The Department of Chinese and Japanese offers a major and a correlate sequence (minor) in both Chinese and Japanese. The department provides four years of language instruction in each of the languages and a wide range of literature and culture courses on poetry, fiction, drama, film, popular culture, and linguistics.
Students who are considering a major or double major in Chinese or Japanese are strongly urged to begin their language study in their freshman year, continuing with intermediate or advanced language courses in their sophomore and junior years. We also recommend taking Chinese-Japanese 120 as early as possible. Students who have taken Chinese or Japanese in high school or have grown up in a home where the language was spoken may take an Advanced Placement test to determine the appropriate level at which they should enroll.
The department administers the Vassar Summer Program in China and the Vassar Summer Program in Tokyo, Japan. The department also places students in strong Junior Year Abroad study programs. It organizes annual events such as Chinese and Japanese Culture Day, Chinese New Year Celebration, and Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival to enrich the students' language and cultural experiences.