Since the earliest days of Musashino Art University, our mission has been to train professionals equipped with a good general education and of superlative character for careers in various fields of the formative arts, focusing primarily on the realms of fine arts and design. To achieve this, the University is deeply mindful of the need to arm students with a combination of generalist and specialist skills, and remain faithful to our founding spirit of providing art education that allows students to function with true freedom as human beings, and producing artists of well-rounded erudition.
Japanese tertiary education is currently undergoing a major transformation, and many in the sector believe that total immersion in a specialist domain should be the defining characteristic of a university education. However, this is not necessarily the position of MAU, which aims to offer the best possible grounding in the formative arts. This is because we believe that when it comes to specializing in the realms of art and design at the undergraduate level, a true education in art and design can only be obtained through a well-balanced combination of liberal arts subjects, in which students study a wide range of disciplines that will help them to cultivate the all-round judgmental and critical faculties needed to major in their intended field of art or design. This includes subjects dealing in the fundamentals of art and design, in which they study in domains other than their own majors and attend lectures and classes in other departments, the aim being to understand the place and foundations of their specialty from a more holistic art and design perspective; and the departmental subjects by which students in each department pursue specialist capabilities specific to their realm of art or design.
The liberal arts subjects are composed of four subject groups; cultural studies subjects, subjects related to the culture of language, subjects related to physical culture, and subjects related to the culture of art and design. Students can select freely from these subjects provided their selection meets certain criteria, and build the foundations for the specialist field they intend to pursue, in the best form for their needs. Lectures and classes are compiled in a more individual manner than usual, for example incorporating cross-genre perspectives, or delving deeper into themes at each stage. Needless to say, subjects are offered that cover not just the conventional liberal arts curriculum but new areas as well, and that address new developments in social systems such as globalization and the growth of the information society.
Subjects dealing in the fundamentals of art and design aim to help all students identify and extend their latent abilities in art and design by allowing them to experience firsthand areas of art and design other than their own specialties, and are scheduled from the first semester of the first year to the first semester of the second year.
The departmental subjects offered by each department start with the theoretical foundations, methods of expression and other basic knowledge indispensable to professionals, and develop into more advanced professional programs.
This organic linking of subject groups and step-by-step development are significant features of the curriculum at Musashino Art University, and are grounded in the University's long-held conviction that the foundations for excellence in the arts lie in the nurturing of well-rounded human beings of superlative education.