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Genuine beginners wishing to learn Japanese should enroll in JAPN 101. Anyone with prior knowledge of Japanese will be required to take a placement test that determines what class they should begin with.

The first six semesters of the language sequence must be taken in order, JAPN 101 > 102 > 203 > 204 > 305 > 306, unless students demonstrate by taking the placement test that, through studying or living abroad or studying at another institution, they have gained sufficient proficiency to enroll in a higher-level course. Admittance to higher-level courses without having completed the prior sequence will only be allowed based on the results of the placement test. Enrollment in a higher-level course concurrently with JAPN 306 may very occasionally be permitted only with department permission.

Students who have completed JAPN 306 may then take any of the 400- or 500-level courses they wish, in any order.