Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

*Sophia University

Tokyo, Japan

IntroductionAcademicsLocation CostsDatesApplication



Sophia University is one of the top 10 private universities in Japan. First established at the request of Pope Pius X, Sophia University opened its doors in 1913 as the first Catholic university in Japan. Over time, the university has become one of the most respected and successful private universities in Japan. Sophia University is home to some 11,000 students from diverse backgrounds, making it an ideal location for a semester or year abroad. Faculty at Sophia University offer a number of challenging and interesting courses throughout the year, including topics in theology, law, economics, humanities, philosophy, law, global studies and environmental studies. Sophia follows the Japanese academic calendar: spring semester classes begin in early April (orientation begins late March) and ends in late July; the fall semester begins late September and ends in early February, which precludes most MU students from attending for the fall semester only.




Academic year/spring

You will be enrolled in the Faculty of Liberal Arts, including the Japanese Language Institute. With the exception of Japanese language, all courses in the Faculty of Liberal Arts are taught in English. Each semester, you will take one Japanese language course and a combination of Japanese area studies courses and a wide variety of other subjects taught in English.

Areas of study include:

  • Business and economics
  • Art history
  • Linguistics
  • Social sciences
  • Literature

Sophia University offers two program options during two consecutive summer sessions. Both programs are available each session, so you can enroll in just one program, or take both back-to-back.

  • Japanese Language: Improve your Japanese language abilities in this three-week intensive program. You will take a Japanese language class at your level, practice your language skills outside of the classroom and experience the local culture with other Sophia students.
  • East Asian Studies: Experience various aspects of Japanese culture and society in this three-week program. You will learn about Japan and study its relation to Asia and the rest of the world while developing friendships with students from around the world.

Academic credit

For each semester of academic work completed abroad, you may earn 12 to 15 credit hours. For each summer of academic work completed abroad, you may earn six credit hours.  Course credit transfers to MU, but your grades will not appear on your MU transcript and are not figured into your GPA. Although you are guaranteed to receive credit for successfully completed courses, you must work with your academic adviser(s) to obtain pre-approval for how the courses you take might fulfill specific degree requirements.


Tokyo culture combines high-tech savvy, a flair for fashion and veneration for traditional Japanese customs. Studying in this bustling Asian capital, you will find Shinto shrines in the heart of the city, as well as the occasional neighborhood sento — public bath. While locals stock up on the latest in fashion, music, electronics and manga, there is no denying their deep respect for the imperial family at the core of Japanese culture. Nearly 12 million people call Tokyo’s 23 wards, 26 cities, five towns and eight villages home. You can find the newest electronics in Akihabara, a taste for old Tokyo in Asakusa, and shopping and entertainment in Ginza. The youth of Tokyo can be found in Harajuku and Shibuya, two parts of Tokyo that should not be missed.


Program budget

Additional expenses

In addition to the program costs paid to MU, you will have expenses associated with international travel and living abroad. The amounts listed are estimated costs based on current exchange rates and on the information provided to us by your host institution and past participants. Depending on your personal spending habits, you may spend more or less than the figures provided.

Please note that these expenses do not include vacation travel or sightseeing.

Financial aid information

If you are awarded financial aid for study abroad, it will be applied to your MU account according to the regular financial aid disbursement schedule. Reminder: You must be enrolled in study abroad and have completed the required financial aid forms for study abroad in order to be considered for aid.

Because non-resident tuition charges apply, MU students should be eligible to use non-resident scholarships toward program costs.

Dates and deadlines

Term Application deadline Program start Program end
Academic Year 2019 02/15/2019 09/19/2019 08/01/2020
Summer 2019 02/15/2019
Spring 2020 09/20/2019 04/01/2020 08/01/2020
Summer 2020 02/15/2020 06/14/2020 07/02/2020
Academic Year 2020 02/15/2020


We are delighted that you are applying to study abroad. This is the first step of your journey, and while there is a lot to do, it should not be overwhelming. Once you start an application for the program, you will have an electronic checklist to help you through the process. In addition, our study abroad staff are available to answer your questions.

  1. Meet with the International Center study abroad adviser listed in the program snapshot if you have any questions.
  2. Start an application using the button below if you are an MU student.
    • Non-MU students should visit our page for non-MU participants for more information about the application process.
    • Once you have started an application, you can return to it later by logging in to myStudyAbroad (see the button at the top of the page).
  3. Complete and submit your application.
  4. Receive your admissions decision within 7–10 business days.

Ready to get started? APPLY NOW