College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Japanese Program Information

*For Japanese major, minor, or study abroad advisor information, contact the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at 360-650-3918 or go HERE.

Welcome to the Japanese Program at Western Washington University. The Department of Modern and Classical Languages offers four years of Japanese language courses. We offer both a major and a minor in Japanese. In addition to language classes, we also offer a variety of classes on Japanese culture, philosophy, literature, linguistics, and film and media.

Japanese language classes at the first year, second year, and third year levels are taught in sequence. Each level beginning with JAPN 101, JAPN 201, or JAPN 301 respectively. These classes are only offered in Fall Term. JAPN 102, JAPN 202, and JAPN 203 are taught in Winter Term. JAPN 103, JAPN 203, and JAPN 303 are taught in the Spring Term.

Examples of coursework include:

  • JAPN 314 - Japanese Phonetics
  • JAPN 330 - Japanese Culture Through Film
  • JAPN 450 - Japanese Culture, History and Society
  • JAPN 402 - Topics in Japanese Literature
  • JAPN 403 - Topics in Japanese Thought
  • EAST 368 - Japanese Literature in Translation
  • HIST 374 - Premodern Japanese History
  • HIST 375 - Modern Japanese History
  • LING 402 - Japanese Linguistics

Experienced Speakers/Learners of a Language

First-year courses in the Japanese Program at Western Washington University are designed for students with minimal or no previous exposure to the target language. Students enrolling in second-year courses should have no more than foundational knowledge, equivalent to the first year. Students having previous experience with the language, such as attending junior high school, high school, community or technical college, or university are required to take a placement test to determine the appropriate level of study if available. Placement decision will be left to the discretion of the language department.

Related Links

Click HERE to see our Japanese language placement guidelines.