Waseda University (早稲田大学 Waseda Daigaku), abbreviated as Sōdai (早大), is a Japanese private research university in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Founded in 1882 as the Tōkyō Senmon Gakkō by Ōkuma Shigenobu, the school was formally renamed Waseda University in 1902.
Waseda consistently ranks among the most academically selective and prestigious universities in Japanese university rankings. It is often ranked alongside Keio University, its rival, as the best private university in Japan. In 2015–2016, Waseda ranked 212th in the QS World University Rankings. Waseda is among the top type of the select Japanese universities assigned additional funding under the MEXT's Top Global University Project to enhance Japan's global educational competitiveness.
Waseda has graduated many notable alumni, including seven Prime Ministers of Japan, numerous important figures of Japanese literature, including Haruki Murakami, and many CEOs, including Tadashi Yanai, the CEO of UNIQLO, Nobuyuki Idei, the former CEO of Sony, Takeo Fukui, the former President and CEO of Honda, Norio Sasaki, the former CEO of Toshiba, Lee Kun-hee, the Chairman of Samsung Group, Mikio Sasaki, the former Chairman of Mitsubishi, and Hiroshi Yamauchi and Shuntaro Furukawa, former and current Presidents of Nintendo respectively.
Application cycles are open one semester at a time. Applications for the fall/academic year will open around December 1 of the year prior and applications for spring/calendar year will open around July 1 of the year prior.
Click through the brochure tabs to learn more about this program.
In order to participate in this program, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
Additional Waseda University Eligibility Note:
- Students must have completed at least 45 credits at the time of departure.
- For students applying for fall or academic year programs, this total does not include summer coursework that has yet to be completed.
- Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA at the time of application and departure unless applying for the general international studies course.
- Students planning to study abroad in the last semester of their senior year should discuss this with their GEO program administrator and major advisor as this may affect their ability to graduate on time.
- Recent transfer students cannot study abroad their first semester (not including summer) at Mason.
- Grade level requirement: Waseda University has a requirement of third year (Junior) standing for some programs, particularly their Science and Engineering track programs. Applicants should review the links to the program options below. Programs with a requirement of third year standing will make a note of it. If there is no note, students may apply as second years (Sophomores).
Waseda University has 8 schools with programs for English-speaking exchange students. Political Science and Economics, Commerce, Social Science, International Liberal Studies, Fundamental Science and Engineering, Creative Science and Engineering, Advanced Science and Engineering, and Culture, Media and Society. They also offer a Japanese Language Program. Exchange Students need to take 10 hours (7 classes) per week for the student visa requirements.
Course options list (Follow Directions Below)
- Select Undergraduate (English based programs)
- There will be a course list for each academic division so you will need to review each section that matches your needs and interests.
- Select Japanese Language Program
- This program is for non-native language speakers who want to learn Japanese.
- The Japanese Language Program has its own course list.
Course Equivalency and Plan of Study
The Global Education Office has a Course Evaluation and Registration System
(CERS), which you will use to complete the steps needed to evaluate your courses abroad, and see how they will count at Mason. This database is accessible whether you have already applied, or are just beginning to think about studying abroad. Look at the courses in the database. You are by no means limited to these courses. The database shows courses that have already been evaluated. You can request equivalency for any course not yet evaluated, through CERS.
You are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to look at this institution’s courses ahead of time to see how they will match up to your Mason degree requirements. Talk to your academic advisor about what courses you will need to receive credit for during your time abroad to stay on-track for your degree. When looking at courses keep in mind that course schedules can change. We recommend having twice as many courses approved as necessary.
The academic calendar at Waseda is a bit different from Mason. The fall (third quarter) begins in late September and ends in late January and the spring (first quarter) begins in early April and ends in mid-July. Due to the structure of their calendar, students may study abroad for the academic year or spring only.
Students are expected to take a full-time course load during their time abroad. A full-time course load is 12-15 credits. A typical course is worth 2 credits.
- 1 Japanese language credit at Waseda = 2 credits at Mason
- 2 subject credits = 2 credits at Mason
Students must take a minimum of 6 classes per semester. which will allow you to transfer back at least 12 credits.
When transferring courses back to Mason, the credits will transfer but the grade will not. However, you must receive the equivalent of a "C" or above in order to transfer your credit back. Refer to the table below regarding how grades are converted at this institution.
|A+ (100 - 90)
|A (89 - 80)
|B (79 - 70)
|C (69 - 60)
|F (59 - 45)
|G (44 - 0)
Students participating in this study abroad program will automatically fulfill the Mason Global Understanding core requirement.
There are three dormitories reserved for international students. These dorms are between a 5 and 11 minute walk from campus. Placement in the dormitories is not guaranteed. There are also opportunities to rent apartments and participate in homestays. More information on housing at Waseda can be found here.
This is a Bilateral Exchange Program. Students are enrolled as regular students at the partner university, pay Mason tuition to Mason, and pay room and board abroad. Students can use the budget sheets located at the top of this page to see what GEO estimates as expenses.
As this is a Bilateral Exchange Program, students will pay for their tuition as they normally do in PatriotWeb.
Application Fee: A non-refundable application fee of $200 for Mason students. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system.
Administrative Fee: A non-refundable administrative fee of $325 (for semester length programs) or $525 (for year-long programs) must be received in order to confirm your enrollment in the program. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system.
Financial Aid: Students using financial aid are encouraged to talk to their counselor regarding how their financial aid can transfer to their program.
GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:
Fall/Academic Year: Early/Mid February
Spring/Calendar Year: Late October - Early November
Once accepted into a program, it will be your responsibility to apply for a student visa and/or residence permit (if required, based on your citizenship). You will receive details on this with your acceptance letter. Do not apply for a visa until after you have been officially accepted. Visit the Embassy of Japan's website for further information.
Application fee: $200 for Mason students.
Official Transcripts: An official copy of your Mason transcript is required as well as copies of official transcripts from any other college or university you have attended.
Passport Status: If you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now.
Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents.
Questionnaires: Read and complete the documents according to the instructions.
*Additional paperwork may be required for this program and can be viewed inside your application.