Ritsumeikan University and American University signed an agreement on Sept. 11 for the implementation of a joint undergraduate degree program. The step followed approval by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology for the establishment of an “American University - Ritsumeikan University Joint Degree Program,” the first-ever joint degree undergraduate program in Japan. The program will be set up in the College of International Relations in April 2018.

The signing ceremony was held on the campus of American University and attended by Ritsumeikan University officials including President Mikio Yoshida as well as Dean Akihiko Kimijima and Associate Dean Sachio Nakato, both of the College of International Relations. Representing American University were President Silvia Mathews Burwell, Provost Scott. A. Bass, Interim Dean Christine BN Chin, Associate Dean for Curriculum and Learning Patrick Jackson, and Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education Rosemary Shinko, all of the School of International Service.

Minister Takehiro Shimada and First Secretary Keiko Morito from the Japanese Embassy in Washington were also present.

Reflecting the quarter century of institutional partnership between the two universities and their strong bond of trust, the ceremony proceeded from beginning to end in a congenial atmosphere.

●Outline of American University
American University, founded in 1893, is a prestigious private university with its campus in Washington, D.C., the U.S. capital. The school of International Service was established in 1955 and is one of the largest schools for the study of international relations in the United States (the undergraduate student population 1,600. The number of graduate students 800.). In 2014, American University was ranked 9th among the Top 25 Undergraduate Institutions to Study International Relations by Foreign Policy Magazine and 8th among Top Master’s Programs for Policy Career in International Relations.

Courtesy of American University, by Jeff Watts.

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