Department & Major

The College of International Relations is a space of multicultural co-existence where students from all over the globe come together with aspirations. Each year, between 80 and 100 of the 360 students come from countries outside of Japan. The multicultural environment allows students to: develop international sensibilities and intellect; cultivate insights into action required by the world; explore issues facing contemporary society; think for themselves without being bound by preconceived ideas; challenge themselves to solve problems.

Professors from a variety of nationalities and backgrounds are employed by the College of International Relations. We have faculty members with international teaching, research and social contributions, members who have been active in various fields of the international community, and members who specialise in rare areas of expertise, of which there are only a few in Japan. The Faculty of International Relations is unique in that most of its members are able to communicate in both English and Japanese.

International Relations

The program consists of two majors: the International Relations (IR) major, where the major is taught in Japanese, and the Global Studies (GS) major, taught in English. Both majors provide students with a step-by-step introduction to the theories, regions, and languages essential for understanding and solving problems in international society. The four-year Global Studies course, taught in English, is open to both April and September entrants and, as of 2021, has students from 30 countries and regions around the world. Approximately 50 to 60 out of 100 students per grade are international students, providing a cosmopolitan environment to study in Kyoto.

The Department of International Relations taught in Japanese, is mainly composed of Japanese students. Out of the 235 students admitted in the first year, around 20-40 are international students who study the subject in Japanese.

Department of International Relations and Global Studies

Many courses are offered in English and Japanese and can be taken regardless of one's major. The "cross-enrollment system" allows International Relations students to take Global Studies courses in English, and Global Studies students to take International Relations courses in Japanese.

Department of International Relations, American University and Ritsumeikan University

The Joint Degree Program (JDP) was established by American University and Ritsumeikan University and is the first of its kind in Japan at the undergraduate level. It is a groundbreaking program where universities from different countries cooperate in developing educational curricula and student support systems to achieve common human resource development goals. The program offers a single joint degree, Bachelor of Arts in Global International Relations (GIR), after four years of study: two years of study at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto and two years at American University in Washington D.C.

Under the curriculum designed by both universities, students study GIR to explore international affairs from a Western perspective and perspectives from multiple countries and regions, especially Asian nations.

Department of International Relations, American University and Ritsumeikan University