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Skidmore College

The Japanese Minor Requirement

18 credits

  1. Minimum of 5 courses above "Elementary Japanese I"
  2. At least 18 credit hours total
  3. "Introduction to Japanese Literature and Culture"
  4. At least one 300-level language course
  5. One Japanese literature or culture course in English may be substituted with one language course.
  6. At least 3 courses (9 credit hours) must be taken at Skidmore College. 

Read more in our catalog

Contact Information

Foreign Languages and Literatures Department

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"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart." —Nelson Mandela

About Japanese

World Languages and Literatures:

The study of languages has become essential to any global citizen’s education as the world becomes more and more internationally connected, and as individual nations become increasingly diverse. To be able to communicate effectively with people from different parts of the world is not only a lifelong skill that enhances the individual’s ability to think outside the boundaries of his or her native culture, but is also a practical skill that can be applied to any line of work. That being said, global citizenship does not end at language proficiency—our higher-level classes are designed to deepen the student’s familiarity with the culture in which the target language is embedded. By discussing different kinds of texts in the chosen language, students will both enhance their linguistic skills and develop a more refined consciousness of the culture’s traditions and idiosyncrasies. Our goal is to develop in our students a cultural competency that will allow them to enter the world aware of how they relate to and approach other cultures, so that they are prepared to use their knowledge and abilities in whatever field interests them.

The Japanese Program

The core of the Japanese program is a four-year language curriculum. In addition, the program offers a variety of courses on Japanese literature, culture, and film in English, many of which fulfill both the Non-Western Culture and Humanities requirements, and may count towards fulfilling Asian Studies, Gender Studies, or International Affairs requirements. Our curriculum can lead to a minor in Japanese or provide the basis for a major in Asian Studies or International Affairs. 

The Japanese Minor

The minor program consists of a minimum of five courses above "Elementary Japanese I" totaling not less than 18 credit hours, including “Introduction to Japanese Literature and Culture” and at least one 300-level Japanese language course. One course may be a designated literature or culture course offered in English. At least three of the courses must be taken at Skidmore. 

Interesting Classes I Might Take

  • All levels of Japanese Language Courses
  • Japanese Women
  • Japanese Popular Culture
  • Modern Japanese Culture and Society
  • Narrative and Cinema: Japan
  • Pre-Modern and Modern Japanese Literature in Translation
  • Sexuality in Japan
  • World of Japanese Animation 

Full course list here

Beyond the Classroom

Study Abroad Programs: Students are encouraged to study a semester or a year in Japan at one of the two approved programs: Tokyo Program: Sophia University through CIEE and Nagoya Program: Nanzan University through IES.

Japan-Related Clubs at Skidmore: Japanese Animation Club, NihonGo! (Japanese Culture and Language Club), and SkiDaiko (Japanese Drumming Club)   

 Success after Skidmore

Skidmore students who graduate with a major or a minor in foreign languages and literatures are equipped to pursue a wide variety of careers including education, business, government, law, and media-related professions. For more, see the following webpage.

Careers: A sampler of what our alumni do:

  • Administrative assistant, Permanent Mission of Japan to United Nations, NYC
  • Associate Program Officer at the Japan Foundation New York and Center for Global Partnership, NYC
  • Assistant language teacher, Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program
  • Assistant Professor of design, Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Ill.
  • Producer/Writer, National Geographic Television International
  • Senior Designer at Louise Fili Ltd., NYC 

Graduate Schools: A sampler of where our alumni go 

  • Columbia University, M.A. in East Asian Regional Studies 
  • Columbia University, Ph.D. in Communications 
  • Georgetown University, M.S. in Foreign Service Candidate
  • Kyushu University (Japan), M.A. in Japanese Art History
  • New York University, Masters in Computer Science
  • Ohio State University, Masters of Mathematical Science
  • SUNY Stony Brook, M.S. in Nursing 


Meet the Japanese faculty members.