Sophia University

Admissions Application Materials

Exchange Program Application Guidelines

Before Applying

Applicants should make sure that he/she has been officially nominated by their home institutions and check if they meet all criteria listed through the link below.


General rules for submitting applications

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

  1. Application form and other prescribed forms are available online. Account and URL for online application will be provided after official nomination by the exchange program coordinator of their home institution. Applicants are required to submit online application and send hard copy of their application materials through the exchange program coordinator of their home institution.
  2. In principle, all application documents must be ORIGINAL (not copy). If original language certificate is unavailable, please submit a copy of the document certified (stamped or signed) by 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.

Documents to be Submitted:

  1. Application form (printed after online submission)
  2. Letter of academic recommendation (form provided)
  3. Official academic transcript(s)
    *If the transcript does not include a list of courses you are enrolled in this current semester, please submit a currently enrolled course list separately.
  4. TOEFL / IELTS(Academic) / TOEIC official test report
    (for ALL applicants from non-English-speaking institutions applying for English-taught program)
  5. JLPT official test report
    (for applicants to departments/ graduate programs taught in Japanese)
  6. Certificate of health (form provided)
  7. 3 color photographs (length 4cm × width 3cm *exact size)
  8. Photo copy of your passport (and visa, if you have any)
  9. Application for Certificate of Eligibility (*online submission)
  10. Housing Application (*online submission)
    for Partners Online Nomination Procedure.pdf(172.10 KB) 
    for Students Online Application Procedure.pdf(704.78 KB)

(1) Application Form (Complete and Print through online)

The applicant must specify the semester and the department/ graduate 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. In principle, students should only choose courses offered by the department/ graduate programs he/ she intends to apply.

Course Information : 
*Japanese language courses are not mandatory for exchange students. 
The applicant is also required to fill in the academic essay. Generally, the essay should be about the applicant's reasons for wishing to study at Sophia, precise areas of intended study at the departments/graduate program the applicant applies to and how the study in Sophia relates to the applicant’s previous experience as well as future goals.
Please complete and print the online application form and send it via postal mail together with other application documents.
*Applicants to the Graduate Program in Global Studies are required to attach a separate document which list all courses they wish to take, indicating for each the relevance to their degree of study in their home institution and their background for the course.

(2) Letter of Recommendation (Form Provided)

Letter must be signed and completed by professor / lecturer who has taught the applicant in an academic course at his/her home institution. Please make sure the signature is handwritten, not typed.

(3) Official Academic Transcript(s)

Transcripts must be ORIGINAL documents issued by the home institution. Student copies are NOT acceptable. Applicants must have completed at least one semester at their home institutions by the time of applying.

  1. Include the list of courses in progress if not printed on transcript.
  2. Explanations of the grading system used at the applicant’s home university should be attached to the transcript(s)
    by the applicant’s home institution.

【UNDERGRADUATE programs applicants】
Provide latest official transcript(s) of currently enrolled undergraduate level institutions.

【GRADUATE programs applicants】
Provide bachelor diploma copy with latest official transcript(s) of all previous undergraduate and graduate studies.

Applicants for spring semester entrance: submit transcript including grades of previous spring semester.
Applicants for autumn semester entrance: submit transcript including grades of previous autumn semester.

【Applicants who have studied in Japan in the past】
Applicants who have previously studied in Japan under student visa should provide a copy of transcript issued by the related Japanese institution.
Applicants are expected to have a Grade Point Average of B (3.0) or higher in the standard 4-level rating system (A, B, C, D). Those who do not fulfill the requirement will be rejected. For more information, see following website.

(4) English Aptitude Proof

REQUIRED for applicants from non-English-speaking institutions applying to Sophia’s English taught program.
Minimum score for each test are as following:
79 on TOEFL iBT / 550 on TOEFL ITP / 6.0 on IELTS(Academic) / 730 on TOEIC
Non-native English speakers who apply for the Graduate Program in Global Studies are expected to have a higher English ability. Applicants who cannot fulfill the following minimum language requirement will be denied the entrance into the program.
100 on TOEFL iBT / 600 on TOEFL ITP / 7.0 on IELTS(Academic) / 870 on TOEIC

*Test date of the certificate must be before the application deadline. If applicant’s test result is not released by the due date, submit a letter of explanation including the following:
- test date
- expected date of test result to be released

(5) Japanese Language Aptitude Proof

Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1 level certificate (日本語能力試験N1)is required for non-native Japanese speakers applying to Japanese-taught undergraduate / graduate programs.

A very few number of Japanese-taught departments may accept students with JLPT N2 level or other certificates of your Japanese language skills. Applicants should consult in advance with the Center for Global Education and Discovery through the international office at home university if he/she wishes to apply for department/graduate programs taught in Japanese.
For those who are applying to Japanese-taught graduate program, a higher level may be required for the breakdown score in addition to passing the N1 level.

For details and overseas testing of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, refer to:

(6) Certificate of Health (Form Provided)

All applicants should submit the Certificate of Health completed within 6 months prior to the application period, signed by a practicing physician and indicating that the applicant is physically fit to study abroad and do the required academic work. All items on the certificate must be filled out.
*Chest X-ray test is mandatory. Please indicate date of X-ray examination.
*Note: applicants with special needs should consult the Center for Global Education and Discovery in advance.

(7) 3 Color Photos

Specifications for photos to be submitted: 
No edge; EXACT SIZE (length 4cm×width 3cm); of full front view with plain white background.
Color photocopies and computer printouts are NOT acceptable.
- Photographs must be printed on high quality photograph paper, and at high resolution.

Please write your name on the back of the photo.
Attach 1 on the Application Form printed from online application
Enclose 2 for Application for Certificate of Eligibility (for the visa) and the student ID card.

(8) Photocopy of Passport (and visa, if not coming on student visa)

Submit a photocopy of applicant’s passport personal information page. Renew passport if it will expire during the exchange period at Sophia.
If the applicant is not coming on a student visa, please submit a copy of relevant visa to enter and study in Japan.
*Applicant with Japanese nationality should enter Japan with his/her Japanese passport.

(9) Application for Certificate of Eligibility (ONLINE submission)

Certificate of Eligibility is necessary for applicants who do not hold Japanese passport or other kinds of visa which covers the exchange period in Sophia.

Please submit the CoE application form through online application.
All items should be filled out carefully before the online submission, making sure to read the instruction.

*Applicant with Japanese nationality will not need to submit Certificate of Eligibility and Sophia University will not apply for the applicant’s student visa.

(10) Housing Application (ONLINE submission)

ALL applicants must submit the housing application regardless of whether they wish to make accommodation arrangements through Sophia or not.
If applicants wish to make the accommodation arrangement through Sophia, they must fill out all sections.
Since housing allocation works on first come, first served basis, early submission is encouraged for higher priority in housing placement.

Exchange Coordinator:
Sophia University
Center for Global Education and Discovery
7-1, Kioi-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan, 102-8554
tel:+81-3-3238-3521 email: