Ritsumeikan University Kyoto, Japan

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

The Graduate School of International Relations at Ritsumeikan University (RU) has an excellent reputation in the Japanese academic world. Founded in 1896 by Prince Kinmochi Saionji, RU is nestled in the northwestern corner of Kyoto, near Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) and Ryoanji Rock Garden, a location that exemplifies the coexistence of time-honored tradition and contemporary academic thought permeating RU’s campus.

Academic Calendar

Fall Semester
September - February
Spring Semester
April - July

Due to the differences between the AU and RU academic calendars, students are encouraged to participate in the spring semester.


Students will enroll full-time for one semester alongside RU graduate students and earn up to 9 credits toward their graduate degree from AU. Students can choose to enroll in courses offered in the Global Cooperation Program (GCP) at RU. Classes in the GCP include topics such as:

  • Area Studies
  • Development Economics
  • Policy Evaluation
  • Sustainable Governance and Policy
  • Socio-Cultural Studies
  • Environmental Issues

Language Requirement

All GCP classes are conducted in English. However, students are encouraged to begin studying Japanese prior to beginning the program in order to gain communication skills for daily life in Japan.

Application Deadlines

Spring: September 15
Fall: March 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

This program is compatible with Global Governance, Politics, and Security; Comparative Regional Studies; and Intercultural and International Communications.

Ritsumeikan's Graduate School of International Relations offers five programs, one in English, three in Japanese, and one bilingual, each available to students on the basis of language proficiency.

Browse Course Catalogue