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Japanese Language and Literature


Programs in Japanese language and literature teach people the spoken and written traditions of Japan.

Japanese language and literature programs include topics such as:


In Japanese language and literature programs, students may be able specialize in:


Community colleges offer associate degree programs in Japanese language and literature. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in Japanese language and literature. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

A few universities offer graduate degrees in Japanese language and literature. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master’s degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores. In addition, you must be able to demonstrate that you can speak, read, write, and understand Japanese at an advanced level.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate programs in Japanese language and literature typically require:

Things to Know

Japanese has three written syllabaries a kind of alphabet. Katakana and Hiragana characters are closest to letters in the alphabet because each character represents a sound. Kanji is a large group of characters that express ideas.

Students who major in Japanese language and literature may be required or encouraged to spend some time living, working, and studying abroad. Most programs coordinate semester abroad or work internships. In most cases, you can participate in these after you have completed at least two years of language study.

Colleges that do not have complete programs in Japanese language and literature may offer elective courses as part of a major in interdisciplinary studies or liberal arts.

At some schools, Japanese language and literature programs are part of Asian studies departments.


East Side Area

Central Washington University

Washington State University - Pullman

Wenatchee Valley College

King-Snohomish Area

Shoreline Community College

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Spokane Community College

Spokane Falls Community College

Tacoma Area

Pacific Lutheran University

Tacoma Community College

University of Puget Sound

Vancouver Area

Clark College

West Side Area

Evergreen State College, The

Grays Harbor College

Saint Martin's University

Western Washington University