Ritsumeikan University Kyoto, Japan

exterior of the ornate and brightly colored Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Kapan

The Graduate School of International Relations (GSIR) at Ritsumeikan University (RU) partnered with SIS to offer an innovative Dual Master’s Degree Program (DMDP) for students who want to take an interdisciplinary and multicultural approach to their research and education. This is the first dual degree program of its kind between a Japanese and American university. DMDP students gain cross-cultural competency while earning two Master’s degrees in international relations.

Academic Calendar

Fall Semester
September - February
Spring Semester
April - July




Students can choose to follow one of two programs offered at GSIR (outlined below). Students will enroll as full-time students alongside GSIR graduate students after completing their first year at SIS, and can apply up to 15 credits taken at RU toward an SIS degree. Research requirements for each degree must be completed separately, as these credits are not transferable and do not fulfill each respective institution's research degree requirements.

Global International Relations Program

The Global International Relations Program is English-based, no Japanese language proficiency is required. Students will choose from among four clusters:

  • Global Governance Cluster
  • Sustainable Development Cluster
  • Culture, Society & Media Cluster
  • Global Japanese Studies Cluster


International Relations Program

The International Relations Program is Japanese-based, so the language of instruction is Japanese. To enter this program, students must show Japanese language proficiency equivalent to the JLPT N1 at the time of application.

  • Global Governance Cluster
  • Sustainable Development Cluster
  • Culture, Society & Media Cluster

Language Requirement

Note: Cross-registration is allowed, so students in the English-based program can take courses in the Japanese-based program and vice versa. Students taking coursework in Japanese are required to pass Level 1 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) prior to course registration. Students should have also already worked and/or studied in Japan for a significant amount of time to make a strong application.

Students pursuing the dual degree in English do not need to demonstrate proficiency in Japanese, but are encouraged to have at least some background in the language for daily life in Japan.

Application Deadlines

Spring - Fall: September 15
Fall - Spring: March 15

Applicants are required to submit a non-refundable $50 application fee.

You will be notified by email with a decision regarding your nomination for study abroad.

Please note: This program is competitive and submitting an application does not guarantee admission.

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Suggested Program Match

Compatible with all on-campus SIS programs.

Students should visit the program curriculum at RU to learn more about the English-based and Japanese-based program, the topic clusters within each program, and the sample courses within each area. 

Browse Course Catalogue