Japanese at UC Davis



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Detailed Major/Minor Requirements

Study this Major Abroad

Major and minor

The Japanese civilization extends back more than 1,200 years; its contributions to global culture include art, poetry and the world's first novel. Today Japan is the world's second-largest economy, making vital contributions to science and technology. As a Japanese major, you will first build a strong foundation in the Japanese language, then cultivate an understanding of Japanese literature and civilization. You will gain perspective and context about Japanese culture from classes in Japanese history and anthropology. You may choose to study in Japan with a wide range of education abroad programs, ranging from a year in Tokyo to one month in Kyoto.

Real World Outcomes

Some alumni go directly into graduate school; business and law schools are also possibilities. One recent graduate works in immigration law dealing specifically with Japanese immigrants. Graduates from the program may also experience exciting careers and foreign travel through the Japanese Exchange Teaching (JET) program.


The major in Japanese concentrates on the study of language and literature. Since most students begin with no prior knowledge of Japanese, you will first receive a firm grounding in both spoken and written Japanese in elementary and intermediate course sequences. You will further develop your language skills in advanced courses, where you will learn about Japanese literature and civilization as you read and discuss materials in the original language. Additional courses, taught in English, allow you to read widely in Japanese literature, both ancient and modern.