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Ph.D. Candidate Application Process

To become a candidacy for the International Ph.D. Program in Indigenous Studies involves several steps. You must meet the requirements of both NDHU and the Program.


The program only considers applications from candidates who clearly show the ability to complete a high-quality Ph.D. We recommend that applicants begin the process 2 to 3 months before the deadline for Ph.D. candidacy applications. This allows enough time to gather the necessary documentation, prepare a strong research proposal, and gives the Program enough time to review your application.


There are six steps for this process. Applications must be sent  to the program’s office, who will be your primary point of contact. We will coordinate with and assist you throughout the process.

  • NDHU graduate students must complete the Academic Research Ethics Education Course and provide proof of completion before the end of the first semester in order to apply for Ph.D. candidacy. Those who have already taken similar courses during their master's program may request a waiver for this requirement from the Program Office.

    All matters related must follow the NDHU Guidelines for Academic Research Ethics Education Course

  • Review our academic staff profiles to find advisors who share your research interests and have the expertise in your proposed field of study. Reach out to potential advisors via email to ask if they are available and have the expertise to oversee your project.


    Provide a brief description of your proposed research project or your general areas of interest, your academic CV, and, if possible, your academic transcripts.


    Potential advisors may ask for changes to your proposal before proceeding. It's important to obtain written approval from at least one potential advisor to continue the process.

  • Once a faculty member has approved your project supervision, you will need to create a detailed dissertation proposal. This proposal will take time to write and may require revisions based on feedback from your potential advisor. Your advisor will suggest the length of your dissertation proposal.

    Once the propose is completed, it is required to submit the Application for Dissertation Proposal to the Program Office one week before each semester's course add/drop period ends. Once the application is submitted, no revisions are allowed.

    Dissertation Proposal Review 

    The Dissertation Proposal Review must be held three weeks before the end of each semester.  Students may begin to write their dissertation base on the feedback from the review. In case one-half of the Proposal Committee Members do not approve, students can resubmit the proposal only once in the following semester.

    What happens next

    Your outcome email will detail what you need to do. Basically, you will need to revise your dissertation based on feedback from the examiners before you start writing.

    Number of Examiners

    The Dissertation Proposal Review Committee will be composed of three to five members, with the advisor serving as an ex officio member. The remaining two to four members will be nominated by the advisor and must hold the title of Assistant Professor or higher.

  • In addition to become a qualified Ph.D. candidate, students in the Program must: 

    • complete the compulsory and elective credit

    • submit their dissertation proposal at least 3 months prior to the Ph.D. Degree Examination

    • publish at least one full-text research paper under the auspices of the “International Ph.D. Program in Indigenous Studies” in a blind peer-reviewed academic journal during their study

    • provide the full-text peer review feedback, proof of publication, and the publication catalog

  • The Ph.D. degree examination will be conducted through an oral defense and must take place at least three weeks before the end of each semester. To apply for the examination, students must submit their dissertation and Application for the Ph.D. Degree Examination to the Program Office at least three weeks before the examination date.

    The passing score for the degree examination is 70 (letter grade B–), and the total score is 100 (A+). Each examination can only receive a score once.

    Students who fail the degree examination but have yet to reach the maximum study period can retake the assessment within the following two semesters. However, each student is only allowed to retake the examination once. Students who fail the second time will be ordered to withdraw from the Program.

    Suppose you are unable to attend the degree examination after applying for it, be sure to cancel the examination before the end of the semester, which is designated on the academic calendar. If students fail to cancel their examination by the deadline, they will be considered failing.

    Number of Examiners

    The Degree Examination Committee shall consist of five to seven scholars specializing in a field related to the topic of the dissertation, at least one-third of which shall be unaffiliated with NDHU. The advisor shall be an ex officio member, while the remaining members shall meet at least one of the following requirements and be appointed by the Program Director with the recommendation of the advisor:

    1. Having served as a professor, associate professor, or assistant professor.

    2. Holding a doctoral degree and having significant academic accomplishments.

    3. Having expertise in an unusual or highly specialized academic field and having significant accomplishments in their respective academic or professional field(s).

    4. Scholars who are the examinee’s spouse or are within the examinee’s third degree of kinship, whether by blood or by marriage, shall not serve on his/her degree examination committee.

    5. All members of the degree examination committee shall attend the degree examination in person.

  • You will need to consult with your supervisors regarding the content of the examiners’ reports and make any required changes. The final approved version of your thesis should then be submitted along with the following before you graduate:

    • 2 copies of the dissertation to the NDHU Library, along with the power of attorney

    • 1 copy to the NDHU Academic Affairs Office

    • 1 copy to each Degree Examination Committee examiner

    • 3 copies to the Program Office

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