In February 2018, Sophia University received the highest score “S” from MEXT (Ministry Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) in the Top Global University Project midterm assessment for “Creating a Global Campus with Multiple Hub Functions and Supportive Governance”.
Alley in Winter
Sophia University launched the “Department of Comparative Culture” in 1974, making them the first-ever university in Japan to offer English-taught program. This department became the “Faculty of Liberal Arts” in 2006. In the Faculty of Liberal Arts, from the first to third semester, students mainly take courses from the following three categories:
- General Studies: consists of Christian Humanism, Health and Physical Education, and courses from various fields, e.g. anthropology, philosophy, politics, computer studies.
- Core Program: consists of English Composition 1, English Composition 2, Thinking Processes and Public Speaking, which are courses that aim at helping students develop their critical thinking and communication skills through reading, thinking, writing and speaking.
- Language Courses: there are different levels of Japanese class and the university will place you to the appropriate level based on the result of placement test. Japanese 1, which is for beginners, takes place 5 times a week / 1.5 hours per class. Business Japanese and academic Japanese classes are also available for those advanced Japanese learners.
As students explore different fields and find their interest in the first three semesters, students select their major in the end of the third semester from three fields: Comparative Culture, International Business & Economics and Social Studies. Therefore, from the fourth semester, most students start to concentrate on their major study. Besides the classes offered by the Faculty of Liberal Arts, students with sufficient Japanese level are also welcomed to take courses from other faculties to fulfill credits.
Exchange Program is a popular option for students in the Faculty of Liberal Arts, since most of them possess broad worldview and find the language requirement relatively easy to achieve. Sophia University has partnership with 310 universities from 62 countries/regions, such as University of Pennsylvania, University of British Columbia, University of Melbourne and The University of Hong Kong. In the Faculty of Liberal Arts classes, roughly 30-40% of students are exchange students, which brings more diverse perspectives to class discussion.
For students in the Faculty of Liberal Arts, a great chance to make new friends is at the orientation camp, where newly enrolled students go on a trip for two days. In addition, smaller-scale classes in the first year, such as the Core Program courses, also provide precious opportunities for making friends since there is frequent interaction and discussion between classmates. Besides, just like most Japanese university students, a large portion of students in the Faculty of Liberal Arts join the school club or circle. There are several circles in Sophia University that aim to tighten the relationship between Japanese students and international students; therefore, international students without any Japanese fluency are warmly welcomed.