GDP Curriculum

Educational Style

GDP brings together some of the best aspects of the western liberal arts education and the Japanese university education. From the liberal arts tradition, we take a rigorous coursework with an emphasis on critical thinking, academic reading and writing, small-class discussions, and interdisciplinary curriculum. From the Japanese tradition, we take a-year-long Senior Project conducted under a close mentorship of a faculty member in a collaborative environment of the Research Seminars and Laboratories. 


GDP has a flexible curriculum with very few required courses (See our curriculum handbook for required courses and credit requirements for graduation). Each student is assigned an academic advisor and a mentor who will help them design their own curriculum. Typically, students spend their first two years exploring different academic fields, then gradually narrow down their focus before conducting their Senior Project in the final year of their undergraduate education.

GDP Curriculum Handbook & Course Information

The Interdisciplinary Foundation

In the first and second year, students take courses in a broad range of academic disciplines in our four academic clusters, and gradually narrow down their focus. Students also take language courses they need for academic purposes, everyday needs, and future career aspiration. In addition to the language courses offered by the university’s Center for Language Education, GDP offers academic English and academic Japanese courses specifically tailored to the needs of our students. GDP students can also take courses offered by other faculties and schools within the university in Japanese. Some students may also be able to conduct their senior project with a researcher there.

Major Education:

By the end of the second year, students find a specific discipline to focus on for their Senior Project. Most of them continue to take courses from multiple disciplines, but begin spending more time on one concentration area.


Starting in their third year, students join a Research Seminar or a laboratory of a faculty member where they start preparing for their Senior Project. The Senior Project is a year long thesis project conducted in the final year of their university education.