Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University


Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

The Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

Campus Scenery Sakura

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

Graduation Ceremony

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

Sustainable Science (IMAT) Lecture

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University


Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
FREEDOM, PEACE AND HUMANITY Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) first opened its doors in 2000 with these ideals as its foundation. What emerged was an entirely new multicultural learning environment with the aim of creating global leaders across all fields and industries. The Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies aims to cultivate individuals who will contribute to the sustainable development of and coexistence in the Asia Pacific region. These individuals will possess broad knowledge across many fields including administration, security, environment and development, economics, sociology, cultural and media studies, and tourism and have practical problem-solving skills required for the development of the Asia Pacific region.
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Create a Future Beyond Borders

With over 100 years of tradition and history, the Ritsumeikan Academy opened Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) in 2000 as Japan’s first genuinely international university. Our graduate schools welcome students into fully English-based curriculum within a uniquely multicultural environment. APU’s Graduate Schools are fully accredited by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). 

A Truly International Environment

APU’s campus is a unique doorway to the world, attracting students and faculty from all over the globe. Our Japanese faculty members also come to use with diverse international careers and academic experiences. This extremely rich mixture of language and culture has earned APU the reputation of being Japan’s ‘global village’. Our aim is to bring together talented individuals to study and live within this unique environment. APU encourages all students to bring and share their own unique thoughts and ideas. In this one of a kind environment, students naturally acquire intercultural communication skills. 

As APU’s graduate programs are offered entirely in English, students are not required to know any Japanese to gain admission. English speaking students come to APU and study their degree in English, are taught by international professors and lecturers, and study alongside English speaking classmates from around the world. Our system has made it possible for outstanding scholars to study in Japan in an unprecedented international learning environment.

The Japanese Experience

Japan has a long and rich history and is a diverse cultural mix of East and West, old and new, and natural and highly engineered. Having gone through various stages of development, the nation’s rich and unique culture is what led it to emerge as a world leader in terms of economy and technology. Its strong economy, combined with a culture that places a great deal of importance on respect for others, also make it one of the safest countries in the world. For international students, it is an ideal environment in which to live and study.


APU's campus is located on Japan's southernmost major island of Kyushu in the city of Beppu (bayside city home of 120,000 people and 2,000 hot springs). Enclosed by beautiful mountains and the sparkling Beppu Bay, the abundance of hot spring baths make it popular with Japanese and international tourists alike. Beppu is an ideal location to study as it has a low cost of living, safe environment and welcoming local community.

Master’s in Asia Pacific Studies (APS) – Master of Science 

The master's program in Asia Pacific Studies aims to educate and transform students into competent leaders ready to handle challenges facing the Asia Pacific region. Individuals embarking on this program should possess a keen interest in research pertaining to one of two specializations, International Relations or Society and Culture. The broad range of issues addressed in these specializations are supported by four pillars: analytical foundation courses, core courses on the Asia Pacific region, division-specific courses and research-oriented intensive seminar courses. Under the supervision of their chosen faculty advisors, students will formulate and conduct research that systematically reflects knowledge gained through coursework as well as ideally through fieldwork in the Asia Pacific region. 


  • International Relations (IR)

The International Relations (IR) division is aimed at expanding students’ empirical knowledge base and sharpening their analytical and theoretical thinking regarding social, political, economic and security phenomena in the globalizing world. The courses in this division provide a useful knowledge base for both academic-bound students and practitioner-bound students with intended careers in security, diplomacy and media. While taking subjects such as international security, international law and conflict resolution, students will also focus on writing a thesis or research report.

  • Society and Culture (SC)

The Asia Pacific is one of the most rapidly developing regions in recent decades. To capture the patterns of social and cultural changes occurring, the Society and Culture (SC) division is devoted to promoting comparative academic research on the region. Students can acquire practical skills in formulating and conducting research using theories and methods developed in sociology, cultural anthropology, media and communication studies. With knowledge concerning social and cultural backgrounds of the countries in the regions, it enables students to have greater employment opportunities in government, industrial, commercial and academic institutes.


Master of Science in International Cooperation Policy (APS) – Master of Science 

The International Cooperation Policy Master's program provides students with policy-oriented and practical advice, drawing on diverse fields to train creative professionals who can understand complex challenges from multiple perspectives and formulate feasible solutions with integrative approaches from global, regional and local perspectives. Such training will improve practical skills and knowledge to plan, implement and evaluate projects and thereby contribute to organizations that work closely with and in developing nations



  • International Public Administration (IPA)

The International Public Administration (IPA) division is aimed at providing knowledge and skills to those who are interested in pursuing an advanced career in national and international governmental organizations. This division enables students to improve professional and practical skills to manage and evaluate administrative operations and policies in national, regional and global settings. The major subjects in this division relate to international organizations, international cooperation policy and public administration, and form the foundation on which each student can further build a more focused study depending on their intended policy field.

  • Sustainability Science (SS)

The Sustainability Science (SS) division focuses on the application of science for achieving the goals of sustainable development. This division analyzes the planning and implementation of policies and actions that deal with the relationship between society and nature with the ultimate goal to create a sustainable future for all. Study involves the scientific understanding of society-nature interactions; linking research with policy and actions; generating new knowledge, tools and techniques; and enhancing scientific and institutional capability for promoting sustainability and resilience. Students are expected to gain a holistic perspective, integrative skills and interdisciplinary knowledge as they engage in analyzing and managing particular problems and issues of population-resource-technology-institution interactions.

  • Tourism and Hospitality (TH)

Tourism is a fast growing economic sector that transforms societies and communities in the Asia Pacific region. The Tourism and Hospitality (TH) division looks at various aspects of mass tourism and alternative tourism and the economic, social, cultural and environmental impacts on societies and communities. The division also studies the theory and practice of hospitality management as it relates to the tourism, service, health and welfare industries. The knowledge and academic/professional skills obtained from our division will be useful for a wide variety of employment opportunities in government service, international organizations and private corporations, as well as to further study.


  • Development Economics (DE)

The Development Economics (DE) division is aimed at those who are interested in the socio-economic issues of the developing world. Study in this division enables students to improve their critical and analytical skills in many areas of development economics, including industrial development, social development, political development, rural development and poverty alleviation. Students are also able to enhance their professional and practical skills related to international development. This division also aims to enhance the development of research skills in this field for those wishing to pursue further study. The knowledge and skills obtained will provide a wide variety of employment opportunities in international organizations, national and local governments, international development agencies, NGOs and development consultancy firms.

Student Body / Facts and Figures: 

  • 42 Countries and Regions Represented by GSA Students
  • Average Age: 28
  • 3:1 Student-Faculty Ratio 
  • 48% International Faculty
  • 23 Countries and Regions represented by APU Faculty
  • 60 students enrolled every year
  • 95% Scholarships Recipients 
  • 800+ Alumni

Admissions Eligibility:

  • Bachelor's degree
  • English proficiency test score required for non-native English speakers
  • References: two 

Minimum English proficiency requirements: 

  • TOEFL iBT®  Test - 80 points
  • IELTS - 6.0
  • TOEIC®  Test - 780 points
  • PTE Academic - 50 points
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment - FCE Grade B

Application Deadlines for International Applicants:

- April 2022 Enrollment: Oct 20, 2021 (Result Notification on Dec 8th, 2021)

- September 2022 Enrollment: March 30, 2022 (Result Notification on May 18th, 2022)


Your path to shape your own world and the world around you starts at APU!


Application Fee: 5,000 JPY (Credit card payment)

Admission Fee: 200,000 JPY

Total Tuition Fee: 2,800,000 JPY 

Student Housing, Living Costs, Student Insurance: Please visit: https://admissions.apu.ac.jp/graduate/cost/enrollment/

Scholarship: The APU Tuition Reduction Scholarship is offered to support outstanding students and are awarded in percentages of 30%, 50%, 65%, 80% and 100%. All applicants are eligible to apply. For further information, please visit: https://admissions.apu.ac.jp/graduate/cost/tuition_reduction_scholarship/

Dinar Swastiningtyas Theosa (Indonesia)
International Relations (IR)

"APU’s GSA program provided me with outstanding experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. Not only did courses in the International Relations (IR) division challenge me to think in-depth and analytically about current international affairs, the multicultural environment allowed me to do so with a worldwide network of friends and classmates whose different perspectives were precious learning resources during classroom discussions. Additionally, the ample opportunities for research funding and assistance have gave me the invaluable experience of presenting my research at reputable international conferences around the world. I was constantly enriched by the academic setting at APU, whose embrace of global values inspired me to approach both my research — and my personal life — from multiple perspectives. I feel that the master`s program there not only helped to shape me into who and what I want to be, but also prepared me thoroughly for my next journey."

Nhu Ngoc Nguyen (Viet Nam)
Society and Culture (SC)

"Every choice we make is a step on the path of self-discovery. Whether or not to pursue a degree in higher education, when and where to do so, and under whose guidance - these are choices that, when made wisely, can enable self-betterment and shape future visions in one’s chosen profession. The choice to join the Society and Culture division at APU’s Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies not only gave me the chance to pursue my master’s degree, but also acquainted me with the right people who supported me unfailingly and helped recognize my passions, strengths, and weaknesses. While professional consultation was always available when needed, I appreciated that in our division we were encouraged to explore and develop our research freely and independently. The program duration of two years was indeed short, but filled with rewarding experiences, valuable lessons, and cherished memories with professors and friends. It was a choice that I'm proud of making, for it has made me a better person - rich in knowledge and gratitude."

Swe Sett (Myanmar)
International Public Administration (IPA)

"I’ll never forget my life at APU, which was full of exciting academic challenges and deep satisfaction with the unique multicultural environment. During my time as a student in the master’s program for International Cooperation Policy, I was able to create strong bonds with friends and colleagues all over the world — a personal network of accomplished professionals that I am still a part of today. After graduating under the expert guidance of my professors, I accomplished my dream of rejoining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in my home country as a diplomat. I am now serving as First Secretary in Myanmar’s embassy in Washington DC, USA. The real-world experience, knowledge, and awareness of international issues that I obtained through my studies at APU are invaluable to me as they have proven to be essential tools in my career in international diplomatic relations. I am very grateful for and will always remember my dear professors and classmates at APU."

Malili Nair (Fiji)
Sustainability Science (SS)

"My time at APU was one of the most significant milestones in my career. Its culture and its location proved to be a boon to me both professionally and academically. I was able to get to know professors and peers from various backgrounds and with different expertise while taking in APU’s beautiful natural surroundings, with the added benefit of being assisted in my daily life by APU’s engaging staff. I will never forget the relaxed and secluded learning environment of APU, with its globally connected and yet accessible social setting. The diversity of students, faculty and staff at APU was a resource that allowed me to grow as a person, to see myself contrarily, and to be self-governing in my academic and social life. My experiences at APU have allowed me to strengthen the relationship between Fiji and Japan, and I hope one day to raise the educational standards of the Asia Pacific region in general. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of APU."

Ariane Albers (Germany)
 IMAT Program

"The two-year IMAT graduate program broadened my horizons, reaching beyond the conventional boundaries of discipline, culture and business. IMAT provides a unique theoretical and practical setting within small-sized classes, enriched by valuable debates and input on sustainability issues and challenges. This included looking at issues such as management practices and policy aspects of waste and wastewater management, energy efficiency, renewable energy and technology from different perspectives. Thus we were encouraged to develop critical and holistic thinking skills as well as problem-solving capabilities tailored to specific projects or situations. From this study, I learned to view things differently and to see potentials and opportunities in every challenge to move towards more sustainable development. Also, I appreciated the international and multicultural integration of the program offered both in Japan and Germany. I personally valued meeting people from different parts of the world which boosted my intercultural competence and open-mindedness to succeed in today’s global community."

Pimlada Bunthornwan (Thailand)
Tourism and Hospitality (TH)

"Studying tourism as a master’s student at APU has given me a greater understanding of the current state of international tourism — and what potential it holds — through an emphasis on the connection between local and global stakeholders. My astute and resourceful professors take advantage of APU’s location in Beppu, as it is one of the most well-known tourist destinations in all of Japan, by drawing upon on the robust local tourist industry for their course material. We as students are encouraged to draw from such sources, but also expand our sights to incorporate global dimensions in our research; this is in turn facilitated by the range and depth of specializations and expertise of our professors. Another layer in APU’s education exists thanks to the global student body, as I have daily opportunities to discuss various topics and issues with classmates from different countries from all over the world. This has enabled me to view my own studies through countless perspectives and to truly appreciate the unity that results from diversity, both on campus and in the tourism industry itself. I am very thankful for being a part of this strong and multicultural community at APU."

Mirna G. De La Portilla F. (Mexico)
Development Economics (DE)

"Studying my Master’s degree at APU was a life changing experience. While at APU I had the opportunity to meet, and more importantly work with, people from many different countries. The worldviews of the people I met made me revalue and expand my own range of thought. After graduating from APU, I began working as a coordinator in the Secretariat of Human Development of my local government. I organized and implemented Social Programs and workshops such as: FORTAMUN 2015 - Gender Equality, which consisted of workshops, citizen forums, and awareness campaigns, impacting around 4,500 woman in the City of Altamira. The knowledge and experience I gained from interacting with many different people while at APU allowed me to work more effectively within my local government. The knowledge and social capital I was able to build within APU, along with the opportunities I was given to experience the intricacies of enriching cultures with unique people from all parts of the world, is something that I will forever be grateful to APU and Beppu for."

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