Group shot of the students in the Japanese program

Japanese Program


You are about to read a brief history of the Japanese Program at Montclair State University. In 1998 we thought it was time to bring Japanese language and culture to our students. Beginning I & II led to an Intermediate class with two students. Both of them went to Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka Prefecture for a semester of Study Abroad. Those early year students’ enthusiasm helped us established the Japanese Language Circle which to this day is a supporting pillar for the Japanese Program and a home for our students to gather and study. Japan Club got underway in 2003 with a single student’s strong desire to share his passion for Japan with others. Since that first year with our one Japanese class, we now offer our students Asian Languages and Cultures major with a concentration in Japanese and a Japanese language minor.  We are a unique and caring community of faculty and students who are dedicated to the study of Japan and Japanese. We look forward to welcoming you!

The Japanese Program offers language courses at all levels, as well as reading and conversation courses. These courses enable students to achieve proficiency in reading, writing and speaking Japanese and to acquire a fundamental knowledge of Japanese culture. Upon completing major requirements, students will be equipped with the necessary language skills and cultural understanding to further their studies or achieve their Asia-related career goals.

Our Japanese courses also count towards the Asian Studies Minor and the Asian Languages Minor.

Why Major or Double Major in this Program

Companies do business with people from all kinds of linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Professionals who can form personal connections with Japanese-speaking clients have a distinctive and marketable advantage. Because foreign language skills are instrumental to career advancement, a second major in Asian Language is an excellent complement to majors in other areas of study. Students who pursue a complementary major in an Asian language will receive a more well-rounded education, develop a wider range of communicative and cultural skills, and enjoy broader career options.

Double-majoring is achievable; plan ahead and talk to the Asian Languages and Cultures Program Coordinator as early as possible.

What Jobs Can I Get with Japanese Language Skills

Japanese language proficiency opens the door to many opportunities. Below are some examples of employers that value foreign language degree holders.


International corporations and companies that maintain connections with Japanese-speaking populations need employees with Japanese language skills.


The government is always seeking new talent in foreign language and diplomacy. The Japanese language is “essential to America’s engagement with the world” (Critical Language Scholarship Program). Language students can also pursue careers in Security, Intelligence, Immigration, Law Enforcement, Customs and Borders, and Journalism.


Japanese language proficiency is needed for those wishing to become a Japanese language educator and help prepare students to compete in a global economy. It is also possible to pursue a teaching career in Japan. In the past, our Japanese language students have been selected by the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program to teach English in Japan. Click here to learn more about the JET Program.

Travel and Tourism

Successful travel and tourism businesses in the USA and in Japan need people who can connect and relate with tourists on a more personal level. Japanese language skills open many doors in the hospitality industry.

Interpretation and Translation

Translators and interpreters can get jobs translating legal, medical, or literary documents, and even making movie subtitles. Social work is another area that needs foreign language skills.


Professionals with a foreign language and culture background can contribute to research in the Social Sciences, which often requires the ability to interpret cultural-based data. Those pursuing graduate degrees in various areas also find it helpful to be able to read and communicate in multiple languages when conducting research.

Student Life

The Japanese Program organizes the weekly Japanese Language Circle, which offers a variety of fun and exciting cultural activities, such as ochazuke and onigiri making, mini-Japanese Autumn Festival Celebration, Japanese Golden Week Celebration, etc.

Study Abroad

Click here to explore study abroad programs.

Japanese Program Photo Gallery

If you would like to learn more about the Japanese Program at Montclair State University, contact Dr. Wing Shan Ho, Coordinator of the Asian Languages Programs.

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