Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University


Study Programs

Accreditations and Associations

AACSB International Accreditation

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University is one of only three institutions in Japan to achieve this accreditation to date. Out of these institutions, APU is the only one offering an undergraduate business curriculum in both English and Japanese as well as an AACSB-accredited MBA program conducted entirely in the English language.

APU's College of International Management and Graduate School of Management (also referred to as APM and GSM, respectively) began the AACSB accreditation process out of a recognition that international accreditation is an important part of meeting the expectations of the University's stakeholders. Accreditation was also viewed as an asset in attracting top talent to APU's faculty and student body.

As part of the accreditation process, the College of International Management is making changes to APU's undergraduate business school curriculum, introducing additional core courses and adding a comprehensive capstone course that will challenge APU's students to utilize the skills they have learned. These changes will further bring the University's undergraduate business programs in line with international standards, providing APU graduates with the skills and knowledge they need to enter the fast-changing world of international business.

Both the College of International Management and the Graduate School of Management will undergo a continuous review process to ensure that they maintain a high level of quality and a focus on continuous improvement in areas including learning and evaluation, academic and professional engagement, and strategic management and innovation.

What is AACSB?

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is a global membership organization of educational institutions, businesses, and other entities committed to the advancement of management education. Established in 1916, AACSB provides its members with a variety of products and services to assist them with the continuous improvement of their business schools.

AACSB accreditation is widely regarded as the highest level of accreditation for business schools. Being an AACSB-accredited business school means being part of a network of 775 institutions spanning 52 countries and territories* across the globe who have successfully met the standards set forth by the association, and who have committed to maintaining these standards. Less than 5% of the 16,000 business school programs worldwide have earned this accreditation.

AACSB conducts research, assesses trends, hosts more than 100 global professional development events annually, and brings together business school leaders from around the world to network and share experiences.

*As of August 2016.

The benefits of accreditation

Studying at an AACSB-accredited institution carries a number of benefits for students.

Connections and partnerships
Being AACSB-accredited provides assurance to other schools that APU's faculty and programs meet established international standards. This means that the University's current existing network of 454 partner institutions will continue to expand into the future.

Quality of instruction
As an AACSB-accredited institution, University faculty must meet and uphold standards in research and qualifications, providing a higher level of experience and expertise.

Assurance of learning
Faculty and administrators engage in a process of continuous review and improvement, ensuring that all students in the College of International Management and the Graduate School of Management learn and grow according to the mission and learning goals of their programs, maintaining a high quality educational experience for all business students.

Continuous improvement
The process of achieving accreditation helps the University refine its strategic direction, improve overall program and faculty quality, and provides an organized framework for tracking and supporting the University's day-to-day operations. As an accredited institution, APU is dedicated to sustaining a commitment to high quality and alignment with the spirit and intent of the accreditation standards.

Value for graduates
AACSB-accredited schools are recognized worldwide by top employers and other institutions. They also have more access to recruiters, and have graduates that tend to receive higher, more competitive salaries.

AACSB International (Note: External link)

APU establishes Beta Gamma Sigma chapter

What is Beta Gamma Sigma?

  • Beta Gamma Sigma, or BGS, is the international honor society for AACSB-accredited business programs. Membership is limited to students with the highest levels of academic achievement.
  • As of May 2017, BGS boasts around 820,000 members in 584 chapters in 190 countries and regions. Students who join while in school earn lifetime membership.
  • More than 70% of AACSB-accredited institutions have BGS chapters. APU established its BGS Chapter—the first ever in Japan—in May 2017.
  • BGS has 30 alumni chapters and 15 networking groups around the world.
Advantages and Obligations of BGS Membership
  • Students can network with other members who are also the best among AACSB-accredited business schools around the globe.
  • There are several events and programs limited to members.
  • Members gain access to the Beta Gamma Sigma Career Resource Center.
  • Some graduate schools offer scholarship programs exclusively for members.
  • Some graduate schools waive GMAT scores or application fees for prospective students who are members.

Students need to pay a one-time lifetime membership fees of 75 USD* upon joining BGS.

*Membership fee as of May 2017.

Selecting Candidates for the APU Chapter

Selection at APU takes place twice each year, in the spring and fall semesters. Selection will take place in the sixth semester for undergraduate students, and in the third semester for graduate students. The top 10% of students as determined by cumulative GPA at the end of their fifth semester for undergraduate students, or second semester for graduate students, will be nominated to BGS. In general, students must have a status of "Regular" or "Study Abroad" at the time of selection.

Becoming a BGS member

BGS will send invitation letters to all nominated students. If a student decides to join BGS, they will need to complete the profile form and pay a one-time lifetime fee of 75 USD. The APU chapter will hold a recognition ceremony each semester to congratulate the new members of BGS.


Office of the President: aacsb@apu.ac.jp