1. Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies Doctoral Degree Program

Doctoral Candidacy

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At APU, Doctoral Candidacy must be achieved before students proceed to the dissertation screening step. Requirements to become a doctoral candidate differ depending on a student’s enrollment year. Once candidacy is achieved, the student is registered as a doctoral candidate and is eligible to submit their dissertation for screening.

Details about the application process are announced at the beginning of each semester to those eligible for application.

Candidacy Submission Requirements

Enrollment date: Fall 2021 or earlier

  • Acquisition of 24 credits
  • Two research papers written individually while enrolled in the Doctoral Program.
  • Submission of the designated application form

Enrollment date: Spring 2022 or later

  • Passing the Dissertation Proposal Defense
  • Passing the Pre-candidacy Oral Examination
  • Acquisition of 24 credits
  • Submission of dissertation chapters (Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Findings/Results, and Discussion)
  • Submission of the designated application form

Students enrolled in the 3-year standard completion program are expected to complete the credits required to apply for candidacy by the end of their 4th semester. Students enrolled in the 2-year accelerated completion program are expected to complete the credit requirements by the end of their 2nd semester.

Students are encouraged to submit additional papers to show that they have the potential to advance in their field.

  • Published journal articles
  • Conference papers
  • Papers written as part of the classes Research PaperⅠ and Ⅱ

If students submit a joint paper, students have to indicate which parts are their own contributions to the work. The Dissertation Committee will decide if the paper can be used to apply for doctoral candidacy.

Candidacy Screening Schedule

Students can apply for Candidacy at any given time within the semester if they fulfill the requirements. To receive their application results within the same semester, students are advised to follow the deadlines below.

  Spring Semester Fall Semester
Submission By July 5 By January 10
Notification of Result Within six weeks of submission

Note 1: The screening period may be extended upon decision by the Dissertation Committee.
Note 2: If the deadline falls on a weekend or a holiday, or a day when the office is closed, the deadline will move to the immediately preceding working day.
Note 3: The screening of applications submitted during summer/winter break may take up to 3 months.

Candidacy Screening Process

Candidacy applications will be screened by the Dissertation Committee and students will be notified of the screening result.

Students who pass Doctoral Candidacy screening may continue working toward the completion of their dissertation and are eligible to submit their dissertation once it is ready and approved by their supervisor.

Students who fail screening should revise and resubmit their dissertation chapters in accordance with the Dissertation Committee's recommendations. Students should bear in mind that they cannot submit their dissertations until they have successfully achieved candidacy.


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