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Qualifying Exam Study Kit

  /    /  Qualifying Exam Study Kit

All students of the International Doctoral Program in Asia-Pacific Studies (IDAS) must present and pass a Qualifying Exam a part of their doctoral studies an in preparation of their graduation.

This exam will test them on the knowledges acquired during their coursework in the program in one specific track from four available: Political Economy, Society and Culture, Public Governance, and International Relations. Students who pass the qualifying exam will become PhD candidates.

This section provides current IDAS students with the overview of the QE process as well as study materials. It would be our sincere advice that these lists have not been designed to be all-inclusive for QE. Rather, each is designed to reflect the canonical contours of the field because these have been contested but endure to shape the field’s disciplinary. If you do have time, we strongly suggest you cover all essential readings not only from the new list, but the old one as well.

Qualifying Exam Objectives


Students applying for the Qualifying Exam must have completed ALL their course credits, or in their final semester of coursework. Applications must be placed within one year after completion of course credits or during the student’s final semester of coursework.

Required Subjects

Students will be tested on material relating to ONE of the four tracks offered in the IDAS curriculum. Students must choose a track for the purpose of the QE. Material includes the reading list offered by the track. It may also include the IDAS foundational courses, at the discretion of the examination committee.

Application Time

Qualifying Exams are held twice per academic year. When applying before May 15th, the applicant should take the qualifying exam before September 30th of the same year; when applying before November 15th, the applicant should take the qualifying exam before May 31st of the next year. After applying for the QE, the prospective candidate may withdraw the application no later than one month before the exam. The application cannot be withdrawn after this date unless the applicant obtains an approved leave of absence or obtains approval from the IDAS Director for unforeseen circumstances.

Examination Process

The exam venue will be arranged by the IDAS office. The examination material shall be prepared by the track coordinator(s). Candidates must score at least seventy (70) in order to pass the exam. Students who fail the initial exam must retake the exam during the following academic year. Students are allowed to retake the QE only once. Those who fail to pass their second QE will be dismissed from the Program. The above-mentioned time frame does not include leave of absence periods.

Exam Schedule

The QE should be held on the week before September 30th or May 31st.

Study Materials

These are the study materials for the QE. The first part contains the reading lists for each of the 4 concentrations in which the QE is presented. The second part provides you with sample questions of previous exams to help you study.

Reading Lists

Sample Questions