Japanese is one of the most popular languages among USC students. As soon as they start Japanese I, students begin to recognize the words familiar from anime, games, J-pop and restaurant menus. Advancing to the higher levels enables practical fluency, which can bring further opportunities for students who major in engineering, business, interactive media, architecture and many other subjects.

Many USC alumni have been hired by the Japanese government through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program before advancing to graduate schools or starting their career. A number of our alumni are successfully working in Japan in the fields of academia, game production, finance, pharmaceuticals, consulting, entertainment, etc. Japan is full of opportunities for young entrepreneurs, too. There are also numerous job opportunities in Los Angeles, the home to the largest Japanese community in the U.S. More than100 Japanese companies come to the annual career forums in the U.S. to recruit Japanese-English speakers.

Scholarships are available to support study abroad in Japan, and USC students have received competitive and prestigious scholarships such as the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship, the Boren Scholarships, the Bridging Scholarships and the Japanese government’s MEXT Scholarship.


  • EALC 120: Japanese I

    Basic Japanese conversation practice, basic grammar and building proficiency of reading and writing Hiragana and Katakana (Japanese alphabetical systems).

    EALC 122: Japanese II

    Continuation of EALC 120. Basic Japanese conversation practice, basic grammar and building proficiency of reading and writing Hiragana and Katakana and basic kanji.

    • Prerequisite: Japanese I at USC or its equivalent (Nakama 1, 3rd edition Ch. 1 – Ch. 6.)

    EALC 220: Japanese III

    Continuation of EALC 122. Conversation practice, basic to intermediate grammar, and building proficiency of reading and writing Hiragana and Katakana with additional kanji.

    • Prerequisite: EALC122 (Japanese II) at USC or its equivalent (Nakama vol. 1, 3rd edition).

    EALC 222: Japanese IV

    Continuation of EALC 220. More sophisticated grammar and vocabulary for natural conversation. Enhancing fundamental reading and writing skills, expanding the knowledge of kanji.

    • Prerequisite: Japanese III (EALC220) at USC or its equivalent (Nakama1 and Nakama 2 Ch. 1 – Ch. 4.)
  • EALC 121: Extensive Reading in Japanese I

    Development of reading skill in Japanese for elementary level students through short stories written for learners of Japanese and authentic materials written for native Japanese speakers.

    • Prerequisite: EALC120: Japanese I or equivalent

    EALC 221: Extensive Reading in Japanese II

    Development of reading skills in Japanese for intermediate level students through short stories written for learners of Japanese and authentic materials written for native speakers.

    • Prerequisite: EALC220: Japanese III or equivalent
  • EALC 320: Advanced Japanese I

    Strengthen intermediate Japanese language proficiency. Oral/aural communication skills as well as reading and writing skills. Promote an understanding of the present-day Japanese culture.

    • Prerequisite: Japanese IV at USC (EALC 222) or equivalent

    EALC 322: Advanced Japanese II

    Continuation of EALC 320. Improve and strengthen abilities to speak, listen, read and write, coping with more involved materials and situation.

    • Prerequisite: Advanced Japanese I at USC (EALC 320) or equivalent

    EALC 422: Advanced Japanese III

    Students develop advanced levels of Japanese linguistic knowledge and communication skills through speaking, listening, reading and writing activities using authentic Japanese texts and discourse.

    • Prerequisite: Advanced Japanese II (EALC 322) or equivalent

    EALC 424: Advanced Japanese IV

    Continuation of EALC 422. Students continue to improve their Japanese language competence in the course of acquiring Japanese pragmatic skills and cultural knowledge.

    • Prerequisite: Advanced Japanese III (EALC 422) or equivalent

    EALC 440: Current Topics in Japanese

    Mastery of near native proficiency of the Japanese Language by handling variety topics of contemporary Japan such as literature, history, social and cultural issues.

    • Recommended Preparation: Advanced Japanese IV (EALC 424) or equivalent






Study Abroad

Nagoya, Japan- Nanzan University

Nanzan University is located near the center of Nagoya and has about 9,000 undergraduate students. Its Center for Japanese Studies is well known for its excellent language training program and attracts students from all over the world who want to immerse themselves in Japanese language and area studies.

Tokyo, Japan- Tokyo International University

Study abroad students take classes in TIU’s Japan Studies Program. Visiting students have ample opportunity to mix with local students, as the campus is fairly small, with around 6,000 students. With a population of over 300,000, Kawagoe allows students enjoy a smaller scale city and slightly slower pace while having easy access to the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.

Tokyo, Japan- Sophia University

Sophia University is a top-ranked Japanese university, with about 10,000 students, and is conveniently located in west-central Tokyo. Students can experience life in Tokyo and take courses alongside Japanese students and other international students. Students are enrolled in Sophia’s Faculty of Liberal Arts, where about 75% of the students are Japanese.  Study abroad students take Japanese language courses as well as English-taught courses in Asian Studies. CIEE has a study center next to campus that provides full support to students while studying at Sophia University.

Tokyo, Japan- Waseda University

Waseda University is one of Japan’s best universities with approximately 47,000 undergraduate students. The one-year study abroad program is based in Waseda’s School of International Liberal Studies (SILS), a four-year liberal arts college where all classes are conducted in English.  At SILS, study abroad students take classes alongside Japanese students. Waseda is known for its liberal climate symbolized by its motto Independence of Learning.

Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Explore engagement opportunities, panels, workshops, clubs, events and more at the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures


Meet the faculty of the USC Japanese Language Program, who are eager to guide you throughout your language learning journey!


Access updated information on Japanese language program events

Contact Information

Basic Language Program Director

Yuka Kumagai

Office Location

3501 Trousdale Parkway, Taper Hall 356
Los Angeles, California 90089-0357

Undergraduate Advisor

Jessica Kanoski