Jul 14, 2024  
Undergraduate Record 2024-2025 
Undergraduate Record 2024-2025

Interdisciplinary Major - Japanese Language & Literature

Universal Curriculum Requirements

To be awarded a degree from the College of Arts and Sciences, students are required to complete universal curriculum requirements in addition to the program requirements provided below. The school universal curriculum requirements can be found on the school Degree Programs page .

Program Information

The major in Japanese provides a distinctive combination of analytical, interpersonal, translingual and transcultural competencies that make students sophisticated and engaged global citizens able to move between languages and cultures in a thoughtful and nuanced manner. The major offers language courses from beginning to advanced levels that develop the ability to read, write, listen and speak effectively in Japanese, as well as connect students with more specialized knowledge in their individual areas of interest, giving them the skills needed to further explore such topics in their own subsequent research or self-study outside the classroom. Students also come to develop an appreciation for contemporary Japanese social and cultural values through their engagement with the language. Content courses on Japanese literature and culture in English provide thematic breadth and historical depth to this understanding by familiarizing students with texts representing more than a millennium of writings including some of the globe’s earliest and most distinguished literary works, and by honing their appreciation of the ways in which the translation and interpretations of these texts are shaped by historical, cultural, social, and linguistic forms of difference.

Program Requirements

31 credits with the following distribution:

Study Abroad

  1. Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS): the University of Virginia joins Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan and about a dozen other Ivy Leagues in running KCJS, a well-regarded study abroad program based in Japan’s historic capital city available for one semester, an entire academic year, or the summer, or the combination of the summer and the fall.  KCJS’s summer program offers classical and advanced modern Japanese, details for which can be found on the website below.  The program requires students to have two full years of college-level Japanese language coursework as a prerequisite, and it works to improve students’ language abilities through small-group instruction tailored to each student’s ability level. Content courses on Japan in the social sciences and humanities are also offered and are typically taught in English. KCJS also facilitates daily use of the language outside the classroom by placing all students who want to take advantage of this opportunity with host families and the community. For more information on the program, application deadlines, and financial aid opportunities, please visit  www.ogp.columbia.edu.  
  2. In addition to study abroad programs administered by U.Va., students are encouraged to develop their language skills at the many other study-abroad programs that are available throughout East Asia. Please note that in order to receive transfer credit for language courses offered at such programs, students must first consult with our faculty and the International Studies Office in Minor Hall.


  1. East Asia Center Scholarship: A generous endowment from the Weedon family allows the East Asia Center to award travel grants to undergraduates enrolled in language programs in East Asia as well as research travel grants to graduate students and faculty. Applications are due in mid-March.
  2. Mastercard Asian Studies Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded annually to a rising fourth-year major in Asian Studies, be it in the East Asian Studies Major or Chinese or Japanese Language and Literature. To be competitive, students applying for this scholarship should also be applying for the Distinguished Majors Program. This scholarship is in the amount of approximately $4000 for tuition, and it carries with it the possibility to apply for a paid summer internship with Mastercard. Unless we are informed otherwise, we assume that all applicants for the DMP are also applying for this scholarship.

Centers and Programs

Arts and Sciences Center for Instructional Technology (ASCIT): A resource containing many audio-visual materials which are used to help bring the culture surrounding our different languages alive for students. It is conveniently located in Cabell Hall along with most DEALLC classrooms and offices. The language laboratory is used to help students practice and reinforce their speaking and listening skills.

East Asia Center: For more than thirty years the East Asia Center has promoted activities and events that enhance the study of East Asia at the University of Virginia. The Center sponsors more than twenty lectures and other events each year. It also manages graduate programs granting an M.A., in East Asian Studies as well as an MA/MBA in conjunction with the Darden School of Business.

For a comprehensive list of funding available for study abroad, please visit the East Asia Center website, www.virginia.edu/eastasia.

Additional Information

For more information, contact DEALLC@virginia.eduhttp://eastasian.virginia.edu.