WLAC Undergraduate


Our language courses are designed not only to develop language skills per se, but also to increase understanding of Japanese culture while enhancing communication skills. First-year and second-year courses aim at developing basic reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills as well as cultural awareness. The third-and fourth-year Japanese courses focus more on the development of communicative and intercultural competence. 

Japanese Studies is an interdisciplinary field that includes the study of the language, culture, literature, and arts of Japan. Knowledge of Japanese culture and language is important in fields and academic disciplines such as philosophy, history, technology and news media, the arts, business, international cuisine, and tourism.

Japan is the third-largest economy in the world, and U.S-Japan economic and diplomatic relations remain strong. Knowing Japanese will set you apart from the crowd. Studying a language like Japanese shows that you have a multicultural perspective that goes beyond the familiar.    It also demonstrates to potential employers that you possess determination, patience, and the ability to take on great challenges.

The Program in Japanese Studies offers:

  * An Individualized Major in Japanese Studies
  * A Minor in Japanese Studies

Course Descriptions

Japanese Studies (4-letter subject code: EALC - Eastern Asian Language & Culture)

Courses in Japanese Studies

J131-J132 Beginning Japanese I-II (4-4 cr.) Introductory language courses designed for students who have not had any prior training in Japanese. Drills for basic skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing of Japanese.

J201-J202 Second-Year Japanese I-II (3-3 cr.) J131-J132 or equivalent. A continuation of practice in the listening, speaking, reading, and writing of Japanese.

J301-J302 Third-Year Japanese I-II (3-3 cr.) J201-J202 or equivalent. Review of grammatical points acquired in the first and second year of Japanese. More advanced level of speaking, reading, writing, and listening proficiency.

J310 Japanese Conversation (3 cr.) J202 or equivalent. Designed to develop conversational skills through controlled linguistic patterns, reports, and group discussion. More advanced level of oral communication.

J330 Business Japanese (3 cr.) J202 or equivalent. Emphasis on acquisition and use of business vocabulary, idiom, and style. Oral practice is emphasized.

J401-J402 Fourth-Year Japanese (3-3 cr.) J301-J302 or equivalent. Advanced level of communications skills in speaking and writing. Study of advanced grammar and reading of newspaper articles.

J498 Individual Studies in Japanese (1-3 cr.) Consent of the program Coordinator. May be repeated up to a maximum of 6 credit hours.

E231 Japan: The Living Tradition (3 cr.) An introduction to the patterns of Japanese culture: society, history, visual arts, literary masterpieces, performing arts, and living religious traditions.

E351 Studies in East Asian Culture (3-6 cr.) Selected issues and problems of importance to the understanding of East Asian culture, taught within one of the humanistic disciplines. May be repeated once for credit.


WLAC Undergraduate

Major and Minor Requirements

The major objectives of the program in Japanese Studies are to provide students with adequate ability to understand, speak, read, and write the Japanese language, and to give students a general introduction to Japanese culture, literature, and society. Courses offered in English provide students who have little or no knowledge of Japanese with an introduction to various facets of Japanese studies.

The Individualized Major in Japanese

Students may design a major in Japanese Studies through the Individualized Major Program

The Individualized Major requires a minimum of 34 credit hours. Two courses are required of all students:

I360 Individualized Major Plan (1 cr. hr.)

and I460 Individualized Major Senior Project (3 to 6 credit hours). The remaining courses (30 or more credit hours) for Japanese individualized majors include:

EALC J201-202: Second-Year Japanese
EALC J301-302: Third-Year Japanese
EALC J310: Japanese Conversation
EALC J330: Business Japanese
EALC J401-402: Fourth-Year Japanese
EALC J498: Individual Studies in Japanese

EALC E231: Japan Living Tradition

EALC E351: Studies in East Asian Culture


The Minor in Japanese Studies

The minor in Japanese Studies may be of particular interest to students in business, social sciences, and other languages and interdisciplinary subjects. It includes both language and literature and other Japanese area studies courses.

The Minor in Japanese Studies consists of fifteen (15) credit hours in Japanese Studies or related courses approved by the program coordinator, excluding courses at the 100 level. At least six (6) credit hours taken towards the minor must be at the 300 level or above. The following courses fulfill the requirements and require first-year Japanese as a prerequisite:

  • E231: Japan: The Living Tradition
  • E351: Studies in East Asian Culture
  • J201-J202: Second-Year Japanese I & II
  • J301-J302: Third-Year Japanese I & II
  • J310: Japanese Conversation
  • J330: Business Japanese
  • J401-J402: Fourth-Year Japanese I & II
WLAC Undergraduate

Study Abroad

Programs abroad are open to students majoring in all academic disciplines and are not restricted to language majors. Study abroad options include a semester-long, or year-long program at Hakuoh University, Japan as well as short two-week summer programs in Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima . For details contact the Director of Japanese Studies.



Additional Resource Links

Links to the Japanese-Speaking World

Consulate General of Japan in Chicago

Japan-America Society of Indiana

The Japan Forum     

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles

American Association of Teachers of Japanese