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Asian Languages and Literatures, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Check out the Fall 2014 Course Schedule

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Asian Languages and Literatures
Department of Languages, Literatures
and Cultures

440 Herter Hall Box 39312
161 Presidents Drive
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003-9312

Undergraduate Program Contact:
Mary Ellen White Maynard
Phone: (413) 545-2807
Fax: (413) 545-3178

Graduate Program Contact:
Phone: (413) 545-0886
Fax: (413) 545-3178

Whom should I contact?


Honors in the Japanese Program
Students enrolled in the Commonwealth Honors College (see pursue an Honors Track in Japanese. For further information, contact your Commonwealth College adviser or the Honors Program Director for Japanese, Professor Doris G. Bargen.


Recent Faculty Publications:

Dr. David K. Schneider, Confucian Prophet: Political Thought In Du Fu's Poetry (752-757), Cambria Press

Dr. Stephen Miller, The Wind from Vulture Peak: The Buddhification of Japanese Waka in the Heian Period, Cornell East A


Congratulations, Class of 2014!


Chinese placement test will be given on the first day of the classes in which
students have enrolled for the fall semester of 2014. Please contact Yu Liu ( for any questions.

Japanese placement test for Fall 2014:Tuesday, September 2, 1:30-5:30pm (Herter Hall 301) Wednesday, September 3, 2:00-6:00pm (Herter Hall 301)
Please register using the following link to take the placement test

Korean placement test will be on Wed. Sept 2nd and 3rd. Please contact Chanyoung Park ( to arrange a placement test.


Asian Languages and Literatures became part of the established curriculum at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1969 with the founding of degree programs in Chinese and Japanese by the late Professor William E. Naff. After more than four decades of growth we still take very seriously our founding mission--to share knowledge and understanding of the rich cultures of Asia with the students of this land-grant university as an essential part of their preparation to participate in a global society.

                                  The Great Wall 万里長城, China

Founded as Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1863, when the U.S. was just becoming aware of the importance of East Asia in the modern world, UMass Amherst is the only public institution of higher education in New England to offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Chinese and Japanese.

Because of this we attract students from the entire Northeast region. The Regional Student Program makes our programs particularly good value for New England students from outside of Massachusetts. The students and faculty also benefit from the excellent library that UMass Amherst offers-visit our East Asian Collection online to see for yourself.

                                  Kinkaku-ji 金閣寺, Kyoto, Japan

Our undergraduate major programs offer students a sound command of the languages as well as a solid background in literature, linguistics, culture, and civilization. Our minor programs offer a combination of skills which can greatly enrich the undergraduate experience and increase postgraduate possibilities.

Our study-abroad programs are aimed at increasing students' fluency in Chinese and Japanese as well as deepening their understanding of those cultures.

Students attaining the Bachelor of Arts degree have gone on to graduate school, to positions in various businesses (banking, marketing, exporting, investing) in the United States and in Asia, to teaching in Japan and Taiwan, to careers in journalism, diplomacy, government agencies, library science, museums, writing and more.

Students attaining the Master of Arts degree to date have gone on to Ph.D. programs (University of California, Columbia, Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, University of British Columbia, University of Washington) or to law school; others work for investment firms, cross-cultural programs, or in teaching.