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Application Materials

Application Materials

Please read the following instructions for each item carefully before submitting the application documents to us.

General rules for submitting applications:

1) The Application Form and other prescribed forms are available only at the office in charge of Exchange Programs in our partner institutions. The applicants are required to submit their applications through the exchange program coordinator of their home institution.
2) All documents have to be originals. If the original certificate (of language aptitude proof, etc) is unavailable, please submit a copy of the document certified by the home institution.
3) Documents printed in a language other than English or Japanese have to be translated into English or Japanese and certified by the home institution.
4) Application documents will not be returned. If an applicant withdraws from the exchange program, the application documents will be kept at Sophia for one year.
5) Please fill out all of the documents with pen.

Documents to be submitted:

4 photos (length 4cm x width 3cm)

(1) Application Form (Form Provided)
The applicant must specify the semester and the program for which he/she is applying.
The applicant should refer to the course information on the website when filling out the list of courses he/she intends to take at Sophia. It is strongly recommended to take a Japanese language course every semester. (The formal course registration will be made by the students after arriving in Japan.)

An academic purpose essay should be included. Generally, the essay should be about the applicant's reasons for wishing to study at Sophia, precise areas of intend study and how the study in Sophia relates to the applicant’s previous experience as well as future goals.

Applicants for ENGLISH-taught programs (e.g. the Faculty of Liberal Arts / Graduate program in Global Studies)
The essay should be in ENGLISH. Approximately 500 words.

Applicants for JAPANESE-taught programs
The essay should be in JAPANESE. Approximately 800 to 1200 characters.

(2) 4 photos (length 4cm x width 3cm) *DO NOT STAPLE THE PHOTOS
Attach 1 on the Application Form for Exchange Program and 1 on the Housing Application form.
Enclose 2 for Application for Certificate of Eligibility(for the visa) and the student ID card.
No edge, JUST SIZE, in formal pose, clearness and no background scenery.
Color photocopies and computer printouts are NOT acceptable.
*Please write your name on the back of the photos.

(3) Original Academic Transcript(English Version or with Official English Translation)
Applicants for the UNDERGRADUATE program:
The latest official transcript(s), showing courses taken and grades received, of all academic institutions attended should be submitted.
If applying for Spring Semester at Sophia, it is required to submit the transcript including the grades of previous Spring Semester.
If applying for Autumn Semester at Sophia, it is required to submit the transcript including the grades of previous Autumn Semester.
Student copies are NOT acceptable. Applicants must have the grades for at least one semester at their home institutions.

Applicants for the GRADUATE program:
The latest official transcript(s) of all previous undergraduate and graduate studies should be submitted.
If applying for Spring Semester at Sophia, it is required to submit the transcript including the grades of pervious Spring Semester.
If applying for Autumn Semester at Sophia, it is required to submit the transcript including the grades of pervious Autumn Semester.
Student copies are NOT acceptable. Applicants must have the grades for at least one semester at their home institutions.
A certificate (certified copy of a diploma) showing that the applicant has finished the bachelor-level studies should also be submitted.

a. The applicants are expected to have a Grade Point Average of B (3.0) or better in the standard 4-level rating system (A, B, C, D) or equivalent for submitting their applications for the exchange program. An official transcript from our partner university is essential in submitting the application; an applicant therefore must have completed at least one semester of study at his/her home university as a degree-seeking student before submitting the exchange application.

b. A list of courses that are in session at the time of application should be shown on the transcript(s) If not, please submit a separate list with courses in progress.

c. The explanations of the grading system used at the applicant’s home university should be attached to the transcript(s) by the applicants’ home institution.

(4) Two Letters of Recommendation (Form Provided)
The letters must be from professors who have taught the applicant an academic course at his/her home institution.

(5) Photocopy of Passport (and visa, if not coming on college student visa)
A photocopy of the pages of the applicant’s passport showing the photograph, name, birth date, place of birth, number, citizenship, period of validity, and place of issuing. If the applicant is not coming on a student visa, the copy of the pages containing the relevant visa to enter and study in Japan should also be submitted.

(6) Housing Application Form (Form Provided)
ALL applicants must submit the housing application, regardless of whether they wish to make accommodation arrangements through Sophia.
If applicants wish to make the accommodation arrangement through Sophia, they must fill out all pages and sign the promise.

(7) Certificate of Health (Form Provided)
All applicants should submit the Certificate of Health completed within the previous 6 months, signed by a practicing physician and indicating that the applicant is physically fit to attend university and do the required academic work. All items (including x-ray) on the certificate must be filled out. *The applicants with special needs are requested to provide in advance concerning information.

(8) English Aptitude Proof
Applicants from non-English-speaking institutions applying to Sophia’s English taught program are required to submit one of the following English aptitude proofs:
a. Minimum 79 on TOEFL iBT
b. Minimum 550 on TOEFL PBT/ ITP
c. Minimum 6.0 on IELTS(Academic)
d. Minimum 730 on TOEIC

*Non-native English speakers who apply for the Graduate Program in Global Studies are expected to have a higher English ability in comparison to the undergraduate program. Applicants who cannot fulfill the language requirement will be denied the entrance into the program.

a. Minimum 100 on TOEFL iBT
b. Minimum 600 on TOEFL PBT/ ITP
c. Minimum 7.0 on IELTS(Academic)
d. Minimum 870 on TOEIC

Please check the following announcement from the Program Director for more detailed information:
Information for International Exchange Students regarding the Graduate Program of Global Studies (GPGS)

For information on TOEFL, please refer to:
For information on IELTS, please refer to:
For information on TOEIC, please refer to:

(9) Japanese Language Aptitude Proof (For undergraduate/graduate programs taught in Japanese ONLY)
For applicants whose native language is not Japanese, it is necessary to submit a copy of Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1 level certificate(日本語能力試験N1).
Some Japanese taught departments may accept students with JLPT N2 level or other certificates of your Japanese language skills. Please consult with the Center for Global Discovery if you wish to apply for programs taught in Japanese.
For details and overseas testing of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, please refer to:

(10) Application for Certificate of Eligibility (To be submitted online)

For applicants who do not hold Japanese passport. This document is necessary for a visa application. The forms need to be downloaded and submitted online. Please ask the coordinator of your institution about the website URL. Please complete the forms (in excel) carefully and all items on the forms must be filled out.

This document is necessary for visa application. Please complete the form (in excel) carefully and make sure all items are filled out.


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