Japanese Studies

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Undergraduate Programs

Our program provides a solid, well-rounded grounding in Japanese language, culture, literature, linguistics, art, history, religion, and business.

The four-year Japanese language curriculum is designed to develop your Japanese language proficiency from the Novice to Intermediate and Advanced level (based on the ACTFL standards). Language classes are small, and instructors pay attention to individual students’ progress. Classes are also enhanced by native-speaking tutors. Upper-division language courses are content-based, and they explore the diverse regions of Japan, in light of their distinctive histories and cultures. They are also complemented by Robo-Sensei, an award-winning artificial intelligence program that allows students to practice their language skills and receive immediate feedback.

Degree Requirements

See our catalog for requirements and courses.

The San Francisco Advantage

San Francisco's strategic location on the Pacific Rim makes it ideally suited to the study of Japanese language and culture.

Students of Japanese may engage in research using the many resources available in close proximity, including those of UC Berkeley and Stanford, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Asia Foundation, the Japan Society of Northern California, the Japanese American Association of Northern California, JETRO, and the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco. In addition, Japan Town, local Japanese bookstores (e.g., Kinokuniya Bookstore), cultural organizations, and media representatives provide a wide variety of up-to-date materials in numerous areas and disciplines.

Study Abroad

We also actively support exchange programs at Sophia University in Tokyo and Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, two of the premier universities in Japan. Together with the rich Japanese cultural assets of the San Francisco area, the program’s unique educational resources equip graduates with the communication skills and real-world experience necessary for successful careers in one of the world’s largest economies.

Learn more about studying abroad

Beyond the Classroom

  • Japanese Writing Center

    The works with students to improve writing competence.

    There is an annual Japanese Speech Contest run by the Japanese American Association of Northern California and the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, students have an opportunity to receive extra credit for participation. Student are required to write a 4-page research paper about Japanese culture for Advanced Japanese. Both writing projects are facilitated by the Japanese Writing Center, in which each student meets with a writing tutor once a week for 30 minutes throughout the semester.

  • Japan Club

    The Japan Club at USF provides exciting opportunities for students to expand their knowledge about Japanese culture and society.

    Many students who are pursuing majors, minors and certificates in Japanese Studies belong to the Japan Cub. The group sponsors a variety of events, including Kimono Wearing, Tea Ceremony, Sword, and Flower Arrangement demonstrations. The club also volunteers for community activities, such as assisting with the annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco Japan Town and guiding college students from Japan to major attractions in San Francisco.