The Japanese language program at UCI fulfills two major needs:

1. to provide language training and cultural understandings for students who are taking the course for their language requirements, and 
2. to strengthen the language ability of majors/minors who study Japanese literature, culture, history, art, etc. 

The students are required to take three quarters of languages classes (1A-B-C) for their general requirements. The goal of those four courses is to help students learn Japanese for communication as well as to build a firm foundation in the language. The four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are equally emphasized. 

The goal of the 2B through 103C (formerly 3C) courses is to teach students about Japanese culture (both traditional and contemporary) and society through Japanese sources.

The focus of the 4th Year Japanese, however, is on reading. The students are exposed to a variety of readings such as newspaper articles, fiction, and essays.