Culture, Systems in Language and Culture, and Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies; a field which focuses on Language and Communication, and Education in Language and Culture; and a field which focuses on Language and Information Sciences, and Language and Cognitive Sciences. A student will ordinarily receive research guidance from two supervisors, but there is a group supervision system in place, by which a student is allowed to seek guidance from any academic staff in the department.
The Studies in Language and Society master course is divided into the subject sets: Wide-area Language Studies, Advanced Studies of Area Languages and Cultures, Studies of Composite Fields, and Related Research Languages, in addition to subject courses in 24 languages, each of which offers various subjects. Each master student will have two supervisors for research guidance, who have expertise relevant to the student’s specialist language. Each doctor student will work with three supervisors, regardless of the student’s specialist language.
The Studies in Japanese Language and Culture master course is divided into three branches, each with a set of specialized subjects: Linguistics & Japanese Language Studies, Teaching Japanese as a Second Language, and Japanese Culture Studies. For each branch of study, a general theory subject is offered by academic staff so that students can foster fundamental knowledge required to conduct research with a broad perspective. Two supervisors will give research guidance for master’s students, and three for doctor’s students.

Admission Policy

In accordance with Osaka University’s admission policy, and the policy stated in the educational objectives, Graduate School of Language and Culture employs a selection method (a written and oral examination, as a basic rule) in order to bring together a diverse range of students.
The Studies in Language and Culture program values comprehensive and interdisciplinary research regarding languages and cultures, and so welcomes not only Humanities majors, but also Social Science and Natural Science majors, as well as international students and adult learners. For the written entrance examination for the master course, applicants will be set essay questions on the fields listed in the curriculum policy, a course-wide test, and a foreign language test. For the doctor course, submitted papers such as a master’s thesis will also be eligible for assessment.
The entrance examination for the Studies in Language and Society program will select students who can attain expertise about languages of particular regions, and conduct cutting-edge research concerning their respective languages and the linguistics/literature/history/sociology/political science pertaining to them. The Professional Course for English Teachers, and the Professional Course for Chinese Teachers, welcome individuals currently working as language teachers, who wish to attain specialist knowledge and erudition pertaining to the culture and society of each language.
The Studies in Japanese Language and Culture program administers an entrance examination in the following three categories: general admission, adult learners and international students. It offers two courses, each with a different commencement date and examination format, with the aim to invite talented individuals from around the world:
・ Graduate Program in Applied Japanese Studies [general admission, adult learners, and international students]: enrollment in April
・ Graduate Program in Japanese Studies for International Students [for international students only] enrollment in April or October (for the doctor course, only October)

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