The certificate in Japanese professional communication provides students with the opportunity to develop proficiency in Japanese while pursuing majors in other subjects across the university. It emphasizes the development of communication skills that are applicable to various professional contexts that students may encounter in their future careers.

Study Abroad in Japan

Students may receive residence credit for study abroad through a variety of different 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.

How to Get in

Placement Exam

The Asian Languages and Cultures department offers placement exams for students with prior language study or experience as a speaker of Japanese. For more information, see the department’s website.

Declaring the Certificate

Declaring the certificate is as easy as meeting with the undergraduate advisor, make an appointment to review requirements and discuss course plans on Starfish.

Students declared in the Japanese major are not eligible to declare the Japanese Professional Communication certificate.

Required Prerequisite Language Courses

ASIALANG 103 First Semester Japanese4
First Semester Elementary Japanese
and Second Semester Elementary Japanese
ASIALANG 104 Second Semester Japanese4
ASIALANG 203 Third Semester Japanese4
ASIALANG 204 Fourth Semester Japanese4


15 credits distributed as follows:

Business Language Course
Required course:
ASIALANG 377 Business Japanese Communication3
Advanced Japanese Language Courses9
Complete three courses, from:
Fifth Semester Japanese
Advanced Japanese: Solidifying the Foundations
Japanese Conversation
Advanced Readings in Japanese
Advanced Japanese through Audio-Visual Media
Japanese Studies Course3
Introduction to East Asian History: Japan
Asia Enchanted: Ghosts, Gods, and Monsters
Japanese Popular Culture
Social Studies Topics in East Asian Studies
Introduction to East Asian Civilizations
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
Readings in Early Modern Japanese Literature
Readings in Modern Japanese Literature
Readings in Classical Japanese Literature
Classical Japanese
Introduction to the Anthropology of Japan
Japanese Ceramics and Allied Arts
Modern Japanese Fiction
Topics in Japanese Literature
Total Credits15

Residence and Quality of Work

  • Minimum 2.000 GPA on all certificate courses
  • At least 8 certificate credits must be completed in residence

Certificate Completion Requirement

This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain in the target language their academic and professional experiences, and articulate their career objectives, both in writing and speaking.
  2. Manage basic everyday workplace (face-to-face, telephone, and email) communications in the target language (e.g., greeting, introducing oneself, making/changing appointments, making and receiving requests, obtaining permission, reporting, thanking, apologizing).
  3. With preparation, deliver a clear, concise, and connected presentation in the target language, with the effective use of visual images, on a subject they researched through online resources and/or interviews.
  4. Demonstrate an awareness of the significance of honorific and formulaic expressions and etiquette observed in the workplace within the target culture, which can be applied to their life-long learning.
  5. Demonstrate an awareness of diverse cultural perspectives, which may influence business and other professional practices, and a disposition to approach unfamiliar contexts with an open mind.

Advising and Careers


If you like to plan, seeing your major advisor is very important; it can make the difference between fitting in general education and major requirements before you graduateMany students also try to complete more than one major or certificate, and discussing how you might be able to reach this goal is another primary role of your major advisor. Advisors can speak to you about course content, which courses fit best with your interest areas, and what kinds of courses might work best with your learning style. Any and all of these discussions can occur during your advising appointment.

Rachel Weiss 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. Schedule an appointment in Starfish.

L&S Career Resources

Every L&S major opens a world of possibilities.  SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students turn the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and other coursework into fulfilling lives after graduation, whether that means jobs, public service, graduate school or other career pursuits.

In addition to providing basic support like resume reviews and interview practice, SuccessWorks offers ways to explore interests and build career skills from their very first semester/term at UW all the way through graduation and beyond.

Students can explore careers in one-on-one advising, try out different career paths, complete internships, prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications, and connect with supportive alumni and even employers in the fields that inspire them.


Please visit the Asian Languages & Cultures website for a complete list of faculty, instructional, and academic staff.

Wisconsin Experience

Undergraduate Research

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:

Resources and Scholarships

Campus Resources

Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships
East Asian Studies FLAS Coordinator: Laurie Dennis, Assistant Director, ldennis@wisc.edu, 325 Ingraham Hall

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. Please direct any questions to the FLAS Coordinator of your chosen language.

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.

This is the primary campus-wide 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 campus-wide 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.

National Scholarships

Boren Scholarships 
Campus Representative: Undergraduates with questions should contact Matt Geisler, Associate Director of International Academic Programs.

These scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. 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. Additionally, all programs must include formal study of an appropriate foreign language.

Critical Language Scholarship Program
Campus Representative: Mark Lilleleht, Assistant Director for Awards at awards@iris.wisc.edu
The CLS program is part of the U.S. 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.

Gilman Scholarship Program
Campus Representative: Andy Quackenbush

The Gilman Scholarship Program is an undergraduate grant program for U.S. 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.