A Liberal Arts Curriculum

There are many ingredients that give the iCLA curriculum its unique character. In liberal arts education you study a variety of disciplines while acquiring depth in your chosen major. The qualities of liberal arts education such as critical thinking, communication, creative problem-solving skills bring wholeness to student education. The student learning experience is enhanced by small class sizes and a close interaction between students and faculty.

View our full curriculum course list and download our detailed course syllabi.

Study Flow Chart


iCLA offers four majors within our innovative liberal arts curriculum. During the first year, students take foundation and omnibus courses from our core curriculum across all four majors, providing the necessary exposure to make an informed decision about which major to follow.

Global Business & Economics

The Global Business and Economics major offers a blend between an applied approach to Business and a social-science oriented emphasis on Economics. All courses are studied from a global perspective, giving students a career advantage in the modern global society, whatever their chosen career path.

Political Science

Political Science addresses some of the fundamental problems facing human society. Through varied learning and assessment methods, students develop a deep understanding of political science, its various sub-fields, major themes, and analytical techniques

Interdisciplinary Arts

Interdisciplinary Arts is an exciting major that includes art, music, performance, literature and linguistics. Students gain a rich understanding of their chosen field and the wider creative process by exploring these disciplines from practical, theoretical and historical perspectives.

Japan Studies

Japan provides a variety of exhilarating and sometimes puzzling experiences that give rise to many questions. Japan Studies endeavors to answer these questions by providing students with a comprehensive understanding of Japan’s language, culture, history, politics, and economics.

Elective courses and workshops supplement your major throughout the four years at iCLA, providing the width, flexibility and interdisciplinary nature of true liberal arts education. Electives can be chosen from any of the majors, or from our area studies courses in:

  • Japanese Language
  • Sociology & Psychology
  • Quantitative Reasoning & Natural Sciences
  • Health & Physical Education


Experiential learning workshops offer unique opportunities to gain hands-on experience in a range of cultural, practical and creative areas of study. The Interdisciplinary Arts and Japan Studies majors feature workshops within their relevant disciplines. Among the huge variety of workshops offered at iCLA students can experience traditional Japanese music, arts and culture such as Noh Theatre, Shakuhachi (bamboo flute) and Koto (Japanese harp), Shodo (calligraphy), Sado (tea ceremony), Kado (flower arranging), and various Japanese martial arts to name but a few.

Study abroad is an integral part of the iCLA curriculum to develop students’ international perspectives and global outlook. All students have the opportunity to study abroad with one of our partner institutions. For Japanese students, 2 semesters of study abroad are compulsory. For international students, study abroad is optional and there is a choice of either 1 or 2 semesters overseas. For more information, please visit the Study Abroad section.

The Language Learning & Acquisition Program encompasses two language programs and the Language Acquisition Centre facility. The aim of LLAP is to ensure students’ success in their pursuit of language acquisition for both international students learning Japanese through the Japanese Language Program (JLP), and Japanese students learning English through the English for Academic Excellence (EAE) course.

The Japanese Language Program provides international students the opportunity to reach a high level of proficiency in Japanese by the time they graduate, even if they join iCLA with little or no Japanese language ability. Courses are divided into three levels: Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced. All international students are required to complete the elementary Japanese level courses before graduation.

For more information about language acquisition, please visit the LLAP page.

Employability and developing transferrable skills are a key component of the educational philosophy at iCLA. As such we offer a Career Design course as an integral part of the degree programme to ensure students are fully prepared for their future careers after graduation.

Career Design 1 is a mandatory course for all students and is offered in both English and Japanese. Students will learn how to identify their personality strengths, interests, and talents, as well as how to develop their personal profile. The course will look at what it means to pursue a career and life mission, not just a job. Students will learn how to research about a career, and think intelligently about it rather than be influenced by assumptions and opinions. This will serve as a foundation in career selection and development.

Career Design 2 and 3 are taught in Japanese and explore advanced level concepts specific to the Japanese job market for those who intend to pursue a career in Japan after graduating.

iCLA also offers internship opportunities which provide students an opportunity to experience the world of work by working alongside professionals in their particular area of career interest.

For more information about careers and internships, please visit the Career Support section.