Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University - APU


Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University - APU

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University - APU

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University - APU

Graduate Lecture

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University - APU

Graduate Lecture

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University - APU

Campus Scenery

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University - APU

Entrance Ceremony

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University - APU

Graduate Students

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University - APU
INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY IN JAPAN Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) first opened its doors in 2000. 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.
Visit Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University - APU

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.

1. 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.


2. Master of Science in International Cooperation Policy (ICP) – 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.


  • International Material Flow Management(IMAT) Dual Degree Program

IMAT is a dual-degree program managed jointly by APU and the Institute of Applied Material Flow Management (IFaS), an innovative research institute of the Trier University of Applied Sciences (Germany). Students will spend their first year studying at APU and the second year at the Zero-Emission Campus Birkenfeld in Germany. The program offers integrated knowledge in engineering, economics, law and natural and social sciences. In addition to the learning goals of the Sustainability Science division, IMAT offers multidisciplinary courses to prepare students to become young professionals in zero emission systems design with profound knowledge in renewable energy, integrated water resource management and other sustainable community development areas.


  • 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: 

  • 53 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 
  • 1100+ Alumni

Admissions Eligibility:

  • Bachelor's degree
  • English proficiency test score or have graduated from an undergraduate program with a medium in English
  • 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 2023 Enrollment: Oct 19, 2022 (Result Notification on Dec 7th, 2022)

- September 2023 Enrollment: March 29, 2023 (Result Notification on May 17th, 2023)


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


Application Fee: 5,500 JPY (Credit card payment)

Admission Fee: 200,000 JPY

Total Tuition Fee: 2,800,000 JPY 

Student Housing, Living Costs, Student Insurance: https://admissions.apu.ac.jp/graduate/student_life/money_matters/


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/

International Relations
Graduate from Uzbekistan

"Joining the International Relations division in the Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies does not only provide me with an environment of academic excellence and intellectually stimulating research, but also the opportunity to work with supportive faculty, be part of a thriving graduate student community, and access an engaging alumni network. My experiences at APU so far have allowed me to thrive in my research activities and obtain critical analytical techniques to focus on the issues of vital importance to the Asia Pacific region."

Society and Culture
Graduate from Thailand

“Due to my desire to pursue a career in academic work related to the field of Japanese popular culture, I was motivated to join the Society and Culture division. The professors in this division specialize in a broad range of topics and encourage their students to analyze their lectures critically. By interacting and discussing directly with these professors and my classmates, I have broadened my perspectives both academically and professionally as a global-minded citizen.

International Public Administration
Graduate from China

“Studying in APU is like joining an exclusive world journey. Interesting and academically stimulating lectures, in addition to significant hands-on experiences, have given me the chance to familiarize myself with in-depth knowledge of international public administration. Supportive faculty, various campus activities, and ample opportunities for research funding and assistance have also provided the right mixture of knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary for me to take a step higher in my career path.”

Sustainability Science
Graduate from Fiji

“My time at APU has been one of the most significant milestones in my career. Its culture and its location have proven to be a boon to me both professionally and academically. I have been 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 is a resource that has allowed me to grow as a person, to see myself contrarily, and to be self-governing in my academic and social life. My experiences here 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.”

Tourism and Hospitality
Graduate from Korea

“Studying at APU significantly impacted my life. Under the division of Tourism and Hospitality in International Cooperation Policy, I studied and researched destination development and tourism policy. Through this, I learned the importance of policies and how to apply the ideas of tourism into destination and regional development. Furthermore, the environment at APU taught me how to shape my own world in a multicultural society by interacting with people from various countries. As a result of active participation in several school activities, I realized that mutual understanding can only happen when we accept the differences of each other and seek ways to work and live together. I believe APU is the perfect place where you can experience a real global society!”

Development Economics
Graduate from Mexico

“At APU I was given the opportunity to experience the intricacies of enriching cultures with unique people from all parts of the world. The knowledge and skills I gained from interacting with many different people allowed me to expand my own range of thought. As a result, I was I able to work more effectively as I organized and implemented social programs, workshops, and awareness campaigns through my local government after graduating.”

More APU Alumni Testimonials:

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