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 a candidacy is achieved, the student is registered as a candidate for the award of Doctoral degree and is eligible to submit their dissertation for screening, having the other completion requirements fulfilled.

Candidacy Submission Requirements

The requirements for applying for Doctoral Candidacy 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
Applicants will 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.

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
  • Papers written as part of the classes Research Paper I and II

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

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 expended 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 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 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.