UW–Madison offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Japanese, specializing either in linguistics or in literature and culture. The program provides broad foundations and focused training in these two specialties, assuring that our graduates are amply prepared to teach and conduct research.

Japanese Program

The literature and culture specialty covers the Heian through Heisei periods, offering a wide range of courses on fiction, poetry, drama, popular culture, visual culture, cinema, acoustic culture, and cutting-edge cross-media and avant-garde topics, particularly manga and anime.

The linguistics specialty excels in areas such as functional linguistics, pragmatics, discourse/conversation analysis, sociolinguistics, applied linguistics, and language pedagogy. Students will receive excellent training both in various aspects of Japanese linguistics and Japanese applied linguistics, not only in graduate courses they take but also through actual teaching as a teaching assistant.

Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress

To make progress toward a graduate degree, students must meet the Graduate School Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress in addition to the requirements of the program.

Master’s Degrees

M.A.

Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement

30 credits

Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement

16 credits

Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement

All 30 credits must be in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide.

Prior Coursework Requirements: Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison Undergraduate

With program approval, no more than 7 credits of graduate coursework (as defined above) completed while a UW–Madison undergraduate may be counted to satisfy degree requirements. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of graduate coursework (as defined above) taken as a UW–Madison Special student. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Credits per Term Allowed

15 credits

Program-Specific Courses Required

Japanese literature/culture students must take three graduate-level courses (500 level or above) in literature/culture, including at least one course at the 700 level or higher.

Japanese linguistics students must take E ASIAN 434 Introduction to Japanese Linguistics and E ASIAN 623 Teaching of Japanese as a Foreign Language.

Overall Graduate GPA Requirement

3.00 GPA required.

Other Grade Requirements

Students must earn a B or above in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student.

Probation Policy

If a student’s average falls below 3.0 in a given semester, the department will decide whether the student may continue on probation. A specific plan will be arranged with dates and deadlines in place in regard to removal of probationary status.

Advisor / Committee

All students are required to have an advisor, and should consult with a faculty member to serve as major professor no later than the end of their second semester. Students meet regularly with their advisor to ensure satisfactory progress.

Assessments and Examinations

For Japanese literature/culture students, a final examination is required.

Japanese linguistics students are required to pass two final in-class examinations on "Introduction to Japanese Linguistics" and "Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language."

Linguistics students are required to submit one substantial research paper.

Time Constraints

The maximum time for completing all M.A. requirements and passing the M.A. examination is three years.

Master’s degree students who are absent for five or more years will not be given credit for prior work.

Language Requirements

Advanced proficiency in modern Japanese is required.

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of the applicant's previous academic record, letters of recommendation, and personal statement. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are required. TOEFL is required of all applicants who are not native speakers of English. Writing samples in English are strongly encouraged for M.A. applicants and required of Ph.D. applicants.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Demonstrate understanding of the primary field(s) of study in a historical, comparative, and global context.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the major theories, research methods, and approaches to inquiry in one of the following areas of study: Chinese literature and culture, Chinese linguistics, Japanese literature and culture, Japanese linguistics, and Transasian studies.
  • Demonstrate ability to integrate theories into practice.
  • Demonstrate ability to articulate and communicate knowledge in specialized field(s).

Professional Conduct

  • Recognize and apply principles of ethical and professional conduct.

Chinese Faculty: Professors Dunne, Huang, Nienhauser; Associate Professors Huntington, Meulenbeld, Zhang; Assistant Professors Yang, Zhu

Japanese Faculty: Professors Kern, McGloin, Mori; Associate Professors D'Etcheverry, Geyer, Ridgely

Languages and Cultures of Asia Faculty: Professors Rafferty (chair), Buhnemann, Schamiloglu; Associate Professor Gade