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    Jun 08, 2023  
American University Catalog 2020-2021 
American University Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Global International Relations (BA)

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Offered by the School of International Service , the Global International Relations (BA), awarded jointly by American University and Ritsumeikan University, Japan, reflects the cultural and geographic reach, as well as the expertise and strengths of both universities in offering the first truly global degree in international relations. Students gain a deep understanding of global and regional challenges, especially as they relate to East Asia and the United States. They are uniquely prepared to pursue careers that draw upon their ability to critically examine international relations from multiple theoretical, historical, cultural, national, and disciplinary perspectives and standpoints. Students fulfill degree requirements for both institutions and spend two full academic years at each university.

The joint BA prepares students for internationally-focused careers in government, non-profits, and the private sectors. The curriculum is firmly rooted in the liberal arts and sciences, inherently interdisciplinary, and aimed at helping students to think critically and clearly about the most pressing global challenges. It also affords an opportunity for students to find their truest vocations, to discover their passions, and to become active and engaged citizens in a complex global world that defies simple explanations or solutions.

Admission to the Program

Candidates for admission to the joint BA in Global International Relations must present evidence of excellent personal and academic qualifications. The admission process is administered jointly between American University and Ritsumeikan University. To be considered for freshman admission, an applicant should have earned at least a B average in secondary school. All applicants (including US citizens) whose first language is not English are required to submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Pearson Test of English (PTE). Other factors taken into account are leadership qualities, character, and personal interest.

University Requirements

AU Core Requirements

For additional information, see AU Core Curriculum .

Major Requirements

  • 124 total credit hours with a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA
  • 62 credit hours of major coursework with grades of C or better, including at least 18 credit hours at or above 300-level, and at least 3 credit hours of Japanese coursework at or above JAPN-215 
    • Up to 3 credit hours from an approved internship may be applied toward the major
    • Students satisfying the Foreign Language requirement via JAPN-215  take 3 credit hours of Elective coursework; students satisfying the Foreign Language requirement via JAPN-314  or JAPN-315  take 5 credit hours of Elective coursework

Course Requirements

Note: Course requirements are also fulfilled with approved equivalent courses offered by Ritsumeikan University

Foundation (18 credit hours)

Foreign Language (3-5 credit hours)

  • 3-5 credit hours of Japanese language coursework at or above JAPN-215 

Research Methodology (6 credit hours)

Note: Other course approved by SIS Undergraduate Program Director can be used as a substitute for SISU-306 

Thematic Areas (18 credit hours)

Complete the following:

Peace, Global Security, and Conflict Resolution (P)

Identity, Race, Gender, and Culture (I)

Global and Comparative Governance (G)

Regional Focus (9 credit hours)

Complete 9 credit hours with a regional focus in East Asia and the Pacific. At least 3 credit hours must be taken at or above 300-level. For courses designated as topics courses, only approved sections will meet the East Asia and the Pacific regional focus requirement.

Elective (3-5 credit hours)

  • 3-5 credit hours from approved coursework

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