About the College of International Relations

The College of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University was established in 1988, as the first college of IR in west Japan. It is one of Japan’s leading faculties of this academic field.

The College of IR is advancing to the NEXT Stage. Learn more about our 2018 Reforms here.

Two Majors within International Relations

Two Majors within International Relations

The College of International Relations offers two majors: the International Relations Major (Japanese language-based) and the Global Studies Major (English-based). The Global Studies Major program began in April of 2011. Both programs challenge students' views on international issues and prepare students for future international careers and graduate schools.

Students in each of the majors can enroll in courses in the other major (cross-enrollment). There are exceptions for a few courses, but in general, students in the International Relations Major (Japanese-based) can take up to half of their courses in English, and students in the Global Studies Major (English-based) can take up to half of their courses in Japanese.

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Global Studies Major

Three Core Clusters of Classes

(1) Governance and Peace Cluster

Students will learn about the changing state of the international order from four angles. Students will gain a basic understanding of the history of the formation of the current international order; learn about the legal systems that support the current international order; analyze regional politics around the world; and research methods of conflict resolution/peace realization. The ultimate goal of this program is the pursuit of a fair and peaceful international order.

(2) Development and Sustainability Cluster

By looking at balanced development that is sustainable in all regions, nations, and societies around the world, students will research how beneficial international cooperation and development can be reached through scholarly, systematic, and practical methods. Students will not only look at international cooperation between nations and international organizations, but also movements at the grass-roots level such as companies and NGOs. This program will approach various problems related to international cooperation and development and explore their potential solutions.

(3) Culture and Society Cluster

Students will learn about the relationship between culture and political/economic structures of international society, methods of cross-cultural understanding, problems in cross-cultural conflict, and more. Contact between different cultures has become a part of daily life through globalization. As a result, cultures integrate with each other and conflict with each other. Students will apply knowledge from this program to understand diverse cultures, and while questioning the relationship of their own culture to the world, and seeking the co-existence of cultures around the world.

APSIA membership: The only full member of APSIA in Japan.

APSIA (Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs) is an organization of leading universities and graduate schools involved in International Relations education and research, its members include institutions such as Harvard University and Yale University. The Ritsumeikan University Graduate School of International Relations is the only full member of APSIA among universities and graduate schools in Japan, being globally recognized as Japan’s leader of education and research in the field of International Relations.

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