Master’s in Asia Pacific Studies


Program Description


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. The program encourages students to analyze complicated and ever-changing sociocultural conditions and international issues, pursue feasible solutions and pave a path to a prosperous future for the region. Students accumulate professional knowledge and insights, interpret complex facts in objective and systematic manners and provide insightful solutions to problems.

A broad range of issues is addressed in the two divisions: International Relations and Society and Culture. The courses taught under this program consist of four pillars: analytical foundation courses, core courses on the Asia Pacific region, division-specific courses and research-oriented intensive seminar courses. This program nurtures students’ research skills, including the ability to formulate frameworks for analyses, collect and analyze data, and test arguments and hypotheses. Students are expected to conduct research under a specific theme in a systematic manner throughout their studies.

At the end of the program, students must submit a thesis or report on a theme of their choice, which they have developed under personal guidance from their supervisors in the seminar courses run throughout the program. During the process, they are encouraged to conduct field surveys in the Asia Pacific region.


International Relations (IR)

The International Relations (IR) division is aimed at expanding the 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.

Major Subjects

  • Regionalism and Globalization
  • International Law
  • International Political Economy
  • Comparative Politics and Government
  • Special Studies (International Relations)
  • Conflict Resolution
  • International Security

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 are 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.

Major Subjects

  • Changing Social Landscapes
  • Media and Communication
  • Migration and Trans-nationalism
  • Social Organizations and Institutions
  • Sociology and Everyday Life
  • Special Studies (Society and Culture)
  • Cultural Change

Program Page

Degree: Master of Science in Asia Pacific Studies


  • International Relations (IR)
  • Society and Culture (SC)

Enrollment Semesters: April, September

Program Duration: 2 years

Yearly Intake: 15 students

Total Tuition: 2,800,000 JPY


  • A bachelor's degree or equivalent.
  • Proof of English language proficiency (contact us for detailed requirements).


APU offers a Tuition Reduction Scholarship which can be applied for through the regular application process. All applicants can apply for this scholarship, and they will be notified whether they can receive any tuition reduction with their final results. Tuition Reductions range from 30%, 50%, 65%, 80%, and 100%.

You may also consider applying to other external scholarship programs through APU which provide full scholarships for both tuition and living expenses.

Application Periods for April 2021 enrollment:

  • MEXT (SGU) Scholarships: September 1st, 2020 – September 23rd, 2020
  • General Application: September 1st, 2020 – October 21st, 2020

Application Periods for September 2021 enrollment:

  • MEXT (University Recommendation) and MEXT (SGU) Scholarships: September 1st, 2020 – November 18th, 2020
  • Asian Development Bank - Japan Scholarship Program: September 1st, 2020 – February 24th, 2021
  • General Application: September 1st, 2020 – March 31st, 2021

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Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

With over 100 years of tradition and history, the Ritsumeikan Academy opened APU in April 2000 as Japan’s first genuinely international university. Our graduate schools welcome students into a fully E ... Read More

With over 100 years of tradition and history, the Ritsumeikan Academy opened APU in April 2000 as Japan’s first genuinely international university. Our graduate schools welcome students into a fully English-based curriculum within a uniquely multicultural environment. The Graduate Schools at APU focus on Asia Pacific studies, with study options geared towards tackling the complex issues facing the societies and environments of the Asia Pacific region, as well as management, with a focus on the Japanese style of business and the dynamic world of international business. APU's Graduate Schools are fully accredited by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT). Read less
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