Sophia University

Tokyo Imperial Palace
Tokyo Imperial Palace


Sophia University is known for its diverse student population where over 1,500 international students from around the world contribute to the internationalization of the campus culture.

Quick Facts

Partner Program Type – Exchange

Minimum GPA – 3.0 

Prerequisites – Sophia University’s spring semester is not recommended for new fall-admit transfer students, nor is Sophia fall semester recommended for new winter-admit transfer students because of the recommendation form requirement. Transfer students should complete at least one quarter at UCSC before applying to Sophia.

Eligibility – Good academic and disciplinary standing, Min Age: 18, Open to All Majors, Junior or Senior class standing by the time of departure

Term Options

Fall Semester – mid-September to late January

  • you must miss both fall and winter quarter to attend this semester

Spring Semester – early April to late July

Academic Year – mid-September to late July

Partner Program deadline dates



City & University
Sophia University is located in Yotsuya, in the heart of Tokyo. The area around the university has long been at the center of Japanese politics, economy, and culture. It is a place where you can feel the dynamism of the global city of Tokyo, experience its urban atmosphere, and get the most of the opportunities available in Japan.

Sophia University has many options for international exchange students, all of which are off-campus. Housing arrangements will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more about Sophia University Housing. If you are not placed in on-campus housing, you can arrange private housing by yourself through a housing agency.

You are responsible for applying for, securing, and paying for accommodations directly to the housing provider. Visit the host university website for actual costs.

Student Support

Sophia University’s Center for Global Education and Discovery provides a range of services and support for exchange students. Additionally, Sophia offers resources and opportunities for you to integrate successfully into the culture and society.

Country Information Resources

Students with Disabilities

If you need support services abroad, notify your UCSC Disability Resource Center (DRC) Coordinator

 Learn more about Sophia University Support for Students with Special Needs.

Identities Abroad and Away

UC Santa Cruz Global Learning is committed to inclusion and equity in our various program options as well as striving to make everyone’s experiences abroad enriching, positive, and safe.

Learn more on our Identities Abroad and Away webpage.


Host University Courses

As a Sophia University exchange student, you will enroll full-time in courses alongside other local and international students for a semester or full academic year. 

Course Search

Search Sophia University courses.

  • Most courses at Sophia are taught in Japanese. Only courses with descriptions written in English are taught in English.
  • You can take one Japanese language course along with your other English-taught courses. Choose from the regular track or intensive track in the Japanese Language Program.

Satisfying Requirements
It may be possible to satisfy major, minor, GE, and/or electives on this program.

Learn more about:

Course Load Requirements

You are required to enroll in a full-time course load while abroad as defined by your host institution:

  • At Sophia University, exchange students must register and attend more than 10 hours of classes per week. To fulfill this requirement, attending at least 6 periods, 100 minutes constitute one period, every week is necessary. If you take three 4-credit classes, that is considered full-time.

As a UCSC student, you must also continue to meet UCSC Satisfactory Academic Progress, which requires students to enroll in a minimum of 12 UCSC quarter credits per quarter. At Sophia, you are required to ensure you meet this requirement by enrolling in the equivalent of at least 24 quarter credits in fall semester and at least 12 quarter credits in spring semester after conversion (see below).

Credit Conversion

Sophia uses semester credits. These will be converted to UCSC quarter credits when added to your UC transcript.

  • 1 semester credit = 2 UCSC quarter credits
  • 2 semester credits = 3 UCSC quarter credits
  • 3 semester credits = 5 UCSC quarter credits
  • 4 semester credits = 6 UCSC quarter credits

Academic Restrictions

As long as you meet any prerequisites, you can enroll in undergraduate courses at Sophia University, with the exception of FST labs, FLA core programs, foreign language (except Japanese), Seminar, Wellness, the Body and Culture, and Studies in Christian Humanism courses.

If you are unsure about your eligibility to enroll, please contact UCSC Global Learning at before applying to this program.

Academic Differences

Please note that the academic system, such as assignments, exams, course structure, grading system, etc., at your host institution may be different from what you are used to at UCSC. We highly recommend researching the academic system at your host university in advance to best prepare for your experience abroad.

Academic Calendar

We recommend comparing the host university academic calendar to the UCSC academic calendar to see how the academic calendars, holidays, and breaks differ.

Last modified: Feb 27, 2024