The Sophia Experience

The Sophia Experience

University of the People and Sophia Announce Partnership to Provide Low-cost Educational Alternatives

The Sophia Learning team is proud to announce a new partnership with the University of the People (UoPeople) to provide UoPeople students with an affordable option to complete online general education courses. UoPeople’s 126,000 students will have immediate access to Sophia’s catalog of courses for $99 per month, and this partnership will help ensure Sophia courses are seamlessly transferred to UoPeople to help students complete an associate or bachelor’s degree.

About the Partnership

“With a partnership focused on offering low-cost educational alternatives, Sophia students can continue with their studies at UoPeople and earn their undergraduate degree from a quality, accredited online institution tuition-free,” said UoPeople founder and President Shai Reshef. UoPeople students can take advantage of Sophia’s subscription model of on-demand learning to increase their choices of flexible and affordable learning options. “This innovative pathway to earning a college credential at an affordable cost is the future of higher education.”


UoPeople is the first non-profit, tuition-free, American, accredited online university. Since its founding in 2009, UoPeople has significantly expanded both its academic programs and diverse student body. Today, the university enrolls more than 126,000 students from over 200 countries and territories. UoPeople was founded on the belief that quality education must be accessible and affordable for all. In particular, the university strives to offer programs to marginalized communities and regions around the world, and more than 16,500 of its students are refugees.


“I am excited to welcome University of the People to Sophia’s growing list of impressive university partners,” said Dr. Shawna Thayer, CEO of Sophia. “Our mission at Sophia is to provide accessible, affordable general education options to all – especially those in need – and to partner with another organization whose mission is so aligned with ours is inspiring.”


Sophia will offer UoPeople students access to more than 50 high-quality, college-level courses through an affordable monthly subscription that includes learning coaches and integrated course materials. Students can move through courses at their own speed, and Sophia courses are recommended for college credit by the American Council on Education. UoPeople students can take as many Sophia courses in a month as they wish – on their own time – and can be actively enrolled in two courses at a time.

About Sophia 

Sophia is an online learning platform that allows students at any stage of their higher education journey to get started on or continue their education by taking affordable and flexible college-level general education courses that are ACE®-recommended for college credit. Sophia students have completed more than 250,000 courses, earning more than 750,000 credits and saving more than $200 million dollars. For more information about Sophia, visit Sophia Learning is a subsidiary of Strategic Education, Inc.

About University of the People

University of the People (UoPeople) is the first non-profit, tuition-free, American, accredited online university. Currently there are over 126,000 students from more than 200 countries and territories. Designed to open access to higher education globally, UoPeople helps qualified high school graduates overcome financial, geographic, political, and personal constraints keeping them from collegiate studies. The university offers associate and bachelor’s degree programs in business administration, computer science, and health science, as well as MBA, M.Ed. and MSIT programs. Graduates of UoPeople can be found working at such companies as Deloitte, Amazon, Apple, Pfizer, Google, Microsoft and IBM. UoPeople collaborates with Harvard Business School Online, New York University, McGill University, and the University of Edinburgh and has been supported by foundations such as the Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation and Hewlett Foundation. Learn more at

Interested in learning more about our exciting new partnership? 

Head to the dedicated UofPeople partnership page to learn about which courses transfer and get started today!


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What Is It Like to Take Online Classes for College-Level Credit at Sophia?

Whether you’re just starting your degree, returning to school after a break, or looking to accelerate your degree program, taking online courses for college credits is a great way to knock out your general education credits.

Sophia Learning offers a range of self-paced, college-level general education courses that may transfer to other institutions. You can complete your gen ed courses online, at your leisure, to save time and money on your degree.

What’s it like to take online transferable college-level courses at Sophia? Let’s find out!

Getting Started

Starting your education journey at Sophia couldn’t be easier. Start by signing up for a free trial to become a member, which gives you access to the first challenge of your chosen course.

After the trial, you can choose the membership option that works best for you, including one-, four-, and 12-month options. Once you have a membership, you’ll get access to 50+ on-demand courses that cover a range of general education subjects. All courses are included in your membership, and you’re welcome to take as many as you like during your membership period (with a two-course limit at one time).

Sophia courses are transferable to partner colleges and universities, as well as hundreds of additional institutions that reviewed Sophia courses for credit. However, it’s important to confirm that your courses will transfer to your chosen institution. 

Sophia Courses

Sophia courses are designed to be self-paced, so you can start at any time and work through the material at the speed you’re most comfortable. There are no formal classes to attend or weekly assignments on deadlines.

Each course consists of Challenges, Milestones, and Touchstones:


Sophia courses use a problem-based learning model with real-world scenarios to enhance critical thinking. Each Challenge has an average of 5-10 practical problems to solve.

You have multiple attempts to solve the problems, and you may stop and start as you wish to continue learning and improve your score. All Challenge questions must be attempted at least once to advance to the Milestone.


Milestones test your understanding of the course concepts with 20-30 questions. You will have a set time limit to complete the Milestones, which is displayed on the Course Dashboard.

While there is no minimum score required for individual Milestones, they contribute to your overall course average. Milestones carry a weight three times that of Challenges for your final score. You will have an opportunity to retake each Milestone once, as well as a Practice option to check your preparedness before taking the scored version.

The Final Milestone is offered after you complete all the Challenges and Milestones. One-unit courses and some other courses may not have a Final Milestone. You may need to verify your identity with a photo ID before taking the Final Milestone.


In some courses, Touchstones are used to apply mastery of concepts. These are project-based assessments with a deliverable, which is submitted for manual grading and originality. All Touchstone submissions must be original and unique to the course, rather than repurposed from other courses.

You can work on Touchstones at any time, but you have to pass the Unit Milestone before you can submit the Touchstone for grading. You must earn at least 50% overall on each touchstone to pass, but that grade also contributes to your course average. If you fail a Touchstone, you can resubmit it once for a better score.

To recieve a Sophia transcript:

  • Complete Challenges by attempting the questions

  • Achieve an average score of 70% or better across all Challenges, Milestones, and Touchstones

  • Complete each Touchstone with a score of at least 50%

Online Lab Components and Courses

Sophia also has brand-new lab components to accompany lecture courses. Like on-campus learning, having lab work creates a more robust journey into the natural sciences for a firm grasp of the scientific method and real-world relevance.

Labs are available for Human Biology and Introduction to Chemistry. All labs are performed online without the need for specialized science equipment. To meet the requirement, you will need to write lab reports and answer quiz questions pertaining to the information in the course.

With a Sophia subscription, you are only permitted to be active in two courses at one time. Because labs are used in conjunction with the course lectures, taking a science course with a lab reaches the two-course limit.

Other Sophia Learning Pathway Benefits

We’re invested in your success with our courses. Our learning environment has an array of tools to support your educational experience, including:

  • Learning Coaches via a Live Chat feature

  • A Progress Bar with a recommended schedule to complete your course

  • Score indicators for real-time feedback and your current score

  • A View Report page with detailed activity and progress indicators

  • Third-party tutoring options for select courses from Pearson SmarThinking

Transferring Courses

A transfer credit represents a course you’ve successfully completed at Sophia that is applied at another school. Earning general education credits is a great way to accelerate your degree program – and save some money in the process. Sophia partners with 40 colleges and universities, and over 1,000 institutions have reviewed Sophia courses.

Once you complete a course successfully, you can request an official transcript through Parchment or Credly for ACE transcripts. Most Sophia partner institutions have automated transcription.

Always contact your advisor or registrar to be sure a Sophia course will transfer for college-level credit at your chosen institution. Our Learning Coaches can also help you determine which courses are ideal for your program or how to send your Sophia transcript.

Let’s Get Started!

Are you ready to accelerate your learning experience with Sophia Learning? Take the first step by exploring our courses, browsing partner schools, or signing up for a free trial!

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How to transfer your Sophia credits

Sophia Learning offers students an opportunity to complete college-level courses that may then be transferred for credit at their college or university. But how does a college-credit transfer work? What happens after you complete a course with Sophia, and how can you ensure your completed coursework will be accepted for credit? 

The answer primarily depends on whether or not your school is one of Sophia’s college and university partners. Here’s what this means for you. 

If Your School Is Partnered with Sophia . . . 

We’ve partnered with over 40 colleges and universities that have agreed to accept transfer credits from Sophia. If your school is on our list of partners, you may not need to complete any additional steps to ensure your completed Sophia coursework is accepted for transfer credit at your school. For most partner universities, your transcript is submitted automatically once you successfully complete a course, and you will receive an email confirming the details of your transferred credits. 

If Your School Is Not Partnered with Sophia . . . 

First and foremost, it’s important that you check with your school’s registrar or with your college advisor to determine transfer eligibility before enrolling in a course. But you certainly don’t need to be enrolled at a partner school to earn credits. In fact, more than 290 schools have reviewed transcripts from Sophia. 

Once you successfully complete a course, you will receive an email with instructions on how to access your transcript via Parchment. The process is as simple as creating a Parchment account, following the guided steps to order a transcript, and paying a small delivery fee to have the transcript sent to your school.  

If It’s Been a While Since You Took a Sophia Course . . . 

Students who transfer schools, take time off, or take Sophia courses prior to enrolling in an accredited program may wonder: Do college credits expire? And how long are college credits good for? Good news: the college-level credits you earn with Sophia do not expire and may be transferred to your college or university at any time. It is still important for students to check with their university registrar to ensure that there are no timing restrictions.  

The process for doing so is similar to the steps outlined above. Simply contact us, and we will send you links to Parchment so you can access your official Sophia transcript and request it to be transferred to your school. 

Our mission is to help make education more accessible and affordable for students, which is why we strive to make the process for transferring Sophia credits as clear-cut as possible. Students love that our transfer process, like our courses, is straightforward, and schools love that our 40+ college-level courses are ACE® recommended. That’s why Sophia courses have been accepted for credit at hundreds of colleges and universities. 

Learn more about transferring credits with Sophia. 

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3 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Sophia’s Free Trial

At Sophia Learning, we believe you should always try before you buy. That’s why we offer one free trial to any student interested in taking an online college-level course with us. All you need to do to start your free trial with Sophia is create an account by providing your first name, last name, and email address—no credit card required.

But then what? What happens once you’re in? Why do we think you’ll love the opportunity to give Sophia a test run? Here are the top three benefits to signing up for a free trial:

1. Take All the Time You Need

Unlike many other trials, you don’t have to complete your free trial with Sophia in 14 days or on any kind of limited time frame. We know life gets busy, so we won’t limit your time or access to our courses. You just won’t be able to move past the first unit of any course until you sign up to pay your $99 monthly membership fee.

This allows you to try out courses whenever it’s convenient for you and may offer valuable insights about the amount of time it will take you to complete the lessons. It also allows you the opportunity to contact your school’s registrar and confirm whether Sophia’s ACE recommended courses meet their requirements for transfer credit.

2. Find a Course That’s Right for You

Just like we don’t limit your time frame to take the free trial, we also don’t limit the number of courses you can try out. That’s right: you can try all of Sophia’s 40+ on-demand college-level courses for free.

We know you’ll enjoy exploring Sophia’s unique and intuitive course room structure, trying out different content, and getting to know any of our course instructors before you pay a single cent. That way, when you’re ready to move past the free trial, you already know which courses will be the best fit for you.

Not sure where to start? Some of our most popular online courses include Introduction to Business, College Algebra, and Human Biology.

3. Simplify the Membership Process

Once you’ve signed up for the free trial, it’s easy to begin paying your $99 monthly subscription fee and complete your courses. Simply click begin membership in your account profile and provide a credit or debit card.

Plus, any work you complete during the free trial is saved, so you can pick up right where you left off once you become a member. After you finish a course, you’ll receive a transcript that allows you to submit your courses for transfer credit whenever you’re ready.

What’s the catch? There isn’t one! We want to set you up for success, and that means giving you the opportunity to try Sophia’s courses with no strings attached before you commit to a paid membership. 

Start your free trial today.

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