College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Japanese Program 

Welcome to the Japanese Program at Western Washington University! The Department of Modern and Classical Languages offers four years of Japanese language courses. We offer both a major and a minor in Japanese. In addition to language classes, we also offer a variety of classes on Japanese culture, philosophy, literature, linguistics, and film and media. Have questions? Contact one of our Japanese language advisors

Japanese language classes at the first year, second year, and third year levels are taught in sequence. Each level beginning with JAPN 101, JAPN 201, or JAPN 301 respectively. These classes are only offered in Fall Term. JAPN 102, JAPN 202, and JAPN 302 are taught in Winter Term. JAPN 103, JAPN 203, and JAPN 303 are taught in the Spring Term.

Examples of courses include:

  • JAPN 314 - Japanese Phonetics
  • JAPN 330 - Japanese Culture Through Film
  • JAPN 450 - Japanese Culture, History and Society
  • JAPN 402 - Topics in Japanese Literature
  • JAPN 403 - Topics in Japanese Thought
  • EAST 368 - Japanese Literature in Translation
  • HIST 374 - Premodern Japanese History
  • HIST 375 - Modern Japanese History
  • LING 402 - Japanese Linguistics


PLACEMENT TESTING: Online placement testing is available for students who wish to test into JAPN 201 or 301. Both 201 & 301 are offered during fall quarter onlyTesting will resume again during Summer 2022 for Fall 2022 registration. 

Students who do not have experience with the Japanese language do not need to take the placement test and should enroll in JAPN 101, which is offered fall quarter only. Course registration for JAPN 101 is open for FR/SO students during Phase I of registration. Overrides will not be issued. Registration will be open to all students during Phase II. If you do not plan to begin studying JAPN courses in the fall quarter, please contact the Japanese advisor to determine appropriate placement.  (Note: courses than end in x01 will be offered fall quarter; x02 in the winter; x03 in the spring.)

Experienced Speakers/Learners of a Language: First-year courses in the Japanese Program at Western Washington University are designed for students with minimal or no previous exposure to the target language. Students enrolling in second-year courses should have no more than foundational knowledge, equivalent to the first year. Students having previous experience with the language, such as attending junior high school, high school, community or technical college, or university are required to take a placement test to determine the appropriate level of study if available. Placement decision will be left to the discretion of the language department.