Grow Your Business in Japan

American corporations are rapidly increasing their level of technical cooperation with Japanese firms. These corporations need professionals who excel technically and can communicate well with their Japanese counterparts.

More engineers and engineering students are studying Japanese than ever before, and UW-Madison has some specific opportunities that can formalize these studies into professional recognition, one in the form of a Technical Japanese master’s degree.

The Master of Engineering: Technical Japanese is a unique educational opportunity that can improve your ability to interact effectively with your Japanese counterparts in the technical or business arena. UW’s Technical Japanese is the only program that delivers this content in an online format, allowing you to earn your degree without interrupting your work or career.

Recognized for Excellence

UW-Madison’s online engineering graduate programs are world class and are recognized for quality. UW is consistently ranked in the Top 10 by U.S. News & World Report for online engineering graduate programs.

Deborah Lewis

Graduating Year: 2014

“Even after my first year in the METJ program, I could see a marked improvement in my translation accuracy and speed, and I continued to improve over my next two years in the program."

‘Kaizen’ for You and Your Firm

The Master of Engineering: Technical Japanese benefits engineers and scientists who gather scientific and technical information from Japanese sources or wish to follow the research and development activities of Japanese colleagues. The program will be particularly useful to professionals working on joint development and technological exchange projects.

Distance learning formats allow you to complete the degree from any location without interfering with your work and family responsibilities. 

A Unique Model

This unique model also provides students experience with best practices in virtual teamwork and collaboration – crucial skills in an increasingly global economy. 

In this program, you will use live webconferencing, and software applications to complete assignments and participate in team projects. This flexible learning environment is designed to make the best use of your time without interrupting your career, family, or travel with rigid class schedules.


Consistently ranked in the Top 10 Online Engineering Graduate Programs

Ranked No.5 Online Engineering Graduate Programs for Veterans

Effective Translation

Technical information from Japan is obtained most effectively when Japanese sources are used.

UW–Madison’s Technical Japanese courses focus on translating and understanding Japanese printed materials and stress technical vocabulary not found in Japanese literature or conversation courses. Strategies for reading and analyzing the flow of ideas are reinforced through regular assignments and daily feedback from your instructor. 

Degree Requirements

The University of Wisconsin’s Master of Engineering: Technical Japanese program requires 30 credits for completion. 

For more information on program degree requirements, please contact Gary Henderson, Director of Student Services.


Learn how to not only translate Japanese, but understand the Japanese culture and their approach to business and government. Upon completion of this program, you will have solid Japanese reading and writing skills, and the ability to work seamlessly with your Japanese counterparts.

Required Courses

Basic Technical Japanese I
Learn the three types of Japanese writing and the fundamentals of Japanese grammar. This course covers hiragana, katakana and 100 of the most frequent kanji in the sciences and engineering. Short readings will help you master grammar and technical vocabulary.


3 Credits
Basic Technical Japanese II
Learn some of the most important elements of Japanese grammar to read technical documents. This course will cover an additional 165 kanji. Review a wide range of short and intermediate-length readings to reinforce grammatical foundation and broaden vocabulary.


3 Credits
Intermediate Technical Japanese I
Learn 300 of the most frequently used kanji in technical fields through readings selected from physics, chemistry, mechanical, chemical and electrical engineering. Assignments emphasize a vocabulary that is useful across many disciplines.


3 Credits
Intermediate Technical Japanese II
Put your skills to use! Readings will focus on engineering applications such as information processing, telecommunications, electronics and devices, manufacturing technology, energy technology and advanced materials. Complete individual translation project on a topic of your choice.


3 Credits
Japanese for Business and Industry
Delve into topics such as the structure of the Japanese economy, Japanese corporations, and the relationship between government and business in Japan, by reading and translating a portion of a recently published Japanese book.


3 Credits
Japanese for Politics and Government
Read and translate part of a recently published Japanese book that deals with topics such as the development of the Japanese political system, an overview of the major Japanese political parties, and current policy issues in Japan.


3 Credits
Advanced Technical Japanese Seminar
"Read and translate papers from recent issues of Japanese journals in electronics, automotive technology, and chemical technology. Typical topics include semiconductor technology, engine systems, energy technology, and advanced materials. No glossary is provided. New papers are used every year."


3 Credits
Research in Japanese Technical Literature
Select a topic of interest to you and translate into English several papers from recent issues of Japanese technical journals or several chapters from recently published Japanese technical books. The instructor will help each student find papers or books in his/her field. No glossary is provided.


2 Credits
Independent Study in Technical Japanese




Faculty members in the technical Japanese program are experts in their field and provide students with an engaging experience that is convenient and accessible anytime, regardless of your location and work schedule.

James L. Davis, PhD

James Davis

Program Director/Instructor
Davis is a professor and director of the Technical Japanese Program in the Department of Engineering Professional Development at UW-Madison. He has worked as an engineer in industry and has conducted research as a Fulbright graduate Fellow at Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan. He also has more than 25 years of experience as a translator of Japanese technical documents and is certified by the American Translators Association in Japanese-to-English translation. His publications include Basic Technical Japanese Supplements: Biotechnology (1995) and Intermediate Technical Japanese (2002). Professor Davis has been honored as an Outstanding Instructor by the National Technological University (1993-2001) and received an Outstanding Instructor Award from the University of Wisconsin–Madison Polygon Engineering.

Philip O'Leary, PhD, PE

Phil O'Leary

Department Chair
O'Leary directs the technical outreach program for the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In this capacity he oversees the delivery of more than 400 continuing education courses each year in a wide range of technical specialties. The program, which serves a national audience, delivers training at multiple locations throughout the US and also over the Internet. His area of professional interest is solid waste management, hazardous waste control, groundwater quality protection, and related environmental topics. His landfill design seminar has been attended by thousands of people who are now responsible for developing, permitting and operating landfills throughout the US and Canada. O'Leary also has extensive international waste management experience. He has been Department Chairman since July 1995. His engineering and land resources degrees are from the University of Wisconsin–Madison

Wayne P. Pferdehirt, MS, PE

Wayne Pferdehirt

Online Degree Director
Pferdehirt is the director of distance degree programs for the College of Engineering and director of the Master of Engineering Management program at UW-Madison. He also co-teaches the Master of Engineering Management program's Technical Project Management and Foundations of Engineering Leadership courses. Prior to joining UW-Madison, Pferdehirt directed the Midwest solid waste consulting services of an international environmental consulting firm and led energy conservation research projects for Argonne National Laboratory. He has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and a master’s degree in civil engineering with an emphasis in regional planning from Northwestern University. He is a frequent speaker and author on continuing education for engineers, and is a member of the College of Engineering’s Education Innovation Committee.

Shainah Greene, MA

Shainah Greene

Graduate Programs Coordinator
Greene is the Graduate Programs Coordinator for Engineering Professional Development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. One of her main roles is to provide admission assistance to all prospective students and aid each current student through their program. Previously, she has been in higher education roles that consisted of registrar's assistance, admission counseling, and strategic planning for graduate programs. With this experience, she prides herself on advising students and addressing any issues that arise. She also chairs the admission committees for Engineering Professional Development programs. With a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she is a proud alum that practices the mission of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is excited to aid each fellow Badger on their path to success within their program

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for the Master of Engineering: Technical Japanese program are listed below.

Exceptions to standard admission requirements are considered by the admissions committee on an individual basis.

  • A BS degree from a program accredited by the ABET or the equivalent.*
  • A minimum undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours (approximately two years of work) or a master’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00. Applicants from an international institution must have a strong academic performance comparable to a 3.00 for an undergraduate or master’s degree. All GPAs are based on a 4.00 scale. We use your institution’s grading scale; do not convert your grades to a 4.00 scale.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must provide scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 580 on the written version, 243 on the computer version, or 92 on the Internet version.
  • International applicants must have a degree comparable to an approved U.S. bachelor’s degree. 

We do not require applicants to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). 

*Equivalency to an ABET accredited program: Applicants who do not hold a bachelor’s degree from an ABET accredited program may also qualify for admission to the program. Such applicants must have a BS in science, technology, or a related field with sufficient coursework and professional experience to demonstrate proficiency in engineering practice OR at least 16 credits of math and science coursework. Registration as a professional engineer by examination, if achieved, should be documented to support your application. 

Application Overview

The admissions process has been designed to be easy and straightforward for applicants while also providing the admissions committee adequate information to conduct a holistic review of your likelihood of success in the program. Decisions are based on your academic and professional background, and the fit between your personal and career objectives and those of the program.

To start the process, please read the admission requirements to determine your eligibility. If you have questions about your eligibility, please request an eligibility review by e-mailing Shainah Greene at This e-mail should include a copy of your current resume and informal transcripts.

Applications are reviewed in the order received. Admission is competitive and selective. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to submit application materials prior to the early consideration deadlineApplications received before the regular consideration deadline will be guaranteed review. Applications received during the late consideration period will be reviewed pending availability and only for applicants that surpass all stated admission requirements.

Applications are accepted for admission during the Fall term.

Application Cycle Fall
Early Deadline March 1
Regular Deadline June 1
Late Consideration July 1

Steps to Apply Now 

Email the admissions committee chair and state your intent to apply and to which program. Attach your current resume or CV to your Intent to Apply email.

Your resume/CV should include at least:

  • Educational history (including GPA, awards and honors received).
  • Professional work experience (including specific details on your engineering experience, technical training, and responsibilities).
  • Listing of professional association memberships, advanced training (such as a PE license) and other noteworthy, personal- or engineering-related details.
In the application be sure to:
  • Upload a pdf version of your current resume/CV
  • Upload a pdf version of your “Reasons for Graduate Study [link to additional guidelines]” essay
  • Upload a pdf version of your transcripts
  • Enter contact information for at least three professional recommendations, including at least one from a direct supervisor
  • Important: Complete the application by submitting the application fee. Applications submitted without paying the fee cannot be reviewed and will not be acted on.

Arrange to have two (2) copies of your official transcripts sent directly from your previous educational institutions to the Department of Engineering Professional Development. Transcripts should be sent directly by the educational institution to the CoE Online Admissions Office.

We will accept transcripts via any delivery method options (including pdf) offered by the educational institutions you have previously attended. However, transcripts issued to students are not sufficient for admission to the Graduate School.

To avoid processing delays, have your transcripts sent directly to:

CoE Online Admissions Office
Attn: Shainah Greene
432 N. Lake Street, Room 701
Madison, WI  53706

(For pdf’s, use the following email address:


After all of your application materials have been received, the admissions committee chair will schedule a phone interview with you. Once completed, your application will be presented to the Admissions Committee for evaluation at the next scheduled meeting. 

Admission decisions are made on applications in the order received. The Admissions committee will make one of the following decisions:
• Recommend admission to the UW-Madison Graduate School
• Defer consideration until the next scheduled meeting 
Request additional information before evaluating further 
Decline further consideration of your application
After a decision has been made on your application, the admissions committee chair will contact you by email to inform you of the decision and to schedule a time to discuss the decision and your next steps.
The admissions committee provides admission recommendations to the Graduate School. The Graduate School is the formal admitting office for graduate students and retains ultimate authority on all admissions decisions.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition Costs

$1,600 per credit (based on 2015-16 tuition rates) payable at the beginning of each semester. Students are billed for courses in which they are enrolled each term. There is no lump sum payment plan. 

Tuition Includes
  • Technology costs for Internet course delivery 
  • Live webconferencing 
  • Toll-free telephone line for the audio portion of conference calls 
  • Library use 
  • Use of the webconferencing software for group project work for program courses 
Total Tuition

Total tuition for this program is $48,000* for students entering in Summer 2015. (This tuition is based on 30 total credits, the cost will increase if for some reason a student needs more than 30 credits.)

*Based on 2015-2016 tuition rate. This total does not include travel and living expenses for summer residencies, textbooks, or course software. Software required for courses is typically available in educational versions at substantial discounts.

Federal Loans

Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible to receive some level of funding through the federal direct loan program. These loans are available to qualified graduate students who are taking at least four credits during the Fall and Spring semesters, and two credits during Summer. Private loans are also available. Learn more about financial aid at

Employer Support

Many students receive some financial support from their employers. Often, students find it beneficial to sit down with their employer and discuss how this program applies to their current and future responsibilities. Other key points to discuss include how participation will not interrupt your work schedule.

High Return on Investment 
Your investment immediately begins paying back as your employee becomes a more effective contributor of engineering projects.

No Interruption to Employee’s Availability 
All students are full-time, working engineers, and most travel extensively for their jobs. The online format enables your employee to pursue world-class graduate engineering studies without interruption to his/her work schedule and availability to travel. This internet-based program allows students to continue their studies from anywhere in the world.

Proven Program from a Top-Ranked University 
The UW–Madison degree your employee will earn via distance learning has the same high-quality standards and academic status as a degree earned on-campus. The only difference is that UW’s program is conveniently delivered online for working professionals.

Course Dashboard

The course dashboard is your community and support site, as well as where you will find all of your current and past courses.


The MyWisc portal is your home for searching and registering for classes, looking at your tuition bill and financial aid, updating your profile information, and checking your email and calendar.


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Refer Colleagues

Do you know somebody who could benefit from our educational offerings? Refer your network to us at and help us grow the Badger family.

Tell Us About Your Achievements

Nothing makes us prouder than hearing about your personal and professional achievements. We love to get the word out about the great work Badgers do in their organizations and communities. Tell us about your career advancements here and let us recognize the impact you’re making! Use social media to post updates about life events and accomplishments and view notes posted by classmates and fellow alumni.


Like the EPD Facebook page to see photos, news, and upcoming events.


Stay up to the moment on related news by following our Twitter account

Moving? Changing your last name? 

Keep your info up-to-date. Contact with any updates so you don’t miss out any chances to grow your career network and stay in touch with UW-Madison. 

Refer Colleagues

Do you know somebody who could benefit from our educational offerings? Refer your network to us at and help us grow the Badger family.

Tell Us About Your Achievements

Nothing makes us prouder than hearing about your personal and professional achievements. We love to get the word out about the great work Badgers do in their organizations and communities. Tell us about your career advancements here and let us recognize the impact you’re making! Use social media to post updates about life events and accomplishments and view notes posted by classmates and fellow alumni.

Contact Us

Have questions?

Contact Us

Receive a digital information packet or contact admissions.