At the ILA we know that it would be simple to base our admission policy on quantifiable criteria. However, our
educational mission demands that before we admit an applicant we discover how that person might contribute to and
benefit from the lively, academic, social, and extracurricular activity at the Institute and the University. For this
reason, we ask each applicant to submit a range of documents that help us to select each incoming cohort of students.
Within the larger University, the ILA student body is small (approximately 200 students divided over four years, with
additional students studying in our classes from other departments and programs across the 29,000-student University
including exchange students from our worldwide network of partner universities).
● The ideal student
The ILA is dedicated to creating a community of students who are all committed to an interdisciplinary, liberal arts program of undergraduate education that is unique in its global outlook and local context. To achieve this, in our holistic application process we look for the following qualities in our applicants:
1. linguistic skills that allow effective self-expression in both written and spoken forms;
2. a critical literacy that enables both independent thinking and questioning of assumptions;
3. a diverse background with a multitude of educational and social experiences;
4. the maturity to take responsibility for academic learning and life in a new environment;
5. the intellectual curiosity to reflect upon global issues through the local lens of Japan.
● Admission procedure
Once your application is received it is screened to ensure that all documents are in order and all sections of the application are completed in full. Please be aware that incomplete applications may be disqualified.
Once screening is complete, your application is thoroughly evaluated and graded by faculty members. Professors carefully assess your personal statement, evaluate your transcripts and recommendations, as well as review your background and relevant skills and qualifications.
If your application passes this first evaluation stage you are invited to an interview on Zoom. The interview is a chance for you to represent yourself as a good candidate for the ILA. You will get a chance in person to explain your motivation for studying at Doshisha and the ILA. It is a chance for the professors to get to know you and for you to have the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about life at the ILA. During the interview we evaluate your:
1. motivation and commitment to liberal arts program;
2. familiarity with current events and academic topics;
3. intellectual curiosity;
4. social aptitude and leadership; and
5. academic and scholastic capacity and communication skills.
● Successful applicants
In the past, successful applicants:
1. tended to be able to identify specific courses on offer and to link these with their personal and/or academic interests;
2. demonstrated a consistent ability to link their experiences and skills to discussion about world issues that they care about;
3. were already engaged in some kind of self-directed study, going beyond school supplied materials in building upon their passions and interests; and
4. were able to clearly articulate a link between personal experience and passion for the Liberal Arts.
The ILA assumes that all applicants have an excellent secondary school record. However, over and beyond a high GPA and outstanding standardized exam scores (typically students accepted to the ILA have an IB score of 32 or above, a SAT score of about 1200 or above, an ACT score of around 25 or above, or three GCE A levels), most importantly we look for applicants who demonstrate a passion for the liberal arts program with an obvious and strong potential for contributing to the intellectual and social life of the Institute.