The Japanese minor program is a part of the Department of World Languages and Cultures in the BGSU College of Arts and Sciences.

BGSU Japanese minor students hold the cherry blossom festival with activities and Japanese visitors to the Ohio campus
  • Minor Available
  • Minor Available

Japanese | Minor

The BGSU Japanese minor is an immersive program of study in the Japanese language and culture that can complement a wide range of majors and prepare you to succeed in our multicultural world.

Whether you plan to pursue careers in Japan-related fields or wish to explore and enjoy the Japanese language and culture, studying Japanese opens up a new way of thinking and expands your career path.

Japanese is one of the critical need languages

Japanese is one of the 15 critical languages that the U.S. government considers important to maintain national security and economic prosperity. Stand apart from the competition with Japanese language skills that are highly sought by both public and private sectors.

Japan has a rich tradition and history of more than two thousand years. Combined with modern business, technology, and popular culture, the interest in Japanese language and culture continues to grow in the U.S. and many places in the world.

While studying Japanese at BGSU, students are introduced to a wide range of Japanese culture and diverse aspects of its history and society through the courses, study abroad opportunities, and Japanese Club, one of the most active multicultural student organizations on campus.
Students have opportunities to use an authentic Japanese tea ceremony room in the BGSU Fine Arts Center and the Hiroko Nakamoto Japanese Studies Room in Offenhauer West.

Stand Out in courses like

  • Japanese Culture
  • Contemporary Japanese Society
  • Introduction to Japanese Literature
  • Japanese Film
  • Elementary Japanese Language and Culture
  • Intermediate Japanese and Culture
  • Third-Year Japanese
  • Summer Study Abroad Program
  • Long-term Exchange Program

Students may spend a semester or academic year abroad through partnerships with host institutions in Japan.


The BGSU Japanese program is designed to enable students to achieve intermediate or higher proficiency level in Japanese and gain intercultural skills necessary to effectively communicate with people from diverse backgrounds.

The minor combines core Japanese language coursework in a four-semester sequence with additional elective courses related to Japanese culture, society, film and literature. Japanese language courses help students develop strong language skills with the support of regular conversation meetings and tutoring. Elective courses expose students to various aspects of culture, history, and society from ancient to contemporary Japan.


Many corporations and agencies operate branches worldwide as Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea have become major players in globalized trade. Japan has been at the forefront of technological development and a gateway to the booming marketplace in Asia. When paired with skills gained in students’ major field, a minor in Japanese enhances employability of graduates who seek to engage in the economy, culture, society, and international relations of Asia.

Furthermore, minoring in Japanese can lead to careers in academic research and education in both national and international organizations. Many BGSU graduates who took Japanese courses are selected for the JET Program (Japan Exchange and Teaching Program), a highly competitive employment opportunity in Japan sponsored by the Japanese government.

Go Far in your career

  • International Banker
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Entertainment Executive
  • Journalist
  • Educator
  • International Partnership Manager
  • Social Worker
  • Political Consultant
  • Diplomatic Agent

Study Abroad

Students in the Japanese Program may participate in the month-long summer study abroad program at Nagoya Gakuin University. This faculty-led study abroad program includes morning lessons in Japanese language and afternoon activities that acquaint participants with Japanese society. Activities can include intercultural communication, business, ceramics, calligraphy (shodō), sports, religion, traditional arts, and flower arrangement (Ikebana). There are various field trips and excursions to shrines, temples, museums, natural wonders and other places.

Qualified students may apply for a semester or academic year abroad at one of the partner universities across Japan. In a more immersive environment, students will have the great opportunity to further hone their language and cross-cultural communication skills while earning credits toward their degree.

Studying abroad in Japan strengthens students’ academic success, benefits personal growth, and makes them more competitive in the workforce.

More details about the Japan-based study abroad programs.

A minor in Japanese can unlock career opportunities with businesses
around the world.

BGSU Arts and Sciences white

The Japanese minor program is a part of the Department of World Languages and Cultures in the BGSU College of Arts and Sciences.  

Japanese Club

The Japanese Club is one of BGSU’s multicultural student organizations. Its aim is to promote the Japanese language and culture and friendship among those who study Japanese. The club meets every other week to talk and learn about Japan and things related to Japan. One topic is given for each meeting: the tea ceremony, flower arrangement, anime, origami, cooking, martial arts and more.

Cherry Blossom Festival   

The annual Cherry Blossom Festival at BGSU celebrates Japanese culture and customs. Presented by the Japanese Club, Japanese Program, and the Asian Studies Program, the festival includes activities and performances that promote Japanese culture, food and art.

History of the BGSU Cherry Trees

The dream of having a wonderful cherry tree park on BGSU’s Ohio campus began in the 1990s with the alumni chapter in Tokyo, led by Mr. Emori. In 2001, alumni in Tokyo donated about 50 Japanese cherry trees to BGSU.   

Three trees grown from cuttings of the famous Washington, D.C. cherry trees were also planted at BGSU. The cuttings were donated to the University by the National Parks Service and U.S. National Arboretum. BGSU is the only institution in the country to be given the original cuttings.

The following year, a Japanese company, Tochigi-Fuji, which used to be located in Bowling Green, donated an additional 20 trees.  

In 2010, Dowa THT America, a Japanese company in Bowling Green, donated 10 more trees to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the cherry tree park on BGSU’s campus.

The BGSU cherry trees are visible on the north side of Alumni Mall near Kreischer quadrangle.

Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

More information on accreditation

Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The Japanese program does not lead to professional licensure.

* Job placement and salary information was compiled by the Office of Academic Assessment through the Graduation Survey from AY2015-2018. The data are gathered around the time of Commencement and a follow-up survey six months post Commencement. For the salary question, data for programs with fewer than fifteen responses are not included. Salaries for those programs are from the National Association of Colleges and Employers Summer 2019 Survey. For questions regarding the data, contact

Updated: 03/22/2023 08:34AM