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

About IAU

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.

IAU is a full-service study abroad college with full-time academic and administrative leadership teams abroad and in the U.S. IAU is a non-profit organization in both the U.S. and France and is recognized by the French Ministry of Higher Education. As part of each IAU program, all students receive holistic support from IAU, including application and pre-departure advising, airport pick-up, on-site orientation, housing, cultural visits, academic field studies, and health and wellness resources.


IAU By the Numbers

  • Alumni: 23,090
  • Faculty: Student Ratio: 12:1
  • Annual Enrollment: 1,000
  • Average class size: 8
  • Percent of full-time faculty with PhD or terminal degree in their field: 80%

“I want to experience more than one linear way of thinking. The world is becoming more and more connected by the day and I want to be a part of it.  I’ve always had a deep desire to discover, and I believe IAU is the perfect place for me to begin.” - Megan W., University of Colorado Boulder

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 School of Fine Arts (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 2015, IAU began offering degree programs and welcomed its first MFA (Master's of Fine Arts) students at Marchutz. Master's Degrees in French Studies and International Relations, along with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, began enrolling students in 2016. To date, IAU has served more than 700 colleges and universities, more than 20,000 undergraduates, and has an annual enrollment of over 1,000.