Frequently Asked Questions

JAPANESE MAJOR FAQs

  • I am interested in majoring in Japanese. What courses do I need to take?
  • You should first pick up a checklist of "Japanese Major Requirements," available in two places: next to the Japanese bulletin board on the 2nd floor of Sproul Hall, and as an electronic version in OASIS.

    1. Your first step is to fulfill the lower division language requirements by completing first-year (JPN 1-2-3) and second-year (JPN 4-5-6) Japanese. If the results of your placement exam enable you to skip any or all of these courses, those courses will count toward your lower division requirement, but you will NOT receive unit credit for the courses you tested out of. There is no minimum number of lower division units you must take for the major.

    2. Linguistics 1 and History 9B are highly recommended, but not required for the major or the minor in Japanese.

    3. For students that declare Japanese Majors BEFORE Fall 2014: You must take 40 upper-division units to complete the major in Japanese. There are 24 non-elective units of upper-division courses: JPN 111-112-113 (third-year Japanese) and JPN 101-102-103 (survey of literature in translation). These six courses are mandatory. If you test out of JPN 111-112-113, you must take three other upper-division courses from the approved elective list (see below).   The remaining 16 units for the major consist of upper-division elective courses. 8 units must be from a list of Japanese language and literature courses, and 8 units must be from a list of courses related to Japan or China offered in other departments such as Chinese, History, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Religious Studies, and Art History. These courses are listed on the checklist of Japanese Major Requirements and in the UCD General Catalog.

    4. For students that declare Japanese Major DURING or AFTER Fall 2014:  You must take 40 upper division units to complete the major in Japanese.  There are 28 non-elective units of upper division courses:  JPN 111-112-113 (third year Japanese), JPN 101-102-103 (survey of literature in translation), and JPN 151 (Japanese Linguistics).  These seven courses are mandatory unless you test out of JPN 111-112-113, you must take three other upper-division courses from the elective list below.  The remaining 12 units for the major consist of upper-division elective courses. Choose from 8 units must be from a list of approved courses related to Japan or China offered in other departments such as Chinese, History, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Religious Studies, and Art History. These courses are listed on the checklist of Japanese Major Requirements and in the UCD General Catalog.
  • How do I declare Japanese as my major?
  • You will need to submit a Petition for Change of Major.  The petition should be used whether you are declaring the Japanese major from being undeclared or from another major or for adding Japanese as a double or triple major.  Log into OASIS.   Go to Forms and Petitions, Submit New Form, Select Change of Major.  

    You should pick up and refer to a checklist of "Japanese Major Requirements," available near the Japanese bulletin board on the 2nd floor outside room 211 Sproul Hall, or contact the Chinese and Japanese undergraduate major advisor for an electronic copy. Check the UCD General Catalog for the major requirements and as well as course descriptions.
  • When should I declare Japanese as my major?
  • You may declare a Japanese major at any time - and the sooner the better to ensure that you complete all necessary coursework in a timely manner.   If you are declaring Japanese as a second major, you must complete or be placed beyond Japanese 3 and having consent from your current major advisor.  While we encourage majors to take all courses for a letter grade, these may be taken P/NP.
  • Is there any advantage to declaring Japanese as my major early?
  • Yes. You should declare as soon as you know you can finish the major requirements before your planned graduation time. Consulting with the major advisor to plan your courses early is a good idea, especially since you may not be able to get in to the exact courses you want, which may delay your graduation. 
    Lower division language courses are highly impacted and it may be difficult to enroll. Priority consideration will be given to students with declared Japanese majors in courses required for the major. It is important for the department to know the number of students majoring in Japanese to plan accordingly and to offer courses to accommodate all those wish to take them.
  • Can I take courses required for the major P/NP (pass/non-pass)?
  • Students may take up to two and no more than two (regular, letter-graded) courses for the major on a P/NP basis. (Courses which are only offered on a P/NP basis do not count toward these limits.)
  • I am an Economics major and want to declare Japanese as my second major. What should I do?
  • To be eligible to file a petition to declare a Japanese double major, you must first complete through Japanese 3 or be placed beyond Japanese 3 with a language placement exam.

    You will need to submit a Petition for Change of Major.  Log into OASIS.   Go to Forms and Petitions, Submit New Form, Select Change of Major.  From this page you can add multiple majors.

    A student may often overlap between majors by up to 20% (which amounts to about 2 courses depending on the units required for each major). If the two courses needed to declare happen to be overlapping between majors, that is not a problem. The latest date a student can choose a major is the end of the quarter prior to the final quarter before graduation. Many students choose a major in their final quarter and then must postpone their graduation for one quarter. The Office of the Registrar needs the time for the appropriate graduation information.
  • When do I declare Japanese as my second major?
  • If you are currently undeclared, you can declare Japanese as your first major at any time while enrolled.  The first major must be declared by the time you reach 90 units. 

    You can choose Japanese as your second or third major after your first quarter at UC Davis.
  • I took some courses in EAP. Can they be transferred toward my Chinese or Japanese major or minor?
  • To determine the transferability of the credits from EAP, you must have your department advisor's approval.  You should make an appointment with the advisor to go over the official transcripts, syllabi, and sometimes course material (textbooks, exams, and homework).  Transfer of credits is not automatic.  If the course is a language course, please see Professor Chengzhi Chu (czchu@ucdavis.edu), coordinator of the Chinese language program, or Professor Nobuko Koyama (nkoyama@ucdavis.edu), coordinator of the Japanese language program for evaluation.

    It is your responsibility to keep all the course materials for evaluation. In case your course materials do not suggest the level of Chinese competence that you assume you have (e.g., you think you can transfer credits for 3rd-year Chinese but your course exam papers and homework only indicate the second level of achievements), you may need to take an evaluation test to ascertain your actual level. To transfer literature courses, please see the faculty or undergraduate advisor.
  • I studied abroad for a year at a university that is not part of the EAP. Can I still have some credits transferred toward the major or minor requirement?
  • You will find many programs for study in China and Japan that are not connected with the UC system. Some of them are quite good and you are welcome to participate in them, but you need to be prepared for complications when you try to get UC credit for them. It is, of course, possible, but the process may be time-consuming and in the end, there's no guarantee your courses will be accepted either for UC credit or the major. The same is true for language courses taken at other schools in this country. Whether transferring from another school in the U.S. or from abroad, contact Undergraduate Admissions to discuss coursework transferability.  If Undergraduate Admissions approves coursework to be added to your academic transcript (this can take several months),  then make an appointment with the faculty advisor to go over the official transcript, syllabi, and sometimes course material (textbooks, exams, and homework) to determine if coursework can be applied toward Chinese or Japanese Major. Approval of credits by Undergraduate Admissions does not automatically mean that you will receive department major approval.  For the minor, you may use up to two approved transferred courses, and the other three must be taken at UC Davis.

    Keep in mind that there are also University "in-residence" and residence requirement.  See links below for additional clarification.  (Note:  UC Davis Summer and Quarter Abroad units are considered "in residence").

    1. You must have been registered for 3 quarters at UC Davis
    2. 35 of your final 45 units must be at UC Davis
    3. 18 upper division units in the major and 27 upper division units overall must be at UC Davis.
  • Can I take courses other than those listed in the catalog as substitutions for the Japanese major or minor?
  • It is your responsibility to take all the required courses and the electives of your choice when they are offered.  You cannot take substitution courses without prior approval by the Japanese advisor.

    A checklist of Japanese Major and Minor requirements is available in Sproul Hall, outside of room 211 on the 2nd floor.

    For more information, see UCD General Catalog, for the minor requirement and course descriptions.
  • I am planning to declare Japanese as my major. Can I seek High/Highest Honors for graduation?
  • Yes.  Candidates for high or highest honors in Chinese or Japanese must enroll in CHN or JPN 194H and complete a research project or a scholarly paper under the direction of a faculty member. The project will have a minimum duration of two quarters and carry a minimum of 6 units of credit. Additionally, entrance into the honors program requires completion of at least 135 units with a minimum GPA of 3.500 in courses counted toward the major. Interested students should consult with faculty in their field of interest in their junior year and undertake their project during the first two quarters of their senior year. Other arrangements must be authorized in advance by the department chair. Students who complete the honors thesis receive departmental citation, and if their overall GPA qualifies them, may be recommended by the faculty for honors, high honors or highest honors at graduation.
  • Can I use tutoring units to satisfy the requirements of the major?
  • The official policy from the College of Letters and Science regarding tutoring units is that courses numbered 97T, 97TC, 197T, and 197TC do not satisfy unit and course requirements for the major but you can use up to four tutoring units to satisfy the minor.

    Students may only use Chinese tutoring units (CHN 197T) toward the Chinese minor, and Japanese tutoring units (JPN 197T) toward the Japanese minor.
  • If I cannot get into the language class I want, can I take a higher level for now and take a lower level class later?
  • No, this would be considered "backtracking." If you were placed in and completed JPN 6 and then take JPN 5 in a subsequent quarter, the lower class would become invalid.  

    Please note that JPN 131-138 are non-sequential readings courses belonging to a separate category from sequential language courses; these classes do not trigger the backtracking rule. (Admittance to these courses requires completion of third-year Japanese, equivalent language competency, or consent of the instructor). Courses in which Japanese literature is read in English (JPN 101, 102, 103, etc.) may be taken at any time (there is no language requirement and they may be taken out of sequence). 

JAPANESE MINOR FAQs

  • I am interested in getting a Japanese minor. What do I need to do?
  • 1. You must complete a total of 20 units in Japanese studies and you must satisfy the foreign language requirement by completing JPN 6 or placing beyond JPN 6 with a placement test.

    2. To complete the 20 unit minor you can choose:  5 Japanese upper division courses OR 4 Japanese upper division courses and 1 Japanese lower division course (JPN 10, 25 or 50).

    3. One of the courses from either option can be from the following approved substitutions: AHI 164; ANT 149A, 149B; CHN - any upper division course; COM 112, 153; ECN 171; HIS 194A-D, POL 148B, RST 170, 172 or other approved course.

    4. Submitting your minor petition:  Minor petitions must be submitted the quarter before you plan to graduate. Go to OASIS.  Under Forms and Petitions, submit a new form and select Minor Petition.  Once you have entered in all courses you have taken or plan to take to complete the minor, submit a petition.  If you have not completed the courses necessary for the Japanese minor but plan to do so during your last quarter, submit the course(s) you plan to take on your minor petition.
  • Can I take courses required for the minor P/NP (pass/non-pass)?
  • Students may take up to one and no more than one (regular, letter-graded) courses for the minor on a P/NP basis. (Courses which are only offered on a P/NP basis do not count toward these limits.)