Floating Torii Gate of Itsukushima Shrine off the coast of Miyajima Island in Japan at sunset.

Bachelor of Arts

Japanese Studies

Program of Study

Studying Japanese provides two interlocked experiences. You will learn the language, gaining the ability to communicate across borders and participate in business, education and cultural exchanges. You'll also gain a cultural fluency that extends beyond speaking, reading and writing. You'll discover historical context and in-depth present-day perspectives.

As a Japanese studies major, you are encouraged to study abroad in Japan for a summer, a semester or a whole year. This is the clearest way to gain immersion in the language and culture of Japan. You can also wrap up your studies with a capstone honors thesis.

Applied Learning

When studying in Japan, you can take on an internship with a Japanese company or the Japan branch of a multinational corporation. Such a role will encourage immersion in both language use and day-to-day routines, delivering knowledge and experience that go beyond what is possible in a classroom. This is in addition to the connections and practical takeaways that come with any professional internship.

Honors Program

Students with 3.50 grade point average are eligible for the Honors Program. In addition to completing the regular requirements for the major in Japanese Studies, students in the Honors Program complete a further six credits of A EAS 495, Colloquium in East Asian Studies.


Introductory Course

Choose one or more from:

  • Japan: Its Culture and Heritage
  • China: Its Culture and Heritage
  • Korea: Its Culture and Heritage

Required Language

  • Intermediate Japanese I
  • Intermediate Japanese II
  • Advanced Japanese I
  • Advanced Japanese II

Information Literacy Course

Japanese Studies Research and Bibliographic Methods

Intermediate Prerequisites

Choose two or more from:

  • Survey of Traditional Japanese Literature
  • Modern Japanese Literature in Translation
  • Japanese Pop Culture from Edo to the Present
  • History of Premodern Japan
  • History of Modern Japan
  • Introduction to the Religions of Japan
  • Introduction to Buddhism
  • Buddhism in East Asia
  • Women in East Asian Literature


Choose one or more from:

  • Meiji Literature in Translation
  • Fascism: Japan and Beyond
  • History of Japanese Thought
  • World War II: The Japanese View
  • Readings in Japanese Religious Studies

300 or 400 Level Elective

Choose one or more from any upper level Japanese Studies (EAJ) course


Career Outcomes

There is more than one path you can pursue with your degree in Japanese studies. From translation and interpretation roles with government agencies to positions tied to graduate degrees in complementary fields such as education, you can take your knowledge and experience in directions that interest you. Possible career paths include:

  • Federal government and law enforcement roles
  • International business and trade
  • Nonprofit organizational work
  • Teaching Japanese or teaching English as a second language in Japan
  • Translation or interpretation in fields such as health care, information science and communications
A group of international business people walking together in an office hallway

"I feel that my education at the University at Albany is the whole basis for where I am today. I wish I knew all those years ago what I could do with a BA in Japanese studies. It would have saved me a lot of worry and stress about my future! I didn't know where to look or how to connect it to other fields, but I can see now how my background in Japanese opened up a lot of doors for me in a variety of industries I never knew existed back then."

-Bonnie (Baldigo) Veronico, ’01

Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

Bachelor of Arts
  • Students will acquire proficiency in spoken and written language to the advanced college level [Chinese and Japanese majors]
  •  Students will gain elementary proficiency in one or more East Asian language [East Asian Studies majors]
  • Students will gain intermediate proficiency in spoken and written Korean [East Asian Studies majors with a Korean minor]
  • Students will gain familiarity with the highlights of East Asian Literature, History, Religion and Geography. [all majors]
  • Students will acquire an ability to navigate library catalogs and the internet with specific emphasis on Chinese, Japanese and Korean databases and resources in order to conduct research using East Asian Studies materials. [all majors]
  • Students will complete research projects on one or more East Asian Countries [all majors]
  • Students will gain an understanding of native perspectives from a broad exposure to primary material [all majors]

What Makes The University at Albany Great

student move in day

Living-Learning Communities

Live and take classes with other incoming freshmen who share your personal interests, passions or intended academic major.

student abroad visiting a monument

Study Abroad

Become a global citizen: international experience is crucial to success in business, education, research, and public policy.

Student conducting undergraduate research

Undergraduate Research

Research, scholarship, and creative activities at the University at Albany is an option for all students, across all academic disciplines. You will be able to learn more about a specific academic field or career path all while building a long-lasting mentoring relationship with a faculty member or principal investigator.

Explore Minors

Build competency in a passion or strengthen your resume.

A minor consists of 18–24 graduation credits which must include a minimum of 9 graduation credits of advanced coursework at or above the 300 level. Most undergraduate degrees require completing a minor and it has to have a different title from your major.

Full List of Minors
  • Acting
  • Africana Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Bioethics
  • Biology
  • Broadcast Meteorology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese Studies
  • Cognitive Science
  • Communication
  • Computer Science
  • Creative Writing
  • Criminal Justice Studies
  • Documentary Studies
  • East Asian Studies
  • Economics
  • Educational Studies
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Electronics
  • Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity
  • English
  • Film Studies
  • Financial Market Regulation
  • Forensic Science
  • French
  • Geographic Information Science
  • Geography
  • Globalization Studies
  • Hebrew
  • History
  • Informatics
  • International Studies
  • Italian
  • Japanese Studies
  • Journalism
  • Judaic Studies
  • Korean Studies
  • Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Law and Philosophy
  • Leadership
  • Legal Studies
  • LGBTQ Studies
  • Library and Information Science
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Music
  • Musical Theatre
  • Neuroscience
  • Organizational Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Portuguese
  • Pre-Education
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Public Policy
  • Religious Studies
  • Russian
  • Russian and Eastern European Studies
  • Social Welfare Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Statistics
  • Sustainability
  • Theatre
  • Theatrical Design/Technology
  • Urban Studies and Planning
  • U.S. Latino Studies
  • Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies