JTW Program Options

You can plan your own course of study from a range of options to suit your schedule and meet your individual needs:

Study Period Options

Academic year (recommended): October-July
One semester: October-February or April-July

Enrollment Requirements and Choices

All JTW students must enroll in at least six courses each semester (or five courses if you also undertake a semester-long independent study project).

You may satisfy the six-course requirement by taking at least one JTW core course along with a minimum of another five selections, in permitted combinations, from the following:

  • up to five additional core courses
  • one advanced laboratory research project (which counts as two courses)
  • up to two regular faculty courses (whether taught in English or Japanese)
  • Three Japanese language courses (JACs) (enrolled in for two successive six-week rounds)
  • one non-Japanese language course (other than English or your native tongue)
  • two half-term courses (which together are treated as one course)

Certain restrictions apply, however. You may, if you wish, take additional faculty and/or language courses, but these will not count toward the six-course requirement, though it may be possible still to earn credit for these. With some faculty courses, only visiting the class is allowed, and with all faculty courses, permission of the instructor is required to attend. Also, study of another language (for example, Mandarin or Korean) meets the requirement only if you can also demonstrate advanced proficiency in Japanese and have decided not to study Japanese for the term. Credit is not awarded for English training classes. And only science and engineering majors may undertake advanced laboratory research projects.

Course categories and projects are discussed briefly below.

Courses and Projects(The assignment of credits to each course unit is based on Kyushu University’s credit system.)

JTW Core Courses

The JTW Program draws on Kyushu University’s diverse resources to offer a wide variety of courses in English in the field of Japanese Studies supervised by teaching staff from various faculties. Classes are held at the International Student Center on our main Hakozaki Campus. Each course lasts for fifteen weeks (i.e., one semester), with one ninety-minute class meeting every week. Although designed specifically for JTW students, classes are also open to regular Kyushu students. You can choose to earn extra credits as well, as long as you arrange with the course supervisor to complete the required amount of extra assignments. If you have the skills, you may opt to use Japanese language materials with your instructor’s permission. The 2016-17 curriculum will be similar to the 2015-16 course offerings, which are listed below. (Lecture; 2 credits/course, 3rd credit optional)

Independent Study Projects (ISP)

All JTW students have the option to research in depth a topic in Japanese studies of their own choosing, under faculty guidance. Undertaking an ISP reduces the JTW semester full enrollment requirement from six courses to five. Students are expected, at the end of the term, to share their research results with the Kyushu University community, through an oral presentation and a written report, discussing findings, methodology, and project significance. Projects are assessed at the end of the semester for effort and achievement.
Science or engineering ISPs that further your understanding of Japan are encouraged if you have the appropriate major or background. You have been asked to decide upon a research topic prior to coming to Japan so as to facilitate the assignment of faculty advisors. For a list of past ISP topics, see
(2 credits/semester; 4/year)

Advanced Laboratory Research (ALR)

If you are majoring in science or engineering and at least in your third year of study, you may opt to do an ALR project, in which you design and carry out intensive laboratory research. Your first step is to formulate a specific plan with your own training in mind. Once this is approved, you will be assigned to work in a laboratory setting under the guidance of an appropriate specialist in any of the faculties of Engineering, Sciences, Agriculture, or Pharmacy. We will ask you to decide on a research topic before coming to Japan to allow time for locating a suitable advisor. An ALR counts as two courses toward the required six per term. (Laboratory; 90 hours and 2 credits/semester)(2 credits/semester; 4/year)

Faculty Courses

Some faculties at Kyushu (Economics, Humanities, and, Engineering, for example) also run their own special courses in English designed for international students, although these vary considerably from year to year. Eligibility for JTW students is subject to approval by the course supervisors concerned. If you are fluent enough to follow a regular faculty course in Japanese, you can experience a Kyushu student’s lecture hall for yourself. You perhaps may want only to audit such a class, just to find out what it is really like, but with permission of the supervisor, you may also take a course for credit. Bear in mind that no more than two faculty courses may be applied to the six-course requirement. (Lecture; 2 credits/course)

Japanese Language Courses (JACs)

As a JTW student you have access to Kyushu University’s renowned Japanese language courses held at the International Student Center. Developed primarily for the needs of Kyushu’s large numbers of graduate students from abroad, these run for six weeks each, with two sessions or rounds per semester. There are seven levels of general courses, catering for absolute beginners to advanced learners. At most levels there are also skills-oriented courses that focus on reading, writing (including kanji-learning), and/or speaking. If you have had some experience learning Japanese already, you will need to take a placement test at the start of your first semester so that you can be assigned to the class level most suitable for you. Two courses each term may be counted toward the required six, though it is permissible to take additional class. For more information, see the Japanese Language Courses web pages here (1 or 2 credits/course)

Half-term Courses

JTW recently introduced half-semester course options to its curriculum. These provide intensive focus on selected topics, and are intended to diversify further the student’s academic experience. Offerings for 2008-09 explore traditional (Noh) and contemporary (Butoh) performing arts, the novels of Murakami Haruki, the films of Miyazaki Hayao, and post-Meiji government language reform policies. (1 credit/course)


JTW Core Course Offerings

Lecture Cancellation

Field Study Trips

Study trips periodically take you off campus and outside Fukuoka to experience fascinating aspects of Japanese culture and history. Destinations for 2015-16 include a sumo stable, a Shinto shrine, , terraced paddy fields which you will help plant and harvest in spring and fall respectively, the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, a kabuki (traditional performance art) theater, a Buddhist temple and garden where you will practice Zen meditation, a local elementary school, and an automobile assembly plant, among others. Lectures held before each outing provide background and orientation. Participation is optional though strongly encouraged, and a small fee to defray meal and venue admission costs occasionally may be charged.

Credit Transfer

If your home university has an academic exchange agreement with Kyushu University, we may be able to arrange for the transfer of credits that you receive for your courses on the JTW Program. This is subject to the terms of each agreement, and each case of credit transfer needs to be authorized by the home university.


As mentioned in the previous section, completion of the JTW program entails passing a minimum number of courses per term rather than earning a fixed number of credits. Nonetheless, credits in some cases may be transferred to the student’s home institution academic record and counted towards a degree program with the proper authorization.

Courses, research projects, and special events offer credits as follows:

JTW core courses

2 credits each (3 possible—obtain instructor
permission and consult with JTW Coordinator)

Independent Study Project

2 credits for a single-semester project;
4 credits for a two-semester project (requires approval of supervisor and JTW coordinator; no partial credit awarded for projects not completed)

Advanced Laboratory Research

2 credits per semester

Faculty courses

2 credits each (earning 3+ credits is not possible)

Japanese Language Courses (JACs)

1 credit for each 6-week round;
2 credits for two successive 6-week rounds

Other Language Courses

2 credits each (no credit awarded for training courses in English or in student’s native language)

Half-term courses

1 credit each

Study trips, special events, lectures, etc.

No credit awarded

Official awarding of credit is subject to approval by the International Student Center Oversight Committee, and credit transfer is also subject to approval by the student’s home institution. Those interested in earning additional credits, which must be approved both by the relevant course instructor and the JTW Executive Committee, should contact the JTW Coordinator.

JTW students should consult with their home institution academic advisor(s), in advance of or during the JTW course registration period, regarding the applicability of JTW courses and credits to their degree program.