why JDP

Joint Degree Program

Over 30 years, global leaders have grown and bloomed between Kyoto and Washington D.C.

On its 30th anniversary, the College of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University (RU) will establish a joint degree program with the School of International Service, American University (AU) starting in April 2018.

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.

Being the first joint degree undergraduate program between the US and Japan, together, RU and AU will cultivate globally minded leaders who can take active roles in fields such as international organizations, government, global business, media, and non-governmental organizations. They will contribute to the deepening of mutually beneficial relations between the US, Japan, and other East Asian nations, and to the peace and prosperity of the international community.

Students will study for two years each at RU and AU, acquiring 124 credits for graduation. On completion, students will be jointly awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Global International Relations from AU and RU.


Our Mission

To better meet the challenge of educating students in international studies, American University (AU) and Ritsumeikan University (RU) propose the establishment of a joint degree in Global International Relations (GIR). Authorized by both institutions and awardable by both, the Bachelor of Arts in Global International Relations, through the American University – Ritsumeikan University Joint Degree Program, brings together students from both institutions, who will take classes from both institutions in the course of their studies.


American University

School of International Service

Founded in 1893, American University(AU) has gained a high reputation as one of the nation’s great universities. In Foreign Policy Magazine (2018), the School of International Service at AU ranks #9 among Top U.S. Undergraduate Institutions to Study International Relations, as well as #8 among Top Master's Programs for Policy Careers in International Relations. With its location in the nation’s capital, AU consistently attracts international students from about 120 nations and areas.

Ritsumeikan University

College of International Relations

Ritsumeikan University is recognized as one of the top institutions in Japan in the field of International Relations and the College of International Relations was the first of its kind in west Japan. The Graduate School of IR is the only full Japanese member of APSIA (Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs). APSIA includes highly advanced universities in about 10 countries, such as American University, Harvard University, Yale University, National University of Singapore and others. AU’s School of International Service and RU’s College of International Relations have had 25years of partnership.