Singapore Management University (SMU)
Doctoral Programmes

Two different types of doctoral degrees

SMU's Research Rankings

SMU Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Programmes

Our academic PhD programmes provide world-class, rigorous research training across the fields of Management, Social Science and Computing.

PhD in Accounting
School of Accountancy

PhD in Business
Lee Kong Chian School of Business

PhD in Economics
School of Economics

PhD in Psychology
School of Social Sciences

PhD in Information Systems
School of Information Systems

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SMU Professional Doctorate Programmes

Our research-based and practice-led doctorate programmes provide advanced training in applying academic theory in practical business settings.

Key Differences between PhD and Doctorate Programmes

SMU PhD Programmes

Candidates are typically fresh graduates with strong quantitative ability.

Focus is on finding gaps in existing academic theories/techniques and discovering new ones.

Curriculum comprises cohort-based classes over SMU’s regular academic terms.

Programmes are taught and supervised by distinguished faculty members who are experts in the classical disciplinary areas, and who have published extensively in top-tier journals.

Research publication targets gaps in top-tier academic literature.

Dissertation is usually a single monograph.

Scholarship support and stipends available.

Graduates are trained for university faculty or R&D positions in top-tier institutions & organisations.

SMU Professional Doctorate Programmes

Most candidates are working professionals with deep professional experience.

Focus is on studying and applying existing theories/techniques to solve practical challenges.

Curriculum is a student-centric with a combination of conventional, modular, project-based & blended learning.

Programmes are taught and supervised by our team of internationally-known SMU practice-oriented faculty members and SMU-affiliated faculty members who have vast research and industry experience.

Research publication targets real-world stakeholders and more applied/practitioner-oriented literature.

Dissertation may be a portfolio of policies, programmes, case studies and methodologies — all organised into a discourse of the generalised knowledge derived.

Self-funded programmes. Participants or their organisations cover full tuition fees. No stipends are provided.

Graduates are trained to bring applied scholarship to professional practice, or for practice and teaching-oriented university faculty positions.

Which is suitable for me?

SMU PhD Programmes

Graduated with a Bachelor's degree.
Master's degree and/or work experience is not required.

Strong passion for deep academic research.
Will be trained to find gaps in existing academic theories/techniques & discover new ones.

Desire careers as faculty members or research specialists in leading universities, institutions & organisations.

SMU Professional Doctorate Programmes

Graduated with a Bachelor's degree.
Master's degree is a plus, but is not required.
Depending on the programme, 5-10 years of professional experience is required.

Strong passion for applied research.
Will be trained to study existing academic theories/techniques & apply them in the real-world to solve practical challenges.

Desire to expand their careers as practice-oriented faculty members, consultants & senior management leaders in academia & industry.

Unsure if you would like to pursue a Doctoral Programme? You could start with a Research Masters.

If you are considering a career in academia at either an academic institution or industry but have not decided that you would like to pursue a doctoral programme right after your Bachelor’s degree, SMU’s Master by Research programmes will provide you a head start on research work. It will allow you to ascertain if research is what you would like to pursue as a career.

See all our Master by Research programmes.