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What will I learn?

Business schools prepare future captains of the industry on the one hand, and knowledge creators and teachers, on the other. Research-based programmes such as the PhD aim at preparing the students to understand the world of business and organisations at a more fundamental level; and to generate ideas for the future and impart this body of knowledge. Doctoral students need to reflect on the principles and tools that they were taught, and ask why something works the way it does. Investigating this question methodically and reaching a tentative conclusion constitutes research. In answering these questions, researchers generate new knowledge that ultimately benefits practicing managers in one form or the other. A well-trained PhD not only generates new knowledge but also effectively communicates this knowledge to the students.

Research in a business school is not very different from research carried out in social and physical sciences. The same philosophy of science guides the research enterprise in the business school. Business research is eclectic and draws on a number of disciplines such as psychology, sociology, economics, political science, statistics, mathematics, and computer science. The purpose is to understand the world of business in a holistic fashion and answer the interesting questions without being hemmed in by disciplinary boundaries.

Ideas are tested and validated in small parcels by numerous researchers over the years. This knowledge is eventually integrated and presented in an accessible fashion to the practitioner. Doctoral studies prepare the student to do rigorous research and eventually communicate the results. An aspiring doctoral student must first appreciate this fact and the attendant rigor.

We strongly urge aspiring students to read the faculty working papers on this website. The papers will give you an idea of the research done for doctoral degrees. We also suggest that you refer to some of the research journals listed below. For contrast, a list of the more popular practitioner-oriented journals is given. We want you to have the right expectations. We also encourage you to correspond with our faculty members and discuss research interests.

Which department am I in?

NUS Business School

Study options

Full Time (4 to 5 years)

Tuition fees
SG$20,350.00 (11,49,068) per year
Start date

Expected August 2022


NUS Business School

Mochtar Riady Building, BIZ 1, #1-2,

15 Kent Ridge Drive,

119245, Singapore

Entry requirements

For students from United States

PhD programme requires a good Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, or at least a Second Class Upper Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline. English Language Requirements: TOEFL scores for Internet Based Test (IBT) is 90; or IELTS score of 6.0. 

For international students

The minimum qualification for applying to the PhD programme is a Bachelor's degree in the relevant discipline.

English Language Requirements: Minimum TOEFL score is required: 85 for the internet-based test (with a minimum score of 22 for the writing section); or 580 for the paper-based test; or 237 for the computer-based test. IELTS result of 6.0 is required.


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