Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (Private)Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies
- URL of Graduate School (English)
- Name of Course/Program
- Master’s Program in International Cooperation Policy
- URL of Course/Program (English)
- Master of Science in International Cooperation Policy
- Credit and years needed for graduation
- 32 credits, Standard Completion Program (2 years) and Accelerated Completion Program (1/1.5 years)
- Features of Graduate School
- Features of the Course/Program
- Necessary Curriculum to Obtain the Degrees
- List of Faculty members capable of guiding JDS China Fellows and their Research Specialities
Features of Graduate School
The APU graduate school focuses on fostering global leaders with a broad perspective based on the extensive knowledge and skills needed to face the challenges of our world’s rapidly changing society. It aims to educate and equip students to contribute to the sustainable and harmonious development of the Asia Pacific region by acquiring the necessary advanced expertise on administration, the environment and development economics, as well as learning to solve issues practically. Students will thus actively contribute to sustainable development and cooperation in the Asia Pacific region and world.
Our graduate programs are offered entirely in English and students are not required to know any Japanese to gain admission. English speaking students come to APU and are taught by international professors and lecturers and study alongside English speaking classmates from around the world. The unique multi-cultural environment helps students to easily develop extensive personal networks during their course of studies. Such networks serve as valuable assets even after graduation. Our graduates work in industries in or dealing with the Asia Pacific region, national and local governments in Japan and around the world, development agencies and other regional and international organizations.
The rich curriculum allows students to tailor their own study program and choose their classes based on their interests and upon consultation with their supervisors. In addition to regular coursework subjects, all students must complete seminar subjects and submit an extended piece of writing in the form of a final research report or a Master’s thesis which presents the findings and conclusions of their individual research. Introductory and beginner Japanese language classes are also available to interested graduate students.
At APU’s Graduate School, students develop practical policy-making skills through discussions with students dispatched from government agencies, students from Japan, and other donor countries. By approaching issues from various perspectives, students also acquire a greater ability to solve problems effectively.
Besides regular classes, APU holds an average of 20 seminars on campus each year by guest speakers that include distinguished researchers, ambassadors, foreign diplomats, and officials from international organizations, NGOs, and corporations. Known on campus as RCAPS Seminars, these seminars offer students an opportunity to network with and gain the latest insight from leaders in various fields. In addition to the RCAPS Seminars, numerous workshops are organized throughout the year which provide students with many opportunities to participate in the exchange of ideas, information and expertise with academics, experts, business executives, policy makers and senior administrators.
Features of the Course/Program
<Master of Science in International Cooperation Policy (ICP)>
Students from China will be accepted into the International Public Administration Program, Sustainability Science Program and Development Economics Program in the International Cooperation Policy (ICP) Major. Upon completion of this Master’s Program, students will have the knowledge and skills needed to immediately contribute to the development of China. They will be the next generation of leaders that can propose policies, work for solutions and evaluate policies.
While students learn subjects such as “International Public Administration”, “Planning and Evaluation”, “Project Management”, “Community Development”, “Environmental Policy, Law and Administration”, “Urban Sustainability”, “Development Economics”, “Development Finance”, “Comparative Economic Development”, they also take part in seminar subjects and fieldwork to further enhance their education and develop themselves into highly-specialized experts in their fields. Students from China will be taught and supervised by faculty members who have not only rich academic experiences but also have worked for many years in Japanese and foreign governments and international organizations such as the Asian Development Bank, and World Bank, JICA and others. By connecting theory with practice, APU’s education develops students into practical leaders that can contribute to China’s development in many fields.
Necessary Curriculum to Obtain the Degrees
Courses taught through English language for the 2023 academic year （English Course）
Requirements of obtaining the Degree of Master of Science in International Cooperation Policy
A minimum of 32 credits is required for completion. As shown in the following table of credit requirements, JDS China students must take and pass a designated minimum number of credits from each Subject Category. Credits for a subject are obtained by earning a passing grade for that subject. In addition to obtaining the minimum required number of credits, all students must complete an extended piece of writing that presents the findings and conclusions of their individual research. ICP Major students may choose between a Master’s Thesis or a Research Report.
|Subject Category||Minimum Required Credits|
|Analytical Foundation Subjects||4|
|Core Subjects on the Asia Pacific Region||4 or more|
|Seminars||4 or more|
|Major Subjects||10 * or more|
|Core Related Subjects||--|
|Total number of Credits for graduation||32 or more|
*Students must complete at least 10 credits from Major Subjects from their affiliated Division.
List of Faculty members capable of guiding JDS China Fellows and
their Research Specialities
|Faculty Name||Research Area|
|○||BUI Thanh Huong||Tourism, Sustainability, and Resilience, Resource Management, Environmental Economics|
|○||GHOTBI Nader||Health, Ethics, Economics, Environment|
|○||GOMEZ, Oscar A.||International cooperation, human security, global governance|
|○||HAN Ji||Urban Ecology, Material metabolism, Low-carbon city/transport, livable city, circular economy, ecosystem services, GIS and remote sensing|
|○||JONES Thomas E||sustainability; resource management; sustainable tourism; protected area management|
|○||KIKKAWA Takuro||Comparative Politics (inc. political system, policy analysis, comparative foreign policies), IR, history, and Area Studies (the Middle East)|
|○||KIM Sangho||Applied econometrics; Economic development; International trade; Productivity analysis|
|○||KIMURA Rikio||NGO, social enterprise, community development, adult learning, pedagogy, organizational development and leadership.|
|○||KUBO Takayuki||Urban Development and Planning, Regional Development and Planning|
|○||LI Yan||Environmental Impact Assessment/Environment Policy, City Planning/Architectural Planning, Traffic Engineering, Land Planning, Social System Engineering/Safety System|
|○||MEIRMANOV Serik||General Life Science, Social Psychology, Human Genetics, Human Pathology, Public Hygiene Studies/Health Science, International Education|
|○||NATSUDA Kaoru||International development, International political economy, Policy studies|
|○||OTSUKA KOZO||Productivity, innovations, economic growth|
|○||OHASHI Hiroaki||Urban and regional planning, Spatial planning and policy, Urban (re)development and design, Real estate development|
|○||SUDO Tomonori||Environmental Economics (mainly focus on the Environmental market creation, climate finance), Environmental policy (incl International Environmental Agreements), Development Economics (Mainly focus on the Growth theory), Development policy and Development Cooperation Policy|
|○||SUZUKI Yasushi||Institutional Economics, Political Economy, Theories of Rent-seeking, Corruption, Property Right, Public Finance, Financial Development, Comparative Financial Systems (Japan, US, China, Islamic Finance and Microcredit), Development Economics, Energy Security, Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Economics (Social Justice), International Economic Law|
|○||VAFADARI M. Kazem||Tourism policy and planning Food tourism Agritourism Rural tourism and development Heritage tourism Ecotourism|
|○||YAMAGATA Tatsufumi||Development Economics; Development Studies|
|○||YAMASHITA Hiromi||Environmental sociology, environmental communication, risk study, public perceptions on nature restoration projects (green infrastructures, nature based solutions), coastal wetlands management and conservation (including tidal flats, mangroves, beaches), community participation in decision making, consensus building on infrastructure building in coastal communities|
|○||YAMAURA Koichi||Consumer preferences in food and environmental economics,|
Information on Seminar Classes is updated at the beginning of every semester.
Additionally, First Seminar Meeting is organized on the 1st Wednesday class day of the semester for new students so that they can meet with relevant instructors. After the First Seminar Meeting, all consecutive meetings are scheduled between supervisors and students.
|Date||Targeted students||Event & things to-do|
|Mid-Late September||New Students||New Students Orientation Period (including moving into AP House and Entrance Ceremony)|
|Beginning of October||All students||Registration for Fall semester classes|
|End of October||New Students||Assigned Supervisor (First Seminar Meeting will be held on the 1st Wednesday class day)|
|Mid-November||All students||1st Quarter Joint Research Presentations|
|End of November||1st Quarter Final Exams|
|Late December to
Beginning of January
|Mid-January||Research Proposal submission deadline|
|Mid-January||2nd Quarter Joint Research Presentations|
|Beginning of February||2nd Quarter Final Exams|
|Early to Mid－February||Winter Session|
|Mid-February||Spring Holidays||Spring Semester|
|Late March||All students||Registration for Spring semester classes|
|Beginning of April||Classes Start|
|Mid-May||1st Quarter Joint Research Presentations|
|End of May||1st Quarter Final Exams|
|June 15||Final semester students||Master’s Thesis/Research Report submission deadline|
|Mid-July||All students||2nd Quarter Joint Research Presentations|
|Late July||2nd Quarter Final Exams|
|Beginning of August||Summer Session|
|Mid-September||Final semester students||Graduation Ceremony|
*Note: Exact dates are announced at the beginning of every semester.
Facilities (ex: Library, PCs, Gymnasium etc.)
APU is located on top of a small mountain at an altitude of 330 meters with beautiful natural surroundings overlooking the city of Beppu and its coastline. This amazing view is just the beginning of what you will find here on campus. Modern buildings, quiet study rooms, on-campus housing, sports and health related facilities and a variety of spaces for you to meet and collaborate with your classmates are all available to create the perfect learning environment.
Accommodation –Not your typical dormitory
With students from diverse cultures living under one roof, the time you will spend in our dormitory, AP House, is an unforgettable experience. This unique setting enables you to adapt to your new life in Japan and learn about the cultures of the world through interaction with peers while having a private and furnished room to concentrate on your studies. To assist you with this transition, each floor has experienced students selected as resident assistants (RAs) who will answer your questions and concerns and hold activities for you to join.
Besides AP House, a wide range of private apartments are also available within a bus ride (approximately 15-20 min) from the campus, with affordable rent as compared to other Japanese cities. Creotech, a university-affiliated company, provides assistance to students in locating and renting accommodation.
A spacious common room, separate computer lab, lockers and study spaces are available for graduate students. Additionally, there are approximately 2,000 high-speed internet connected computers available for student-use on campus, and students can also use their own laptops to access the APU network via plug-in ports at several convenient locations or through wireless LAN.
The APU library has an extensive collection of publications in English and Japanese. Students can easily borrow books from all universities within the Ritsumeikan Trust and pick them up at the APU counter. A wide range of academic journals and other useful publications is also available through online databases. The library is open from 8:30 to 24:00 (class days).
Other on-campus facilities include a cafeteria and cafe catering to a wide range of dietary requirements, a general store and a bookshop. In terms of athletics, APU has a gym, weight training room, tennis and basketball courts, a soccer field, track, and other facilities.
At APU, students have access to a full range of support services on campus. These include a Health Clinic and counseling service for all students and staff without any charge, and a Student Office that facilitates extra-curricular activities and offers advice on lifestyle issues such as accommodation, budgeting, etc.
Since APU is a bilingual campus, all administrative offices such as the Academic Office and Student Office operate in both English and Japanese.
Advice for Graduate School Applicants
Through APU’s graduate interdisciplinary programs, offered entirely in English, we will challenge your critical thinking, creativity, and passion for change and action. Our faculty, coming from over 20 countries, trained in distinguished universities in Japan and overseas, and with outstanding track records in their careers, will engage you in cutting-edge research and interactive graduate classes. Our learning community—vibrant, stimulating, diverse, and multicultural—will strengthen your values in the pursuit of excellence, mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation in the globalizing world. Our alumni, now spread across the globe and well-positioned in their respective communities of practice, will help broaden your support network as you pursue your goals.
“Ritsumeikan” means the “place to establish your destiny.” The Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies at APU may very well be where you start this journey.
We hope that students in the International Cooperation Policy (ICP) Major will acquire the knowledge needed for developing a long-term perspective on development issues, as well as the capacity to address real-life issues by connecting theory to practice. In the end, our graduates will develop the practical problem-solving skills and creativity required for sustainable development within the Asia Pacific region. In particular, we aim to cultivate individuals capable of engaging the actual practice of formulating and implementing development and aid initiatives. We also aim to integrate seminar-based research supervision on specific topics with coursework that imparts important knowledge and theoretical perspectives into a curriculum that is highly effective in equipping students with the skills they will need in their future careers.
Taught in English by faculty members with ample experience guiding government dispatched students, each class makes the most of APU’s cultural diversity. In-class discussions are enriched by the variety of experiences our students have already gained in workplaces in their home countries. This is the ideal forum to prepare you for a career in international development on the world stage.
APU is proud that as of May 1st, 2022, 387 Chinese students including 14 graduate students are studying on campus. Furthermore, 5 Chinese faculty members are teaching classes in various disciplines at our university.
Faculty members at APU look forward to supporting the next group of students, who will become future integral policymakers that advance China’s sustainable development.
We look forward to welcoming you as a member of our diverse and exciting campus.