Hitotsubashi University was founded as the Commercial Training School (Shoho-Koshujo) in 1875; it was later renamed the Tokyo Higher Commercial School before becoming the Tokyo University of Commerce. Throughout its long history, Hitotsubashi University has contributed to the economic and social development of Japan and the world through producing highly capable professionals equipped with a strong sense of mission, expertise in objective analysis, and deep intellectual insight.
The Faculty of Commerce and Management carries on its proud traditions as one of the world’s oldest business schools, and is dedicated to the mission of developing business professionals fully able to take an active interest in corporate and market-related phenomena, to observe those phenomena closely in order to identify unresolved problems, to apply social scientific ideas and theories to the task of formulating solutions to those problems, and to put their solutions into practice in the real world.
Such professionals must possess (1) leadership abilities with profound insights and effective communication skills, (2) creativity underpinned by advanced expertise, and (3) high ethical standards and noble values marked by compassion for others and a global perspective.
Students of the Faculty of Commerce and Management are expected to contribute to and play a key role in society in Japan and beyond as professionals with a strong hands-on orientation; this means having the ability to creatively apply all intellectual resources to the task of solving the problems at hand, rather than simply accumulating knowledge at a theoretical level. Students are also expected to develop a cosmopolitan mindset, characterized by the capacity to make the most of their abilities unfettered by language and cultural differences.
The study of commerce at the Faculty of Commerce and Management can be described as the applied social sciences of business and markets. In other words, the study of commerce involves analyzing and investigating business and market-related phenomena from diverse perspectives that include such core disciplinary areas as management, accounting, finance, and marketing; it also involves using insights gained from associated social science disciplines, such as economics, history, sociology, and psychology, and applying the findings to real-world situations.
The Faculty of Commerce and Management fosters professionals with (1) leadership abilities with profound insights and effective communication skills, (2) creativity underpinned by advanced expertise, and (3) high ethical standards and noble values marked by compassion for others and a global perspective.
To this end, the Faculty of Commerce and Management curriculum is organized around three core principles: (1) small-group education in seminar classes, (2) structuring of major courses to advance incremental learning, and (3) programs to cultivate basic proficiencies such as communication skills.
Firstly, the mainstay of the curriculum lies in education in small-group seminar classes. Students are provided with seminar classes tailored to their academic progression across the entire four years of the bachelor’s degree program, from entry point right through to graduation. In the first year, the Introductory Seminars offer attentive guidance that builds the foundations for critical reading, writing and thinking. The Proseminars in the second year cultivates basic abilities in reading specialist commerce texts in English. Then, in the seminars in the third year and beyond, students develop advanced capabilities in their chosen specializations and strong written and oral communication skills through profound discussions with their instructors and peers.
Over the four years of seminar course studies designed to promote interchange between social scientific ideas/theories and real-life phenomena, the curriculum develops professionals possessed with the abilities to closely examine the phenomena relating to business, formulate creative solutions to problems identified, and provide leadership to implement such solutions.
Secondly, the major courses are organized so as to enable incremental learning from foundations through to practical applications. The introductory level (100-series course codes) offers a broad base of knowledge essential for all students in the Faculty of Commerce and Management, across five different disciplinary areas: management, accounting, finance, marketing, and business economics. At the intermediate level (200-series), students acquire a wide range of specialized knowledge, which is the hallmark of study at the Faculty of Commerce and Management. At the advanced level (300-series), students acquire more advanced expertise in their respective fields of interest. Those who wish to pursue studies at an even more advanced level may enroll in courses (400-series) offered in conjunction with the master’s (researcher training) program in the HUB School of Business Administration. All courses incorporate themes of corporate social responsibility and international perspectives to instill in students noble values, high ethical standards, and a global mindset.
In order to ensure effective incremental acquisition of knowledge, limits are placed on the number of courses students can take in any one semester, and grades are awarded in accordance with the degree of mastery of the required content for each course. Students are also provided opportunities to take a variety of courses outside their own major at all stages of the degree program. Taking such courses helps students to shape the foundations for specialized learning and to deepen their understanding of and interest in such learning.
Thirdly, the curriculum offers programs in a variety of formats intended to cultivate an advanced cosmopolitan sense that allows students to use their abilities to advantage unfettered by language and cultural differences in increasingly globalized economic and social environments around the world. In their first year, students take mandatory courses in a university-wide educational program designed to improve foundational English communication skills. In the second year, there is an educational program (comprising elective courses) unique to the Faculty of Commerce and Management that enables students to further elevate their proficiency in English. From their second year, students can also access opportunities for study abroad through student exchange programs with overseas partner institutions and specialized courses in English offered for different proficiency levels.
The Faculty of Commerce and Management has also established the Shibusawa Scholar Program (SSP) with the aim of fostering global business leaders. Students selected to participate in SSP from their second year are provided with dedicated courses in English and opportunities for deep engagement with people from a wide range of backgrounds through study abroad experience. Through these programs, the Faculty of Commerce and Management supports students in their acquisition of the qualities and proficiencies essential for global business leadership.
In order to ascertain learning progress in the structured curricular programs outlined above, the Faculty of Commerce and Management implements AoL (Assurance of Learning) surveys compliant with international accreditation standards for business schools on an ongoing basis. The results of these surveys are used to enhance the content of individual courses and the curriculum as a whole. Moreover, the Faculty of Commerce and Management conducts its own Faculty Development (FD) activities periodically. Through FD, our faculty members share experiences and extend their understanding of teaching and evaluation methods—especially in the Introductory Seminars and Proseminars attended by all students—and work toward continuous improvement in these areas.
The mission of Hitotsubashi University Faculty of Commerce and Management is to foster individuals who have a keen interest in phenomena relating to business and markets and a capacity to explore such phenomena in depth in order to identify problems that need to be solved, to arrive at creative solutions to those problems through an ongoing process of reciprocal interaction between social scientific ideas/theories and real-life phenomena, and to provide leadership in advancing those solutions in practice. Students entering the Faculty of Commerce and Management will therefore study the applied social sciences of business and markets focusing on such disciplinary areas as management, accounting, finance, and marketing in small-group seminar courses that offer attentive guidance and a sequentially organized curriculum that effectively progresses from the basic to the applied.
In order to pursue their studies effectively after admission, students must have a keen interest in the betterment of society at large. Such an interest in a variety of social problems, not limited to business and markets, is a wellspring of motivation to identify challenges independently, learn in a self-directed manner, and arrive at one’s own conclusions.
In addition, advanced mathematical and logical skills are essential for the purposes of developing an in-depth theoretical understanding of the applied social sciences related to business organizations and markets and undertaking empirical analysis of social phenomena. Furthermore, our students must develop the foreign language communicative skills and general linguistic proficiencies they will need to succeed in the global arena. By developing a fundamental grounding in these areas in their learning up to the senior high school level, our students can expect a more enriching learning experience in the Faculty of Commerce and Management. Our entrance examinations are conducted in line with the policies described above.
The Faculty of Commerce and Management also operates a recommendations-based admissions system to provide a path to entrance for students with outstanding abilities in specific fields. Recommendations-based admission entails a multi-faceted evaluation that requires applicants to attain a certain level of results in the standardized university entrance examinations, as well as undergo a short essay examination and interview in the second round. The school also conducts admissions selection for privately-financed international students and actively welcomes students from around the world.