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PhD in International Governance and Sustainable Development



General Organization



CRN, UNITAR and NAPA offer a Doctor of Philosophy degree for ministers, vice-ministers, and high-ranking officials from Member States or Observers of the United Nations in order to deepen knowledge and practice of International Governance and Sustainable Development.


The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is offered and administered by CRN, NAPA University and UNITAR.


The Ph.D. programme offers a part-time course of study, adapted to state leaders, with a permanent monitoring during the overall training period. The average time to completion is 4years, 2 years coursework plus time required for the thesis completion (1 or 2 years). The Ph.D. programme is designed to provide participants with the knowledge and skills needed to conduct the highest performance, reflection and action in the field of public management, world governance and sustainable development.


The Ph.D. programme focuses on training state leaders in the design and execution of original research-action projects. By promoting the resolution of concrete state problems during the thesis process and promoting permanent interactions between participants, key speakers and faculty, the programme allows participants to make significant contributions to their nations and the international community.




The Cercle de Réflexion des Nations (CRN) was inaugurated in 1994 at the United Nations headquarters, the CRN is an international organization with governmental participations, offering high-level training programmes in peace studies and international governance. Web site:


The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) was established in 1965 with the purpose of enhancing the effectiveness of the Organization through appropriate training and research. The Institute is supported by voluntary contributions from governments, intergovernmental organizations, foundations, and other non-governmental sources. Web site:


The Viet Nam National Academy of Public Administration ( NAPA) has been evolving and developing for more than forty years. As a national level training institution, the Academy plays an important role in training public servants and in contributing to administrative reforms to facilitate regional and international integration. Web site:







With respect to International Governance and Sustainable Development, the key speakers of the Ph.D. programme and its participants study a variety of topics including economy and finance, politics, sociology and religion, environmental issues, psychology and human behaviour, and governance models and principles.



Each Ph.D. participant in the programme chooses to concentrate in one of the principal course clusters of the curriculum. Beside the field of specialization, each course cluster is compulsory to encourage cross disciplinary studies and blended experiences.



Admission Requirements




The mission of the Ph.D. is to provide government the world’s leading academics in International Governance and Sustainable Development and to have a major impact on public management practices and thinking at national and international scale.


Each year the Academy enrols approximately 20 outstanding high-ranking officials - each distinguished by a single combination of academic excellence, leadership, research potential, and individual background and perspectives. The Ph.D. candidates are proposed by their governments with respect to their actual and future potential to determine their contribution to the human community and the future of the world governance and international integration.


You will find here bellow the information about the admissions criteria and further explanation of the admission process. We welcome your interest in the Ph.D. Programme and look forward to receiving your application.


If your question is still not answered, send an email to the following address: 


Ph.D. Course and Dissertation Sequence

Participants are expected to complete their programme in a timely manner. All participants are required to complete the 12 specified course clusters of the Ph.D. curriculum.


  • First-year course work completed

  • Formulation of thesis topic

  • research project proposal submitted to the Ph.D. Committee


  • Second-year course work completed

  • research project proposal submitted to the Ph.D. Committee

  • Dissertation proposal drafted


  • project presentation

  • Dissertation proposal drafted

  • Dissertation defended before Ph.D. committee at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi(THIRD OR FOURTH YEAR)

  • A participant must complete all requirements for the degree within four years of beginning the programme. This time limit may be waived only by written approval of NAPA, CRN and UNITAR.



There are no required courses to begin the Ph.D. programme; it is highly recommended that applicants have a strong background in English training. 


Since the purpose of the Programme is to train ministers at the cutting edge of International Governance, the faculty has established preliminary requirements in English training to ensure that candidates are thoroughly prepared to attend the courses and meet the highest standards of scholarship.




The candidate’s thesis refers to a praxis-oriented project in International Governance and Sustainable Development. The candidate will be judged by a college of academicians, experts and senior colleagues. The dissertation is defended in an oral examination prior to the submission of the finished dissertation and the final graduation at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi.


Each participant will have a Ph.D. committee to oversee his/her thesis project. The committee is comprised of three members. The Ph.D. committee role is advisory; its members (such as faculty, industrial experts or ministers) serve to help the participant during the overall thesis project. This may consist of providing expert advices or research facilities and other appropriate resources coming from the Academy network, NAPA and UNITAR.


Committees for the Ph.D. degree have the following requirements: There must be a minimum of three faculty members and key speakers. At least one of the three members must be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member from a world-class University with habilitation to direct research work. Choosing additional members of the committee outside of the faculty (faculty at other universities, industry experts) is permitted with the agreement of the Ph.D. committee.

A permanent tutor will assist the Ph.D. participant and the Ph.D. committee during the research project.



How to Apply


Each year the Academy enrols talented high-ranking officials from many different geographic regions throughout the world.


Who should apply to the Ph.D. Programme

The Ph.D. Programme is designed to develop outstanding leading positions within governments throughout the world at the highest level. The programme aims to encourage and inspire government leaders and practitioners to have a decisive impact on national and international policies, to foster sustainable strategies in development and peace.

Eligibility requirements

The Ph.D. candidates must have a doctoral university level or equivalent. They are ministers, former ministers or high-ranking officials of the government of their country, with a high potential in leadership and public management.

Exceptional applications from global companies’ CEOs or international NGO president or secretary will be welcome.


We do not require a minimum TOEFEL, GMAT or GRE score. Each non English spoken participant will have to attend the up dated English courses.


Applications, letters of recommendations from the government or other credentials will have to be sent by mail to the following address:





Cercle de Réflexion des Nations

18 East 41 Street, Suite 401 New York, N.Y. 10017-6222, USA

Fax: (718) 591-3484



Any further information regarding the programme and the application process can be obtained at the above-mentioned addresses.




The application deadline for the upcoming summer session 2006 is April 30, 2006. Applicants are requested to sign up early so that all documents will be received on or before this deadline. Late applications may not be reviewed. We guarantee the review of only those applications that are complete as of the application deadline.


Admitted participants are expected to enrol in the Programme in June 2006 with the introductory English training. The Admission Committee will consider requests to defer matriculation for further admission sessions; the committee reserves the right to refuse such requests. If the deferred admission request is denied, the participant must choose either to enrol at the time for which admission has been offered or to reapply for admission at a future time.




NAPA is housed in Hanoi, Viet Nam, a state-of-the-art public administration education facility that contains:

Doctoral student space, with semi-private offices and personal computers for students

  • A comprehensive library with online resources

  • An attractive, outdoor courtyard

  • Sports complex and dining facilities

  • Etc.

The Ph.D. participants will be housed in first class international hotel in Hanoi.


The Ph.D. candidates finance the tuitions fees and the related expenses by their own funds; they can call upon governmental assistances or apply to institutions scholarship programmes such as private foundations.



Faculty Roster


Our collaborating partners and keynote speakers include in three equal parts: distinguished ministers, former ministers and high level national and international civil servant; established and respected experts and professionals in the private and public sectors (e.g., business, social service, health); notable researchers, academicians, and revered religious/spiritual practitioners and leaders from at least 10 different countries of the 5 continents.



The Committee of Honorary Degree and service award will nominate each year a faculty member who has contributed to the Ph.D. community in a way that has significantly enhanced the programme and the participant’s awareness in International Governance issues.



Ph.D. Programme participants are encouraged to use the extensive resources available at NAPA and throughout the Academy network.



Academy Policies



The Trustees of the Ph.D. programme are nominated by NAPA, CRN and UNITAR, and have general supervision over the Ph.D. programme and its funds. The Board consists of six members for six-year terms.





Mission: to provide guidance, advice, and assistance to the Board of Trustees on matters affecting the overall Ph.D. curriculum. The Chair of the Committee will provide regular reports and advices and recommendations to enhance the programme and the faculty.



Mission: To construct an overall budget concerning the Ph.D. project, consistent with the partners’ strategy and available resources.

To review all requests submitted from the board and to set priorities.



Mission: To review applications and determine standards and rules of admissions. Deliberations are confidential.



Mission: To review, propose, and enact the set of academic policies that are non-curricular in nature, regarding the rules and standards of the overall organization of the programme.



Mission: To support the academic mission of the Ph.D. programme executives by reviewing the academic standing progress of the Ph.D. participants.



Mission: To design, develop and implement the Ph.D. programme online resource website; to set the rules and standards of the editorial policy from. To ensure a world-class institutional image and publication policy through the dedicated web-based facilities.



Mission: To conduct the selection process and choose the recipients of scholarships, when available, funded by private individuals, firms, bank and foundations.



Mission: To solicit nominations for honorary degrees with respect to standards and procedures, annual call for nominations, make recommendations for awarding of honorary degree.



Mission: any committee acting on request of the Board of Trustees for provisory issue (accreditation, etc.)



The administrative department of NAPA University will conduct the operations related to the following organizational aspects:


  • Provost, Ph.D. Programme Administration

  • Dean, Academic Affairs

  • Dean, Student Services

  • Human Resources

  • Accounting

  • Communications, University Relations

  • Publications and Website

  • Admissions

  • Library and Bookstore

  • Facilities Office

  • Purchasing, Customs, Mail, and Travel Office

  • Faculty Office

  • Institutional Research

  • Provost

  • Security Office

  • Registrars’ Office

  • Student Services and Advising Center


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