It is in southern California. The original Soka University is in Japan, they built the American one four or five years ago. They just had their first graduating class last year or this year. I think it is supposed to be based on buddhist principles but it isn't explicitly religious. From the experiences i have had with it so far it is meant to "increase global communications, relations and understanding, creating global citizens". From that, peace and undestanding is supposed to spring.
I am not sure if it is accredited yet. When they first opened, my son was kind of interested in it, but it was not accredited at that time. I have visted the campus, and it is beautiful. They have first class facilities and it is adjacent to a large open space/ nature preserve, It is near Laguna Beach, CA and has many international students.
One girl from our HS (in New Jersey) is now a sophomore there, very bright, great kid, says it's a terrific place. I think her older brother may have gone there, too. I believe it is accredited now. Still a fairly small place. I think that greensmitty was right that it is based on Buddhist principles but not a religious school. I remember looking it up when this friend went, and it sounded like a fascinating place. I know her family is Japanese, not sure how many generations in this country (our town has a pretty diverse crowd), so they may have been familiar with it from Japan.
I work at Soka University, so let me shed a little light!
Soka University's 103-acre Aliso Viejo, CA campus opened in 2001 and the college received Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation in 2005 (the earliest possible date since a college must graduate its first class to be eligible). It has a 9:1 student/faculty ratio and average class size of 13.
The average GPA for Fall 2010 entering freshmen was 3.85. About half of the students are from the US and half are international - and more than 40 countries have been represented on campus to date. SUA offers free tuition to accepted students whose annual family income is $60,000 or less -- and for the last two years just over half of each entering class has qualified.
Every student studies a non-native language and spends a semester abroad during the junior year in a country where that language is spoken. This is included in tuition and is required for graduation.
Newsweek's Fall 2010 "Finding the Right College for You" Guide listed Soka University in its "Top 25" in four categories: Most Desirable Small Schools; Most Desirable Suburban Schools, Most Diverse Schools; and Great Education, Great Tan.
SUA is founded on the Buddhist principles of peace, human rights and the sanctity of life, but the curriculum is non-sectarian and open to students of all nationalities and beliefs.
About 35% of each graduating class goes on to graduate school -- and Soka grads have been accepted to Brown, Cambridge,Carnegie Mellon, Claremont, Columbia,Cornell, Duke,George Mason,George Washington, Georgetown, Harvard, London School of Economics, New York, Northwestern,Oxford, Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, Stanford,Tokyo, UC Berkeley, UCLA, British Columbia, Chicago, Pennsylvania, USC and Yale.
The campus is stunning and we offer 1 1/2 hour walking tours M-F at 10 am and 2 pm -- come see for yourself!