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Elective Courses

Students participating in JCMU semester programs enroll in at least one elective course in addition to the intensive Japanese language course. All JCMU electives are taught in English. Course topics vary by semester.


Elective Courses by Semester

Fall 2023

2023 Fall Semester Weekly Schedule (NOTE: May not apply to all weeks; check syllabi for course-specific schedules)

  • Japanese Culture & Society: Popular Music and Modern Japan (3 credits)
    • Instructor: Dr. Mariko Takano, Japan Center for Michigan Universities
    • Schedule: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM (September 7 - December 12)
    • Location: JCMU Campus
    • MSU Course Designation*: AL 400
  • Japanese Culture & Society: Contemporary Social Issues & Identities (3 credits)
    • Instructor: Dr. Azumi Tamura, Shiga University
    • Schedule: Mondays, 12:50 PM - 4:00 PM (September 11 - December 11; NOTE: There is a holiday on 10/9, but Shiga University will still hold classes.)
    • Location: Shiga University
      • Shiga University is 2.6 km (1.6 miles) from JCMU, or approximately 10-15 minutes by bike.
    • MSU Course Designation*: SSC 490
  • Japanese Culture & Society (4 credits)
    • Instructor: Benjamin McCracken, Esq., Japan Center for Michigan Universities
    • Schedule: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM (September 12 - December 12)
    • Location: JCMU Campus
    • MSU Course Designation*: IAH 211B
  • JCMU Experience (Required - all students) (1 credit)
    • Instructor: Christopher Garth, Japan Center for Michigan Universities
    • Schedule: Fridays, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM (September 8 - December 8)
    • Location: JCMU Campus
    • MSU Course Designation*: ASN 291

*MSU course designations are provided for reference by MSU and guest (LLE) students. Students attending another JCMU partner school should consult with their home institution's study abroad office or their academic advisors, as needed, for course equivalencies/approval. 


Past Semesters


Spring 2023

  • Japanese Culture & Society: Places and Spaces in Modern Japanese Literature and Film (3 credits)
    • Instructor: Dr. Mariko Takano, Japan Center for Michigan Universities
    • Schedule: Wednesdays & Thursdays, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
    • Location: JCMU Campus
  • Japan & Nature: Landscape, Disaster, and Food Culture (3 credits)
    • Instructor: Dr. Yoshimasa Kurashige, University of Shiga Prefecture
    • Schedule: Tuesdays, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Location: JCMU Campus
  • Japanese Culture & Society: Model Japan (4 credits) - Benjamin McCracken, Esq., JCMU Resident Director
    • Instructor: Benjamin McCracken, Esq., Japan Center for Michigan Universities
    • Schedule: Thursdays, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Location: JCMU Campus
  • JCMU Experience (Required - all students) (1 credit) - JCMU Faculty
    • Instructor: Mr. Christopher Garth, Japan Center for Michigan Universities
    • Schedule: Fridays, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
    • Location: JCMU Campus

Fall 2022

Spring 2020

Fall 2019

Spring 2019

Fall 2018

Spring 2018

Fall 2017

Spring 2017

Fall 2016

Spring 2016