Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies (Doctoral) | APU Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University Graduate School Admissions

Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies (Doctoral)


The developing world is in great need of internationally minded individuals possessing specialized knowledge and skills. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly common for international aid organizations to enlist the professional guidance of doctoral graduates. The same holds true for local organizations that receive and coordinate aid. This doctoral program helps students to realize their potential in order to make significant contributions to society.

The doctoral program aims to produce independent individuals capable of conducting high-level research. This involves gaining expertise in theoretical and empirical approaches for investigation, acquiring in-depth knowledge of the Asia Pacific region, collecting and analyzing data and developing practical solutions for complicated issues in a comprehensive and integrative manner. Alumni of this program become distinguished leaders and take on prominent roles in advanced institutions for research and higher education around the world.

This program’s research is divided into two broad areas of study: I. Understanding the current situation in the Asia Pacific region: Research examines and defines critical issues currently facing the region by synthesizing the results of previous studies. II. Working to create a prosperous future for the Asia Pacific region: Future-oriented research focuses on strategies for establishing sustainable development in the region.

Degree Doctor of Philosophy in Asia Pacific Studies (Ph.D)
Program Duration 3 years
Yearly Intake 10 students
Enrollment Semesters Spring (April), Fall (September)


Completion of the Ph.D. requires fulfillment of doctoral coursework and publications in addition to submission and approval of a final dissertation. The dissertation should integrate the result of in-depth investigations into Asia Pacific issues and incorporate individual findings that outline strategic, policy-oriented and practical solutions to issues arising from current developments in the region. Research supervision can be provided in areas such as Diversity and Integration, Environment and Development, International Political Economy and Tourism Development.

The Graduate School organizes the Research in Progress Seminars as an opportunity for doctoral students to observe the work of their peers and gain presentation experience and constructive feedback in regards to their research. These seminars are not only beneficial to those currently conducting their Ph.D. research, but also to those who wish to know more about the doctoral program and the research involved. Finding empirical data through field research is the core of dissertation writing. APU provides support for doctoral students conducting field research for their dissertations. Moreover, a subsidy is given to those Ph.D. students who present their research outcomes at an academic conference. The doctoral program is highly personalized and prospective students are encouraged to contact APU at an early stage to discuss their research interests and program structure.

The program aims to produce independent individuals capable of conducting high-level research. Such capabilities extend from the expertise in theoretical and empirical approaches for investigation, combined with in-depth knowledge of the Asia Pacific region, to the ability to collect necessary data, analyze it scientifically and draw practical solutions of complicated issues in comprehensive and integrative manners. Graduates of this program become distinguished leaders of society and take on prominent roles in advanced institutions for research and higher education around the world.


  • "Economics-Security Nexus" in Issues of Regional Cooperation and Security in Central Asia Since the Early 1990s
  • Economic, Ecological and Empirical Assessments of Renewable Energy Potentials in Islands using Bio-Computational Modelling
  • Crossing Matrilineal Boundaries: a Case Study of Minangkabau Women's Migration to Jakarta and Tangerang
  • Corporate Social Responsibility in Japan: The Influence of the National Business System, the Issues and Stakeholders Involved, and the Impact on the Firms' Financial Value Added
  • Understanding Local Realities of Microfinance and Women's Empowerment Capabilities in Sri Lanka: The Perspective of the Samurdhi Program and its Beneficiaries in Two Adjoining Rural Communities
  • Anthropogenic Changes and Emerging Patterns of River Basin Governance in 21st Century Japan: A Case Study of the Kizu River Basin
  • An Evaluation System for Ecotourism Zone Sustainability: With Special Reference to China
  • Analysing Determinants of Rural Household Poverty and Policy Options in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone
  • Assessing and Evaluating Global Competence: A Japanese Case Study
  • Modeling the Responses to Climate Change, Zoning and Site Selection for Potential Vineyards Using GIS Fuzzy Multi-Criteria Analysis
Dr. Rahimi Farid Ahmad Farzam (Afghanistan)

Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies
Doctoral Program

The Ph.D. program at APU provided me with outstanding doctoral training. Having access to high tech learning materials and equipment helped me conduct highly productive research. In addition, I was given both the encouragement and the financial support to focus on publishing and presenting my research at several conferences held in the United States, Japan, and South Korea. I was very impressed with the Ph.D. curriculum, research subsidies, and annual AP Conference—an event held on campus that provides invaluable opportunities for Ph.D. students to gain greater expertise in their fields and create worldwide academic networks. Thanks to APU’s diverse community, I also had the opportunity to exchange academic ideas and perspectives with highly-respected professors from all over the world throughout my journey.