Skip Navigation
UMass Amherst Back to LLC Site

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


On this Page...

Honors Programs
Japanese Language and Literature

Honors Program in Japanese Contact
Professor Doris Bargen

Honors Program in Chinese Contact
Professor Elena Chiu


Undergraduate Program Inquiries

Mary Ellen White Maynard
Undergraduate Program
Herter 418
(413) 545-2807


Honors Programs

Departmental Honors
Printer-friendly pdf.

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 (office hours in Fall 2013: TUE, 12-12:45 in Herter 439 and TUE, 1-2:15 in Commonwealth Honors College, Elm 233).

Eligibility: Students of Japanese are eligible to enroll inCommonwealth Honors College (CHC) at UMass Amherst (see, if they have completed one full-time semester of 12 or more graded credits at UMass Amherst andearned an overall and most recent semester GPA of 3.400 or higher at UMass Amherst.Please note that even current juniors may still apply forDepartmental Honors in Japanese!

Tracks: Students of Japanese admitted to CHC have a choice between Departmental Honors or Multidisciplinary Honors (the latter is often chosen by double majors) either by completing a full curriculum or a partial curriculum.

Benefits: Honors in Japanese offers students many benefits, such a eligibility to apply for scholarships and residence in CHC. Students graduating with Honors in Japanese may also have a career advantage.

Contact: Students interested in Honors should contact the Honors Program Director for Japanese, Professor Doris G. Bargen (office hours in Spring 2014: TUE 1-2 in Herter 439 or for special appointments:

Departmental Honors (DH) is an Advanced Scholarship track of Commonwealth Honors College (CHC). Students may complete DH as part of the full CHC curriculum, which includes Honors General Studies, or they may complete DH alone. All DH students are members of CHC.
Successful completion of the DH requirements with minimum grades of B (or as specified below) and the submission of a properly formatted Honors Thesis or Project manuscript will result in the award of "Departmental Honors" on the student's academic transcript. For information about DH, speak with your Honors Program Director and see Admission Process below. For information about the full CHC Curriculum see

General Admission Criteria
Minimally, to be eligible to apply for DH, students must have ~ An overall GPA of 3.400 or higher
earned after one fulltime semester of UMass Amherst coursework ~ The ability to complete the DH-­‐Track requirements ~ The ability to complete the CHC residency requirement, i.e., 45-­‐graded (not pass/fail) credits earned at UMass Amherst (not transferred)

Admissions Process
~ UMass Amherst students who are not already members of Commonwealth Honors College (CHC) must apply to Departmental Honors (DH), an Advanced Scholarship track of CHC, via the CHC online application using the following link.­‐current-­‐students
~ CHC members meet with the department’s Honors Program Director (HPD) regarding their interest in joining Departmental Honors (DH), an Advanced Scholarship track of CHC. The HPD will determine a
student's eligibility and preparedness for DH. Admission to DH will be at the discretion of the HPD based on the criteria as established by the department and CHC (see Admission Criteria above). The HPD will notify the CHC office of newly accepted DH students so appropriate steps can be taken for SPIRE designation.

Program Requirements
1 JAPAN honors course any level
1 JAPAN honors course 300‐level or higher Honors Thesis or Project. Options Below:
• Individually contracted: JAPAN 499Y Honors Research and JAPAN 499T Honors Thesis or Project
• Honors Thesis Seminar: JAPAN 499C (Fall: The Samurai) and JAPAN 499D (Spring: Rebels and Martyrs).
Note: JAPAN 499D of this yearlong honors thesis seminar includes an optional assignment the completion of which allows 499D
to fulfill the Integrative Experience (IE) Gen Ed requirement.

Notes: A maximum of two JAPAN intensive language courses (6 credits each) may count toward DH requirements if class size is below 21.

Requirement Exceptions
Note: exceptions to the requirements above require approval by both the Honors Program Director (HPD) and a Commonwealth Honors College advisor; requests must be submitted in writing via the CHC
Petition for Exception form

General Links
CHC Application:‐honors‐college Honors Credentialing: Honors Thesis or Project:
Manuscript documentation and formatting: