Placement and Placing Out of the Language Requirement

Semester: Fall

Offered: 2016

Japanese Language Program: Placement test

There are two parts of placement test for Japanese Language Program at UPenn:

(1) Online test and (2) Oral interview, Essay and Consultation

  • Online test:please take the online test in advance. Please keep the score to yourself and submit it in advance to JLP Director, Ms. Tomoko Takami
  • The oral interview, essay, and consultation will take place during the NSO: Friday, August 26th 2016 from 8:30am-10am (Location: TBA–will be posted soon)


As a part of placement test for Japanese language program at UPenn, we ask prospective students to take the following online test in advance and submit the score.

  • SPOT 90
  • Kanji SPOT50

Please see below for the procedure:


Please note that this test measures what you can do with the language. Thus, some questions are easy (they try to measure what you can do) and some questions are difficult (they try to measure what you cannot do with the language yet). Don’t feel discouraged if you encounter questions whose answer you don’t know the answer to.

If you have any questions, please email Tomoko Takami, Director of Japanese Language Program, at

Tomoko Takami: 850 Williams Hall / 215-573-3640

The Language Certificate

Students wishing to pursue advanced language study but who cannot or do not want to fulfill the requirements of a major or minor may apply for the Language Certificate.  The minimum requirement for the certificate is three courses BEYOND proficiency (or the equivalent total of seven courses) in the same language.  Courses taught in literature and culture in the original language are accepted.  Approved Study Abroad courses may also be accepted.  Only courses for which a grade of “B+” or above is given will count toward the certificate.

Completion of the certificate will be noted on the student’s transcript and at graduation.  Applications may be obtained in the department office.

Course Offering

Registrar’s Site



Which Course to Take?

Which beginning Japanese course should you take?

Let’s say you have no or nearly no prior knowledge of Japanese.

If you want to use Japanese for the language requirement, or you want to major or minor in Japanese, choose between 

  • JPAN021/022    
  • JPAN011/012.

 JPAN021/022: Intensive Beginning Japanese I & II

Choose this course, if any of the following apply:

  1. You want to complete the language requirement (4 c.u.) in one year.
  2. You want to study Japanese abroad in your junior year, especially at a Japanese-only institution such as Kanazawa University or Hitotsubashi University.
  3. You want to go to Japan next summer.
  4. You have some knowledge of Chinese characters or speak a language related to Japanese. This course is not designed for students with such background, but such students will probably prefer to study Japanese intensively.

For freshman, JPAN021, which is 2 c.u. per semester, will constitute half your course load. This has the advantage of enabling you to concentrate on fewer subjects during your freshman year.


JPAN011/012 & JPAN0111/112: Beginning Japanese I & II/III & IV

Choose this option if any of the following apply:

  1. You don’t mind taking two years to complete your language requirement (4 c.u.).
  2. You have never studied any foreign language and are apprehensive about the pace of an intensive course.

The content of JPAN011/012 (fall and spring, 2 c.u. total) plus JPAN111/112 (fall and spring, 2 c.u. total) is identical to JPAN021/022. If you take JPAN011/012 as a freshman, you will be able to take more courses in your freshman year, but you will have to take JPAN0111/112 in your sophomore year in order to complete the language requirement. If you plan to major in Japanese, you will also have to take JPAN211/212: Intermediate Japanese I & II, in your junior year.

If you have some prior knowledge of Japanese, and you want to use Japanese for the language requirement or major or minor in Japanese, you many be able to place somewhere into the JPAN011/012/111/112 sequence. Completion of JPAN112 (or JPAN022) will fulfill your requirement no matter where you begin. (If you choose to major or minor, you will still need a total of 14 c.u. or 8 c.u. respectively, the rest of which you may fulfill with other EALC courses.)

Please see Tomoko Takami ( /215-573-3640) about placement.

If you do not need to use Japanese for your language requirement, and you do not plan to major or minor in Japanese, you may want to take Japanese courses offered through the College of Liberal and Professional Studies.

 JPAN001/002: Introductory Spoken Japanese I / II (LPS)