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Programs : Brochure

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Fact Sheet:
Advisor: Candice Snowden Who Can Apply?: Five-College, Mass Public Colleges
Fields of Study: American Studies, Anthropology, Art History, Communication, Comparative Literature, Economics, Education, English, Film Studies, Finance, Geography, History, International Business, International Relations, Japanese Languages & Literature, Linguistics, Management, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Resource Economics, Social Thought and Political Economy, Sociology, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies Key Word Search: Asian Studies, Interdisciplinary, Language Intensive
Host Institution: Sophia University Language(s) of Instruction: English, Japanese
Language Prerequisite: 0 College-Level Semester Language Credits Available: 6 credits +
Minimum GPA: 3 Program Type: Exchange, Language & Culture Studies
In Classes With: Mostly International Students Minimum Class Standing: Sophomore
Application Includes: Language Evaluation Housing: Apartment, Residence Hall
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 scenes, and an international, English-speaking student body. One can study at Sophia for the academic 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 meet with the Asia Programs Advisor in February for Academic Year admission and in September for Spring admission.

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 required chest x-ray signed by your physician and two letters of recommendation. Application materials should be submitted to the Exchange Coordinator 10 days before the deadline for mailing to Sophia. A scheduled advising meeting with the Asia Programs Advisor or the Exchange Coordinator is required for applicants to successfully submit their application materials.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year UMass/IPO Application Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2019 10/31/2018 ** Varies 04/01/2019 07/31/2019
Academic Year 2019-2020 05/01/2019 ** Varies TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admissions.

If you are applying to a partner program, you must check their website for ACTUAL APPLICATION DEADLINES. The posted deadline above indicates when your UMass Abroad application materials are due and the program’s deadline may be sooner.