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Doctoral Degree Application Thesis Assessment Criteria

  1. A doctoral degree application thesis (degree application thesis hereinafter) must, as a rule, be written by the applicant himself or herself, and research results must be independently and individually produced, as well as highly original.
    The content of a thesis cannot include portions that infringe upon the originality or ideas of previously published papers or research by anyone other than the applicant.

  2. A degree application thesis must have sufficient academic value. Academic value means making a contribution that expands the frontiers of human knowledge, including the discovery of unknown things and phenomena; the building or development of new analysis methods and theories; or the presentation of new academic interpretations and concepts.

  3. A degree application thesis will be written in Japanese or the language specified by an applicant’s field of study, and the title will be in the same language. Additionally, the thesis will include in appropriate chapters the background and aims of the research, the state of previous and related research, the position and significance of the research content that makes up the core of the thesis, and the conclusion and summary.

  4. Students receiving doctoral degrees must possess a wide range of sufficient knowledge related to their fields, the academic ability to conduct research as independent researchers, and the ability to present research results outside of the university.

  5. The standard length of a degree application thesis is 300 pages of 400-character grid paper for a program-based doctoral degree; for a thesis-based doctoral degree, that is the minimum, and there is no page limit.

  6. The assessment items below can be expected to come into play when a degree application thesis is reviewed. However, which items to prioritize or what additional items to add are up to the review committee.

    (1)   The topic selection and selection of a research method for the topic was made with prudent consideration of previous research, and a certain level of approval is obtained from the academic community.
    (2)   Data, archival materials, etc., have been appropriately collected and handled in accordance with the selected research method.
    (3)   The understanding of the literature used as research material (original archival materials, literary works, etc.) is correct, and analyses and interpretations are correct.
    (4)   The analyses and interpretations of the cultural products (art, music, archeological materials, etc.) and /or language data used as research material are correct.
    (5)   There is original content such as the discovery or use of new archival materials or linguistic facts.
    (6)   The paper adds a unique view to existing research, has a novel point of view, or takes an interesting approach to analysis.
    (7)   The structure and content are logically coherent, writing skills are evident, and the paper is well-formed overall.

  7. The standard for a degree application thesis is that it includes results objectively recognized as meeting a high standard in comparison to the assessment items listed in the previous clause—specifically, results worthy of being published as an article in at least two academic journals that have a referee system.

  8. In order to ensure a degree’s currency and reliability internationally and the transparency and objectivity of degree review, committee members are proactively appointed from other universities, graduate programs, and fields of study; additionally, a public oral exam (graduate school internal rules) or a formal presentation (Osaka University degree rules) is conducted.

  9. If issues arise between an applicant and his or her advisor or related instructor regarding the handling of a thesis, the degree applicant may use the services of the “academic counseling” office at the educational support center.
  10. To publicly disseminate these internal rules, the necessary provisions shall be listed in both the Student Handbook and published on the Graduate School of Letters homepage.