For information, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Joint major in Japanese & Linguistics

The joint major in Japanese & Linguistics provides an opportunity for students to combine the study of Japanese language, literature, and culture with the study of linguistics.

Learning Goals

Students graduating with a major in Japanese & Linguistics will be able to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the fundamental questions that drive modern linguistic research concerning formal structure, universals, acquisition, historical change, variation, and social dimensions of use, along with foundational knowledge in the core areas of linguistic theory.
  • The ability to identify and describe with precision the empirical patterns found in sets of language data, and to construct well-reasoned linguistic analyses by formulating, testing, and refining hypotheses about these patterns.
  • Linguistic mastery of same aspect of modern-day Japanese (phonetics, phonology, or syntax, e.g.) or of the historical development of the language.
  • A high level of proficiency in the Japanese language, with respect to reading, writing, speaking, and understanding of spoken Japanese, including oral proficiency at a minimum of Intermediate High and knowledge of at least 800 kanji characters.
  • An understanding and appreciation of Japanese cultural and literary traditions, practices, genres, and great works.

Major Requirements

Japanese and Linguistics courses satisfy a wide variety of Hub units. For information about how Linguistics courses and degree programs fit in with the brand new BU Hub, see

The major consists of 13 courses, including 6 in Japanese, 6 in Linguistics, and 1 course in Japanese linguistics, listed below. In addition to the requirements for the major, students must also satisfy general requirements of the College of Arts & Sciences. An advisor can assist you in designing your program of study.

Six courses in Japanese

Two advanced Japanese language courses

  • Normally CAS LJ 303 and 304, but more advanced courses are also available for students with appropriate advanced placement (CAS LJ 314, 315, 320, 385, 386, 403, 404, 441, 445, 450)

Literature courses, three from:

  • CAS LJ 250 Masterpieces of Japanese Literature (in English translation)

  • CAS LJ 251 Modern Japanese Literature (in English translation)

  • CAS LJ 350 Readings in Modern Japanese Fiction

  • CAS LJ 351 Modern Japanese Literature (in English translation)

  • CAS LJ 451 Topics in Japanese Literature

  • CAS LJ 480 Japanese Women Writers (in English translation)

  • CAS LJ 481 Topics in Japanese Literature (in English translation)

Japanese elective

  • One additional CAS LJ course at the 300 level or above in the area of advanced language, linguistics, culture, film, literature, or translation

Five courses in Linguistics

Introduction to Linguistics

These three courses can be taken in any order. They all have CAS LX 250 as a prerequisite.

Linguistic theory

Linguistics elective

One course in Japanese Linguistics

Japanese Linguistics, one from:

One additional Linguistics elective

One elective from:

Declare your major

To declare a Japanese & Linguistics major in CAS, submit the form here: Major Declaration form,

Honors Program

For details of the Honors Program in Japanese & Linguistics, click here.

Printable Brochure

For a brochure with an overview of the Japanese & Linguistics major, download this file: (print it out 2-sided; flip on short side).