Applications are accepted twice a year for the spring and autumn semesters. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of their high school records and other documents, and performance on standardized tests. There are two types of admission for those seeking to enter as first-year students: regular application and admission by recommendation.

Regular Admissions:

Regular admission criteria include high school records, letters of recommendation, and results from at least one of the following standardized tests: SAT, ACT, IB (Diploma). TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for those applicants whoes educational background is not in English. Students may apply either from within Japan or from abroad.

Admission by Recommendation

Additionally, outstanding students from high schools in Japan that follow the Ministry of Education standard curriculum and who intend to enroll in the Spring semester can apply for recommended admission. Applicants for recommended admission must be recommended by their high schools. Such applicants must also submit a TOEFL or IELTS score and come to the campus for an examination and an interview. SAT, ACT or IB (Diploma) test scores are not required for students seeking admission by recommendation.


Admission of Transfer, Exchange and Other Applicants

There are other opportunities for study in the Faculty of Liberal Arts.
  • High school graduates who have completed at least two full academic years at another university or college can apply as transfer students. Such students must complete at least two further years of study in residence in order to receive a Sophia degree.
  • Students enrolled in a university or college abroad who do not intend to receive a degree from Sophia may study in the Faculty as exchange students for up to two years. Such students may apply as individuals, through an exchange agreement between Sophia and their home institution, or through the U.S.-based Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). 
  • Japan-based students who are interested in taking courses in the Faculty but do not intend to earn a degree may apply as non-matriculated students.


A range of scholarships are awarded to degree students on the basis of financial need and academic record. In addition, Sophia offers a partial tuition waiver to foreign degree students who hold a college student status of residence.