Japanese Major

Japanese, BA

55 credits


In keeping with the aim of providing the skills needed to learn about a culture in depth, the department trains in two areas: language structure and literary analysis. Language structure is taught both holistically and analytically. Holistic language learning is facilitated by modern methods and multimedia technology, as well as study abroad opportunities. The department supports the analytical instruction of language structure through a full range of language skills courses, as well as a significant number of courses in linguistics. Literary analysis is essential to a student’s understanding of the highest achievements in aesthetic expression of a culture’s values. The department provides instruction in history and culture, as well as literary theory, with an end to enabling the student to gain access to the intellectual life in the culture. The department imparts skills to future foreign language teachers so that they may similarly enable high school students to begin the acquisition of foreign languages.

Why Consider a Japanese Major?

The Department of Modern and Classical Languages provides students the skills to learn firsthand about major world societies. The department believes that the best way to understand a culture directly is through its language. The modern languages offered in the department are spoken natively by nearly two billion people. The multifaceted programs of the department provide an opening to the world through language, literature, culture and civilization. It is a meeting place for true diversity.

Sample Careers

Interpreter | Foreign Correspondent | Foreign Service Officer | FBI Agent | Educator | Linguist | Travel Writer | All careers involving communication

Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

Make an appointment with the Japanese advisor.

When meeting with the advisor, you should bring:

  • An “Official Declaration of Undergraduate Major” form (available at the Department Office)
  • An unofficial WWU transcript
  • Documentation for courses taken at other colleges or universities
  • Documentation for any study-abroad credits earned

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors. A GPA of 2.50 or above in major is required.


❑ Maximum of 15 credits at the 200 level

❑  JAPN 201 - Second-Year Japanese Credits: 4 GUR: BCOM

❑  JAPN 202 - Second-Year Japanese Credits: 4 GUR: ACGM

❑  JAPN 203 - Second-Year Japanese Credits: 4 GUR: ACGM

❑  JAPN 301 - Third-Year Japanese Credits: 4 GUR: ACGM

❑  JAPN 302 - Third-Year Japanese Credits: 4 GUR: ACGM

❑  JAPN 303 - Third-Year Japanese Credits: 4 GUR: ACGM

❑  JAPN 350 - Japanese Culture, History and Society Credits: 4

❑  JAPN 401 - Advanced Japanese Credits: 4 (must be taken on campus) GUR: ACGM

❑  JAPN 402 - Topics in Japanese Literature Credits: 4 (must be taken on campus)

❑  JAPN 403 - Topics in Japanese Thought Credits: 4 (must be taken on campus)

NOTE: While not required, study abroad in Japan is strongly encouraged.


❑ At least 15 credits from the following:

    HIST 484 - Women in Japanese History Credits: 5

    HIST 485 - Japanese Military History: Samurai Fact and Fiction Credits: 5

    HIST 486 - Religion in Japanese History Credits: 5

    EAST 368 - Japanese Literature in Translation Credits: 5

    HIST 374 - Premodern Japanese History Credits: 5

    HIST 375 - Modern Japanese History Credits: 5

    JAPN 314 - Japanese Phonetics Credits: 4

    JAPN 330 - Japanese Culture Through Film Credits: 4

University Graduation Requirements

General University Requirements 2017-18 
Writing Proficiency Requirement (WP)
180 Minimum Total Credits
60 Minimum Upper Division Credits
Residency Requirement
Minimum Grade Requirements