English Programs of Sophia University: Program Introduction and Acceptance Rate

Thanks to those who have made a great contribution to fight with COVID-19, this global pandemic is getting controlled in many corners of the world, including Japan. This means it is now easier to start making plans for applying to universities without too much worries like these two years.

Have you ever heard about Sophia University? Sophia University, which the Japanese name is 上智大学 (Jochi Daigaku), is one of the most prestigious universities in Tokyo and, of course, in Japan. This institution is not only well-known among Japanese students, but also a popular choice for foreigne students. If you are at the moment to decide which school to apply for, it is quite essential for you to check out the detailed information of each school to make sure that school can really meet your needs. In this article, let’s check out the introduction, school ranking, acceptance rate, and other information about Sophia University before you get started to send your application. 

Introduction to Sophia University 

People may be a little bit confused when they first hear the name Sophia University. Questions like these have probably popped up in your brain before you put the name into the searching engine. “Are you sure it’s a university from Japan?” “Why is it named under Sophia?”  

Categorized as a private university, and located in the heart of Tokyo, Japan, Sophia University was established in 1913, that this institution is a Jesuit affiliated university established by three Jesuit priests, Joseph Dahlmann from Germany, Henri Boucher from France and James Rockliff from the U.K.. The university is well-known for putting emphasis on internationality. Sophia University conducts classes in English and welcomes multinational students, faculty members, and researchers for more than a half-century.  

Sophia University and another two universities which are all in Tokyo, Waseda University and Keio University are given the name of “Sōkeijōchi” (早慶上智) for being the most prestigious private universities. There is an interesting truth that among all the universities in Japan, private schools take nearly 80 %. It is really a large portation. So it is always not surprising to find out that many of the prestigious universities are private.  

According to the statistics offered by the official page of Sophia University, this university currently has 13,260 enrolled students with 1,429 being international students, including undergraduate students and graduate students. Sophia University has 9 Faculties and 10 Graduate Schools scattered across five campuses: Yotsuya Campus, Mejiro Seibo Campus, Shakujii Campus, Hadano Campus, and Osaka Satellite Campus. 

The Ranking and Acceptance Rate of Sophia University

World Ranking 

It is for sure that the ranking of the institution can have a huge influence when you make a choice to study at a forienge university. According to QS Global World Ranking 2022, Sophia University is ranked 801-1000.  As to the information provided by Times Higher Education (2021), Sophia University is ranked as the 18th best university in Japan. From the statistics above, we can understand why the number of international students who apply to Sophia University can be so high.

Acceptance Rate

As regards the official website of Sophia University, let me show you the acceptance rate of the English program in the statistics below.

Faculty of Liberal ArtsApplicants
Acceptance Rate
Spring 202147116033.9%
Autumn 202185721825.4%
Faculty of Science and Technology
Green Science Program 2021291344.8%
Green Engineer Program 2021421535.7%
Sophia Program for Sustainable Future
Journalism Autumn 2021481939.5%
Education  Autumn 2021501938%
Sociology  Autumn 2021611626.2%
Economics Autumn 20211855127.5%
Global Studies  Autumn 20211043937.5%

Introduction to the English programs at Sophia University

There are 9 faculties for undergraduate students which are Faculty of Liberal Arts, Faculty of Science and Technology, Sophia program for Sustainable Future, Faculty of Theology, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Human Sciences, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Foreign Studies, and Faculty of Global Studies.

Among all those faculties, only three of them are english-taught, which are Faculty of Liberal Arts, Faculty of Science and Technology (only green science program and green engineer program), and Sophia program for Sustainable Future.

Faculty of Liberal Arts (FLA)

The Faculty of Liberal Arts is the first undergraduate program fully english-taught at Sophia University founded in 1949 and was named International Division during the postwar period. It was developed into the Faculty of Comparative Culture in 1987. It was not until 2006 that this faculty was named in the Faculty of Liberal Arts. By this year this faculty moved from Ichigaya campus, which is a campus Sophia University arranged the foriegn student, to the main Yotsuya campus. This campus is where other seven facilities were located. In this way, the foriegn students get more chances to have connections with Japanese students. Currently, they have approximately 200 freshmen and a limited number of transfer applicants each year. Among the students, roughly 20 percent of the students are international students. There are three main majors offered by the Faculty of Liberal Arts, which are Comparative Culture, International Business and Economics, and Social Studies. 

Faculty of Science and Technology 

In 2012, this faculty started two undergraduate programs, which are the Green Science Program in the Department of Materials and Life Sciences, and the Green Engineering Program in the Department of Engineering and Applied Sciences. These two programs are fully english-taught to meet the goal of globalization. They conduct these two programs in small sizes, in this way students can have better discussions with classmates and their instructor. Since they are located on the same campus as the Faculty of Liberal Arts, it is encouraged to students to participate in those non-science courses of liberal arts so that students can receive some information or knowledge in cultural aspects, which may be a positive effect to their profession.

Sophia Program for Sustainable Future (SPSF)

In the autumn semester of 2020, Sophia University launched this brand-new program that is also fully English-taught. In this program, international students are allowed to choose the specific field of social science and humanities. The fields include Education Program, Sociology Program, Economics Program,  International Relations & Area Studies Program offered by Department of Global Studies, Journalism Program offered by Department of Journalism, and Management Program offered by Department of Management. It is believed that by the starting of SPSF, the international students can have more diverse choices.

When to start the application to Sophia University? 

Unlike the U.S., in Japan, normally, the spring semester is from April to July, and the autumn semester is from September to February. Let’s take the admission 2022 of the Faculty of Liberal Arts of Sophia University for example. There are two periods for students who want to apply for the spring 2022 entry. The two application periods are for students who are applying to first-year. The application for transfer students is open only during the first period.

First period

Application Period (on-line): August 25, 2021 – September 15, 2021 (JST) 

Notice of Results: October 29, 2021 (JST) 

Second Period:  

Application Period (on-line): November 17, 2021 – December 10, 2021 (JST) 

Notice of Results: February 4, 2022 (JST) 

Below is information for the autumn 2022 entry. 

First period

Application Period (on-line): November 17, 2021 – December 10, 2021 (JST) 

Notice of Results: February 10, 2022 (JST) 

Second Period:  

Application Period (on-line): March 16, 2022, 10:00 a.m. – April 6, 2022 (JST) 

Notice of Results: June 3, 2022 (JST) 


Sophia university’s reputation can’t be denied with those efforts they have done on making themself a excellent and international institution. According to the statistics of the acceptance of all the english-taught programs, the numbers of students being accepted are quite different between each program. The FLA, which is the pioneer of the English programs, accepted more students compared with another two faculties. In the autumn entry FLA accepted 218 students, Faculty of Science and Technology accepted 28 students, and SPSF accepted 144 students. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of applicants are admitted by those programs of Sophia University. The Faculty of Liberal Arts has the lowest acceptance rate in the autumn entry at 25.4%, whereas the Green Science Program of the Faculty of Science and Technology has the highest rate at 44.8%.

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Representative Director of Reboot Japan Co., Ltd., which operates EDOPEN JAPAN. Founded the company in 2018, which provides Japanese language education and assistance for studying in Japan. Started the company after living with international students at a Japanese language school. He enjoys learning about new people and cultures and has lived in Australia and Malaysia. Graduated from the Faculty of Economics, Sophia University.