Application Instructions - Doctorate

IMPORTANT: The following information is regarding the application process specifically for the UPEACE Doctorate Degree Programme.

UPDATE: The application period for the Doctorate Degree Programme is now open and the deadline is set for 20-April-2018.



UPEACE accepts applications in electronic format only through our on-line application form.  Applicants are therefore advised to first collect all supporting documents and other required information before submitting the form. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The documentation and information provided in an application reflects on the quality of the applicant. Please be sure that it is complete and accurate and that all essays and supplementary materials are representative of the applicant’s work. It is not acceptable to misrepresent accomplishments; borrow from the works of others without proper acknowledgment; or to submit material that has been written, re-written, or heavily edited by others. Breaches of these protocols will result in immediate rejection of the application.


The on-line application form can be accessed as many times as needed with the login and password provided the first time an applicant enters the system. The form has a “save” button that allows the applicant to save the information and go back to the form at a later time.   It is imperative to collect all of the data and supporting documents before clicking the submit button. Finally, in addition to gathering the required documents it is very important to carefully read the information provided below relating to the individual sections within the on-line form.


Required supporting documents to be uploaded:

Should admission be granted, the following documents will be required in official (hard) copy:

  • English Proficiency Test Scores Report (TOEFL, IELTS) - if applicable
  • Official Master's Transcripts and Copy of Master's Diploma
  • Six passport size photos

Upon submission of the on-line application form and supporting uploaded documents, the UPEACE Admissions system will send an automatic confirmation email. The date and time of submission will be noted in the system. Applications received after the established relevant deadline will be transferred for the subsequent academic year.

Each application received by the established deadline will be reviewed for completeness. A second acknowledgment will be sent to the applicant by the Admissions Officer informing whether or not the application is complete and able to be passed on for academic review.

We are not able to provide any information about the status of applicants over the phone or to third parties. Information will only be provided using the email entered by the applicant in the on-line application form. Please address any email inquiries to


An English Language Proficiency Test Report is required for all applicants from non-English-speaking countries. The following English Proficiency Tests are accepted:




Band of 7 ( good user)

Paper based TOEFL (PBT)


Computer based TOEFL (CBT)


Internet Based TOEFL (IBT)



TOEIC and TOEFL-ITP are not accepted


Tests of more than two years old are not valid. Applicants who took the English test more than two years ago must repeat the test.

To waive the English language proficiency test report requirements, applicants from non-English speaking countries may present one of the following documents:

  1. Undergraduate or Master's degree from an English speaking university
  2. Letter from a higher education institution certifying enrollment or completion of a programme by the applicant stating that the medium of instruction was English
  3. Exceptionally, when the hard copy version of the TOEFL Test Scores Report will not be available by the established deadline; the ETS electronic Test Scores Report will be accepted on a temporary basis.

Should the applicant be admitted, original hard copy English proficiency test scores will be required upon confirmation of acceptance. 

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The statement of purpose must be between 500 and 1,000 words and clearly state the applicant's name, his/her area of interest with regards to their doctorate studies, and clear responses to the following questions:

  • Why have you decided to pursue this area of study?
  • What are your expectations of this programme?
  • What are your career plans upon completion this programme?
  • What type of multicultural exchanges have you had that would inform your academic experience in this programme?

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Two letters of recommendation are required for all applicants. The letters should be from faculty or academic advisors from your academic experience or managers or other superiors from a professional work environment who are qualified to evaluate applicant's potential for graduate study. The letters need to include the referee's title, his/her relationship to the applicant, including how long they have known the applicant, and should outline specific examples of the applicant's work and why they feel he/she is an ideal fit for the UPEACE Doctoral Degree Programme.

Examples of valid referees or recommenders are:

  • Faculty, deans, or professors
  • Academic advisors
  • Immediate supervisors
  • Research project managers
  • Mentors in a superior position in the workplace or University setting

Letters from family members, close friends, or the professional environment are not accepted. Signed letters can be uploaded directly to the online application form or the referees can email their letters directly to the admissions officer (

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  1. Transcripts:
    • Official graduate degree (Master's) transcripts bearing the signature of the registrar and the school seal must be uploaded to the on-line application form. Please include the official grading system used by the University or country if this is not clearly explained on the flip side of the transcript.
    • If the original transcript is not in English, an official copy in the original language and an official English translation must be sent.

    Should the applicant be admitted, official transcripts that are original and stamped with the official seal of the institutions (as well as official translations if applicable) will be required upon confirmation of acceptance.

    For exceptional cases where original transcripts are not available, a certified, authenticated or with “Apostille” copy will be required upon confirmation of acceptance. 

    Transcripts of records of undergraduate (Bachelor's) programmes are not accepted

  2. Graduate (Master's) Degree: Copy of a Graduate/Master's Degree (Diploma) in the original language and its official English translation if applicable must be uploaded to the on-line application form. Should the applicant be admitted, a certified, authenticated, or with “Apostille” copy of the Diploma will be required upon confirmation of acceptance.

    If unable to obtain an original and/or certified copy of Graduate/Master's Degree at the time of application to UPEACE, an official letter from the university's registrar's office is permitted. The official letter must include the student's anticipated graduation date. Once available, the student will need to provide original copy of their degree in order to complete this part of the application process. 

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The curriculum vitae or resume for UPEACE application must clearly state the following information:

  • Name and birth date of applicant
  • E-mail address and phone number
  • Postal address
  • Academic background (including institution name, graduation year, and degree obtained)
  • Professional work experience (including name of the institution, *start date and end date with month + year format, and basic job duties)
  • Additional relevant experience (volunteer work, etc.)
  • Multicultural exchanges
  • List of publications
*The month + year start and end date format (ex. From: June 2013 To: May 2015) is very important

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The publication/writing sample should be on topic related to the area of study to be pursued at UPEACE. Examples of such samples would be peer-reviewed journal publications, book chapters, or thesis chapters or reports.  Note that the maximum size of this document is 20 MB.

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The concept paper should be comparable to the eventual research proposal. The document should clearly outline the following: 

  • Research Topic - what the candidate will focus his/her research on throughout the doctoral programme
  • Research Objective - why the student is interested in the topic and what will be the research contribution
  • Methodology - either feasible or potential

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FINANCIAL FORM (Financial Form)

Applicants must download, print, and sign the UPEACE Financial Form to acknowledge the information outlined in this form.  It is then to be upload to the on-line application form.

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All applicants must upload a clear, color photocopy of their passport pages showing the following information:

  • Name
  • Photo
  • Birth date and place
  • Issuance and expiration date. This date must be 6 months after the ending of the academic programme at UPEACE (end of January of the year that follows completion of programme). This is needed to start the Costa Rican Immigration processes for the Student Temporary Residency.

It is unnecessary to attach blank pages or previous visa stamps.

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A passport size photo must be uploaded to the on-line application form with the following characteristics:

  • In color
  • 3.5 by 4.5 cm (2 x 2 inches)
  • Frontal view from head to shoulders
  • Single colour background, preferably white.

Should the applicant be admitted, six passport size photos printed on photo paper will be required upon confirmation of admission.

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* UPEACE M.A. graduates applying to the Doctoral ¨Programme must have met all pending financial obligations to UPEACE prior to being considered for admission to the programme.

** Regarding Hard Copy Files: If admitted, we will ´provide specific details of what is required in hard copy.