UMN Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors


Academic Year, Spring



Language Requirement




Sophia University is one of the top private universities in Japan. The campus is located in the heart of Tokyo, within walking distance of the National Diet, Imperial Palace and the State Guest House. Shinjuku, the world's busiest transport hub is just a 5-minute train ride away. Sophia University has been a pioneer in global education in Japan, and has offered programs in English for 60 years.

Learn more about being an exchange student at Sophia University.

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For students interested in studying Japanese, the Center for Language Education and Research provides multiple tracks and levels of Japanese language courses according to students’ needs and linguistic backgrounds. 

The regular track offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced courses where 100-minute classes meet four or five times per week. This track aims to focus on developing communicative competence through extensive practice by integrating four skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students enroll in 4 credits of Japanese and take an additional 2–4 elective courses, taught in English.

The intensive track, which offers four-level intensive courses at basic, intermediate, and advanced levels, is designed for students whose main purpose of coming to Japan is to mainly study Japanese. Students enroll in 8 credits of Japanese (16 hours of class time per week), and 1–2 elective courses. 

English-taught courses are available in business and economics, science and technology, and environmental studies. See the Course Bulletin (updated each year in March) for more details on specific courses.

You must register for a minimum of 13 credits per term. You receive resident credit for the courses you take, your grades factor into your University of Minnesota GPA and each course appears on your transcript with an A/F grade. See the Grade & Credit  Conversion Scale for more details. 

Housing & Meals

Sophia University organizes various types of housing for exchange students. Dormitories are located in different areas of Tokyo and require commuting. The dorms vary in size and type of amenities provided.

Homestays can be organized by a private housing organization in Tokyo.

Program Fees

Program fee

  • Academic Year 2021–2022: $13,400
  • Spring Semester 2022: Available October 2021

Program fee includes tuition and educational costs, and international health insurance.

Total cost of participation

Dates & Deadlines

Application Deadlines

Academic Year 2021-22: February 1, 2021
Spring 2022: September 1, 2021

If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

The program is currently full for Academic Year 2021-22.

Academic Calendar

Academic Year:  Mid-September - Early August
Spring Semester:  Late March - Early August

Program dates are subject to change. Contact our office or visit the Sophia University academic calendar website for verification of dates before purchasing your airfare.


3.0 GPA


To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information:

Center Name TC Learning Abroad Ctr
Education Abroad Term

Academic Year

Spring semester only

Program Name Bilateral Exchange in Tokyo
Track Name Sophia University
Country Japan

Use your University of Minnesota internet ID and password to log into the Education Abroad application system. Your student account will be charged a $50 application fee.

Apply Now!

Upon submitting the online application, you will be assigned an application checklist that includes:

  • Application Essay
  • Advising appointment with the Exchange Coordinator
  • Japan Exchange University Preference List
    • Exchange spots at Japanese universities are limited, and you are encouraged to have a back-up program in mind. If you are not accepted to Sophia and wish to be considered for other universities, you may list up to 3 alternatives in order of preference. View the at-a-glance comparison page for information on other options.

Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

Application Review Process

After the application deadline, the GO Minnesota selection committee will review applications and make decisions within 2 weeks. If you are nominated, your name will be submitted to the host university and you will complete their application materials. Upon your official acceptance by the host university, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program.

Exchange programs can be competitive, especially at Sophia, and we may not be able to place all students who apply. If you are not selected for your first-choice Japanese university, we will place you at your second- or third-choice school. 

If at any point you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the Education Abroad application system and submit a cancellation request.

If the program does not fill, applications will be considered on a rolling admissions basis until the program fills or until the host university deadline. Please contact us to inquire about applying after the deadline.