Why Study Japanese Studies?

A familiarity with Asian cultures also allows you to step outside the culture you live in and see it from a fresh, new perspective.

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Even if you decide to pursue a career in a non-Japan-related field, knowing Japanese will make you stand out from the crowd in today’s multicultural global workplace. Many American university students choose to study an Indo-European language such as Spanish, French, and German because these languages are similar to English. Learning a less commonly taught language like Japanese shows that you are a unique, broad-minded and determined individual who is up for a challenge. The breadth of knowledge and perspective gained from studying Japanese also signals to employers that you have the ability to solve problems and manage initiatives creatively and collectively.

The Program in Japanese Studies offers:

Individualized Major in Japanese Studies
Minor in Japanese Studies

Two Degrees in Four Years

As an IUPUI undergraduate student majoring in any area, you are eligible to earn a BA in Japanese Studies. Develop a unique advantage and carve your own path without adding time to your studies by combining a Spanish degree with your other interests in any School on campus through the Dual Degree Advantage Program.

Start your academic career now – learn how today!

Placement Testing

If you have not taken Japanese before, then start with EALC-J 131.

If you have taken Japanese before but have not taken an Advanced Placement (AP) test for Japanese, you should first take the IUPUI Japanese placement test to see what level course you are ready to take.

If you took the AP test then follow these guidelines:

Test Score Course to Take
3 EALC-J201
4 EALC-J201
5 EALC-J301

If you are a native speaker of Japanese (you went to a high school where Japanese was the primary language), you may NOT take any of these courses for credit: J131, J132, J201, J202, J301, J302. You may enroll in any 400-level Japanese course and qualify for J301 and J302 credit if you earn a “C” or higher in the 400-level course.

What Japanese Studies Did for Me?

DavidSullivan“Whenever I think about my Japanese classes, I always remember all the fun I had meeting the Japanese exchange students. Everyone was so friendly and excited to get a chance to talk to us. The events and working with those students encouraged me to continue my studies in Japanese language. I currently work as an assistant language teacher or ALT for short, with the JET program in Yatsushiro City, of Kumamoto prefecture in Japan.
On an average day, I spend first period preparing for the day, whether that be making an activity or preparing a special holiday lesson. I then have classes from second through fifth period with a break for lunch and recess with the kids after fourth. Sixth period is when I have time to relax and finish anything I need for the following day or create fun English boards for the kids to enjoy.
The one piece of advice I would like to give everyone is to keep trying new things. When I arrived in Japan, I tried everything they offered to let me do even if it was something I wasn`t confident I would enjoy. It allowed me to make connections and meet great people who introduced me to new and exciting things that I never would have been able to find on my own.”

— David Sullivan, ’18, B.A in Individualized Major in Japanese Studies

What you can do with Japanese major and minor

Where some of our graduates, who have majored, double-majored, or minored in Japanese Studies, have had careers:

  • Working for Japanese companies in Japan or US (Nippon Express, Sunright America Inc.)
  • Working for US companies affiliated with Japanese companies in the US or in Japan
  • Teaching English in Japan (kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school or private language school)
  • Teaching Japanese in U.S. High Schools
  • Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) or Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs) as Interpreters/translators in Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program*
  • Translation, interpretation
  • Government positions (chamber of commerce, consulate, foreign service)
  • Graduate school & continue Japanese studies

* Each year we have several students accepted to the JET program as ALTs. The JET Program is offered through contracting organizations of Japan in cooperation with the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and the Ministry of International Affairs and Communications.

More Info

Contact Rosa Tezanos-Pinto, Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures.