Majoring in Japanese Language and Literature

Introduction to the Japanese Language and Literature Major

The Japanese degree program offers modern spoken and written Japanese at all levels as well as Classical Japanese, including a range of upper-level seminars that explore Japanese literature and culture.  From the Tale of Genji to haikus, the Nobel Laureates Kawabata and Ôe, and some of the most popular contemporary novelists in the world, Banana Yoshimoto and Haruki Murakami, the program explores both in Japanese and in English translation the rich Japanese literary heritage.


  • The average grade of C or higher for the first two years of Japanese language instruction (JAPN 1010-1020, JAPN 2010-2020).
  • EAST 1010 with a grade of C or higher.

Requirements:  30 credits with the following distribution

  • 18 credits must be in Japanese at the 3000 level and higher. Six credits can be in two non-survey courses on Japanese literature in translation. Two credits earned through Shea House may be counted toward this requirement. 
  • 6 credits consisting of two survey courses in Japanese literature from the following list: JPTR 3010, JPTR 3020.  
  • 3 credits in one course introducing the classical form Japanese (JAPN 4710)
  • 3 credits consisting of a capstone course, a DEALLC course in non-survey Japanese literature or culture in which the student writes a research paper using primary materials in Japanese. This course is normally taken in the spring semester of the fourth year. (Not an independent study).
  • a maximum of 15 study abroad credits and domestic transfer credits are allowed at the discretion of the student’s advisor
  • students in this major must maintain a satisfactory grade point in the major and related courses each semester; satisfactory is defined as an average of C (i.e., 2.0); students not maintaining this grade point are subject to discontinuation from the major.
  • students who wish to double major are reminded that only two courses may count towards both majors


To download all forms related to the major, please click here. Our declaration worksheets, capstone completion forms, and DMP forms are all housed on this page. 

Study Abroad Programs

For information on academic year and summer study abroad, please see the Study Abroad and Summer Study pages.


For information on scholarships and grant funding, please see the Grants page.