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Submitted by darmstro on Thu, 11/24/2016 - 1:58pm


The Japanese program at the University of Calgary offers four years of instruction in Japanese language and culture. Students can choose to take Japanese courses towards the completion of an East Asian Language Studies major (concentration in Japanese), Japanese minor, or to fulfill other degree program requirements.

Why study Japanese language and culture?

Japan, with its long cultural tradition, strong economy, vibrant daily life and beautiful land and nature, has been steadily increasing in global recognition. Over 126 million people speak Japanese today.

Communication skills in Japanese and an understanding of Japanese culture and its society will open the door to a whole new world and bring you international and domestic professional opportunities in business, government, education and community service.

A unique place to study

You will encounter many unique and rewarding opportunities to study in Japan through our program.

Take part in the popular Group Study Program! Offered annually in the spring, it gives you the chance to further you study of Japanese language and culture in an immersion setting with other language learners. There are also a relatively large number of exchange programs which offer the chance to study at a Japanese university for one or two academic terms. Many of these programs also provide financial support in varying degrees.

In addition, the Japanese program is proud to host rich extracurricular activities such as the Japanese Culture Series, which features events such as a Manga history lecture, and cultural experiences including tea ceremony, Japanese Calligraphy, Origami and others. We also participate in the Annual Japanese Speech Contest and hold many other cultural events and informative sessions.  The students themselves organize a Japanese Conversation Club (JCC) and a Japanese Literacy Club (JLC) as extra-curricular activities.

Study abroad

There are three possibilities for study in Japan offered for both Japanese language students and for others:

  1. “Japanese Language and Culture in an Immersion Setting” (4-week Group Study)

    In addition to learning the language, students who take Japanese courses at the University of Calgary also learn about the culture and way of life in Japan. This is particularly true for those who partake in the Japanese Group Study Program, which is offered annually and gives students the chance to further their study of Japanese language and culture in an immersion setting. This 4-week study abroad program typically takes place in Tokyo in May - June, with courses of language instruction offered through Senshu University. Past program participants have indicated that they gained valuable international experiences through the program and many have even returned to Japan to study or work for longer periods of time.

  2. “Japan: Its Culture and Life” (2-week Group Study)

    This is a brand new program starting in May 2017 and is suitable for any student (no Japanese Language requirement), based in and around Tokyo. For further information, please contact us.

  3. Exchange Program see:  - UCI Study Abroad

Put your education to work

Japanese language skills will add value to your education and future employment, business, and travel opportunities. In the past, many of our students have gone on to continue their academic studies in a graduate program, some even at a Japanese university. Other graduates have found their first working position in a Japanese government office or in a private company.

For more information on career options, please visit:
Career Services - Degree Profiles (East Asian Studies) or
Career Services – Degree Profiles (East Asian Language Studies).

Degrees offered

Submitted by darmstro on Fri, 12/02/2016 - 2:25pm

We have a degree to fit your needs. All but the minor may be taken with co-operative education (co-op).

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA - East Asian Language Studies)

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA - East Asian Studies)

  • Minor in Japanese Japanese Minor: The Minor in Japanese is regulated by the section of the Faculty of Arts Graduation Requirements entitled 3.4.3 Minor Fields. Students must complete at least 30 units (5.0 full-course equivalents) and not more than 36 units (6.0 full-course equivalents) in “Japanese Language” and “Japanese Studies” courses (see the Field of East Asian Language Studies).

    • Note: Students entering the Japanese language program at a level higher than Japanese 303 may complete the Minor with additional courses from other disciplines by consent of the Department.

  • Co-operative Education (Co-op)

Degree Requirements

* The East Asian Language Studies Major degree provides students with solid instruction in all four language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) in two main East Asian languages, Chinese and Japanese. Students in the program will choose one of the two languages as the primary study field; the other will be secondary. Learn more about program requirements

** The East Asian Studies Major is a broadly-based interdisciplinary program offered as a collaborative program in the Faculty of Arts.  The Faculty of Arts offers courses in East Asian languages, history, religion, philosophy and cultures, as well as geography, politics, anthropology and archaeology of East Asian countries. Taken together, this wide diversity of perspectives offers a comprehensive understanding of the rich culture and emerging global power of China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. Learn more about program requirements.

Courses offered

Submitted by darmstro on Fri, 12/02/2016 - 2:29pm

Courses are designed to accommodate students with a background in Japanese, as well as those without, and include instruction at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels in the four basic language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing).

Note: Japanese 317 is given in English and no knowledge of Japanese is required. Note: All university level prerequisites for Japanese language courses must be met with a grade of "C-" or better.
Visit the Registration website

Plan your first-year courses (EALS and EAST majors)

Assessment and placement

Students with a background in Japanese should consult with the program so that they can be placed.

in language courses corresponding to their ability. Native speakers are not eligible to take language courses, but are eligible to take Japanese literature and culture courses such as JPNS 317, 341 and 461. In case of doubt, the student should seek the advice of the School.

Permission to register or remain in a particular language course can be refused if the School deems that the students' knowledge exceeds the level of that course. Students are advised that misrepresenting their level of knowledge in the language of the course constitutes academic dishonesty and will be dealt with as such.

Credit by special assessment

Students seeking credit by special assessment should consult with the School regarding courses available for credit in this manner. Native speakers are not eligible to take language courses by special assessment or to receive advanced credit for them.

Apply now

Apply to the Faculty of Arts through the general admissions office

Language proficiency test

The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) has been offered by the Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services (formerly Association of International Education, Japan) since 1984 as a reliable means of evaluating and certifying the Japanese proficiency of non-native speakers. At the beginning, there were approximately 7,000 examinees worldwide. In 2011, there were as many as 610,000 examinees around the globe, making JLPT the largest-scale Japanese-language test in the world.

Over time, test applicants have become more diverse, and use of JLPT results has expanded from skill measurement to include employment screening and evaluation for promotions and pay raises as well as use as a form of qualification. Many outstanding suggestions for improvement were also submitted by a wide variety of individuals around the world.

To ensure the continuing relevancy and accuracy of the JLPT, the Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services introduced a revised version of the test in 2010. This new test takes full advantage of the most advanced research in Japanese pedagogy and testing theory, and reflects the vast wealth of data accumulated since the original JLPT was launched over 25 years ago.

For more information, please visit the official website: Japanese Language Proficiency Test


Ben Whaley
Japanese Program Advisor

Akiko Sharp
Japanese Language Placement Advisor


Tel: 403-220-5300