Life@SMU as a PhD Student

SMU offers you a vibrant learning environment in the following ways.

Through Research Work

SMU PhD students can pursue research of their interest that targets theoretical advances and/or practical impact.

  • Pursue research that targets theoretical advances and/or practical impact.
  • Work on large-scale, real-life data collections and experiments.
  • Participate in research teams with our faculty members who are internationally-known scholars, practitioners with extensive industry experience, entrepreneurs, and distinguished educators – from different academic disciplines, industries and cultures.
  • Participate in research assistantships and, in certain disciplines, through internships. You will have access to SMU’s centres and institutes which conduct world-class research and influence industry practice across a wide range of topics. Many of them offer post-doctoral fellowships and/or research assistantships.

Through Research-related Events

The SMU PhD students attend international conferences.  SMU provides generous conference funding.     One of SMU PhD students participating in a local conference to present his research results.

  • Participate in local and international conferences to present your research results.
  • Participate in seminars and workshops by world-renowned academics and practitioners.

Through Student Development Programmes

Students will have access to Professional Skills Training through SMU's Student Development Programmes.

Besides the high quality doctoral training provided by the individual PhD programmes, you will also be equipped with the necessary skills required for your careers. These professional skills training programmes include:

Through SMU Facilities

SMU's Li Ka Shing Library

Take advantage of our state-of-the-art facilities to support your research and learning needs which include small MBA-style seminar rooms; research computing facilities; and publications and other materials available at SMU’s library.

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Life at SMU

SMU is situated in the heart of the city with six buildings that span over 4.5 hectares. These buildings include the six schools, the Li Ka Shing Library and the Administration Building.

Being in the heart of the city, you will be able to actively engage yourself to the city’s financial, business, civic and cultural communities. In particular, you will have access to industry partners who provide research data and validation platforms.


Orientation Activities

PhD students on a city tour as part of their orientation programme.     SMU PhD students' visit to the Marina Bay

The Office of Global Learning’s International Student Experience (ISE) team organises activities for international students who join our SMU PhD by research programmes. These orientation activities, held between July and September every year, include:

  • a welcome lunch hosted by SMU’s President;
  • a half-day city tour;
  • a tour of the campus for your parents and family members; and
  • a host programme.

These programmes are complimentary and will help you have a smooth transition into SMU and Singapore.

There is also an international students’ group known as ‘SMU International Connections’ or SMU ICON. This group promotes integration within the campus community, celebrates cultural diversity as well as represents and provides support to the international students. SMU ICON oversees 12 cultural clubs which celebrate cultural diversity by promoting cross-cultural learning and exchange through various events and activities throughout the year.

Furthermore, there are various student clubs that you may, if you like, be part of. These include:

  • arts clubs;
  • sports & adventure clubs; and
  • special interest and community service clubs.

Please visit for more information.


Students Today, Alumni for Life

Keeping you engaged and connected through the SMU Office of Alumni Relations and the SMU Alumni Association

Once you enter into SMU as a PhD student, you are automatically part of the University’s growing alumni community. SMU would like to keep you engaged as a student and connected as an alumnus long after you graduate.

The role of SMU’s Office of Alumni Relations (OAR) is to ensure that alumni are kept informed about SMU’s latest developments and activities through the various communication channels including monthly e-newsletter, social media platforms, alumni website, emails and phone calls. OAR also collaborates with the SMU Alumni Association (SMUAA) on a slew of programmes and activities to help alumni stay in touch with the SMU community of fellow alumni, students, and staff.

You can also enjoy the benefits and privileges offered by OAR and SMUAA for PhD students.

What’s In Store for You

Connect with fellow students and alumni and build new connections by joining an alumni group, overseas chapter or the SMUAA. Be actively engaged, establish stronger networks and expand your contacts when you participate in a suite of interaction or industry events, and career or professional development programmes.

For more information on the privileges offered to PhD students; visit, join our LinkedIn group at, like our Facebook page at, or email us at

And remember, your journey with SMU does not end upon graduation. Do stay connected and continue your SMU journey with us.

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SMU PhD students can look forward to student community living at the SMU Hostel @ Pearl’s Hill.

Choice of rooms includes:

  • Twin-sharing in 1-bedroom apartments (3 apartments, total 6 beds); and
  • Quad-share in 2-bedroom apartments (3 apartments, total 12 beds)

Please refer to floor plans, rates and payment terms for more information.

* Rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Life in Singapore

The Marina Bay in Singapore


The Singapore Management University (SMU) is located in the heart of Singapore’s vibrant city – in the Central Business District. It is surrounded by museums, theatres, educational institutions, art galleries, cafés, restaurants and a range of retail outlets. The underground SMU Concourse has many street-level linkages. It is also linked to the Bras Basah station of the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT), a rail network that is connected across many parts of Singapore.


SMU PhD students in front of the National Museum.    The Bras Basah Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is right at SMU's doorstep.


To learn more about Singapore, you may visit

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