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  2. About D.W.C.L.A.
  3. D.W.C.L.A. in Brief

About D.W.C.L.A. D.W.C.L.A. in Brief

D.W.C.L.A. in Brief


Overview of D.W.C.L.A.

Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts was established in Kyoto in 1876 by Joseph Hardy Neesima, his wife Yae Neesima, the American missionary Alice J. Starkweather, and others. Maintaining a history of constant innovation, the college today has approximately 6,500 students studying in six faculties, one postgraduate certificate program and four graduate schools. Our educational and research activities are based on the three educational pillars of Christianity, internationalism, and liberal arts. In 2016 we celebrated the 140th anniversary of our founding.

Joseph Hardy Neesima and Yae

Joseph Hardy Neesima and Yae

Fact Sheet (as of May 1, 2017)

  • ・Undergraduate students: 6,448
  • ・Postgraduate students: 19
  • ・Graduate students: 47(Doctoral program 20, Master's program 27)
  • ・Alumnae: 65,461
  • ・Full-time faculty: 187
  • ・Site area: 154,968 m² (Kyotanabe 130,993 m², Imadegawa 23,975 m²)
  • ・Building area: 85,378 m² (Kyotanabe 58,653 m², Imadegawa 26,725 m²)
  • ・Library holdings: 565,684 volumes (Kyotanabe 360,329, Imadegawa 205,355)

As of May 1, 2017

Undergraduate Programs

Faculty Department No. of Students No. of Full-Time Instructors No. of Part-Time Instructors
Faculty of Liberal Arts Department of Music (Music Performance Major, Music Culture Major)
Department of Information and Media
Department of International Studies
Faculty of Contemporary Social Studies Department of Social System Studies
Department of Childhood Studies
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Department of Clinical Pharmacy
Faculty of Nursing Department of Nursing
Faculty of Culture and Representation Department of English
Department of Japanese Language and Literature
Faculty of Human Life and Science Department of Human Life Studies
Department of Food Science and Nutrition
(Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics)

Postgraduate Certificate Program

  No. of Students No. of Full-Time Instructors No. of Part-Time Instructors
Postgraduate Certificate Program in Music

Graduate Programs

Graduate School Course   No. of Students No. of Full-Time Instructors No. of Part-Time Instructors
Graduate School of Literary Studies Doctoral Course (1st half) English
Japanese Studies
Doctoral Course (2nd half) English
Japanese Studies
Master's Course Information and Culture Studies
Graduate School of
International Social System Studies
Master's Course International Social System Studies
Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences Doctoral Course Clinical Pharmaceutical Sciences
Graduate School of Human Life and Science Master's Course Life Style Design Studies
Food Science and Nutrition Studies




Sophisticated Kyotanabe Campus
[ Departments ]

Located in the Kansai Science City area at the junction of Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara prefectures, the Kyotanabe campus offers a spacious and relaxed study environment with state-of-the-art facilities in a richly green setting. Special features include Neesima Memorial Auditorium, equipped with a pipe organ; an outdoor escalator; and Keisui-kan, equipped with a mock pharmacy. In 2010 a new courtyard, christened "Vinculum Garden," was opened. ("Vinculum" is Latin for "bond of union.")



Historic Imadegawa Campus
[ Departments ]

The atmosphere of the old capital and the college’s 140-year-old history and tradition are palpable on this beautiful campus that also boasts state-of-the-art facilities. The many tasteful buildings include Eiko-kan and James-kan, designated as Tangible Cultural Properties. The underground library is a rarity in Japan. Kyoto Imperial Palace is located across the street from the campus, and the Kamo River and World Heritage Shimogamo Shrine are also in easy walking distance.

Stable Management

The Doshisha has a stable financial foundation and is rated “AA+” by Rating and Investment Information, Inc. (R&I)

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Educational System

Educational System Offers Diversity and Flexibility

With liberal arts as part of our core educational philosophy, we offer a wide range of flexible study options that enable students to demonstrate their individuality and eagerness to the full while they expand their knowledge. Students can take courses offered by departments other than the one they are enrolled in, take courses at Doshisha University and the Consortium of Universities in Kyoto and participate in a domestic student exchange program. By selecting courses of interest from a wide range of options and correlating them as they study, D.W.C.L.A. students can deepen their interests and specialization while gaining a broad perspective on life and developing a lively, creative mind.

a classroom scene

Curriculum Structure Designed to Enhance Expertise

With our step-by-step curriculum of specialized courses, students can acquire a high level of expertise in a systematic and effective way. We also offer an array of courses aimed at practical training. As a result, a high percentage of our students pass the national exams for pharmacists and registered dietitians. Students can also take deepen their studies by taking related courses offered at other departments.

Small-Group Instruction

Since our founding, we have continually emphasized intensive small-group instruction to cultivate students’ individual qualities and intellectual potential. Discussions and group work are the main activities of such intimate classes. This is an ideal environment for students to acquire independence and logical thinking as well as to hone presentation skills and communication skills over the four years of study.

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Student Life Support Services

Big Sister Program

Started in 1957, this unique program has a history of more than 50 years. Prior to enrollment, each participating student is matched with a reliable older student (Big Sister) chosen on the basis of the new student’s department, hometown, hobby, and other information. The Big Sister will help ensure that her Little Sister adjusts to the new environment as quickly as possible. Approximately 473 new students benefited from this program in 2015.

big sister, little sister


The purpose of the orientation program is to help new students shift smoothly from high school to college. Student leaders take the central role in the orientation and work together with faculty members to welcome new students into the college community. At the new students’ exchange party, participants from the same home prefecture are grouped at the same table and enjoy a relaxed, cross-departmental conversation with each other as well as with other students and faculty.

Advisor System

Students are grouped into classes, each of which is allocated one faculty member who offers students personalized guidance on their student life and future careers.


In addition to scholarships offered by the national and local governments and private organizations, our college also offers a range of scholarships of its own. More than one third of the student body currently receives one of these scholarships to support their studies in Japan or abroad.

Residence Halls

We have two residence halls, Migiwa Residence hall and Megumi Residence Hall, one near each campus to provide accommodation as well as support in security, nutrition, and health to students from distant areas. Each residence hall accommodates 100-120 students.

Various On- and Off-Campus Events

Every October more than 1,000 students take part in the Sports Festival held at Kyotanabe Campus, and leading up to Founding Day (Nov. 29) Imadegawa Campus bustles with EVE, the school festival. Summer Camp and Spring Camp also attract many student participants.

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Events Related to Christianity

Chapel Hour

In keeping with its bedrock Christian principles, the college has been holding chapel hour worship services every school morning since its foundation. Chapel hour is a time when students can experience the Christian spirit and calm their minds with music of the pipe organ, a hymn, Scripture, a short talk, and prayer.

  • chapel hour

    chapel hour

  • retreat


Retreat and Work Camp

Held spring and fall at Doshisha Biwako Retreat Center the retreat is an overnight program that allows attendees to cultivate their minds in a quiet environment. Work Camp is an event held every September at a welfare facility in Gunma, the birthplace of founder Joseph Hardy Neesima. Through the week-long experience of volunteer work, participants are encouraged to contemplate the meaning of life. Both events are unique to our college and uphold our dedication to Christian principles.

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Career Support

We are committed to offering each student support and guidance regarding her career path throughout her four years at our college. From the beginning, students are encouraged to think about their future career options and shape their outlook on life and work through related courses. In addition, we offer qualification examination preparation courses that are attended by more than 2,000 students every year, as well as internship programs at business and governmental organizations. Third and fourth year students are eligible for job placement guidance, seminars, and meeting sessions with recruitment staff and alumnae. Also available are a hospitality seminar in collaboration with ANA Group, and the teacher training program center for those who seek a teaching position as their first career choice.

career support

Entrance Exam Options

In keeping with our founding philosophy, we provide a variety of entrance exam options hoping to recruit promising individuals with diverse qualifications and abilities. The options include general entrance exams, exams by recommendation, and Admissions Office exams. Moreover, examinations are held in major cities across the country. This system offers applicants multiple chances to apply for the same department, and enables each one to choose an option that suits her dream and purpose.

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Social Contribution and Academic-Industry Collaboration

A College Open to Community and Society

Various events are open to the public, among them the unique open lecture series "Learning the History and Culture of Kyoto in a Machiya"; Shakespeare Production, an annual all-student production by the Department of English going back over 60 years; and regular concerts of the Department of Music as well as an annual performance of Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro." In addition students collaborate with local community and businesses on a variety of projects. The Department of Childhood Studies hosts "Kodo-Pa," an event for elementary school students in Kyotanabe City, and the Food Research Club develops and sells original food merchandise in collaboration with Kyoto Brighton Hotel. These activities not only contribute to the community but also allow students to demonstrate their academic progress and creativity in cooperation with society and businesspeople.

Shakespeare production

Shakespeare Production

Global Initiatives

D.W.C.L.A. has joined the United Nations Global Compact, a strategic policy initiative, becoming the third higher education institution in Japan to do so. Supporting the idea of creating a global framework for realizing sustainable development, we implement various initiatives to comply with the UN Global Compact's ten principles including environment and labor standards.

global compact logo

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For High School Students

Open Campus / Campus Tour

Open Campus is held throughout the year. The program features a variety of events including introduction of departments, mini lectures, individual consultations by current students, and campus tours. For those unable to attend, we offer campus tours on weekends and holidays between April and December.

open campus

Competitions for High School Students

We sponsor two competitions for high school students: a tanka poetry contest called "SEITO Hyakunin Isshu" and a photo contest called "SEITO Photo-Con." Both competitions receive many applications from all over the country and overseas . Past winners' works are displayed on the college website.

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Some 64,000 D.W.C.L.A. graduates (as of 2016) are actively engaged around the world. Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts Alumnae Association is called "Vine" in the hope that it will serve as a "grapevine" that binds our alumnae together long after graduation. Vine hosts a wide array of events, including co-hosting Homecoming Day with Doshisha University. The alumnae association of the Doshisha is also for all alumnae of D.W.C.L.A. and Doshisha Girls' Junior and Senior High School, and hosts activities such as general meetings, reunions, and fairs.