College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Modern Languages > Student Resources > Language Resources > Japanese Studies

Japanese Studies

The vast majority of our students come to study Japanese because they are enthralled with the Japanese language and culture.  Students may choose to double major with Japanese Studies and Game Design,   Animation, Accountancy, Finance, Anthropology, or any other major they find desirable. Some may also choose to pursue a dual degree with a BS in Accountancy or Finance and a BA in Japanese Studies.  Dual degrees = two degrees, two diplomas (BSB or BS + BA), while a double major = one degree, one diploma.  Many of our students may also choose Japanese Studies as their primary major and might choose to pursue a minor in Game Design, Graphic Design, Animation, Electronics, Management, International Communication, English as a Second Language & Bilingual Education, Global Asian Studies, Information Technology, Management Information Systems, or Hospitality Leadership, to name a few.

DePaul University offers a major and a minor in Japanese studies and a minor in Japanese language. The Japanese Studies program is an interdisciplinary program, focusing on Japanese language, literature, history, art, religions, culture, political science or business. Faculty members are specialists in various fields of Japanese studies.DePaul University is an ideal urban site to learn the Japanese language and culture with a variety of courses, an excellent exchange program, and various cultural activities.

The Japanese Studies Program hosts several events throughout the academic year—film screenings, language table,s and costume contests, as well as tapping into an off-campus events such as ACEN. In doing so, we have built amicable relationships on and off campus with Japanese, Japanese-American, and alumni communities. As an urban institution with rich resources, our program provides many opportunities for you to engage in Japanese language and culture. We welcome your participation.

The Japanese Studies Program constitutes of two disciplines: One is Japanese language and the other is culture.

Japanese language is, in fact, one of the major languages, counting more than 130 million speakers worldwide. Acquiring Japanese language skills not only brings you career opportunities in business, computer science, and entertainment industries of games and animations, but also demonstrates a deeper understanding of people in Japan and their culture, as the language is an integral part of its culture.

The Japanese archipelago also offers a rich and versatile culture—from traditional cultures practiced in martial arts (Kendo, Judo, Aikido) or expressed aesthetically (Flower arrangement, tea ceremony, calligraphy) to post-modern expression in graphic novels, animation, and video games. Yet, our cultural studies courses helps us to see the “Japanese” culture is in fact enriched by incorporating the advanced cultures of China, Korea, and the “West” and that of the minorities, such as Noh play and Kabuki theater.  To see such socio-economic-political influences intersecting literary and aesthetic expressions, our courses are taught by the faculty in the Departments of Modern Language, History, Political Science, Art History, Religious Studies.

Please also review the top ten reasons outlined by the American Association of Teachers of Japanese. The Japan Foundation has also outlined many great reasons and benefits to studying Japanese.

Practically anything!  One of the many benefits of a language major is the flexibility afforded to you. You can work in whatever areas you've gained experiences in while in college through part-time jobs, internships, and student organizations.  If you are interested in working in hospitality, for example, you can major in Japanese Studies and complete hospitality courses for your open electives while also working a part-time job in the hospitality industry.  If you are interested in working for the government, you can begin as a volunteer in a government office, apply for City of Chicago internships, and work part-time as an office assistant or desk receptionist for an alderman's office.  Working on campus in an administrative capacity can also provide you with excellent experiences in an office setting.  For more information and ideas on what you can do with a language major, please view the employment opportunities listed on this page, along with our homepage.

In Pursuit of Japanese

A language "studies" major allows students to complete classes in the target language and classes in English about the target language culture (religion, history, art, etc.).  This makes language studies majors a desirable double major, as students have more flexibility to select courses that best fit their needs and interests.  Students may be able to double count their learning domain requirements with the "studies" courses (also known as "allied" courses) when they pursue a language studies major as the secondary major.  In order to fit a language studies secondary major into their graduation timeline, students are recommended to complete approved allied courses that are also learning domain approved courses.  For a list of approved allied and learning domain courses, please click here. For a class scheduling template to determine whether or not a double major or minor may be completed within the desired graduation timeline, please click here.
Students who are interested in pursuing a double major, but who do not have enough open electives in which to complete a double major, may wish to consider pursuing dual degrees, instead of a double major. The requirements for dual degrees are outlined online here.  A double major = one degree with two majors and one diploma.  Dual degrees = two degrees with two majors and two diplomas (e.g., Bachelor of Science with a major in Computer Game Development PLUS Bachelor of Arts with a major in Japanese Studies).  Students should discuss any interest in pursuing dual degrees with their advisors in both programs. Click here for an example of how students might be able to double count requirements and/or complete dual degrees.

Language Proficiency Development

  • Read for fun!
    • Read manga in Japanese - buy them from used bookstores or borrow from the library.  Non-profit and education-related organizations tied to Japan are more likely to have their shelves stocked with manga.  Neighborhoods with more Japanese citizens will also provide texts in Japanese.
    • Newspapers 
    • Magazines such as:
  • Mailing Lists:  To subscribe to an electronic mailing list, send mail to the mailserver address with no subject and the words "SUBSCRIBE (your name)" in the body of the message. You will receive instructions by e-mail from the mailing list server.
    • JTIT-L:(Japanese Teachers and Instructional Technology) :a newsgroup for teachers of English
    • JSLAR: (Japanese as a Second Language Acquisition Researchers) 
  • You can find a variety of Japanese magazines, books, dictionaries and movies/videos in Richardson Library on the Lincoln Park campus. The two most popular magazines for learners of Japanese are available: Mangajin and Nihongo Journal (with audio tapes).  To search for Japan-related books, magazines and videos, use the selected Japanese materials available at the DePaul LPC Library
    • Japanese books/journals/references
    • Japanese movies
  • Learn Japanese kanji through websites like Kanji Damage
  • Change the language on your electronic devices to Japanese
  • Japanese E-mail Project ~ DePaul students of Japanese have been exchanging Japanese e-mails with native Japanese college/grad students in Nagoya University, using Eudora-J on Mac computers.
  • Java Kanji Flashcard 500 ~ The Java Kanji Flashcard 500 is a web kanji reference/practice program developed at DePaul University with the support from the Japan Foundation and DePaul QIC grants. The program is designed based on the first 500 high-frequency kanji characters. For more information, visit our demo version web site Java Kanji Flashcard 500 or read Shinbun Denshi Media no Kanji.
  • Practice hiragana/katakana
  • Another site to practice hirgana/katakana
  • Learn intermediate level kanji
  • Java-based Kanji practice app Renshuu
  • KanjiBox application is available as an iPhone application and an online/Facebook version.
  • Learn kanji through etymology
  • Submit an article in Japanese for Creating Knowledge
  • Submit an article in Japanese for Global Voices
  • Apply for the LAS summer undergraduate research grant with a Japanese faculty member
  • Practice your listening skills through games.
  • Listen to NHK Japanese news radio online.
  • More children’s songs
  • Watch Japanese movies, in Japanese (without the subtitles). Japanese movies are available for purchase through various retailers such as Best Buy, Target, etc. Listen to Japanese podcasts such as
  • Watch Japanese Youtube videos
  • Listen to Japanese literature, folk stories, and fairy tales online
  • Watch Japanese news online

  • Anime-manga games and other tid bits from The Japan Foundation
  • Japan America Student Conference ~ DePaul University hosted the 50th Japan America Student Conference (JASC) in the summer of 1998 as one of the three U.S. institutes. The JASC is a non-profit educational and cultural exchange program for university students from the U.S. and Japan. Every year (except during World War II), 60-80 American and Japanese college students from different universities have participated and discussed a variety of issues about Japan and the U.S., such as economic development, human rights, the environment, mass media, etc. The conference is organized and managed by the students and the participants spend a month living, studying and traveling together in the U.S. or Japan. Many alumni of the JASC have become distinguished members of business, academic and governmental organizations in their respective societies. Kiichi Miyazawa, as one example, became to Prime Minister of Japan after having participated in the 1939 and 1949 JASC Conference. 

Employment Opportunities

  • Consider this to be a list of possibilities ~ Bi/multilingual students have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. The key is to gain experiences relevant to your future career so that employers don't have to spend more time and money to train you.  
  • Find additional internship/job options through DePaul Handshake. Once you log in, click on jobs/internships and review the jobs/internships that have been posted.
  • Gather additional information about the types of internships that are available with the companies you're interested in, research intern applicant requirements, and gain perspective on what employers are looking for in job applicants so that you may work to gain those skills. 
The posting of an internship or job does not mean that DePaul University is making any recommendation regarding the internship or job.  Students should understand that DePaul University does not make any representations or guarantees about the accuracy of information regarding internships and jobs included here.  Students are responsible for requesting additional information from a potential internship site or employer as necessary to make internship or employment decisions.
  • ABES ~ Software Translation, Localization, Translation School, Staffing Service.
  • Activ8 ~ Recruitment firm - Activ8 boosts the career potential of qualified candidates who are experienced in our specialty industries. We are dedicated to finding great combinations of talented individuals and dynamic companies, where both can grow and benefit together.
  • Crunchyroll/Elation ~ Crunchyroll is a leading global destination and platform for Japanese anime and Asian content. Ellation is a leading OTT video business committed to building premium video experiences for passionate superfans and creating a more sustainable direct-to-consumer business model for content creators and programmers.
  • Deluxe ~ Deluxe is the world’s leading video creation to distribution company offering global, end-to-end services and technology. Through unmatched scale, technology and capabilities, Deluxe enables the worldwide market for professionally created video. The world’s leading content creators, broadcasters, OTTs and distributors rely on Deluxe’s experience and expertise. With headquarters in Los Angeles and New York and operations in 38 key media markets worldwide, the company relies on the talents of more than 7,500 of the industry’s premier artists, experts, engineers and innovators.  
  • Dentsu ~
  • Fujitsu ~ Professional InternshipICT
  • Mitsubish-Fuso ~ Put your theoretical knowledge into practice in a real business environment. An internship with Mitsubishi Fuso prepares you for the future. You'll work on exciting and challenging projects, helping to develop real solutions and gaining valuable insights into the culture and processes of a global company. It’s an intense experience to help get your career off to a flying start.  We offer internships for two to six months for Japanese students and for four to six months for foreign students. Shorter internships are not recommended.
  • Sony ~ Sony’s U.S. companies offer college students the opportunity to work in an exciting, innovative, fast-paced environment while receiving valuable hands-on experience.  These internships are a great way to work on challenging projects and to be recognized for your talent and hard work, while giving your career a head start and bringing what is learned in the classroom to life.  Our interns truly become a part of their Sony departments and work shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the most talented professionals in the industry.
  • Viz Media Internship ~ VIZ Media has been bringing the finest in manga, anime, and global entertainment to English-speaking fans across the world for over thirty years.
  • Japan Exchange & Teaching Programme (JET) ~ JET is aimed at promoting grass-roots international exchange between Japan and other nations.
  • Temple University, Japan ~ The Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS) internship program provides opportunities for the interns to work as research associates with faculty members, help organize conferences, or work on special projects with TUJ administrators. Through TUJ’s Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies, interns have worked on organizing major academic symposia, assisted faculty in their work (in art history, nation-branding, and Chinese immigration), and co-written articles.
  • University of Tokyo ~ The University of Tokyo Summer Internship Program in Kashiwa is a short-term summer program which provides a scholarship for undergraduate students in their 3rd or 4th years of study from institutions overseas, and are considering attending graduate school in Japan after graduation. This is an opportunity for students to expose themselves to cutting-edge research in the natural sciences and social sciences.
  • Work for the U.S. government in Japan by visiting sites such as:
  • Embassy of the U.S. in Tokyo ~ Internships (U.S. citizens) If you are interested in an internship with the Department of State, see the State Department's student programs page online.
  • Embassy of the U.K. in Tokyo ~ Internships and full-time positions are available.
  • Japan External Trade Organization ~ JETRO, or the Japan External Trade Organization, is a government-related organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world. Originally established in 1958 to promote Japanese exports abroad, JETRO's core focus in the 21st century has shifted toward promoting foreign direct investment into Japan and helping small to medium size Japanese firms maximize their global export potential.
  • Ashinaga~ We have two main jobs. One is to provide financial support to children who have lost either one or both of their parents. The other is to provide emotional support. We hold summer camps for ASHINAGA scholars every summer, where children can express their sorrow and share feelings together. We also provide constant emotional care programs at Kobe Rainbow House, which was built in 1999 as the first day care center for orphans in Japan.
  • Japan NPO Center ~  JNPOC aims to support civic activities of Japanese civil society and the growth of its nonprofit sector. It also aims to establish effective partnerships between the nonprofit sector and the government as well as the private sector.
  • Japan Society ~ The Japan Society volunteer internship program offers individuals opportunities to increase their awareness of contemporary Japan and gain knowledge of its history and cultural heritage while simultaneously preparing for professional and academic careers.  Select, qualified interns are invited to volunteer to contribute their talents and abilities to assist Japan Society’s programs in the arts, business, education and public affairs. Interns participate in the day-to-day activities of these programs, in addition to specific projects. While at the Japan Society, interns serve alongside experts on Japan from diverse disciplines and enjoy the benefits of its many resources.
  • Japan Center for International Exchange ~ The Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) is one of the few independent nongovernmental organizations in the field of international affairs in Japan. It operates a wide range of programs to promote dialogue and cooperation among leaders from different sectors of society in Japan and around the world.
  • Japan for Sustainability ~ Japan for Sustainability (JFS) carefully tracks efforts and signs of positive change in Japan, and provides its findings to people everywhere who share an interest in change for the better.
  • Kobe College Corporation and Japan Education Exchange (KCC-JEE) ~ KCC-JEE has preserved and nurtured its deep ties to Kobe College, while expanding its mission to provide opportunities for both Kobe College students and American students,researchers and educators to travel and experience Japan and America.
  • WorldChicago ~ WorldChicago facilitates professional and personal interactions for international leaders during official visits to Chicago through U.S. Department of State sponsored exchange programs; enhances respect and communication through international exchanges and alliances; and promotes the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois as important centers of business and culture.
  • Japan Association for Interpretation and Translation Studies ~ JAITSWeb Journal
  • Japan Association of Translators ~ The Japan Association of Translators (JAT) was founded in 1985 to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas among translators working between Japanese and English, and to establish and maintain professional standards in the industry.
  • Japanese Literature Publishing Project (JLPP) ~ JLPP (Japanese Literature Publishing Project) was launched in 2002 by the Agency for Cultural Affairs to promote the overseas publishing of modern Japanese literature.
  • Japan Translation Federation ~ The Japan Translation Federation (JTF), founded as a voluntary group in April 1981 and authorized as a public-interest corporation by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in September 1990, is a professional organization of companies, organizations and individuals being engaged in commercial translation.
  • Nippon Intellectual Property Translation Association ~ , NPO)
  • Society of Writers, Editors and Translators ~ SWET is a community of writers, editors, and translators, as well as copyeditors, proofreaders, book designers, copywriters, teachers, researchers, rewriters, and others working mainly between Japanese and English, and mainly in Japan or for Japanese clients.

  • At-InternShip
  • Internship Campusweb
  • Internship GUIDE
  • Career Forum Net (for Japanese/English bilinguals) ~ Career ("CFN") is the service run by DISCO International to provide career opportunity information on the internet. The service includes the distribution of e-mails of information including "CFN PRESS," which distributes e-mail messages with information helpful for job hunting activities and enhancement of career development.
  • GoinGlobal ~ provides country-specific career and employment information. Search for jobs and internships in more than 30 countries and over 50 USA metropolitan areas. View country career guides, get news on H-1B Visa employers and more. Campus Connection login and password required.
  • JETwit ~ The alumni magazine, career center and communication channel for the JET alumni community worldwide

Financial Support

  • Council on Foreign Relations ~ Founded in 1997, the International Affairs Fellowship in Japan (IAF-J), sponsored by Hitachi, Ltd., seeks to strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between the rising generations of leaders in the United States and Japan. The program provides a selected group of mid-career U.S. citizens the opportunity to expand their professional horizons by spending a period of research or other professional activity in Japan. Fellows are drawn from academia, business, government, media, NGOs, and think tanks. In cooperation with CFR, the program’s sponsor, Hitachi, Ltd., assists fellows in finding suitable host organizations in Japan. A nonexclusive list of cooperating institutions in Japan can be found below. 
  • Fulbright, Boren, Marshall, Rhodes, Carnegie, Truman information for DePaul students can be found on the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences' Scholarship site
  • Kobe College Corporation and Japan Education Exchange (KCCJEE) ~ Our mission is to deepen the cultural understanding, and the promotion of harmonious relationships between persons in the United States and Japan, by providing educational and cross-cultural opportunities in both countries.
  • Mike Mansfield Fellowship ~ The Mansfield Fellowship Program is administered by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, with the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, as grantor.  The program receives significant in-kind support from the government of Japan and the Ishikawa Prefectural Government.  Additional support comes from corporate sponsors and foundations.
  • Nippon Foundation Fellowships
  • Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program ~ Funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, the Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship Program provides undergraduate and graduate students with financial support, mentoring and professional development to prepare them academically and professionally for a career in the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service. Women, members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, and students with financial need are encouraged to apply.
  • USAID Donal M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Program ~ Seeks to attract outstanding young people who are interested in pursuing careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). If you want to work on the front lines of some of the most pressing global challenges of our times — poverty, hunger, injustice, disease, environmental degradation, climate change, conflict and violent extremism – the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development provides an opportunity to advance U.S. foreign policy interests and reflect the American people's compassion and support of human dignity. The Payne Fellowship, which provides up to $93,000 in benefits over two years for graduate school, internships, and professional development activities, provides a unique pathway to the USAID Foreign Service.
  • Fuji Xerox Setsutaro Kobayashi Memorial Fund ~ In 1977, as a memorial commemorating the achievements of the late Setsutaro Kobayashi, the first president of Fuji Xerox, the Fuji XeroxSetsutaro Kobayashi Memorial Fund was established as an in-company endowment with the purpose of contributing to the promotion of mutual understanding and goodwill between Japan and countries and regions in the Asia-Pacific through academic exchanges. Academic research grants are given to doctoral program students in the fields of the humanities and social sciences that fulfill the above-mentioned purposes.
  • Japan Foundation New York
  • Japan Foundation LA
  • Japan International Cooperation Agency
  • Japan World Exposition 1970 Commemorative Fund ~ The JEC Fund Grant is offered to projects suitable for commemorating the success of the Japan World Exposition 1970 and contributing to promotion of public-interest international mutual understanding such as: (1) Projects contributing to international cultural exchange and international goodwill (2) International projects in the fields of academic study, education, social welfare, medical care, and hygiene and public health (3) International projects designed for conservation of nature and human environment.
  • Nippon Foundation
  • Sumimoto Foundation ~ The Sumitomo Foundation provides grants, by public subscription, to the projects stated in the left column, involving international exchanges, culture, environment, and basic sciences.
  • Tomodachi ~ The TOMODACHI Initiative is a public-private partnership, born out of support for Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, that invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as entrepreneurship and leadership programs.
  • Toyota Foundation ~ Since it was established in 1974, the Toyota Foundation has provided grants to research and projects in a wide variety of areas relating to human and natural environments, social welfare, and education and culture, in line with our founding philosophy of “contributing to the realization of a human-oriented society for the sake of greater human happiness.”
  • United States-Japan Foundation

  • Students may review and apply for scholarships available to DePaul students through the Academic Works scholarship application site.
  • Bridging Scholarship ~ The Bridging Project offers scholarships to American undergraduate students participating in study-abroad programs in Japan. Funding from private foundations and major U.S. corporations, through donations to the nonprofit US-Japan Bridging Foundation, makes it possible to award about 100 scholarships each year to assist students with the travel and living expenses they will incur while studying abroad in Japan for a semester or an academic year. Applications are accepted twice a year for Bridging Scholarships.
  • Foundation for Global Scholars ~ The Foundation for Global Scholars (FGS) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, serving US undergraduate, graduate, and professional students pursuing accredited study abroad programs. Through scholarships for international study, we empower globally minded college students who want  to make an impact. We support global changemakers.  And we help our nation’s future workforce become better prepared for the fast-changing global marketplace and interdependent world. 
  • Gates Cambridge ~ You can apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship if you are: a citizen of any country outside the United Kingdom, applying to pursue one of the following full-time residential courses of study at the University of Cambridge: PhD (three year research-only degree), MSc or MLitt (two year research-only degree), One year postgraduate course (e.g. MPhil, LLM, MASt, Diploma, MBA etc.)
  • Honjo International Scholarship Foundation ~  It is mainly provided to foreign students who study in Japanese graduate schools on the purpose of earning doctoral degree.
  • Ito Foundation for International Education Exchange ~ The ITO Foundation for International Education Exchange was established to undertake the will of Master Ito in supporting young people with Integrity, Talent and Originality. We give scholarships as a way to promote mutual understanding between our country and other nations and aim to nurture people who can contribute to the world.
  • Japanese Language Scholarship ~ JLSF was established in 1998 (and its guidelines revised in 2013) to encourage teachers of the Japanese language and students in Japanese languagestudies in their educational and/or professional development as well as to promote cultural exchange.
  • Konosuke Matsushita Memorial Foundation ~ The foundation provides funding for foreign students to study in Japan with the intention of training them in a way that develops high intercultural awareness and makes them capable of playing a leading role in future international relations.
  • United States - Japan Bridging Foundation ~ The US-Japan Bridging Foundation awards scholarships to US undergraduate students to study for one semester or academic year in Japan.  The Foundation aims to expand the opportunities for study abroad in Japan to help prepare America’s young people to assume future global leadership roles.  Students must be accepted in a program in Japan, and provide the tuition.  Bridging Scholars are chosen by a volunteer committee and awarded scholarships of up to $5,000 for the academic year, which provide for travel and daily cost-of-living expenses.
  • Yoshida Scholarship Foundation ~ In this program, a scholarship grant is awarded to foreign students specializing in the field of natural science while studying at a graduate school in Japan.

Study Abroad

Study Abroad scholarships are available to eligible students.
To learn more about how to apply study abroad credit toward degree progress, please visit our advising FAQs webpage.

Please note that the following is a list of ideas, not recommendations. Students should thoroughly research their options and consult the Study Abroad Office before making any study abroad program decisions. Please also note that the number of credits/classes students may complete in a winter/spring quarter vs spring semester may not be the same. Please review information about study abroad and degree progress provided under advising FAQs and plan accordingly.

  • International Christian University, summer
  • KCP International, summer (no transfer credit - ideal for those without open electives and who therefore do not need college credit, but desire Japanese language proficiency)
  • Kyushu, summer
  • Ritsumeikan, summer - This program runs early June through late July, which generally does not work with our spring quarter schedule. However, depending on your classes and professors, it might be possible to still participate. Students should contact their spring quarter professors before the start of spring quarter in order to ascertain whether or not it may be possible for them to leave campus early June.
  • Senshu University
  • Sophia University, summer
  • If you don't need the credit (i.e., don't have room for JPN open electives), consider traveling to Japan on your own over the summer and participating in a Japanese language program that is not affiliated with a university, as this is a cost-effective way in which to acquire language skills. You can find reasonably priced accommodations online through sites that advertise share housing such as AirBNB or search for monthly apartment rentals through sites such as MonthlyMansion. You could also try finding a summer job in Japan with places such as the American School in Japan, WWOOF, and work abroad sites such as GoAbroad (please note that students should research their options - these are ideas, not recommendations).

Students should exercise due diligence in researching their options and read the fine print before choosing to participate in any program or sign any agreements.