About the University

Seian University of Art and Design, founded in 1993 and located in the city of Otsu in Shiga Prefecture, offers 21 four-year courses in the art and design field, provided through 6 departments focusing on a particular area or areas.
As illustrated by our small class sizes, we do our utmost to get to know all our students and treat them as individuals, and the atmosphere on the campus is very comfortable and friendly. Our three motivating concepts are "individual guidance," "learning that guarantees expertise," and "career support". Keeping these concepts in mind at all times, we attempt to help our students realize their individual objectives, thus enabling them to contribute to society through their art—all in a beautiful learning environment in the heart of Japanese nature.
We are also dedicated to bettering the regional cultural scene. This we do in various ways, such as cooperating with local governments, companies and all kinds of groups to give students opportunities to participate in society-wide projects. We also better the regional cultural scene through the Seian Art Center, known as "Campus ga Bijutsukan" (literally, Campus as an Art Museum), where art exhibitions are shown in our nine on-campus galleries, and through the Omi Multicultural Institute, which researches and communicates information about the history and culture of the surrounding region of Shiga Prefecture.

Chairman, Board of Trustees: KOBAYASHI Toru
President: OKADA Shuji

Seian University of Art and Design - The philosophy of education

“Contributing to society through art”

6 Departments | 21 Courses

Integrated Studies Department Comprehensive Design Course
Illustration Department Illustration Course / Illustration Art Course / Digital Illustration Course / Comic and Picture Book Course / Animation Course / 3DCG Course / Figure and Toy Course / Landscape Illustration Course / Scientific Illustration Course
Fine Arts Department Japanese-style Painting Course / Painting Course / Contemporary Art Course
Media Design Department Graphic Design Course / Media Design Course / Photography Course / Video and Film Course
Spatial Design Department Costume Design Course / Product Design Course / Living Space Design Course
Creative Community Department Creative Studies Course

Integrated Studies Department

The Integrated Studies Department provides a thorough study of the design process, and teaches students how to employ design thinking. This department nurtures individuals with well-rounded capabilities that will allow them to the big picture, and it aims to provide them with comprehensive skillsets, including an objective perspective that enables them to get to the heart of the issue; the ability to draw up comprehensive design strategies; the ability to propose plans incorporating methods that resolve problems; as well as the implementation and communication skills needed to put their plans into practice.

Comprehensive Design Course

Develop a broad perspective and acquire a comprehensive, cross-disciplinary education with an emphasis on design in general instead of focusing on specific specialized fields. Learn production and direction skills.

Illustration Department

Be it the characters loved by young and old alike, the pictures adorning various products, the concept art that creates computer games, the illustrations in magazines that convey necessary information, the pictures that help tell the story in books, manga with its diverse expressive range, or animated movies, illustration reaches deep into every corner of our lives as a part of our everyday culture, in a similar way to music and fashion. Realizing its power early on, we created our first major in Illustration back in 1973*, and we have now been exploring the possibilities available to illustrators for over 40 years. From 2017, we will be offering 9 different courses, to give our department both more range and depth.
* The Illustration major was established as part of the Design Course at what was then Seian Women’s Junior College.

Illustration Course

Develop a thorough understanding of the essence of information-transmitting media of all kinds, including magazines, newspapers, books, online content and so on. Improve your ability to express yourself in an artistic form designed for wide-scale reproduction.

Illustration Art Course

Illustrative art with familiar motifs and appealing colors, touches and enriches people’s lives in a variety of contexts. Here you will learn how to create attractive illustrations with your own distinctive style.

Digital Illustration Course

Discover the appeal of digital illustration, where you can redo elements of your illustrations as many times as you wish like, and freely and quickly edit your designs in just the way you desire. Use a range of tools to develop your capacity for self-expression, and learn the skills you need to become a professional in our digital age.

Comic and Picture Book Course

The first step is to decide what story you want to tell. Construct a narrative, then let your pictures do the work. With personal guidance and theoretical instruction to help you develop characters, scenarios and individual scenes, you will arrive, through plenty of practice, at your own unique story telling technique.

Animation Course

Learn all the core skills necessary for animated production, such as planning, direction, finishing off, image shooting and editing. It is also possible for students to learn the skills for creating the illustrations to be animated in other courses in the department.

3DCG Course

3D computer graphics support the very pinnacle of the entertainment industry, such as big-name games and animated movies. This course gives you the cutting-edge forms of expression you need to create the works of your dreams, from grippingly realistic CG videos to games using your entire body.

Figure and Toy Course

Figurines, dolls, toys and ornaments provide a great chance to work with distorted forms and photorealistic techniques. Develop the modeling techniques necessary to create your own characters, while experimenting with 3D expression and designing figures and toys.

Landscape Illustration Course

In this course you will learn the techniques involved in creating and developing scenery as it appears in the entertainment industry, such as concept art for movies and games, and background scenery in animation. Master the art of creating imaginary scenes and depicting features such as season, time, and climate.

Scientific Illustration Course

Adopt a technical approach to illustration based upon expert scientific knowledge about living creatures and supported by a love of or interest in plants and animals. Reach a better understanding through drawing. Learn about the beauty and surprise life has to offer from living creatures themselves.

Fine Arts Department

In the Fine Arts Department, by concentrating on what it means to draw, paint, create and express oneself, we explore a myriad of techniques and theories, improving students’ ability to express themselves in various mediums, and developing the fundamental skills necessary for artistic creation. At the same time, we also foster the power to look inside ourselves and at the world around us and to think deeply, asking "Why make this piece?" "What is this trying to say?" This practice develops across time into demonstrable ability, and our graduates are successful in a wide range of professional fields such as art, design, advertising, and product design.

Japanese-style Painting Course

Take a look at a variety of natural phenomena such as plants, animals, people and landscapes and, after acquiring the rudimentary skills, explore Japanese-style painting (Nihonga) more thoroughly through investigations into its history, materials and techniques. Find your own unique style of expression to take with you into the world.

Painting Course

After mastering basic techniques, learn about the specialist processes, techniques and materials used in Western-style painting, and widen your toolset of expressive techniques. With the help of thorough one-to-one guidance, decide on a research theme to pursue through both theory and practice, and develop the means to get your works out into the world.

Contemporary Art Course

As well as imparting the fundamental skills needed, this course will also allow you to experiment with a wide variety of materials, techniques, and media. Through projects encouraging interpersonal communication and involvement with the public, you will learn to arrive at a way of producing your own unique style of art, unconstrained by the traditions of conventional painting and sculpture.

Media Design Department

The Media Design Department teaches how to design and create new forms of expression for the next generation from the vantagepoint of information and design. Students study information transmission and technology and learn how to analyze and manipulate data, enabling them to adapt to changing information environments. They engage in deep, wide-ranging study and research of contemporary media design, and acquire the flexibility to come up with ideas, enhance creative skills, and propose solutions.

Graphic Design Course

Learn about all aspects of the graphic design industry, and discover the forms of design that appeal to you. This course also offers many opportunities to learn firsthand about design as it takes place in the real world, such as participating in collaborative projects involving businesses and the public sector, and entering competitions within and outside the university.

Media Design Course

Study both visual expression and information systems, and explore new relationships between the individual and society. Master design skills and technologies for interactive media involving smartphone apps, digital signage, audiovisual, Virtual Reality (VR), and Internet of Things (IoT).

Photography Course

In addition to learning those skills directly related to photography, such as techniques for analogue and digital cameras, lighting techniques and so on students will also acquire a broader skill set including knowing how to come up with ideas for their photographs, and planning and holding photography exhibitions.

Video and Film Course

Master the basics such as filming, editing and sound design, as well as planning, scenario creation and animation techniques. Discover and explore the topics that really interest you, and learn the skills necessary to get these out to society.

Spatial Design Department

The Spatial Design Department offers students the opportunity to learn about a cross-section of various areas of design that relate profoundly to our everyday lives. In this department, we investigate spatial design from the perspective of three specialist fields—costume design, product design and living space design—that deal with three of the most fundamental elements of our lives—clothing, objects, and dwellings.

Costume Design Course

Students of this course will learn the techniques and theories that form the basis of costume design, as well as how to create artistic pieces using wood and resin. Acquire skills useful across the fashion industry, and pursue an artistic approach to costume design.

Product Design Course

Learn about the design of objects such as everyday items, furniture, cars, appliances and public sector systems that make our lives easier and shape our future. Students hone their abilities to identify gaps in the market from their own personal experience or social observation, and create design solutions.

Living Space Design Course

Acquire the technical skills to accurately depict spaces and forms. Students will develop the imaginative and expressive abilities necessary to design attractive spaces that take into consideration the surrounding environment; learn about architecture, interior design, and landscape gardening; and formulate designs for living spaces that produce a feeling of well-being.

Creative Community Department

Reinterpreting art from a local perspective, the Creative Community Department fosters individuals who contribute to the improvement of creativity in the local community. Using as a base Omi Studies and the Regional Collaboration Program developed by the university, and leveraging the special characteristics of art education, students assimilate into the local community in a more concrete way, with active members of the community acting as instructors.

Creative Studies Course

Experience Seian University of Art and Design’s unique education system, which takes advantage of the wonderful environment and qualities of Shiga Prefecture. Through practical education in the field, consider the shape of future society, and acquire the ability to conduct research, come up with ideas, and discover and resolve problems, while developing the creativity needed to open up a new future.


Interview with Seian graduate Jinn Swatthanakoon from Ratcha Anachak Thailand
(Class of 2015 Spatial Design Department) [4:33]

* This interview is in Thai

Interview with Seian graduate Triandhika Anjani from the Republic of Indonesia
(Class of 2015 Illustration Department) [3:09]

* This interview is in Indonesian

Interview with Seian graduate Shaye Schumaker from the USA
(Class of 2015 Media Design Department) [3:24]

* This interview is in English


Admission Policy

Seian University of Art and Design seeks the following kind of students.

Students with passion and dedication for studying the arts
Those seeking to realize their dreams for the future through the arts, who have a clear idea of the specialist field they wish to study and the kinds of creation (research) they wish to try
Students with the sensitivity necessary to study art
Those with a rich sensitivity and fertile imagination, who are aiming to develop these qualities further during their time at Seian University of Art and Design
Students who share Seian University of Art and Design’s basic principle of contributing to society through art
Those who make the most of the study of their chosen course and their collaborations with society and local organizations in order to develop their own potential, developing the power to live with strength and conviction
Students who understand and utilize the Seian University of Art and Design education system
Those who strive to make the most of the university’s unique education system, Seian Personal Program (SPP), throughout their studies

Diploma Policy

Education Objectives for the Seian University of Art and Design Student.
(The aims for learning in undergraduate courses and the basis for conferring undergraduate degrees.)

Knowledge and Understanding (Cognitive Skills)
1-1. Demonstrates a systematic understanding of the basic knowledge essential to the field of art
1-2. Understands how one’s knowledge of the field of art and one’s own existence as an individual are linked to history, society, and nature
1-3. Understands multicultural approaches and foreign cultures, and appreciates cultural diversity
Technical Abilities (Psychodynamic Skills)
2-1. Uses both Japanese and specific foreign languages for reading, writing, listening, and speaking
2-2. Communicates his/her own thoughts
2-3. Uses information technology to gather diverse forms of information, accurately grasps its implication, and transmits it as appropriate
2-4. Acquires the fundamental creative skills required in his/her specialist field
2-5. Identifies problems and collects, analyzes and organizes the data needed to solve them
2-6. Uses logical abilities to formulate and execute plans in order solve those problems
Attitude and Intention (Behavioral Skills)
3-1. Acts autonomously. Actively pursues the necessary course of action, rather than awaiting instructions
3-2. Acts in coordination with others. Communicates directions and incorporates people into a team in order to realize objectives
3-3. Is able to learn about new things for him/herself even after graduation
3-4. Can act with sincerity and passion according to his/her own conscience and the standards of his/her society
3-5. Is a thinking member of society, understands people’s duties and rights, and can contribute to society
Creativity (Integrative/Practical Skills)
4-1. Uses the knowledge, skills and ways of acting acquired throughout the degree in presenting the results of his/her research and creation
4-2. Draws on experience gained from his/her specialist field and devises creative suggestions to his/her own inquiries

Curriculum Policy

To clearly set out the curriculum, and develop integrated key skills and high-level expertise.
Through thorough teacher-pupil guidance, to develop the fundamental skills and problem-solving abilities necessary in the professional world, and to establish practical competence, including the ability to organically link knowledge of the specialist area studied with society as a whole.

The syllabus for the departments operating under this educational policy is divided as follows:

  • The first and second semesters in the first year: Introduction to Specialty
  • The first and second semesters in the second and third years: Core Specialty
  • The first and second semesters in the fourth year: Specialist Research

Each degree course offered is made up of two kinds of curricula: Specialist Curriculum and General Curriculum. The latter include students from a range of degree courses.

There are four main pillars in the Common Studies Curriculum: Core Subjects, the Practical Subjects Group, the General Studies Group, and the Social Contribution Group.
The Core Subjects Group includes 1) the Starter Programs designed to give students the basic skills required to ensure that they can progress through their four years at university smoothly and independently; 2) the Introduction to Art Subjects that give a wide introduction to the theory that serves as the cornerstone to artistic perspective and thus support a wide range of artistic creation; and 3) the Foundation Subjects that provide students with wide-reaching artistic capacities regardless of their department.
The Practical Subjects Group offers students theoretical and practical support in a wide range of different artistic activities, helping instill the expert knowledge and techniques considered necessary for Core Specialty and Specialist Research Curriculum.
The General Studies Group includes those cultural subjects aiming to instill in students broad perspectives, diverse knowledge and flexible thinking through considering a variety of different knowledge sources and cultural phenomena, and by encouraging students to interpret works of art from assorted perspectives. They also include the foreign language subjects that give students the skills to communicate with those from other cultures, enabling them to acquire a more global perspective and enhanced creativity. Because Seian University of Art and Design is a member of both the Consortium of Universities in Kyoto and an equivalent consortium of universities in Shiga (in Japanese, 環びわ湖大学・地域コンソーシアム), it is also possible to take subjects offered in other universities and colleges in Shiga and Kyoto Prefectures.
The Social Contribution Subjects Group offers students the chance to learn about themselves through interaction with and contribution to society, and thus to improve their ability to achieve their goals after graduation. The local contribution projects encourage students to put their practical knowledge and techniques to use in those places that have requested "artistic help". In this way, students in order to develop the abilities that will make them indispensable members of society and the professional world, such as communication, presentation and problem-solving skills. The Career Design Curriculum help students to acquire, step-by-step, qualities such as self-analysis, self-discovery and understanding of society, all of which are indispensable for designing one’s career, and help them formulate the career path that is best suited to them.
The Specialist Curriculum is studied in three stages: Introduction to Specialty Introduction, Core Specialty, and Specialist Research. In the Introduction to Specialty Introduction Section through a series of practical training classes and lectures, students acquire the key knowledge and techniques necessary to pursue the Specialist curriculum. In the Core Specialty Section, students acquire the techniques and knowledge that will form the cornerstone of expert knowledge, and take practical training classes and lectures needed in order to acquire a deep and profound grasp of their chosen specialty. In the Specialist Research Curriculum, students will broaden and refine their knowledge and techniques relating to their own specialty. Through seminars and electives, they will improve their ability to express themselves and think autonomously, conduct research, and complete their graduation projects.


International Student Admission Examination

  Application Period Examination Date Announcement of Examination Results
Applicants for First Term November 15 – 22, 2019 December 7 or 8 choose one day, 2019 December 13, 2019
Applicants for Second Term January 7 – 20, 2020 February 1 or 2 choose one day, 2020 February 12, 2020

Application Requirements

Applicants must be non-Japanese citizens (excluding those who have permanent or long-term residence status in Japan ) of at least 18 years of age, and must fulfill both the following criteria (1) and (2).

A. Have completed at least 12 years of education outside Japan, or expect to have done so by March 2019.
B. Have been recognized by the university as having academic ability equivalent to A above.
C. Have graduated from a Japanese high school or secondary school, or expect to have done so by March 2019.
D. (Applicants within Japan). Have a status of residence of "Student" at the time of application, or are able to obtain a status of residence of "Student" by the time of enrollment.
E. (Applicants outside Japan)Are able to to obtain a status of residence of "Student" by the time of enrollment.
Application Fee Examination Venue Examination Subjects and Time Regarding Examination Results
First time applicants: ¥5,000
Repeat applicants: no charge
Seian University of Art and Design Examination format: Portfolio review and individual interview
Examination time: Commences at 10:00 pm. Interviews last roughly 20 minutes per person
Examination results will be determined based on both the interview with portfolio and the application documents

Tuition Fee

Department Period Enrollment Fee Tuition Fee Facility Fee Other Expenses Total
Integrated Studies Department Full year ¥200,000 ¥900,000 ¥150,000 ¥41,660 ¥1,291,660
Payable upon admission (first semester fees, etc.) ¥200,000 ¥450,000 ¥75,000 ¥41,660 ¥766,660
Department Period Enrollment Fee Tuition Fee Class Activity Fee Other Expenses Total
Creative Community Department Full year ¥200,000 ¥900,000 ¥50,000 ¥41,660 ¥1,191,660
Payable upon admission (first semester fees, etc.) ¥200,000 ¥450,000 ¥25,000 ¥41,660 ¥716,660
Department Period Enrollment Fee Tuition Fee Other Expenses Total
Illustration Department, Fine Arts Department, Media Design Department, Spatial Design Department Full year ¥200,000 ¥1,560,800 ¥41,660 ¥1,802,460
Payable upon admission (first semester fees, etc.) ¥200,000 ¥780,400 ¥41,660 ¥1,022,060

Breakdown of Other Expenses

Insurance for injuries from accidents / Insurance for accidents involving third parties or their property Once Only, at time of enrollment ¥4,660
Educational Support Association Enrollment Fee Once Only, at time of enrollment ¥5,000
Educational Support Association Membership Fee Annual fee ¥20,000
Students’ Association Membership Fee Annual fee ¥10,000
Department Orientation Activities Fee Once Only, at time of enrollment ¥2,000
Total ¥41,660

* For further details, consult the PDF 2019 Enrollment Guide (3.9MB, Japanese language only)

Access & Contact Information

4-3-1 Oginosato-higashi Otsu Shiga 520-0248 Japan

Admissions Office

From Kansai International Airport to Seian University of Art and Design

  • From Kansai International Airport(KIX) to Kyoto Station

    Approx. 75 minutes by JR Airport Express HARUKA
    Approx. 85 minutes by limousine bus
  • From Kyoto Station to Seian University of Art and Design

    Approx. 20minutes by local train on the JR Kosei Line from Kyoto Station
    Approx. 3 minutes on the school bus from Ogoto-Onsen Station

School Bus

A free shuttle bus runs between the JR Ogoto-Onsen Station and the university. Go out of the station and go east toward ticket gate and go toward Lake Biwa (Biwako). The bus leaves from in front of Shiga Bank (Shiga Ginko = 滋賀銀行) and takes approximately three minutes to reach the university.

  • Timetable of the bus is here.