Modern Language BA, Japanese Emphasis

General Education Requirements

Each language major must satisfy the general education requirements of the university and the general education requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Specific Requirements or Restrictions

Students entering with no high school language units must enroll in Language 1001 or may enroll in Language 2115. Language 2115 (a, b, and c) is the intensive study of a language and will satisfy the foreign language requirement. 2115a, 2115b, and 2115c are co-requisites and must be taken concurrently. To satisfy the foreign language requirement all three sections must be completed with a grade of C- or better.

A grade of D in a Language 1001 course is a passing grade but not an entrance grade for a Language 1002 course. A grade of D in a Language 1002 course is a passing grade but not an entrance grade for a Language 2101 course or its equivalent. A grade of D in a Language 2101 course fulfills the language requirement, but is not an entrance grade for a higher-level course.

Demonstration of a high level of proficiency may affect the number of hours required for the major. Native or heritage speakers of a language should consult with the department concerning appropriate placement and advising. Students with previous language coursework should contact the department for language placement testing and advising. Students may not take for credit an elementary course if they have already completed a higher-level course for which the elementary course, or its equivalent, is a prerequisite.


Degree Requirements

All courses for the major must be passed with a grade of C- or better. No course required for the major may be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory (s/u) basis with the exception of those taken abroad as part of a university program that has received departmental approval.

Bachelor of Arts

All students seeking a B.A. in a Modern Language must successfully complete FL 2100 Languages and World View, and must meet the departmental requirement of a minimum of 33 hours in French or 33 hours in German or 37 hours in Japanese or 35 hours in Spanish (excluding Language 1001 and 1002). The maximum number of hours that may be taken in the major is 45 (including Language 1001 and 1002). In addition, students seeking the B.A. in a Modern Language who desire a teaching certificate must also take FGN LANG 4589 (same as SEC ED 4589), Curriculum and Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages, FGN LANG 4590 (same as SEC ED 4590), and fulfill the professional secondary education requirements of the College of Education.

Transfer Students

Transfer students majoring in one of the modern languages must complete at UMSL a minimum of 12 graded hours in language courses at the 3000 level or above with a grade point average of 2.0 or better in those courses.

Native Speakers

Native speakers must complete at least two courses at the 3000 level and four courses at the 4000 level to obtain a major in their native language.

Specific Requirements for the Emphasis in Japanese

Each major with an emphasis in Japanese must complete the following courses:
JAPAN 2101Intermediate Japanese I5
JAPAN 2102Intermediate Japanese II5
JAPAN 2170Kanji: A Radical Approach3
JAPAN 3201Intermediate Japanese III4
JAPAN 3202Intermediate Japanese IV4
JAPAN 3280Readings in Japanese3
JAPAN 4301Advanced Japanese I3
JAPAN 4302Advanced Japanese II3
JAPAN 4380Advanced Readings in Japanese3
Select 6 hours from the following: 16
Maiko, Maids, and Masako: Women in Japanese Cultural History
Ghosts, Goblins, and Godzillas
Food and Drink in Japan: A Cultural History
Visual and Material Culture of Japan
Practicum in East Asian Calligraphy
Anime Nation: Popular Culture in Japan
Special Topics: Language Immersion: Japanese
The World of Anime - Advanced Topics in Japanese Animation
Classical Japanese Literature in Translation
Special Topics in Japanese Culture
Japanese Culture and Society
Topics in Japanese Culture
Total Hours39

 Career Outlook

Career options for graduates with a major or minor in modern languages include the following fields: teaching, social work, nursing, engineering, business, communications, government, journalism, travel industry, translation, and research. Our graduates have been especially successful when they combine advanced study in a modern language with another major. They are then able to add proficiency in a foreign language and culture to their knowledge and skills in another specialty. Experience with world cultures makes our graduates more adaptable and better prepared to meet the challenges of a global and increasingly diverse job market.

B.S. Ed. in Secondary Education with Emphasis in a Foreign Language

The B.S. Ed. is a professional education degree designed for students who wish to pursue a teaching career in secondary schools. Much of the discipline-specific coursework parallels the B.A. degree in the language; however, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requires specific coursework for teacher certification. Therefore, students interested in the B.S. Ed. should contact the advising office (OASIS) 314-516-5937 in the College of Education for discipline-specific requirements. Note: To obtain teaching certification, DESE requires a 3.0 GPA in the discipline and professional education coursework, as well as a 2.75 GPA overall.

B.A. in a Foreign Language with Master’s Level Coursework for Secondary Teacher Certification

In addition to the B.S. Ed., students may opt to complete a B.A. or B.S. degree in their discipline as an undergraduate, followed by admission to the Graduate School for Master’s level teaching certification.  The College of Education has a one-year accelerated program for post-graduate certification called Teach in 12, or students can choose a traditional path to certification.  Graduate coursework for certification can apply towards a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education, with additional coursework.  Students interested in Master’s Level teacher certification should contact the advising office (OASIS) 314-516-5937 in the College of Education. Note: To obtain teaching certification, DESE requires a 3.0 GPA in the discipline and professional education coursework, as well as a 2.75 GPA overall.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates with a BA in Modern Languages (Japanese) from the University of Missouri-St. Louis possess the necessary linguistic and cultural competencies to interact with native speakers in culturally appropriate ways.  They are able to use the target language in a variety of academic, social, and professional situations and have a rich understanding of the culture that has been fostered through engaging courses and opportunities such as study abroad, service learning, and internships.  Recognizing the interconnection between languages and world views, they can critically explore their own assumptions, value alternative perspectives, and act with cultural sensitivity.  They are empowered with the tools to meet the challenges of a globalized world and continue developing their skills as lifelong learners.

Skills and Knowledge Areas

Upon completion of the Japanese major, students should be able to:

Linguistic and Critical Thinking Goals

  • In listening/speaking:
    • demonstrate comprehension of the main ideas and supporting details of everyday conversations on familiar and concrete topics, both formal and informal;
    • discuss topics related to work, school, home, leisure activities, culture, and media;
    • narrate short anecdotes using Japanese conversational conventions;
    • summarize research in oral presentations; and,
    • function in real-world situations in culturally-appropriate ways.
  • In reading/writing:
    • identify the main idea, supporting details, argumentative structure, and perspective in authentic texts of various genres;
    • apply reading strategies to glean key information from more challenging texts;
    • summarize and analyze content, and begin to express supported opinions;
    • assess language reference resources and use them effectively; and,
    • conduct independent research and present findings.

Cultural and Global Awareness Goals

  • recognize and describe some of the key historical, social, economic, and political forces that shape Japanese society;
  • analyze and critique products of Japanese culture (film, media, literature, art, etc.) in their socio-historical contexts;
  • compare and contrast their own cultural beliefs, behaviors, and norms with those of other cultures;
  • describe how language and culture impact one’s world view; and,
  • explain the skills acquired through language study and their benefits to a potential employer.

The linguistic program goals are based on the National Standards For Foreign Language Learning and the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.  Graduates are expected to reach the Intermediate-High level proficiency at a minimum.  For detailed descriptions of sublevels, see the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.

Sample Four Year Plan

First Year
INTDSC 100311JAPAN 10025
JAPAN 10015EXPLORE - Mathematics and Life/Natural Sciences3
ENGL 11003CORE - Communication Proficiency3
MATH 10203CORE - US History and Government3
EXPLORE - Social Sciences3 
 15 14
Second Year
JAPAN 21015JAPAN 21025
FGN LANG 21003JAPAN XXXX Japan Studies Elective3
CORE - Information Lteracy3EXPLORE - Social Sciences3
EXPLORE - Social Sciences3EXPLORE - Mathematics and Life/Natural Sciences3
 14 14
Third Year
JAPAN 32014JAPAN 32024
JAPAN XXXX: Japanese Studies Elective3JAPAN 32803
ENGL 31003JAPAN XXXX: Japanese Studies Elective3
EXPLORE - Mathematics and Life/Natural Sciences3Elective or minor3
Elective or minor3Elective or minor3
 16 16
Fourth Year
JAPAN 43013JAPAN 43023
Elective or minor3JAPAN 43903
Elective or minor3Elective or minor3
Elective or minor3Elective or minor3
Elective or minor3Elective or minor4
 15 16
Total Hours: 120

Please Note: This plan is an example of what a four year plan could look like for a typical student. Placement exam scores in math as well as the completion of coursework may change the plan. It should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor each semester. All requirements are subject to change.