Location
Aliso Viejo, CA
Undergrads
435
Tuition
$28,146
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 96 total reviews with an average rating of 3.8

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3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Attendance is required for classes because it plays into your grade, but no one is going to hold you accountable. Underage alcohol and drug use are highly punishable.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: It's really not a party school. There is some drinking but students bond more over music, art, and other events. Peace Gala is an event where all our schools Donors come and eat dinner and dance with us- which is a lot of fun.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: All students have a Liberal Arts Major which is awesome because it's an integrated education. There are 4 concentrations, I am working towards one in Social and Behavior Science. There are so many resources- career counseling, internship, work and travel grants/opportunities. This school is the most supportive school where you work directly with the professors and are never taught by T/A's.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Workload is pretty large, but you will learn so much and be rewarded for it. Professors are all so smart and willing to work with their students on everything.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Del Taco and Subway are basically the only 24 hour options. There are lots of restaurants about a mile from the school in Town Center that are open until about 8-9.

1 College Junior

Transportation: There is a shuttle system on campus, but it only meets the most basic of students' needs. The current system is designed to run every 30 minutes along a circular route to AV Town Center, Target, and Walmart. In reality, it is a good day when the shuttle is able to stick to this 30 minute schedule. A simple trip to Target can easily become an hour long process with the more reliable shuttle drivers, and an hours (multiple) long process with the less reliable drivers.The shuttle can take you to other locations, but they must be within a 5 mile range of Soka (in Orange County, this not get you very far). The shuttle will not take students to the closest airport (John Wayne/Orange County International), and it can be difficult to arrange a ride even to the nearest train station (Irvine). On top of that, it is difficult for many students financially to get to the airport or train station as there are practically no reliable bus lines in the area, so your only options are a $40+ taxi ride or a similarly priced airport shuttle. All in all, while I understand that it must be difficult to operate any transportation service that is free to students, I do believe there is much room for improvement.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Drug Safety: sometimes i see and smell people smoking but its really easy to avoid those people when they're smoking... compared to other schools, soka kids dont really drink or smoke or do anything like that

5 College Freshman

Scholarships: most students got a full ride and the rest got really close it... tons of my friends even got refunds from the school to buy books and stuff.. soka was my cheapest option and i know that a lot of kids chose soka because of how much money the school can give... they give their students tons of money because the schools new and they can use that to get really awesome students :)

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: we are taught ONLY by actual professors, no grad students; teachers have VAST experience (a lot come from poverty and rose themselves us) and lots come from big schools like harvard and stanford... of course, theres some boring teachers that focus only on memorization and lecture, but for the most part, theyre good

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Athletics: our teams are good and students support athletics.. but athletics are not as competitive as other schools (we dont have football or cheerleading at all)

5 College Freshman

Diversity: students from malaysia, china, france, japan, india, canada, venezuela, america (of course).. it's awesome!! i can learn about so many cultures just talking to people at lunch

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Soka University provides great campus housing! Though you don't necessarily get to choose what kind of housing you get. Freshman are typically in spacious double rooms, sophomores and juniors go into suite styled rooms that have two separate rooms connected by a horizontal hallway, while seniors have the option of suites or single room.

Each room is equipped with air conditioning, a private bathroom, and the usual desk, bed, and closet furniture. There are also at least one larger room for anyone with disabilities on each floor.

The 1st floor is reserved for the dorm office and multipurpose room. The 2nd floor has a multifaith room where people can practice their faith outside of their room. Printing is free in the computer rooms located on the 3rd and 4th floor of each dorm building. There are also a telecom room and living room on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floor. A lot of people spend their time studying or hanging out in the living room.

Social atmosphere is great, it feels like one big family as the school is small enough to know everyone. There are plenty of socials amount different classes.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Campus food is awesomeee! We always have 3 main course options for lunch or dinner and our international meals are too good to be college food! We always have vegan and vegetarian options. Every few days there are meals with locally grown produce. We often have a lot of european, asian, hispanic, and indian meals. However, if you're ever homesick, the chefs would happily take recipes to make you a "home cooked" meal! Campus dining is all you can eat and you have unlimited swipes that come with the cost of dorming. Not free, but already "paid" for. I'll have to admit that by the end of first semester, you become more selective of the food (since we're so spoiled) and might want to eat out a few times. There are your typical American fast foods around Aliso Viejo and some specialty restaurants like Peruvian and Vietnamese.
We are also given $50 to spend at what we call Sokafe, where we can get snacks when the cafeteria is closed. This could be coffee, chips, muffins, ramen, etc. My favorite are the spam musubis on Sundays and Wednesdays!

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Parking: You don't really need a car on campus as we have a shuttle system that comes every half hour from morning to early evening. If you're someone who wants to eat out late at night or go outside of a 5 mile radius frequently, then you may want to have a car, or make friends with someone with a car.
Parking permits are free and everyone's respectful enough not to do anything that would lead to a ticket or fine.
Parking can be great or somewhat annoying depending on which side of campus you live on. One side never lacks parking and is located right outside of two dorms. The other doesn't always have enough parking and is a little farther from the freshman dorm. Often enough you may find yourself parking on the side of the smaller parking lot or parking closer to classes, which is still less than a 5 minute walk. I know most colleges have a more difficult time with parking, and a 5 minute walk really is nothing, so A+!

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Academics: I decided to attend SUA because of its small class sizes (on average 13) and approachable professors. Most classes are based on an International lens--whether it is focusing on the Pacific Basin, South America, Asia, etc. Though we do have US-based classes such as history and economics. There are about 2-3 requirement classes for each year spent at SUA though--one always being a language class for your first 3 years as it is for preparation for study abroad in junior year. We also have a learning cluster winter block period for two years. One of my favorite academic aspects as you can come up with a topic of study and ask a professor if they'd like to teach it for that period. This could mean studying anything almost anywhere in the world if you can earn the funds from creating a grant proposal with the professor. I would give SUA a B+ mostly due to it focusing on variety and neglect of 400 level courses. Though it is somewhat inevitable since the school is so small so some courses are more popular than others.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: At Soka University, only Liberal Arts degrees are offered under one or two of four concentrations (Social Behavioral Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Humanities, and International Studies). I am still undecided between Social Behavioral Sciences and International Studies as my interests lie in the economies of South East Asia. Our average classroom size is 13 and it makes it very easy to talk to professors. Soka has only been around for a little over a decade, so everything is still pretty new and in great condition. We have great local and abroad internships in just about everything as well as a mandatory study abroad program. I love just about everything about Soka! The only thing I would want is to have more classes in regards to South East Asia--that would make it an A+

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: Soka is a liberal arts college with currently four concentrations: Humanities, Environmental Studies, International Studies, and Social Behavioral Sciences. There are both classes that fall under these concentrations and required classes that students must take. Most of the classes are enlightening in their philosophical curriculum of classes that range from social issues to art and music. Students take an average of four classes a semester or more, and there are many opportunities on campus for assistance. There are also many on-campus jobs that students can have with the library, IT and performance center, and internships are routinely offered.

5 College Sophomore

Diversity: Soka University has an extremely diverse student body. The university has a strong international program so there are students that come from places as diverse as Peru, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Kenya, and lots of other countries. There is a strong LGBT presence on the campus and gays are openly accepted; there are many homosexuals who are open with their sexuality. In fact, Soka was founded on the virtue of having an open mindset and this is achieved by meeting people from all around the world, the US, and from different backgrounds, which can greatly change a person's attitude just from being on campus

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Facilities: Since our school is just entering its 12th year, all of our facilities are extremely new. Furthermore, our facilities staff on campus is working around the clock to ensure that our campus remains functioning properly and beautiful!

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Academics: SUA has an amazing curriculum. Being a liberal arts university, each student has to take a variety of courses for GE. But because we're extremely multi-disciplinary, things learned in one class can usually be easily applied to other classes and courses. Our classroom discussions are amazing, allowing students and professors alike to learn from each other.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Transportation: Although SUA provides a bi-hourly shuttle service, they only go to areas within a couple miles of the campus. Since our campus is widely surrounded by residential areas, a student needs a car to REALLY get around.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Campus Housing: Our campus housing is extremely unique and extraordinary. First, that on-campus housing is a requirement for all 4 years. But in return, our rooms are luxurious. All rooms come with a bed, closet and desk, and each has their own private bathroom (no communal bathrooms). Because all the students live together, it creates an enormous sense of community and comfort. We're not just students living together--we become a family.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Academics: Because of our small faculty-to-student ratio (9:1), all of our professors are able to provide full attention to the students. Our classes are mainly discussion-based so no voice goes unheard or ignored. The professors are genuinely interested in the students' learning and always has their doors open to help. If a student is interested in something that the professor isn't too well-versed in, they will learn alongside the student.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Transportation: Compared to most schools, we've got it good here at SUA. There are campus shuttles that work on a 9am-10pm schedule. The shuttle picks up students at the shuttle stop every half hour and drops them off anywhere within a 5 mile radius.
Special requests can be made to go to Laguna Beach, or to Mission Viejo Mall, or the train station.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: We have kickbacks and small parties on campus. The RA's are pretty chill, but you have to watch out for the RHCs...Resident Hall Coordinators because they will bust you. Just make sure to keep things small...advertise low key...but even then, word spreads out...Just be smart and don't be caught with a cup in your hand.

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