Geography Major,
Graduate School of Letters

Students majoring in geography at the Graduate School of Letters will gain advanced research skills and knowledge of geography and tourism studies. The final goal of graduate school students is to complete a master’s and doctorate thesis with adequate support from supervisors. Graduates from the master’s program are employed at junior and senior high schools (geography and social science teachers), public offices, research institutions of spatial analyses and the natural environment, ordinary companies, and related industries. Graduates from the doctoral course are likely to be employed at universities (academic staff) and research institutions. The major plays a central role in the multidisciplinary research project “Disaster Mitigation of Urban Cultural Heritage” (Global COE Program). Ritsumeikan University is honored to be recognized as one of the best universities in Japan at which to study and research geography, particularly historical geography and GIS science.


The Geography Major, Graduate School of Letters, offers various subjects that constitute humanity studies including geography. The curriculum is constructed from the following four subject groups.

1. Issues in Humanity Studies

The contents in this subject group are varied, ranging from Japanese literature, linguistics, history, and philosophy to advanced GIS, mathematics, and statistics. All graduate students are allowed to take these modules. These modules are particularly suitable for students to conduct multidisciplinary research.

2. Japanese Culture Research Program

This subject group is designed to advance students’ knowledge of Japanese culture and includes techniques to conduct up-to-date Japanese culture studies from a multidisciplinary approach and develops skills to promote research outcomes to the world. All students can take the modules in this subject group. Students who conduct historical geography research in Japan are especially expected to participate.

3. Tool Subjects

In this subject group, students will develop techniques that are invaluable to advanced research in geography. Subjects include digital computing, statistics, advanced foreign languages, education, teaching skills, and curator skills. Students can take any modules deemed appropriate.

4. Geography Subjects

The Geography Major offers the following subjects for both master and doctorate students:

  • Advanced Lecture of Geography (Lecture)
  • Advanced Readings of Geography (Lecture)
  • Applied Geographic Information (Lecture)
  • Research in Physical Geography (Lecture/Seminar)
  • Research in Human Geography (Lecture/Seminar)
  • Research in Topography (Lecture/Seminar)
  • Field Research
  • Geography Academic Writing
  • Special Issues in Geography
  • Research in Geography Information (Lectures)
  • Master’s Thesis (only for master’s students)
  • Doctoral Thesis (only for doctorate students)
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