"He who does not know a foreign language,
does not know anything about his own."

In this complex and diverse world, it is ultimately necessary to study another language to acquire a better understanding of its diverse peoples and cultures. The study of the Japanese language is strongly encouraged for those who wish to be successful in many professional fields and for those who wish to deepen their knowledge of Japan.

Japanese language courses provide the tools for students to acquire basic Japanese language skills in listening, reading, writing and speaking, to build up their communication ability, and to prepare them to accomplish their educational, professional and personal goals.

The study of Japanese enhances the student's understanding of modern Japanese culture, but also fosters a deeper understanding of his or her of own language and culture.  This understanding, respect and love for one's native culture and Japanese culture as separate and equal entities provides the foundation for true communication and understanding, which in turn create the only possible foundation for international and global peace. 


If you have previously studied Japanese elsewhere you are required to take a placement test. Contact the Department of Languages to arrange the test. The Coordinator of the Japanese Program will assess your level and assign you to the most appropriate class. If you register for a course without taking a placement test and your  knowledge of the Japanese language is determined by the instructor to be inappropriate for the class you have chosen, you may be asked to transfer to a more suitable course.

Some of the Japanese courses have multiple sections. The section schedule, classrooms assignments, and instructors for this course may change every semester. Be sure to obtain and comply with the information for the section for which you are registered. Going back and forth between sections according to your convenience is not allowed. Switching sections is only possible with the approval of the instructor and the Japanese Program Coordinator. You are responsible for the necessary paperwork.

Students considering pursuing degrees in Japanese should contact Hiroko Harada, the Academic Advisor for Japanese, as soon as possible to discuss their plans and fill out the appropriate paperwork to declare a major in Japanese.  Students should meet with the Academic Advisor every semester to go over their progress and plan their future semesters. Only grades of A, B or C are counted toward the degree; students may retake the same course to improve their grade.

Students can major in Japanese while majoring in some other discipline.
A degree in languages can enhance any other degree on campus and make you a more attractive job candidate.  International Studies, History, Journalism, Business, Computer Science, English, Political Science, and Anthropology are among some of the double majors popular with students.  Double majoring requires good planning, and it is very important to meet with your advisor early on in your studies at UAA.

Minoring in Japanese is also a popular track. Many students who have fulfilled their Minor requirements shift their career to the direction of Majoring in Japanese just by continuing with more courses in Japanese.

The Japanese majors are strongly recommended to study in Hokkaido University of Education (HUE) in Hokkaido, Japan. Students who have successfully completed three years of Japanese are encouraged to apply. Study abroad requires good planning, and it is very important to meet with your advisor early on in your study at UAA.

Come join Nihon Bunka (Japanese Culture) Club, one of the most active student clubs on campus. Club activities last year included a Kick Off Party, JET Program Night, a Tea Ceremony, Sushi Night, and an Iron Chef competition.

The Japanese Program offers First-year Japanese I & II (JPN 101 & 102).