Skip to content


Students must be enrolled as full time students at JCMU (at least 12 credit hours as undergraduates during the academic year and 10 during the summer semester).  The JCMU curriculum includes:

Intensive Japanese Language:

Regardless of prior coursework in Japanese, students will be placed in language courses based on a placement test administered after arrival in Hikone. At all levels of instruction, the opportunities and special needs that arise from studying Japanese in Japan are considered. Credit awarded depends on home university policies, prior Japanese coursework and other factors.  See your advisor for details.)

Elective Courses:

In addition to the Intensive Japanese Language course, during the academic year each student takes at least one elective. Each semester a variety of electives are offered by the JCMU Resident Director, visiting scholars, and through Shiga University and the University of Shiga Prefecture, our partner institutions.

Independent Study Projects:

Students are welcome to pursue independent study projects. To receive academic credit for Independent Study, an academic faculty member from your home campus must approve the project in advance in writing. Arrangements must be made and written approval received from your academic advisor before you leave for Japan. Additionally, in order to insure that the project can receive the resource support necessary for its successful completion in Japan, prior review and written approval for the project is required from the JCMU Resident Director in coordination with the JCMU Internship Coordinator. Of special importance is advance notification of any library materials that are either expected or desired to ascertain their availability in the Center’s still developing collection.

Textbooks, Class Instructional Materials and Library Resources:

Most textbooks and instructional materials will be provided. A small but growing number of reference and research materials are available at the Center’s library.


Class attendance is mandatory. Because of the intensive nature of all programs, more than twelve unexcused absences (twelve class hours, not days) in a term will not be accepted under any circumstances, and the student will automatically be dismissed from the program. Students also have to keep in mind that, by being absent, they will miss other opportunities to take quizzes or tests, to turn in homework and so forth, in addition to learning new materials in class.

Students are expected to be punctual. Being late five minutes or more is unacceptable, and may count against one’s attendance grade. Tardy policies will be posted in the syllabus for the course.

Excusing any absence or lateness due to sickness, weather, public transportation problems or other reasons will be decided by the JCMU Resident Director in consultation with the Japanese Language Coordinator. Consultation with the JCMU Resident Director must occur no later than the day following the absence.


Late assignments will not be accepted. If you know in advance that you will be absent, you may hand in your work before the due date. Incomplete or poorly done assignments (as judged by the instructor) will not be accepted.


Quiz days will be announced in the weekly syllabus. Test and examination days will be outlined at the beginning of each term. There will be no make-up quizzes, tests or examinations (“making up” here means taking a quiz both before and after the scheduled time).


The use of English in Japanese language classrooms is strictly prohibited without prior permission requested in Japanese and given by the instructor. Example: Sumimasen, Eigo de ii desu ka? (Excuse me, is English okay?) Speaking English is forbidden anywhere in the academic building during the morning session for Japanese language students.

The following are forbidden in the classroom: food, drink, gum chewing, and wearing hats of any kind.

The course strives for a high level of accuracy in the student’s Japanese. To that effect, students should expect to be corrected in class. This should not be taken personally and should not inhibit one’s participation in class. This measure is to ensure students practice only correct and productive Japanese.

Students are expected to come to class prepared. Preparation for class makes a significant difference in the ability of the class to progress. Please familiarize yourself with the new lesson, vocabulary, and grammar prior to the class. Any questions raised during your study will be answered in class.

Students are expected to study 3-4 hours outside of class daily.

Letter Grades and the MSU Numerical Equivalents:


























Return to Handbook