We develop exceptional scholars who have a deep understanding of the research issues that confront the business world and are able to conduct cutting-edge independent research in their respective fields.

Our faculty members, being experts in their respective research areas, consistently publish in top-tier business journals.

Our rigorous and intellectually stimulating curriculum prepares our graduates for diverse careers in academia and industry. Our recent graduates have been placed at Bocconi University, City University of Hong Kong, Fudan University, Indian School of Business, Peking University and Tilburg University.

SMU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Business is one of the youngest institutions in the world to achieve ‘triple crown’ accreditation of AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS. These accreditations cover all programmes until the PhD level.

PhD in Business Programme Specialisations

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • Organisational Behaviour & Human Resources
  • Strategic Management & Organisation
Programme Structure

The PhD in Business programmes are rigorous and intellectually stimulating emphasising advanced study in the areas of finance, economics, statistics and quantitative research methods. Given the tremendous relevance of finance to the global economy, a graduate of this programme will be well prepared for diverse careers in academia, industry, international organisations and the public sector.

PhD student will typically focus on coursework in the first one to two years, followed by the dissertation research in subsequent years. The PhD framework is as follows:

  • 6 Foundation Courses (6 Course Units)
  • 2 Electives (2 Course Units)
  • 4 Advanced Research Topics (ART) Courses (4 Course Units)
  • PhD Dissertation (28 Course Units)

The coursework is intended to lay the ground in preparation of the dissertation research. The student will have to sit for a PhD Qualifying Examination (QE). It will assess his or her mastery of the foundation required for the next stage of the PhD programme – the dissertation. This is the student’s original work in his or her specialised area through independent research. On successful completion of the QE, the student will be ready to embark on the dissertation. If he or she feels comfortable with the PhD curriculum along the way, the dissertation research can commence even before the coursework is completed. The dissertation is marked by two major milestones, as follows.

Oral Defence of the Dissertation Proposal
This is an oral presentation of the proposed topic to a Dissertation Committee. A written dissertation proposal will have to be submitted before the presentation. A supervisor, with the expertise in the chosen topic, will be appointed. He or she guides and mentors the student throughout the dissertation work.

Oral Defence and Completion of the PhD Dissertation
This is an oral presentation of the written dissertation report to the Committee. After possible revision(s) to the report and upon fulfillment of all necessary requirements, the Committee will recommend to the University to award the PhD degree.

Admission Requirements
  • At least a good Bachelor’s degree. A Master’s degree is useful but not required.
  • Good GRE or GMAT results.
Dates & Fees

For more information on Application Dates, click here.

For more information on Fee, Scholarships and Finance matters, click here.

Contact Details

Office of Postgraduate Research Programmes
Administration Building, Level 12
81 Victoria Street
Singapore 188065

Tel: (65) 6828 0100