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UW–Madison offers an M.A. and Ph.D. degree 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.

The linguistics specialty excels in areas such as functional linguistics, pragmatics, discourse/conversation analysis, sociolinguistics, applied linguistics, and language pedagogy.

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 Japanese Program is housed in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures (ALC), along with the Chinese Program and the Asian Languages and Cultures Program. As such students will have opportunities to interact with all faculty, staff, and graduate students affiliated with the department to examine their area of specialty in broader regional and disciplinary contexts.

Thank you for your interest in our programs. The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures (ALC) offers a graduate program in Asian Languages and CulturesChinese and Japanese.

Prior to submitting application and materials, applicants should carefully review the information regarding the program of interest and the faculty’s expertise to determine the fit between their interest and the program. To this extent, prospective applicants may contact a specific faculty to discuss their research interest prior to submitting applications.

Applicants should also review the Graduate School's admission processGraduate School's minimum requirements, and program requirements and information prior to submitting the online application and fee. The application fee cannot be waived or refunded.

Deadlines

We accept applications for the fall term only.

In order to be considered for fellowships, project assistantships, and teaching assistantships, all application materials must be in by January 10.

If you do not need any funding support, you may submit applications by April 15.

Application Process

New applicants to UW-Madison apply to programs through the Graduate School application process. Complete the online Graduate application and select the Asian Languages and Cultures (major code 596) or Chinese (major code 171) or Japanese (major code 583) program. 

If you are a currently enrolled UW-Madison graduate student and would like to add or change your current graduate program to Asian Languages and Cultures, Chinese, or Japanese, you do not need to fill out the online application. You will need to submit the following to the ALC Graduate Program Coordinator (1244 Van Hise):

The applications from current UW–Madison graduate students will be reviewed every spring, together with new applications submitted.

Graduate School Admissions

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet requirements of both the program(s) and the Graduate School. Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.  

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Program Resources

Students applying to the Department of Asian Languages and Culture and students currently enrolled in the department may apply for fellowship support. Most fellowships are handled through the department. However, some are available through sources outside of the department and have different application procedures.

Graduate Studies Costs

For tuition and living costs, please view the Cost of Graduate School pageInternational applicants recommended for admission to the Graduate School are required to show sufficient funds to attend the University during the course of studies (tuition, food and housing, incidentals and health insurance) to be officially accepted by the Graduate School.

Financial Assistance

Our department offers financial assistance in the forms of fellowships, teaching assistantships (TAships), and project assistantships (PAships).  These positions are highly competitive as applicants are competing against other applicants across the department, and across campus in some cases.  Please make note of the deadline of January 10 for financial assistance consideration.  All necessary materials including test scores must be submitted by the deadline.

If you are an international applicant and receive a fellowship, PAship or TAship, please make note that you will likely be required to show additional financial documentation to meet the minimum required for your official acceptance to the Graduate School.

Fellowships. Students applying to the Department of Asian Languages and Culture and students currently enrolled in the department may apply for fellowship support. Most fellowships are handled through the department. However, some are available through sources outside of the department and have different application procedures. Some examples are as follows:

  • Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships: FLAS fellowships are funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the UW's National Resource Centers to assist students in acquiring foreign language and either area or international studies competencies. FLAS awards are only available for specific languages, and are contingent on federal funding.
    Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Applications by students in professional fields are encouraged. Preference will be given to applicants with a high level of academic ability and with previous language training. Academic Year and Summer FLAS awards are two separate competitions requiring two separate and complete applications. 
    Complete details about FLAS at UW-Madison are available on the FLAS FAQs (your first stop) and the FLAS Languages & Coordinators pages (should you have additional questions).
  • Advanced Opportunity Fellowship (AOF): This fellowship is awarded to highly qualified underrepresented students. To be considered for AOF funding, prospective students must be new to the Graduate School and be admissible to a graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  For further information: https://grad.wisc.edu/diversity/oeid/

Project Assistantships. Availabilities of PAship vary from one year to another, depends on the types of projects the departmental faculty are engaged in. PAs assist faculty members’ research projects and/or respond to some programmatic needs of the department and other campus units.      

Teaching Assistantships. Availabilities and types of TAship vary from one year to another, depending on the department’s curricular needs and the student enrollment. TAs will support a number of our language and culture courses, typically team-teaching with faculty members. If you are interested in being a teaching assistant in our language programs, you must submit the TA application and necessary materials through the Graduate School application system by January 10

Other Forms of Financial Aid: Loans and some on-campus job openings are handled through
the Student Financial Services Office. Please contact them to obtain more information

Please also refer to the Graduate School’s Funding Information for New and Current Graduate Students page for additional information.

Students may also obtain information from the Grants Information Center in the Memorial Library, Room 262, 728 State Street, Madison, WI 53706. Phone 608-262-3242.

If you encounter questions or difficulties with the application process, please contact the Graduate Coordinator at rweiss@wisc.edu.  

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements

MODE OF INSTRUCTION

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 51 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 32 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement All 51 credits must be in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.50 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements Ph.D. candidates should maintain a 3.5 GPA in all coursework and may not have any more than two incompletes on their record at any one time.
Assessments and Examinations Japanese linguistics students need to take-home preliminary exams that cover the following three areas: Japanese applied linguistics / Japanese language education; research methods and data analysis; analysis of an issue that reflects the student’s specific research interests.

Japanese literature/culture students are required to take a comprehensive preliminary examination.

All students present a dissertation proposal to the members of the Dissertation Committee and accepted within one semester of passing the preliminary examination.
Language Requirements Japanese linguistic students are required to demonstrate basic knowledge of the structure of one non-Western language other than Japanese. The language requirements must be completed by time when students finish taking the preliminary exams.

Japanese literature students must demonstrate reading proficiency in classical Japanese and one research language.
Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements All doctoral students are required to complete a minor.

Required COURSES

Linguistics Track1

After completing the M.A., Japanese Linguistics students must take at least three additional courses in Japanese linguistics or related fields at the 700 level or higher. It is recommended that students take a research method course such as ENGL 711 Research Methods in Applied Linguistics.

Literature Track1

Beyond the M.A. requirements, students must take three additional courses in Japanese literature/culture at the 700 level or higher.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

The Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.

Prior Coursework

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 ten years or more prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy 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 ten years or more prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy 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 ten years or more prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Probation

A semester GPA below 3.5 will result in the student being placed on academic probation. If a semester GPA of 3.5 is not attained during the subsequent semester of full time enrollment, the student may be dismissed from the program or allowed to continue for 1 additional semester based on advisor appeal to the Graduate School. A student on probation may not take the preliminary examination.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

Starting fall 2018, all students are required to be supervised by co-advisors. One of the co-advisors must be a member of the Japanese Program, but the other co-advisor can be identified from related fields outside of the Japanese Program.

At the point of beginning work on the dissertation, a single dissertation advisor (most likely one of the co-advisors) may be chosen, or the co-advising arrangement may continue for the dissertation as well.

Dissertation committees must have at least four members representing more than one graduate program, three of whom must be UW–Madison graduate faculty or former UW–Madison graduate faculty up to one year after resignation or retirement. At least one of the four members must be from outside of the student’s major program or major field (often from the minor field).

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

Starting fall 2018, all students are required to be supervised by co-advisors. One of the co-advisors must be a member of the Japanese Program, but the other co-advisor can be identified from related fields outside of the Japanese Program.

At the point of beginning work on the dissertation, a single dissertation advisor (most likely one of the co-advisors) may be chosen, or the co-advising arrangement may continue for the dissertation as well.

Dissertation committees must have at least four members representing more than one graduate program, three of whom must be UW–Madison graduate faculty or former UW–Madison graduate faculty up to one year after resignation or retirement. At least one of the four members must be from outside of the student’s major program or major field (often from the minor field).

Time Constraints

A candidate for a doctoral degree who fails to take the final oral examination and deposit the dissertation within five years after passing the preliminary examination may be required to take another preliminary examination and to be admitted to candidacy a second time.

Other

The program offers limited financial assistance in the form of fellowships and teaching assistantships to candidates who are highly qualified. Applicants should consult the program website for selection criteria and application materials for assistantships.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Program Resources

The Graduate School Office of Professional Development (OPD) coordinates, develops, and promotes learning opportunities to foster the academic, professional, and life skills of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers and scholars.

Professional development topics include Individual Development Plans, communication, mentoring, grant writing, dissertation writing, career exploration, job search strategies, and more. OPD collaborates with the Writing Center, Libraries, DoIT Software Training for Students, Delta, career centers, and others to provide a wealth of resources and events tailored to the needs of UW–Madison graduate students.

The office developed and maintains DiscoverPD, an innovative tool for UW-Madison graduate students to advance their academic and professional goals.  DiscoverPD introduces nine areas (or "facets") of professional development, includes a self-assessment, and provides a customized report of areas of strength and weakness. The report comes with recommendations to help graduate students strengthen their ability within each area.

More information on campus resources for student professional development is available at Graduate Student Professional Development.  Students may keep up-to-date by reading GradConnections, the weekly newsletter for graduate students, and bookmarking the Events Calendar to keep tabs on upcoming workshops of interest.

1. Demonstrate a thorough and in-depth understanding of research problems, potentials, and limits with respect to theory, knowledge, or practice in at least one of the following areas of study: Japanese literature and culture, Japanese linguistics, and Transasian studies.

2. Formulate ideas, concepts, designs, and/or techniques beyond the current boundaries of knowledge within the specialized field(s).

3. Create scholarship and advance knowledge that makes a substantive contribution to the field(s).

4. Articulate and communicate complex ideas in a clear and understandable manner to both specialized and general audience.

5. Recognize, apply, and foster ethical and professional conduct.

Faculty 

Charo D'Etcheverry, Associate Professor
cdetcheverry@wisc.edu

Areas of Expertise: Classical Japanese literature (especially court fiction & its reception and early kabuki)
 
Naomi Geyer, Associate Professor
nfgeyer@wisc.edu
 
Areas of Expertise: Japanese Language, Language Pedagogy, Pragmatics
 
Adam L. Kern, Professor
alkern@wisc.edu
 
Areas of Expertise: The popular literature, culture, poetry, theater, and visual culture of early modern unto modern Japan (1600-1900). Transcultural comics in Japan (manga, kibyôshi, etc) and beyond.
 
Naomi McGloin, Professor
nmcgloin@wisc.edu
 
Areas of Expertise: Japanese Language and Linguistics
 
Junko Mori, Professor
jmori@wisc.edu
 
Areas of Expertise: Japanese Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Conversation Analysis, Sociolinguistics
 
Takako Nakakubo, Faculty Associate
tnakakubo@wisc.edu
 
Areas of Expertise: Second Language Acquisition of Japanese, Japanese Pedagogy, Learning Strategies
 
Steve Ridgely, Associate professor
 
Areas of Expertise: modern Japanese literature, cultural theory, transasian studies
Current Research: 1960s counterculture, Expo 70, kitsch, topology in Japanese art and literature