Japanese Language Program

Summer Program (MA in Japanese Pedagogy)


Has it been your dream to teach the Japanese language to others?  The Summer M. A. Program in Japanese Pedagogy at Columbia University may be perfect for you!  Columbia University is a world-renowned Ivy League university in the heart of New York City.  The Summer M. A. Program in Japanese Pedagogy is an extremely competitive program, attracting the best students and professors from around the world.  In fact, the M. A. Program is limited to no more than thirty students and accepts only ten to twelve students each year.  Over a typical three-year period, you will be taught by professors from Columbia, Harvard and Princeton, as well as from other top universities in America, Japan, Europe and Australia.  Live in New York, take classes each summer for three years, and you can earn your Masters degree in Japanese Pedagogy.  You will learn about the Japanese language as well as about teaching and acquiring foreign languages, and you will gain a highly marketable Masters degree from one of the world’s best universities.  So apply today for the Summer M. A. Program in Japanese Pedagogy at Columbia University!

Admissions Information (GSAS, Graduate School of Arts and Science)

2017 Details Applications for the summer M.A. program in Japanese pedagogy are to be submitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures). The 2017 program will begin on Monday, June 5th and last until Friday, August 4th, during which the following courses will be taught:

I. Three-week Pedagogy Course (6/05-6/23):

  • Intermediate/Advanced Japanese Pedagogy, Prof. Mutsuko Endo Hudson of Michigan State University and Dr. Fumiko Nazikian of Columbia University

II. 3 MA Courses (6/26-8/04):

  • Phonetics, Phonology and Morphology, Prof. Timothy J. Vance of National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics
  • Syntax, Prof. Wesley Jacobsen of Harvard University
  • Semantics, Prof. Michio Tsutsui of University of Washington

Tuition is reviewed on a yearly basis; the tuition for 2017 will be finalized in March. Intermediate/Advanced Japanese Pedagogy can only be taken by students who have previously completed Elementary Japanese Pedagogy at Columbia University (However, those who have years of experience teaching Japanese at the college level may apply to take this course as non-degree students). In other words, 2017 new students attending the M.A. degree program for the first time must select the three other MA courses (6/26-8/04) and are not permitted to take Intermediate/Advanced Japanese Pedagogy this summer. On-campus housing is available.

Masters Requirements Obtaining the M. A. degree in Japanese Pedagogy requires three summers of study, which can be completed either consecutively or over a six-year period. Students must earn a total of 36 credits by completing eleven courses and write an M. A. thesis focusing on a particular area of Japanese Pedagogy. The Japanese Pedagogy Program does not accept credits from other institutions. Students who are not seeking an M. A. degree are also welcome to attend classes.

Admissions Instructions for Applicants:

1) Graduate School of Arts and Sciences on-line application

2) Non-refundable application fee

3) Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended

4) Two letters of recommendation

5) Resume

6) One-page handwritten statement of purpose in Japanese on a single sheet of plain paper, outlining the applicant’s reasons for applying to the program and how the program is connected to the applicant’s career objectives. The statement should specify whether the applicant seeks to enroll in the M. A. Program or solely in the Intermediate/Advanced Japanese Pedagogy course. Because of limited space in the M. A. program, some students who are not selected for the M. A. Program may still be given the opportunity to enroll in the Intermediate/Advanced Japanese Pedagogy course. Please mention in your statement of purpose whether you would be willing to take part in the Intermediate/Advanced Japanese Pedagogy course as a non-degree student if you are not accepted into the M. A. Program.

7a) Non-native speakers of English must have a TOEFL score of 570 (IBT88/CBT230) or higher. Exceptions: 1) Students applying only for the Intermediate/Advanced Japanese Pedagogy course do not need a TOEFL score. 2) Non-native English speakers who hold a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college in the United States do not need a TOEFL score. However, students who have only a two-year degree (such as an MA) from an American university are NOT exempt from submitting a TOEFL score.

7b) Non-native speakers of Japanese must achieve a rating of “Advanced-High” or higher in the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) by ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages). Applications must be postmarked by February 15, 2017.

For further information, please contact Shigeru Eguchi, Administrative Director of the 2017 Summer M. A. Program in Japanese Pedagogy, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALAC), 407 Kent Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027. Email: se53@columbia.edu (in English or Japanese)/ Telephone: 212-854-8345 / FAX: 212-678-8629. Successful applicants will be notified by the middle of March. We look forward to receiving your application and hope to see you in New York this summer!


Frequently Asked Questions (UPDATED: 1/01/2017)

Q: I don’t have any experience teaching Japanese and I didn’t study this field in college. Is it difficult for me to be accepted into the program?

A: There are students who have neither an undergraduate degree related to teaching languages nor teaching experience, but are still accepted to the program. You do not have to worry about your qualifications for the program. However, it is crucial that you explain your motivation for participating in the program, future plans, career goals, etc. in your hand-written statement of purpose, which is a requirement for applying to the program.

Q: How much is the tuition for the M.A. program?

A: The tuition for 2017 will be finalized in March. Typically, the tuition increases by 5% each year. In 2016, the tuition was $14,158. In addition, there are other charges, such as Facility and Health Service fees. Unfortunately, there are no scholarships available for this program.

Q: I understand that if I am accepted into the program, I can take only 3 M.A. courses for 6 weeks (NOT 9 weeks) this summer. How much is the tuition for 6 weeks?

A: The cost of the tuition for the summer 2017 is the same for both the 6 week and 9 week program. The tuition is not based on the number of weeks you attend each year. Rather, graduation requires three years of classes, and the tuition is divided amongst these three years. Specifically, students fulfill the requirements for the M.A. degree in three consecutive summers or within a period of six years**, and every student is required to pay the full tuition each summer for the three years. The three installments of the full tuitions cover 12 courses in total; 2 three-week pedagogy courses (Elementary and Interemediate/Advanced), 9 two-week M.A. courses, plus M.A. Thesis Research.
**On rare occasions, students will choose to complete the M.A. over the course of four summers (instead of the usual three summers). In this case, the student may take a Pedagogy course (Elementary or Intermediate/Advanced) during one summer and complete the remaining courses over the three additional summers. The tuition for one of the three summers will be decreased to reflect the fact that the student has already paid for the Pedagogy course.

Q: I would like to take the three-week pedagogy course only as a non-degree student.  Can I take Intermediate/Advanced Pedagogy course this summer?  How much is the tuition?
A: Those who have completed the Elementary Japanese Pedagogy course before (as either degree or non-degree students) may take the Intermediate/Advanced Pedagogy course. Furthermore, those with years of experience teaching Japanese at the college level may apply to take the Intermediate/Advanced Pedagogy course as non-degree students for summer 2017. The tuition was $4,798 for the three-week pedagogy course in 2016. Again, it increases by 5% each year.
Please note that international students cannot participate as non-degree students since they are not qualified for I-20 and cannot apply for student F-1 visas.

Q: When are Elementary and Intermediate/Advanced Pedagogy courses offered? Also, in what cycle are the other M.A. courses scheduled?

A: Elementary and Intermediate/Advanced Pedagogy courses are offered alternately every year. The Elementary course is scheduled to be offered in 2018 and 2020, while the Intermediate/Advanced course is scheduled to be offered in 2017 and 2019, respectively. The other courses rotate over a three-year period. For example, the 3 M.A. courses offered in summer 2017 will be offered again in 2020. 

Q: When do I write my M.A. Thesis?

A: After completing all of the course work over three summers, students write the first draft of their M.A. thesis by January and submit the completed paper in March. 

Q: How many courses am I supposed to take in the second and third year? Also, when will I complete the program and earn my degree?

A: The following schedules represent the courses a student would take if completing the M.A. in three consecutive years, beginning in the summer of 2017 or the summer of 2018.

Beginning in 2017
  • 1st Year (Summer 2017): 3 M.A. Courses (6 weeks)
  • 2nd Year (Summer 2018): Elem. JPN Pedagogy + 3 M.A. Courses (9 weeks)
  • 3rd Year (Summer 2019): Inter/Adv. JPN Pedagogy + 3 M.A. Courses (9 weeks) and register for M.A. Thesis Research
  • March 2020: Complete the M.A. Thesis
  • May 2020: Obtain M.A. Degree


Beginning in 2018
  • 1st Year (Summer 2018): Elem. JPN Pedagogy + 3 M.A. Courses (9 weeks)
  • 2nd Year (Summer 2019): Inter/Adv. JPN Pedagogy + 3 M.A. Courses (9 weeks)
  • 3rd Year (Summer 2020): 3 M.A. Courses (6 weeks) and register for M.A. Thesis Research
  • March 2021: Complete the M.A. Thesis
  • May 2021: Obtain M.A. Degree

Q: What are the requirements for applying as a non-degree student?

A: To apply as a non-degree student, you need to submit the following material. You don’t need to send your TOEFL or OPI score.

  • Official Transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Handwritten Statement of Purpose in Japanese
  • Resume

Q: Do I need to use a specific form for the statement of purpose in Japanese?

A: No, but it must be handwritten on a single sheet of plain paper. Do not use “genkou youshi.”

Q: I’m interested in only one of the M.A. courses that will be offered this summer. Is it possible to take only one course?

A: No, students must take all the courses. Unfortunately, we do not have any enrollment option that would allow you to take only some courses.

Q: How should I request an application packet?

A: You must apply using the following online application. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is no longer printing paper applications.

Application Information for GSAS (The Graduate School of Arts and Science, Columbia University)

Q: When should I submit application materials to the admissions office? Is there “early admission”?

A: The deadline for the 2017 summer application is February 15, 2017. You could start the application process online as soon as it becomes available in October, but we suggest that you wait until receiving the result of the TOEFL or OPI test before starting the process. Applicants for our M.A. Program must submit all materials together, including their TOEFL or OPI score and the statement of purpose in Japanese. (Please remember that the admissions office will not start reviewing your application until all required materials have been received.) We will not make admissions decisions until after the deadline, February 15th. There is no early admission for the Japanese Pedagogy M.A. Program.

Q: Can I get an F-1 student visa if I am accepted into the program?

A: Yes. After you submit the appropriate documentation, the International Students and Scholars Office will issue you a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 form) to allow you to apply for an F-1 student visa at the US embassy. Bear in mind that the I-20 will only be valid for the year you will be enrolled. The I-20 needs to be issued each year for which you will be attending the program. Please note that international students cannot participate as non-degree students since they are not qualified for I-20 and cannot apply for student F-1 visas.

Q: Is it possible to obtain a one-year OPT visa to work in the United States after completing the MA program?

A. Unfortunately, students are not eligible to apply for OPT after the completion of their program because the program lasts only two months each year and they do not accumulate enough time in F-1 status. According to immigration regulations, only students who have been in full-time student status for at least one full academic year are eligible to apply for OPT. 

Q: Where can I get more information about the TOEFL?

A: Please refer to the following TOEFL website.

TOEFL Official Website

Q: I’m a non-native speaker of Japanese. How should I take the Oral Proficiency Interview?

A: Please refer to the following ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) website for information about the OPI. ACTFL Certified Proficiency Testing Programs

Q: What time do the classes start and end?

A: Classes are held Monday through Friday. Here is the schedule.

  1. 8:30-10:00 (90 min)
  2. 10:15-11:45 (90 min)
  3. 1:00-2:00 (60min)

Q: What kind of housing options are available?

A: On-campus housing is available for our M.A. students. The housing cost was $63/night (not including NY sales tax) in 2016. We expect a slight increase in the housing fee. If you prefer to live in an apartment or a sublet, you may do so. However, in that case, you will have to make your own arrangements.

Q: Is financial aid available?

A: Please refer to the following website for the information on financial aid.  Financing Your Education, GSAS