Faculty of Letters

Chiba University was founded in 1949, as a result of the merging of schools and faculties that originally started teaching as far back as the 19th Century. After half a century, it has grown to become the fourth largest in terms of student enrollment among the 99 government institutions of higher education. Approximately, 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled, and the number of academic staff engaged in research and teaching totals more than 1,300.

The history of the Faculty of Letters began when the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences was founded in 1949. The Faculty of Letters was reorganized most recently in 1994 into its current four divisions: Behavioral Sciences, Historical Studies, Japanese Culture Studies, and International Languages and Cultures. Having been steadily growing in size, it now has teaching staff of more more than 80, and more than 860 undergraduate and graduate students from all over Japan and the world. It now enjoys one of the most diverse, comprehensive, and advanced structures of all undergraduate faculties at national and private universities of Japan.

The new structure for research and teaching of the Faculty of Letters still puts a strong emphasis on fundamental academic disciplines. However, we also seek to develop new research methods and have started completely new academic fields, aiming to achieve the comprehensiveness that is needed to cover diverse academic disciplines.

The Behavioral Sciences Division combines more traditional disciplines like philosophy and sociology with brand-new academic fields like cognitive and information sciences. The Division of Historical Studies is one of the largest of its kind in Japan, and is developing totally new methodological approaches, as well as pursuing innovative theoretical and empirical studies. At the (Division of) Japanese and Eurasian Cultures Studies, courses are offered for training of Japanese language teachers, with an emphasis on deep cross-cultural understanding and extensive knowledge and expertise in the language, as well as practical teaching methods. An intensive research program has been developed on Northern Eurasian language, history, culture and society. The Division of International Languages and Cultures takes a multi-faceted, multi-level approach for the comparative study of various aspects of Euro-American languages, literature, and cultures.

In a period of rapid cultural changes, the Faculty is committed to establishing courses and supporting research that focus on cultural-change processes. Much of the research and teaching in its divisions is being conducted from an interdisciplinary and cross-national perspective. In a response to the increasingly borderless era that is before us, the Faculty is also pursuing ways to improve foreign language instruction, to promote more students and faculty exchanges with international institutions of higher education, and to put in place comprehensive programs for international exchanges of research information and international research collaboration projects.

As we move toward a global information society, the Faculty has wired all of its facilities and implemented a user-friendly network system that can be used by the whole faculty. This system is one of the most advanced and best designed among those systems being utilized by universities throughout Japan and in other countries. Every student is required to take a course in information processing, and the Faculty's computer network is shared by both students and teachers. In several academic fields, the Faculty has become a key exchange center for transfer of information between Japanese and international research institutions.