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Programs : Brochure

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  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.5 Minimum GPA (Graduate): 3.0
Language of Instruction: English, Japanese Housing: Campus Housing
Number of Credits Offered: 12-16 Eligible Population: 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior, Graduate
Type of Program: Bilateral Exchange Language Courses Offered: Japanese
Area of Study: Religious Studies, Art History, Sociology, Theater, Honors, Government and International Policy, Chinese, Communication, Criminology, Law and Society, Anthropology, Foreign Languages, Global Affairs, History, Integrative Studies, Japanese Studies Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office
Program Description:

Akita International University

Surrounded by the beautiful nature of northern Japan, Akita International University (AIU) is a window to the world. Unique in Japan for offering an International Liberal Arts education entirely in English, Akita is on the cutting edge of Japanese higher education. AIU is located in Akita city (population about 322,000), the capital of Akita prefecture (population about 1,080,000), an ideally-sized city that provides the opportunity to get immersed in the local culture while also offering convenient access to international goods and services. Akita prefecture is known for its natural beauty and resources and the university is located close to ski areas, scenic hiking opportunities, and the Sea of Japan coastline. The university organizes various events, activities, and field trips providing students with hands-on experience in Japanese culture. 

Note: As of April 2017, AIU is proud to be a smoke free campus. All students are required to live on campus, where there are no smoking areas and there are no places to smoke anywhere near campus.

Program Details

Akita International University is a Bilateral Exchange Program - Students are enrolled as regular students at the partner university, pay Mason tuition to Mason, and pay room and board abroad. 


  • Students must have completed at least 45 credits at the time of departure with a minimum 2.5 GPA.
    • Akita requires students to have at least two semesters of MASON grades on their academic transcript at the time of application in order to be considered for exchange. 
  • Students should not study abroad the last semester of senior year if they plan to graduate on time.
  • Recent transfer students cannot study abroad their first semester at Mason.

Credits Offered

  • Transfer between 12-16 credits per semester
  • Letter grade received must be equivalent to a "C" or above
  • Courses are transfer credit; will not factor into the GPA of the participant.
  • Passing Grade for AIU: C

Choosing Courses Abroad

This program does not have pre-approved classes. It is your responsibility to select courses and get them approved for transfer credit. To facilitate this process, you will complete the Petition for Transfer of Credit (PTC) Form. You will have access to the PTC form when you open an application.

You are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to look at this institution’s courses ahead of time to see how they will match up to your Mason degree requirements. Talk to your academic advisor about what courses you will need to receive credit for during your time abroad to stay on-track for your degree. When looking at courses keep in mind that 1) you will have to be enrolled full-time while abroad, and 2) similarly to Mason, course schedules can change. We recommend having twice as many courses approved as necessary.

Credit Equivalency

3 AIU Credits = 3 US Credits


Exchange students are guaranteed housing in one of three residence complexes, usually housed in doubles with a Japanese roommate. 

Visa Information

Once accepted into a program, it will be your responsibility to apply for a student visa and/or residence permit (if required, based on your citizenship). You will receive details on this with your acceptance letter. Do not apply for a visa until after you have been officially accepted. Visit Akita's Visa and Entry to Japan information page and the Embassy of Japan's website for further information.

Links and Resources

Program Links

Contact Information

Program Officer

Dianna Leonard

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.