Graduate School 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. Students are responsible for managing their checklist and ensuring the Office of Graduate Admission receives their required documents by the deadline.  Applicants who submit their application can manage their requirements by accessing their GoSoka! Account at

If you have additional questions about the requirements please contact the Graduate Office of Admission by emailing

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

2. Application Fee – $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 Admission 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.

3. Official Transcripts – 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.

4. References / Letters of Recommendation – 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.

5. Personal Statement – 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.

6. Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) –  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.

7. Academic Writing Sample – 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.

8. English Proficiency – 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.

9. Official Test Scores (GRE or MAT) – 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.