Waseda University Semester Exchange Program
Columbia University's School of Law has established a semester exchange program with Waseda University School of Law under which up to two Columbia Law students substantially fluent in Japanese may spend the fall semester of their third year in Japan.
Most classes are conducted in Japanese, although a few offerings may be in English. Columbia students are admitted to Waseda as "sponsored students" and are assigned to a Waseda faculty member who will monitor the student's academic performance.
Waseda University is a private, independent institution founded in 1882. The University is an urban, commuter university located in metropolitan Tokyo, and is considered to be one of the top private schools in Japan.
The fall semester at Waseda is from September to January with an orientation meeting held in September. Exchange students are permitted to finish their study by the last class in December so that they can return home for the holidays.
Eligibility & Application Procedure
Students must be substantially fluent in Japanese in order to apply, and will be asked to demonstrate their proficiency through an interview. The application is available online from early February through early March. Students who are accepted to the Waseda exchange program are required to write a brief statement (1-2 pages) describing their educational objectives and intended course of study at Waseda. Applications are reviewed by both Columbia and Waseda, with Waseda determining final acceptance.
Description of Courses & Credit Hours
In order to satisfy residency requirements, the American Bar Association prescribes a minimum of 11 CLS credits be earned at a foreign institution. Most courses at Waseda are year-long, 4-credit courses that usually meet once a week for 90 minutes. Since courses at Waseda are year-long, Columbia students are allowed to register for a portion of a course, and earn 2 credits instead of 4. The instructor will devise an appropriate means of evaluating the student on the portion of the course attended by means of written or oral examination or research paper.
Students choose from a curriculum that includes: 1.) a basic civil or commercial code course; 2.) one or more courses in a more specialized subject; 3.) a seminar; and 4.) a guided research paper (40 pages). The guided research paper is a special 4-credit course for independent research under the supervision of a Waseda faculty member. In order to earn 11 CLS credits, students take a total of 3 courses at Waseda plus the 4-point research paper. The paper, which can count toward the student's writing requirement, can be written in either Japanese or in English, but must utilize Japanese sources. At least one course is offered in English and the topics vary from year to year, but can include Japanese Business Law, Intellectual Property Law, and International Law.
More information can be obtained from the Waseda website.
Requirements for Student Performance & Grading Methods
Work is graded as Excellent, Good, Pass, and Fail. Students must submit written reports on their course work to Columbia every four weeks (1 page per course). Students who fail to comply with this requirement will not receive credit regardless of their grades at Waseda. Students' written work in examinations and papers will be reviewed by Columbia Law School after it has been graded in Japan. Acceptance of any credit or grade for any course taken in the program is subject to determination by Columbia Law School. Students will receive transcripts from Waseda, but the Columbia transcripts will reflect credit for courses passed.
Please note: participation in an exchange program or semester study abroad program does not exempt students from any requirements for the J.D. degree (i.e. pro bono service, etc).
Students will continue to pay Columbia tuition, health insurance and health service fees. Other Columbia Student Activity Fees will be waived. Tuition fees at Waseda will be waived.
Waseda University has reserved the right to cancel any course for reasons of insufficient student registration. If changes are announced prior to a student's departure from the U.S. and the student is unable to identify satisfactory substitute courses, the student may choose to withdraw from the program. If cancellation occurs after the student has arrived in Japan, substitute courses must be selected and submitted for the approval to the Dean of Comparative and International Programs of Columbia Law School.
Parker School Recognition
Students participating in a semester study abroad program are eligible to receive up to 7 of the 10 required academic points in international, foreign or comparative law. Students should contact the Parker School upon completion of the program to ascertain how many credits will be awarded for their foreign study.
Contact Individuals & Application
Office of International Programs
Tel: (212) 854-8170; fax: (212) 851-7691
Columbia Law School
435 W. 116th St
New York, NY 10027
Columbia Law School's Office of International Programs is located at:
William and June Warren Hall (WJ)
1125 Amsterdam Avenue, 6th Floor
Waseda University School of Law
1-6-1 Nishi-Waseda Shinjuku-ku,
Tokyo 169-8050 Japan
Tel: 03-5286-1317 Fax: 03-5286-1853
Ms. Yumi Shirai
Tel: 81-3-3232-3924 Fax: 81-3-3232-3935
Waseda website: www.waseda.ac.jp