PhD-MBA Scholarships, National University of Singapore

The NUS PhD-MBA aims to attract and train talented science and engineering students who have the potential to create and lead technology companies. The programme is jointly hosted by the NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering (NGS) and the NUS Business School. The programme has 3 pillars. Students develop their research skills by doing a PhD in a science or technology discipline. Concurrently students develop business acumen by working on an MBA degree. Internships in technology comnpanies provide practical technology business training, and form the third pillar.


  • Concurrent PhD and MBA, taking much less time than completing both separately
  • Choice of any subject for the PhD, from the life and physical sciences to engineering and IT
  • Monthly (12 months per year) tax-free stipend of S$2,600 to S$3,200 (depending on whether or not scholar chooses to work in Singapore upon graduation)
  • PhD tuition waiver, full MBA tuition fee waiver

The Programme
Students in the NUS programme work on a PhD in science, engineering or medicine and an MBA concurrently. Successful applicants will be offered a scholarship covering the tuition fees for both the PhD and the MBA. They will also be offered a stipend to cover living expenses, as well as allowances for books, a computer and for conferences. In the 1st year students typically do course work related to their PhD, completing 6-8 courses for 24 to 32 modular credits (MCs). They can choose among a wide variety of courses across the NUS campus with very few restrictions. In the 2nd year, students complete a first internship lasting around 3 months, for example in the summer between year 1 and year 2. Students also finish course work and sit their PhD Qualifying Examination, as well as selecting two advisers, one of whom should be from NGS, the other may be in any NUS department or school, or even external to NUS. Students then start their MBA in the 1st semster of the 3rd year of study. They do this as full time students in the NUS Business School, along with all other full-time MBA students. From the 2nd semster of the 3rd year onward, students continue their PhD research full-time and finish course work related to their MBA in part time mode. The course load for the MBA is somewhat reduced for PhD-MBA students, enabling them to finish the degree requirements in good time. A second internship is taken at any time during years 3 to 5. Upon successful defense of a thesis and the fullfillment of the requirements for the MBA, students are conferred a PhD and an MBA degree. Students may graduate with only a PhD, but not with only an MBA. The PhD-MBA is designed to take students between 4 and 5 years to complete.

Who Should Apply
A keen, open and independent mind, common sense, appreciation for the importance of science, technology and business, the ability to act and get things done alone and in a team are hallmarks of students suitable for the NUS PhD-MBA. Valuing the wide range of backgrounds of potential students, factors that the recruitment committee will weigh when making decisions on admissions into the NUS PhD-MBA are: academic records, standardized test scores, research experience, startup and industry experience, completed internships, interest in and involvement in entrepreneurship and business, as well as good English.

Women and men of all nationalities, with an undergraduate or Masters degree in any scientific, engineering, maths or IT discipline, previously awarded or expected in 2012, are eligible to apply.

Application Process
There is no need to submit a separate application for the NGS PhD (without MBA) as applicants to the NUS PhD-MBA will, if the candidate indicates this preference (see Questionaire section on the application website), be considered for the NGS PhD in case the application to the PhD-MBA was not successful.

Applicants are welcome to contact potential PhD mentors/advisors before submitting an application.

We require the GRE (Institution code: 0677) and, if the native language or the language used in undergraduate instruction is not English then either the TOEFL (Institution code: 3720) or the IELTS (Institution code: 0677). The GMAT (Institution code: DRT-MK-35) is required later in the application process ONLY from shortlisted candidates and does NOT need to be submitted with the initial application. The PhD-MBA essay (see application website for details) gives applicants the chance to think about a technology business problem, express thoughts, devise actions and show effective communication skills. The application deadline (online applicaton) for the August 2012 intake is 15th November 2011. The deadline for the receival of recommendation letters is 15th December 2011. The deadline for the receival of GRE and TOEFL/IELTS scores is 15th January 2012.

Application and Admissions Time Line, Deadlines

  • 1st Sep 2011: Applications open
  • 15th Nov 2011: Application deadline (online application)
  • 15th Dec 2011: Deadline for the receival of the hardcopy of the application form and the recommendation letters
  • Jan 2012: NGS interviews and shortlisting
  • 16th Jan 2012: Deadline for receival of GRE general and TOEFL/IELTS scores
  • 1st Mar 2012: GMAT scores to be sent by shortlisted candidates (if not sent with the initial application)
  • Feb – Mar 2012: Business School interviews of shortlisted candidates
  • Apr 2012: Admissions decisions and sending of decision letters
  • 1st May 2012: Final deadline for receival of replies by admitted students

Important Application Documents and Forms

  • Academic transcripts
  • Recommendation letters (two academic required, one industrial optional)
  • PhD-MBA admissions essay
  • Statement of purpose
  • Research proposal
  • Applicatin form
  • Declaration form
  • Resume
  • TOEFL (only if native language or language of University instruction is/was not English)
  • GRE general score
  • GMAT score (for shortlisted candidates)

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