In the Doctoral Program in Philosophy, the three areas of special intensive study at the graduate school level – Philosophy, Ethics, and Religion and Comparative Philosophy – are combined for the purposes of education and research in accord with the general aims of the University of Tsukuba, while maintaining their independence as distinctive areas of study. Throughout the five year period, the Program seeks to train students to become independent and able scholars as well as highly specialized professionals both through in-depth research in their selected fields of study and through the acquisition of a broader foundation of knowledge and practice for that research through the pursuit of studies in related areas.

The degree is awarded in one of two ways. The Degree of Doctorate of Philosophy by Courses (Katei-hakase) can be granted to those students who have both obtained the prescribed number of credits and written a dissertation which has passed the examination at the conclusion of the five-to-seven year period of the program*. The Degree of Doctorate of Philosophy by Thesis (Ronbun-hakase) can be awarded on the submission and successful examination of a written thesis subsequent to the termination of the five-to-seven year program.

* In the Program, it is required in principle that each student write a dissertation in the fifth year.