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We will not deny that it entails hard work, but the INSEAD PhD in Management could represent five of the most fulfilling years of your life.
The INSEAD PhD is a five-year doctoral degree, with the first two years corresponding to the Master in Management Sciences diploma (accredited by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research), followed by three years of dissertation research. PhD students can also opt to have the last three years validated through a dual degree option with Sorbonne University. This option has additional requirements from Sorbonne and vice versa, and students must discuss this with their area representatives and the PhD Programme Office upon admission to the programme. Moreover, the dissertation phase accreditation in progress takes us closer to the European doctoral degree structure M1 and M2 + 3 years of doctoral research.
The INSEAD PhD is widely recognised by leading business schools and universities worldwide. In addition, hiring business schools recognise our students’ calibre and competitiveness as management professors and academic researchers, as shown in our formidable placement history for over 30 years. To view where our students’ placements, please click here.
Becoming an expert
• Research practicum
• Summer Paper
• Field comprehensive examination
• Research paper
Dissertation and research
Award of PhD degree
• PhD candidacy
• Research and dissertation proposal
• Job market review and search
• Submission and defence of dissertation
• PhD teaching preparation programme
• Teaching practicum
• Soft skills training
• Participation in conferences
• Annual performance reviews
Our eight choices of specialisation cover the whole breadth of business – and the entire business school curriculum. During the programme's first two years, core courses are common to all areas, giving you insights from other disciplines and confidence for your future career. As a PhD student, along with these core courses, you will take a set of advanced course requirements applicable to your chosen field of specialisation, and these must be met to qualify in the field.
Doctoral students are bringing the academic community closer to esteemed scholars who have contributed a significant foundational body of work at the intersection of strategy, knowledge and innovation through an interview series that usually occur in conjunction with the Annual Strategy Management Society (or SMS) Conferences. The Strategy Foundations Interview Series is part of their requirement in the “Foundations in Strategy and Organisation” class with faculty members Gabriel Szulanski and Guoli Chen.
The first two years of the programme teaches the fundamentals of business in interdisciplinary classes, with the addition of specialist courses in your chosen area of specialisation. These core and advanced courses form your foundation of your knowledge in your area, along with intensive training in research methodologies, culminating in the production of a formal research paper during your dissertation phase.
A set of core courses in the first year provides the basic theory and methodology for management research, irrespective of the eventual field of specialisation. It forms the basis for the second year's more advanced, specialised studies.
During the second year (some may start as early as the end of the first year), students focus on training in their chosen field of expertise. Advanced courses are typically offered on a two-year cycle and may be complemented by reading courses or independent studies in areas of interest to the student and faculty members.
As part of our ten-member Sorbonne Université Alliance membership, INSEAD PhD candidates can benefit from a dual doctorate with Sorbonne Université. INSEAD is proud to be part of the Alliance Sorbonne Université, which provides members with access to numerous shared programmes and projects in a cross-disciplinary and global approach to education and research.
For more information: Doctoral Schools: INSEAD PhD - Pôle Management (Management Track)
Campus exchange is an integral experience of the students' doctoral journey. PhD students will have the unique opportunity to spend time in Europe and Asia and benefit from a collaborative relationship with Wharton through the INSEAD-Wharton Alliance. In addition, they also go for exchanges or visits with other academic institutions to undergo specific training in topics where there are relevant experts outside of INSEAD.
Read more about campus exchange possibilities.
The INSEAD-Wharton Alliance
INSEAD's alliance with The Wharton School is a major strategic partnership between the two schools. Each school offers complimentary centres of expertise and campus locations for a compelling global network that no other school can offer. Exchanges and visits of doctoral students are significant pillars of this long-standing relationship. PhD students primarily benefit from this collaborative relationship between the two schools. Some financial aid may be available through the Alliance Centre for Global Research and Development for exchanges and other research-related activities, all subject to prior approval by both schools. About the INSEAD-Wharton Alliance.
Do you have other PhD programmes apart from Management?
INSEAD only offers a PhD in Management. However, in the programme, you can pursue research that is of interest to you given our eight areas of specialisation - Accounting, Decision Sciences, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing, Organisational Behaviour, Strategy, and Technology and Operations Management.
You need to indicate your area of specialisation on your application form when applying for the INSEAD PhD.
My background is non-management. Can I apply to the PhD programme?
We accept applicants whose backgrounds are non-management, for example, engineering, technology, computer sciences, economics, psychology, sociology, neurosciences, mathematics, statistics, etc.
We welcome prospects with a strong undergraduate or graduate record in any discipline, an enquiring and creative mind, and a fascination with business research. We are keen to know how they leverage their background combined with management discipline to develop relevant, timely and significant research rooted in the real world.
Is it possible to apply for a PhD in Abu Dhabi?
We do not offer the PhD Programme on the Middle East Campus. If you are interested in pursuing the PhD Programme, you must relocate to the Singapore or Fontainebleau campuses for five years of study. Part-time or distance learning is not possible either.
Is it possible for me to do research with faculty from Wharton?
The Alliance Centre for Global Research and Education has extended its reach to INSEAD and Wharton PhDs by making them eligible to join a faculty member from the partner school to constitute an Alliance Centre research project. For further details, visit Alliance Teaching Innovations https://www.insead.edu/about/alliance-partnerships/insead-wharton-alliance
Is there a difference in the PhD programme offered in France and Singapore?
There is no difference in the PhD programme offered in France and Singapore, in the following aspects - the quality of education, curriculum, faculty and research resources, admissions process, funding and placement opportunities. Thus, no matter where you study, you will have access to the same top-notch programme because the teaching, research and prestige of the degree are the same no matter which campus you choose.