Ph.D. Application FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions: Ph.D. Application

  1. Can I apply to the Ph.D. in Global Studies if my M.A. is from another university?
  2. What kind of educational background should I have to apply to the  Ph.D. in Global Studies?
  3. Can I work on my Ph.D. while holding a full-time job?
  4. Can I submit a manuscript that I have written elsewhere for the Ph.D. dissertation?
  5. Can I study a language as part of my Ph.D. work?
  6. Can I take content courses as a Ph.D. candidate?
  7. How do I find out the research interests of faculty members?
  8. Can I have contact with a faculty member(s) before I apply?
  9.  Can I submit recommendation letters from persons who were not on my thesis committee or who are not scholars?
  10.   What should I submit as a writing sample if I don't have a master's thesis?
  11.   If I have not finished my M.A. thesis at the time of application can I submit a rough draft?
  12.   How long does it take to complete the Ph.D.?

1. Can I apply to the Ph.D. in Global Studies if my M.A. is from another University?
Yes.


2. What kind of educational background should I have to apply to the Ph.D. in Global Studies?
Preference is given to applicants with background in a social science discipline (history, political science, and sociology/anthropology). Key indicators of such a background are the courses and majors of your undergraduate and master's studies. Preference is also given to applicants who have done an undergraduate major in Global Studies. One way to gauge your eligibility is to contact the professor whom you are interested in working with.


3. Can I work on my Ph.D. while holding a full-time job? 
Balancing a full-time job with doing a Ph.D. is extremely difficult. As a Ph.D. candidate you are expected to participate regularly in various activities on the campus until your dissertation prospectus has been approved. The only that this is conceivable, is if your working hours are flexible or you are preparing for an extended dissertation candidacy.


4. Can I submit a manuscript that I have already written elsewhere for my Ph.D. dissertation?
No. You are expected to develop a dissertation prospectus and research and write your dissertation under the supervision of your faculty supervisor in the GPGS. A dissertation written elsewhere cannot be submitted for the Ph.D. in Global Studies.


5. Can I study a language as part of my Ph.D. work?
It is expected that doctoral students will enter the Ph.D. possessing the language skills that they intend to use for the Ph.D. research. However, they may be able to take a language course in Sophia in addition to the Ph.D. work if they successfully obtain the permission from their advisor and the language teacher.


6. Can I take content courses as a Ph.D. candidate?
You can attend relevant courses in the Global Studies M.A. curriculum upon consultation with your dissertation supervisor. If you want to take more than two or three courses, you should consider applying to the M.A. in Global Studies.


7. How do I find out the research interests of faculty members?
Clicking on a faculty member's name will take you to their university research profile that lists her or his research interests and publications.


8. Can I have contact with a faculty member(s) before I apply?
Yes. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about the program and for faculty members to find out more about you. If you are living in the Tokyo area you could consider scheduling an appointment to visit potential supervisors. Applicants from outside the Tokyo area and from abroad should note that faculty members might be willing to accept alternative ways of communication, such as telephone calls to their offices at designated times. Please keep in mind, however, that any contact with professors prior to the admissions screening process is informal. Admissions decisions are made by the entire graduate faculty at designated screening sessions.


9. Can I submit recommendation letters from persons who were not on my M.A. thesis committee or who are not scholars?
Your application is strengthened by letters of recommendation from persons most able to judge your capacity to write an academic doctoral dissertation. In evaluating applications, the faculty attaches more weight to recommendation letters to your thesis supervisor and other scholars.


10. What should I submit for a writing sample if I do not have an M.A. thesis? 
The writing sample is the best indicator of your suitability for the doctoral program and is carefully evaluated for screening. In lieu of a thesis you could submit materials that provide equivalent insight into your ability to formulate a research question, gather and analyze data, and develop an argument. As a thesis usually consists of several chapters, you could alternatively send several term papers that you wrote in your M.A. program. At least one paper should be relevant to the topic you are considering for your doctoral dissertation. You could also write a paper especially for the application as one of your samples. Business reports and personal essays are not acceptable. 


11. If I have not yet completed my M.A. thesis at the time of application can I submit a rough draft?
You should submit a near-final draft of the thesis along with an explanation of the revisions that you intend for the final draft. If your thesis draft is still too rough for submission then you can submit a detailed abstract in its place, and other writing samples as described in the preceding FAQ.


12. How long does it take to complete the Ph.D.?
University requirements stipulate that you must enroll in the GPGS for a three year residency period. However, students will most likely take longer to finish their dissertation.The amount of time from matriculation to conferral of the degree depends on such factors as when you take your qualifying exams and the character of your research. You can extend your affiliation with the GPGS beyond the three-year residency through such options as extension, leave of absence, and withdrawal without completing a dissertation (manki taigaku).