Sophia University

Admissions Basic Information

Basic Information

What is "Non-Degree Students"?

Non-degree students are those who enroll in either the Faculty of Liberal Arts (FLA) or Center for Language Education and Research (CLER) to take undergraduate courses and obtain credits but do not intend to receive an academic degree. This status is applicable only to international students who will enroll as full-time students.

Tracks and Fields of Study / Accreditation

There are two tracks for Non-degree students; (1) English Track and (2) Japanese Intensive Track.
Applicants are required to choose one of the tracks at the time of application.

English Track (FLA)

・Comparative Culture (Art History / Visual Culture, Literature, Religion-Philosophy)
・International Business and Economics
・Social Studies (Anthropology-Sociology, History, Political Science)
・Japanese Studies
・Japanese Language Regular Program
Students who intend to take classes from the above fields will enroll in the Faculty of Liberal Arts (FLA).

・All courses (except Japanese Language Regular Program) in this track are conducted in English.
・For the courses listings, please refer to the website of Liberal Arts.
・FLA core programs (for Degree-students) and language programs other than Japanese are not open to Non-degree students.
・Japanese Language Regular Program is for a) beginners of Japanese or b) intermediate-advanced level students who do not intend to take the Intensive Program (JLIP). In the Japanese Language Regular Program, 100-minute classes meet four or five times a week. Students take placement test before course registration. English is occasionally used for instruction when necessary.

Japanese Intensive Track A (CLER)

This track is for students who would like to take Japanese Language Intensive Program (JLIP). JLIP is an intensive course for those who study Japanese as a foreign language. 100-minute classes meet twice a day (9:00 to 12:35) from Monday through Friday. English is occasionally used for instruction when necessary. There are four levels, and the lowest level is for students who have reached a level N5 in Japanese Language Proficiency Test (日本語能力試験) or equivalent.
All students who plan to take JLIP must take a language placement test before course registration, and will be assigned to a level on the basis of the results of the placement test. Students who fall in this category will enroll in CLER.

・Level N5 in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test corresponds to completing 150 hours of study at university (1-2 semesters). Those who have not reached this level cannot apply for this track.
・For the courses listings, please refer to the CLER website.
・If a student enrolled in this track wishes to take classes of English track as well, English proficiency requirements must be met. However, please note that students in this track are required to take Japanese Intensive courses.
・Depending on the previous learning experiences in studying Japanese or on the result of Japanese Placement Test, there is a possibility that students may not be able to register for Japanese Intensive Track. Those students have to register for Japanese Regular Program (twice-a-week class) or content courses offered by other faculties.

Japanese Intensive Track B (日本語集中講座B)
This track is designed for Chinese character users and Asian students.
For more information, please refer to our Japanese website for this track.


The academic programs of the non-degree programs are chartered by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Credits earned are fully recognized by major universities in the United States of America and elsewhere.

Academic Calendar

There are two semesters, beginning in April and September. Each semester consists of 15 weeks of classes, including final examinations.

Spring Semester 2021
Entry date for Sophia University: April 1, 2021.
Classes start in early April and end at the end of July.

Autumn Semester 2021
Entry date for Sophia University: September 21, 2021.
Classes start in late September and end in late January.

Period of Study
In principle, the period of study is either one semester or two semesters.

Requirement for Enrollment

Students are required to register for at least 10 hours of class time per week (equivalent to 6 classes). If a student fails to register for courses in a given semester, or fails to meet the deadline for tuition payment, he/she will lose his/her student status at Sophia.

Financial Aid

There are no scholarships available for non-degree students at Sophia University.