Doctoral Candidacy

At APU, Doctoral Candidacy is defined as a condition for students to be eligible to submit their dissertation for screening, by showing their capacity and vigor in conducting their research independently. To become a doctoral ‘candidate’, a student must apply to the Dissertation Committee by submitting two research papers. Once candidacy is achieved, the student is registered as a candidate for the award of the Doctoral degree and is eligible to submit their dissertation for screening, having the other completion requirements fulfilled.

Candidacy Submission Requirements

For students who enrolled in Fall 2021 or earlier, the requirements are as follows:

  • Acquisition of 24 credits
  • Two (2) research papers written individually while enrolled in the Doctoral Program.
  • Submission of the designated application form

For students who enrolled in Spring 2022 or later, the requirements are as follows:

  • Passing the Dissertation Proposal Defense
  • Passing the Pre-candidacy Oral Examination
  • Acquisition of 24 credits
  • Submission of the dissertation chapters (Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Findings/Results, and Discussion)
  • Submission of the designated application form
Applicants may be asked, upon the request by the Dissertation Committee in the process of screening, to submit other works to supplement their deliberations.

Students enrolled in the 3-year standard completion program are expected to complete the credits required for candidacy application by the end of their 4th semester while those enrolled in the 2-year accelerated completion program – by the end of their 2nd semester. See the “List of GSAD Subjects and Credits” for details.

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 Paper I and II

Candidacy Screening Schedule

Spring Semester Fall Semester
Submission By July 5 By January 10
Notification of Result By August 10 By February 10
1. The screening period may be extended upon decision by the Dissertation Committee.
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.

Candidacy Application form

Candidacy Screening Process

Candidacy applications will be screened by the Dissertation Committee and students will be notified of the screening result.
Students who pass the 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 the screening must revise and resubmit their papers 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.