Japanese Language Program
The Japanese Program at SDSU offers a variety of courses designed to develop advanced language skills which can lead to a number of careers after graduation. A major or a minor in Japanese is also a good preparation for graduate programs in such areas as Asian studies, anthropology, economics, history, international business, international law, journalism, librarianship, linguistics, political science, and public administration. It also gives graduates an advantage in looking for positions in Japan in areas such as language teaching, business consulting, or journalism.
Japanese Major (B.A. Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences)
The Japanese program is committed to providing students with a solid foundation of practical language skills, through proficiency-based teaching, and this program also provides understanding of cultural literacy through the study of Japanese literature, cultural traditions and contemporary aesthetics. In addition, this program also emphasizes the development of students’ critical thinking and analysis through the study of Japanese historical, social, political and geographical content. The Study abroad and internship programs also promote students’ awareness of and appreciation for diversity. The curriculum prepares students for careers in the global age and for graduate study in a variety of fields.
PLG 1: Demonstrate Advanced level proficiency in listening and reading, based upon the ACTFL OPI scale
PLG 2: Demonstrate Advanced level proficiency in speaking and writing, based upon the ACTFL OPI scale
PLG 3: Understand Japanese culture and aesthetics
PLG 4: Demonstrate general historical, social, political, economic and geographical knowledge of Japan
PLG 5: Demonstrate basic knowledge of Japanese linguistics
PLG 6: Demonstrate critical thinking and analysis
Degree Learning Outcomes / Objectives
DLO 1: Read Japanese texts at an advanced proficiency level
Comprehend authentic written texts such as novels and newspapers.
DLO 2: Listen to Japanese texts at an advanced proficiency level
Comprehend authentic oral texts such as TV dramas, news broadcasts and interviews.
DLO 3: Write in Japanese at an advanced proficiency level
Produce complex arguments in writing.
DLO 4: Speak Japanese at an advanced proficiency level
Engage in interpersonal communication, produce narratives and deliver academic presentations.
DLO 5: Demonstrate the understanding of Japanese value systems and aesthetics in Japanese
literature and culture
Demonsrate and appreciate Japanese cultural traditions and contemporary aesthetics. Discuss works of Japanese literature from different periods of time.
DLO 6: Distinguish social variations in Japanese language use
Distinuguish formal, informal and honorific expressions, and successfully code-switch, according to appropriate social contexts.
DLO 7: Understand Japanese history, politics, geography and economics
Discuss major historical events, political movements, geographic features and economic conditions of Japan.
DLO 8: Develop critical thinking and analysis skills
Analyze and evaluate Japanese historical, political, geographical and economic issues from different perspectives in spoken and written discourse.
All candidates for a degree in liberal arts and sciences must complete the graduation requirements listed in the University Catalog on “Graduation Requirements.” No more than 48 units in Japanese courses can apply to the degree. Students majoring in Japanese must complete a minor in another field to be approved by the departmental advisor in Japanese.
All students with transfer credits must take the placement test at the Student Testing, Research, and Assessment Office at SDSU.
Note: Speakers of Japanese who have completed compulsory education through junior
high school in Japan, or those who pass level one of the Japanese Language Proficiency
Tests, created and edited by the Association of International Education and Japan
Foundation, or equivalent, will receive no credit for Japanese 311, 312, 321, 322,
411, 412, 421, and 422.
Preparation for the Major
Japanese 111, 112, 211, 212 (20 units)
A minimum of 24 upper division units in Japanese to include 12 units from Japanese 311, 312, 411, 412, and four courses selected from Japanese 321, 322, 421, 422, 480, or a Japan content course approved by the major advisor. No more than one upper division Japanese course taught in English may be applied to the major.
Japanese Minor (B.A. Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences)
The minor in Japanese consists of a minimum of 15 units taught in Japanese, at least 12 units of which must be in upper division Japanese courses. Any course taught in English needs department approval to apply to the minor requirements.
Courses in the minor may not be counted toward the major, but may be used to satisfy preparation for the major and general education requirements, if applicable. A minimum of six upper division units must be completed in residence at San Diego State University.
JAPAN 111. Elementary Japanese I (5)
Elementary language skills: fundamental grammar, idiomatic expressions, hiragana, katakana, and basic kanji characters. Reading, writing, speaking, oral-aural drills, and relationship between language and culture. (Formerly numbered Japanese 101.)
JAPAN 112. Elementary Japanese II (5)
Prerequisite: Japanese 111.
Continuation of Japanese 111. Preparation for Japanese 211. (Formerly numbered Japanese 102 and 202.)
JAPAN 211. Intermediate Japanese I (5)
Prerequisite: Japanese 112.
Continuation of Japanese 112. More kanji and grammar. Further development of language competence for advanced courses in Japanese. Preparation for Japanese 212. (Formerly numbered Japanese 201 and 303.)
JAPAN 212. Intermediate Japanese II (5)
Prerequisite: Japanese 211.
Strengthening communication skills in Japanese; various literary styles; additional kyoiku kanji. Cultural values shaping modern Japanese society; inter-cultural communication. Preparation for Japanese 311.
JAPAN 311. Third Year Japanese I (3)
Prerequisites: Japanese 212 and completion of the General Education requirement in Foundations of Learning II.C., Humanities. General Education prerequisite not required for Japanese majors.
Continuation of Japanese 212. Strengthening of communication skills in Japanese; various literary styles; cultural values shaping modern Japanese society; inter-cultural communication. Preparation for Japanese 312.
JAPAN 312. Third Year Japanese II (3)
Prerequisites: Japanese 311 and completion of the General Education requirement in Foundations of Learning II.C., Humanities. General Education prerequisite not required for Japanese majors.
Further strengthening of communication skills in Japanese; various literary styles; introduction of chugaku kanji. Social and economic issues in Japan and the U.S.; cultural values shaping business conduct in Japan; characteristics of Japanese management; inter-cultural communication. Preparation for Japanese 411.
JAPAN 321. Advanced Japanese Discourse (3)
Prerequisite: Japanese 212.
Development of advanced communication skills through Japanese media such as Japanese news broadcasts and television drama. Focus on listening comprehension.
JAPAN 322. Advanced Conversation Through Media (3)
Prerequisite: Japanese 311.
Development of advanced communication skills through Japanese media such as Japanese news broadcasts and television drama. Focus on oral communication.
JAPAN 332. Narratives of Japanese Popular Culture (3)
Prerequisites: Upper division standing and completion of the General Education requirement in Foundations of Learning II.C., Humanities.
Popular Japanese narrative traditions from 1600 to present in mainstream cultural products to include written and pictorial texts, performing arts, film, animation, and graphic novels. Class, gender, nationalism, and identity. Taught in English.
JAPAN 411. Fourth Year Japanese I (3)
Prerequisite: Japanese 312.
Continuation of Japanese 312. Further strengthening of communication skills in Japanese; various literary styles; more chugaku kanji. Social and economic issues in Japan and in the U.S.; cultural values shaping business conduct in Japan; characteristics of Japanese management; inter-cultural communication. Preparation for Japanese 412.
JAPAN 412. Fourth Year Japanese II (3)
Prerequisite: Japanese 411.
Continuation of Japanese 411. Further strengthening of communication skills in Japanese; various literary styles; most joyo kanji. Social and economic issues in Japan and the U.S.; cultural values shaping business conduct in Japan; characteristics of Japanese management; inter-cultural communication.
JAPAN 421. Japanese Literature Through Text and Film (3)
Prerequisite: Japanese 312.
Japanese literature from earliest times to present. Major works of modern Japanese fiction as a literary genre and their cinematic interpresentation.
JAPAN 422. Newspaper Reading and Advanced Composition (3)
Prerequisite: Japanese 411.
Development of reading and writing skills through texts taken from current Japanese newspapers and broadcast news.
JAPAN 480. Business Japanese (3)
Prerequisite: Japanese 411.
Commercial Japanese, with emphasis on economic principles necessary for financial analysis and management, including banking system, foreign exchange market, stock market, and derivatives. Terminology and techniques used in Japanese commercial transaction. Japanese business rhetoric.
The Japanese language proficiency test is taken to assess the proficiency level and to place students at the most appropriate level in the curriculum of the Japanese Language Program at San Diego State University. Students who have special backgrounds, and those SDSU students who took Japanese elsewhere, including SDSU students who participated in exchange programs, are required to meet with the program advisor and to take this examination. The examinations administered at SDSU are old versions of the Japan Foundation's Proficiency Examinations. They cannot be accepted as actual JLPT annually administered by the Japan Foundation.
Visit the SDSU Testing Office exam page for more details.
Japanese Language Program's Scholarship
13th Annual IACE Travel Scholarship
The deadline to apply for this scholarships is April 28, 2023.
The Japanese Language Program in the Department of Linguistics and Asian/Middle Eastern Languages at San Diego State University is pleased to announce a contribution from IACE Travel, Inc., as a scholarship for an outstanding student of Japanese.
39th Annual Kyocera Japanese Scholarship
The Japanese Language Program in the Department of Linguistics and Asian/Middle Eastern Languages at San Diego State University is pleased to announce a generous contribution from Kyocera International, Inc., as a scholarship for an outstanding student of Japanese.
37th Annual Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Japanese Scholarship for Accounting Majors
The Japanese Language Program in the Department of Linguistics and Asian/Middle Eastern Languages at San Diego State University is pleased to announce a generous contribution from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu as a scholarship for outstanding Japanese minors with accounting majors.
Download: Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Scholarship Details | Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Information + Permission Sheet | See How to Apply Below
16th Annual Union Bank Scholarship for a Japanese Major's Study in Japan
The Japanese Language Program in the Department of Linguistics and Asian/Middle Eastern Languages at San Diego State University is pleased to announce a generous contribution from Union Bank, as a scholarship for an outstanding Japanese language major who will participate in the SDSU Exchange Program and study in Japan for the academic year of 2023-2024.
- April 10-28, 2023
Review Period: May 1
You must log in to Aztec Scholarships and make sure that required materials are uploaded by April 28.
To be considered for any of the Japanese Scholarships, you must do the following:
- Go to sdsu.edu/scholarships, log in using your SDSUid, and complete the general application.
- Download (1) Japanese Essay Writing Form and (2) the appropriate information sheet from above.
- Handwrite one essay in Japanese at home covering the points in each announcement. You may use up to three sheets of the Essay Writing Form.
- Fill out the Information Sheet and upload it along with your unofficial SDSU transcript.
- You must indicate that you are part of the “Japanese Language Program” by checking the corresponding box under Clubs/Activities on the general application.
It will be your responsibility to monitor Aztec Scholarships. If you are awarded, you must complete a thank you letter to the donor in Aztec Scholarships within 14 days of receiving your award notification. It is imperative that you meet this deadline! There are no extensions, and the scholarship will be canceled and awarded to an alternate if you do not complete this very important step.
Graduate and undergraduate students at SDSU can enhance their education and cultural awareness by taking part in several opportunities available to study abroad in Japan.
- Aoyama Gakuin University (Tokyo) – private
- Chuo University (Tokyo) – private
- Doshisha University (Kyoto) – private
- Gifu University (Gifu) – national
- Gunma University (Gunma) – national
- Hirosaki University (Aomori) – national
- Hokkaido University (Sapporo) – national
- Hosei University (Tokyo) – private
- Kyoto Sangyo University (Kyoto) – private
- Kyushu University (Fukuoka) (SDSU) – national
- Meiji University (Tokyo) – private
- Nanzan University (Nagoya) (SDSU) - private
- Oita University (SDSU) - national
- Osaka International University (Osaka) – private
- Osaka University of Arts (Osaka) – private
- Rikkyo University (Tokyo) – private
- Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) (Beppu) – private
- Ritsumeikan University (Kyoto) – private
- Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (Tokyo) -national
- Toyo Eiwa University (Yokohama) – private
- Yokohama National University (Yokohama) – national
For further information
Japanese Majors and Minors: Contact Dr. Yuki Arita, Japanese Language Program Director and Advisor, at yarita@sdsu.
Other Majors and Minors, but IB: Contact Mr. Paul Yagi, Global Education Advisor, at [email protected].
IB Majors only: Contact Ms. Maribel Franco, IB Senior Advisor and Study Abroad Coordinator at [email protected].
*International Business Majors must follow the rules and regulations set by the IB Program.
Yuki Arita, Program Director & Advisor
Email: [email protected] | Office: SHW 250