University of Washington

Frequently Asked Questions

For information regarding affiliated faculty, programs, courses, degree requirements and admissions please visit the links in the left margin of this page.

For information not found on either the JSIS pages or other Japan Program pages, see the following list of UW sites that address the most frequently requested information and questions related to entering the UW Japan Studies Program. 

Helpful FAQ Sites


Why should I study Japan at the UW? Our award winning program has over 20 professors and lecturers whose research and teaching is focused on Japan and the UW offers a huge array of courses through which students may immerse themselves in the study of Japan. The Jackson School (JSIS) offers BA and MAIS degree programs in Japan Studies. In addition, JSIS now has a PhD program in International Studies for students pursuing doctoral degrees. Other Japan-related degree programs at the UW include Japanese Linguistics, Language, and Literature (BA, MA, PhD), and Asian Law - Japan (LLM, JD).

Extensive research material: there are two main Japan collections in libraries on campus containing extensive materials in English and Japanese (and other languages.) These are in the East Asia Library and the Law Library. With many resources available on-line, students have instant access to a wide range of materials for their research.

The UW Graduate program allows students to earn two degrees in a shorter time through the many "concurrent degree programs" See the Japan Studies home page for information leading to MAIS/MBA and MAIS/MPA degrees.

In addition, Seattle's history and culture is deeply tied to its Pacific Rim neighbors and Japan's influence has long shaped the local scene. There are strong Japanese American  and Japanese communities in the region which afford many opportunities for students to take part in events and be involved with Japan-related organizations, not to mention local Japanese art collections, shops and restaurants, festivals, publications, social networking sites, popular culture, employment and intern opportunities.

How can I study in Japan? The UW has relationships with about 20 institutions in Japan. Two of the key relationships which students take advantage of regularly for both summer and year-long programs are with Waseda University (language and general studies) and the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama (intensive language study.)  Contact the International Programs and Exchange office at the Study Abroad link above.

How many students are in the JSIS Japan Program?  Each year there are typically 10-15 students enrolled in the JSIS Japan Studies graduate program and 50+ declared undergraduate majors (many more in other UW units with Japan related degree programs.) Class sizes range from 85+ for introductory courses to small groups of fewer than ten in advanced level courses. 

What do I do after I graduate? Upon graduation most students choose to pursue careers in business, government, education, non-profit or NGO work. Some students pursue further education.

What financial assistance is available? Tuition help other than Financial Aid may be available through TA and RA appointments. Student hourly assistant and grader positions may also be available. Funding for these positions and other needs (i.e. travel and study abroad) vary year to year depending upon the program budget, need in courses, and need and merit of students. Also see the Fellowships and Financial Support page of the JSIS Graduate Studies site.

What levels of language training are offered and required? The Japan MAIS degree requires that students attain competency in Japanese through at least the third-year level. Beyond that, several fourth-year and graduate level Japanese language, literature and linguistic courses are offered. (See Japanese L&L link under Affiliated Programs.)


Japan Studies Program
University of Washington
Box 353650, Thomson Hall 425
Seattle, WA 98195-3650

Ken Tadashi Oshima
Program Chair

Ellen Eskenazi
Outreach and Program Development

Martha Walsh
Senior Program Associate

Robert Pekkanen
Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator