Doctoral Program - Overview

General Information

The Ph.D. in Education, Concentration in Applied Linguistics prepares students to study ways in which languages and in particular second or additional languages are used, taught, and learned in today's increasingly globalized and multilingual world. The purpose of the Ph.D. in Education, Concentration in Applied Linguistics is to promote significant research on the teaching and learning of additional languages, including but not limited to English, and on the interaction between language ideologies and practices in multilingual communities and societies. The program provides students with theoretical grounding, research experiences, and academic skills that prepare them for academic research positions in the areas of Applied Linguistics, Second and Foreign Language Education, and TESOL, as well as for other academic and practice-oriented positions.

The Doctoral Program

To complete the doctoral degree, a candidate must:

  1. Earn 81 credit hours for academic work beyond the bachelor's level (this equals a Master's degree plus 51 semester hours of graduate-level course work)
  2. Pass a qualifying examination upon completion of all course work
  3. Write a dissertation
  4. Pass an oral defense of the dissertation

The doctoral curriculum consists of four areas:

  1. Disciplinary Concentration Courses (18 credits in Applied Linguistics)
  2. College-Wide Research Methods (18 credits minimum; one course in research design, two courses in quantitative methods, two courses in qualitative methods, and one research methods elective)
  3. For-Credit Research Experiences (minimum 12 credits, including 6 credits in Research Apprenticeships and a total of at least 6 credits of 9994, 9998, and 9999, with a minimum of 2 credits of 9999)
  4. 3 elective credits

I. Disciplinary Concentration Courses

Candidates will take 18 credits in the field of Applied Linguistics. Courses will be selected from the following areas: Applied Linguistics, Current Issues in Applied Linguistics, Research Methods in Applied Linguistics, State of Knowledge in ELL Education, Bilingualism and Bilingual Education, Language Testing and Assessment, Theories of Second Language Learning, and Second Language Writing.

II. College-Wide Research Methods

The Ph.D. in Education, Concentration in Applied Linguistics, will require 18 credits in research methods including, one course in research design, two courses in quantitative methods, two courses in qualitative methods, and one research methods elective. This differs from the Applied Linguistics strand of the Ph.D. in Education by requiring one additional course and by additional specification of how the courses are distributed.

III. For-Credit Research Experiences

Candidates will take a minimum of 12 credits made up of Research Apprenticeship (minimum 6 credits) and a total of at least 6 credits of 9994, 9998, and 9999, with a minimum of 2 credits of 9999. The Research Apprenticeship involves mentorship or participation in a course in which the student works under the close mentorship of a faculty member and actively engages in research. The product of this apprenticeship must meet the standards of scientific quality as indicated, for example, by submission to an academic conference, journal publication, or a grant proposal.

IV. Elective

Students in the Ph.D. in Education, Concentration in Applied Linguistics may select, with the approval of their advisor, one elective course.

Preliminary Examination

The preliminary (i.e. qualifying) examination tests the candidate's breadth of knowledge within the area of Applied Linguistics and the areas covered in core courses. The examination may be written and/or oral and frequently occupies two or more days. Usually candidates are not permitted to take this examination until they have completed the course requirements.


The dissertation is expected to exhibit scholarship, reflect mastery of technique, and make a distinctive contribution to the field of language acquisition research. A sponsoring committee of at least four members, composed of the major professor and at least one other graduate faculty member, is responsible for the general supervision of the doctoral dissertation.

Candidates for the doctorate are required to prepare a dissertation proposal, which must be approved and signed by the sponsoring committee. Four copies of the completed dissertation must be submitted two weeks prior to the oral examination.

Dissertation Defense

Candidates who have fulfilled all other requirements will, on the recommendation of the major professor and other members of the sponsoring committee, be admitted to the final doctoral dissertation examination. This examination is conducted by the sponsoring committee and two other members of the graduate faculty.

Application Requirements

In order to apply for the Ph.D. in Education, Concentration in Applied Linguistics, candidates must prepare and submit the following documents:

  1. Fill out and submit the Online Application Form:
    Application is closed.
  2. Pay a 15,000 yen non-refundable Application Fee by credit card or by bank transfer. The payment instructions will be sent to you by e-mail after your Online Application Form is submitted and confirmed.
  3. Submit a score for either the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) taken within five years prior to application. Candidates are expected to score above the 50th percentile. An official score report should be submitted directly from the testing agency.
    The institution code for GRE is 2906 (TU) and for MAT is 2542 (TUJ).
  4. Submit official transcripts in English of every college and university attended, including Temple University. Transcripts from all institutions attended must be included even if the credits have been transferred and are shown on the transcript of a receiving college or university. The transcripts must be in sealed envelopes from the issuing institution.
    Foreign transcripts (except for those issued by schools in the United States and Japan) require a formal evaluation before an admission decision can be made. To expedite this process, you are strongly recommended to use the WES evaluation service.
  5. Submit a Professional Goal Statement. The statement should be 2-3 pages, double-spaced.
  6. Submit three letters of recommendation. Candidates must use Temple University’s Reference Report of Graduate Study Form for the letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation should be obtained from evaluators who can provide insight into your academic abilities and talents, as well as comment on your aptitude for graduate study. Each letter should be sealed by the evaluator in an envelope. The Reference Report of Graduate Study form is available below.
  7. If you are a non-native speaker of English, submit a score of at least 600 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), 100 on the iBT (Internet-based TOEFL) or 7 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Official score reports should be submitted directly from the testing agency.
    The institution code for TOEFL is 9698 (TUJ).

Application Deadline

Candidates must submit all the application documents by the application deadline: Friday, April 14, 2017. Applications must be postmarked by April 14, 2017.

Application Procedure

  1. The Online Application Form should be filled out and submitted first:
    Application is closed.
  2. Candidates should collect all the remaining application documents except for the official standardized test score(s) and submit everything together along with the Application Checklist to the address below:
  3. Ph.D. Admission Office
    Graduate College of Education
    Temple University, Japan Campus

    1-14-29 Taishido, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 154-0004

  4. Final selection of candidates will be announced by e-mail on or before Monday, June 12, 2017. The admission packet will be mailed only to successful candidates.
  5. Pay a 31,000 yen non-refundable seat deposit/matriculation fee by Monday, June 19, 2017.
  6. The Ph.D. New Student Orientation will be held in one of the weekends in July or early August. The date will be announced in the admission packet.

Visa Support

We regret that TUJ cannot provide student visa support for overseas doctoral candidates since the Ph.D. program at TUJ is officially defined as a part-time, not a full-time, graduate program.

Financial Aid

U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States can apply for Federal Student Aid for the United States. TUJ students who are either U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents can complete the FAFSA (Free Application for the Federal Student Aid) by visiting Student Financial Services (SFS) website of Temple University Main Campus. Note that in order to be eligible for the financial aid, students must take at least 4.5 credits every semester. Read the SFS website carefully and contact the TUJ Financial Aid Coordinator, Keiko Suzuki ( with any questions you might have. The SFS contact for TUJ students is and the Temple University School Code for the FAFSA application is 003371.

Transfer of Credit

In some cases, up to 6 credit hours of graduate work completed at other accredited universities can be used toward the degree requirements. Only graduate credits of “A” or “B” quality can be accepted for transfer credit. Transfer credits are accepted or rejected by the Associate Dean of the College of Education upon receipt of an official transcript and a request for transfer of credits. In no case can credits be transferred that were earned more than three years before the student’s admission semester at Temple University, and in no case can credits be transferred that were applied toward another degree.

Standards of Scholarship

The following standards of scholarship apply to all students in Temple University graduate programs. A graduate student:

  • May earn no more than two grades of less than "B-" quality, beginning with the semester during which he or she applies to the Graduate School
  • May attempt the preliminary examination, in whole or in part, no more than twice
  • Must have at least a 3.0 grade-point average at graduation
  • May not graduate with an “I” (Incomplete) on his or her graduate record at Temple University

Academic Calendar for the Doctoral Program, 2017-2018

Fall Semester 2017September 8 - December 16
Spring Semester 2018January - April
Summer Semester 2018May - August

Tuition and Fees

Current tuition and fee rates (as of January 2017) are: In Tokyo, ¥257,400 for each three-credit course, ¥85,800 for each one-credit course. In Osaka, ¥247,500 for each three-credit course, ¥82,500 for each one-credit course. The tuition rates for Fall 2017 semester will be available from August 2017.

Other Fees

Application Fee¥15,000
Seat Deposit (Matriculation) Fee¥31,000
Dissertation Binding and Processing Fee$50
Graduation Fee¥22,000

Tuition and fees are subject to change; typical tuition increases in the past have been 2-3% per year.

Computer and Software Requirements

Laptop Computer Requirement

For your doctoral course work at Temple University, Japan Campus, you are responsible to prepare a laptop computer. Doctoral students are expected to bring in their own laptop computer to the classes. The software required for courses is written for Windows computers. Therefore, students need a Windows computer or Windows running on Macintosh computer with Boot Camp or virtual machine setup.

Software Purchase Requirement

In addition to the course work, course projects, dissertation proposal and dissertation writing, doctoral students must take a research design course and quantitative research methodology and statistics courses. For those courses, students are required to purchase software (e.g., SPSS, Amos, Winsteps, Facets, EQS, and HLM). The cost is approximately ¥18,000/year. Further details about ordering instructions will be provided at the Ph.D. New Student Orientation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many candidates will be admitted to the program?

The Dean of the College of Education has limited enrollment to fifteen candidates at each TUJ center (Tokyo and Osaka).

How are the previous doctoral cohorts at TUJ doing?

Among doctoral programs in the U.S., TUJ has one of the highest rates of successful completion. As of December 31, 2016, approximately 183 candidates have successfully completed the program at TUJ.

What happens if I miss a required course?

Missing a core course in the doctoral sequence could cause problems. If TUJ continues to accept doctoral candidates in future cohorts, then a missed course could be taken when it is offered to the next cohort. In other cases, an elective course or independent study might be substituted for a doctoral core course. From the outset, however, every candidate should plan to take every core course in the doctoral sequence.

How long will it take me to finish the Ph.D.?

The doctoral program is a seven-year program. You should expect to spend four or more years in the program.

How will candidates be selected?

Completed applications should be sent to the Graduate Office in Tokyo by Friday, April 14, 2017. Applications will be sent to Philadelphia, where the final selection of candidates will be made by the Graduate Admissions Committee in the College of Education. Applicants will be evaluated comparatively on the strength of their application materials: graduate and undergraduate grades, letters of recommendation, standardized test scores, scholarly and professional activity, publications, and personal and professional goals. Applicants who proceed to the final stage of the selection process will be interviewed by selected members of the Admissions committee in person, on WebEx, or on Skype. Final selection will be announced on or before Monday, June 12, 2017. If an appropriate number of qualified candidates can be assembled, doctoral classes will begin on Friday, September 8, 2017.

My master’s degree is not from a program in English, English Education, or Linguistics. Can I still apply?

Yes, you can apply. The minimum admission requirement is to have a master’s degree from an accredited university.

How can I get a GRE or MAT score?

GRE and MAT examinations must have been taken within the past 5 years or appear on the official Temple University record if you have been previously enrolled at Temple University.

Do non-native English speakers have to submit GRE or MAT scores?

Yes. This requirement is the same for all applicants. This requirement should be regarded as a formality by applicants who are native speakers of other languages.

I have completed my master’s program at a U.S. university and obtained an American degree. Do I still have to submit a TOEFL score?

Yes. If you are a non-native English speaker, you must submit a TOEFL score that is less than two years old.

Is there an application fee?

Yes. There is a 15,000 yen application fee. After submitting the Online Application Form, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with instructions about the application fee payment. Pay the fee before submitting application documents.

Accepted students will be required to pay a seat deposit/matriculation fee of 31,000 yen.

What kind of dissertation topics will be possible at TUJ?

The central concentration both for course work and for dissertations is language acquisition research; within this broad area there are many aspects of language acquisition waiting to be studied. Candidates will be encouraged to follow their own interests within the language acquisition concentration. TUJ dissertations have included:

  • studies of individual differences among language learners
  • studies of motivation in groups of language learners
  • longitudinal, ethnographic studies of learners in particular language programs
  • studies of the effectiveness of specific instructional approaches in the classroom
  • studies of curriculum design in language programs
  • studies of naturalistic acquisition of second languages (outside the classroom)
  • studies of language testing programs
  • studies of cross-cultural pragmatics and non-verbal communication among language learners

All TUJ dissertations can be found in the TUJ library.

What will the Ph.D. course schedule be like?

The schedule assumes that every candidate will take two 3-credit core courses each semester, including summer semester, for the first two and half years course work period. Courses are offered on Friday evenings (18:00-21:00) and on Saturday afternoons (14:00-17:00).