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PhD in Management

FAQs - PhD in Management

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Admissions Process

Do you provide feedback during and after admissions close?

The PhD admissions committee prioritises a fair and efficient review process for all applicants. To ensure this, we don't provide individual feedback or entertain inquiries about application status during the review period or after final decisions are made.

However, we can provide some general insights:

  • Applications are evaluated holistically based on the current applicant pool, which can vary from year to year. This means robust applications from previous years may have different successes in highly competitive years. 
  • For applications to be competitive, they should demonstrate strong academic performance and test results, relevant research interests, and a clear plan for collaboration with our faculty. Recommendation letters also play a crucial role.

Multiple faculty members are involved in the review process, each with their areas of expertise and research interests. Due to this collaborative nature, summarising specific preferences would be difficult and wouldn't accurately reflect the nuanced evaluation process.

What is your reapplication policy?

Applicants can reapply to the INSEAD PhD programme a maximum of two times throughout their lifetime. Reapplicants must submit a new set of application materials, including the minimum admissions requirements, an updated statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. Applicants must pay the application fee again, too. 

Applicants who reapplied for the third time will have their application voided even if they have successfully submitted it in the system.  The admissions team has a review stage in place before they submit the files to the committee, and will match records at the backend even if the applicant has created a new profile to submit their application for the third time. Unfortunately, we cannot reimburse the application fees already paid for the third application. 

When is the latest date that I can take the GMAT or GRE Test?

We recommend carefully planning your test dates so the scores reach us before the January deadline, preferably the first week of December. The availability of official scores varies between the two tests.

Please visit the respective websites of GMAT and GRE on their schedule for releasing the scores. Then, work out on when is the latest date you can take the test so we will receive the scores on time. 

As mentioned, if you have already completed your application but are still waiting to take the test in November or December, you can submit your application first without the test. Please indicate your future test date in the test section, and based on that, we will note when to expect your scores. 

We encourage you to send the scores immediately to us and not wait for our follow-up once you have the test-taker score report.

When do I start working with a dissertation advisor?

PhD students work with their advisors in their third year or at the start of their dissertation phase. 

Upon admission to the PhD programme, students work with their area representative, the faculty member who reviews their files for admission. The area representative acts as an academic advisor, guiding students in navigating the programme's first two years. 

PhD students meet with faculty members during the first two years of their studies and can begin shortlisting their potential advisors. Then, in their third year, they can finalise their advisor and formally invite them to be their lead faculty mentor during their dissertation stage. Advisor selection is a mutual decision between the student and faculty member. 

Therefore, PhD applicants only actively seek faculty members during the application stage, hoping to discuss their research interests and proposals with the latter. PhD applicants get to finalise their advisor upon admission and in their third year.

Can I submit my online application without the open one-way interview?

Applicants can submit the online application without the open one-way interview. The open, one-way interview is optional and non-mandatory. It is helpful for many applicants, giving them another opportunity to express their intention to apply for the programme.

However, the PhD Committee may request this during the review phase to provide further information on your online application. We will promptly contact you upon receiving their request. To ensure you receive our emails, kindly add [email protected] to your email safelist. 

Can I receive the Open One-Way Interview questions in advance?

Please note that the open one-way interview is OPTIONAL or non-mandatory. We will review applications without the open one-way interview. 

We do not send applicants the questions in advance. Applicants can only access the questions once they submit the online application form. 

Submitting the open, one-way recorded interview is not compulsory. However, the PhD Committee may request this during the review phase to provide further information on your online application. We will promptly contact you upon receiving their request. To ensure you receive our emails, kindly add [email protected] to your email safelist. 

Is the Open One-Way Interview a substitute of the Live Interview?

Please note that the open one-way interview is OPTIONAL or non-mandatory. We will review applications without the open one-way interview. 

The recorded open one-way interview does not replace the live interview in the admissions process. Although this is optional, many applicants find this valuable, as it provides another platform to express their intention to apply for the programme. It supplements the online application, providing additional insights about your background and interest in academic research and career. 

Submitting the open, one-way recorded interview is not compulsory. However, the PhD Committee may request this during the review phase to provide further information on your online application. We will promptly contact you upon receiving their request. To ensure you receive our emails, kindly add [email protected] to your email safelist. 

When do I receive the invitation to the Open One-Way Interview?

Please note that the open one-way interview is OPTIONAL or non-mandatory. We will review applications without the open one-way interview. 

You will receive the information about the Open One-Way Interview only upon submission of your online application. We include the URL of the interview portal in the email confirmation containing a copy (in PDF) of your application submitted.

If you do not receive the confirmation email, please get in touch with [email protected]

Submitting the open, one-way recorded interview is not compulsory. However, the PhD Committee may request this during the review phase to provide further information on your online application. We will promptly contact you upon receiving their request. To ensure you receive our emails, kindly add [email protected] to your email safelist. 

Can I submit my application without the GMAT or GRE test?

Applicants can submit their online applications without the GMAT or GRE test. However, the standardised test is a mandatory requirement. Therefore, applicants must indicate when they are taking the test in the future and before the application deadline. 

In the test scores section, applicants indicate their future test date while leaving the scores blank. Once they take the test and get hold of their test-taker score report, applicants must send the PDF copy of the scores to phd.info[at]insead.edu while we wait for the officials scores to reach us. We will replace the test-taker score reports once we receive the official scores from the test administrators.

The PhD Admissions Office will send to the PhD Committee any standardised score reports that become available after we submit the application files and before the committee finalises their decision. Then the committee will review these applications again once they receive the scores. Thus, we strongly encourage applicants to follow up with the test administrators on the availability of their scores and send them immediately to the PhD Office once available.  

Can I reapply if my application has been rejected?

Applicants can reapply to the programme a maximum of two times throughout their lifetime, regardless of the area of specialisation. Applicants who reapply must submit a new set of application materials, including all the required documents, an updated statement of purpose and letters of recommendation. They also have to pay the application fee again. 

If applicants prefer to use the same recommendation letters from the previous attempt, they can contact the PhD Office at phd.info at insead.edu. Kindly note that we only keep the referee letters for one year; otherwise, we will purge these.  

 

 

Can I send my application file without a GMAT, GRE or TOEFL test?

Applicants can submit their application even if they are still taking the test at a date no later than the last day of submission. Moreover, they must indicate the future test date on the application form.

We urge applicants to schedule their test dates at least two to three weeks before the application deadline for us to receive the official scores in time. The latest period to take the test is on or before mid-December.  

 

Can someone from the industry write my recommendation letter?

In most cases, the letters of recommendation should come from faculty, scholars or advisors who can assess your academic background and your ability to carry out research, complete a rigorous PhD Programme, and your ability or potential to teach. However, if you cannot submit all three letters from academic sources, we also accept non-academic recommendations. 

I am not sure about the field to apply for. Can I apply for two fields?

Applicants who want to be considered two areas of specialisation can apply to both in the same admissions cycle. However, they must complete two separate applications, including uploading the supporting documents, submitting a statement of purpose and paying the application fees. We will distribute their applications to the respective areas for their consideration. Moreover, we will not view the applications as unfavourable to the applicants since the two areas' decisions are independent and do not influence each other. 

Can I send GMAT/GRE or TOEFL scores of more than five years or two years old, respectively?

We require applicants to submit the GMAT or GRE scores no more than five years old and the TOEFL score no more than two years old. Otherwise, the scores are invalid, and we will not consider them in the review.

Is it possible to visit the campus before submitting an application?

Anyone who is interested in the PhD Programme is welcome to visit the Fontainebleau, France or Singapore Campuses. A meeting needs to be arranged ahead of time by contacting the PhD Office by phone or email. However, meeting with faculty and students to discuss the application and research interests is not a necessity or a requirement for admissions. We encourage applicants to learn more about the research interests of faculty members and students within a particular area through the PhD website, and the Faculty and Research pages of the institution website. 

 

What is the difference between the preferred deadline and last day of submission?

The preferred deadline is two weeks before the final application deadline. It gives the admissions team time to check if your application is complete or if you need to provide more information about it. 

On the other hand, if you submit your application on or slightly before the last day of submission, the admissions team will not have enough time to go through your documents and provide feedback. The team will take your application and submit it to the committee members. 

 

Can I apply to the programme with a master's degree that is still in progress?

Applicants with graduate degrees in progress are welcome to apply. They state their expected graduation date on the application form and submit e-copies of their completed bachelor's degree transcripts and partial master's degree transcripts along with the rest of the application requirements. 

Upon completing their master's degrees, applicants submit the full e-copy of their degree to the PhD Office even while the ongoing review process. 

Can I contact faculty during the application period?

We do not require applicants to contact faculty before admissions to discuss their application or research interests in the hope of securing a research supervisor. 

INSEAD faculty receive hundreds of emails from prospective students and regret that they cannot respond to all. Moreover, faculty advisors are chosen by the Academic Director, after admission, during the first year. In the second, PhD students can select their advisors. As such, prospective applicants are encouraged to learn about faculty and their research through area and faculty pages.   

Is work experience a requirement?

Work experience is not mandatory for admission. Many successful applicants come directly from undergraduate programmes. 

When can I expect the final admissions decisions for my application?

We will release the final admissions decisions to applicants between the end of March and mid-April, wherein the PhD Admissions Director will send the official email to all applicants. 

Moreover, we do not provide feedback or entertain inquiries on the application status before and after the final admissions decisions are out. Therefore, if you have not heard from us regarding the status of your application, it is because a final decision has not been reached. We would always communicate the final decision to all applicants once the admissions committee has finalized their decision.

When is the online application deadline?

The online application deadline is in the first week of January. To view the latest deadlines, please go to https://inse.ad/phd/admissions. 

Please note that once you submit your online application and supporting documents, you will receive a confirmation email with the URL to access the open one-way interview. The deadline for the recorded interview is only a few days after the online application deadline. Thus, we encourage you to submit your online application a week before the last day of submission to give you ample time to do your recorded one-way interview. 

Can the requirement for the GMAT or GRE exam be waived?

We cannot waive the GMAT or GRE under any circumstances. 

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many applicants are unable to take their GMAT or GRE tests early or in time, given our deadline. If you expect your scores to arrive slightly after the deadline, we encourage you to submit your completed application without the score, on or before the last day of application. On the application form, please leave the scores blank and indicate the future test date of your GMAT or GRE. However, ensure you submit your test-taker score report the week after the application deadline. 

Test-taker score reports that become available after we have submitted them to the committee for their review but before they finalise the admissions decisions will still be passed along for consideration. Suppose your application is still incomplete due to the absence of the test given the current circumstances and denied admission. In that case, we will not count it toward the programme’s lifetime limit of two applications per applicant. Note that the programme also accepts the home or online tests of GMAT or GRE, offered as an alternative during these challenging times. Please visit their respective websites for the latest updates for this type of test. 

Can I send photocopies of my diplomas and transcripts?

We only require applicants to upload electronic copies or PDFs of the original documents to the application portal. Once admitted, applicants must submit the original copies to the PhD Office. Failure to do so will invalidate the offer. 

Is an interview with a candidate a compulsory step of the admissions process?

Applicants go through two kinds of interviews in the admissions process - the recorded open one-way interview and the live interview.

The open one-way interview is part of the online application process, and all applicants must submit this as the first step in the review process. They will have access to the open one-way interview portal upon submission of the online application form. The deadline for this interview is a few days after the online application submission deadline.

The live interview is the second interview required to advance in the admissions process. We only invite short-listed candidates for the live interview, and the PhD Admissions Committee conducts this.

If we successfully short-list an applicant, we will contact them to arrange for this. Please note that many who receive invitations for an interview are not necessarily admitted. Interview results are included in the final evaluation of admissions. Moreover, the live interviews last until the third week of March until the PhD Admissions Committee makes final decisions.

The live interviews are in person, online (Zoom, Skype) or by phone. 

Does INSEAD charge a fee to apply for the PhD Programme?

We require a 50 Euros application fee per application, which is payable online with major credit cards only. Bank transfer is not accepted. 

Applicants applying to two areas of specialisation pay for the fees twice. 

Application Requirements

What is your reapplication policy?

Applicants can reapply to the INSEAD PhD programme a maximum of two times throughout their lifetime. Reapplicants must submit a new set of application materials, including the minimum admissions requirements, an updated statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. Applicants must pay the application fee again, too. 

Applicants who reapplied for the third time will have their application voided even if they have successfully submitted it in the system.  The admissions team has a review stage in place before they submit the files to the committee, and will match records at the backend even if the applicant has created a new profile to submit their application for the third time. Unfortunately, we cannot reimburse the application fees already paid for the third application. 

I will take the test after the deadline. Can I still submit my application?

Although we prefer that applicants' documents be in by the application deadline, there are particular circumstances in which you can only take the test after the application deadline. 

We encourage you to state the future test date in your application and complete it as per the usual process. We will note your future test date to know when we can expect the scores to arrive. 

Once you receive the test-taker score report, please email it to [email protected]

The PhD Admissions Office will send to the PhD Committee any standardised score reports that become available after we submit the application files and before the committee finalises their decision. Then, the committee will review these applications again once they receive the scores. Thus, we strongly encourage applicants to follow up with the test administrators on the availability of their scores and send them immediately to the PhD Office once they become available.  

When is the latest date that I can take the GMAT or GRE Test?

We recommend carefully planning your test dates so the scores reach us before the January deadline, preferably the first week of December. The availability of official scores varies between the two tests.

Please visit the respective websites of GMAT and GRE on their schedule for releasing the scores. Then, work out on when is the latest date you can take the test so we will receive the scores on time. 

As mentioned, if you have already completed your application but are still waiting to take the test in November or December, you can submit your application first without the test. Please indicate your future test date in the test section, and based on that, we will note when to expect your scores. 

We encourage you to send the scores immediately to us and not wait for our follow-up once you have the test-taker score report.

Can I re-use my reference letters from a previous application?

Applicants can only reuse their letters of recommendation from the previous year for their current application. Unfortunately, reference letters from over a year ago cannot be used as the programme archives them and cannot retrieve them anymore due to GDPR regulations. Similarly, application materials like transcripts, degree certificates, test scores, etc. are archived and non-retrievable after a year.

What is the minimum GMAT or GRE score?

We do not have any cut-off points for the GRE or GMAT exam and accept a wide range of scores. We select applicants based on a holistic assessment of their profile and academic and research backgrounds; test scores are only one component of the many factors considered. Therefore, perfect scores do not guarantee admission, and lower-than-average scores do not invalidate your candidacy. However, we commonly see the following scores:
We accept valid GMAT and GRE scores achieved through classic or new formats (as of Nov 28, 2023 update for the 2024 intake):

  • GRE: Quants: > 80% and Verbal: > 81% (for both test formats administered on or before Sept 22, 2023)
  • GMAT: > = 700 Total Score under the classic format or 655 under the Focus edition (new format)

Recommended Verbal: 80 (60%); Recommended Quant: 80 (66%); Recommended Data Insights: 77 (66%)

(% are percentiles)

Aim for the recommended scores above as a general tip to be competitive in your application. Although we emphasise the quantitative section, we also recommend that you do not take the verbal section lightly and encourage you to have a competitive score. While some areas focus more on the quantitative rather than the verbal section, we would like you to strike a balance and aim for the scores above, which are good benchmarks for what the committee considers competitive across the eight fields of specialisation. 
 

I am applying to both campuses. Do I need to send my GRE test to both Singapore and France institution codes?

You can send it to either of the two codes listed if you selected 'either campus' on your online application. We have access to both codes and can update your online application accordingly. 

GRE Institution codes: 3244 INSEAD PhD France OR 7324 INSEAD PhD Singapore
 

Do you have a preference for the standardised (i.e., GMAT or GRE) test?

We accept both tests and do not prefer one test over the other. Applicants can choose to submit either of the tests, depending on their preference and the availability of the test in their area or location. 

Please ensure that your tests are under five years old (valid) when submitting them as part of your online application portfolio. Upload first your test-taker score report while we wait for the official scores reflected in our accounts with the test administrators. 

GRE Institution codes: 3244 INSEAD PhD France; 7324 INSEAD PhD Singapore
GMAT Institution code: DL3-S8-08

Interfolio sent my LORs directly to the PhD Admissions Office. Why are the LORs still pending on my dashboard?

The LOR submission status on your dashboard will not change to submit status if we have uploaded your letter manually to the online application system (i.e., using Interfolio service or re-applicant and using the LORs from the immediate previous year).

We will send you a confirmation email that we've uploaded them to your online application account. We can only manually upload the LOR if you have already submitted your online application. For any forms that are still in progress, we cannot upload any documents.

Can I use Interfolio to submit my recommendation letters or LORs?

Yes, you can use Interfolio to submit your LORs to us. 

On your application form, enter your referee details in the fields required. But on the email address, enter: [email protected] instead.

Please ask Interfolio to send the LORs to [email protected] . We will directly acknowledge the receipt of the LORs to Interfolio. 

Then, we will upload them to your online application after you've submitted it. 

 

 

Can I use Interfolio to submit my transcripts?

Yes, you can. 

Please ask Interfolio to send the email to [email protected] , and we will directly acknowledge it to them. 

However, if you have an official copy of your transcripts, you only have to upload their e-copies or PDFs to our online application system. We will only ask for the official hard or e-copies directly from the university once you are admitted to the programme. This will save you some costs when requesting official documents from your school or programme. 

I am a reapplicant, and my open one-way interview portal shows my past interviews. Do I need to start anew?

Start a new recorded interview with your recent application. Between your last application and now, you may have gained new experiences that give you a fresh outlook on research. Hence, you have revised your graduate study plans and objectives. We encourage you to discuss any positive changes or learnings that could contribute to your unique contributions and value-add to the programme.

Submitting the open, one-way recorded interview is not compulsory. However, the PhD Committee may request this during the review phase to provide further information on your online application. We will promptly contact you upon receiving their request. To ensure you receive our emails, kindly add [email protected] to your email safelist. 

Am I able to go back to the Open One-Way Interview if I accidentally closed it or if I decided to take a break?

Applicants can return their recorded answers while the process is still in progress. The system will record your answers, and you will continue to the following question when you log in again. Unfortunately, you cannot go back to the previous questions you have already answered.

Submitting the open, one-way recorded interview is not compulsory. However, the PhD Committee may request this during the review phase to provide further information on your online application. We will promptly contact you upon receiving their request. To ensure you receive our emails, kindly add [email protected] to your email safelist. 

Can I get the open one-way interview questions beforehand?

Applicants cannot view the questions before they enter the virtual room. After creating an account and starting the session, they will only see the questions.

Submitting the open, one-way recorded interview is not compulsory. However, the PhD Committee may request this during the review phase to provide further information on your online application. We will promptly contact you upon receiving their request. To ensure you receive our emails, kindly add [email protected] to your email safelist. 

What are the next steps after the Open One-Way Interview?

Suppose you use this opportunity to express your intention to apply for the PhD Programme; the committee will review this along with your other submitted documents. 

Submitting the open, one-way recorded interview is not compulsory. However, the PhD Committee may request this during the review phase to provide further information on your online application. We will promptly contact you upon receiving their request. To ensure you receive our emails, kindly add [email protected] to your email safelist. 

Can I submit my online application without the open one-way interview?

Applicants can submit the online application without the open one-way interview. The open, one-way interview is optional and non-mandatory. It is helpful for many applicants, giving them another opportunity to express their intention to apply for the programme.

However, the PhD Committee may request this during the review phase to provide further information on your online application. We will promptly contact you upon receiving their request. To ensure you receive our emails, kindly add [email protected] to your email safelist. 

What is the Open One-Way Interview?

The Open One-Way Interview is OPTIONAL or non-mandatory. It is a supplement to your PhD application. It gives the applicants another opportunity to express their intention to apply for the INSEAD PhD Programme. 

Submitting the open, one-way recorded interview is not compulsory. However, the PhD Committee may request this during the review phase to provide further information on your online application. We will promptly contact you upon receiving their request. To ensure you receive our emails, kindly add [email protected] to your email safelist. 

When is the deadline of submission of the Open One-Way Interview?

Please note that the open one-way interview is optional or non-mandatory. We still review applications without the open one-way interview. 

The recorded open one-way interview submission deadline is a few days after the online application deadline. Please visit https://inse.ad/phd/admissions for the deadlines.

Submitting the open, one-way recorded interview is not compulsory. However, the PhD Committee may request this during the review phase to provide further information on your online application. We will promptly contact you upon receiving their request. To ensure you receive our emails, kindly add [email protected] to your email safelist. 

Can I receive the Open One-Way Interview questions in advance?

Please note that the open one-way interview is OPTIONAL or non-mandatory. We will review applications without the open one-way interview. 

We do not send applicants the questions in advance. Applicants can only access the questions once they submit the online application form. 

Submitting the open, one-way recorded interview is not compulsory. However, the PhD Committee may request this during the review phase to provide further information on your online application. We will promptly contact you upon receiving their request. To ensure you receive our emails, kindly add [email protected] to your email safelist. 

Is the Open One-Way Interview a substitute of the Live Interview?

Please note that the open one-way interview is OPTIONAL or non-mandatory. We will review applications without the open one-way interview. 

The recorded open one-way interview does not replace the live interview in the admissions process. Although this is optional, many applicants find this valuable, as it provides another platform to express their intention to apply for the programme. It supplements the online application, providing additional insights about your background and interest in academic research and career. 

Submitting the open, one-way recorded interview is not compulsory. However, the PhD Committee may request this during the review phase to provide further information on your online application. We will promptly contact you upon receiving their request. To ensure you receive our emails, kindly add [email protected] to your email safelist. 

When do I receive the invitation to the Open One-Way Interview?

Please note that the open one-way interview is OPTIONAL or non-mandatory. We will review applications without the open one-way interview. 

You will receive the information about the Open One-Way Interview only upon submission of your online application. We include the URL of the interview portal in the email confirmation containing a copy (in PDF) of your application submitted.

If you do not receive the confirmation email, please get in touch with [email protected]

Submitting the open, one-way recorded interview is not compulsory. However, the PhD Committee may request this during the review phase to provide further information on your online application. We will promptly contact you upon receiving their request. To ensure you receive our emails, kindly add [email protected] to your email safelist. 

Does the PhD Programme accept IELTS for the English test?

We do not take IELTS for the English test requirement.
We only accept the TOEFL exam as part of our minimum admissions requirement. 

I am applying to either campuses. Do I need to submit my GRE scores to both institution codes for GRE?

You only need to use either one of the GRE test scodes to send us your official scores, regarldless of your campus choice. We have access to both codes. 

Do you accept the TOEFL® iBT MyBest® scores for admissions?

We accept the TOEFL® iBT MyBest® scores for admissions. Please visit the test administrator's web page for the latest information about the test. 

In addition, we want to encourage you to submit your test score together with the online application by the submission deadline, which you can view on our admissions page

Do you accept the new test formats, GMAT® Focus Edition and the new GRE® General Test, for admissions?

We accept the new test formats for the GMAT® (Focus Edition) and GRE® (Shorter General Test) for admissions. Please visit the respected test administrators' web pages for the latest information about these tests. 
In addition, please submit your scores together with your online application by the submission deadline, which you can view on our admissions pages

Can I submit my application without the GMAT or GRE test?

Applicants can submit their online applications without the GMAT or GRE test. However, the standardised test is a mandatory requirement. Therefore, applicants must indicate when they are taking the test in the future and before the application deadline. 

In the test scores section, applicants indicate their future test date while leaving the scores blank. Once they take the test and get hold of their test-taker score report, applicants must send the PDF copy of the scores to phd.info[at]insead.edu while we wait for the officials scores to reach us. We will replace the test-taker score reports once we receive the official scores from the test administrators.

The PhD Admissions Office will send to the PhD Committee any standardised score reports that become available after we submit the application files and before the committee finalises their decision. Then the committee will review these applications again once they receive the scores. Thus, we strongly encourage applicants to follow up with the test administrators on the availability of their scores and send them immediately to the PhD Office once available.  

What are the modes of payment for the application fee?

We only accept online payment, using major credit cards. Bank transfers are not accepted. 

The application fee is non-refundable. Your application will not be reviewed if we do not receive the application fee. 

Can the requirement for the GMAT or GRE exam be waived?

We cannot waive the GMAT or GRE under any circumstances. 

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many applicants are unable to take their GMAT or GRE tests early or in time, given our deadline. If you expect your scores to arrive slightly after the deadline, we encourage you to submit your completed application without the score, on or before the last day of application. On the application form, please leave the scores blank and indicate the future test date of your GMAT or GRE. However, ensure you submit your test-taker score report the week after the application deadline. 

Test-taker score reports that become available after we have submitted them to the committee for their review but before they finalise the admissions decisions will still be passed along for consideration. Suppose your application is still incomplete due to the absence of the test given the current circumstances and denied admission. In that case, we will not count it toward the programme’s lifetime limit of two applications per applicant. Note that the programme also accepts the home or online tests of GMAT or GRE, offered as an alternative during these challenging times. Please visit their respective websites for the latest updates for this type of test. 

Can I apply for the PhD only with a bachelor's degree?

Our minimum educational requirement is a bachelor's degree. Thus, applicants can apply with a minimum undergraduate degree. We have many successful applications joining INSEAD immediately after their undergraduate degrees. 

 

 

Can I send photocopies of my diplomas and transcripts?

We only require applicants to upload electronic copies or PDFs of the original documents to the application portal. Once admitted, applicants must submit the original copies to the PhD Office. Failure to do so will invalidate the offer. 

Does INSEAD charge a fee to apply for the PhD Programme?

We require a 50 Euros application fee per application, which is payable online with major credit cards only. Bank transfer is not accepted. 

Applicants applying to two areas of specialisation pay for the fees twice. 

What is the minimum TOEFL requirement?

There is no minimum TOEFL score requirement. However, it is common for us to receive TOEFL total scores of at least 90 in iBT. On the average, the iBT received is 110.

Is research experience a must have when applying?

Formal research experience is not a must to have to apply. Many of our students come directly from undergraduate with their undergraduate thesis as their research experience, and some are from the industry with no formal research experience. What is important is understanding what academic research is all about and the effort needed to succeed through research exposure.  

Can the requirement for the TOEFL exam be waived?

The INSEAD PhD automatically waives the TOEFL test if applicants whose native language is not English have a university degree from an institution where the curriculum's medium of instruction is English. With a degree taught primarily in English, applicants are automatically exempt from the TOEFL requirement. Applicants leave the TOEFL section blank and submit their degree transcripts as proof of waiver. 

Can someone from the industry write my recommendation letter?

In most cases, the letters of recommendation should come from faculty, scholars or advisors who can assess your academic background and your ability to carry out research, complete a rigorous PhD Programme, and your ability or potential to teach. However, if you cannot submit all three letters from academic sources, we also accept non-academic recommendations. 

Can I submit my GMAT/GRE or TOEFL test-taker score report ?

Applicants can submit their GMAT or GRE and TOEFL (if applicable) test-taker score reports. However, we strongly urge them to request GMAC or ETS to send the PDFs of the original score reports directly to the PhD Office.

To complete the application, we will match the test-taker score reports with the electronic summary of the data we receive from the GMAT or GRE and TOEFL. 

For the institution codes: 3244* (GRE/INSEAD's PhD in France), 7324* (GRE/INSEAD's PhD in Singapore) and DL3-S8-08 (GMAT). TOEFL code is 3244. The validity of scores: GMAT or GRE - not more than five years old; TOEFL - not more than two years old.

*Applicants who apply to either campus only need to indicate one GRE institution code.

What are the exam codes for the INSEAD PhD Programme, when I take my tests?

For GMAT, use DL3-S8-08;  for GRE, use 3244 if applying for Europe Campus (France) or use 7324 for Asia Campus (Singapore).
For TOEFL, use 3244.

Applicants taking the GRE test and applying to either campus are encouraged to use only one institution code since the Admissions Team has access to both. 

Can I send GMAT/GRE or TOEFL scores of more than five years or two years old, respectively?

We require applicants to submit the GMAT or GRE scores no more than five years old and the TOEFL score no more than two years old. Otherwise, the scores are invalid, and we will not consider them in the review.

Can I apply to the programme with a master's degree that is still in progress?

Applicants with graduate degrees in progress are welcome to apply. They state their expected graduation date on the application form and submit e-copies of their completed bachelor's degree transcripts and partial master's degree transcripts along with the rest of the application requirements. 

Upon completing their master's degrees, applicants submit the full e-copy of their degree to the PhD Office even while the ongoing review process. 

Is a Master's degree compulsory?

A Master's degree is not compulsory when applying to the INSEAD PhD. Our minimum admissions requirement is a bachelor's degree. However, suppose you have a completed master's or a master's that is still in progress during the application period. In that case, you can add this to your educational qualifications and the official transcripts and certificates (in PDF). 

My transcripts are not in English. Do I need to submit an official English translation?

Applicants must submit an official English translation of their non-English transcripts certified by a third party. E-copies of this official document must be uploaded to the online application portal.

Is work experience a requirement?

Work experience is not mandatory for admission. Many successful applicants come directly from undergraduate programmes. 

Can I submit more than three recommendation letters?

We only require applicants to submit three recommendation letters only.

Can I apply to the programme even if I am in my final undergraduate year?

We accept applicants who are in their final undergraduate year. They indicate their expected graduation date in the application form and submit e-copies of official partial transcripts. When they complete their degree the following year, applicants submit e-copies of their final transcripts and an attestation letter stating that they've fulfilled the requirements for graduation for their degree. 

My bachelors degree is not taught in English, but my masters is. Is the TOEFL waived for me?

If your degree's medium of instruction is English, then the TOEFL test is automatically waived. Your degree transcripts will be your proof of waiver.

Do you accept at home (online / iBT) TOEFL, GMAT and GRE testing?

We accept TOEFL iBT Home Edition, GRE ® General Test at home and GMAT Online Exam. Please check with GMAC and ETS on the tests' terms and conditions and availability in your city.

To send your scores to INSEAD PhD, use the following codes: 3244* (GRE/INSEAD's PhD in France), 7324* (GRE/INSEAD's PhD in Singapore) and DL3-S8-08 (GMAT). TOEFL code is 3244. The validity of scores: GMAT or GRE - not more than five years old; TOEFL - not more than two years old. *If you are applying to either campus and taking the GRE test, please indicate only one institution code. We have access to both.

Information about the Programme

When do I start working with a dissertation advisor?

PhD students work with their advisors in their third year or at the start of their dissertation phase. 

Upon admission to the PhD programme, students work with their area representative, the faculty member who reviews their files for admission. The area representative acts as an academic advisor, guiding students in navigating the programme's first two years. 

PhD students meet with faculty members during the first two years of their studies and can begin shortlisting their potential advisors. Then, in their third year, they can finalise their advisor and formally invite them to be their lead faculty mentor during their dissertation stage. Advisor selection is a mutual decision between the student and faculty member. 

Therefore, PhD applicants only actively seek faculty members during the application stage, hoping to discuss their research interests and proposals with the latter. PhD applicants get to finalise their advisor upon admission and in their third year.

Is the PhD programme available in a part-time or online format?

We do not offer the programme in a part-time or online format. INSEAD's PhD in Management is a highly intensive and rigorous five years full-time degree, with all courses compulsory and taking place in either Fontainebleau or Singapore. Therefore, it is neither possible to combine a PhD with your work nor do we offer the courses via distance learning. Note that we provide a full tuition scholarship plus a generous stipend to cover living expenses during the five years of study*; thus, working while studying is unnecessary.

*The funding will end at the end of June of the 5th year or when a candidate starts an academic position at a university or business school, and the like, awaiting completion of the graduation requirements (if earlier than the end of June in the 5th year). Overall annual support, i.e., tuition fee, stipend, research and conference budget and health insurance coverage, regularly undergoes review without prior notice. Newly admitted and current students must refer to the PhD guidelines or consult the PhD Programme Office for the latest updates.

Is research experience a must have when applying?

Formal research experience is not a must to have to apply. Many of our students come directly from undergraduate with their undergraduate thesis as their research experience, and some are from the industry with no formal research experience. What is important is understanding what academic research is all about and the effort needed to succeed through research exposure.  

Does the PhD provide assistance when seeking accommodations?

The PhD Office provides leads or contacts to help newly admitted students look for accommodations. We have included these contacts in the welcome kit for incoming PhD students. However, the students will take care of liaising with potential landlords and housing agents since they will have unique requirements. 

Does INSEAD offer on-campus accommodations for its PhD Students?

INSEAD does not offer any on-campus accommodations for its students, including the PhDs. Long-term accommodations are outside of the campus, and PhD students have to seek their own arrangements. Moreover, accommodations budget is already included in the annual stipend, disbursed on a periodic basis.

How long is the PhD Programme?

The INSEAD PhD programme duration is five years of full-time studies. Years 1 and 2 are dedicated exclusively to courses (core and advanced), and years 3, 4 and 5 are devoted exclusively to research, completion of the doctoral dissertation and job market search. Throughout the programme, PhD students will go through teaching preparation, gain and hone soft skills required for teaching, and go through annual performance reviews to move on to the next academic year. Visit https://insead.edu/phd/academics for more details.

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 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. 

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. 

When does the PhD Programme officially start?

The PhD programme officially starts in mid-August, and 1st year PhD students arrive on campus during this period for the orientation week and pre-coursework. Therefore, we strongly advise newly admitted PhD students to keep August free as they may be required to arrive earlier. 

Can I work with the Wharton faculty for my dissertation as part of the INSEAD-Wharton exchange?

Once admitted to the INSEAD PhD, applicants will be eligible to apply for an INSEAD-Wharton Doctoral Exchange Programme.

The INSEAD-Wharton Alliance allows a PhD Candidate to visit Wharton for up to four weeks to take courses and explore the possibility of engaging a Wharton faculty member in a research project. 

If you can collaborate on a project with a Wharton faculty member, it is not amongst the criteria that the Wharton faculty member shares the same discipline as you. 

Do you offer an online PhD curriculum?

We do not offer the INSEAD PhD in an online or distance-learning format. 

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.

Can I apply even though I do not speak French?

The PhD Programme is taught exclusively in English. English is the only official communication language at INSEAD, and French is not required to study the PhD from our Fontainebleau campus (or the Singapore campus).

Since I already hold an MBA, may I be exempted from some courses?

We do not grant exemptions on courses before we admit an applicant. In some instances, however, candidates may be exempted from a core course in which they demonstrate advanced knowledge. These exemption requests must be submitted to the course instructor and approved by the PhD Programme's Academic Director. In most cases, the requestor must go through an exemption exam conducted by the course instructor. If approved, we may require alternative work or papers to address any course gaps. 

Financial Information

What happens if I have secured external financial support as well?

All admitted candidates will receive funding for the first five years of their PhD studies (until the end of June of the fifth year)*. However, we encourage students to seek external financial support to increase the overall award. Students with partial outside financing are eligible for additional supplementary INSEAD scholarship funding.

An external financial resource does not increase one's chances of admission to the programme. As an applicant with external financial support, the applicant must go through the normal process of admissions. 

Visiting students, however, are not eligible for the INSEAD funding and stipend and must pay the appropriate fees (courses and other related programme fees, where applicable). 

*The funding will stop either at the end of June in the 5th year (by which time a candidate is expected to have secured an academic position) or as soon as a candidate begins working at a university, business school, or any other relevant institution while still completing their graduation requirements (if this occurs before the end of June in the 5th year). Annual support, i.e., tuition fee, stipend, research and conference budget, and health insurance coverage, regularly undergoes review. Newly admitted and current students must refer to the PhD guidelines or consult the PhD Programme Office for the latest updates.

How long do the PhD scholarships last? Are there any special conditions linked to them?

INSEAD scholarships are available for the first five years* of PhD studies and renewed annually contingent upon satisfactory progress in the programme. 

*The funding will stop either at the end of June in the 5th year (by which time a candidate is expected to have secured an academic position) or as soon as a candidate begins working at a university, business school, or any other relevant institution while still completing their graduation requirements (if this occurs before the end of June in the 5th year). Annual support, i.e., tuition fee, stipend, research and conference budget, and health insurance coverage, regularly undergoes review. Newly admitted and current students must refer to the PhD guidelines or consult the PhD Programme Office for the latest updates.

What is the funding offered by INSEAD for the PhD programme?

All admitted students, regardless of background and nationality, receive funding# for the first five years (until the end of June of the fifth year of PhD studies) from INSEAD. The grant* includes a tuition fee waiver, stipend (i.e. living expenses and accommodation), research and conference budget support and health insurance coverage.

*also covers spouses and children

*The funding will stop either at the end of June in the 5th year (by which time a candidate is expected to have secured an academic position) or as soon as a candidate begins working at a university, business school, or any other relevant institution while still completing their graduation requirements (if this occurs before the end of June in the 5th year). Annual support, i.e., tuition fee, stipend, research and conference budget, and health insurance coverage, regularly undergoes review. Newly admitted and current students must refer to the PhD guidelines or consult the PhD Programme Office for the latest updates.

What are the modes of payment for the application fee?

We only accept online payment, using major credit cards. Bank transfers are not accepted. 

The application fee is non-refundable. Your application will not be reviewed if we do not receive the application fee. 

Is accommodations expense included in the funding?

We have incorporated the accommodation expense in your annual stipend, which we disburse you periodically. For more details, go to https://inse.ad/phd/financing.

Does INSEAD charge a fee to apply for the PhD Programme?

We require a 50 Euros application fee per application, which is payable online with major credit cards only. Bank transfer is not accepted. 

Applicants applying to two areas of specialisation pay for the fees twice. 

Campus Exchange

With the INSEAD-Wharton Alliance, is it possible for me to spend time at Wharton?

Students can apply for a PhD Exchange with Wharton during their five years of studies at INSEAD, through the INSEAD-Wharton Alliance.

The INSEAD-Wharton Alliance is an institutional partnership that provides a collaborative environment for faculty and students for the purpose of furthering knowledge exchange and research. Students registered in one of the two institutions can register and gain credit for courses taken at the other institution after they have completed their first year of studies. Some financial aid may be available through the alliance. Applications should be submitted and subject to the approval of the INSEAD-Wharton Alliance Director. For more details, click here to learn about this unique Alliance Exchange programme.

Kindly note that this benefit is available to admitted PhD students.

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

If I begin the programme in Singapore, can I transfer to Fontainebleau (and vice-versa)?

Students who start their programme can request a one-time permanent transfer to the other campus. However, there should be a clear rationale for the desired exchange should you wish to move. Moreover, any exchange is subject to the approval of the PhD Committee and the PhD Academic Director.

We recommend that students do a permanent transfer to the other campus within the last three years of the programme (dissertation phase) so that there are no disruptions on the coursework which needs to be taught on either Singapore or France campus. 

 

Can I work with the Wharton faculty for my dissertation as part of the INSEAD-Wharton exchange?

Once admitted to the INSEAD PhD, applicants will be eligible to apply for an INSEAD-Wharton Doctoral Exchange Programme.

The INSEAD-Wharton Alliance allows a PhD Candidate to visit Wharton for up to four weeks to take courses and explore the possibility of engaging a Wharton faculty member in a research project. 

If you can collaborate on a project with a Wharton faculty member, it is not amongst the criteria that the Wharton faculty member shares the same discipline as you. 

Campus Visits

With the INSEAD-Wharton Alliance, is it possible for me to spend time at Wharton?

Students can apply for a PhD Exchange with Wharton during their five years of studies at INSEAD, through the INSEAD-Wharton Alliance.

The INSEAD-Wharton Alliance is an institutional partnership that provides a collaborative environment for faculty and students for the purpose of furthering knowledge exchange and research. Students registered in one of the two institutions can register and gain credit for courses taken at the other institution after they have completed their first year of studies. Some financial aid may be available through the alliance. Applications should be submitted and subject to the approval of the INSEAD-Wharton Alliance Director. For more details, click here to learn about this unique Alliance Exchange programme.

Kindly note that this benefit is available to admitted PhD students.

Can I work with the Wharton faculty for my dissertation as part of the INSEAD-Wharton exchange?

Once admitted to the INSEAD PhD, applicants will be eligible to apply for an INSEAD-Wharton Doctoral Exchange Programme.

The INSEAD-Wharton Alliance allows a PhD Candidate to visit Wharton for up to four weeks to take courses and explore the possibility of engaging a Wharton faculty member in a research project. 

If you can collaborate on a project with a Wharton faculty member, it is not amongst the criteria that the Wharton faculty member shares the same discipline as you.