Japanese Major Requirements

The course of study for the Japanese Language major is designed to train students in the humanistic investigation of major East Asian traditions, through a curriculum that centers on the acquisition of the modern and classical forms of the language, the informed and engaged reading of a wide variety of East Asian texts in their historical and cultural contexts, and the development of effective writing skills and critical thinking. Students are introduced to the vast and variegated literary, artistic, philosophical, and cultural traditions of East Asia and their transformations in modernity. Course offerings situate the study of East Asia in a global context and expose students to a variety of disciplinary and comparative approaches.

The major provides training in speaking, reading, and writing the relevant modern languages as well as a basic familiarity with one or more of the language's earlier forms. Students complete the major by selecting from a broad range of courses in literature, popular culture, philosophy, and linguistics both in translation and in the original languages.


Major Requirements

Prerequisites (Must earn a letter grade of C or higher)

  • Japanese 1A, 1B (5 units, 5 units): Elementary Japanese
  • Japanese 7A or 7B or 7C (4): Introduction to Japanese Literature and Media (must be taken at UC Berkeley)]
Lower Division (minimum of 3 letter-graded courses and 12 units)
  • Japanese 10A, 10B (5 units, 5 units): Intermediate Japanese
  • Japanese 7A or 7B or 7C (4): Introduction to Japanese Literature and Media (must be taken at UC Berkeley)]

Upper Division (minimum of 8 letter-graded courses and 32 units; minimum gpa of 2.0)
  • Japanese 100A, 100B (5 units, 5 units): Advanced Japanese*
  • Japanese 120: Introduction to Classical Japanese
  • One classical Japanese literature course (J130, J132, J134, J140, J C141, J142, J144, J146)
  • One modern Japanese literature course (J155 or J159)
  • One EA Lang upper division course (e.g., EA100, EA 102)
  • Two EALC electives selected in consultation with the advisor.


Please note that students with previous language experience will be required to take the online placement exam. Students who place out of language courses or into the heritage track will be required to take additional advisor-approved literature or culture courses offered by the Department in order to meet the above unit requirements.


***To declare the Major, please schedule an appointment with the departmental advisor on Calendly. For quick questions about requirements, you can email her at cassandrajj@berkeley.edu. For questions or problems related to enrollment or placement exams, please contact Presi Diaz at diaz.mp@berkeley.edu***