Japanese B.A., G.L.A.S.


The GLAS: Japanese B.A. is a 33 credit major that begins with an introductory course, requires a minimum of 4 semesters of language, at least one area studies course, and concludes with a project-based capstone that gives you a chance to show off what you have learned about the language and the region. The major is designed to allow you to emphasize either language learning or area studies knowledge. All majors are expected to reach Novice High in Japanese on the ACTFL scale, though most will reach much higher than this, and all majors will have a working knowledge of the culture, history or religion of Japan. The major has been designed so that it can be completed in as little as two years for students who begin in their junior year – at minimum, it is typically only 11 total courses.

Students with no background in Japanese should start with LAN 220 and JPN 101. Students who have a background in Japanese should contact the section head for placement.

The basic outline of the major is as follows (see bottom for course titles): 

  • LAN 220 – Introductory course
  • 4 semesters of Japanese language (usually JPN 101, 102, 201, 202)
  • 1 Area Studies course (one of: HIS 171, HIS 375, JPN 310, JPN 497; PHL 331; PSC 377; RLS 131; THE 382)
  • 1 additional language or Area Studies course (one of: HIS 171, HIS 375, JPN 310, JPN 497; PHL 331; PSC 377; RLS 131; THE 382; JPN 301, 302, 401, 402)
  • LAN 420 – Capstone course
  • Additional relevant courses to reach 33 credits.

Those interested in a concentration on Japanese language and culture could take the following sequence:
LAN 220, JPN 101, 102, 201, 202, JPN 310, JPN 301, 302, 401, 402, LAN 420

Those interested in a concentration on area studies, rather than language, could take:
LAN 220, JPN 101, 102, 201, 202, JPN 310, RLS 131, HIS 171, HIS 375, PHL 331, LAN 420

Majors must take at least 9 credits worth of courses in the major at the 300+ level.
A total of 120 credits is required for graduation. At least 42 of these must be in courses numbered 300 or above.

Minor in Japanese

In addition to fulfilling all the basic requirements for a minor (see Minor Fields of Study), students pursuing a Japanese Language and Culture minor must complete a total of 18 credits of Japanese language or Japanese culture or Japanese history. Out of 18 credits, 12 credits must be at least at the 200-level or above (JPN 201, 202, 301, 302, 401, 402, 310, 497; HIS 375). Also, the credits earned by attending either the Kochi Summer Program in Japan or the J-term winter trip to Japan will be counted toward a minor.

We strongly recommend considering a major, as the Japanese major is very similar in terms of the number of required courses, the main difference being the requirement to take LAN 220, 420, and the specific requirement of a single area studies course.

Course Titles Key


  • LAN 220: Understanding Languages in Cultural Context
  • LAN 420: Senior Seminar Across Languages and Cultures
  • HIS 171: East Asian Culture and History
  • HIS 172: Southeast Asian Culture and History
  • HIS 375: History of Modern Japan
  • HIS 481: Advance Topics in Asian or Latin American History
  • JPN 101: Beginning Japanese I
  • JPN 102: Beginning Japanese II
  • JPN 201: Intermediate Japanese I
  • JPN 202: Intermediate Japanese II
  • JPN 301: Pre-Advanced Japanese I
  • JPN 302: Pre-Advance Japanese II
  • JPN 401: Advanced Japanese I
  • JPN 402: Advanced Japanese II
  • JPN 310: Japanese Language and Culture
  • JPN 497: Directed Study
  • PHL 328: The Philosophy of Religion
  • PHL 331: East Asian Thought
  • PSC 377: Politics of China
  • RLS 131: Introduction to Asian Philosophies and Religions
  • THE 382: History of Theatre: Neoclassical Through the 19th Century