The Japanese program offers students a range of courses and activities which enhance students' intercultural and transcultural competencies. With the completion of the four basic years of the language, students will be prepared to handle various types of colloquial Japanese. Our majors pursue advanced studies in Japanese language or literature. It is also possible to combine an interest in Japan with a degree in business, engineering, history, or international studies.
Majors are urged to begin coursework early, ideally in the freshman or sophomore year. If, however, this is not possible, summer courses at UW–Madison or elsewhere are available which speed the student's progress. Those who have previous Japanese study experience may enter advanced courses on the basis of department recommendation.
Visit our website for more information about undergraduate studies in Japanese.
Study Abroad in Japan
Students may receive residence credit for study abroad through a variety of programs sponsored by the department. Please contact International Academic Programs for details.
Students may also receive credit, or gain experience, through various internship opportunities abroad. Please contact International Internship Programs for details.
STARTING COURSEWORK TOWARD THE MAJOR
Before declaring the major, students are urged to begin coursework early, ideally in the freshman or sophomore year. If, however, this is not possible, summer courses at UW–Madison or elsewhere are available which speed the student's progress. Those who have previous Japanese study experience may enter advanced courses on the basis of placement tests.
The following courses may be taken with no previous knowledge of Japanese:
|ASIAN 100||Gateway to Asia: Special Topics||3-4|
|ASIAN 253||Japanese Popular Culture||3|
|ASIAN/HISTORY/RELIG ST 267||Asian Religions in Global Perspective||3-4|
|ASIALANG 103||First Semester Japanese||4|
|ASIALANG 113||First Semester Elementary Japanese||2|
|LITTRANS 263||Survey of Japanese Literature in Translation||3|
|LITTRANS 264||Survey of Japanese Literature in Translation||3|
|LITTRANS 368||Modern Japanese Fiction||3|
|LITTRANS 372||Classical Japanese Prose in Translation||3|
|LITTRANS 373||Topics in Japanese Literature||3|
PRIOR EXPERIENCE IN LANGUAGE STUDY
If you are a student with prior experience in Japanese language (e.g., self-taught, learned in elementary, middle or high school, or learned from family, relatives or friends, etc.), and seek advise about foreign language placement, or continuing with the language of your heritage please fill out this questionnaire in order to receive appropriate advising or guidance.
japanese PLACEMENT TEST
The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures requires that students with any prior knowledge of the languages taught in our department (e.g. Chinese, Japanese and Korean), and who plan to enroll in our language classes, take a placement test before enrolling in a language course. The Japanese language faculty will meet with students for the 30 minute test, one-on-one in person or via Skype by registration only.
DECLARE THE MAJOR
Students may declare the major at any time in their language study. Make an appointment to meet with the undergraduate advisor, Rachel Weiss in Starfish. You can access Starfish from your MyUW dashboard.
University General Education Requirements
All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.
|General Education|| |
* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.
College of Letters & Science Breadth and Degree Requirements: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Students pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in the College of Letters & Science must complete all of the requirements below. The College of Letters & Science allows this major to be paired with either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science curriculum. View a comparison of the degree requirements here.
Bachelor of Arts degree requirements
|Mathematics||Fulfilled with completion of University General Education requirements Quantitative Reasoning a (QR A) and Quantitative Reasoning b (QR B) coursework. Please note that some majors may require students to complete additional math coursework beyond the B.A. mathematics requirement.|
|Foreign Language|| |
Note: A unit is one year of high school work or one semester/term of college work.
|L&S Breadth|| |
|Liberal Arts and Science Coursework||108 credits|
|Depth of Intermediate/Advanced work||60 intermediate or advanced credits|
|Major||Declare and complete at least one (1) major|
|Total Credits||120 credits|
|UW-Madison Experience||30 credits in residence, overall |
30 credits in residence after the 86th credit
|Minimum GPAs||2.000 in all coursework at UW–Madison |
2.000 in intermediate/advanced coursework at UW–Madison
Non–L&S students pursuing an L&S major
Non–L&S students who have permission from their school/college to pursue an additional major within L&S only need to fulfill the major requirements and do not need to complete the L&S breadth and degree requirements above. Please note that the following special degree programs are not considered majors so are not available to non–L&S degree-seeking candidates:
- Applied Mathematics, Engineering and Physics (Bachelor of Science–Applied Mathematics, Engineering and Physics)
- Journalism (Bachelor of Arts–Journalism; Bachelor of Science–Journalism)
- Music (Bachelor of Music)
- Social Work (Bachelor of Social Work)
Requirements for the Major
|Prerequisites: First and Second Year Language|
|First Semester Japanese (complete one):||4|
|First Semester Japanese|
| First Semester Elementary Japanese|
and Second Semester Elementary Japanese
|Followed by (complete all):|
|ASIALANG 104||Second Semester Japanese||4|
|ASIALANG 203||Third Semester Japanese||4|
|ASIALANG 204||Fourth Semester Japanese||4|
|Required Language Course|
|ASIALANG 303||Fifth Semester Japanese||4|
|Advanced or Specialized Language Courses||9|
|Business Japanese Communication|
|Advanced Readings in Japanese I|
|Advanced Readings in Japanese II|
|Advanced Japanese through Audio-Visual Media|
|Japanese Culture, Linguistics, and Literature|
|Introductory Course (complete one):||3|
|Gateway to Asia: Special Topics|
|Introduction to East Asian History: Japan|
|Lost in Translation: Western Experience in Asia|
|Asia Enchanted: Ghosts, Gods, and Monsters|
|Japanese Popular Culture|
|Introduction to East Asian Civilizations|
|Asian Religions in Global Perspective|
|Survey of Asian Art|
|Intermediate Courses (complete three courses):||9|
|Lovers, Warriors and Monks: Survey of Japanese Literature|
|Early Modern Japanese Literature|
|Modern Japanese Literature|
|Language in Japanese Society|
|Love and Politics: The Tale of Genji|
|Topics in Japanese: Study Abroad|
|Introduction to Japanese Linguistics|
|Samurai: History and Image|
|Pearl Harbor & Hiroshima: Japan, the US & The Crisis in Asia|
|Introduction to the Anthropology of Japan|
|Arts of Japan|
|Classical Japanese Prose in Translation|
|Topics in Japanese Literature|
|Modern Japanese Fiction|
|Advanced Course (complete one):||3|
|Readings in Early Modern Japanese Literature|
|Readings in Modern Japanese Literature|
|Readings in Classical Japanese Literature|
|Senior Honors Thesis|
|Senior Honors Thesis|
Residence and Quality of Work
- 2.000 GPA in all major courses
- 2.000 GPA in 15 upper-level major credits, in residence
- 15 credits in the major, taken on campus
Upper-level major courses in the major:
|ASIAN 310||Introduction to Comics and Graphic Novels: Theory, History, Method||3|
|ASIAN 353||Lovers, Warriors and Monks: Survey of Japanese Literature||3|
|ASIAN 354||Early Modern Japanese Literature||3|
|ASIAN 355||Modern Japanese Literature||3|
|ASIAN 358||Language in Japanese Society||3|
|ASIAN 361||Love and Politics: The Tale of Genji||3|
|ASIAN 373||Topics in Japanese: Study Abroad||1-6|
|ASIAN 434||Introduction to Japanese Linguistics||3|
|ASIAN/E A STDS/HISTORY 454||Samurai: History and Image||3-4|
|ASIAN/E A STDS/HISTORY 456||Pearl Harbor & Hiroshima: Japan, the US & The Crisis in Asia||3-4|
|ASIAN/RELIG ST 505||The Perfectible Body in Religions, Medicines, and Politics||3|
|ASIAN 533||Readings in Early Modern Japanese Literature||3|
|ASIAN 563||Readings in Modern Japanese Literature||3|
|ASIAN 573||Readings in Classical Japanese Literature||3|
|ASIAN 681||Senior Honors Thesis||3|
|ASIAN 682||Senior Honors Thesis||3|
|ASIAN 691||Senior Thesis||3|
|ASIAN 692||Senior Thesis||3|
|ASIAN 698||Directed Study||2-3|
|ASIAN 699||Directed Study||2-3|
|ASIALANG 303||Fifth Semester Japanese||4|
|ASIALANG 304||Sixth Semester Japanese||4|
|ASIALANG 313||Classical Japanese||3|
|ASIALANG 373||Advanced Readings in Japanese I||3|
|ASIALANG 376||Japanese Conversation||3|
|ASIALANG/E P D 377||Business Japanese Communication||3|
|ASIALANG 403||Seventh Semester Japanese||3|
|ASIALANG 404||Eighth Semester Japanese||3|
|ASIALANG 450||Advanced Readings in Japanese II||3|
|ASIALANG 452||Advanced Japanese through Audio-Visual Media||3|
|ANTHRO 357||Introduction to the Anthropology of Japan||3-4|
|ART HIST 372||Arts of Japan||3-4|
|ART HIST 375||Later Japanese Painting and Woodblock Prints||3-4|
|ART HIST 575||Proseminar in Japanese Art||3|
|LITTRANS 368||Modern Japanese Fiction||3|
|LITTRANS 372||Classical Japanese Prose in Translation||3|
|LITTRANS 373||Topics in Japanese Literature||3|
Honors in the Major
Students may declare Honors in the Major in consultation with the undergraduate advisor.
Honors in the Major Requirements
To earn Honors in the Major, students must satisfy both the requirements for the major (above) and the following additional requirements:
- Earn a 3.300 University GPA
- Earn a 3.300 GPA for all courses accepted in the major
- Complete the following coursework, with a grade of B or better:
Distinction in the Major
Students majoring in Japanese who are not enrolled in the honors program may earn distinction in the major by completing:
- the L&S general degree requirements, and
- the junior–senior honors curriculum.
University Degree Requirements
|Total Degree||To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.|
|Residency||Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.|
|Quality of Work||Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.|
- Understand the content and cultural context of written texts and video materials with a large degree of independence, adapting style and speed of comprehension to different texts and purposes, and using appropriate reference sources selectively.
- Spontaneously exchange ideas about various topics with relative ease.
- State and support one’s own opinion while acknowledging others’ viewpoints.
- Demonstrate an awareness of the importance of pragmatic, sociolinguistic, and rhetorical features of the target language.
- Conduct library and/or internet-based research on topics relating to their particular interests and special fields of expertise, collecting and selecting relevant information using English and target language source materials.
- Synthesize and critically evaluate source materials in both English and the target language.
- Present (orally or in written language) their experiences and their introspection on these experiences in a coherent and effective manner.
- Demonstrate cultural awareness across historical epochs.
- Produce effective academic writing in English.
Sample Four-Year Plan
This Sample Four-Year Plan is a tool to assist students and their advisor(s). Students should use it—along with their DARS report, the Degree Planner, and Course Search & Enroll tools—to make their own four-year plan based on their placement scores, credit for transferred courses and approved examinations, and individual interests. As students become involved in athletics, honors, research, student organizations, study abroad, volunteer experiences, and/or work, they might adjust the order of their courses to accommodate these experiences. Students will likely revise their own four-year plan several times during college.
|ASIALANG 103||4||ASIALANG 104||4|
|ASIAN 100||3-4||ASIAN/ASIAN AM/HISTORY 246 (meets Ethnic Studies requirement)||4|
|Communication A||3||Quantitative Reasoning A||3-4|
|Biological Science Breadth||3||Science Breadth||3-4|
|Students beginning language study this term may start with:|
|ASIALANG 203||4||ASIALANG 204 or 104||4|
|Or students continue with:||ASIAN/RELIG ST 236 (Communication B)||3|
|ASIAN 253 (Humanities Breadth)||3|
|ASIAN/E A STDS/HISTORY/POLI SCI 255 (Social Science Breadth)||3-4||ASIAN 355 (Literature Breadth)||3|
|ASIAN/HISTORY/RELIG ST 267 (Humanities Breadth)||3-4||Physical Science Breadth||3-4|
|Quantitative Reasoning B||3-4|
|ASIALANG 303 or 203||4||ASIALANG 304 or 204||4|
|ASIAN 376||3||ASIALANG/E P D 377||3|
|ASIAN 367 (Literature Breadth)||3||ASIAN 699||2-3|
|ASIAN 373||1-6||Science Breadth||3|
|E A STDS/ASIAN/HISTORY 454 (Social Science Breadth)||3-4||Elective||3-4|
|ASIALANG 303 (if not yet completed)||4||ASIALANG 304 (if not yet completed)||4|
|ASIAN 434||3||ASIALANG 475 (Japanese topic only)||3|
|ASIAN 563||3||ASIAN/E A STDS/HISTORY 456||3-4|
|ASIAN 691||3||ASIAN 692||3|
|Total Credits 120|
1244 Van Hise Hall
Schedule an advising appointment in Starfish. You can access Starfish from you MyUW dashboard.
Rachel is the advisor for the undergraduate majors and certificates in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. She is happy to meet with students as they explore the degree options, prepare for study abroad or advance through their four-year plans.
INTERNATIONAL DIRECTIONS ADVISING
The Language Institute provides academic and career advising to undergraduate students interested in languages and international area studies. The International Directions advisor provides academic and career advising to undergraduate students who are interested in languages and international area studies. Learn more.
L&S career resources
SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students leverage the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and liberal arts degree; explore and try out different career paths; participate in internships; prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications; and network with professionals in the field (alumni and employers). In short, SuccessWorks helps students in the College of Letters & Science discover themselves, find opportunities, and develop the skills they need for success after graduation.
SuccessWorks can also assist students in career advising, résumé and cover letter writing, networking opportunities, and interview skills, as well as course offerings for undergraduates to begin their career exploration early in their undergraduate career.
Students should set up their profiles in Handshake to take care of everything they need to explore career events, manage their campus interviews, and apply to jobs and internships from 200,000+ employers around the country.
- Set up a career advising appointment
- INTER-LS 210 L&S Career Development: Taking Initiative (1 credit, targeted to first- and second-year students)—for more information, see Inter-LS 210: Career Development, Taking Initiative
- INTER-LS 215 Communicating About Careers (3 credits, fulfills Com B General Education Requirement)
- Learn how we’re transforming career preparation: L&S Career Initiative
Charo D'Etcheverry, Associate Professor
Areas of Expertise: Classical Japanese literature (especially court fiction & its reception and early kabuki)
Students in the ALC department academic programs are encouraged to become engaged in undergraduate research. There are numerous programs that provide research opportunities for undergraduates at UW–Madison including:
The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures has various scholarships to support meritorious students in our programs. Application information and deadlines.
Cameron G. Keith Memorial Scholarship
This award is given annually to two undergraduate students studying Japanese. This award is announced during the fall semester, and eligible students may apply. The criteria are: Japanese major, junior or senior standing, cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above, currently taking Japanese, and plan to go into a Japanese related profession. Cameron G. Keith was an East Asian Studies and Economics studies major at UW–Madison who studied abroad in Japan, and later in Nepal. In his memory, the Keith family established these funds in honor of his interest in the region.
OTHER CAMPUS RESOURCES
Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships
East Asian Studies FLAS Coordinator: Laurie Dennis, Assistant Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 325 Ingraham Hall
FLAS fellowships are funded by the US Department of Education and administered by UW–Madison'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. Please direct any questions to the FLAS Coordinator of your chosen language.
Applicants must be US 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.
This is the primary campuswide portal for applicants, current students, and everyone looking for scholarship opportunities on campus.
Undergraduate Academic Awards Office
We help UW–Madison undergraduates and recent graduates pursue nationally competitive scholarships and campuswide awards for research, service, and leadership—activities at the heart of the Wisconsin Experience. We can help you:
- Find scholarship opportunities that match your goals and interests
- Navigate the scholarship application process
- Review scholarship essays
- Prepare for national scholarship interviews
Contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss which opportunities are right for you.
These scholarships provide up to $20,000 to US undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to US interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded. (Full list of preferred countries) Additionally, all programs must include formal study of an appropriate foreign language. (Full list of preferred languages).
Critical Language Scholarship Program
Campus Representative: Mark Lilleleht, Assistant Director for Awards at email@example.com
The CLS program is part of the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It is a fully-funded overseas intensive language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students. With the goal of broadening the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages and to build relationships between the people of the United States and other countries, CLS provides opportunities to a diverse range of students from across the United States at every level of language learning. The fourteen CLS languages are: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu.
The CLS Program seeks participants with diverse interests, from a wide variety of fields of study, backgrounds and career paths, with the purpose of representing the full diversity of the United States. Thus, students from all academic disciplines, including business, engineering, law, medicine, science, social sciences, arts and humanities are encouraged to apply.
The Gilman Scholarship Program is an undergraduate grant program for US citizens of limited financial means to enable them to study abroad, thereby internationalizing their outlook and better preparing them to assume significant roles in the increasingly global economy.