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 depending on their language ability. 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. Subject areas are offered according to the language coursework is conducted in.


These degree programs allow students to take courses alongside Japanese-speaking graduate students:

  • Global Governance
  • International Cooperation Development
  • Multicultural Understanding


These degree programs are English-based programs:

  • Global Cooperation Program (GCP)
  • Global and Japanese Perspectives Program (GJP)

Course options include:

  • Development Strategies
  • Environmental Economics
  • Area Studies
  • Socio-Cultural Studies
  • Research Training
  • Policy Evaluation

Language Requirement

Students taking coursework in Japanese are required to pass Level 1 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) in order to be considered for admission by RU. 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.

Application Deadlines

Spring - Fall: September 15
Fall - Spring: April 1

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 may choose from the following programs at RU:

  • Global Cooperation (E) 
  • Global and Japanese Perspectives (E & J) 
  • Global Governance (J) 
  • International Cooperation and Development (J) 
  • Multicultural Understanding (J)

Browse Course Catalogue