Soka Graduate School

Applying to Soka University can be done in a few steps. Before applying, it is also important to become familiar with the admission checklist. 

Application Requirements

Details regarding required documents to complete your application for admission into the MA program in Educational Leadership and Societal Change. Emailed and faxed documents will not be accepted. If you have additional questions about the requirements please contact the Graduate Office of Admission by emailing

Applicants must use the Soka Online Application or Graduate School Application Form. Fill out the application form completely.

$45 for submitting a paper application or $30 for submitting the Soka Online Application. Payments can be made online through the Admission Application Portal. Payments may also be mailed to the Admissions Office. The university requests that payment of all fees (application fee, tuition deposit, etc.) be in the form of a check drawn on a US bank or an International Postal Order and in US dollars.

Applicants should request that all previous academic institution(s) send an official transcript covering all undergraduate studies (and graduate studies if any) directly to the Office of Admission at Soka University of America. Only official transcripts that are signed, stamped and sealed, or otherwise certified, by the issuing institution will be accepted. The applicant is responsible for making sure complete, official transcripts are on file with the Office of Admission. Work in progress will be considered in fulfillment of requirements and admission may be granted subject to the filing of final transcripts, before enrollment, showing satisfactory completion of work in progress.

Ask two individuals qualified to evaluate your educational background and/or academic and professional achievement to complete a recommendation for you. Recommendations are usually from the applicant’s former or current professors who are able to give an in-depth evaluation of the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses with respect to academic work. They should paint as full a picture of you as possible for the admission committee, saying how well and in what capacity they know you and frankly stating deficiencies as well as merits. They should provide a candid opinion of your ability to undertake graduate study and your potential for a career in educational leadership.

Please ask your recommenders to use the official Reference/Recommendation Form provided by SUA. Type, or print clearly, your name on each form and sign the waiver statement. Give each recommender the Reference/Recommendation Form and ask him/her to return the completed form directly to the Office of Admission in the sealed envelope.

Please write a brief statement in which you describe your background, your past work in your intended field of study, your goals for graduate study and a professional career, experience, and any other information you feel is relevant.

A copy of your resume or CV is required for all applicants. This document will outline your experiences and skills as they relate to the graduate program.

An academic writing sample is required for all applicants. This should be a college-level research paper written for one of your classes or if your college or university has it as a graduation requirement, a senior thesis. Less important than the topic is that the paper you submit is the strongest sample you have of your writing and research skills as a student. It is not necessary to include the grade or the instructor’s comments with your submission.

Any applicant whose native language is not English is required to submit either a TOEFL® iBT or Duolingo English Test score report. Soka University recommends a TOEFL® iBT minimum score of 100 and a Duolingo English Test minimum score of 120 (160 Scale). Be sure to request that official test scores are sent directly to the Soka University, Office of Graduate Admission. Student copies and self-reported scores are not accepted. The TOEFL® school code for SUA is 4720. For Duolingo, please select “Soka University of America.”

The Office of Graduate Admission has a process to waive the English proficiency requirement for non-native English speakers who have received a degree from a college or university where English is the primary language of instruction. Please email for more information on the waiver process.

For Fall 2022, the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Societal Change program will be test optional.  This means that official test scores from the GRE or MAT are not required for admission consideration.

For students who wish to provide official test scores, an official score report for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE®) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT®) taken within the past five years is required of all applicants. Be sure to request that official GRE® or MAT® scores be sent directly to the SUA Office of Admission. The GRE® school code for SUA is 4720 and the MAT® school code is 3458. Student copies and self-reported scores are not accepted. The GRE General Test measures critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study. The GRE® is offered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in different formats and times depending on a test taker’s location. For information about the test, the student should check the GRE® website or the MAT® website.

  • Documents not in English will require English translations. Applicants must provide the English translation as well as the original document. All translations must be complete and literal with no attempts to interpret or evaluate the document, prepared in the same format as the original document and signed by a translator attesting to the familiarity with the foreign language. Translations may not be provided by the student or members of their family.

Please note that all documents contained in the application file belong to Soka University of America and cannot be returned. The status of the file and the information it contains are confidential. Information will be revealed, at our discretion and in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, only to the applicant or to individuals whose names the applicant has provided in writing to the Graduate School office.

Steps to Complete Application

There are two ways you can apply to Soka University of America. You may use the Soka Online Application or the Soka Paper Application.

Note: Applications for Fall Graduate Admission are open from August 1 to February 15.

After completing the application information, you may submit your application. Your application will not be considered complete unless you have submitted all required application checklist materials.

Frequently Asked: Do I have to complete my Personal Statement before submitting my application?

No, you may submit your Personal Statement after you submit your application. You have the option to upload your Personal Statement through your GoSoka! Account (see step 3).

For Students using the Soka Online Application: Once you submit your application, you will be redirected to your GoSoka! Account page.  

For Students using Paper Application: Once we have received your application, you will receive an email (within 2-4 business days) with instructions on how to setup and log into your GoSoka! Account.

Your GoSoka! Account is where you can follow your admission checklist, meet your admission counselor, receive informant admission information and receive your decision for your completed application. 

To log into your GoSoka! Account, you will use the email address you included in your Soka Online Application or Paper Application.

In order to complete your application for admission, we must receive all required materials for your application by the listed deadlines. There are some differences in the application process between domestic and international applicants. Please view the specific requirements for either type of applicant.