Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University


Study Programs

International Accreditations

Graduate School of Management Earns Accreditation from AMBA

In August 2020, the Graduate School of Management (GSM) at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) earned accreditation from the Association of MBAs (AMBA), a U.K.-based international accreditation agency for graduate level management education, thus recognizing APU as a provider of world-class MBA education. Only 277 business schools, or 2% of the world’s business schools, have AMBA accreditation, and GSM is just the second business school in Japan to earn accreditation from AMBA.

This accreditation demonstrates that APU's MBA program offers students an education aligned with the highest global standards and will prove beneficial to students seeking employment or further education in Japan or around the world upon graduation. Earning AMBA accreditation will invigorate APU’s interactions with other AMBA-accredited institutions in 75 countries and regions around the globe.

What is AMBA accreditation?

Established in London, England in 1967, the Association of MBAs is one of the world’s most prestigious accreditation agencies for management education. AMBA only accredits master's degree (MBA, MBM) and doctoral degree (DBA) programs in management education. To obtain accreditation, an institution must clear a strict screening of 10 criteria pertaining to educational content, faculty, students, and other factors. To maintain its accreditation, the institution must undergo a re-accreditation process within a certain period of time determined by AMBA, all the while striving to maintain and improve the quality of its programs.

Association of MBAs (Note: External link)

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 College of International Management and Graduate School of Management (GSM) has joined the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) community. PRME is a global engagement platform for academic institutions to promote socially and environmentally responsible management education which was coordinated by the UN Global Compact in 2007. The Six Principles of PRME allow institutions to reflect on how they implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and align their teachings with the UN Compact.
With this pledge, APU takes yet another step toward empowering its students to change the world for the better. As of 2021, over 800 schools have made this same pledge, and APU is one of only three institutions in Japan to join the PRME community.