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Japanese Studies Requirements

Required for the Major: The major requires students to achieve proficiency in Japanese language and culture. In addition, students must study in Japan for at least one semester and complete a 0400-level seminar in the Japanese Studies department.
     Proficiency in Japanese language requires four years of study (completion of JAPN 0402) or equivalent with at least 4 semesters of language at Middlebury in cases of advanced placement. To meet the language proficiency requirement, students are strongly encouraged to begin the study of Japanese in their first academic year. Students who begin study of Japanese in the sophomore year must attend the summer Middlebury School of Japanese or achieve completion of the equivalent of JAPN0202 before study abroad in Japan.
     Proficiency in culture requires a total of five elective content courses. At least three of the content courses must come from those offered by the department, while two may come from courses taken during study abroad or courses with a focus on Japan taught in other departments at the College (History, Religion, History of Art, etc.) and cross-listed in Japanese Studies. Departmental courses fulfilling the elective content course requirement include all courses below the 0400-level taught by the department in English.  At least two elective content courses must be taken before approval for study in Japan.  (One of the two courses may be one of the Japan-focused content courses cross-listed in the department.)
     Studying in Japan for one semester (Fall or Spring) is required, but studying in Japan for the full junior year is strongly encouraged. Elective content courses taken in Japan may count toward the major as determined by the department on a case-by-case basis.  
     Seniors are required to take at least one seminar in the Japanese Studies department at the 0400 level.
     Honors: Successful completion of a 0400-level seminar and JAPN 0700 Senior Thesis with a grade of B+ or above are required for graduation with departmental honors. Departmental honors will be awarded according to the grade point average of courses taken in the department, in the summer Middlebury Japanese School, and in Japan. A grade point average of 3.3 in these courses is required for graduation with honors. A grade point average of 3.75 and a grade of A on the thesis are required for High Honors.
     Required for the Minor:  Courses required for the minor in Japanese are completion of language courses to the level of JAPN 0202, or the equivalent, or at least four terms of Japanese in case of advanced placement, and two additional courses offered by the Japanese Studies department in culture, literature, linguistics, or film.

     Middlebury's Summer Language School: Intensive language courses are available each summer at Middlebury's Japanese School. During the eight-week session, students and faculty live in the same Japanese language dormitory, take their meals together, and communicate exclusively in Japanese, whether in the classroom or outside of class. For all students pursuing the study of Japanese language and culture, and especially prior to study abroad in Japan, a summer of concentrated study at the second-, third,- or fourth-year level in Middlebury's intensive Japanese School is strongly recommended. Students who are unable to begin the study of Japanese in their first year at Middlebury are strongly encouraged to begin or accelerate their study by taking a course in the intensive summer program.
     Study in Japan: Majors in Japanese Studies are required to spend at least one semester studying abroad in Japan. The C.V. Starr-Middlebury School in Japan, located in Tokyo, offers intensive language courses and topics courses in Japanese. Students have residential options in dormitories or in home-stays arranged by the program.
Language Technology and Resources:
Japanese courses incorporate a variety of computer-driven teaching and learning strategies. Video and audio materials for first- and second-year levels are available on any computer, so that students can view and listen to authentic materials at any time in their dorm rooms or in labs. Japanese films, scripts, and anime in advanced-language courses are also available on the Web to students enrolled in those courses. Many Japanese literature and culture offerings are Web-based multimedia courses. Instructors often make use of conferencing and other electronic tools to extend learning beyond regular class hours. The Middlebury College Library contains an extensive collection of works in English on most aspects of Japan; in addition, there are 1,700 works in Japanese, with special strengths in literature and linguistics.

Department of Japanese Studies

Freeman International Center
203 Freeman Way
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753