Learning Japanese develops critical competencies that will benefit you throughout your life.  Choosing to study Japanese shows that you are not afraid of a challenge; achieving proficiency in it is proof of your discipline, tenacity, and adaptability.  

The long-term goal of the Japanese Language Program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis is to produce learners of Japanese who possess the linguistic and cultural competence to express themselves in a culturally coherent and appropriate manner when interacting with native speakers of Japanese.  In the beginning levels, the focus of instruction is on oral interaction.  This solid foundation in speaking and listening supports the subsequent development of competency in the Japanese reading and writing system.   

Students who choose UMSL will benefit from faculty who are dedicated to creating a challenging and supportive learning environment.  They will engage with the language and culture in the classroom, out of the classroom through on-campus events and Japan-America Student Association involvement, and in a variety of study abroad opportunities.  They will join a vibrant community of learners who share a passion for language study!

Knowledge of Japanese opens up more opportunities in the job market.  Japan is one of the U.S's top trading partners and the U.S.-Japan economic relationship is one of the most significant in the world.  Japan is the second largest source of foreign direct investment into the United States and the U.S. State Department has designated Japanese a "critical language".  Candidates with Japanese proficiency are more attractive to both Japanese companies and to the many companies that do business in and with Japan.

Japanese skills give you direct access to Japan's cultural products.  Anime, manga, and J-Pop are popular worldwide, but only a small fraction of Japanese media is ever translated into English.  Knowledge of Japanese will empower you to dive deeper into Japan's rich cultural heritage, which spans from "The Tale of Genji" to "Attack on Titan" and beyond.

For even more reasons, visit The Japan Foundation.

Required Course Course Title Credit Hours Prerequisites
FL 2100 Languages and World View 3 None
Japanese 2101 Intermediate Japanese I 5 Japanese 1002
Japanese 2102 Intermediate Japanese II 5 Japanese 2101
Japanese 3201 Intermediate Japanese III 4 Japanese 2102
Japanese 3202 Intermediate Japanese IV 4 Japanese 3201
Japanese 3280 Readings in Japanese 3 Japanese 3201
Japanese 4301 Advanced Japanese I 3 Japanese 3202
Japanese 4302 Advanced Japanese II 3 Japanese 4301
Japanese 4380 Advanced Readings in Japanese 3 Japanese 4301
Japanese Studies Course   3  
Japanese Studies Course   3  
Japanese Studies Course   3  
  • A major in Japanese requires 39 hours in the subject, excluding Japanese 1001 and 1002.
  • Three Japanese Studies courses are required. Japanese 2191 may be repeated if the topic is different.
  • All courses must be completed with a C- or better in order to count towards the major.
  • An Exit Exam Assessment Test is administered to all graduating seniors.
Required Course Course Title Credit Hours Prerequisites
Japanese 2102  Intermediate Japanese II 5 2101
Japanese 3201 Intermediate Japanese III  4 2102
Japanese 3202  Intermediate Japanese IV 4 3201
Japanese Studies Course   3  
  • A minor in Japanese requires 16 credit hours after completing Japanese 2101.
  • All courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better.
  • Transfer students must complete at least two courses in residence at UMSL.
  • Upon completion of minor requirements, submit completed application to department advisor.
  • Students must also process the Declaration of Major/Minor form through the A&S Dean’s Office.
  • Minor is officially recorded on transcript at the time of graduation.