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Undergraduate Program

Japanese

Japanese is spoken by more than 125 million people. While most of these speakers reside in Japan, it is also spoken by sizeable Japanese emigrant populations in Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Australia, Canada and the United States.

The department offers a wide range of Japanese courses, for both beginner and advanced Japanese speakers and for students who are interested in Japanese culture, media and history.

Japanese also makes a great double major. Combinations have included:

  • Natural sciences
  • Engineering
  • History
  • Art
  • Psychology
  • Political science
  • Religion
  • Film studies
  • Comparative literature
  • Other languages

Below is information on:




Japanese Major Requirements (Class of 2018-2019)

  • Language Emphasis: Eight consecutive courses in Japanese language, plus three additional JPN courses in Japanese culture. Two 2.0-credit courses (e.g., Conversational Japanese, Calligraphy) can be substituted for one culture course requirement for the major only.
  • Culture Emphasis: Six consecutive courses in Japanese language, plus five additional JPN courses in Japanese culture. Two 2.0-credit courses (e.g., Conversational Japanese, Calligraphy) can be substituted for one culture course requirement for the major only.
  • MLC Seminar or Senior Thesis: Because the material in the Major Seminar (CLT 389) applies to advanced work in the major, students are encouraged to enroll in the Major Seminar in their junior year, if at all possible.
  • Upper-Level Writing: Note that all Japanese majors are required to complete two upper-level writing (ULW) courses. The MLC Seminar (CLT 389) can count as one of these courses. Japanese language courses do not fulfill the ULW requirement.
  • Study Abroad Note: Students completing a major in Japanese can apply courses completed during study abroad in Japan when these courses are chosen (and pre-approved) in consultation with an advisor from MLC's Japanese Program.

Japanese Major Requirements (Class of 2020 and beyond)

  • Language Emphasis: Eight consecutive courses in Japanese language, plus two additional JPN courses in Japanese culture. Two 2.0-credit courses (e.g., Conversational Japanese, Calligraphy) can be substituted for one culture course requirement for the major only.
  • Culture Emphasis: Six consecutive courses in Japanese language, plus four additional JPN courses in Japanese culture. Two 2.0-credit courses (e.g., Conversational Japanese, Calligraphy) can be substituted for one culture course requirement for the major only.
  • CLT 200 required of all MLC majors
  • CLT 389 MLC Seminar required of all MLC majors. The material covered in the Major Seminar (CLT 389) applies to advanced work in the major, and students are encouraged to enroll in the Major Seminar in their junior year when possible. 
  • Study Abroad Note: Students completing a major in Japanese can apply courses completed during study abroad in Japan when these courses are pre-approved in consultation with an advisor from MLC's Japanese Program.

Complete list of Japanese courses >

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Japanese Minor Requirements (Class of 2018 and Later)

  • A total of five courses in Japanese language and culture—to be selected in consultation with the Japanese advisor—are required to complete a Japanese minor. Students wishing to minor in Japanese must complete:
    • A minimum of three consecutive 6.0- and/or 4.0-credit courses in Japanese language; and
    • Two additional 6.0- or 4.0-credit courses in Japanese language or culture.
  • Students may combine two 2.0-credit courses to replace one 4.0-credit culture course. Two 2.0-credit courses cannot replace one 6.0- or 4.0-credit in-sequence language course.
  • Students may elect to earn the Japanese minor in one of the following ways:
    • Three language courses + two culture courses;
    • Four language courses + one culture course;
    • Four language courses + two 2.0-credit courses;
    • Five language courses; or
    • Three language courses + one culture course + two 2.0-credit courses.
  • Study Abroad Note: Students completing a minor in Japanese can apply up to one course completed per semester abroad in Japan when these courses are chosen (and pre-approved) in consultation with an advisor from MLC's Japanese Program.
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Japanese Clusters

The department offers six Japanese clusters, all in the humanities academic division.

Japanese Language (H1JPN008)
Students may choose the appropriate level of Japanese language as a cluster. Any three consecutive courses in the language sequence can be chosen.

Japanese Language and Culture (H1JPN005)
This cluster introduces students to basic language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) as well as the cultural context for Japanese.

Japanese Popular Culture (H1JPN010)
Explore the domestic and international dimensions of Japan's acclaimed manga, anime, film, art, literature, and music.

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Studying Abroad in Japan

Students are encouraged to study abroad in Japan, if possible. The Center for Study Abroad has programs in major Japanese cities, including Tokyo and Nagoya. Generally speaking, coursework undertaken abroad will count toward a major or minor in Japanese. For more information on studying abroad in Japan, visit the study abroad site or speak to a study abroad advisor.

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Language Placement Information

Advanced Placement (AP) scores or International Baccalaureate (IB) rankings assist departmental advisors in finding the right course level for you. Information on how you learned the language or languages you know will also help us advise you on the most appropriate courses for you.

All freshmen who wish to sign up for any Japanese class should attend the MLC Open House, where those who are interested in taking JPN 101 will receive the permission code from Fumino Shino, Shizuka Hardy, or Yuki Taguchi, depending on which JPN 101 class you are signing up for. 

Those students who are hoping to place out of JPN 101 should take the placement test, which will be administered by Professor Mariko Tamate on Friday, August 25, 2017, from 10 am to 1 pm in Lattimore 413. The test takes approximately one hour, so please do not arrive later than 12 pm. For more information, please email Mariko Tamate at mariko.tamate@rochester.edu.

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Contact Information

For more information about Japanese language, literature, and culture courses, or about becoming a Japanese Major or Minor, contact: Professor Joanne Bernardi at joanne.bernardi@rochester.edu or Professor David Holloway at david.holloway@rochester.edu.

Faculty

Joanne Bernardi, Professor of Japanese and Film and Media Studies, and Head of the Japanese Program

William H. Bridges IV, Assistant Professor of Japanese

Shizuka Hardy, Senior Lecturer in Japanese

David Holloway, Assistant Professor of Japanese

Fumino Shino, Senior Lecturer in Japanese

Yasuko Spence, Adjunct Instructor in Japanese

Yuki Taguchi, Adjunct Instructor in Japanese

Mariko Tamate, Senior Lecturer in Japanese

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