Based on Christian principles of education, Sophia University attests to the four-hundred-year-old interest of the Jesuit Order in Japan. Established in 1913, Sophia University has grown to be one of the foremost of Japan’s private universities with a student body of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students across four campuses throughout Tokyo. The main campus of the university is located at Yotsuya in the Chiyoda Ward of Tokyo and is situated just inside the outer moat of the old city of Edo. It’s an urban campus, consisting of roughly 25 large, modern buildings in the center of Tokyo. Sophia University has seven faculties with 29 departments in the undergraduate school and seven graduate divisions with 24 areas of concentration.
For additional information, visit the Sophia University website.
The City of Tokyo
Tokyo is the seat of the Japanese government and the home of the Imperial Palace and Japanese Imperial Family. The city of Tokyo began as a small fishing village named Edo and during the subsequent Edo period, Edo grew into one of the largest cities in the world with a population topping one million in the 18th century. The current population is around 13.35 million, and the official language is Japanese.
Did you know…?
Tokyo Station is one of the two stations designated as an Important Cultural Asset in Japan which is currently operating. The entire floor space of Tokyo Station measures 182,000 square meters which is 3.6 times the size of Tokyo Dome.
The program at Sophia University is for College credit only.
Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0
Language Prerequisite: No previous language study required.
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Successful completion of 1 Area Studies course in language or culture by the end of the academic semester prior to departure recommended, but not required.
The program at Sophia University is a spring or academic year program only.
Language of Instruction
A full course load at Sophia University consists of a minimum of four 4-credit courses and a maximum of five 4-credit courses per semester. Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level. One 4-credit course at Sophia is equivalent to 1 Penn CU.
Penn students enroll in the Faculty of Liberal Arts (FLA) which enables them to work on Japanese language skills while studying other disciplines in English. It is assumed that Penn students wishing to spend a semester or year at Sophia will take courses in Japanese language and other humanities and social science courses about Japan and East Asia.
As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy. For more on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.
All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by Sophia University prior to the start of each semester.
Penn students studying at Sophia University have access to a wide range of student activities and associations. More information can be found here.
Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.
Students accommodations are arranged in one of the dormitories affiliated with Sophia University. Since the Sophia campus is located in the heart of Tokyo, the cost of living near campus is very high. As reasonable housing is located in the suburbs, exchange students should expect a 45-90 minute commuting time to campus. The train and subway systems in Tokyo are well-developed, but during the morning rush hours, the trains are very crowded.
Information regarding accommodation can be found here.
Cost and Finance
Penn Abroad Financial Policies
Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs. Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare. Please see the program budget sheets below for more information. For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.
Financial Aid and Study Abroad
In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs. Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.
David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad: Supports undergraduate study abroad focusing on geographical areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to US national security. (Excludes study in US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.) These US government grants entail a service obligation.
Several different scholarship opportunities also exist for international students studying in Japan. For additional information, please follow this link.
For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.
To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.