One of the Best in Japan: Sophia University

Japan has always been seen in many shades. It has been seen as a great vacation spot, a progressive country, and much more. Japan is also a country with world class education and there is a university in Japan that exemplifies this claim. That university is the Sophia University.

Sophia University Japan: The Address, Ranking, Academic Calendar, and Other Interesting Facts

Contrary to what other people may assume about the name of the school, it is actually called Sophia University because in the Greek language that word means “wisdom”. In other words, if you literally translate the Japanese name of the school (Sophia Jochi Daigaku), it would mean “University of Higher Wisdom”.

This particular university is a private university founded by Jesuits which makes this university a Catholic school. It has other campuses like the one near the Seibu Ikebukuro line but the main campus is situated near the Yotsuya station in the Chiyoda Ward in Tokyo and it has been there since the year of 1913. This would mean that this establishment has been molding the great minds of the Japanese for more than a century already. There is also a campus of the Sophia University found in the Kanagawa Prefecture but it is only a junior college so they have lesser departments on this campus. A university that has provided education in any area of any country for that amount of time has truly proven itself in terms of the quality and consistency of their teaching.

This excellence in the quality and consistency in educating was also recognized by the government and led Sophia University to be ranked as one of the best private universities that exist in Japan. Since exchange program offers in this university come from different universities all over the world, it would be safe to assume that their excellence has also been recognized on the international scale. To mention some of the available exchange program destinations, students from this university may opt to study in places like Yale University, the University of Hong Kong, and many other great universities too.

As for the academic calendar of this university, this establishment operates on a two-semester cycle. The first semester starts in the spring season. This would be from the month of April to the month of September. There would be no break between semesters as the autumn semester starts immediately after the first semester ends in the month of September. The second semester goes on until the month of March and that is the only time that a month long break is given to the students as they wait for the next academic year to start again in the month of April. This calendar applies to both students in the undergraduate programs and the graduate programs.

Their establishment is headed by their president, Prof. Takashi Kawashima, alongside their chancellor, Rev.Fr. Toshiaki Koso. Their staff is currently made up roughly of 1271 employees which can be seen as a small staff considering that they presently handle a student population of 11,986. They also offer a variety of courses that originate and then branch out from their 11 main research institutions. These institutions are the Institute for Christian Culture, Institute of Global Concern, Institute of Medieval Thought, Iberoamerican Institute, Linguistic Institute for International Communication, Institute of Comparative Culture, Institute of European Studies, Institute of Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Studies, Institute of American and Canadian Studies, Institute for Studies of the Global Environment, and Institute of Media, Culture, and Journalism. Note that some of these courses are taught in English.

Sophia University’s Acceptance Rate and Tuition

Since Sophia University is one of the best universities in Japan, they truly hold a standard for the students that get into their courses and programs. The applicants that pass and get accepted are those you can consider the crème of the crop. This is more evidently noticed after finding out that the acceptance rate in the Sophia University is an astounding 21%. Having rejected 79% of applicants, it is clear that they filter their applicants thoroughly, making sure that they only accept the best of the best.

Like most educational establishments, the tuition fee for studying in this university varies depending on what course you are taking. If you are interested in taking up undergraduate programs in the Faculty of Liberal Arts, which cater to courses like Comparative Culture, Social Studies, and International Business and Economics, your initial tuition fee would fall to around 1,500,000 yen for your first year. It becomes cheaper from the second year onwards with a tuition fee of 1,200,000 yen. For every course, there is an additional fee placed for your first year of studying because there is a basic entrance fee that is paid when you enroll into the university.

Taking up undergraduate studies in the Faculty of Science and Technology would limit your entrance period to the month of September. The fee you would have to pay for your first year would approximately be at 1,750,000 yen and 1,500,000 yen for the second year onwards.  There are no tests needed to be taken by the applicant for entering this faculty because the method of admission they use here is document screening only.

If you are interested in taking up undergraduate programs in Japanese, there is a more extensive screening to go through compared to those previously discussed. Admission to these programs would require the applicant to take a written exam and go through an interview held at the university in the month of November.

Those entering the Faculty of Science and Technology would pay the same tuition fees as mentioned above while those entering the Department of Nursing pay a first-year fee of 1,880,000 yen and a fee of 1,610,000 yen for the following years. The other faculty fees fall in similar ranges which would amount to tuition fees for the first year at 1,260,000 yen and 990,000 yen for succeeding years.

Graduate program tuition fees operate the same way, having an additional fee for your first year of enrollment. The graduate programs offered here are in the fields of Green Science and Engineering, Global Environmental Studies, Global Studies, and Linguistics. All these programs have the same method of admission, requiring only the document screening. The interview is required only for the Ph.D. applicants of these courses.

In general, the tuition fee for the doctoral programs is cheaper than the programs of master’s. Entering the M.S. programs in Green Science and Engineering would cost around 1,620,000 yen for the first year, and 1,400,000 yen for succeeding years. Entering the Ph.D. programs, on the other hand, would cost around 1,043,000 yen for the first year, and 820,000 yen for the succeeding years. Master’s program applicants may enter in either spring or autumn semesters but applicants for the doctoral programs can only enter during the spring semester.

Those interested in taking up graduate studies in Global Environmental Studies have practically the same acceptance periods as those entering Green Science and Engineering with some minor changes. Those taking up master’s programs may still enter in either of the semesters but Ph.D. program applicants can only enter during the autumn instead of the spring semester. M.A. takers in this field pay an initial tuition fee of 1,055,000 yen and 855,000 yen for the succeeding years while Ph.D. takers in this field pay an initial fee of 890,000 yen and 690,000 yen for the succeeding years.

Those interested in M.A and Ph.D. programs in Global Studies have no restrictions with the entry period of their accepted applicants. M.A. takers pay an initial fee of 950,000 yen and 750,000 yen for the following years while Ph.D. takers pay an initial fee of 830,000 yen and 630,000 yen for the second year onwards.

In the case of graduate programs for Linguistics, there are no available doctoral courses in this field, only M.A. courses. The entry date for accepted applicants in limited only to the start of their spring semester in April. The tuition fee for these programs cost 950,000 yen for the first year and 750,000 yen for the following years.

Sophia University: Studying Abroad and Available Summer Programs

Sophia University has three options for short programs which are ideal for the summertime or exchange programs. The first of the three is the summer session in Asian Studies. The second of the three is the summer session for the Japanese Language. The third and last option is the January session in Japanese Studies.

Ever since Sophia University was founded in the early 1960’s, the three-week summer session for Asian Studies has been a great means for students to be able to study abroad in Japan. During this period, they are exposed to the culture in Japan. This would include gaining experiences with the history, art, religion, literature, society, economics, and any other aspect of Japan that gives it its character. To make sure that the students get the exposure they need, aside from the everyday exposure of living in Japan, the students are encouraged to attend fields trips to cultural events like a Japanese tea ceremony and alike.

There are many other cultural events that happen throughout the year and usually, the exchange students choose an event that is directly related to the course they chose. People taking up the summer session for Asian Studies get to choose up to two courses in which they will receive three units or credits after finishing the program.

The summer session for the Japanese Language is fairly new to the curriculum of the Sophia University. This program was started in the year of 2013 and is designed in a way that really challenges and improves the students’ mastery of the Japanese language. Much like the field trips offered in the Asian Studies summer session, the application of the students’ learnings will also be tested in the real world through scheduled engagement with different cultures in Japan outside the classroom.

The final option of studying abroad is the January session in Japanese Studies. This was made to create a diverse group of students that promote diversity and globalization. This program is made up of 4 courses namely “Japanese Business and Economy”, “Media and Contemporary Issues in Japan”, “Education in Japan”, and “Japanese Language”. Each course requires attendance in 15 90-minute sessions and participation in field trips to enhance the learning experience for the students.

It is also only in this program where housing is offered to the foreign students taking up this January session. It is not mandatory though because there are obviously a lot of housing options to choose from in Japan, especially since Sophia University is in Tokyo. Health Insurance is another important thing to know about if you are interested in applying for this January session. This is so because students with health insurance have all their medical expenses covered by the insurance. All they need to do is email a copy of their insurance card along with the insurance policy and forward the documents to the office of Sophia University.

Applying and getting all information you need to apply for such programs is easy because all information can be found on their official website. In this website, you will be able to retrieve any details you might need about the university. From the documents to the online application forms, all can be found on their site so if you are truly interested in experiencing the student life in Japan, act on it and get all the information you need from the said site. Their complete contact details can also be found here.

Overall, Sophia University is a tried and tested university. Any student, local or foreign, would be lucky to get and education in an establishment like this one. They can be at ease knowing that they will be getting their money’s worth with the experience and knowledge they will gain from studying in this prestigious university. Everything you need to make it happen is laid in front of you. All you have to do is grab it and see if you have what it takes to be a Sophium or alumni of this great university.