BA in Japanese Language & Literature

GW East Asian Languages and Literatures Alumni Yanru Wu kneeling while putting a plant in the ground
Yanru Wu, BA '15, worked as a JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) fellow in the Niseko Town Office, Hokkaido.

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese learn linguistics, literature, history, political science, anthropology, international affairs and culture through intensive language courses and electives.

The program is flexible enough to allow students to tailor their electives to their interests and rigorous enough to prepare them for business and management roles, government work, graduate school and more.

Questions about the Japanese major? Contact Brendan Morley.

Departmental Honors

Students may apply to earn special honors in Japanese to be noted on their transcript. The Japanese program selects no more than two students based on overall performance in the program. Department faculty will recommend the student for special honors only if they meet the requirements for eligibility:

  • Meet GW’s special honors requirements 
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.7 or higher in the major and 3.4 overall
  • Achieve a minimum grade of C- in every course taken at GW

Course Requirements 

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

Program-specific curriculum:

Prerequisite courses
JAPN 1001Beginning Japanese I
JAPN 1002Beginning Japanese II
JAPN 2003Intermediate Japanese I
JAPN 2004Intermediate Japanese II
Required for the major
JAPN 3105Intermediate Japanese III
JAPN 3106Intermediate Japanese IV
JAPN 3111Japanese Literature in Translation I
JAPN 3112Japanese Literature in Translation II
JAPN 4109Introduction to Bungo, Literary Japanese
Six additional JAPN courses (18 credits) numbered 3000 or above.
Two additional courses (6 credits) selected from the following:
AH 2190East Asian Art
ANTH 3705Anthropology of East Asia
CHIN 3111Chinese Literature in Translation I
CHIN 3112Chinese Literature in Translation II
CHIN 3136WChinese Women in Myth, Literature, and Film
or WGSS 3136 Chinese Women in Myth, Literature, and Film
or WGSS 3136W Chinese Women in Myth, Literature, and Film
EALL 3811Confucian Literature in East Asia
or REL 2811 Confucian Literature in East Asia
EALL 3814Religion and Philosophy in East Asia
or REL 2814 Religion and Philosophy in East Asia
EALL 3831Introduction to Daoism
or REL 2831 Introduction to Daoism
ECON 2170
HIST 3610Imperial China (Song-Qing)
HIST 3611History of Modern China
HIST 3621History of Modern Japan
IAFF 2091East Asia-Past and Present
KOR 3111Korean Literature in Translation I
KOR 3112Korean Literature in Translation II
PSC 2370Comparative Politics of China and Northeast Asia
PSC 2374Politics and Foreign Policy of Japan
PSC 2475International Relations of East Asia
REL 2601Buddhism