CORE CURRICULUM

Academics


Centered on courses in Comparative Culture, International Business and Economics, and Social Studies, the broad interdisciplinary curriculum of the FLA aims to extend students’ general knowledge while developing their critical thinking. A wide range of courses focused on Japan enables students to understand both present-day Japan and its traditions in a global context. 
See Our Curriculum Structure.


The First Year: Building a Foundation

During their first year, students polish their analytic skills and are acquainted with the intellectual approaches practiced in a liberal arts education. The Core Program enhances students’ skills in writing, public speaking, and logical thinking to give both native and non-native English speakers a solid foundation for effective further study. Students can take, as part of General Studies, introductory courses in each discipline in order to gain the widest possible exposure to potential majors. Study of a foreign language is also central to the General Studies Program. Native speakers of Japanese choose from among 11 languages while students whose native language is not Japanese study in a comprehensive Japanese language program. In addition, native Japanese speakers educated either in Japan or abroad may take expository writing and reading comprehension courses to develop college-level Japanese language ability.
Learn More About the Language and Linguistic Study Program.

The Sophomore to Senior Years: Branching Out

In their sophomore year students select their major from one of three options. The three majors, Comparative Culture (art history, literature, philosophy, religion), International Business and Economics, and Social Studies (anthropology, history, political science, sociology) emphasize the arts and sciences, and, in the spirit of liberal arts, all are multidisciplinary. In addition, a generous catalog of elective courses encourages students to explore subjects outside their major, while those proficient in Japanese may take courses in other faculties. Classes in Japanese Language, Linguistics, and Teaching Methods, as well as Japanese Studies, stress a broad-based approach to the study of Japan.

Further Educational Opportunities

Students can study abroad for up to a year in one of the 150 leading colleges and universities in 20 countries with which Sophia has exchange agreements. Exchange students pay regular Sophia tuition and earn credits towards graduation. The Faculty also operates the Summer Session of Asian Studies, offering courses to students and professionals from around the world. Students in the Faculty’s undergraduate program may apply credits earned in the Summer Session towards graduation. Graduate study in either English or Japanese can also be pursued at Sophia. Students are encouraged to attend the lectures sponsored by the Faculty, which feature noted scholars and public figures, as well as the numerous symposia and events held throughout the University.