University Catalog 2023-2024

The 2023-2024 catalog contains the most current information available as of the August 2023 date of publication. The catalog is not intended to be a complete list of all programs and services. The university reserves the right, without prior notice, to make changes in its operations, regulations, curriculum, courses, academic policies, tuition and fees, and activities as the Board of Trustees, university president, administration, and faculty consider appropriate and in the best interest of Soka University of America.

Soka University of America is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 1080 Marina Village Parkway, Suite 500, Alameda, CA 94501, 510-748-9001.

Ed Feasel

Soka University of America (SUA) is dedicated to realizing the university’s mission and principles from our university founder, Daisaku Ikeda, by providing our students a unique learning environment and academic opportunities.

In regard to our mission, to foster a steady stream of global citizens committed to living a contributive life, Daisaku Ikeda defined these essential elements of global citizens in his 1996 Teachers College, Columbia University address:

  • The wisdom to perceive the interconnectedness of all life and living.

  • The courage not to fear or deny difference, but to respect and strive to understand people of different cultures and to grow from encounters with them.

  • The compassion to maintain an imaginative empathy that reaches beyond one’s immediate surroundings and extends to those suffering in distant places.

The two-year MA program in Educational Leadership and Societal Change develops leaders in the field of education as students examine the broad landscape of modern educational institutions and structures through interdisciplinary learning with a small, diverse cohort. SUA’s curriculum for the undergraduate program in Liberal Arts provides an excellent foundation for students to develop their critical thinking and communication skills, as well as the foundational and interdisciplinary knowledge from which to develop wisdom to solve the problems confronting society. Toward this end, it is also essential to develop the personal and spiritual fortitude to tackle these problems head on and not give in to adversity. In a message to the students of the first incoming class of the undergraduate program, Daisaku Ikeda stated, “Today is the start of a new, untried venture in education for global citizenship.”

Now after more than 20 years since the Aliso Viejo campus opened, it is clear that education for global citizenship is necessary for our society more than ever before. Let us all strive as members of the SUA community to become exemplar global citizens, who contribute to the well-being of others based on wisdom, courage, and compassion, the three qualities of a global citizen that we bring forth from our lives in our quest to create a more peaceful world.

president's signature


Soka University of America is an independent, non-profit, public- benefit, co-educational, comprehensive institution of higher learning. SUA serves both national and international students. Founded on the Buddhist principles of peace, human rights and the sanctity of life, SUA is open to students of all beliefs and is committed to diversity in its academic community.

SUA is founded on the belief that student-centered education is the best way to promote peace and human rights by fostering a global humanistic perspective on the world in which we live. The university prepares students for graduate studies and the world of work in an increasingly diverse and global society.

Classrooms are centers of dialogue and discussion, emphasizing seminar course settings. Students have many opportunities to  work in small teams in the classroom and with faculty on research projects, as well as with peers in residence hall learning activities. Advanced computing and networking capabilities are widely available in all buildings and outside gathering areas, supporting a laptop computer campus. Information technology facilitates student-faculty and student-student interactions.

SUA offers a B.A. in Liberal Arts, with concentrations in Environmental Studies, Humanities, International Studies, Life Sciences, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. SUA also offers a Master’s Program in Educational Leadership and Societal Change.

University Mission

The mission of Soka University of America is to foster a steady stream of global citizens committed to living a contributive life.

University Mottos

  • Be philosophers of a renaissance of life.
  • Be world citizens in solidarity for peace.
  • Be the pioneers of a global civilization.

University Principles

  • Foster leaders of culture in the community.
  • Foster leaders of humanism in society.
  • Foster leaders of pacifism in the world.
  • Foster leaders for the creative co-existence of nature and humanity.

University Values

Soka University is founded upon the Buddhist principles of peace, human rights and the sanctity of life. Educational objectives are fostered at the university through the commitment to rigorous academic endeavors, free and open dialogue, and an appreciation for human diversity. In the Buddhist view, education is an integrating process in which students gain an awareness of the interdependence of themselves, others and the environment. Wisdom, courage and compassion – values treasured by the university – do not exist in isolation. They emerge in individuals as they learn the importance of service to others, to the natural world around them, and to the great cause of peace and freedom.

Institutional Learning Outcomes

  1. To become integrative learners
  2. To become skilled in inquiry
  3. To become globally educated
  4. To become civically engaged

Fall 2023

Fall block (for all first-year graduate and undergraduate students)

Monday, August 14 Fall block begins
Tuesday, August 15 Last day to add; Last day to drop without record enrollment "W"
Tuesday, August 22 Low grade notices are due to Registrar
Thursday, August 24 Last day to drop with record enrollment "W"
Friday, September 1 Fall block ends

Fall semester (for all graduate and undergraduate students)

Monday, September 4 Labor Day holiday
Wednesday, September 6

Fall semester begins

First Wednesday of the fall semester will meet as a “Tuesday” class, thereby having an equal number of class meetings on each day.

Wednesday, September 13 Last day to add; Last day to drop without record enrollment “W”
Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 16-17 Fall break
Wednesday, October 25 Low grade notices due to Registrar
Thursday, November 2 Last day to drop with record of enrollment “W”
Monday-Friday, Nov. 6-10 Academic advising for Winter block & Spring semester (tentative)
Monday-Friday, Nov. 13-17 Registration for Winter block & Spring semester (tentative)
Thursday-Friday, Nov. 23-24 Thanksgiving holiday
Monday, December 11 Instruction ends
Tuesday, December 12 Study day
Wednesday-Tuesday, Dec. 13-19 Final examinations

Spring 2024

Winter block (for all graduate and undergraduate students)

Monday, January 8 Winter block begins
Tuesday, January 9 Last day to add; Last day to drop without record enrollment “W”
Monday, January 15 Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday
Wednesday, January 17 Low grade notices due to Registrar
Friday, January 19 Last day to drop with record enrollment “W”
Wednesday, January 31 Winter block ends

Spring semester (for all graduate and undergraduate students)

Monday, February 5 Spring semester begins
Friday, February 9 Last day to add; Last day to drop without record enrollment “W”
Monday, February 19 Presidents’ Day holiday
Monday-Friday, March 18-22 Spring Break, classes do not meet
Thursday, March 28 Low grade notices due to Registrar
Friday, April 5 Last day to drop with record enrollment “W”
Monday-Friday, April 8-12 Academic advising for Fall semester (tentative)
Monday-Friday, April 15-19 Registration for Fall semester (tentative)
Monday, May 13 Instruction ends
Tuesday, May 14 Study day
Wednesday-Tuesday, May 15-21 Final examinations
Friday, May 24 Spring 2024 Commencement
Monday, May 27 Memorial Day holiday

Since its inception in 1987, Soka University of America (SUA) has been committed to promoting equity, access, and integrity through administering a holistic admissions process. SUA currently uses an online application process and encourages prospective applicants to correctly submit all application requirements as publicly published on our website before the posted deadlines.

The Office of Student Accounts manages and accepts payments for the student financial accounts, including tuition payment plans, and all other fees due to Soka University of America (SUA). We strive to provide efficient, timely and personalized service for students and/or parents to comfortably manage their financial matters.

Payment of fees/charges may be paid in the Office of Student Accounts. Online credit card payment option is available online through the PeopleSoft Student System. Charges include the following:

  • Tuition, Room and Board, and Health Fee
  • Fees & Fines
  • Miscellaneous Charges

Students are responsible for full payment of tuition, fees, and all other debts due to the University. The Office of Student Accounts makes every possible attempt to provide students with a statement of charges due, however it is the student’s responsibility to pay amounts owed no later than the payment deadline. Account balance information is available online through the PeopleSoft Student System. In order for billing and other student related information to reach students it is important that the University have the most current address information. Address changes may be made at the Office of the Registrar or by accessing the PeopleSoft Student System online.

In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, billing information will only be discussed with or mailed to the student. Students who would like to provide account information to a third party must complete a form at the Registrar’s Office with the release authorization. This will also allow us to discuss the student’s financial account information with the person named on the form.

Meeting the costs of an undergraduate education represents a significant investment for most students and families. At Soka University of America (SUA) we are committed to providing comprehensive merit and need-based financial aid to admitted students that adhere to specific requirements and deadlines.

It is the sincere objective of the Office of Financial Aid (OFA) to provide fair access to aid across all student populations.

SUA admits students without consideration of their abilities to meet the cost of attendance. Our “need-blind” admission policy means that a student’s financial aid status will not affect his or her possible admission to the university. It is the sincere objective of the Office of Financial Aid (OFA) to provide fair access to aid across all student populations. SUA Office of Financial

Aid does not discriminate on the basis of race/ethnicity, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, or age in the administration of financial aid or any other programs.