Graduate Schools for Arts & Literature Courses /
Foreign Students Admission
(For April 2018 Entry)

1. Graduate Schools, Divisions, and Studies

Graduate School Division (Studies) Program No. of students accepted
Letters Sociology First-stage doctoral A few
International Language Education
(Japanese Language Education)

2. Applicant Eligibility

Applicants who have non-Japanese nationality, and fit one of the descriptions (1) to (3) below.
  1. A person who graduated from a university, or a school equivalent to a university, or is due to graduate in March 2018
  2. A person who completed 16 years of regular school and university education in a foreign country (whether or not he/she officially
  3. Any other person whom the university’s Graduate School Committee recognizes as having academic ability and eligibility for the selection process equivalent to or greater than a university graduate.
Points to Note
Information relating to individual faculty members’ research themes and teaching topics is available on the following website 

3. Application Requirements

Applicants must have the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test level N1.

Applicants must submit a passing certificate of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test level N1 during the application period below.

4. Application Period

Applications must arrive between Tuesday, August 29 and Friday, October 13, 2017.

5. Application Fee

Application fee: JPY 33,000 (to be paid during the above application period).
Please note: Applicants should pay via the web page using one of the credit cards accepted and send a document confirming payment of the application fee when making their application.
Credit cards accepted
VISA / MasterCard

6. Application Documents

Category Application Documents and Points to Note download
Application for Admission (using the form provided by the university)
  • Complete all sections fully, except for those marked with an asterisk.
  • Attach one passport photo (3 cm x 4 cm; upper body only; bareheaded; no background; taken within three months).
  • In the academic background section, state all schools attended, their locations, the month and year you transferred to and from each school, etc. If you cannot fit all the information into the relevant section, attach a separate sheet detailing your academic background in full.
Two passport photos
  • Passport photos taken within three months; 3 cm x 4 cm; upper body only; bareheaded; no background. Photos may be in color.
  • Two photos must be submitted in addition to the one attached to the application for admission in A above.
Academic Transcript from Previous University
  • Should include results for every year attended.
Academic Transcript from Previous Graduate School (if applicable)
  • Submit academic transcript including results for every year of attendance at graduate school after graduating university.
Certificate of Graduation or Certificate of Expected Graduation from Previous University
  • Applicants submitting certificates of expected graduation should submit a certificate of graduation promptly once they graduate. (If no certificate is issued, applicants should submit other documentary evidence of course completion.)
Certificate of Completion, Certificate of Expected Completion, or Certificate of Enrollment from Previous Graduate School (if applicable)
  • If applicants cannot submit any of the above certificates, they should submit other relevant documentary evidence.
Proof of Degree
  • A document verifying your receipt of a degree. If your degree is clearly stated on your certificate of graduation, there is no need to submit additional proof. If you have nothing that verifies your receipt of a bachelor’s degree, you should submit a document issued on behalf of the president or another senior representative of your previous university verifying your eligibility for graduate school.
Letters of Recommendation (2 types) (using the form provided by the university)
  • One letter should be written personally by the president, dean, or supervisor in your final high school (letters from teachers at Japanese language schools are not accepted). Your second recommendation letter may be written by anybody you choose.
Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Certificate

Submit Japanese Language-Proficiency Test level N1 pass certificate.

Soka University Research Plan (using the form provided by the university)

Approximately 2,000 characters in Japanese.

Graduation Thesis, or Equivalent Dissertation (submission mandatory only for the relevant majors)
  • Submission is mandatory when applying for Divisions of Sociology, Education, or Humanities.
  • Submission is not required when applying for the Divisions of International Language Education.
Summary of Graduation Thesis or Equivalent Dissertation (submission mandatory only for the relevant divisions)
  • Applicants for the Divisions of Sociology, Education, or Humanities in the Graduate school of Letters must submit a summary of approximately 2,000 characters in Japanese or 700 words in English.
  • Applicants for the Division of International Language Education in the Graduate school of Letters who have written a graduation thesis must submit a summary of approximately 2,000 characters in Japanese or 700 words in English.
Statement of Financial Eligibility (using the form provided by the university)

Verify that your tuition fees and living expenses during your time at graduate school can be paid by attaching a document (e.g., a bank statement) to the form provided by the university, and submitting it.

Note: For further details, refer to the section below entitled Payment of Expenses.

Preferences Regarding Acceptance Notice and Mailing Address (using the form provided by the university)

The address you provide will be used when mailing your acceptance notice and other documents, so ensure that you state an address and name that will enable you to receive the relevant mail.

Proof of Application Fee Payment

After completing payment of the application fee by credit card via the university’s website, submit a print-out of the payment confirmation web page, or of the subsequent confirmation e-mail.


7. Points to Note When Applying

  1. All documents must be written Japanese.
  2. Ensure that you attach a Japanese or English translation if any of the certificates or other documents you submit include languages other than Japanese or English.
  3. The content of application documents cannot be amended after they are received by the university.
  4. You may apply for only one division at a time; applications for more than one division are not permitted.
  5. Once application documents and application fees are received by the university they cannot be returned for any reason.
  6. If your application documents are found to contain any false statements, your acceptance and admission to the university may be revoked.
  7. Application documents that are incomplete or submitted after the due date will not be included in the applicant selection process.

Payment of Expenses

As a statement of financial eligibility, the person paying expenses should complete and sign the form provided by the university, and a supporting document should be attached according to the requirements below.

If the applicant him / herself will pay expenses

  • A bank statement in the applicant’s own name (showing a balance of JPY 1.5 million or more)

If a relative will pay by sending money from the applicant’s home country

  • A bank statement in the name of the person sending money (showing a balance of JPY 1.5 million or more)
  • Documentary proof of employment
  • Documentary proof of annual income
  • Document verifying relationship with applicant (e.g., a copy of the family register, a certificate of residence, a notarized statement of kinship, etc.)

If a scholarship will be used to pay

  • Documentary proof of scholarship payment specifying the amount to be paid, the period of payment, and the organization paying
    (The allowance shown should amount to approximately JPY 1.5 million per year in total)

If a Japanese resident will pay

  • A tax document stating gross income (e.g., a photocopy of an income tax return counterfoil (kakutei shinkoku hikae no utsushi), a certificate of tax deducted at source (gensenchoshuhyo))
  • Documentary proof of employment (self-employed persons should provide a photocopy of the company registration (tokibotohon no utsushi), an operating license (eigyo kyokasho), or similar document)
  • Certificate of residence
  • If the Japanese resident is an acquaintance or friend, provide evidence of his/her relationship to the applicant
    (e.g., a photograph in which he/she appears with the applicant)
  • *If the applicant is applying for Academic Fee Exemption simultaneously, financial capability will be reviewed. In that case, submission of the balance statement is accepted even if the amount is below 1,500,000 JPY.

8. Selection Method

Graduate School Division(Studies) Selection Method
Letters Sociology (1) Document screening
(2) Oral examination
Education (1) Document screening
Humanities (1) Document screening
International Language Education
(Japanese Language Education)
(1) Document screening
(2) Oral examination
  1. The oral examinations for the Division of Sociology and the Division of International Language Education are conducted in Japanese. Oral examinations for international applicants living in Japan will be held in a classroom on the Soka University campus. Oral examinations for international applicants living outside Japan will be conducted using Skype or an alternative method.
  2. Oral examinations for international applicants living in Japan will be held in a classroom on the Soka University campus.
  3. Oral examinations for international applicants living outside Japan will be conducted using Skype or an alternative method.

9. Date of Oral Examinations
(Conducted only for the Division of Sociology and the Studies of Japanese Language Education within the Division of International Language Education.)

Saturday, November 25, 2017; From 10:30 a.m. Japan Standard Time

Please note: For international applicants living outside Japan the times and dates of oral examinations may be changed in light of time differences. The university will consider any changes in timing after receiving applications, and will contact the relevant applicants accordingly.

10. Announcement of Admissions

Friday, December 2, 2016; 11:00 a.m. Japan Standard Time
One of the following three admissions results will be notified by e-mail to each applicant
(1) Admission approved Admission to graduate school from the following April approved.
(2) Admission declined Screening indicated that the applicant does not meet the criteria for admission.
(3) Ineligible to apply The applicant was deemed ineligible for admission to graduate school.
  1. The university will send an acceptance notice and related documents to applicants whose admission is approved.
  2. The university will not reply to any inquiries relating to the results of the screening process received by telephone or postal mail.

11. Procedure for Payment of Fees

Applicants approved for admission should complete the admissions procedure and pay admission and tuition fees, etc., within the time limits prescribed below. The university will provide further written details when announcing admissions.

(1) Payment of Admission Fee

Admission fee: JPY 246,000
Time limit: Wednesday, December 7 to Thursday, December 15, 2016

(2) Payment of annual tuition and other tuition fees

Annual tuition, etc.: JPY 610,430
Time limit: Monday, February 20 to Monday, February 27, 2017
Tuition Fees for 2017 Academic Year (for reference only)
Fee category Lump-sum payment Payment in two installments Timing of payment
During (1) or (2) above During (1) or (2)above During second semester
Admission fee JPY 246,000 JPY 246,000   During (1) above
Annual tuition JPY 500,000 JPY 250,000 JPY 250,000 During (2) above
Facilities and maintenance fee JPY 100,000 JPY 50,000 JPY 50,000
JPY 8,000 JPY 4,000 JPY 4,000
Personal Accident
Insurance for
Students Pursuing
Education and
JPY 2,430 JPY 2,430  
JPY 2,430 JPY 856,430 JPY 552,430 JPY 304,000  

Please note: The admission fee is JPY 123,000 for Soka University graduates and those who completed the Japan Studies Center program, graduated from the Division of Correspondence Education, or completed an advanced information systems technology course at Soka University.

(3) Points to Note

  1. If you do not complete the necessary procedures for payment during the time limits stipulated above, the university will revoke its approval of your admission.
  2. Ensure that you pay your annual tuition and other fees in full during the time limits given. You may choose between making one payment (a lump-sum payment during the admissions procedure stipulated in (2) above), or two payments (in two installments, one during (2) above, and one during the second semester).
  3. The amount payable for health expenditure may be amended in line with actual circumstances.
  4. If you decide not to enter the university for personal reasons following completion of the admissions procedure, the university will return to you the annual tuition, etc., excluding the admission fee. However, this applies only if you notify the university by the day before your entrance ceremony.

12. Other Matters

(1) Applying for a Certificate of Eligibility for Residence Status and Obtaining a Visa

In principle, non-Japanese applicants need to obtain student residence status once their admission to the university has been approved. After acceptance to the university, prospective students need to complete the procedures to acquire residence status, enter, and reside in Japan.
Application by the university on your behalf
The university will apply for a Certificate of Eligibility on your behalf. Please submit the Checklist for Certificate of Eligibility Application (using the form provided by the university) during the admissions procedure. Be aware that the university will not apply for a Certificate of Eligibility for you if you do not submit this checklist.
  • Certificates of Eligibility are approved by the Ministry of Justice, and the university cannot assume any responsibility in situations where approval is denied.
  • Even if the university applies on your behalf, the Ministry of Justice may require you to submit certificates or other documents as necessary.

(2) Scholarships for International Students

Academic Fee Exemption
At Soka, international students are granted full exemption from academic fees (not including the admission fee or insurance fees). Applicants who wish to receive exemption shall apply for the Exemption. Submit the Soka University International Student Application for Academic Fee Exemption and attach official documents issued by public agencies stating the household income and income tax information for the most recent 1 year(*1).
*1: "Most recent 1 year" refers to 2015(January to December).
  • In principle, household income refers to those of the father and mother or an individual other than a parent if that supporter is primarily financing the household.
  • Scholarship application results will be notified joinly with admission decisions to granted applicants only.
  • After enrollment, a review of exemption for the subsequent academic year will be conducted yearly. Depending on the grades, exemption may not be granted for the subsequent year.
  • Academic Fee Exemption can be granted for the duration of the standard term (2 years) at most.
Application for Academic Fee Exemption Japanese Word / English Word
Soka grants scholarship of 60,000 JPY to international students enrolled in graduate school. Application procedures will be explained after enrollment at the briefing session for International Students Scholarship.
*In principle, if a student is receiving scholarship from elsewhere, scholarship from Soka would not be granted.
Address for sending applications and contact for inquiries
Graduate Schools Section, Faculty Administration Department, Faculty Affairs Office, Soka University,
1-236 Tangi-machi, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo 192-8577

Tel: +81-42-691-9423 / Fax: +81-42-691-8232