How to apply:

First Year International Students

"As Aristotle stated, "The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet." The admission application process may seem daunting as you endeavor to complete all parts of our admission requirements, but please be confident that the reward will be well worth it! An education at Soka University of America will open your eyes, mind and heart to a world of new possibilities you never thought possible… "

- Margaret Kasahara, Associate Director of International Student Services


  |  How will your application be evaluatedImportant Notes


Who is a First Year International Student? 

First Year International Students are also known as International students.  You will use the first year international admission checklist if you are:

  • not a United States Citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident
  • currently studying in the United States on a current active visa  -or-
  • planning to study in the United States while on a current active visa

Home Schooled students who meet the above criteria may also use the First Year International Admission Checklist.

First Year International Student Checklist

  • Application Fee:  $45 for paper application and $30 for either online application. We also accept College Board and NACAC fee waivers.
  • Official transcripts or IERF Detailed Report:  Official transcripts are required for any Secondary school(s), college(s) or university(s) if attended in the U.S. Any national examinations or coursework completed outside of the U.S. must be forwarded to the International Education Research Foundation (IERF) for conversion to U.S. grade equivalents.  All transcripts submitted to IERF must document completion of the U.S. equivalent of the 11th grade. Do not send your transcripts or records directly to Soka University. Please request IERF to provide Soka University with a Detail Report of your completed education.  Mid-year reports are not required. Transcripts and/or IERF reports are required for coursework in-progress and/or completed while in high school.
  • SAT with Essay or ACT with Writing Examination Scores:  Official results of the SAT with Essay or ACT with Writing examination scores must be sent directly to Soka University by the testing agency.  Soka's SAT code is 4066 and Soka's ACT code is 0467. The name used for your SAT and/or ACT examinations must be your legal name that you use on your admission application. The Office of Admission does not accept SAT or ACT scores older than five years of the testing date.  SUA does not require the SAT II-SAT Subject Test.
  • English Proficiency:  Any applicant whose native language is not English is required to submit a TOEFL score report.  Soka University requires the TOEFL iBT and a minimum score of 80.  Soka University’s school code for TOEFL is 4066.  Please contact for questions or visit our  FAQ.  Students applying for International Admission and whose native language is English will need to contact for details.
  • Two Academic Recommendations:  Two written academic recommendations from your principal, counselor and/or teacher. If using Soka's Online Application or The Common Application, recommenders may submit their letter online. If you apply using Soka's Paper Application, please ask recommenders to use the Official Recommendation form.
  • Two Personal Essays:  Two mandatory personal essays answering the questions put forth in the application. Each essay must be 500-750 words in length, double spaced:
    • Mandatory essay question 1: During January block, Soka students participate in a Learning Cluster or research seminar where students work in teams with faculty to propose, research, and model constructive approaches to local, regional and/or global issues. What question would you investigate during a Learning Cluster? Describe why this topic is one you are passionate about and how you envision solving or supporting this particular issue.
    • Mandatory essay question 2: In today’s world, what is your purpose in seeking a liberal arts education? Among the many fine colleges and universities you might attend, how do you think SUA could help you fulfill that purpose?
    • Optional question: Do you have any special circumstances that you would like Soka University to take into consideration when reviewing your application? Please be concise. Essay should not be more than a paragraph.
  • List of Extracurricular Activities:  A list of extracurricular activities or talents demonstrating outside interests and leadership experience or potential.

How will your application be evaluated?

Soka University students are students of intelligence and commitment who will provide leadership in the promotion of peace and human rights.  The university serves highly motivated students of all backgrounds and beliefs who have excelled in a range of academic courses.

Soka uses admission processes similar to those at other institutions and acts through its Admission Committee to review student applications and make selections for each entering class.  Admission to Soka is competitive and selective as the Admission Committee evaluates an applicant's ability to excel in the classroom and to develop as a thoughtful scholar.  Although all successful applicants may have strong academic records, good grades and test scores are not enough by themselves for an applicant to be accepted. 

In addition to academic excellence, Soka values students' commitment, service, active leadership, and the ability to interact well with others.  The committee reviews an applicant's extracurricular interests, activities, and talents. There is no ideal extracurricular profile for a Soka applicant. However, the committee strongly considers the variety of extracurricular activities in which the applicant has been recognized and, especially, has demonstrated leadership.


Important Notes

  • Applications, documentation, and application fees are due by November 1st for Early Action and January 15th for Regular Admission.  
  • Any applicant whose native language is not English is required to submit a TOEFL score report.  Soka University requires the TOEFL iBT and recommends a minimum score of 80.
  • Applications will be evaluated only when all required materials have been received.  It is your responsibility to ensure that all of the required documents that you have requested of your school are submitted by your school on time.  Soka University does not accept faxes, emails, or copies of official documents.  Once all application materials have been received the file is considered complete and is immediately assigned for evaluation.  Therefore, no additional materials will be accepted.
  •  All documents submitted to Soka University and/or contained in the application file belong to Soka University of America and cannot be returned.