Sophia University

Image of Sophia University
Take classes in English and Japanese at Sophia University in Tokyo during the Spring or Academic Year.
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Language of Instruction: EnglishJapanese
Program Type: Semester or Academic Year
Open to non-KU Students: No
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

  • 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

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. 

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:

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

See Comparative Culture (.docx)

  • Art History
  • Literature
  • Religion/Philosophy
Social Studies

See Social Studies (.docx)

  • Anthropology-Sociology
  • History
  • Political Science
International Business and Economics

International Business and Economics (.docx)

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

For more information on courses, check out the Sophia University's Course Offerings

*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 (.pdf) 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.

KU Course Equivalency Database

The KU Course Equivalency Database is a list of:

  • 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

The Credit Approval Process 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.

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.

Housing Information for Sophia University 

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.

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.