Individualized Doctoral Degree Programs
Written by Prof. Dr. Jan R. Hakemulder
Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Social & Cultural Studies*
Philosophy & Religious Studies*
Health Sciences, including Oriental Medicine*
Economic Studies*

General Information
(see also Bachelor's and Master's Degree Programs; Wikipedia


The Individualized Doctoral Degree Program requires that the student, as an adult learner, assumes a great deal of responsibility for his/her own learning process. The responsibility begins with the selection of a field of study which fits in the student's special interests, background and goals.

The program makes it possible for the student to choose any area of study that would not otherwise be available, either because it is not offered in any university, or because it is not offered at one convenient to the student. It also allows for interdisciplinary degrees, such as combining Anthropology and Sociology, Education and Psychology, Philosophy and Religion, Political Science and Peace Studies.

A Master's degree from an accredited institution of higher learning is required. The student should also have the background skills appropriate for the particular degree plan. IOU is, however, an OPEN institution for higher education, which means that there are not always strict entry requirements, but the level of education and work experience is evaluated, and advice and enrollment are based upon the results of this evaluation. If the student does not have the required entry diplomas, he may be allowed to enroll as a "special student", and after approval of his study plan the status can be changed in "regular student".

Intercultural Open University has strong resources and offers study programs, such as Individualized Modular Bachelor's Programs and Individualized Master's and Doctoral Degree Programs in the fields of education, sociology, psychology, health science, anthropology, religion, literature, philosophy, symbolic studies, history, political science, health science and economic studies.

Some of the fields in which students are currently pursuing degrees include peace studies, human services, women's studies, sustainable development and enviromental sciences. I.O.U. is open to well-formulated plans in almost any discipline.

Study Choices and Opportunities

Students have the possibility to prepare dissertations (theses) in the following subjects (or combination of subjects):

Anthropology, Philosophy (Eastern and Western, Ancient or Contemporary), Education (including Educational Planning, School Supervision, Curriculum Development, Adult Learning, etc.), Health Science (with possibilities in Alternative Medicine and Oriental Medicine), Political Science, History, Literature, Economy, Management, Religion (emphasis: Comparative Religious Studies), Psychology (General-, Developmental-, Industrial-, and Diagnostical and Therapeutical), Sociology, and Symbolic Studies (Art and Myth Analysis).

Through the Russian Department of IOU (Moscow), Ph.D. Candidates are in a position to concentrate on the study History of Mathematics, and Russian Art and Culture. Through other international contacts, Ph.D. Candidates are assisted to do part of their studies in overseas IOU Departments, e.g. in India, Pakistan, Japan, etc.


Ph.D. Candidates take as few as 18 months to complete the degree program or as long 48 months. It all depends on the time the learner has available and the study speed.

Flexible time management allows the student to complete the degree quickly to meet career goals or to spread the study time over a longer period to meet other responsibilities - family, work, etc.

The student schedules the time to meet his needs.


Tuition fees are Euro 8,000 for the entire doctorate's degree program. (payment of the full amount at the start of the study allows the student a discount of Euro 220,-- because of less administration costs).

Tuition fees (for Industrialized Countries):

On enrollment Euro 3,000
Before midterm review Euro 2,500
Before end revue Euro 2,500

Other arrangements are possible in contact with the Registrar of the University.

Note: Tuition and Fees depend on the economic situation of the country of origin.

Refund Policy:

IOU has adopted the following schedule for the refunding of tuition and fees:

Time period from Amount Date of Enrollment Refunded
Within 72 hours: 100%
4 to 30 days: 80%
31 to 60 days: 60%
61 to 90 days: 40%
91 to 180 days: 20%
181 days or more: no refund

Financial Aid

For a limited number of students we have loans and scholarships available.
In most cases, tuition and fees are related to the economic situation of the student’s home country. This means that for students in developing countries fees are considerable lower than the above mentioned.
For more information, write:

Financial Aid Officer
Educational & Cultural Task Forces
De Hoarnen 5
9218 XC Opeinde
The Netherlands.