Graduate Program Japanese

Walkway in Japan

Japanese Master's Degree Overview

PSU's master's degree in Japanese prepares you to teach Japanese at the college level or provides you with the foundation to continue your education at the doctoral level by providing you with opportunities to engage in scholarly research on Japanese literature and linguistics.

During our program, you'll receive hands-on experience teaching Japanese in a team setting as well as learn to critically analyze literary works and spoken discourse, interpret Japanese texts with an in-depth understanding of the cultural and historical background, and design and conduct an empirical research study.

Degree Details

Japanese Master's Degree: Why PSU?

PSU's Japanese master's program is designed for those who are interested in Japanese literature, pedagogy, or linguistics. A team of four faculty members — two who are experts in literature and two who are experts in sociolinguistics/pedagogy — offers intellectually stimulating courses on topics that include Japanese literature, traditional drama, manga, pop culture, Japanese sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, intercultural pragmatics, and effective teaching methods.

Your research will also be made easier by a large number of Japanese speakers available to you, both from the growing number of Japanese majors on campus (second only to Spanish), and the groups of Japanese students who come to Portland State to study.

You'll also have opportunities to connect with world-class scholars and experts on Japan through PSU's Center for Japanese Studies, which is committed to preparing students to become leaders in business, government, and the arts by fostering cross-cultural understanding. The center supports research on Japan and the Japanese-American experience, brings renowned scholars and international business leaders to campus, and supports traditional Japanese theater, dance, and music performances.

What can I do with a master's degree in  Japanese?

Our graduates either continue in academia, pursuing doctoral studies or teaching Japanese at the college level, or find rewarding careers in a wide variety of fields, including journalism, publishing, and translation.

Recent graduates have found success at Japanese companies, including Shogakukan, a Japanese publisher of dictionaries, literature, manga and other media, telecommunications company Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, Asian specialty supermarket Uwajimaya, and Daiso, a franchise of 100-yen shops.


  • JPN 414/514 Advanced Japanese Grammar
  • JPN 421/521Readings in Japanese Literature: Classical Japanese
  • JPN 420/520 Readings in Modern Japanese Literature
  • JPN 422/522 Traditional Japanese Drama
  • JPN 423/523 Introduction to Modern Japanese Poetry
  • JPN 424/524 Contemporary Japanese Poetry and JPOP
  • JPN 551 Japanese Language and Literature
  • JPN 552 Japanese Language and Linguistics
  • JPN 553 Critical Approaches to Japanese Language and Literature
  • JPN 577 Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language I


  • JPN 494/594 Japanese Sociolinguistics
  • HST 422/522 Prewar Japanese History
  • HST 422/522 Wartime & Postwar Japanese History
  • ArH 425/525 Modern Japanese Painting
  • ArH 412/512 Japanese Buddhist Art


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).