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Sophia University

Sophia University
Take classes in English and Japanese at Sophia University in Tokyo during the Spring or Academic Year.
Tokyo, Japan
Language of Instruction: 
Academic Year
Academic Disciplines: 
East Asian Languages & Culture
Environmental Studies
History of Art
International Business
Political Science
Religious Studies
Program Type: 
Semester or Academic Year
Fulfills KU Core 4.2
Exchange Program
  • Take Japanese language classes and choose from a wide variety of courses offered in English
  • Explore the exciting and populous city of Tokyo during the semester or year
  • Meet students from all over the world - 30% of students at Sophia University are international students
Program Summary: 

Sophia University is a prestigious private Jesuit university with 13,500 students which is located in the heart of Tokyo (population 14 million). Sophia University has a centrally located urban campus which is in walking distance from the Japanese National Diet and Imperial Palace and is a 5 minute train ride to Shinjuku. 30% of its student population is international students. 

See Sophia University Brochure for more details. 


Tokyo, one of the world's most populous cities in the world, is the nation's center of politics, business and pop culture. In Tokyo, students can visit temples and shrines and well as experience the dazzling modern skyscrapers and large entertainment and shopping districts.

Academic Information: 

Academic Information:

Students earn 12-16 KU credit hours during one semester abroad.

Academic dates are:

  • Academic Year: Mid-September to early February and early April to early August
  • Spring: Early April to early August

Students are encouraged to use the following resources to research available courses at Sophia University and to determine if these courses will meet their academic requirements at KU.

Sophia University offers a large selection of Japanese language courses and area studies elective courses taught in English from Sophia University’s Faculty of Liberals Arts.

Students may enroll in courses in English for the following majors at Sophia University:

Comparative Culture

  • Art History
  • Literature
  • Religion/Philosophy

Social Studies

  • Anthropology-Sociology
  • History
  • Political Science

International Business and Economics

  • Some lower-level business core courses
  • International-focused business courses
  • Some upper-level finance & management courses
  • Lower and upper-level economic courses


*Description of courses are listed by major in Sophia University's course offerings.

Sophia University offers two Japanese language tracks:

  • Regular Japanese language track (most popular): 6 to 7 credit hours of Japanese language depending on the language level, plus take 2 to 3 English-Taught elective classes.
  • Intensive Japanese track: 15 credits of Japanese language, plus one to two English-Taught elective class
  • Intensive Japanese language courses are offered at all levels by the Department of Japanese Language and Studies. Students can choose to study either a Japanese language course (generally 6-7.5 hours a week) and two to three courses taught in English or a full-time intensive Japanese language program (15 hours a week of Japanese language courses).

Keep in mind:

  • Students generally enroll in 1 Japanese course in addition to 2 or 3 English-taught elective classes. It is not required to take Japanese language courses.
  • Some courses are taught on a rotational basis and may only be offered in alternate years.
  • KU students cannot take core program courses at Sophia University.
  • KU students can study for the academic year or the spring semester only. It is not possible to study at Sophia University during the Fall semester since Sophia's Fall semester finishes after KU's Spring semester begins.


  • Courses that are currently pre-approved for KU credit (approved equivalency)
  • Courses that students have had approved for KU credit in the past (possible equivalency)

CREDIT APPROVAL PROCESS: This is the procedure for obtaining KU course equivalency approval for courses you plan to take abroad.

All courses taken and grades earned while abroad must be posted as KU equivalents on a student’s KU transcript and grades will figure into a student’s KU GPA. The relevant KU academic department will make the final decision regarding posting of credit, and their application toward graduation.

Sophia University course equivalencies


There are no on-campus accommodations. Off-campus residence halls with Japanese students and university-arranged apartment accommodations are available through the Sophia International Liaison Office. University accommodations are generally 45-60 minutes commuting time from campus. Students may also arrange private accommodations on their own.

See the following website for more details on the Sophia University accommodation options:



Open to KU students who have achieved sophomore status by the beginning of the program and who have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. 


Summer 2022 programs now accepting applications !

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9th among public universities in the country for high quality, low cost study abroad programs — U.S. News & World Report
Longest-running exchange program in Western Hemisphere (begun in 1958) between KU and University of Costa Rica
18th in the nation among public universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad — Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange
28.1% of KU undergraduate students study abroad prior to graduation.
KU students who study abroad graduate in four years at twice the rate of students who do not study abroad
More than 160 study abroad programs in 75 countries, with instruction in all disciplines and 20+ languages
Students can study abroad for an academic year, semester, summer, spring break, or winter break
Programs include international study, internships, service, and research opportunities
Students participating in semester, academic year, and select summer programs fulfill Goal 4.2 of the KU Core curriculum
Students can fulfill major, minor, certificate, elective, and KU Core curriculum requirements abroad
Programs are available for students in every major at KU
Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad
Study Abroad & Global Engagement and many academic departments offer scholarships to qualified KU students
By studying abroad, students gain a global perspective on the world and strengthen their career opportunities
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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