Sophia College, Mumbai

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Sophia College For Women
Established 1941
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic
Academic affiliation
Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Location Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mumbai - 400 026
Affiliations University of Mumbai
Website Official website

Sophia College For Women is an undergraduate women's college established in 1941 by Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is affiliated to the University of Mumbai.[1] The governing body of The Society for the Higher Education of Women in India runs the college. The Religious Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and lay staff form the staff of the college. Sophia, as the name suggests, stands for Wisdom in Greek Σοφία.[2][3][4]


The Society of the Sacred Heart, a Roman Catholic religious order was founded in France in 1800, by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, a young Frenchwoman. Mother Catherine Andersson brought the Society to India in 1939.

The Sophia College campus area and the land in the vicinity belonged to the British East India Company, and was later subdivided and sold. The property changed several hands before it was acquired by the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1940 from the Maharaja of Bhavnagar. A part of the property was given to the Parsi family of Ashburner in the early 19th century. The bungalow which is now the main building was named Somerset House after Sir Henry Somerset, one of the commanders-in-chief of the Bombay Presidency. In 1882, the property was acquired by the Honourable Badruddin Tyabi. He built Somerset Annexe, the nucleus of the present science building. In 1917, Hormusji Nosherwanjee Vakeel bought the property and added the east-west wing. In 1923, the house was occupied by the Maharaja of Indore before the Maharaja of Bhavnagar bought the house in 1937. In 1939, Archbishop Roberts S. J. of Bombay invited the Sacred Heart nuns to start a women's college in Bombay and in 1940, The Society bought the property. The Home and Social Culture centre was formally opened by Archbishop Roberts and the name adopted; Mother Andersson became the first principal.

In 1941, the Arts Faculty was started. The University of Bombay granted temporary affiliation to the college for first year and intermediate classes. In 1942 the extension of affiliation was granted for Bachelor of Arts classes. In 1945, the Sophia motto, crest and colours were adopted. In 1950, the University of Bombay granted permanent affiliation to the college. In 1952, the Science Faculty was started with classes up to the Intermediate Science level. In 1966, the Intermediate Science course was extended into a Bachelor of Science degree. In 1970, Sophia Polytechnic was introduced. In 1975, the Junior college was introduced. In 1978, the postgraduate Diploma Course in Clinical Analysis was started. In 1993, the post graduate diploma course in Quality Assurance in the Food and Pharmaceutical Industries was introduced. At the start of the 21st century, the Sophia Centre for Women's Studies and Development and Sophia Andersson Annexe was inaugurated. Later in 2003, the Bachelor of Mass Media was introduced.

College crest and motto[edit]

The design of the crest draws upon Indian artistic traditions. On the outer edge is a row of pearls; inside, a lotus blossom design. In the centre is a tree, a traditional Indian symbol.

The lotus symbolises purity and goodness. The lotus flower, which has its roots in stagnant water and mud, presses up through the water towards the light and emerges in full bloom above the refuse and muck beneath. It represents a seeker of wisdom, who conquers the problems surrounding them. The tree is a symbol of life and unity, growth and expansion, strength and shelter. From the Bhagavad Gita

Men call the Aswattha – the Banyan tree

Which hath its boughs beneath, its roots above,
The ever-holy tree. Yea! for its leaves
Are green and waving hym

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "University of Mumbai Affiliated Colleges:Arts and Science" (PDF). University of Mumbai website. 
  2. ^ "About us". Sophia college website. 
  3. ^ "Sophia College for Women, Mumbai". The Telegraph. April 6, 2005. 
  4. ^ "Sophia College co-founder turns 100". The Indian Express. January 28, 1999. 

External links[edit]