The Asian Peacebuilders Full Scholarship in Peace Studies and Political Science 2017, Costa Rica, Philippines

Publish Date: Feb 03, 2017

Deadline: Apr 15, 2017

About the scholarship 

The Asian Peacebuilders Scholarship (APS), a Dual Degree Master of Arts Programme, is a shared initiative of The Nippon Foundation, the UN Mandated University for Peace (UPEACE), and Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU). The objective of the programme is to train young Asian professionals to become peace building practitioners, ready to take up leading positions in organisations across the globe. In particular, the programme serves to strengthen the representation of Asian professionals with expertise in Asian issues.

The programme offers intensive, specialised language training to facilitate participation of professionals with lower levels of English proficiency, study in Costa Rica and the Philippines, as well as the hands-on design and implementation of an intensive field project in Asia.  Scholars obtain 2 MA degrees, one from the University for Peace (UPEACE) in an area related to peace building and the second from Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) in Political Science with major in Global Politics.


We are now accepting applications for the 2017/2018 academic year! The deadline is set for 15-April-2017. We will send admissions notifications on a rolling basis through that date.

The University for Peace (UPEACE) Master of Arts* programmes offer study in a variety of areas related to Peace, Environment, International Law, Gender, and Education.  Both UPEACE students and faculty come from all around the world with diverse backgrounds and interests which significantly enhances the academic environment. 

A Master of Arts at the University for Peace consists of an intensive one year in Costa Rica consisting of academic courses and a final graduation project. The language of instruction at UPEACE is English and incoming students are required to hold a bachelor degree or equivalent.

The minimum number of credits required for all UPEACE MA programmes is 40 to be completed within an 11-month period. Exceptions are made for programmes operating within the framework of partnership agreements.

One UPEACE credit is equivalent to 15 hours of direct faculty instruction plus 30 hours of student work for a total of 45 hours of academic work.

The UPEACE final graduation project holds a value of 8 credits, which is equivalent to 120 hours of tutoring by a faculty advisor and 240 hours of independent research, curriculum development, or internship work for a total of 360 hours.

Scholarship Benefits

Students selected to participate in the APS programme receive a full scholarship that covers tuition, airfare, transit and some visa costs for all programme components, and a monthly stipend.  The programme facilititates up to 30 students per cohort. 

Programme Overview

The APS takes the format of a dual-degree, 18.5 - 21.5 month (depending on entry English proficiency level) intensive academic study programme targeted for young professionals from Asia.  Academic study takes place in Costa Rica and The Philippines and is made up of the following elements: 1) an intensive language learning component, 2) MA at UPEACE, 3) MA at AdMU in Political Science, major in Global Politics, and 4) the implementation of a field project.   

Student Profile

Applications are accepted from students all over Asia, with preference given to students who:

  1. Have at least 2 years work experience in a relevant field. Excellent candidates with less work experience are considered for participation on a case-by-case basis. Voluntary work, internships and student activities may be considered as work experience, if relevant for the programme.
  2. Have Bachelor’s degree from a reputable institution.
  3. Demonstrate a compelling desire to work on issues related to peace and conflict.
  4. Demonstrate a commitment to learning in an international and multi-cultural environment.
  5. Are from countries where English is not widely spoken, particularly, but not limited to, Japan, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. 

Career Prospects

APS graduates have found meanginful employment all around the world. 

About APS Student Life

  • How do students find accommodation in the Philippines and Costa Rica?

Both Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) and UPEACE provide support in finding housing to help students in this process.

  • Does the APS programme have any vacations?

National holidays in both Costa Rica and the Philippines are observed by AdMU and UPEACE.  While students are studying in Costa Rica, there is a vacation of approximately 1 month during the holiday season in December/January, and a 10 day break during Easter (March or April).

  • Since 50% of students are from Japan, do Japanese students hang out with only other Japanese students?

Given the international nature of UPEACE and the APS, students are exposed to people from all over the world, and all students are encouraged to take advantage of the diversity of cultures, backgrounds and languages that the experience offers. 

About TNF Scholarship

  • What costs are covered by the scholarship from TNF?

The APS scholarship covers tuition, airfare, transit and some visa costs for all programme components.  A monthly stipend of 700/800 USD is provided to students throughout the duration of the programme.  

  • What costs are covered by the student?

The student is responsible for the management of their stipends, which includes all reading materials, printing costs and living expenses.  Any costs related to document authorization needed for visa purposes will also be covered by the student, as well as some visa costs.

  • I know the scholarship only covers the expenses of the student, but can I stay with my family throughout the programme? (Of course, I’ll pay for my family’s expenses).

Students are welcome to bring their families with them throughout their studies at their own expense, as long as this does not interfere with their ability to participate in all programme activities.

  • Does the programme cover medical insurance?

A basic emergency medical insurance is provided throughout the duration of the programme.  The insurance plan has a deductible of 75 USD per event that the student will be responsible for paying in the event of illness.  During their studies in Costa Rica, students will also be included in the Social Security Health System.  It is recommended that students consider purchasing an additional medical insurance on their own behalf.

  • What is the duration of the scholarship?

The scholarship begins when the student travels to Manila for the English Language Training and concludes after the final graduation. In the event that the student leaves the programme early, either by their own choice or as a result of failing to meet academic requirements, the scholarship will be withdrawn. 

FAQ about Academic Programme

About Academic Programme 

  • I’d like to know the specific schedule of the APS.

Unfortunately not all of the specific dates of programme activities have been determined at this time. For more information, please write to and refer to the APS Academic Calendar. 

  • On the webpage of “Environmental Security and Governance” Spanish skills are recommended. Can I choose this major without any knowledge of the Spanish language?

Knowledge in the Spanish language is advantageous in studies at UPEACE in Costa Rica; however, it is not a requirement for any of the UPEACE regular programmes.

  • Can I choose to write a Master’s thesis instead of implementing a field project?

The APS is designed to provide Asian professionals the theoretical and practical tools to enable them to successfully work in peacebuilding initiatives.  The field project acts as one of the major means of enhancing students’ practical skills in peacebuilding projects and thus is a mandatory component of the programme. Students are not allowed to write a Master’s thesis in exchange for implementing a field project.

  •  I’d like to know the class schedule of Ateneo and UPEACE (what time are lectures and how long do they last?)

UPEACE classes run from Monday through Friday, either from 9am-12pm or 1pm-4pm (students will either have a morning class or afternoon class).  Courses typically have duration of 3 weeks, with a short 3-4 day break between courses. The Asia-Focus Courses in Ateneo de Manila also have a similar scheduling scheme.

Classes in the English Training component, however, run for the entire day. Two sessions are scheduled daily, one from 9am-12pm and another from 1pm-4pm. There is a short 3-4 day break in between the Intermediate and Advanced English Modules.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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