Are you thinking about applying to Soka University of America but don’t know if it is the right choice for you? In this article we will be giving an overview of some of SUA’s distinctive characteristics to hopefully answer any questions you may have. 


Table of Contents


What is Soka University of America (SUA)?


What Can I Study at SUA?


SUA’s Scholarship Program


SUA’s Campus Life

Soka University of America's Peace Lake and Founders Hall

What is Soka University of America?

Soka University of America (SUA) is a liberal arts college that opened in California on May 3, 2001. The word “Soka” comes from Japanese, meaning value creation, and SUA provides a humanistic, people-centered education based on peace, human rights, and the sanctity of life. Although SUA’s student body is very small with around 460 students, it is very diverse with around 40% of students being international students from over 45 different countries and regions worldwide. SUA is attracting worldwide attention as a university that is cultivating global citizens!

Another characteristic of SUA is its care for the students. With the students at the center of the university, students are able to build deep relationships with professors and staff. The small class sizes (average of 12 students) also help provide conditions for building strong relationships with professors. SUA also has a strong connection with the local community by allowing locals to come on campus to attend all kinds of events and festivals. Many local residents also come to SUA regularly to walk around the campus or to use the university’s library.

You are also welcome anytime to visit the campus! To schedule a campus tour with SUA, click here. DIG International also offers tours of Soka University of America, please click here for more details! We also have a full preparatory program for applying to Soka University of America which you can find here. Additionally, we have had many of our own students accepted into SUA and you can read their amazing experiences here! If you have any other questions or would like additional information, please feel free to contact us here!

What Can I Study at SUA?

All students who graduate from SUA receive a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts. However, students are required to choose a concentration for their undergraduate studies which is similar to a major but does not carry the same weight. You have until the end of your second year to declare your concentration from the following: Environmental Studies, International Studies, Life Sciences, or Social and Behavioral Sciences. Regardless of what concentration you decide to choose, you will still have a true liberal arts education, taking all kinds of classes and learn from a wide variety of subjects. By the time you graduate, you will be able to find your interests and what you would want to do in the future! 

Study Abroad Program

In addition to regular coursework, all students are required to learn a language that they do not know from the following: Chinese, French, Japanese, and Spanish. Then, during either the fall or spring semester of their junior year, students are required to study abroad in a country or region where their chosen language of study is spoken. All travel, tuition, and living expenses during study abroad are included in the tuition.

The following countries and regions are available for study abroad at SUA: 

Chinese: China or Taiwan

French: France or Senegal

Japanese: Japan

Spanish: Chile, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain

For those of you who would be studying abroad in the US to attend Soka University of America, you have a wonderful experience of studying in two different countries during your undergrad which very few are able to do! Even if you would be a domestic student attending SUA, studying in different countries, that alone is an amazing experience that broadens your horizons and enables you to grow as a global citizen. For more details on SUA’s study abroad program, you can visit their website here. Additionally, if you would like to read a former SUA student’s study abroad experience you can find that here!

Learning Clusters 

Every January, SUA has a unique program called Learning Clusters. Unlike other classes, this program is a “collaborative learning program between professors and students” for three weeks. During this time, based on the content of study that a professor designated, the students create their own classes based on their own interests and passions! 

The content of the study will vary with each learning cluster, but students will essentially deepen their learning through their project-based research. Depending on the learning cluster, some involve traveling locally or internationally to conduct quality research on the topic of study. In the past, students have traveled to Brazil, China, Japan, South Korea, Rwanda, Sweden, and many other countries. All travel, lodging, and food expenses during this learning cluster come at no additional financial burden to you, the students! For more detailed information on the Learning Cluster, please visit SUA’s official website here!

SUA’s Scholarship Program

SUA has a unique scholarship program that provides full tuition reimbursement to students whose annual family income is $90,000 or less. Students will annual incomes of $90,000 or more are also eligible for scholarships that cover a percentage of the total tuition based on their annual family income. Additionally, students may also be eligible for a “merit scholarship” based on their grades and extracurricular activities. The amount of this scholarship varies depending on the individual, so you may be able to receive more or less depending on your efforts in high school. 

There are also several other scholarship opportunities offered at SUA that have different stipulations. To see all of the different scholarship opportunities that you may be eligible for, please visit SUA’s official website here! SUA also offers the Soka Loan to help offset other financial burdens you may have, but unlike the other scholarships, the Soka Loan would need to be paid back after graduation. 

SUA’s Campus Life

Soka University of America is a boarding school, and all students are required to live on campus. In most cases, you would be living with another student in a room together. First-year students do not have the choice of a roommate, but are assigned a roommate who fits their lifestyle based on a questionnaire before entering the dormitory. From your second year onward, you can choose your roommate, and you can live with a good friend.  Facilities such as the classrooms, library, gym, cafeteria, etc are all located within a 5-10 minute walk from the dorms, which is very convenient.

As for extracurriculars, you can join any club that you like or may be interested in. If you can’t find anything that you like, you can be the first to start a club in that specialty. Clubs offer additional opportunities to connect and develop friendships with fellow students from all over the world and engage in cultural exchanges! For more detailed information on campus life at SUA, please see their official website here!

This article was a brief introduction to SUA and we understand that you may have many more questions about SUA that haven’t been answered. We welcome you to ask us any questions you may have about SUA, so please feel free to message us here! Additionally, if you feel like you want to attend SUA after reading this article, consider taking our preparatory classes for Soka University of America. 

Here at DIG International, we offer classes that are tailored to the level of each student and meet the various needs of our students including SAT and TOEFL preparation (please click here if interested). You can always read the experiences of our former students and their successful journeys of getting into SUA here, or you can first take a free trial lesson (click here) to see if you want to continue preparing with us! We wish you the best in your endeavors!