All subjects in the College of Global Liberal Arts (GLA) curriculum are conducted in English. Through deep academic discussions among instructors and students of diverse, international backgrounds, students will be able to build practical English proficiency that can be used in a multicultural environment. Furthermore, learning the fundamental global liberal arts subjects such as philosophy, ethics, statistics, and programming will foster deep English proficiency, instead of limiting students' linguistic capabilities to superficial expressions.
GLA was created in collaboration with the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University (ANU). As a principle, all students will be studying in the Dual Degree Program to earn two bachelor's degrees in their four years of study. When students satisfy their requirements and earn the necessary credits for both universities, they will be awarded a bachelor's degree in global liberal arts from RU as well as a bachelor's degree in Asia-Pacific Affairs from ANU. This is the first college-wide program in Japan built around enabling students to earn dual degrees in collaboration with a university overseas. By closely coordinating with ANU, highly regarded internationally for its research and education, not only is RU able to realize a synergistic dual-degree curriculum, but is also able to offer regular classes at OIC, Ritsumeikan University's Osaka Ibaraki campus, with instructors from ANU. This system allows the students to thoroughly prepare for and then reflect back on their year of study at Canberra.
At GLA, knowledge of the world and historical awareness as construed in the traditional liberal arts are restructured in deeper and wider contexts to help students foster practical and creative abilities to address various issues of today's society. The global liberal arts curriculum is built upon three layers of studies. The first layer is for students to learn the Essentials of Global Liberal Arts, with the aim to learn techniques and methodologies that will serve as the foundation for intellectual pursuit, such as logic, critical thinking abilities, statistics, and algorithms. The second layer consists of the three pillars of the global liberal arts: Cosmopolitan Studies (subjects centered around cultural studies and area studies), Civilization Studies (subjects centered around historical studies and social theories), and Innovation Studies (subjects centered around theories of management, and science and technology studies). The curriculum is structured so that students learn from each pillar in a well-balanced manner. Last but not least, the third layer is Capstone Studies, where students integrate what they have learned into practical applications with their graduation research and work.
Many kinds of internship opportunities are available to global liberal arts students, especially as part of courses in Innovation Studies, and GLA highly recommends that students learn on-the-ground. GLA has partnered with various companies operating on a global scale, from industries that support traditional Japanese culture to the finance, travel, tourism, and manufacturing sectors. The partnering companies conduct business in either Japanese or English, and internships at such companies provide meaningful opportunities to enhance language proficiency in practical business contexts.
Studying at GLA is not just about intellectual pursuit in a multicultural environment in the abstract. The curriculum is designed with GLA's "From Asia to the World" in mind and focuses on regional studies. As a program of a university based in Japan, the global liberal arts curriculum offers comprehensive courses in the Japanese Studies Cluster, in which students have the opportunity to learn how to openly discuss Japanese history, culture, and society. In addition, it offers international students the opportunity to study Japanese and make seamless transitions to and from the year of study at ANU, addressing their intellectual interests in Japan.