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Undergraduate Dual Degree Programs

Ritsumeikan University


The College of International Relations (CIR), established at Ritsumeikan University (RU) in 1988, has partnered with SIS to offer an innovative Dual Undergraduate Degree Program (DUDP) for students dedicated to gaining a global perspective on international affairs.


The Program is designed to allow students to complete the requirements for two degrees under the normal timeline for undergraduate enrollment of 4 years. AU students must complete 80 credits in residence at AU and therefore, typically spend their first three semesters as full-time students at AU before enrolling at RU. After completing four semesters at RU, and a minimum of 62 credit hours, students return to AU to complete remaining requirements at AU.

RU offers several Japanese-language degree programs for students with advanced proficiency in Japanese, as well as two English-language degree options.

The below degrees are taught in Japanese and enroll in the spring semester only:
International Relations

Policy Science
Business Administration
Social Sciences

The below degrees are taught in English and enroll in the fall semester only:
International Relations
Policy Science

Applicants are limited to specific majors within each degree mentioned above, and must meet admissions requirements for the desired degree. A list of available degrees and majors can be found in the below documents:

2016 Spring Admissions Guidelines
2016 Fall Admissions Guidelines

Language Requirement

Students who wish to enroll in a Japanese taught program are required to demonstrate advanced proficiency in Japanese. This can be met in one of the following ways:

  1. Pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) at Level 1. The JLPT is offered in the U.S. in December each year through the Japan Foundation and is administered by the American Association of Teachers of Japanese. Students must register for the exam well in advance of the testing date and would ideally take the exam in December of their freshman year so that the results are available to submit with the other application materials.
  2. Complete RU's Japanese proficiency test (essay & Skype interview) to be conducted on the AU campus annually in the fall semester and proctored by SIS staff. Students may take the exam in their sophomore year.

There is no language requirement for students to be eligible for one of the English taught degrees. However, these students will be required to take some Japanese language courses while at RU.

Academic Calendar at RU

Spring Semester: April – July
Fall Semester: September – March


During the first two years at SIS, students register with the advice of their academic advisor to ensure that they will be able to complete all SIS core requirements and AU general education requirements over the course of the 4 year period. While studying at RU, the process below will be followed:

  1. Students are required to communicate with their AU advisor before registering for courses at RU to ensure that credits earned at RU can be applied toward the student’s AU degree.
  2. Students register for RU courses once they arrive on-site at RU prior to the start of the semester.

Credit articulation: Grades and credits earned at RU are articulated at AU upon receipt of an official transcript from RU. For conversion purposes, students should expect 1 RU credit to equal 1 AU credit.

Tuition and Fees

While at AU, students will be billed according to the tuition and fee schedule published by the University.

While at RU, students pay tuition and fees, including the Japanese National Health Insurance fee, directly to RU. They also pay regular AU health insurance, unless waived, emergency international health insurance, and technology fees to AU. Students do not pay the student activity fee, sports center fee, or AU housing and dining fees.

Students are responsible for any incidental costs, such as library fines and lab fees, incurred during the program, as well as all personal expenses including housing and transportation.


Students must find their own accommodations in Kyoto and may be permitted to stay in the Ritsumeikan International House for a short period until they secure housing. The International Relations Office can offer some guidance and support for students seeking assistance with the housing search.

Visa and Immigration

Once admitted to program, students are issued a Certificate of Eligibility by RU. Students then need to take this document, with a passport and visa application, to the closest Japanese Embassy to apply for a student visa.

Students are responsible for researching the most up-to-date immigration requirements and arranging all immigration documents.

Student Orientation

During the semester prior to the start of the program, the SIS Office of International Programs conducts a mandatory pre-departure meeting. Topics covered include administrative, logistical, security, health, and cross-cultural issues. RU also holds an orientation for students at the beginning of the semester.

How to Apply

  1. Complete and submit the RU DUDP application to the SIS Office of International Programs (OIP) by the specified deadline for the semester in which you intend to study abroad. Students may not apply directly to Ritsumeikan University.
  2. After all applications are received and reviewed, students will then be notified by e-mail from OIP with a decision regarding their nomination for study abroad.
  3. Once nominated, you will be instructed to complete the RU application which requires the following information:
    • Evaluation form
    • Personal statement
    • Course work certificate
    • Proof of Japanese language proficiency
    • Letter of recommendation from AU faculty member
    • Official transcript
    • Enrollment Certification
    • Photocopy of passport photo page
  4. OIP will collect all paper applications and supplemental materials and mail them directly to RU.
  5. RU makes the final admissions decision and corresponds directly with Program participants regarding all admissions and enrollment matters.
The Program is competitive, and applying does not guarantee admission.

Contact Us!


Twitter: SISStudyAbroad

Instagram: SISAbroad

Application Deadlines

Calendar Years SP16 - F17:

Academic Years F16 - SP18: 
April 15, 2016

Apply Now! 

Ritsumeikan DUDP Application

Helpful Links

Prepare for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test

Read about Kyoto here and here

Wikitravel explains the best ways to travel to Kyoto

Information on how to get your visa at the Embassy of Japan

Information on language schools in Japan