The Philippines isn’t only a preferred tourist destination. It is also a country known for its world-class research programs and excellent higher education studies. Thus, it is an excellent choice for international students interested in taking postgraduate studies and exploring new academic possibilities.

Moreover, studying for a Ph.D. in the Philippines has several notable advantages. For one, doctorate candidates get the opportunity to engage in relevant studies and interdisciplinary research work that encourages dynamic problem-solving approaches. Additionally, the cost of living is more affordable than in other countries. Hence, this article will provide vital information on the application process and requirements for doctoral studies in the Philippines.

Is it Expensive to Study Ph.D. in the Philippines?

Studying for a Ph.D. in the Philippines is generally more affordable compared to other countries. That’s because tuition fees, although varying, are often lower than those in other countries, ranging from PHP 1,000 to PHP 4,453 or $18 to $80 per credit.

For example, the tuition fee for graduate studies at the Ateneo de Manila University, one of the country’s most prestigious private institutions, is about PHP 4,453 or $80 per credit unit. If you can get a scholarship, you can pay even less than that. However, note that applicants will not just pay for tuition — they may also be required to cover additional expenses during the program, such as examination fees, research seminar fees, dissertation fees, and dissertation proposal defense fees.

Admission Requirements for Doctoral Degree in the Philippines

Students must comply with their target university’s application requirements to study Ph.D. in the Philippines. These requirements vary depending on the institution and program. However, these are some documents that are commonly demanded:

1. Application Form

Filling out an application form is usually the first step to applying to a doctorate program in a Philippine university. The form will gather essential data, including personal information, relevant background, and desired program, which will be used to evaluate the applicant.

2. Master’s Degree

Ph.D. candidates are expected to hold a master’s degree – or its equivalent – in a field of study relevant to the doctoral program they are applying for.

3. Curriculum Vitae or Resume

CV or resume is another standard application requirement for Ph.D. candidates. It is a document that outlines the applicant’s academic and professional achievements.

However, it must be noted that a CV typically focuses on academic achievements while a resume leans toward professional experience. Either way, the more impressive it is, the higher your chances of admission

4. Academic Transcript

A transcript of records reflects the applicant’s academic performance in their previous institution. Thus, your transcript will be used by the university to determine if your academic capabilities are suitable for the program you are applying to and if you have passed courses that are supposed to provide prior knowledge for an advanced program.

5. Statement of Purpose

Applicants might also be required to submit a written statement of purpose, which details the applicant’s experiences, interests, motivations, and reasons for applying to the program. It should also demonstrate your ability and commitment to adapt to the university culture and show how the program can help your career.

Language Proficiency Tests Needed for Doctoral Programs

Universities in the Philippines typically offer doctoral degree programs in English and Filipino. Thus, candidates may have to submit proof of language proficiency in either or both languages. For English, that could be a TOEFL or IELTS score. As for the Filipino language, the proof of proficiency depends on the institution.

For example, the University of the Philippines – Diliman requires its applicants to submit a certificate from an authorized unit within the said university. Meanwhile, some programs may also require proficiency in languages other than English or Filipino. This is the case for Ateneno de Manila University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy program. Failure to submit proof of another language proficiency may prevent the candidate from graduating.

Application Process for Doctoral Degree in the Philippines

Applying and studying for a Ph.D. in the Philippines requires careful planning and following specific guidelines. These steps will assist aspiring doctoral candidates in successfully navigating through the rigorous admission process.

Step 1. Choose a research area

The first crucial step in applying for a Ph.D. in the Philippines is selecting your research area, which could be in the arts, humanities, sciences, or some other discipline. Ideally, it is relevant to your previous degree.

However, if it does not match your exact previous discipline, it should, at the least, still correlate with your experience. Therefore, you must take time to decide on the department and research area that best suits your academic goals and background.

Step 2. Identify and submit the entry requirements

Identifying and submitting requirements is another significant step when applying for a doctoral degree in the Philippines. At this stage, you want to fully understand the necessary documents for getting accepted into specific Ph.D. programs at Philippine universities. These may include language proficiency tests, transcripts, statements of purpose, letters of recommendation, student passports, proof of sufficient funds, and photocopies of government-issued IDs.

Most of these documents will be submitted during the application process, specifically before the deadline specified by the school. Additionally, universities usually require that you have proof of a master’s degree, such as a diploma, before you can apply for a Ph.D. program. However, you can also apply with only a bachelor’s degree if it is a direct doctoral program, which is offered by a few institutions like the University of Philippines – Diliman.

Step 3. Attend required interviews and exams

After your requirements and application for a Ph.D. program in the Philippines have been received and approved by your institution, they may advise you to proceed to the next step. This may involve taking exams or attending interviews. However, some institutions may not require them at all.

If they do, though, the interview or exam is typically conducted by program coordinators, faculty members, or the admission committee. Your knowledge in the field, communication skills, and critical thinking ability will be assessed to determine if you are fit for the program you applied for.


Studying for a Ph.D. in the Philippines demands careful consideration and compliance with the application requirements. Additionally, aspirants must understand and fulfill the eligibility requirements set by the institution, which were designed to identify individuals who can make valuable contributions to their academic disciplines.


We hope this article helps you start your Ph.D. journey in the Philippines. If interested, you can also look up these open courses and other articles about studying in the Philippines!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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