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Study at Yamagata University

Academic Calendar

The Yamagata University academic year runs from April 1 to March 31 and consists of a spring (April-July) and autumn (October-February) semester with a pair of two-month breaks between the semesters in August/September and mid-February to mid-April, as well as a short winter break from late December to early January. The majority of higher education institutions in Japan use a similar calendar.

2015-16 Academic Calender

 Academic Year Spring Semester April 1, 2015 -
September 30, 2015
Autumn Semester October 1, 2015 -
March 31, 2016
Entrance Ceremony April 6, 2015
Breaks Summer Break August 1, 2015 -
September 30, 2015
University Foundation Day October 15, 2015
Winter Break December 25, 2015 -
January 10, 2016
Spring Break February 20, 2016 -
the date of Entrance Ceremony
Graduation Ceremony   March 25, 2016


Undergraduate education at Yamagata University is characterized by course offerings in both general education and major fields of study. All first-year students must take introductory courses in a variety of disciplines, along with foreign languages and information processing courses. The purpose of general education is to foster the fundamental skills needed to pursue academic study at university level and gain the ability to think and judge critically and independently. The bulk of the remainder of the coursework is in specialized courses across a range of departments in first 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. Master's program students must earn at least 30 credits..

Language Expectations

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

Courses and Credit

Regular courses usually count for one or two credits. One credit for a regular course is worth 15 contact hours (45 minutes per contact hour), whereas one credit for language courses or laboratory work is worth 30 contact hours. The exception is elementary level Japanese courses requiring repetitive practice: here, one credit is worth 40 to 45 hours.

Grading System

Grading systems vary from institution to institution in Japan. At Yamagata University, letter grades and their corresponding grade points on a scale of 0-4 are used as shown below. From this table you can calculate your GPA accordingly. Grades are given based on exams, assignments and/or other tasks indicated on course syllabi, which appear mostly in Japanese on our homepage.

Grading Scale

Letter grade Explanation Percentage Grade points UCTS 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 <60% 0.0 F
N Exempt n/a n/a n/a

Class Times

The general timetable for classes at Yamagata University is shown below.

Periods Time
Period 1 - 28:50 - 10:20
Period 3 - 410:30 - 12:00
Period 5 - 613:00 - 14:30
Period 7 - 814:40 - 16:10
Period 9 - 1016:20 - 17:50

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