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Admissions FAQs


Application Requirements

What are your admissions requirements?
What makes a strong PhD applicant?

How do I apply?

What is the application fee?

How shall I submit the letters of recommendation?

How many applicants are admitted each year?

What is the deadline for PhD application?

Can I send my application file if I have not yet taken my GMAT or TOEFL?

I can't seem to enter on the main application form the future test date of my GMAT or GRE. Where can I enter this?

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

Can the requirement for the TOEFL exam be waived?

I only have a bachelor’s degree (or undergraduate university level equivalent), may I apply to the PhD programme?

Is work experience a requirement?

If I have work experience, can a superior or professional advisor write a recommendation for me?

Can I submit more than 3 recommendation letters?

What is the minimum GMAT/GRE score?

Can I send GMAT/GRE or TOEFL scores which are more than five years old?

Can I send photocopies of my diplomas and transcripts?

I can't seem to find my academic institution listed on the drop down list of schools' names. Where can I add this?

I am still in the process of completing my degree. However, the application form does not allow me to input the expected date of graduation. Where can I indicate this?

 

Admissions Process

When can I expect an answer for my application?
Is an interview with a candidate a compulsory step of the admissions process?

Can I reapply if my file has been rejected?

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

 



Application Requirements
 

What are your admissions requirements?
To be able to complete an application, applicants are required to have:

  • A bachelors degree or equivalent
  • A recent GMAT or GRE score (no more than 5 years old)
  • A TOEFL score (no more than 2 years old) if English is not the applicant’s native language. This requirement can be waived if any university level degree was obtained in English
  • Academic transcripts and diplomas (if not in English, an official English translation is required)
  • 3 letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty or someone who can attest to your potential as a researcher
  • The desire to pursue a career in business academia and become a professor in management

What makes a strong PhD applicant?
In addition to meeting the requirements outlined above, a strong PhD applicant is someone with: a strong educational background (solid grades and test scores), outstanding intellectual capabilities, creativity, the ability to converse effortlessly in English, the potential to engage in high quality research, clear motivation and drive to become a scholar in management, and strong faculty recommendations to support the applicant’s potential for success in business academia. Do note, however, that being strong in only one area neither guarantees your admission to the programme, nor being below than the average would disqualify your application. Applications are based on the overall profile of the candidate, academic background, his determination and potential as a researcher shown in his statement of purpose and letters of recommendation, and faculty preferences. Thus, if you have this determination and if you see yourself pursuing a career in abusiness cademia, you are set to take that first step - applying to the PhD Programme.

How do I apply?
All of our applications are electronic and must be completed online, via our online platform. Please read the instructions detailed on our website here.

What is the application fee? 
A non-refundable fee of 50 Euros per application which is payable online by credit card. We do not accept cash, cheques or money orders.

How shall I submit the letters of recommendation?
Our application form will automatically generate a recommendation link which will be sent to your selected recommenders via email. We strongly encourage you to ensure they are completed by the submission deadline. INSEAD is not responsible for contacting recommenders to ensure their recommendation forms are completed. If your recommenders are unable or unwilling to complete the INSEAD recommendation form on your behalf through our application platform, it may be possible to submit a more general letter in PDF format. Please contact the PhD Office for prior approval: PhD.INFO@insead.edu. However, we would strongly prefer that our online form letter of recommendation found in the PhD application be used for all applications and submitted from your recommenders' end (thru a link they will be receiving via email).

How many applicants are admitted each year?
We will enroll approximately 16-18 applicants per year. On average, we make offers to roughly 4-5% of those applying. However, competition varies each year, and it is difficult to predict one’s chances as you are evaluated against the current pool of applicants. We accept a variety of applicants from many different educational, professional and national backgrounds. For more information on what we look for in applicants, please read the admissions section of our website.

What is the deadline for PhD application?
The application files have to be sent electronically (PDFs) to the PhD Office by the submission deadline, each year for entry the following September. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Can I send my application file if I have not yet taken my GMAT or TOEFL?
You may start filling in the online application form and specify when you will be taking the tests (no later than 3 weeks before the deadline). You will then have to upload an e-copy of your student score copy on our application platform and request from ETS to send the official scores directly to the PhD Office for the before the deadline. However, it is strongly recommended that you complete your exams as soon as possible to ensure you are able to submit a complete application file.

I can't seem to enter on the main application form my future test date for the GMAT or GRE. Where can I enter this?

If you plan to submit your application form before you take the GMAT or GRE test, you can indicate the future test date of your GMAT or GRE on the supplementary information survey. On the main application form, leave the information blank but you need to indicate this on the supplementary information survey (found at the bottom of the page of section 09 Supporting Documents). Once you have your scores, send this to us immediately via email. ** It is important to submit your application on or before the deadline.**

What are the exam codes for the INSEAD PhD Programme, when I take my tests?
The Code Centers for the PhD Programme are: 3244 (GRE/INSEAD's PhD in France), 7324 (GRE/INSEAD's PhD in Singapore); DL3-S8-08 (GMAT) and 3244 (TOEFL).

Can the requirement for the TOEFL exam be waived?
Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL test unless they have a university degree from an institution where the curriculum was taught exclusively in English. If you have a university degree taught in English, then your degree diploma and transcripts, which you will be asked to upload to your application will suffice as proof and serve to exempt you from the TOEFL exam.

I only have a bachelor’s degree (or undergraduate university level equivalent), may I apply to the PhD programme?
Yes, a Master's or graduate level degree is not required for admission. A bachelor’s degree is sufficient ,and we have many successful applicants who joined INSEAD immediately following their undergraduate studies.  If you do not have a bachelor's equivalent but you do have a Master's equivalent, you may apply, too.

Is work experience a requirement?
No, we do not require work experience.

If I have work experience, can a superior or professional advisor write a recommendation for me?
Ideally, the letters of recommendation should come from faculty, scholars or advisors who can assess your academic background, your ability to carry out research and to complete a rigorous PhD Programme as well as your ability or potential to teach. However, in the event that you are unable to submit 3 letters from academic sources, we do allow for non-academic or industry recommendations to be submitted.

Can I submit more than 3 recommendation letters?
No. Your application should contain no more and no less than 3 recommendation letters.

What is the minimum GMAT/GRE score?
There is no cut-off point for either exam and there is a wide range for accepted scores. Our selection of applicants is based on the applicant's general profile and overall academic background, and your test scores are only one component of the many factors considered. Perfect scores do not guarantee admission and lower than average scores will not invalidate your candidacy. However, scores of 700 upwards for GMAT and quantitative scores of 800 for GRE (164 and higher on the new GRE scale) are common.

Can I send GMAT/GRE or TOEFL scores, which are more than five years old?
No. The Admissions Committee requires GMAT/GRE scores be no more than five years old. The TOEFL score can be no more than two years old.

Can I send hard copies of my diplomas and transcripts?
As our application process is fully electronic, we require only electronic copies of the supporting documents (in PDF format) to be uploaded on the application center for the initial selection stage. If you are accepted for admission, then you will be asked to provide hard (certified) copies to the PhD Admissions Office. The Admissions Committee does not accept plain photocopies of diplomas and transcripts. Applicants need to have paper copies certified by the awarding university or by a notary. If these documents are translated (a requirement if not in English), you must have them certified by an authorised translator or by a Consulate.

I can't seem to find my academic institution listed on the drop down list of schools' names. Where can I add this?

On the main application form, select 'Other University'. But on the supplementary information survey, you would need to indicate the complete university/school name.

I am still in the process of completing my degree. However, the application form does not allow me to input the expected date of graduation. Where can I indicate this?

On the main application form, you may leave the 'end date' blank. But on the supplementary information survey (found n section 09 Suporting Documents, link can be found at the bottom), you need to indicate your degree details again including the expected graduation date.



Admissions Process


When can I expect an answer for my application?
The Admissions Committee will review the files in January of each year. As soon as a decision has been made, the PhD Office will notify you. Typically, the process takes anywhere from 2-3 months from the deadline for decisions to be communicated. Most applicants will learn of the decision in early April. If you have not heard from the Committee regarding the status of your application, it is because a final decision has not yet been reached. We always communicate the final status to all applicants once the admissions committee has made the final list of admitted students.

Is an interview with a candidate a compulsory step of the admissions process?
Yes. Interviews are now compulsory. We will contact you if you are selected for an interview. Please keep in mind that many of those who receive invitations for interview are not necessarily admitted or advance to the next stage prior to admissions offer.


Can I reapply if my file has been rejected?
Yes, you may reapply one more time. Applicants can only apply twice. You will need to accomplish a new application form and submit the same minimum admissions required documents. If you intend to re-use your previous recommendation letters, please email us.

I am not sure about the field to apply for. May I apply for two fields?
If unable to decide on one field of interest, we would advise you to speak to some of your professors to help you narrow your selection. However, if you are still undecided, we will accept applications for up to two areas of specialisation. In this instance, you will need to complete two separate applications and pay two separate application fees. The Admissions Committee will review your file in both fields independently, and decide if there is a fit in either area.

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