Starting in Academic Year 2010-2011, Yamagata University placed its general education program as the foundation for undergraduate study, and renamed it to arts and sciences education as it went through a university-wide reform to enhance educational quality. The Institute of Arts and Sciences (IAS) was established along the way in October 2009 to play a central role in operating and delivering arts and sciences education at Yamagata University.
IAS comprises two departments: education and research. The education department is subdivided into four divisions based on their areas of concentration. These subdivisions offer introductory, core, general education and common courses operated under the supervision of each division head. The research department focuses its activities on conducting research and surveys as well as providing academic support, which are led by IAS's tenured faculty to enhance and ensure the Institutes' educational quality.