About Soka

Soka University of America has one MA Program in Educational Leadership and Societal Change. The program is 2 Years (41 Semester Credits). Soka University is a private, non-profit liberal arts college located in Southern California. Soka is located in Aliso Viejo, about halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. It is founded on the Buddhist principles of peace, human rights and respect for the dignity of life and is open to top students of all nationalities and beliefs.

Learn more about graduate academics at Soka.

Learn more about our mission and administration, as well as our colors, mascot, songs, and more.

Soka’s catalog is available online or you may contact us to request one.

Application Process 

There are two ways to apply for admission:

The Graduate School Faculty Admission Committee will review applications to the program. Applicants will be admitted to the program based on the following considerations:

  • Ability to complete a rigorous program of academic study successfully, as evidenced by successful completion of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education with a satisfactory, above-average GPA, demonstration of suitable quantitative and writing skills, and letters of recommendations 
  • Strong writing skills demonstrated through the successful completion of an appropriate writing course during the undergraduate experience
  • Clear professional and scholarly goals in keeping with the mission of the program
  • Strong evidence of the ability to work cooperatively, influence group opinion, and facilitate task completion

Yes, we have an application deadline. We do not have an Early Action process. We use one admission period. The application deadline is February 15th with an admission decision announced by March 22nd. Admitted students who wish to attend Soka are required to pay a US $400 non-refundable tuition deposit by May 1st.

Application Requirements

The GRE code is 4720. With the Soka college code, the testing agency can send results directly to Soka. It is important that you request that your scores be sent to us directly from the appropriate agency; 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.

Soka will not accept scores older than 5 years from the testing date.

Fee waivers for our Application are need based and are evaluated on a case by case basis. Any questions regarding fee waivers can be directed to your admissions counselor or grad_admissions@soka.edu. All fee waivers must be received by us prior to later than February 15 for Admission.

International Requirements

For purposes of admission to Soka University of America, international students are defined solely on their citizenship/residency status.  If a student does not hold citizenship or permanent residency in the United States, the student is classified as an international student.

Yes, all applicants are required to take the GRE. Test scores must be sent directly from the testing agency; Student copies and self-reported scores are not accepted. Click here to find a GRE test center near you.

Any applicant whose native language is not English is required to submit a TOEFL® score report*. Be sure to request that official TOEFL® scores be sent directly to the SUA Admissions Office. Student copies and self-reported scores are not accepted. The TOEFL® school code for SUA is 4720.  The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL®) measures the ability of non-native speakers of English to use and understand English as it is spoken, written, and heard in college and university settings. The TOEFL® test is offered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in different formats depending on a test taker’s location. For information about the test, the student should check the TOEFL® website. Students applying for International Admission and whose native language is English will need to contact admission@soka.edu for details.

Who can Attend?

The student seeking admission to the MA program is expected to have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or the equivalent of an undergraduate level education (normally 16 years of pre- and postsecondary education) from a foreign institution. Soka is open to highly motivated students of all nationalities and beliefs who have excelled in a range of academic courses. Soka carefully considers a number of criteria for admission without a rigid emphasis on any one factor. We extend our need-blind admissions policy and holistic application review to all students without regard to citizenship or immigration status. For more information on application requirements and policies for all applicants, we encourage you to contact the Office of Admission.