About ILAS


The Great East Japan Earthquake of M 9.0, which occurred on March 11, 2011, caused strong ground shaking, a massive tsunami and a serious nuclear power plant accident, resulting in a disaster of unprecedented scale in the history of Japan. As a leading university located at the center of the affected area, Tohoku University has a special obligation to contribute to recovery and reconstruction from this disaster. The new president of the university Susumu Satomi, appointed on April 1, 2012, announced to achieve a goal that Tohoku University leads the rebirth of Tohoku area, as making a leap into a world-class research university. To achieve this goal, the Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Center for the Advancement of Higher Education are reforming liberal arts education which is the heart of university education for undergraduate students. campus


The Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences needs faculty members who are highly motivated and knowledgeable about the liberal arts and general science education. To meet this demand, the president of the university appoints extraordinary professors from among the emeritus professors with outstanding background in research and education and a wide range of knowledge and experience, especially in the area of international collaborations. These extraordinary professors have seminar classes in the first-year student program, and stimulate students intellectually. They also make their best endeavors to improve liberal arts and general science education programs. In addition to these extraordinary professors, the president appoints faculty members for improvement of liberal arts, foreign language, and health and physical education in the first and second year education program.


The former president Akihisa Inoue formulated an action plan (Inoue Plan 2007) in March 2007 in each of five key areas (education, research, social contribution, campus environment and organization/management) for realizing a truly world-class university. The action plan in the area of education aims at 1) improving the quality of our liberal arts education, which is the heart of university education, 2) raising the level of our professional and graduate school training to promote knowledge creation, 3) developing a new educational system, 4) improving student support systems, and 5) developing an admissions strategy to attract highly motivated students. Under this action plan, the Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences was established on April 1, 2008.


①Basic Seminar
Basic Seminars are introductory seminars designed to support the success of new incoming freshmen and transfer students at the university. Through a study of a scientific topic in a specific field in a small, “learn-by-doing” classroom environment, students improve study techniques and problem-solving skills. The extraordinary professors of the Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences place more emphasis on creativity, and stimulate students intellectually with a wide range of knowledge and experience in education and research.
②Contribution to Curriculum Development
In the first and second years, students choose subjects from “Subjects Common across Campus” according to their interest. Among these subjects are liberal arts, foreign language, information science, health and physical education and introductory seminar. The faculty members of the Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences contribute to curriculum development in these education programs.
③Seminars and Joint Lectures
The extraordinary professors and faculty members of the Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences offer seminars and joint lectures to debate the values and roles of liberal arts education in today’s society. These debates help students to understand the importance of liberal arts education.

④Publication of a Brochure “Dokusho-no-Nenrin”
This brochure is a book review to motivate and inspire first year students. Each extraordinary professor introduces 6 books based on his own experience in education and research.


⑤Suggestions for Improvement of Liberal Arts Education
Extraordinary professors and faculty members of the Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences give suggestions for improvement of liberal arts education to the president and vice-president based on their educational experiences.

book Dokusho-no-Nenrin