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9) FAQ

About the ILA

--Mission--
The Institute for the Liberal Arts (ILA) at Doshisha University offers a Bachelor of Arts degree taught exclusively in English.The ILA aims to encourage students to develop their full intellectual and human potential within an international atmosphere.To do so, the ILA brings together a diverse group of faculty and students and encourages co-operative learning across the academic disciplines. With an intake of only 50 students per year, the ILA maintains an intimate and discussion-based learning environment while also being part of the larger Doshisha University. Students gain in-depth local knowledge about Kyoto and the Kansai region, and at the same time, master frameworks and methods that can be applied to the understanding of regional and global social, political and economic processes. The ILA hopes that academic and social skills acquired within this broad education will enable students to make significant contributions to their local communities, countries of residence, and global society.

May I ask how many students on average apply for the course?
Unfortunately, we do not disclose any statistics regarding our applicants.
However, we accept around 50 students for one year which include spring and fall semester intake.

What is the concentration ?
Students in this four-year degree program choose one of three concentrations: Humanities and the Human Sciences (Japanese society and Global culture)), Business and Economics (Japanese Business and the Global Economy), or Politics and Policy Studies (Japanese Politics and Global Studies).Students can choose to specialize within their chosen concentration or combine courses across fields, from the classes offered in English at the ILA, as well as in Japanese and English throughout the University.For more information, see page 3 of the Application Guide 2023.

What is the ratio between Japanese and international students?
This varies, depending on the cohort. Most ILA students are not Japanese, but many Japanese students from across Doshisha take ILA classes. Students are accepted from about 40 areas and countries and many ILA students are bi-national.

I am interested in knowing more about your graduate program and the admission process, but it does not contain much about your graduate program on the website.
The ILA is an undergraduate program only. However Doshisha University offers English-based graduate degree programs. For more details, please visit the webpage

Can I visit the campus?
We are not able to arrange meetings with professors or class observations, however you can visit our campus and we are happy to meet you at the ILA office and answer any questions you may have.
Also, we conduct " Individual Application Advice Session" via Zoom prior to the Application period( limited period).Please check our news on the ILA website.

Application Requirements

What are non-traditional applicants?
Non-traditional applicants are prospective applicants who do not meet our admission requirements. For example, applicants with less than 12 years education are considered non-traditional applicants. Non-traditional applicants need to contact the ILA Office for details well in advance of the application deadline. We will screen their educational background and documents to decide whether they are eligible or not. If they are eligible, they can officially apply for our program.

Can I apply for the ILA even if I do not have any experiences living abroad ?
Yes. You can apply for us as long as you meet the requirements.Qualification.pdf[PDF 146KB]

Is there a minimum GPA to get accepted ?
We do not require a minimum GPA.

Is there a special admission just for returnee students?
There is no special admission targeted just for returnee students.

Do you have age requirement ? Do you also give equal opportunities to mature students?
Students should be at least 18 years of age at the time of enrollment at the University unless you skipped a grade or started your compulsory education earlier. We give completely equal opportunities to any age.

Application Procedure

Can I apply online?
We accept online application through the Common Application.For more details, please refer to the webpage.

I have missed the application deadline. Is it possible to send in a late application?
We do not accept late applications. All the required documents must arrive at the ILA Office by the respective deadlines.

Application Documents

For the Certificate of Expected Graduation, may I send my high school’s official form?
You can submit the Certificate of Expected Graduation using your school’s form. Please note that the Certificate should be written in Japanese or English.

What if my high school does not issue a certificate of expected graduation?
If the transcript shows the date of expected graduation, you do not need to submit a certificate of expected graduation. If your school does not issue a certificate of expected graduation, please ask them to fill out the form for the certificate of expected graduation we provide.Certificate_of_Expected_Graduation.pdf[PDF 480KB]

May I submit a copy of my original diploma? I am unable to submit the original since I only have one and I need to keep it.
We only accept originals or officially notarized/certified documents. If you submit original documents and would like to have them returned, please enclose a note in the application packet indicating which document(s) you wish to have returned.However,due to international postal conditions beyond our control,it is not possible to guarantee either timely or safe return of any documents.

How can I submit the test scores such as TOEFL and IELTS?
Please make arrangements with the testing institution so that the official score reports(We do not accept electoronic score reports and photocopy) will be sent to ILA. We also accept original TOEFL Test Taker Score Report. Please request the delivery of the officia scores well in advance as it may take more than eight weeks for the scores to be delivered to Doshisha University.

I am native speakers of English. Do I have to submit an English proficiency score ?
The submission of an English proficiency score is exempted for applicants who are native speakers of English and applicants with twelve or more years of education in English.

I have already ordered an official score report directly to Doshisha University. Do you accept if it arrives before the application period?
Yes. Please indicate the date you requested on the Application Documents Check list.

Would you tell me the successful applicant’ average marks of TOEFL, IELTS and Duolingo?
Unfortunately, we do not currently disclose any statistics regarding our applicants. Those who have TOEFL® iBT 85 or above, IELTS Academic 6.5 or above, and Duolingo 110 or above are eligible to apply.

Do you provide a recommendation letter format ?
No. It is free format.

Can my "letter of recommendation" be written in Japanese?
Letter of recommendation should be written in English but if you cannot find anyone who can write it in English, we would accept it written in Japanese.

Can I ask my school to send the documents such as academic transcript and Certificate of Graduation, directly to the ILA office?
Yes. Please indicate on the application check list that it will be sent directly from your school.

One of my application documents will not reach your office in time for the application period. Can I send other documents first by the application deadline and another document after the deadline?
You can send other documents first but all the documents must arrive at the ILA Office by the deadline. We do not process incomplete applications.

Transfer Student

Can I apply as a transfer student?
There are a limited number of places for transfer students. Please check our news on the ILA website or contact the ILA Office to confirm availability before applying.

Is it possible to transfer some credits from my former university?
Yes. The credit transfer procedures starts after a student is accepted. If you would like to request credit transfer, you need to submit ①an official transcripts from the former school,②a full syllabus (or other documents that describe the courses in detail) for each course and ③an official credit hour definition from the former school. Please note that some of your credits may not be approved by the ILA. You may need to spend more than two years (four semesters) to earn a BA degree.

How many courses would I have to take if I am enter as a third year student?
The number of credits you need to earn at Doshisha for graduation depends on how many transfer credits you can get. ILA students must complete a total of 124 credits. In general, you can earn 2 credits for each course at the ILA.

I am currently in a junior college (専門学校). Can I apply for a third-year transfer student admission?
You need to submit a certificate that indicates that you will be receiving a Diploma (専門士).

Japanese Language

Is it necessary for me to take any Japanese language course?
The ILA program is taught exclusively in English and has no Japanese language requirement. We recommend that you to take Japanese courses to enhance your life in Kyoto. To do so, please take the Japanese Placement Test conducted by the Center for Japanese Language and Culture (CJLC). It is usually done prior to enrollment and determines class placement.

Can I take Japanese language courses since I have been away from Japanese education for a while, although my mother tongue is Japanese?
Please take the Japanese Placement Test. You may not be able to take Japanese language courses if the CJLC judges based on the test result that your level of Japanese proficiency is too high and you do not need to study Japanese.Please note that students whose native language is Japanese are not permitted to register for Japanese Language courses.

Are students in the ILA program allowed to take courses in Japanese in other departments if they want?
Students may take courses in Japanese offered by other departments from their 3rd semester. General and Liberal Education Subjects in Japanese are available from 1st semester if their Japanese language is good enough to follow the classes.