Founded by former prime minister Ōkuma Shigenobu (大隈重信) in 1882, Waseda University (早稲田大学 Waseda daigaku, also known as 早大 Sōdai) started as 東京専門学校 (Tokyo senmon gakkō). Sōdai is especially known for its excellence in the fields of Political Science and and Economics. As a matter of fact, seven of the Fortune Global 2007's CEOs are Waseda graduates.
Waseda Uiversity is one of the two most prestigious private universities in Japan where generally national universities are considered to excel in research performance. Waseda's research accomplishments are on a par with the top National Universities. According to the Weekly Diamond, the university has the 12th highest research standard in Japan in terms of research funding per researchers, and it's one of only 2 private universities within the Top 15.
In the field of engineering Waseda is ranked very highly by surveys from Nikkei Shimbun, Thomson Reuters, Grants in Aid for Scientific Research, and questionnaires to heads of 93 leading Japanese Research Centers, placing the university 5th (7th in research planning ability, and 1st in business-academia collaboration). Furthermore, Waseda's journal is 3rd in the number of academic papers among major Japanese legal journals according to Asahi Shimbun's survey (between 2005 and 2009).
The University currently has 13 faculties and 22 graduate programs on 8 campuses: