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Study at YU

This section serves as a brief introduction to the educational system of Yamagata University.

Academic Calendar

Our academic year runs from April 1 to March 31 consisting of spring (April-July) and fall (October-January/February) semesters with a pair of two-month breaks between the semesters in August/September and mid-February /early April, and a short winter break in late December/early January. A majority of other higher education institutions in Japan use a similar calendar. < more information


Undergraduate education at YU is characterized by course offerings in both general education and major fields of study. All freshmen must take introductory courses in a variety of disciplines along with foreign language and information processing courses. The purpose of general education is to foster fundamental skills needed to pursue academic study at the university level and gain the ability to think and judge critically and independently through well-rounded knowledge and an insightful point of view. The remaining and majority of coursework is in specialized courses in respective departments in freshmen and subsequent years.

The minimum number of credits needed to graduate ranges from 124 credits to 137 credits including at least 31 or more credits in general education courses, which is subject to program requirements. Medical students whose period of study is six years will need to collect 199 credits as their duration. Master's program students must earn at least 30 credits.

Language Expectations

To comprehend university lectures that are conducted in Japanese and other languages at YU, you will need to possess certain levels of language proficiency. In principle, advanced levels of Japanese are required to take specialized courses at the undergraduate level whereas mastery of an elementary level of Japanese along with a good command of English is expected of incoming international students to be enrolled in our exchange program. Pre-admitted government scholarship recipients pursuing graduate study or teacher training, however, may be enrolled at YU regardless of their prior Japanese skills on the condition that they will take a 15-week intensive language course at the Kojirakawa campus in the spring semester if they have little or no knowledge of Japanese.

Courses and Credit

One regular course usually bears one or two credits. One credit for regular courses is worth fifteen contact hours (45 minutes per contact hour) whereas one credit for language courses, laboratory work, experiential study or practicum is thirty contact hours except for elementary level Japanese courses that require repetitive practice in which one credit is forty to forty-five hours.

Grading System

Grading systems vary from institution to institution in Japan. At YU, letter grades and their corresponding grade points on a scale of 0-4 are used as shown below and your GPA can be calculated accordingly. Grades are given based on exams, assignments and/or other tasks indicated on course syllabi, which appear mostly in Japanese on our web page.

Grading Scale

Letter gradeExplanationPercentageGrade pointsUCTS equivalent
S Excellent 90 - 100% 4.0 A
A Very good 80 - 89 % 3.0 B
B Good 70 - 79%" 2.0 C
C Satisfactory 60 - 69 % 1.0 D
F Fail 59% or below 0.0 F
N Pass n/a n/a n/a

Timetable of Classes

This is the general timetable of classes in Yamagata University. Please check the actual schedule currently in operation on your own campus.

Periods Time
Period 1~2 8:50 - 10:20
Period 3~4 10:30 - 12:00
Period 5~6 13:00 - 14:30
Period 7~8 14:40 - 16:10
Period 9~10 16:20 - 17:50