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The Asian languages faculty in the School of International Letters and Cultures offers a graduate program leading to an MA in Asian languages and civilizations (Japanese). In addition to preparing some students for further academic training, the program helps to prepare students for jobs relating to Japan (in fields such as law, business or journalism) and for entrance into professional schools.
Applications for Graduate Assistantships are not considered until the applicant has been admitted with regular status to the Graduate College. Assistantships are normally awarded only for the full academic year (fall and spring semesters).
Graduate teaching assistants/associates whose native language is not English are required to take the TSE/SPEAK test or TOEFL iBT test. In order to assume primary teaching responsibilities students must earn a minimum score of 55 on the TSE/SPEAK test or 26 on the TOEFL iBT. A score of 50 on the TSE/SPEAK test is acceptable if the position is for a lab assistant or tutor. International students should apply to the program as early as possible in the fall semester.
A four-minute (approximately) recorded message in Japanese on a topic of your choice. (Please do not read your message. This is to help the committee evaluate your level, and your message should realistically reflect your spoken Japanese).
Students whose undergraduate work was completed in a language other than English should also submit TOEFL scores. Test scores must be received directly from the agency administering the test.
The plan of study for the MA includes a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate-level work and a thesis, as approved by the candidate's supervisory committee, or 27 credit hours of course work and three credit hours of applied project. The plan must include a 500-level bibliography and research methods course offered by the department. When approved by the candidate's supervisory committee, nine hours of advanced-level work in another language or in closely related courses may be included in the plan.
Students who are primarily interested in teaching at the secondary or community college levels may select a plan of study with an area of study in language pedagogy. Students seeking a master's in Asian languages and civilization should consult with their Graduate Education representative. In keeping with the idea of in-situ experience as a key ingredient for advanced intellectual understanding, all degree candidates must have spent at least nine continuous months in a Japanese language environment within four years of entering the program.