Japanese Program Description and Requirements
The Japanese major combines thorough training in spoken and written language with study of Japanese culture through a broad range of materials and approaches, including classical and modern literature, linguistics, history, philosophy, visual arts and popular culture. Most courses are conducted in Japanese.
Language courses form the core of the major. Students are expected to study Japanese for four years. In addition, all students beginning the major take "East Asia: Texts and Contexts," a writing-intensive introduction to East Asian culture taught in English. This is followed by courses in language and culture. Students must take at least one East Asian department course taught in English in addition to "East Asia: Texts and Contexts." One or both semesters of junior year are usually spent abroad. The major culminates in a Senior Seminar paper or Senior Honors Thesis on a topic of the student's choice relating to Japanese culture.
Majors are strongly recommended to fulfill the history portion of their general education requirement by taking courses in Japanese, Chinese or Asian history. A variety of Asian studies courses is also available through other departments, including Economics, Government, International Affairs, Theology, and Art. These can be taken as free electives, or in some cases to fulfill general education requirements. Outside courses can often be counted toward an Asian Studies Certificate. Students should seek help from their department advisors to develop a well-integrated academic program built around their interests and drawing upon this rich variety of resources.
12 General Education Requirements, including
- 1 JAPN-024 East Asia: Texts and Contexts
- 2 Courses in history for which the department highly recommends: HIST 124, 125 History of Japan I & II
5 Japanese language courses JAPN-300 or above
1 Departmental course on Japanese culture, literature or linguistics taught in English
1 Senior Seminar
Additional Japanese language courses as needed for a minimum total of 11 courses in the major (not counting General Education courses).
JAPN 311, 312 Integrative Advanced Japanese I & II
JAPN 314 Advanced Oral Communication
JAPN 321, 322 Business Japanese I & II
JAPN 331 Readings in Current Affairs
JAPN 334 Readings in History and Society
JAPN 341 Media Japanese
JAPN 349 Catholicism in Japanese Culture
JAPN 351 Megacity Edo-Tokyo
JAPN 352 Mass Society and Culture in Modern Japan
JAPN 358 Cultures of Modernization in East Asia
JAPN 372 Readings in Language and Culture
JAPN 391 Introduction to Japanese Linguistics
JAPN 392 Issues in Acquisition of Japanese
JAPN 406 Endo Shusaku
JAPN 411 Japanese Literature in Film
JAPN 412 Japanese Anime Film
JAPN 414 Haiku Poetry
JAPN 418 Kurosawa: History in Film
JAPN 422 Japanese in Social Context
JAPN 425 Topics in Kanji Learning
JAPN 430 Japanese Nationalism
(Not all courses are offered every year. Current offerings can be seen here.)
Students are encouraged to further their understanding of Japanese culture by participating in the Japan Club, which conducts social and educational activities. Also, a wide range of literature and audio-visual materials concerning Japan is available at the University Library. The Freer-Sackler Gallery holds a fine collection of East Asian Art, and the Library of Congress has a large collection of Japanese books and periodicals.
Japanese majors are required to spend at least one semester studying in Japan, and are encouraged to spend up to one year. Special academic programs are available through Georgetown University at International Christian, Keio, Nanzan, Sophia and Waseda Universities. (See section on this topic in the Bulletin.)
Students may apply to the Georgetown-sponsored programs through the Office of International Programs (OIP). Please also see our website "Overseas Studies" under "Resources."
Students majoring in other fields, particularly those involving Asian studies, are encouraged to consider a minor in Japanese. The Japanese minor requires seven courses, at least six of which must be Japanese language courses or advanced courses conducted in Japanese. The seventh course may be taught in either Japanese or English and must have Japanese literature, culture/civilization, or linguistics as a substantial component.
Information on How to Place Yourself in the Appropriate Language Course(s)
Placement exams are available from June 18th - August 28th at noon and must be taken by the pre-registration deadline in order to pre-register for a language course.
Students with no previous Japanese language coursework should register for JAPN 011 Intensive First Level Japanese I.
All other students must take the online placement test during the summer. Please follow the instructions below to take the test.
In order to take the language placement test, you must enroll in its Blackboard site.
1. Go to Georgetown University's Blackboard login page at https://campus.georgetown.edu
2. Log in using your NetID and NetID password. Note: If you need help with your NetID, email the Student Help Desk or call 202-687-4577
3. After logging in, click the Courses tab
4. In the Course Search box, type: placement and click Go
5. Click the arrows to the right of the language placement test you need to take and choose Enroll
6. Confirm your enrollment by clicking the Submit button
7. Click the OK button to enter the placement test site
8. Follow the instructions on the placement test site to take the test
• Make sure that you have a reliable Internet connection. Set aside ample quiet time before you begin the test so that you can complete the test in one sitting, if required. If at any time you are interrupted or need to take a break, make sure you click the Save button before you move away from the test.
• Close other programs running on the computer. Avoid distraction; focus only on the test until it is completed.
• Do not resize or refresh the browser window after beginning the test. Make sure that it is the size you want before you begin.
• To begin the test, click the link only once. It may take some time to load the test: give it at least one minute. If, after clicking once, nothing happens for over a minute, contact the Student Help Desk as soon as possible. Do not click the link multiple times: if you do, you will see a message stating that you have already taken the test and you will not be able to access it again.
• Do not use the Back and Forward buttons on the browser to move around in the test. Use the links and buttons in the test pages to proceed.
• Do not click the final Submit button until you are finished with the test.
• If you encounter a problem or a technical difficulty that prevents you from finishing the test, contact the Student Help Desk as soon as possible.
• Internet Explorer 7 or higher (Windows)
• Firefox 3 or higher (Windows and Mac)
• Safari 3 or higher (Mac)
We also recommend that students who experience a problem in a particular browser switch to the alternate browser for their platform.
• Support contact information:
Student Help Desk: firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 202-687-4577
Japanese Program at the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures: Professor Yoshiko Mori (email@example.com)