Waseda University

Waseda University (早稲田大学 Waseda daigaku), often abbreviated to Sōdai (早大 Sōdai), is one of the top private universities in Japan. Founded in 1882 as Tokyo Senmon Gakko (College), the institution was renamed "Waseda University" in 1902. It is known for its liberal climate symbolized by its motto Independence of Learning.

Six postwar Prime Ministers are Waseda alumni: Tanzan Ishibashi (1956–1957), Noboru Takeshita (1987–1989), Toshiki Kaifu (1989–1991), Keizo Obuchi (1998–2000), Yoshiro Mori (2000–2001), and Yasuo Fukuda (2007–2008). Waseda's literature program is particularly famous, and counts Haruki Murakami and Tawara Machi among its graduates.

Its alumni also boasts various corporate leaders such as Masaru Ibuka, co-founder of Sony, Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung, Takeo Fukui, CEO of Honda, Atsutoshi Nishida, CEO of Toshiba, Masuko Osamu, CEO of Mitsubishi Motors, Testuro Toyoda, CEO of Toyota Industries, Kenichi Ohmae, founder and ex-Senior Partner of McKinsey & Co Japan and many others. Currently, seven of the Fortune Global 2007's CEOs are Waseda University graduates.

Waseda University is a member of Universitas 21, an international network of 21 leading research-intensive universities.


The university was founded by samurai scholar and Meiji-era politician and former prime minister Okuma Shigenobu in 1882, and was designated a full university in 1902. It started as a college with three departments under the old Japanese system of higher education.

In 1882, there were department of political science and economics, department of law, and department of physical science. At the same time, along with these departments, English language course was also established, where the students of all the departments could learn English.

Three years later, the department of physical science was closed due to few applicants. Department of science and engineering was newly established in 1908.

Department of literature was established in 1890.
Department of education was established in 1903, and department of commerce in 1904.

Much of the campus was destroyed in the firebombings of Tokyo during World War II, but the university was rebuilt and reopened by 1949. It has grown to become a comprehensive university with two senior high schools and a School of Art and Architecture.

Origin of the name "Waseda University"

Waseda University in 1882.

Waseda University started its life as 'Tokyo Senmon Gakko (College)' on October 21, 1882. Before the name 'Waseda' was selected, it was known variously as 'Waseda Gakko' or 'Totsuka Gakko', after the location of the founder's villa in Waseda Village and the school's location in Totsuka Village respectively. Around 1892, people started to call it 'Waseda Gakko'. It was renamed 'Waseda University' on September 2, 1902, upon acquiring University status.

Undergraduate Schools and Graduate Schools

Undergraduate Schools:

School of Political Science and Economics
School of Law
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
School of Culture, Media and Society
School of Education
School of Commerce
School of Fundamental Science and Engineering
School of Creative Science and Engineering
School of Advanced Science and Engineering
School of Social Sciences
School of Human Sciences
School of Sports Sciences
School of International Liberal Studies

Graduate Schools:

Graduate School of Political Science
Graduate School of Economics
Graduate School of Law
Graduate School of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Graduate School of Commerce
Graduate School of Fundamental Science and Engineering
Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering
Graduate School of Advanced Science and Engineering
Graduate School of Education
Graduate School of Human Sciences
Graduate School of Social Sciences
Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies
Graduate School of Global Information and Telecommunication Studies
Graduate School of Japanese Applied Linguistics
Graduate School of Information, Production and Systems
Graduate School of Sports Sciences
Business School
The Okuma School of Public Management
Law School
Graduate School of Finance, Accounting and Law
Graduate School of Accountancy
Graduate School of Environment and Energy Engineering

Research institutes
Kagami Memorial Laboratory for Materials Science and Technology
Institute for Comparative Law
The Institute for Research in Business Administration
Institute for Research in Contemporary Political and Economic Affairs
Advanced Research Center for Human Sciences
Advanced Research Institute for Science and Engineering
Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies
Global Information and Telecommunication Institute
Institute for Advanced Studies in Education
Center for Japanese Language
Media Network Center
Environmental Research Institute
Environmental Safety Center
Center for Finance Research
Human Service Center
Comprehensive Research Organization (Project Research Institute)
Institute for Nanoscience & Nanotechnology
Consolidated Research Institute for Advanced Science and Medical Care
Information Technology Research Organization
Organization for Asian Studies
Waseda Institute for Advanced Study (WIAS)

Waseda University ranked:

180 in the 2007 THES-QS World University Ranking

180 in the 2008 THES-QS World University Ranking

148 in the 2009 THES-QS World University Ranking

182 in the 2010 QS World University Ranking

185th in the 2011 QS World University Ranking

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Education is not a preparation for life, Education is life itself ~ John Dewey
William Butler Yeats: Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.