Curriculum from AY 2021

AIU Curricular Reform 2021

One Philosophy, Three Approaches

Current Curriculum

Faculty of International Liberal Arts

  • Global Business Program
  • Global Studies Program


From April 2021

Faculty of International Liberal Arts

Department of International Liberal Arts

  • Global Business Program
  • Global Studies Program
  • Global Connectivity Program

Enhanced Liberal Arts Education for Future Leaders

“Picture of President

Akita International University has offered two programs, Global Business and Global Studies, since its establishment in 2004, with International Liberal Arts Education as the core philosophy of its curriculum. This fundamental concept is universal and essential in preparing students to develop a strong sense of Self and to play an active role in the global society where different periods, societies, lives, and cultures meet. While we proudly present our program, given the rapid advances in technology and the changes it has made and will inflict on our global society, we have decided to reorganize and enhance the curriculum to foster leaders who will be capable of creating new values in the future society of increasing uncertainty.

From the Academic Year 2021, we will integrate the current two-curricular system into a single Department of International Liberal Arts, under which we will offer three focused programs: Global Business (GB), Global Studies (GS), and Global Connectivity (GC). You will notice that while we maintain our current signature programs of GB and GS under a new structure, we will also introduce a new program, GC, which will focus on the evolving relationship between technology and human society from the academic perspectives of Technology and Future Society and Humanity, Culture, and Communication. Another distinctive feature will be the addition of Sustainability Studies into the GS domain, aimed to serve the current trends that are facing today’s society.

Students of AIU will be able to gain access to a broader and deeper range of interdisciplinary studies, enabling them to equip themselves with multilateral perspectives and to make comprehensive judgments that are crucial in challenging the complex and volatile problems that our current society is facing. Through the incorporation of real-life problem-solving into classroom settings, students will also have the power to apply and practice what they have learned by their graduation.

We look forward to seeing you on our campus.

Norihiko SUZUKI, DBA
Akita International University

“Picture of President

Three Domains: GB, GS, and GC

Renewed Three Programs Adv anced Liberal Arts Courses. Towar d a Higher Level of International & Interdisciplinary Studies Global Connectivity Program, Global Business Program, Global Studies Program


Global Business Program

Global Business Program

Globalization in every aspect of our lives is making business activities ever more complex and diverse. In this era of rapid change and uncertainty, businesses must devise effective strategies based on accurate determination of both local and global needs to provide sustainable goods and services to society. This program is designed to equip students with creativity, critical mindset, and global perspectives as prospective leaders in such an environment through broad interdisciplinary studies rooted in business and economics.

Introduction of Courses
Organizational Behavior
Most, if not all, business activities today are accumulations of daily organizational decisions and performance. This course will cover subjects related to human behavior and psychology, such as the actions and motivations of the members comprising an organization and the relationship between individual and group. Some insights into the traits and characteristics required in becoming global leaders of this unpredictable age can be expected.
Quantitative Methods for Marketing
Business is not just about making products. To motivate people to buy your product and succeed in business, you need to understand the exact needs of your potential customers. In this course, students will acquaint themselves with the fundamentals of consumer behavior and market analysis, and learn to apply them to their sales strategy. The skills introduced in this course can also be applied to the various activities of local communities.
International Financial Management
You need to accurately understand how funding and investment work and grasp the general behavior of the international financial market to comprehend the global activities of businesses and forge effective strategies. Moreover, to study finance is to prepare yourself for uncertainties and risks ahead. This course will introduce the fundamentals of business and economics as a basis for more advanced studies.


Global Studies Program

Global Studies Program

The rapid flow of people, goods, and money has made the post-Cold War era increasingly complex. Issues such as the reorganization of the European Union, the growing number of refugees, the rise of protectionism, and environmental issues like climate change are all complex global problems that we human beings are experiencing for the first time. This program, from the perspectives of Global SocietyPolitical Science and International Relations, and Sustainability Studies, aims to provide students with the broad knowledge, cultural sensitivity, and analytic skills necessary to face the challenges in this globalized world.

Introduction of Courses
Social Issues in the Global Age
In the midst of globalization, the world faces numerous social issues today. This course aims to offer students an insight into some of the most pressing social issues that span both the global north and south. Students will focus not on a particular nation or region, but on the pressing social problems that can be found universally or at a global level such as poverty and inequality, environmental degradation, displacements, religion and ideology, and gender imbalance.
International Security
We live in a world where international conflicts continue to exist. Why do states, nations, and ethnic groups resort to violence to settle political disputes? How can we create a stable international order in which global actors are free from violence? This course will examine past international conflicts as cases and analyze the causes behind them from diverse perspectives. Through conducting these case studies, each student will be encouraged to find solutions to abolish conflicts from international relations.
Sustainable Future
The exponential growth in the global human population and economy are increasing the demands on resources, such as energy, mineral, water, and food. Our daily lives and economic activities are causing global environmental problems, such as climate change, that threaten our own future. Recognizing the serious consequences, nations worldwide have agreed upon 17 Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations to secure our sustainable future. It is time for action. In this program, students will deepen their understanding of global sustainability issues and explore solutions from multi- and interdisciplinary approaches in this critical endeavor.


Global Connectivity Program

Global Connectivity Program

Throughout recorded history, humans have developed language as a means of communication and have built a large, complex society while increasing the number of interactions and creating diverse cultures. Meanwhile, technology is playing an ever more significant role in our lives, as seen in our reliance on the internet. The increasing applications of artificial intelligence are even changing our society and the way we live. This program aims to explore both humanities, as represented by studies of humans, culture, and communication, and the latest developments in technology, marked by the studies regarding the rise of artificial/extended intelligence, on common ground. By learning the connectivity of both fields of human wisdom, students will develop a better grasp of the implications of novel technologies on the future of humanity and its philosophical and social value.

Introduction of Courses
Artificial Intelligence and Humanity
From playing games to driving cars, diagnosing cancer to convicting criminals, artificial intelligence is playing an increasing role in people’s day-to-day lives and society in general. Through this course, students will explore the landscape, evolution, and impact of AI, beginning with reading, reflection, and discussion of philosophical ideas about what intelligence is, an examination of technology’s ability to perform intelligent action, and current approaches and challenges to advancing the field.
Drama for Communication
Communication involves both verbal and non-verbal cues. Drama for Communication focuses on embodied learning by exploring global themes, including environmental, social, cultural, linguistic, and digital perspectives. It provides experiences in the form of drama for learning about global citizenship and opportunities to become a better communicator through active participation, collaboration, and problem-solving in response to creative tasks. The aim is to develop spontaneous responses and confidence in English communication.
Digging Prehistoric Japan: Jomon in Global Context
Motivated by the imminent addition of “Jomon Archaeological Sites in Hokkaido and Northern Tohoku Region” to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, this course immerses students in both the theory and practice of Jomon archaeology using project-based learning (PBL) approach. Through the course contents on archaeology and global climate change in the last 10,000 years, group work, and active participation in excavation work at a local Jomon settlement site, students will explore connections between Japanese prehistory and the past, present, and future of human history on a global scale.

Studying at AIU Under the New Curriculum

On joining AIU, students will first go through a TOEFL Test as a placement test for EAP courses
depending on their English fluency. After finishing EAP, students will then be introduced to
Foundation Courses (e.g., Introduction to Global Studies, Computer Literacy, Career Design,
and Study Abroad Seminar) and Core Liberal Arts Courses. The final step will be the
Advanced Liberal Arts Courses, where students will select courses from either Global
Business, Global Studies, or Global Connectivity Program. During this last stage, they will also
go through the mandatory one-year study abroad, followed by a capstone seminar. After
graduation, students will either go on studying at further educational institutions, or start their
professional careers.

The above plan is awaiting legal approval by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan, and is subject to change during this process of authorization.