Japanese Track Requirements

The Japanese Studies major and minor are interdisciplinary in nature. Students gain a broad understanding of the language, culture, literature, history, art, film, music, theatre, religion, and politics of Japan.

Students pursuing a program in Japanese studies are strongly urged to study abroad for a semester or year at a Japanese university. Gettysburg College is affiliated with Kansai Gaidai University and Temple University Japan. Kansai Gaidai is located in Hirakata City, between the business and industrial center of Osaka and the ancient capital of Kyoto. Temple University is located in downtown Tokyo. Both universities offer not only instruction in Japanese language and a full range of courses on Japanese topics in English, but also offer many opportunities outside the classroom: living with a Japanese host family, field trips to cultural and historical sites, study of traditional arts, visits to Japanese businesses, and internships. Students may also choose to attend other universities in Japan.

Credit for courses taken at Kansai Gaidai and Temple University may be transferred and counted toward the electives for the major and minor with departmental approval. Kindly note, 300 level content courses taken while studying abroad, do not count as 300-level courses required for the major. 300-level courses must be taken at Gettysburg College.

East Asian Studies Major –Japanese Track Requirements: Effective with the Class of 2018

Students pursuing the East Asian Studies Major – Japanese Track must complete eleven courses consisting of three core courses, two language courses at the advanced level, two electives, three disciplinary track courses, and a capstone course.

Core courses

  • AS 110: Japanese Culture & Society (recommended for first and second year students; cannot be taken by those who have already studied in Japan),
  • HIST 224 Modern Japan, and
  • one comparative course. A comparative is either a course with a broad East Asian Focus or a course focusing on China.

Potential comparative courses

  • PHIL 240: World Philosophy
  • REL 244: Introduction to Buddhism
  • REL 210: Buddhist Autobiographies
  • REL 254: Intro to Confucianism
  • REL 261: Buddhist Scriptures
  • ARTH 131: Introduction to Asian Art
  • HIST 221: History of East Asia to 1800
  • HIST 222: History of East Asia from 1800 to the Present
  • PSYCH 210: Cultural Psychology
  • FYS 156-3: Tea: An Experiential History

Language Study

JPN 301 & JPN 302: Advanced Japanese, or their equivalent as determined by placement tests.


Students will select two courses that focus on Japan from the following three categories: Arts & Humanities, History & Social Sciences, and Language (beyond JPN 302 or in Chinese).

Arts & Humanities

  • AS 238/338: Classical Japanese Literature and Its Modern Interpretation
  • AS 242/342: Real and Imagined Heroes in Japan
  • AS 247/347: Extraordinary Fiction in Japan and the World
  • AS 250/350: The Ebb and Flow: Japanese Women's Literature, the First 1200 Years
  • AS/REL 253/353: Japanese Religion, Myth, and Folklore in Visual Media
  • CIMS 261: Japanese Cinema
  • FYS 149-2: Atomic Lizards, Robots, Pocket Monsters and Cute Kitties: Japanese Pop Culture Goes Global

History & Social Sciences

  • AS252/352/ANTH252: Ancient Gettysburg and Tokyo
  • HIST 221: History of East Asia to 1800
  • HIST 222: History of East Asia from 1800 to the Present
  • HIST 323: Gender in Modern Japan
  • HIST 325: Tokugawa Japan
  • HIST 422: The Pacific War, 1931-1945
  • AS/POL 273: The Two Koreas
  • FYS 149: Geisha and Samurai


  • JPN 401: Modernity in Modern Japanese Fiction
  • JPN 402: Genre in Modern Japanese Literature
  • CHN 101: Beginning Chinese
  • CHN 102: Beginning Chinese

Disciplinary track

Students will select two courses in a discipline and the methods course of that discipline. Courses must be approved by the East Asian Studies Department, and at least one course must focus on Japan or East Asia. Potential areas of disciplinary focus are listed below:

Potential Areas of disciplinary focus:


  • A 200 level English course (except 205)
  • Japanese Literature Course
  • ENG 299: Literary Methods


  • ANTH 103 or 106: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology or Archaeology
  • AS/ANTH 252: Everyday Life in Ancient Gettysburg and Tokyo
  • ANTH 323 or 324: Field Methods in Cultural Anthropology or Archaeology

Art History

  • ARTH 131: Intro to Asian Art
  • ARTH 100 or 200-level
  • ARTH 214: Methods


  • HIST 110 or other approved 100-level
  • Course on East Asian history beyond HIST 224: Modern Japan
  • HIST 300: Methods

Political Science

Note: POL 215: Methods must be completed before taking the capstone course.

  • POL 104: Intro to Comparative Politics AND one of the three courses: POL 103: Intro International Relations; POL 101: American Government; POL 102: Intro to Political Thought
  • AS/POL 273: The Two Koreas OR Political Science course during Study Abroad
  • POL 215: Methods


NOTE: A double major in East Asian Studies and Economics is required to pursue an Economics track

  • ECON 104: Intro to Macroeconomics
  • ECON 251: International Economics
  • ECON 241: Introductory Economics and Business Statistics

Religious Studies

  • Any 100- or 200-level Religious Studies course
  • AS/REL 253/353: Japanese Religions, Myth, Folklore in Visual Media
  • REL 260: Theories of Religion

Cinema & Media Studies

  • CIMS 101: Intro Cinema & Media Studies
  • East Asian film course
  • CIMS 252 or CIMS/IDS226

Capstone experience

Students will complete one capstone course taken in the form of seminar or an independent study to be completed in the senior year. A substantial paper (25+ pages) and an oral presentation open to the faculty, majors and minors and guests are required. The topic of the paper must be mutually agreed upon by the student and his or her advisor. It is expected that the paper will build upon the courses constituting the student’s “disciplinary focus.”

The department has compiled a capstone guidebook to help students understand the process and expectations for this critical element of their studies.

Check Sheet for East Asian Studies Major- Japan Track - Effective with the Class of 2018

East Asian Studies Minor –Japanese Culture Requirements: Effective with the class of 2024

The East Asian Studies minor with a specialization in Japan requires six courses.

  • Core Courses: Students take one core course: AS 110: Japanese Culture & Society*
  • Electives: Students take three elective courses specializing in Japan. These courses must come from three different disciplines, with at least one course from the arts & humanities and one from the history & social sciences. **
  • Comparative Course: Students take one course that offers a comparative perspective within East Asia or focuses on China. **
  • Language: Students specializing in Japan must take JPN 201: Intermediate Japanese.***

*AS 110 is recommended for first and second year students, but cannot be taken by those who have studied in Japan.

** Categories and potential courses appear above in the description for the Japanese major requirements.

*** JPN 101 & 102: Elementary Japanese are pre-requisites for JPN 201 but do not count towards the minor. However, students who have previously studied Japanese may enter the 200-level as determined by the language placement exam. Japanese language proficiency at the 202 level is required and determined by the department.

Check Sheet for East Asian Studies Japanese Culture Minor - Effective with the Class of 2024

East Asian Studies Minor –Japanese Language Requirements: Effective with the class of 2024

The East Asian Studies minor with a specialization in Japan requires six courses.

  • Core Courses: Students take one core course: AS 110: Japanese Culture & Society*
  • Language: Students take five Japanese language courses excluding JPN 101: Elementary Japanese.

*JPN 101 does not count towards the minor

Check Sheet for East Asian Studies Japanese Language Minor - Effective with the Class of 2024