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About YU

The Main Entrance to our University Our Tree-lined Campus has many Ginkgo Trees

Welcome to Yamagata University, Japan!

A major comprehensive national teaching and research university in northeastern Japan, Yamagata University enrolls about 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students at its thirteen academic divisions on its four college campuses spread throughout the Yamagata region. YU offers programs in the fields of agriculture, arts and humanities, education, engineering, medicine, natural science, nursing, and social sciences.

Campuses and Surrounding Areas

Each of YU's four college campuses are based in mid-sized cities surrounded by mountains, rivers, and other distinct regional features, making teaching, learning, and research at YU unique. The Kojirakawa campus (Education, Art and Science, Literature & Social Sciences, Science) and the Iida Campus (Medicine) are both located in the city of Yamagata, the prefectural capital. The city of 250,000 is completely surrounded by mountains including Mt. Zao, a world-class ski area. Down south, the Yonezawa campus (Engineering) is in the city of Yonezawa, a castle town sitting at the foot of the Azuma Mountains where the Mogami River, one of the major rivers in Japan, originates. The city is well known for the former feudal clans, Uesugi and Date. The Tsuruoka campus (Agriculture) sits in the city of Tsuruoka on the Shonai plain. The city faces the Sea of Japan and overlooks Mt. Choukai and Gassan, two of the 100 greatest mountains in the nation. The Academy award-winning film “Departures” (Okuribito) was shot in the Shonai area, one of the four administrative divisions of Yamagata prefecture. The Mogami area campus is a long-awaited, welcome addition to the current YU campus network. This outreach campus was launched in the depopulated area of northern Yamagata in 2005 in response to resident wishes to have the opportunity to receive higher education in the Mogami area.

Commitment to General Education

The purpose of general education at YU is to have students expand their views, think critically, and make sound judgments as well as to acquire fundamental academic skills necessary for advanced study. There are 750 fundamental courses and seminars for students to choose from regardless of major in all academic disciplines each year. These university-wide general education courses are taught by faculty members from all academic divisions. In addition, with the increasing importance of the English language in both the work place and academic field around the world, all freshmen are required to take the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) ®IP (Institutional Program) test twice a year whereas the university administers the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) ®ITP (Institutional Testing Program) test every year for those who are interested in study abroad or academic English.

History of Yamagata University

Since its foundation as a normal school in 1878, Yamagata University has grown to become a doctoral-granting, comprehensive public institution through two stages before and after 1949 when new government regulation in higher education came into effect.

Before 1949

1878 Yamagata Prefectural Normal School (YPNS) including its elementary school opened.
1886 YPNS was renamed Yamagata Prefectural Junior Normal School (YPJNS).
1898 YPJNS was renamed Yamagata Prefectural Normal School (YPNS).
1902 Yamagata Prefectural Women's Normal School (YPWNS) opened.
1910 Yonezawa Higher Technical School (YHTS) opened.
1920 Yamagata High School (YHS) opened (and later became the Faculty of Literature and Science).
1922 Yamagata Prefectural Technical Continuation School Teacher Training Center (YPTCS- TTC) opened.
1935 YPTCS-TTC was renamed Teacher Training Center at Yamagata Prefectural Young Men's School (YPYMS-TTC).
1943 YPNS and YPWNS merged into Yamagata Normal School (YNS).
1944 YPYMS -TTC was renamed Yamagata Youth Normal School (YYNS).
YHTS was renamed Yonezawa Engineering College.
1947 Yamagata Prefectural College of Agriculture and Forestry (YPCAF) and YNS junior high school opened.
1949 YHS, YNS, YYNS and YPAFC merged and became Yamagata University.

After 1949

1949 YU started with four Faculties: Faculty of Literature and Science, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Agriculture.
1954 Junior College of Engineering established.
1964 Graduate School of Engineering established.
1967 Faculty of Literature & Social Sciences, Faculty of Science, and Division of General Education established.
1970 Graduate School of Agriculture established.
1971 Faculty of Literature and Science closed.
1973 Faculty of Medicine established.
1975 Special Needs School established.
1979 Graduate School of Science established.
Graduate School of Medical Science established.
1985 Junior College of Engineering closed.
1990 United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences established.
1993 Graduate School of Education established.
1996 Division of General Education closed.
1997 Graduate School of Social & Cultural Systems established.
1999 Graduate School of Engineering and Graduate School of Science merged and was renamed Graduate School of Science and Engineering.
2005

Faculty of Education was renamed Faculty of Education, Art and Science.

2009 Graduate School of Teacher Training and Graduate School of Regional Education and Culture established.