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University of California Berkeley: Institution Main


About the University of California Berkeley:

The University of California was chartered in 1868, combining the private College of California and state land-grant instutition, the Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College, with the former providing land and the latter providing funding for the newly formed University of California.The University first opened in 1869.

The first chair in Oriental Languages and Literatures at UC Berkeley was established in 1872 only four years after the instituiton's founding.  San Francisco lawyer Edward Tompkins then endowed the Agassiz chair recognizing that the Orient was a region "of the utmost consequence" for the first of the US's Pacific-facing states.  

Japanese language was first taught at UC Berkeley in 1901.


Institution: University of California at Berkeley
Founded: 1868
Type: State university
Location: Berkeley, CA

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Japanese Studies

Undergraduate Studies

  • B.A. in Japanese language offered by the East Asian Languages and Cultures Department. A minor in Japanese language is also available. Courses focus on the language, literature, and culture of Japan.
  • 37 faculty and professional staff teaching Japanese-focused courses.
  • Japanese-focused courses are taught outside of the East Asian Languages and Cultures Department in the following departments: anthropology, architecture, comparative literature, film studies, ethnic studies, history, history of art, law, music, and political science. The majority of these courses are offered in anthropology, history/history of art, and political science.
  • For undergraduate applications to UC Berkeley, please visit their Admissions page.

Graduate Studies

  • M.A. and Ph.D. offered in the Japanese language, with a possible focus on literature, literary criticism, comparative studies, cultural history, linguistics, or a specific period.
  • M.A. in Asian Studies also offered.
  • Students interested in a Ph.D. in other disciplines with a focus on Japan should consult the webpages of individual departments.
  • The Center for Japanese Studies offers the Shinjo Ito Post-doctoral Fellowship in Japanese Buddhism.
  • For graduate applications to UC Berkeley, please visit their Prospective Graduate Students webpage.

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