Waseda University (早稲田大学, Waseda Daigaku), abbreviated as Sōdai (早大), is a private university located in the northern part of Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. It is one of the most prestigious universities in Japan and Asia. Founded in 1882 as Tōkyō Senmon Gakkō, the institution was renamed Waseda University in 1902. Its alumni include seven post-war prime ministers and prominent corporate leaders. Currently, seven of the Fortune Global 2007's CEOs are Waseda graduates. In particular, the School of Political Science and Economics has a significant influence on Japanese society. The university was founded by samurai scholar and Meiji-era politician and former prime minister Ōkuma Shigenobu in 1882, and was designated as a full university in 1902. It started as a college with three departments under the old Japanese system of higher education. In 1882, the university had the department of political science and economics, law, and physical science. Along with these departments, an English language course was established, where the students of all the departments could learn English. Three years later, the department of physical science was closed because it had too few applicants.
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