Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
Academic Information
  1. Chapter 4: Course Registration

4. APU Glossary

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This page explains some common terminology used at university as well as some terms that are unique to APU.

Terminology About Classes / Course Registration

Course Registration
The process of registering for the courses you want to take, indicating your intention to attend those courses. If you do not register for courses, you cannot attend classes and earn credits.
The academic year (April to March) is split into two halves, with each half called a “semester”. The first half of the academic year (April to September) is the Spring Semester, and the second half (October to March) is the Fall Semester.
Each semester is further divided into two periods called “quarters”. The first two months of each semester are called the 1st Quarter, and the last two months are called the 2nd Quarter.
Quarter Break
An approximately week-long break from classes between the 1st and 2nd Quarters.
Course Timetable
A list of courses available each semester. The timetable includes information about the class day, class period, classroom, instructor, semester available, etc.
Instructors use the syllabus to inform students of their plan for the course. The syllabus contains basic and important information about the course, including the semester the course is offered, course content, grading method, requests for students, etc.
GPA is a value representing a student’s overall grade evaluation, calculated based on the individual grades from each of their courses according to the calculation method established by APU. GPA is used when registering for courses and when applying for student exchange, scholarships, etc.
Semester Available From / Semester*
The semester from which you are able to register for a given subject. You can register for a subject if you are in the semester indicated or higher.
*This is written as “Semester” on some documents, including the Subject List and Course Timetable.
Prerequisite Subject
A subject you have to earn credits for before you can register for another subject. If you have not completed the set prerequisite subject(s), you will not be able to register for the subject even if you are in an eligible semester.
This system is used to register for courses, register and change your Area of Study, and check grades.
(2023 curriculum APM students only: Students can register and change their Area of Study using a separate application form)
Campus Terminal
The university sends notices and information to students using this noticeboard system.
Opposite Language
This refers to the opposite language to your enrollment language.
Opposite language for Japanese-basis students: English
Opposite language for English-basis students: Japanese
Subjects Held in English
This does not refer to “English Language Subjects” but rather to “lecture subjects” and “seminars” taught in English. One of the graduation requirements for Japanese-basis domestic students is to complete at least 20 credits of “subjects held in English”.

Types of Subjects (Categorized by Class Term)

Semester Courses
Courses held for the duration of a semester (spring or fall). These courses have 1 class per week. However, there are 2 or 4 classes per week for Language Education Subjects.
1st Quarter Courses
Courses held during the 1st quarter for the first half of the semester (roughly 2 months long). These courses have 2 classes per week.
2nd Quarter Courses
Courses held during the 2nd quarter for the second half of the semester (roughly 2 months long). These courses have 2 classes per week.
Session Courses
These are short, intensive courses held over the course of about a week after the 2nd quarter ends. There are around 2-3 periods of classes per day. Credits earned from session courses are also included in each semester’s maximum credit limit for course registration.

Types of Subjects (Categorized by Registration Method and Graduation Requirements)

Required Subjects
Subjects that you must earn credits for in order to graduate.
Automatically-Registered Subjects
Subjects that APU registers for you automatically.

Types of Subjects (Categorized by Content and Degree of Specialization)

Language Education Subjects (English)
Subjects where you study the English language. Japanese-basis students are required earn a set amount of credits for these subjects to graduate.
Language Education Subjects (Japanese)
Subjects where you study the Japanese language. English-basis students are required to earn a set amount of credits for these subjects to graduate.
Language Education Subjects (AP Languages)
Subjects where you study one of the languages of the Asia Pacific region (Chinese/Korean/Malay-Indonesian/Spanish/Thai/Vietnamese)
Common Liberal Arts Subjects
These subjects cover a wide range of academic fields.
Major Education Subjects
Subjects that cover specialized content for each college (APS/APM/ST).

Abbreviations Used at APU

Abbreviation of College of Asia Pacific Studies.
Abbreviation of College of International Management.
Abbreviation of College of Sustainability and Tourism.
Abbreviation of the first-year education subject “Multicultural Cooperative Workshop”.
Abbreviation of the first-year education subject “Study Skills and Academic Writing”. (2017 curriculum students)
Abbreviation of the first-year education subject “Student Success Workshop”. (2023 curriculum students)
Abbreviation of the first-year education subject “Foundation for Global Leadership”. (2023 curriculum students)
Abbreviation of “Double Degree Program”.

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