SUA: A Top University in the Nation

Ranked No. 8 among the top 10 colleges in California.

Photo: Mitsu Kimura.

Soka University of America is ranked No. 8 among the top 10 colleges in California for the 2015–16 academic year, according to the USA Today College partner network.

The Aliso Viejo, California based university came in one spot behind UCLA, while beating out University of California, Berkeley and University of California, San Diego, based on the College Factual ranking system.

SUA is consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. The university last fall tied for No. 45 among the nation’s top liberal arts colleges in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings.

SUA President Daniel Habuki said that he is proud of the school’s rankings among its peers given the university’s relatively young age (the school was founded in 2001). “Our mission is to foster a steady stream of global citizens committed to living a contributive life—people who will give back to their communities and make this world a better place,” he said.

Soka University of America was established on May 3, 2001, by Daisaku Ikeda, the Buddhist leader, prolific writer and founder of numerous cultural, educational and peace research institutions around the world.

The nonsectarian liberal arts institution is grounded in the humanistic ideals of Soka, or value-creating education, which centers on the happiness of the student.

The university is known for its small class sizes and international appeal. The school has an 8:1 student/faculty ratio, and roughly 40 percent of students come from other countries. SUA also has a mandatory study abroad program for undergraduate students.

The university in 2014 also introduced a new Master of Arts program in Educational Leadership and Societal Change. The two-year full-time program is designed to provide students with the foundational knowledge and skills to become transformational leaders in any field where education plays a central role.

Another unique feature of SUA’s undergraduate program is that it provides full tuition to admitted students whose annual family income is $60,000 or less. Said President Habuki: “We encourage top students of all nationalities and beliefs to apply, and our scholarship endowment helps make it possible for students of all economic backgrounds to attend.”

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