Q1: Do you only accept students from certain fields of study, like fine arts?
A1: We have no such restrictions. Our students come from many different backgrounds, and this allows them to inspire and collaborate with each other on research that goes beyond their own specialized fields.
Q2: Can I take the entrance exam even if I don’t have an undergraduate degree?
A2: Applicants must be at least 22 years old by March 31, 2018, and must submit to review to determine if they have academic ability that meets or exceeds the equivalent of an undergraduate education. Reviews are conducted on a case-by-case basis, so please inform the Student Affairs Division, Academic Affairs Section in advance.
Q3: Can I request to study under a specific faculty member?
A3: At AUA, we do not want students and faculty to pigeonhole their diverse backgrounds into preset categories. This is why we do not have individual research departments as such. Instead, in the second half of their first year, students are assigned a supervisor based on their research theme.
Q4: Can foreign students take the entrance exam?
A4: Yes, but please be aware that exams and classwork are conducted in Japanese, so we ask that applicants submit their Notification of Japanese Language Proficiency Test Results. Please contact us from the [Inquiry Form] for details.
Q5: What about nontraditional students?
A5: Nontraditional students can also take the entrance exam. Our curriculum aims to develop the practical skills demanded by modern society, so we welcome nontraditional students as well.
Q6: How are admission decisions determined?
A6: Admission is determined based on the applicant’s research plan and portfolio (or thesis), as well as written test and interview results.
7: What is the research environment like?
A7: The graduate school building is located on university grounds. In addition to classrooms and conference rooms, the newly contructed building features a workroom (278m2) on the 1st floor, a student office (265m2) on the 2nd floor, and faculty offices on the 3rd floor. The building is open 24 hours a day, and contains essential equipment like 3D printers and electric cutters.
Q8: What is the faculty like?
A8: The 11 professors and associate professors of the graduate school faculty each have extensive experience in their respective fields. With the addition of 6 research assistants, they provide generous support to the roughly 20 students in our 2-year program. Students also have the opportunity to work with undergraduate faculty members in field-specific Production Skills Workshops.
Q9: What are the Practicum courses like?
A9: In the second semester of the first year, students take Transdisciplinary Arts Practicum I and II, where they engage in joint projects with local businesses, groups or municipalities. Based on these experiences, students take TA Practicum III in the first semester of their second year. This time, students experience the entire creative process, from setting the initial theme through the stages of planning, implentation and evaluation.
Q10: Can students set their own research theme?
A10: Yes. Students can set their own research theme, and work together with their supervisors and other faculty to investigate their interests in-depth.
Q11: What is the area around campus like?
A11: Akita City is a city of about 300,000 people. But the Araya district, where AUA’s campus is located, is rich in natural beauty, with the ocean, mountains and rivers all nearby. Our students and the Araya community support each other through various activities and engagement. Everything students need for daily life is just a short trip away, with supermarkets and convenience stores located within walking distance of campus, and shopping malls on the other side of the Omono River.
Q12: Is there student housing on campus?
A12: AUA has no on-campus housing, but there are plenty of rental options near campus. Rent for a standard 1-room apartment (with kitchen, bath and bathroom) is between 40,000~50,000 yen per month. Some students also join together to rent houses as shared residences and/or studio spaces.
Q13: Are there scholarships or tuition exemptions available?
A13: AUA does offer a system for tuition exemption or deferment to students with financial difficulties. The graduate school is currently considering creating its own scholarship system, and will announce the details at a later date.