Japanese Studies PhD - Requirements

A doctoral student begins working towards the degree upon matriculation in the GPGS. With the successful defense of the dissertation prospectus, the student is considered a doctoral candidate.

The general requirements for completing the Ph.D. are a period of enrollment, and the writing of a satisfactory dissertation that is defended and accepted by the dissertation evaluation committee. A doctoral program consists of individual study and research (including possible participation in graduate seminars) that meets the minimum requirements of the GPGS and is approved by the doctoral committee for each individual student.

A doctoral student is expected to be enrolled for a minimum of three years in the GPGS, with a possible two years extension of enrollment. Therefore, the total amount of time that a student can be enrolled in the graduate program is 5 years (M.A. and Ph.D. in total) in order to complete the dissertation. A doctoral student who has completed all requirements except the dissertation can also request Withdrawal by Completion. The Request for Leave of Absence and Request for Withdrawal by Completion forms are available at the Academic Records Section, Center for Academic Affairs. A student should carefully discuss these options with her/his advisor.


Step 1: Earning Credits (students entering from 2018)
A doctoral student must take at least 6 credits from the specified courses in JS area during the enrollment period.

Step 2: Qualifying Exams
A doctoral student is examined for knowledge and training to research and write a dissertation. There are three qualifying exams – Japanese Studies, Disciplinary, and Language. The timing of the exams depends on the doctoral student's background and the advisor’s judgment, but the exams are usually taken during the second or the third semesters.

Step 3: Dissertation Prospectus
Upon successful passage of the qualifying exams, a doctoral student develops a dissertation prospectus under the guidance of the advisor and defends it before the JS Ph.D. faculty.

Step 4: Research and Writing
Upon successful defense of the dissertation prospectus, the doctoral student is considered a doctoral candidate and embarks on researching and writing the dissertation. The candidate may choose, upon consultation with the supervisor, to leave for extended fieldwork. (S/he must continue to pay full tuition until satisfying the three-year minimum enrollment requirement.)

Step 5: Dissertation Defense
The dissertation is submitted by the end of the semester prior to the semester in which the candidate intends to defend the dissertation, and at least four months before the intended defense date.