Kyoto, Japan

Semester Timeline

Fall Semester: Sept. - Late Jan.
Spring Semester: March - Late July

Application Deadline

Applications Open: September 1st
Application Deadline: February 1st
Decision Date: March 1st

University Profile

Ritsumeikan University seeks to promote both rigorous scholarship and individual insights while nurturing just and ethical global citizens. Based upon the university’s founding ideals of Freedom and Innovation and its core educational philosophy of Peace and Democracy, this educational mission furthers our core commitment to, in the words of the great Ritsumeikan postwar chancellor Hiroshi Suekawa, encouraging students to “believe in the future, live for the future.”

The Study in Kyoto Program (SKP) offers you a great opportunity to study at Ritsumeikan University (RU), utilizing the extensive historical and cultural resources of the ancient city of Kyoto. The program is a non-degree study abroad program with a well-balanced curriculum of both academic and cultural course selections through three tracks of study. Enrollment in the program is flexible; you can apply to the track that best suits your needs.

Location Description

Ritsumeikan University's campus (The Kinugasa Campus) is located in northwestern Kyoto, a 1200 year old city rich in culture and art. Representative of Japanese learning and culture, Kyoto is a center for universities and university students. Kinugasa Campus is surrounded by such auspicious temples as Kinkakuji, Ryoanji, Ninnaji, and Tojiin, a suitably tranquil setting for research and learning. Kyoto has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area. 


Partipants within the Ritsumeikan SKP will study one of three tracks: Open Study in English Track (OSE), Intensive Japanese Language (IJL), and aslo the Business Track. In addition to these tracks, students have the opportunity to enroll in Japanese Traditional Arts courses. Please click the link below for the courses offered within each track.

Tracks of Study

Course List from Previous Terms


Ritsumeikan manages three International House dormitories in Kyoto and one for BT students in Osaka. They are equipped with fully furnished rooms, live-in Japanese managers and resident mentors, lounges, kitchens, and free internet access. All locations are within easy access of RU campuses by bicycle and public transportation. 

Housing Info

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a 2.7 GPA and be in good standing with the university. 

There is no language requirement for this university. Most course instruction will be offered in English. 

Applicants must have completed their first year of JMU before going abroad. There are exceptions for Transfer Students.


In addition paying regular tuition to JMU, participants can also expect to pay the following estimated costs to the host institution:

Housing $2,500
Meals $2,500
Health Insurance $85
Personal Liability Insurance $15
Total Estimated Costs $5,100

Additional out-of-pocket expenses may include flight, visa fees, in-country transportation, and personal funds.

How to Apply

The application for admission has a number of parts. See the outline below and make certain you have completed all steps in the application process:

  • Online JMU Exchange General Application 
    Completing the General Application will allow you to select your top three universities for Exchange. Multiple Exchange Program applications do not need to be submitted.
  • Exchange University's application 
    Upon acceptance from JMU, the applicant will then complete the host university's application. The exchange program coordinator will work with applicant to provide access to the application. 

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