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1. What is the research atmosphere like in the SMU Ph.D. Programme?

SMU is a great place to grow into being productive researcher. Our programme is focused on graduating a few highly qualified Ph.D. students each year. We believe our focus on fewer students will allow us to provide the mentoring and research support that will facilitate students? research publications, an important factor in helping our Ph.D. students obtain strong academic jobs. We encourage students to work with multiple faculty to gain a variety of research experiences. Our faculty are producing strong publications yearly and have international collaborator networks. Research is strongly supported at both the university and government levels thus making available monetary support for research activities in the form of pay for research time, attendance at research conferences, and ongoing research support.

By admitting only a small number of PhD students each year we're ensuring the students have a lot of time to spend with,
and learn from, the professors. This will also make it easier for them to eventually feel like colleagues, not students,
that is, people who can develop, test, and publish their own ideas. Really, that's how I see this: training future colleagues
that we'll have the privilege of working with over the years.

- David Wagner, Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour & Human Resources

2. What is the course structure like in the SMU PH.D. Programme?

The course programme for students at SMU is logically structured and well-balanced. In addition to the required foundational classes, students are able to select among a large number of higher-level electives and advanced courses. Further, students are encouraged to take classes in related disciplines such as psychology and sociology. Importantly, our approach is to balance course work with hands-on research. Thus, students will be involved from the very beginning in research projects aimed at resulting in top-tier publications.

Our lineup of courses is good because we're exposing students to theory, OB constructs, and methods. By teaching you about theories, we're introducing you to the most critical component of research publications: theoretical frameworks. Once you know a theory, ideas for research come easily. Teaching about OB constructs gives you the knowledge of what constructs to use to test the theories. Finally, teaching about methods gives you the skills to test whether your ideas work or not.

- Gary J. Greguras, Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour & Human Resources

3. Do I have to do a lot of teaching in the SMU Ph.D. Programme?

Balancing time spent teaching and researching is important as a Ph.D. student: you typically need teaching evaluations to obtain a job, but teaching too much takes away from time spent obtaining valuable publications. Here you will have the ability to teach at least one OBHR course after working closely with a faculty mentor currently teaching this class. We believe both the opportunity to teach at least one class and the option not to teach too many classes will help you to achieve this research?teaching balance.

4. I've heard Singapore is expensive. Can I live on the Ph.D. funding offered?

Like elsewhere, the advantages and opportunities of living in a major city come at a price. Singapore is more expensive to live in than some other places. However, in consideration of the higher cost of living SMU offers a generous stipend to qualified students that will cover all essential needs for the time you are a Ph.D. student here. Qualified students also receive a waiver of registration and tuition fees. Additionally, as a student in the programme you are able to work on internal faculty research grants (which most of us have yearly) as Research Assistants or Associates to earn additional funding subject to SMU's prevailing guidelines on RA/TA work.

Monthly Living Stipend

Citizenship PhD
  Before Qualifying Exam After Qualifying Exam
Singapore Citizen S$2,700 S$3,200
Singapore PR S$2,200 S$2,700
Foreign Students S$2,000 S$2,500
  • From August 2015, Singapore Citizens will be provided with 17% CPF contribution

For more information on living in Singapore, visit the website of

5. What is the OBHR Area culture like there?

Our culture is best described as highly collegial, friendly, and informal. We like our careers. Faculty doors are often open and going down the hall to ask someone a question is common. Many of us eat lunch together frequently, and on Fridays after our bi-weekly Area Research Seminar we go downstairs to have a soda or beer together. Ph.D. students in OBHR will be included in these and similar community-building activities ? we understand that in approximately four years Ph.D. students will become colleagues that we have the pleasure to see at annual conferences and we look forward to building these lasting relationships with you.

6. How can I find out more about GMAT and GRE?
More information can be obtained from the GMAT website and GRE website . The websites provide information about preparing and registering for the GMAT and GRE tests.

SMU's GMAT institution code is as follows:
               PhD in Business (Finance): F8D-7V-78
               PhD in Business (OBHR): F8D-7V-29
               PhD in Business (Marketing): F8D-7V-60

               PhD in Business (Strategic Management & Organisation): F8D-7V-28
               PhD in Business (Operations Management): F8D-7V-22

SMU's GRE institution code is 2861.

7. Am I required to take TOEFL/IELTS test?
Applicants must show proficiency in the English language. Applicants, whose Undergraduate medium of instruction was not in English, are to sit for either TOEFL or IELTS. More information can be obtained from the TOEFL website and IELTS website . SMU's institution code for TOEFL is 9014.

8. Insurance

Please refer to Postgraduate Insurance website here.   

For enquiries on Insurance Coverage, Claims Status and Procedures, please contact

Ms Loh May Yee of MYCG Pte Ltd
Authorised Representative of AXA Insurance Singapore Pte Ltd

Mobile: +65 9762 2062
Office: +65 6476 3829
Hotline: +65 9336 0159(24 hours)
Fax: +65 6474 0089
Email :

Last updated on 18 Oct 2016 .