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College of Arts and Letters | Michigan State University

Japanese

The Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages at Michigan State University offers various undergraduate programs in Japanese language and culture.

The goal of the Japanese program is to equip students, both majors and non-majors, with functional proficiency in the language as well as cultural familiarity and knowledge about Japan. The program employs proficiency-oriented approaches to teaching Japanese, and emphasizes cultural and communicative competence in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students will also acquire digital literacy in Japanese.

Students are strongly encouraged to participate in study abroad programs available at various sites in Japan. Academic year, semester, and summer programs are available.

The dedicated faculty members guide students to broaden their world views and acquire necessary skills for their future global careers. Recent graduates of the program have gone onto careers in academia, business, education, foreign diplomacy, non-government organization, translation, and others.

Primary Major | Additional Major | Minor | Teaching Minor | Asian Studies Specialization

Placement Test

Students who have previously studied Japanese and wish to enroll in a course above JPN 101 need to take the placement test. 

The placement test is administered on Monday of the first week of the Fall semester. Regarding the placement test in the Spring semester, contact the instructor who teaches the class you wish to take.

To take the placement test, please send an e-mail to japanese@msu.edu with the following information:

  1. FAMILY NAME, given name
  2. E-mail address
  3. Telephone number and the best time to contact you
  4. Name(s) of school(s) where you studied Japanese
  5. Level(s) of Japanese courses you have taken; e.g. 1st year, 2nd year
  6. How many HOURS per week each of the classes met
  7. Names of the textbooks used (if you can't remember, describe the size, color, etc.) and how many lessons covered at each level (if you remember)
  8. The number of kanji symbols studied. (NOTE: If you don't know hiragana or katakana, you must start with JPN 101.)
  9. Other pertinent information, if any

Based on the results of your placement test, the instructors will decide which level of JPN you will take.  You must follow their decision.

If you must register before the placement test is administered, the instructors may recommend, based on your answers to the questions above, in which course you should tentatively register. You still must take the placement test on the date scheduled, and drop and add courses as recommended by the instructors, based on your results on the test.

Degree Requirements

 

If you are interested in declaring a Japanese major or minor or need advising, contact Ms. Cindy Walter, Academic Advisor.


JAPANESE MAJOR (31 credits)


Required Courses:

JPN 202, Second-year Japanese II (5 credits)

JPN 301, Third-year Japanese I (4 credits)

JPN 302, Third-year Japanese II (4 credits)

JPN 401, Fourth-year Japanese I (3 credits)

JPN 402, Fourth-year Japanese II (3 credits)

JPN 369, Japanese Literature and Culture I (3 credits)

JPN 469, Japanese Literature and Culture II (3 credits)


Elective Courses (two of the following):

JPN 350, Studies in Japanese Language (3 credits)

JPN 431, Advanced Spoken Language (3 credits)

JPN 441, Japanese Short Stories (3 credits)

JPN 451, Advanced Japanese for Japanese Language Proficiency Test Preparation

JPN 471, Classical Japanese I

JPN 472, Classical Japanese II


Capstone Experience

In consultation with the instructor of a 400 level course .


Cognate Requirement


Additional major in japanese (28 credits)


This option is designed to encourage students to combine a major in Japanese with a major in another field.

Required Courses:

JPN 202, Second-year Japanese II (5 credits)

JPN 301, Third-year Japanese I (4 credits)

JPN 302, Third-year Japanese II (4 credits)

JPN 401, Fourth-year Japanese I (3 credits)

JPN 402, Fourth-year Japanese II (3 credits)

JPN 369, Japanese Literature and Culture I (3 credits)

JPN 469, Japanese Literature and Culture II (3 credits)

 

Elective Courses (one of the following):

JPN 350, Studies in Japanese Language (3 credits)

JPN 431, Advanced Spoken Language (3 credits)

JPN 441, Japanese Short Stories (3 credits)

JPN 451, Advanced Japanese for Japanese Language Proficiency Test Preparation

JPN 471, Classical Japanese I

JPN 472, Classical Japanese II


JAPANESE Minor (16-17 credits)

Required Courses:

JPN 201, Second-Year Japanese I (5 credits)

JPN 202, Second-Year Japanese II (5 credits)

JPN 369, Introduction to Japanese Literature and Culture (3 credits)

Elective Courses (one of the following)

JPN 301, Third-Year Japanese I (4 credits)

JPN 302, Third-Year Japanese II (4 credits)

JPN 350, Studies in Japanese Language


Teaching minor in japanese


  4-1. Secondary School Endorsement in Japanese (24 credits)

  4-2. Elementary School Endorsement in Japanese (24 credits)

For more information about the teacher preparation program, visit the website of College of Education: http://www.educ.msu.edu


Japanese Specialization in Asian Studies

 
  5-1. Language Emphasis (32-35 credits)

  5-2. General Emphasis (21-29 credits)

For the Asian Studies specialization information brochure, visit: http://asia.isp.msu.edu/academics/undergraduate.htm.

Activities

  • Japanese Film Series

  • MSU Japan Club

  • Language exchange with Japanese students at MSU's English Language Center

  • Michigan Japanese Language Speech Contest

  • Volunteer opportunities at Japan-related events