Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies (Doctoral)

Application Information for the Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies

1. Application Category 6. Required Documents
2. Number of Students Accepted 7. Application Fee
3. Application Eligibility 8. Application Submission
4. Application Process 9. Video Interview and Online Assessment
5. Screening Schedule 10. Screening Method

1. Application Category

Before applying, it is advisable to first determine which category you fall under as the requirements and deadlines differ. The categories are as follows:

● Overseas Applicants
All applicants residing outside Japan, excluding Japanese nationals.

● Domestic Applicants
All foreign nationals residing in Japan with a visa status other than short-term (for example, a Work Visa or a Dependent Visa) and all Japanese nationals whether living in Japan or abroad. Applicants who do not possess Japanese nationality must have a visa which is valid until the time of enrollment at APU. If your current visa will expire within two months of the time of enrollment at APU, please confirm with the Japanese Immigration Bureau whether or not it will be possible for you to extend your current visa or change to a student visa before applying to APU.
  • *Applicants who possess any visa which will expire before or during the application process will not be considered as domestic applicants.
● Internal Applicants
Applicants currently enrolled in Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) or Ritsumeikan University.

2. Number of Students Accepted

Major Intake per year
Doctor of Philosophy in Asia Pacific Studies (Ph.D.) 10

Please note:

The standard period of completion for the doctoral program in the Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies is three years. This standard period allows for in-depth study and research and provides greater freedom to create a structured course plan. However, if you fulfill certain requirements after enrollment, it may be possible to complete your doctoral program in less than three years.

3. Application Eligibility

Applicants MUST fulfill the following requirements.

Requirement 1: Educational Qualifications

Applicants must fulfill one of the following conditions at the time of application.

  • Have completed or be scheduled to complete a graduate (master’s) degree
  • Be at least 24 years of age and have been individually screened by the graduate school to have the academic ability of a postgraduate level or higher
  • *If you have other educational qualifications, please send your inquiries to the Admissions Office before applying.

Requirement 2: Language Proficiency

As English is the language of instruction in all graduate classes at APU, applicants must possess the ability to comprehend lectures, undertake independent research and produce well written reports in English.

Minimum English Proficiency Requirement

TOEFL iBT® Test IELTS TOEIC® L&R Test PTE Academic Cambridge English Language Assesment
80
6.0
780
50
FCE Grade B

Requirement 3: Supervisor Confirmation

Applicants must select a doctoral faculty supervisor before submitting their application to APU. In order to apply, applicants must first contact their desired doctoral faculty supervisor by email and receive their agreement to act as the faculty supervisor for the duration the program. The current list of faculty supervisors and their contact information is available here.

After receiving the agreement of a faculty supervisor, applicants must also request a signed Supervisor Confirmation Letter from the desired faculty supervisor. The Supervisor Confirmation Letter must be submitted with the rest of the application documents. You can download the form here.

Notes:
  • 1. Applicants should include their CV or resume as well as their research proposal when contacting a potential faculty supervisor.
  • 2. Applicants must submit a completed Supervisor Confirmation Letter before the application deadline in order for the application to be considered.
  • 3. Receiving a signed Supervisor Confirmation Letter does not mean you have been admitted to the doctoral program. Receiving a signed Supervisor Confirmation Letter only guarantees your eligibility to apply to the program.
  • 4. When contacting desired faculty supervisors, please be sure to include the Admissions Office email address (apugrad@apu.ac.jp) in the CC field.
  • 5. All contact with desired faculty supervisors should be conducted by email. Faculty members cannot send a signed Supervisor Confirmation Letter to you by post.

4. Application Process

The process for applying to the doctoral program is as follows:

  • 1. Review the faculty supervisors listed on the doctoral faculty page and find a supervisor whose research fields match your proposed area of research.
  • 2. Send your CV/resume and research proposal to your desired doctoral program supervisor by email and request a signed Supervisor Confirmation Letter, which you can downloaded here.
  • 3. Receive the Supervisor Confirmation Letter by email.
  • 4. Submit the Online Application (including PDF versions of the required hard copy application documents and the Supervisor Confirmation Letter).
  • 5. Pay the application fee
  • 6. Submit an online recorded video interview

5. Screening Schedule

Applications will open on August 1, 2019. Applicants may submit their application at any time before the deadline for their desired application type. Regardless of the time of submission, applications will not be screened until after the corresponding application deadline.

April 2020 Enrollment

Application Type Who can Apply Application Deadline Result Notification
Overseas Applicants Domestic/
Internal Applicants
Doctoral Application 1 October 23, 2019 (Tue) December 9, 2019 (Mon)
Doctoral Application 2 December 10, 2019 (Tue) February 10, 2020 (Mon)

September 2020 Enrollment

Application Type Who can Apply Application Deadline Result Notification
Overseas Applicants Domestic/
Internal Applicants
Doctoral Application 1 March 31, 2020 (Tue) May 18, 2020 (Mon)
Doctoral Application 2 June 2, 2020 (Tue) July 13, 2020 (Mon)

6. Required Documents

Please submit your application through the APU Online Application System. In order to apply, you must first create an account within the system. Details regarding the required information and documents in order to complete your application is included below.

Applications are considered complete only when both the online application has been submitted and the application fee has been paid. Please be sure to submit your online application and pay the application fee by 23:59 (Japan time) on the day of the deadline.

In addition to the information below, please also review our online application guidelines before starting your online application.

IMPORTANT

  • 1. Applicants must complete the application by themselves. All information required on this form and all required documents MUST be submitted in English.
  • 2. Within the online application, please upload a digital copy of the original version of the required documents listed below. For documents not written in English, please also upload an official translation that includes the translator’s name, address, contact details, and signature or official seal. APU will only accept translations created by the original document’s issuing institution, a translation company, or a licensed translator.
  • 3. Acceptance to APU will be revoked if any false information or forgeries are found within a submitted application, even after enrollment.
  • 4. After being accepted to APU, enrolling students must submit original documents or certified documents* for the uploaded application documents to APU by post. If the original or certified documents* submitted after acceptance differ from the digital copies uploaded with the online application, or if enrolling students are not able to submit original or certified documents*, acceptance to APU will be revoked. Please be sure to keep the original versions of the documents you upload with your online application.
  • *A certified document is one that has been marked as being equivalent to the original with a stamp or seal by the issuing institution (preferred) or a notary public. Detailed information about how to get a document certified can be found here.

Required Documents to be uploaded by All Applicants

1. Graduate School Application Form

Applicants must complete all the information within the online application by themselves.

2. Personal Statement

Please follow the guidlines within the online application.

3. Research Proposal / Study Plan

Please follow the guidlines within the online application.

4. Proof of Application Fee Payment

Please pay the application fee by credit card. You may pay by bank transfer (international or domestic) only if you cannot pay by credit card.

  • Payment by Credit Card: Please complete the payment online through the APU Online Application System when submitting your application. You do not need to submit a digital copy of the payment receipt.
  • Payment by Bank Transfer: Please upload a digital copy of your payment receipt within the online application. (Applicants who submit a paper application must pay the application fee by bank transfer.)

5. University Graduation Certificate(s) / Certificate of Scheduled Graduation

All applicants must submit proof of graduation from every university attended. If you are currently attending a university for a bachelor’s or master’s program, you must submit proof that the program will be completed prior to your intended date of enrollment at APU. High school graduation certificates are not required.

6. Academic Transcripts

All applicants must submit a transcript of grades for all university study to date along with information about the grading system.

If you have attended a language school or higher education institution in Japan for any length of time, please also submit academic transcripts and attendance reports covering your entire period of study.

7. Documents Proving English or Japanese Proficiency

Please upload a digital copy of the original results from one of the accepted English language proficiency exams using the method specified below.

If you have taken the TOEFL® iBT Test, PTE Academic, or Cambridge English Language Assessment, please be sure to complete steps ①, ② and ③ in order to submit your test results.

Period of validity for language proficiency scores
・April 2020 Enrollment: Only scores of examinations taken on or after June 1, 2017 will be accepted.
・September 2020 Enrollment: Only scores of examinations taken on or after September 1, 2017 will be accepted.

Additional notes for submitting results

  • TOEFL® iBT Test:
     ① Request to send the score report to APU directly from the TOEFL website. The APU institution code is 2791.
     ② Input the date you requested to have the score report sent to APU within the online application.
     ③ Upload a digital copy of the score report within the online application.
  • IELTS:
    Upload a digital copy of the Test Report Form within the online application.
  • TOEIC® L&R Test:
    Upload a digital copy of the original score report within the online application.
  • PTE Academic: You can receive a 10% discount when registering for a PTE Academic test.
     ① Request to send your score report to APU directly from the PEARSON website.
     ② Input the date you requested to have the score report sent to APU within the online application.
     ③ Upload a digital copy of the score report within the online application.
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment:
     ① Input the ID Number and Secret Number within the online application.
     ② Upload a digital copy of the result statement within the online application.
TOEFL® ITP Test, IELTS (General Training Module), TOEIC® L&R Test (IP), and PTE Generalare not accepted.

Notes:
Exemption Requirements*
The following applicants are exempt from having to provide documents proving English proficiency:

Doctoral applicants
  • Applicants who can certify that they have graduated from a bachelor’s program and have graduated or are scheduled to graduate from a master’s program both offered entirely in English.*Research report is not acceptable.
  • Applicants who can submit a master's thesis or a draft of a master’s thesis written in English.
  • Applicants with nationality from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom or the United States.

  • *Clear documented proof must be included with the application. Proof may be in the form of an official letter from the institution or any other official document such as a transcript indicating the language of instruction.

    Applicants who do not meet the above requirements will not be considered. No exceptions will be made.

    8. Supervisor Confirmation Letter

    Doctoral program applicants must submit a signed Supervisor Confirmation Letter with their application. Please see page 7 for more details. The Supervisor Confirmation Letter may be downloaded here.

    9. GMAT® Results

    Although it is not mandatory, we highly recommend that you submit GMAT exam results, as strong emphasis is placed on GMAT results during the application evaluation process.

     ① Request to have the score report sent directly to APU from the test center’s website.
      The APU Institution Code: 2791, Program Code: 6VF-X6-86.
     ② Input the date you requested to have the score report sent to APU within the online application.
     ③ Upload a digital copy of the score report within the online application.

    Test results are valid for five years from the test date.
    For more information regarding the official GMAT®, please refer to the following website: http://www.mba.com/the-gmat/

    10. GRE® Results

    Although it is not mandatory, we highly recommend that you submit GRE test results, as strong emphasis is placed on GRE results during the application evaluation process.

     ① Request to have the score report sent directly to APU from the test center’s website. The APU Institution Code: 7116.
     ② Input the date you requested to have the score report sent to APU within the online application.
     ③ Upload a digital copy of the score report within the online application.

    Test results are valid for five years from the test date. GSA applicants who do not currently have a GRE® score, or for whom taking this exam poses significant difficulties, are not required to submit it.
    For more information regarding the GRE® test, please refer to the following website: http://www.gre.org/

    11. Certificate of Employment

    (Required only for MBA applicants.)
    If you have previous full-time work experience, please upload a digital copy of written proof of your employment. This proof may be in the form of a certificate of employment issued by your employer or a letter authorized by your former place of work that shows the period of employment and a simple description of your duties. This certificate or letter should also show the name and contact information of the employer in case we need to contact them to confirm the details given.

    The certificate or letter can be in any format you choose, but must be written in English or have an English translation attached.

    For MBA applicants, if you do not have three years of full-time work experience at the time of application but will have three full years by the time you enroll at APU, you must submit an official Certificate of Employment verifying your total work experience to the Admissions Office upon enrollment.

    12. Sample Work or List of Research Achievements

    Applicants must submit either examples or a list of previous papers written and/ or presentations made which are relevant to their proposed field of study. Ph.D. applicants should also submit a copy of their master’s thesis. If the sample work is in a language other than English, please submit an English abstract.

    13. Two Letters of Recommendation

    The Letter of Recommendation form can be downloaded here. Please submit the Letter of Recommendation either by uploading a digital copy within the online application or having the referee send the letter directly to grad-rec@apu.ac.jp. (Emails containing Letters of Recommendation should be sent to APU using the referee’s official email address at their corresponding university or organization.)

    • One letter must be written by a university instructor who knows you well enough to write the recommendation.
    • The second letter can be written by another instructor, employer or someone who is a non-relative and knows you on a professional or academic level.
    • Both letters must be written in English. If the letters are written in another language, please attach an English translation.

    14. Curriculum Vitae

    A summary of the applicant’s employment history, qualifications, education, and personal information in tabular form on at most two A4 pages.

    15. Passport Copy

    If you have a valid passport, please upload a digital copy of the information page showing your name, photo, and passport number. If you already have a valid Japanese Landing Permission, please also submit a photocopy of it on your passport. Applicants who do not have a valid passport are still eligible to apply.

    16. Photograph

    Please upload a photograph of yourself taken within the past three months, showing a front view above chest level with a plain background. Caps and hats are not allowed. Photographs may be in color or black and white.

    Additional Documents for Submission (If Applicable)

    1. APU Tuition Reduction Scholarship Application

    Interested applicants are to submit their scholarship application upon understanding of the following information.

    About the Scholarship
    This scholarship is made available by the financial contributions of domestic and international companies and individuals, together with the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) that support the ideals of APU, and its purpose is to help reduce the financial burden for outstanding students. Students awarded with this scholarship are expected to maintain a good academic record, complete the tasks assigned to them, and serve as role models for their country or region.

    Application and Selection Process
    The scholarship will be decided based on an overall evaluation of the documents submitted for application. Major areas of the application to be evaluated when awarding scholarships are English language proficiency, previous academic records, research proposal/study plan, and professional experience.

    Scholarship results will be notified together with the admissions results. The awarded scholarship percentage is final and will not be reconsidered under any circumstances.

    Assessment for Continuation
    A review of academic performance and other criteria will be conducted each semester to determine whether or not recipients qualify for renewal of the APU Tuition Reduction Scholarship. Provided that the recipients maintain a good academic record, complete assigned tasks on time, and avoid any misconduct unbefitting of a scholarship recipient, their scholarship will remain valid until the standard number of credits required to graduate has been reached. In the case of inappropriate behavior or conduct that tarnishes the reputation of APU, the scholarship will be revoked.

    Tuition Reduction Scholarship Amounts
    Scholarship Award
    (Tuition Reduction %)
    Amount of Annual Tuition Borne by Students
    30% Tuition Reduction approx. 1,050,000 JPY
    50% Tuition Reduction approx. 750,000 JPY
    65% Tuition Reduction approx. 525,000 JPY
    80% Tuition Reduction approx. 300,000 JPY
    100% Tuition Reduction 0 JPY
    Please note that tuition is subject to change.
    • The scholarship will be decided based on the evaluation of the documents submitted for application.
    • Major areas of the application to be evaluated when awarding scholarships are English language proficiency, previous academic records, research proposal/study plan and professional experience (especially for MBA).
    • Tuition reduction only covers the least amount of credits required to graduate within the standard period of time.
    • The amount of scholarship awarded is final and will not be reconsidered under any circumstances.

    2. Residence Card (both sides) / Certificate of Residence

    If you live in Japan and do not possess Japanese nationality:
    Please upload a digital copy of both sides of your residence card within the online application.

    If you live in Japan and possess Japanese nationality:
    Please upload a digital copy of your Certificate of Residence(住民票)within the online application.

    3. Proof of Scholarships Received from Organizations Other than APU

    Applicants who are due to receive scholarships offered by organizations other than APU after admission are required to submit proof of the scholarship award.

    4. External Scholarship Eligibility Criteria Checklis

    Applicants who apply for an external scholarship are required to submit this checklist.

    5. Additional Required Documents for Each External Scholarship

    Please refer to each individual scholarship application for more details.

    7. Application Fee

    It is preferred that you pay the application fee by credit card. You may pay by bank transfer (international or domestic) only if you cannot pay by credit card.

    • *Doctoral applicants currently enrolled in an APU master's program are not required to pay the application fee.

    IMPORTANT

    • 1. Applications will not be processed untill the application fee is paid. Please make sure to complete the fee payment before the application deadline. Please note that credit card payments will not be possible after 23:59 (Japan Time) on the day of the deadline.
    • 2. The payment must be made in Japanese yen (JPY). If you pay by bank transfer (international or domestic), please submit a copy of the payment receipt with your application.
    • 3. Cash or postal money orders will not be accepted. Please do not send cash with your application forms.
    • 4. The application fee is not refundable under any circumstances.
    • a. Credit Card
      Fee Amount:
      3,500 JPY for overseas applicants (3,000 JPY for screening and 500 JPY for administrative purposes)
      36,800 JPY for domestic and internal applicants (35,000 JPY for screening and 1,800 JPY for administrative purposes)
      Payment Method:
      Register for an account with the APU Online Application System and complete your payment. You do not have to send a receipt by post.
    • b. Bank Transfer (International or Domestic)
      Fee Amount:
      5,000 JPY for overseas applicants (3,000 JPY for screening and 2,000 JPY for administrative purposes)
      35,000 JPY for domestic and internal applicants
      Payment Purpose :
      Application Fee
      Contact Details :

      Applicant's Name, Phone Number
      Bank Name :

      Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
      Branch Name :
      Oita Branch
      Branch Address :
      1-3-22 Chuo-machi, Oita-city, Oita-Prefecture, 870-0035 JAPAN
      Tel : +81- 97-532-5161
      Account Number :
      1001673 (Ordinary Deposit Account)
      Account Name :

      RITSUMEIKAN ASIA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY THE RITSUMEIKAN TRUST
      Swift Code :

      SMBCJPJT
      *IBAN Code:
      (if necessary) JP28 SMBC 0721 XXX2 4029 0868
      Paying bank transfer fee :
      Borne by remitter
      • *If the application fee is paid in Japan, even if it is paid by a friend or relative in Japan, please write the applicant’s name and phone number in the contact details when the payment is made and upload a digital copy of the payment receipt within the online application.

    8. Application Submission

    Please note that the application process is now completely online. In order for your application to be considered, please also note that you must pay the application fee in addition to submitting the application through the online system. You must also complete the online recorded interview.

    Applicants who are accepted to APU will be required to send the original versions of application documents to the following address:


    【Postal Address】      1-1, Jumonjibaru, Beppu, Oita 874-8577
    Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
    Admissions Office (International)
    【Direct Submission】 Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, 2nd floor, Building A
    Admissions Office (International)

    9. Video Interview and Online Assessment

    As the final step in the application process, applicants must complete an online interview and assessment. The interview will be conducted in the form of an online recorded interview; as such, you will not be speaking with a person. You will instead be recorded while answering questions that appear on your screen. You will be prompted to complete an online assessment test along with the interview.

    Instructions for completing the online video interview and the online assessment will be made available on your online application form after you have submitted your application information, uploaded the necessary documents, and paid the application fee.

    Please be sure to complete both the interview and the assessment by the application deadline.

    10. Screening Method

    All applicants are evaluated based on the information provided in their application and the video interview. If deemed necessary, the Admissions Office may also carry out the following: contact the applicant's place of study or the person who wrote the Letter of Recommendation; ask the applicant for an explanation regarding their original submitted documents; require the applicant to submit additional documents relating to academic background, transcripts, and/or language proficiency.

    • Overseas applicants are evaluated on the information provided in their application documents and the video interview. In some cases, an additional interview may be required. In this case, the date of interviews will be designated by APU and notified to applicants about two weeks after the end of the application period. Interviews will be held online. It is not necessary for applicants to travel to Japan for the interview.
    • Domestic/internal applicants must first submit their application documents and the video interview. Applicants who do not possess Japanese citizenship must have a visa which is valid until the time of enrollment. Those who pass the initial document screening may also be required to attend an interview conducted by APU as part of the application process. APU will contact applicants separately regarding their interview. Alternate interview arrangements will be made for domestic applicants not physically present in Japan. If this applies to you, please inform the Admissions Office.