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Program Description

Many students begin studying Japanese out of an interest in Japanese culture, including anime and Japanese video games. Students, however, will soon learn that contemporary Japanese culture consists of a diverse mix of the old and the new, the East and the West, and traditions and cutting-edge technology.

The Japanese program will introduce students to the dynamism and flexibility of Japanese culture and language, which has been developed by absorbing and assimilating Western and Eastern cultures and languages. Today, Japan, as the world's second-largest economy, is a center of business, trade, education, and culture in East Asia. Thousands of U.S. companies have established successful operations in Japan. The need for Japanese speakers is greater than ever today, and knowledge of the language is beneficial in building cultural links while working in commerce and developing markets in Japan.

The study of Japanese language, literature, and culture will equip Japanese minors with daily communication skills and an understanding of cultural and social differences between the U.S. and Japan. Beyond the practical advantage of acquiring speaking, listening, writing and reading skills, students of the Japanese language will exercise the mind in unique ways and learn to see the world though the eyes of a very different culture, with very different ways of thinking.

Degree Options

Currently, OU offers a Major and a Minor in Japanese. Many Japanese minors are majoring in Asian Studies in the School of International Area Studies or in International Business in the Price College of Business.

Interests & Skills

No prior experience in Japanese is necessary to study at OU. However, high school study of foreign languages and cultures is helpful.

Notable Achievements

Faculty members in the Japanese program have won prestigious university awards as well as research grants from multiple institutions. Many recent Japanese minors have won university scholarships and awards, as well as Fulbright Scholarships and The Association of Teachers of Japanese Bridging Scholarship.

Members of the faculty of the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Linguistics are active in publication and research, and can present their students with the most current research findings, changing critical perspectives and scholarly debates. Many professors offer students the chance to participate in research through independent study and Honors Research Assistantships. Each spring, Modern Languages, Literatures and Linguistics students present papers at the Honors College Undergraduate Research Day.

Your Future

Types of Employers

Colleges and universities
Fashion Industry
Food Industry
Government agencies
International businesses
United Nations

Recent Graduates Jobs

The Japanese government-sponsored Japan
    Exchange and Teaching (JET)'s Assistant
    Language Teacher (ALT)
Coordinator for International Relations (CIR)
Graduate School at University of Pennsylvania
MBA at Keio University, Japan
English Language teachers in Japan
Medical School
Law School

How much will I make?

Visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website to explore the median pay for jobs you can pursue with this degree. 

Contact Us

Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Linguistics
Phone: (405) 325-1465
Email: statsuzawa@ou.edu
Website: modlang.ou.edu