FAQ about The Summer M.A. Program in Japanese Pedagogy

updated: 7/18/2013

Q: I don't have any background in teaching Japanese and I didn't study this field in college. Is it difficult for me to be accepted into the program?

A: There are students who have neither an undergraduate degree related to teaching languages nor teaching experience, but are still accepted to the program. You do not have to worry about your qualifications for the program. However, it is crucial that you explain your motivation for participating in the program, future plans, career goals, etc. in your hand-written statement of purpose, which is a requirement for applying to the program.

Q: How much is the tuition for the M.A. program?

A: The tuition for 2014 will be finalized in March. Typically, the tuition increases by 5 % each year. In 2013, the tuition was $12,230. In addition, there are other charges, such as Facility and Health Service fees. Unfortunately, there are no scholarships available for this program.

**On rare occasions, students will choose to complete the M.A. over the course of four summers (instead of the usual three summers). In this case, the student may take a Pedagogy course (Elementary or Intermediate/Advanced) during one summer and complete the remaining courses over an additional three summers. In this special case, the tuition for one of the three summers will be decreased to reflect the fact that the student has already paid for the Pedagogy course.

Q: I would like to take the three-week Elementary Pedagogy course only as a non-degree student. How much is the tuition?

A: The tuition was $4,146 for the three-week pedagogy course in 2013. Again, it increases by 5 % each year. Please note that international students cannot participate as non-degree students since they are not qualified for I-20 and cannot apply for student F-1 visas.

Q: When are Elementary and Intermediate/Advanced Pedagogy courses offered? Also, in what cycle are the other M.A. courses scheduled?

A: Elementary and Intermediate/Advanced Pedagogy courses are offered alternately every year. The Elementary course is scheduled to be offered in 2014 and 2016, while the Intermediate/Advanced course is scheduled to be offered in 2015 and 2017, respectively. The other courses rotate over a three-year period. For example, the 3 M.A. courses offered in summer 2014 will be offered again in 2017.

Q: When do I write my M.A. Thesis?

A: After completing all the course work over three summers, students write the first draft of their M.A. thesis by January and submit the completed paper in March.

Q: How many courses am I supposed to take in the second and third year? Also, when will I complete the program and earn my degree?

A: The following schedules represent the courses a student would take if completing the M.A. in three consecutive years, beginning in the summer of 2014 or the summer of 2015.

Beginning in 2014
  • 1st Year (summer 2014): Elem. JPN Pedagogy + 3 M.A. Courses (9 weeks)
  • 2nd Year (summer 2015): Inter/Adv. JPN Pedagogy + 3 M.A. Courses (9 weeks)
  • 3rd Year (summer 2016): 3 M.A. Courses (6 weeks) and register M.A. Thesis Research
  • March, 2017: Complete the M.A. Thesis
  • May, 2017: Obtain M.A. Degree

  • Beginning in 2015
  • 1st Year (summer 2015): 3 M.A. Courses (6 weeks)
  • 2nd Year (summer 2016): Elem. JPN Pedagogy + 3 M.A. Courses (9 weeks)
  • 3rd Year (summer 2017): Inter/Adv. JPN Pedagogy + 3 M.A. Courses (9 weeks) and register M.A. Thesis Research
  • March, 2018: Complete the M.A. Thesis
  • May, 2018: Obtain M.A. Degree

  • Q: What are the requirements for applying as a non-degree student?

    A: To apply as a non-degree student, you need to submit the followings. You don't need to send your TOEFL or OPI score.
    (1) Official Transcripts
    (2) Two letters of recommendation
    (3) Handwritten Statement of Purpose in Japanese
    (4) Resume

    Q: Do I need to use a specific form for statement of purpose in Japanese?

    A: No, but it must be "handwritten" on a single sheet of plain paper. Do not use "genkou youshi".

    Q: I'm interested in only one of the M.A. courses which will be offered this summer. Is it possible to take only one course?

    A: No, students must take all the courses. Unfortunately, we do not have any enrollment option that would allow you to take only some courses.

    Q: How should I request for an application packet?

    A: You must apply using the following online application. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is no longer printing applications.

    Application Information of GSAS (The Graduate School of Arts and Science, Columbia University)

    Q: When should I submit application materials to the admission office? Is there "early admission"?

    A: The deadline for 2014 summer application is February 17, 2014. You could start the application process online as soon as it becomes available in October, but we suggest that you wait until receiving the result of the TOEFL or OPI test before starting the process. Applicants for our M.A. Program must submit all the materials together, including the TOEFL or OPI score and the essay in Japanese. (Please remember that the admission office will not start reviewing your application until all required materials are received.) In any case, we will not start selecting admitted students until the deadline, February 17th. There is no early admission for the Japanese Pedagogy M.A. Program.

    Q: Can I get an F-1 student visa if I am accepted into the program?

    A: Yes. After you submit the appropriate documentation, the International Students and Scholars Office will issue you a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 form) to allow you to apply for an F-1 student visa at the US embassy. Bear in mind that the I-20 will only be valid during the program period for the year you will be enrolled. The I-20 needs to be issued each year for which you will be attending the program. Please note that international students cannot participate as non-degree students since they are not qualified for I-20 and cannot apply for student F-1 visas.

    Q: Is it possible to obtain a one-year OPT visa to work in the United States after completing the MA program?

    A. Unfortunately, students are not eligible to apply for OPT after the completion of their program because the program lasts only two months each year and they do not accumulate enough time in F-1 status. According to immigration regulation, in order for a student to apply for OPT, he or she must be in status for at least an academic year. In other words, they need to be register fulltime for at least one full academic year before they can apply for OPT.

    Q: Where can I get more information on TOEFL?

    A: Please refer to the following TOEFL website.

    TOEFL Official Website

    Q: I'm a non-native speaker of Japanese. How should I take the Oral Proficiency Interview?

    A: Please refer to the following ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) website for the information on OPI.
    ACTFL Certified Proficiency Testing Programs

    Q: What time does the class start and end?

    A: The class is held Monday through Friday (July 4th is an academic holiday). Here is the schedule.

    I: 8:30-10:00 (90 min)
    II: 10:15-11:45 (90 min)
    IIi: 1:00-2:00 (60min)

    Q: What kind of housing options are available?

    A: On-campus dormitory is available for our M.A. students. The housing cost was $50/night (not including NY sales tax) in 2013. We expect a slight increase in the housing fee. If you prefer to live in an apartment or a sublet, you may do so. However, in that case, you will have to arrange housing on your own.

    Q: How can I pay tuition?

    A: Checks, money orders, traveler's checks and cash are accepted at our Cashiering windows on campus. Checks must be in U.S. currency drawn on a U.S. bank. You can also pay by credit card, but the university has contracted with a third party processor for those who choose to pay by credit card. The processor will charge a non-refundable convenience fee to the credit card user based on the amount of the payment. American Express, Discover, and MasterCard are accepted.

    Q: Is finalcial aid available?

    A: Please refer to the following website for the infromation on financial aid.

    Financing Your Education, GSAS