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Programs : Brochure

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Fact Sheet:
Candice Snowden
Who Can Apply?:
Five-College, Mass Public Colleges
Fields of Study:
Anthropology, Art History, Bachelor's Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC), Chinese Language & Literature, Comparative Literature, Economics, Education, English, Finance & Operations Management, Geography, History, Japanese Languages & Literature, Management, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Social Thought and Political Economy, Sociology, Theater, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Host Institution:
Sophia University
Language(s) of Instruction:
English, Japanese
Language Prerequisite:
0 College-Level Semester
Language Credits Available:
6 credits +
Program Type:
Exchange, Language & Culture Studies
Apartment, Residence Hall
In Classes With:
Mostly International Students
Minimum Class Standing:
Application Includes:
Language Evaluation
Minimum GPA:
Classification of Credits Available:
Program Description:

Sophia USophia University offers a Japanese Language, Japanese Studies and Liberal Arts curriculum in heart of Tokyo. Highlights include wide array of courses, extensive student club activities, easy access to Tokyo cultural/night scene, and an international, English-speaking student body. Study at Sophia is available for the year or spring semester.


Sophia University was officially established in 1913 as a special school by the Society of Jesus, and has since grown into a large and well-reputed university with over 10,000 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students across four campuses in the Tokyo area. It takes the name Sophia from the Greek sophia meaning "wisdom". The Japanese name, Jochi Daigaku literally means "University of Higher Wisdom".

Sophia's main campus, at Yotsuya, is an urban campus, consisting of roughly 25 large, modern buildings in the center of Tokyo. The majority of Sophia's 10,000 undergraduate students spend nearly all of their time here. The Faculties of Humanities, Law, Foreign Studies, Economics, Liberal Arts, and Science and Technology have their home here, as do the main library, cafeteria, gymnasium, chapel, bookstore, and offices. Sophia offers courses taught in English in the Faculty of Liberal Arts, the Faculty of Science and Technology, and the Global Studies Program.


 All exchange students must study Japanese. Regular Japanese (4 credits) is offered for those beginning Japanese or those who do not wish to take the Intensive program. Intensive Japanese (8 credits) is offered at 4 levels, and meets 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. Students who are in the Intensive language course are recommended to choose only 1 or 2 lecture courses from the English taught course offerings. Students in Regular Japanese may enroll in 3 or 4 lecture courses. 
To access course syllabi, click here. Exchange students can take courses in the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Green Science, and Green Engineering departments.

Living Arrangements

International dorms and apartment style housing are available through Sophia University; students are strongly encouraged to live in university-arranged housing. The cost of living near campus is very high, so student housing is located in the suburbs, and requires a 45-90 minute commute to campus. The train and subway systems in Tokyo are well-developed, but during the morning rush hours, the trains are very crowded. Housing does not include meals. 


IPO may nominate one spring semester student each year for the JASSO Scholarship through Sophia University. Students must have excellent academic record, strong motivation to study in Japan, financial need, and plan to return to their home universities to complete their degree. The scholarship provides a monthly stipend of 80,000 yen. Application form is available from Asia Programs Advisor, and due at the end of February.


Application Deadline

Students applying to any of the UMass-sponsored Japanese exchange sites must first complete the UMass Japan Exchange Program application and screening process which includes an interview. The deadline is early October for the spring semester, or early January for the following fall semester & year.  After your interview, during which your preferred host university will be confirmed, your "UMass Japan Exchange Program" application in the UMass Abroad system will be changed to an application for your preferred university. There will be some additional documents that you must complete, and information about the actual university application.

Application to Sophia 
The Asia Programs Advisor must nominate students to Sophia. Application materials are available online beginning February 10 and October 1, and include a Certificate of Health with a chest x-ray signed by your physician and two letters of recommendation. Application materials should be submitted to the Exchange Coordinator well before the deadline, for mailing to Sophia. 

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year UMass/IPO Application Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Academic Year 2018-2019 03/31/2018 ** Varies 09/17/2018 07/29/2019
Spring 2019 10/01/2018 10/01/2018 TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.