In April 2018, on its 30th anniversary, the College of International Relations established a joint degree program with the School of International Service, American University (AU). Being the first joint degree undergraduate program between the US and Japan, this program puts great emphasis upon the significance of learning about both the Western and non-Western perspectives of approaching international studies in a global sense. It will cultivate globally minded leaders who can take active roles on the international stage.

Program overview:

Joint degree programs are collaborative degrees offered by two different universities with educational and student support systems designed to develop graduates whose skills and knowledge are in demand. This new and exciting program offers students a chance to fully immerse themselves in the cultures and learning environments of Japan and the US, RU and AU. While sharing the content of the GS course at RU and the IR course at AU, students will also take cohort classes together with AU home students at both RU and AU.

Keywords: US-Japan Relations, Global and Comparative Governance, Peace, Global Security, Conflict Resolution, Identity, Race, Gender and Culture, Global IR, Sakura Scholars

  • Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Arts in Global International Relations (jointly conferred by RU and AU)
  • Duration: 4 years full-time (2 years in Kyoto and 2 years in Washington D.C)
  • Language: English
  • Yearly intake: 25 students
  • Enrollment: April
  • Location: Kyoto, Japan and Washington D.C., USA

Entry Requirements:

For entry requirements and other application information, refer to the below website:

Key Features:

- Learning Schedule

The program brings together students from AU and RU, who will take classes from both institutions in the course of their studies. Students will spend two full academic years at their home institution and two years at the host institution. They will take advantage of the strengths of both their home and host institution.

- Jointly Designed Curriculum

The College of International Relations (RU) is recognized as one of the top institutions in Japan in the field of international relations. The School of International Services, (AU) is a top 10 school of international affairs in the US. Students on this program will study in a coherent academic curriculum in English which enables them to earn a joint degree from a Japanese and a US institution.

- Career Opportunities

The degree provides the chance to pursue career opportunities in the U.S. and Japan. RU offers many kinds of career planning events and placement support systems for both Japanese and international students. Alumni of the College of International Relations have found employment in a wide varieties of companies (trading companies, manufacturing companies, major airlines), institutions (like embassies, governments) and so on, as well as progressing to higher academic institutes such as graduate schools like Oxford, LSE, UBC, University of Tokyo and RU itself. RU and AU will offer joint career advice in each country to all JDP students.


International students (students who will hold the status of residence of “student” while studying at Ritsumeikan University) will receive a fee reduction through the RU Tuition Reduction Scheme. International students in English-medium undergraduate programs are typically guaranteed at least a 20% reduction, with 50% and 100% fee reductions offered to the most outstanding applicants.

For further information on scholarships, please refer to here.

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated March 27, 2019
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