Undergraduate Program

Opportunities in Japanese Studies

Many students enter William & Mary with some curiosity about Japan and perhaps some familiarity with Japanese pop culture products, such as anime, manga, and games. The Japanese Studies Program offers various ways to explore that curiosity, deepen that familiarity, and make Japan a lifelong interest and even your route to a career.  Our program focuses on modern Japan.  We give you the necessary training in language, historical context, and methods of analysis to more fully understand Japan’s rich culture and the society that produces it.

  • We offer a major (BA) and a minor in Japanese Studies.
  • We offer four levels of language instruction (read more about placement into Japanese language classes).
  • Our courses in English on Japanese literature, film, anime, and more encourage a deeply historicized engagement with modern and contemporary culture.
  • We maintain summer, one-semester, and year-long study-abroad programs at several top universities in Japan.
  • We offer students the opportunity to develop individual research projects, which can focus on literature, anime, music, fashion, foodways, politics, and more.

Many students combine a major in Japanese with a major in another field, such as International Relations, Government, Computer Science, Film and Media Studies, etc.  Of course, you don't have to declare a degree to benefit from our courses: non-majors often take our courses to gain a different, non-Western perspective on their field.