To be a member of APRU, candidate universities from around the Pacific Rim must satisfy the following criteria:
A member university should be rated as a leading university of the country, or a premier university within its geographical region. It should have attained broad excellence in carrying out the activities of its educational mission. In particular, the university should have developed innovative and quality educational programs at degree and professional levels in a substantial number of fields.
Beyond the educational thrust, a member university must have a mission of promoting research and scholarship. This could be indicated by the level of research funding attracted and the research recognition received. Another indicator is a high quality of research-based programs conducted at the graduate level.
A member university should have a strong international orientation. This could be reflected in its student and faculty profile. The university should participate actively in international activities such as university consortiums, forums or meetings. Another indicator of a university's global outlook is its research and educational collaborations with overseas institutions, including student, faculty and staff exchange programs.
A member university should incorporate an innovative dimension in its education and research as well as provide service to the local and international communities. It should promote the spirit of innovation in its activities and interactions with various stakeholders of innovation, such as industry and research agencies. A possible outcome of its innovation could be research and development leading to commercialization.