Japanese Program FAQ

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  • How many full-time professors does the program have?

We have three full-time professors and one full-time lecturer, plus three part-time lecturers. The lecturers are all native speakers of Japanese.

  • How many years of Japanese language courses does the program offer?

Four! Each year we offer Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Japanese. At the 4th year level the course selections rotate between Readings in Modern Literature, Advanced Proficiency, and Classical Japanese.

  • How many hours a week do language courses meet and what is the usual class size?

Beginning and Intermediate Japanese meet 4 days a week (Mon.-Thurs.) for a total of 5 credit hours each week. Advanced Japanese meets 3 days a week (MWF) for a total of 3 credit hours a week. 4th year classes meet 2 times a week for a total of 3 credit hours a week. All language classes' enrollments are capped at 20 students, so you're always in a small class.

  • Will I learn to read and write, or just speak and listen?

Our language program puts equal emphasis on all four areas. First semester Japanese covers hiragana, katakana, and approximately 50 basic kanji. Subsequent semesters build on kanji knowledge (thus vocabulary in general) and require students to produce Japanese both orally and in writing. More details are available on the specific syllabi for each course, which can be found through our Schedules and Courses page.


  • What kind of cultural activities does the department sponsor?

Cultural activies vary every year, but are largely run by the Living Learning Community known as The World of East Asia, which sponsors films, guest speakers, etc. The department also sponsors an annual speech contest every spring.

  • Is there a Japanese community on campus or nearby?

The Japanese Student Association holds regular meetings and cultural events. There are more than 80 international students from Japan on campus, which does not include Japanese students who attend the university with a non-international status.

  • Does the program offer a study-abroad program?

We have two study abroad programs in Japan: one at Kansai Gaidai in Osaka, and the other at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Students may also opt to participate in one of ten different study abroad programs which are part of the larger SUNY study abroad network. For more information, see the SUNY study abroad page.

Last updated August 17, 2016