Frequently Asked Questions
- I am interested in taking a Japanese language class. How do I know which class is right for me?
- If you have no background in Japanese, you should sign up for Japanese 1. All other students must take a placement test before enrolling in a Japanese language course.
Be advised that Japanese language courses are offered sequentially. For example, JPN 1 (first-year), JPN 4 (second-year), and JPN 111 (third-year) are offered only in the Fall quarter, while JPN 2, 5, and 112 are offered only in the Winter quarter and JPN 3, 6, and 113 are offered only in the Spring quarter. Consequently, it is best to have your proficiency assessed at the beginning of the Fall quarter. Another option is to take the beginning sequence in Japanese as an intensive summer session course when offered. See the UCD Summer Sessions for more information. Fourth-year reading courses (JPN 131-138) are not sequential and may be taken by qualified students during any quarter.
- How do I go about taking a placement exam for Japanese?
- The Japanese placement exam is administered throughout the year UC Davis Language Center (DLC) in the 53 Olson Hall. It is a multiple choice test with three primary parts which include grammar, reading and listening comprehension. The exam will take about one hour to complete based on your Japanese competence. You will get your results and placement level immediately upon completion of the test. You can register for a Japanese language class prior to taking the placement exam; but during the first week of class it may be determined that you are in an inappropriate class level based on your oral and written language proficiency. Contact the UC Davis Language Center for more information or to arrange a time to take the placement exam.
You may contact Prof. Nobuko Koyama (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Japanese Language Coordinator, if you have any questions about the process.
- 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?
- In most cases, no. This is called "back-tracking" and violates university policy.
Chinese: For example, if you have taken CHN 3BL and then take CHN 2BL in a subsequent quarter, the lower class result would become invalid. Similarly, you cannot take CHN 120 (advanced Chinese) and then take 111, 112, or 113 (third-year Chinese) later. However, CHN 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 140, 160, and literature courses can be taken out of sequence.
Japanese: For example, 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).
- I have been placed into JPN 113 after a placement test and do not need to take JPN 111 and 112. Does this mean that I have completed 3 of the 10 required upper division courses for the Japanese major?
- No. You need to take two more upper-division Japanese courses in place of JPN 111 and 112. These two courses can be chosen from the list of "upper-division elective courses" and the list of "recommended lower-division courses" as shown on the checklist of Japanese Major Requirements.
- I have taken JPN 112. Would enrolling in JPN 10 or JPN 101-102-103 be considered "back-tracking"?
- No. JPN 10 and other literature-in-translation courses do not have a language prerequisite. Language classes you have taken have no bearing on your eligibility for these courses. You MUST, in fact, take JPN 101-102-103 (in any order, though they are usually offered sequentially) to complete the major in Japanese.
- Can I take a literature class out of sequence? For instance can I take JPN 103 in the Spring quarter and take JPN 101 the following Fall quarter?
- Yes. Upper-division literature classes can be taken out of sequence. As another example, you may take JPN 106 first and then take JPN 101-102-103. If you have taken the upper-division literature-in-translation series, you should not take JPN 10 since the lower-division course is a more basic version of the combined upper-division courses.
- I am interested in majoring in Japanese. What courses do I need to take?
- 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.
Linguistics 1 and History 9B are highly recommended, but not required for the major or the minor in Japanese.
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.
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 teh 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.
- 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 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 (text books, exams, and homework). Transfer of credits is not automatic. If course is a language course, please see Jiao Li (email@example.com), coordinator of the Chinese language program, or Professor Nobuko Koyama (firstname.lastname@example.org), 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 course work 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 (text books, exams, and homework) to determine if course work 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").
You must have been registered for 3 quarters at UC Davis
35 of your final 45 units must be at UC Davis
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 qualifying electives of your choice when they are offered. You cannot take substitution courses without prior approval by the Japanese advisor.