Interested in pursuing an American degree in France? Learn about options through IAU's degree-granting institution - The American College of the Mediterranean.

Bachelor's and Master's Programs


The mission of the Institute for American Universities is to provide excellence in international education, inspire intercultural awareness, and prepare students for success in a global community through the study of European and Mediterranean history, languages, cultures, and contemporary issues.

History of IAU

The Institute for American Universities (IAU) in Aix-en-Provence, France was founded in 1957 by academics and former diplomats such as Dr. Herbert Maza, who also served as its first President, Dr. Evron Kirkpatrick, Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, and others who wanted to provide a platform for Americans interested in studying diplomatic relations with related interests and careers in the foreign service and the State Department. It was established as one of the first American-style, English language, liberal arts educational institutions in Western Europe under the authority of Aix-Marseille University and offered a study abroad program, providing for transfer credit to those willing to live and study in France for one year. With its inception, it became the first institution to offer study abroad programs to students with majors other than French language.

By 1966, IAU had an enrollment of approximately 150 students and in 1984 it incorporated The Marchutz Core Art Program (founded by Leo Marchutz) into its offerings. In 2012, IAU continued to expand its program offerings, curriculum, and support services to further mirror those found at U.S. institutions. In 2013, IAU expanded to include a summer program option in Barcelona, Spain, and also began offering multi-country January term/intersession seminars in Europe and North Africa. In doing so, IAU demonstrated the duty it felt of leveraging site-specificity - specifically the Mediterranean region - in the education of its students. Shortly thereafter, IAU began welcoming U.S. faculty-led programs to support U.S. professors seeking a customized study abroad experience for their students. A resident fellows program that supports university faculty on sabbatical soon followed. In 2017, the Barcelona summer program expanded to offer opportunities to semester and academic year students and has been followed by the establishment of additional campuses/study centers in Madrid, Spain (2021), Tangier, Morocco (2022), and Florence, Italy (2023).

In 2015, IAU launched its initial degree programs and welcomed its first MFA (Master of Fine Arts) students. In 2016, IAU filed articles of incorporation for The American College of the Mediterranean (ACM), which would ultimately house its undergraduate and graduate degree programs. In March 2021, IAU officially merged with ACM as the successor corporation while IAU serves as ACM's study abroad institute. ACM is currently pursuing accreditation with the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and as of 2021, has been granted candidate for accreditation status.

To date, IAU has served more than 700 colleges and universities, more than 25,000 undergraduates, and has an annual enrollment of over 1,000 study abroad students. IAU is often considered to be one of the oldest and largest study abroad programs of its kind in Europe.

IAU History

IAU Founder Herbert Maza with the Class of 1959