In most cases, changing supervisors may result in major changes to the research content and/or methods which
may affect your period of study. Furthermore, doctoral research is very specific and it may be difficult to find
another appropriate supervisor. Please consult with the Academic Office if you are considering changing
Should I register for classes?
Yes. Doctoral students should register for classes according to the registration schedule for their semester of
Are the lectures mandatory?
Yes. Doctoral students cannot apply for doctoral candidacy without earning the credits from the two lectures.
Can I take this lecture the next time it is offered?
Yes. However, that may delay your timeline for applying for doctoral candidacy.
Is it mandatory to present at GRiPS?
Yes. GRiPS provides doctoral students an opportunity to gain presentation experience, receive constructive
feedback on their research, and learn from their peers. Furthermore, all doctoral students who have successfully
passed the doctoral dissertation screening must orally defend their knowledge of the contents of the
dissertation and the connected field at an oral examination in front of the Screening Committee. GRiPS is an
important part of preparing students for the difficulty of oral presentation and defense of their dissertation
which is required to obtain a Ph.D. degree. Please consult with your supervisor regarding your presentation in
When and how many times should I present at GRiPS?
The timing and number of presentations at GRiPS is not strictly fixed. However, students are expected to give
at least 2 presentations while enrolled in the program – one by the end of their 3rd semester and the
other before applying for candidacy. Please consult with your supervisor regarding your presentation in advance.
What are the requirements to apply for Doctoral Candidacy?
The three requirements for applying for Doctoral Candidacy are: 1) acquisition of 24 credits, 2) two (2)
research papers written individually while enrolled in the Doctoral Program, and 3) submission of the designated
application form. As a rule, the supervisor’s approval is required to apply for doctoral candidacy.
When is the deadline for candidacy application?
The deadline for candidacy application is July 5 for screening in the spring semester and January 10 for
screening in the fall semester. Please refer to the Graduate School website for details. Doctoral Candidacy
Where and how should I apply for candidacy?
Details of the application process, including how (online and/or in person, etc.) and where (online platform or
Academic Office counter), are announced at the beginning of that semester.
What papers can I submit? (What papers are accepted for candidacy?)
Students are encouraged to submit published or conference papers to show that they have the potential to
advance in their field. Acceptable types of research papers may include (but are not limited to): published
journal articles, conference papers, draft chapters of the Doctoral Dissertation which should include the
literature review chapter and a revised plan with appropriate methodology, and papers written as part of the
classes Research Paper I and II.
Can I submit a paper I wrote jointly with another researcher(s)?
If you submit a joint paper to apply for doctoral candidacy, you have to indicate which parts are your own
contributions to the work. The Dissertation Committee will decide if paper can be used to apply for doctoral
I could not get my supervisor’s signature. Can I still apply for candidacy?
If you are unable to get your supervisor’s signature, you can submit an email from them confirming their
approval instead. Please consult with the Academic Office in advance.
Can I apply for candidacy while I am taking a Leave of Absence / I am on withdrawal?
No. You must be a regular (full-time) student to apply for candidacy.
I passed the candidacy screening. What should I do next?
Students who passed the 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.
I did not pass the candidacy screening. What are my options?
Students who did not pass the candidacy screening should revise and resubmit their papers in
accordance with the recommendations from the Dissertation Committee. Students should bear in mind that they
cannot submit their dissertations until they have successfully achieved candidacy.
I want to submit my candidacy earlier than the deadline. Is it possible?
Yes. However, early submission does not necessarily mean early notification of the results.
What are the requirements to submit the doctoral dissertation?
Doctoral candidates may apply for Doctoral Dissertation screening after they have obtained candidacy and
prepared the required documents. Please refer to the Graduate School website for details. Doctoral Dissertation
When is the deadline for submitting the doctoral dissertation?
As the screening of dissertations takes at least 6 months, candidates who are expected to complete their 30 credits in that semester may submit their doctoral dissertations for screening at the beginning of each semester. The spring semester submission deadline is the first Friday after the beginning of classes in April, while the Fall semester submission deadline is the first Friday after the beginning of classes in October. Please refer to the Graduate School website for details. Doctoral Dissertation
I am waiting for my supervisor’s feedback and cannot submit by the deadline. Can I submit late?
All students are requested to submit their doctoral dissertation by the prescribed deadline to ensure rigid
screening process during that semester. However, if you expect to be unable to meet the deadline, please consult
with the Academic Office as early as possible.
Where and how should I submit my dissertation?
Details of the submission process, including how (online and/or in person, etc.) and where (online platform or
Academic Office counter), are announced at the beginning of that semester.
I could not get my supervisor’s signature (approval). Can I still submit my dissertation?
As a rule, approval from the supervisor is required to submit the dissertation and we cannot accept doctoral
dissertations which have not been approved. If you are unable to get your supervisor’s signature, you can
submit an email from them confirming their approval instead. Please consult with the Academic Office in advance.
My dissertation was endorsed by the Dissertation Committee. What should I do next?
Once the dissertation is endorsed by the Dissertation Committee, it is sent to the Screening Committee which
consists of your supervisor, one internal examiner, and one external examiner for screening. The screening takes
at least 1 month and you will be informed of the results when they are available. Please wait for further
instructions from the Academic Office.
My dissertation was not endorsed by the Dissertation Committee. What are my options?
As a rule, if a doctoral dissertation is not endorsed, the candidate is requested to spend another semester on
writing and polishing the contents to meet the minimum APU criteria and standards. Please follow the
instructions from your supervisor and comments from the Dissertation Committee to revise your dissertation and
submit again in the following semester.
I received a Major rewrite but due to the amount of revisions I am asked to do I cannot resubmit by the
deadline. What should I do?
Please consult with the Academic Office as soon as possible. Your request will be forwarded to the Dissertation
Committee for deliberations.
When is the date for the oral defense decided?
The exact date for the oral defense is decided when the screening results are “Pass” or
“Minor Rewrite.” Please understand that we give priority to the examiners’ schedules and the
date cannot be changed after it is announced.
Can I change the date for the oral defense?
As a rule, once announced the date for the oral defense cannot be changed. Please consult with the Academic
Office in advance if you have any concerns.
I did not pass the dissertation screening. What are my options?
Students who did not pass the doctoral dissertation screening may continue working on revising their doctoral
dissertation to submit it for screening again. Details are outlined in the result notification. If you have any
concerns please consult with the Academic Office.
Extension/Leave of Absence (can be other inquiry)
I did not finish my dissertation within 3 years. What are my options?
The following options are available to students who do not finish their doctoral dissertation within 3 years:
1) extend their enrollment in the Doctoral Program (applied each semester), 2) take a Leave of Absence, or 3)
withdraw from the program.
Please note that if you choose to extend your enrollment, you will be billed 100,000 JPY for each semester
extended beyond the 3 years until completion or discontinuation of the program. However, if your enrollment
exceeds 3 years due to insufficient credits, you will be billed 350,000 JPY per semester until completion of
these credits or discontinuation of the program.
Please refer to the Graduate School website for details. Enrollment Options for PhD Students
When can I apply for extension of my period of enrollment?
Applications for extension of enrollment are accepted before the end of each semester. Students who wish to
apply for extension must submit the designated documents by the deadline. Applications are reviewed by the GSA
Faculty Council for approval and students are informed of the results before the end of the semester. Please
refer to the Graduate School website for details. Enrollment Options for PhD Students
What kind of documents should I submit when applying for extension?
Students should submit the following two documents when applying for extension: 1) Application for Extension of
Period of Enrollment to Complete Doctoral Dissertation and 2) Doctoral Dissertation Composition Schedule. The
application forms can be found on the Graduate School website. Enrollment Options for PhD Students
What should I do if I am unable to continue my studies due to unavoidable circumstances?
If you are unable to continue your studies due to unavoidable circumstances you can take a Leave of Absence or
withdraw from the program. Please discuss possible alternatives with your supervisor, the Student Office, and
the Academic Office.
I could not get my supervisor’s signature (approval). Can I still apply for extension?
As a rule, approval from the supervisor is necessary to apply for extension. However, if you are unable to get
your supervisor’s signature, you can submit an email from them confirming their approval instead. Please
consult with the Academic Office in advance.
Can I present at the Ph.D. Research Presentations?
Only doctoral students completing their program are eligible to present at the Ph.D. Research Presentations.
Is it mandatory to present at the PhD Presentation?
Yes. Doctoral students completing their program should present the results of their research conducted at APU
Ph.D. Research Presentations. These presentations are open to all students, faculty, friends, and family to
How can I apply for a PhD desk and locker?
Desks and lockers are available for doctoral students upon application. Please apply through the online
form available on the Graduate School website or from the QR code provided in the Doctoral Common Rooms. Graduate School Facilities & Lockers
Can I use the PhD Common Room on weekends/holidays?
Graduate School facilities are open weekdays only (closed weekends, holidays, and days the Academic Office is
closed). If you wish to use the graduate facilities on a non-class day you must submit a “Request for
Special Permission for Non-Class Day Usage” signed by your supervisor to the Academic Office at least 2
business days prior to use. If approved, the facilities will be open for use during the requested period. Graduate School Facilities & Lockers