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Japanese Language Study

Studying Japanese Language at UW

We offer Japanese language courses from beginning through high advanced levels. If you want to study Japanese, we probably have a course to suit your needs. Need a placement test? Click here.  

Beginning through Intermediate Japanese (100, 200, and 300-level Japanese language classes) 
We offer three years of sequenced, 4-skills language instruction that each run in a series from Fall to Spring each year. These courses are also offered over the summer as intensive language courses.

Advanced and High Advanced Courses: (400-level Japanese language courses)
Our fourth-year language course options promote continued development of Japanese skills at higher levels. We have 4-skills courses designed to help students to keep improving their Japanese language. We are currently developing new courses, so this information is under development. Please contact the academic advisor <link> or any language faculty member with questions.
Japan 421-422-423: Fourth-Year Japanese
These 4-skills advanced courses each have a prerequisite of Japan 313. They complete the textbook series that was started in Japan 313. Though these courses build on one another, it is possible to start at any point in the series.
Japan 481: Japanese through Content
Japanese through Content is a changing-topics language course using authentic materials that focuses on discovery-based learning, and may be repeated for credit. The prerequisite is Japan 313 or instructor placement. Japan 481 creates collaborative learning environments where Japanese language students of a variety of language proficiencies work together with authentic media about Japan-focused topics. Current topics include Minority Languages in Japan (Winter 2019), and Virtual Tokyo (Spring 2019), with two new topics being introduced in Autumn 2019 and Winter 2020.
Fifth-year Japanese
Fifth-year Japanese is currently under development. Fifth-year Japanese provides a learning community for students who have higher level skills and are seeking further Japanese language study. Fifth-year Japanese will be offered for the first time in Fall 2019 and Winter and Spring 2020, using "Asian 498" course numbering. Fifth-year Japanese is appropriate for students who have completed 4th year courses, studied abroad, or have higher-level skills developed through living in Japan or growing up using Japanese at home. For placement or further information, contact Nishikawa-sensei (
Literature-focused reading courses
We offer Japanese courses focused on reading literary texts in modern Japanese (431-432-433 and 460, which can be taken in any order, prerequisite Japan 313 or instructor permission) and classical Japanese (471-472, Japan 313, must be taken in sequence). Students prepare for class by translating texts into English. In class, instructors use grammar-translation method, which involves line-by-line reading, discussion of grammar, vocabulary, context, and content, and translation into English. These courses benefit students interested in improving reading skills and studying Japanese literature in the original language.

Intensive Japanese Language Courses

We offer summer intensive Japanese courses at 100, 200, and 300 levels, which cover of an entire academic year of instruction in 9 weeks of instruction, with 4 hours per day in class. See the upcoming summer schedule for further information.  UW Study Abroad offers summer and year-round intensive language study. 

Got Japanese? Add a Major or Minor

Count your Japanese language credits toward our Japanese Major and Minor, or Asian Languages and Cultures Major and Minor. These programs combine language and culture (literature, linguistics, culture) courses taught in English with language courses taught in Japanese. To decide between these options, it helps to consider the courses you'd like to take, and your intended graduation date. See our academic counselors for support in planning for one of our majors or minors.

Study Abroad

UW Study Abroad offers over 30 different study opportunities at universities throughout Japan. UW Study Abroad courses count toward UW degree requirements. When you return from study abroad, you can continue studying Japanese here at UW.

Non-Degree Study

Non-UW students are welcome to enroll in our Japanese language (including language classes) through UW Extension, on a space-available basis. First-year Japanese usually fills to capacity so cannot be taken by non-degree students, but there is usually space for non-degree students in Japan 212 and higher-level courses. To find out more, email or speak with the instructor of the course you are interested and  go to or call toll-free 1-800-506-1325 for non-degree enrollment information. The cost to enroll in a five-credit course for one quarter is about $1,800.

We welcome Washington residents who are 60 years of age or older to audit our Japanese language courses through the ACCESS Program, on a space-available basis. For more information, call 206-543-8580 or see