Is the PhD World for Me?

By the SMU Postgraduate Research Programmes Team

Now that you’ve graduated with your Bachelor’s degree, what should you do next? For many, the natural progression would be to head out and find a job. For others, perhaps you’re not quite done with your knowledge development yet. Have you considered a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)?


Why should I do a PhD?

Do you have an interest in research and development or in teaching at a university? If your answers to these questions are ‘Yes’, then taking a PhD in your specialised field of choice makes absolute sense. The PhD is a doctoral research programme that will train you to be an academic, thought leader and expert in your respective field. In other words, you’ll be taking this time to further invest in your knowledge and future.


How does the PhD curriculum work?

At the Singapore Management University (SMU), our PhD programmes are typically 4 to 5 years. Depending on the programmes, Years 1 to 3 focus on coursework. By Year 3, students would have to pass a Qualifying Examination which assesses their mastery of the foundation required for the next stage of the programme, that is, the dissertation. This is the students’ original work in their specialised fields that is undertaken through independent research in Years 4 and 5.


SMU PhD Coursework


Hard truths about PhD

Truth be told, being a PhD student is no walk in the park and is far different from being an undergraduate. You would have to manage your progress, especially after the coursework years. The PhD is not for everyone; it can be quite challenging, and you have to be focused, diligent and consistent with your work and time-management skills. While there are many transferable skills that can be gained through completing a PhD, you need to be certain that research in specialised or interdisciplinary fields in academia or industry is something you would like to do.


PhD is not just about coursework

SMU’s PhD students do many wonderful things during their candidature. They do serious work that impact business, public institutions and society such as identifying vulnerabilities in Apple’s iOS platform and developing innovative management strategies to power enterprises for an increasingly complex society. They participate in prestigious internships and international conferences, made possible through institutional support. In addition to academic training, each student has access to extensive personal and professional development opportunities, including teaching training. And, without a doubt, they have fun along the way such as participating in weekly sports activities.




Why should I choose SMU PhD?

SMU is a premier university in Asia that is internationally renowned for its world-class research, as well as its strong and innovative research culture. Since 2006, SMU has been offering PhD programmes across management, social science and computing in disciplines including Business, Economics, Psychology and Information Systems. Participants of these programmes pursue research-focused careers in academia or in relevant industries.

If you are thinking of pursuing a PhD, considering a career in research, or are simply curious about what’s happening on campus, you’re at the right place. Keep a look out on the SMU Blog for more stories about our PhD students and eminent faculty members who consistently publish in respected journals, win international awards and gain media recognition. Get ready to learn about what makes SMU and its PhD programmes so unique. Prepare to walk in the shoes of our scholars as they share their lives with you.

For more information, visit our SMU PhD website.


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