APU Doctoral Handbook
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Last Revision: July 26, 2023

This handbook is designed for doctoral students at American Public University System to understand the policies related to doctoral study. Please review this handbook carefully to familiarize yourself with program expectations, milestones, and policies. University policies described in the Student Handbook apply to doctoral students, unless otherwise stated. This Doctoral Student Handbook explains unique features of the doctoral programs and policies pertaining to those features.

For your convenience, you may  download the entire handbook in PDF format

Message from the Provost


On behalf of our faculty, staff, and administration, welcome to American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU). I wish to offer you congratulations on your acceptance to join the ranks of scholars as you pursue your doctoral degree. This decision is an important one for your life and your career. It is a decision that will demand a deep commitment and dedication on your part and require the support of family and friends that surround you. This process and scholarly journey will set you apart. Pursue this profession with vigor, and you will grow in many ways - personally, emotionally, intellectually, and professionally.

You will have support on this journey. Family and friends will be there to encourage you during the process. You will also have the opportunity to connect with a select cohort of your peers. These individuals, like you, had to meet the standards of preparedness to pursue doctoral studies. You will travel this journey together, so be sure to challenge one another to rise to the highest level of achievement possible. The rigor of this scholarly journey will help you build connections, both personal and professional, that will benefit you throughout your professional career.

Faculty selected to teach and develop doctoral scholars are chosen to mentor you with their expertise. These Doctoral Faculty have made this journey in their lives, and now coach and facilitate the learning process of contribute to the development of high-quality doctoral scholars as part of your program. Get to know your faculty and strive to develop relationships that will offer support during the courses and milestones that you will encounter as you work toward completing your degree. Be proactive in seeking feedback on your progress and seek suggestions for your improvement.

Do not hesitate to ask questions. The dedicated department chairs, advisors, and staff are here to assist you on this journey. The leadership within Graduate Studies and in your academic school are also resources and will have open ears to listen, encourage, and work with you along the way.

Again, congratulations on accepting the challenge of pursuing your doctoral degree. We wish you all the best. I hope to see you in the future contributing and expanding your field as a shining example of the quality of your well-earned American Public University System doctoral degree!


Dr. Marie Gould Harper

Interim Provost

American Public University System