About Us

History of Kyoto Notre Dame University


  • The School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) was founded as a teaching order in Bavaria (Germany) by Mother Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger.


  • Mother Theresa and five companion sisters set out for North America. They established schools for immigrant children throughout the United States and Canada.


  • Four Sisters were sent from the St. Louis mother house to Kyoto, Japan.


  • Notre Dame Junior High School was founded in Kyoto.


  • Notre Dame Senior High School was founded in Kyoto.


  • Notre Dame Elementary School was founded in Kyoto.


  • Notre Dame Women's College was founded with the Department of English Language and Literature. Sister Mary Eugenia Laker, SSND, was inaugurated as the first President.


  • The Department of Life and Culture was started.


  • International exchange began officially with a year-abroad program. The first students were sent to the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, a sister college in the United States.


  • The name of the college became Notre Dame Women's College of Kyoto.


  • A new undergraduate curriculum was established with four departments in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Undergraduate admissions of international students began.


  • The name of the university became Kyoto Notre Dame University (KNDU). The Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences began with a Master of Arts program in Applied English and Intercultural Studies.


  • The Graduate Program in Psychology was started. The Psychological Services Center was opened for outpatient care in Maria Hall.


  • The Graduate Program in Home Sciences and Welfare was started.


  • The Graduate Program in Cross-Cultural Studies began. The Graduate School of Psychology began doctoral programs. The Faculty of Psychology was started.


  • The Faculty of Home Sciences and Welfare was started


  • KNDU was accredited by the Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA), certified by the Minister of Education. (Certified Evaluation and Accreditation, a national mandatory evaluation and accreditation scheme for higher education in Japan, was first introduced in 2004 to assure and enhance the quality of academic activities.)


  • KNDU celebrated the 50th Anniversary. “Construction Plan of the new Notre Dame Kitayama Campus” was released.
    “Notre Dame Hall” was built on campus of Kyoto Institute of Technology for providing extra classrooms during the construction of the new Eugenia Hall.
    “Caroline Hall”(Dormitory) was newly built to house 80 resident students.


  • The new Eugenia Hall was completed, housing the new Library Information Center, the Learning Commons, the ND Lecture Hall, the chapel, the Immersion Space, the Publishing Studio, classrooms, and the cafeteria. Sophia hall was renovated.


  • KNDU was accredited again by the Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA), certified by the Minister of Education. KNDU applied for the accreditation of new Faculty of Contemporary Human Sciences to the Ministry of Education and was approved.


  • The Faculty of Contemporary Human Sciences starts its undergraduate programs, including the teacher education for primary students who need special support. KNDU is the first and the only four-year women’s university in Kyoto to offer the special needs education.


  • The new Faculty of Language and Culture offers undergraduate programs within two academic fields: The Department of English Language and Literature, and the Department of Japanese and Global Cultures.
  • Message from the President
  • History of Notre Dame
  • Campus Buildings and Facilities
  • Tuition and Fees
  • Fact Sheet