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Admissions Criteria

INSEAD will admit around 16 to 18 PhD students each year. We are looking for highly motivated individuals interested in pursuing a career as a professor in business.  A clear interest in academic research, a passion for learning and a creative intellect are needed to succeed in the programme.  You neither need to have formal research experience or a business background to apply nor have a graduate degree or work experience to be admitted.

Applying to INSEAD

Applications for the next available intake are fully electronic. Online forms not fully completed with all the required information and documents will not be reviewed by the PhD Admissions Committee. A non-refundable application fee of 50 Euros is paid upon submission.

Candidates apply for admission in one of the eight (8) specialisation fields (Accounting, Decision Sciences, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing, Organisational Behaviour, Strategy, or Technology and Operations Management ), and are assessed on the basis of outstanding intellectual ability, motivation, faculty recommendations and potential for an international academic career.

In order to apply, you must have the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university
  • An official GMAT* or GRE* score on a test taken less than five years ago
    (this requirement cannot be waived under any circumstances)
  • TOEFL*  score report on a test taken less than two years before (if English is not your first language or if you do not have a degree from an institution where English was the medium of instruction.  If you do, you are automatically exempt from the TOEFL exam.  Your degree transcripts from the English speaking institution will suffice as proof of waiver - no formal waiver is required)**
  • The application form (including a 1500 words statement of purpose)
  • Scanned copies of the official transcripts from each school attended 
  • Scanned, certified true copies of all university diplomas (uncertified photocopies will NOT be accepted), unless the award of the degree is specified on your final official transcript

If your academic transcripts and diplomas are not in English, have these translated to English, as shown on the transcripts and diplomas, by a certified official translator (or a Consulate).

  • Three letters of recommendation describing academic potential  (preferably from faculty or scholars; however, professional recommendations are also accepted)

Completed applications must be submitted by the stipulated deadline. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed, as well. Processing of applications begins after the deadline, and candidates are advised of admissions decisions in early April. No feedback or updates will be provided from deadline until admissions list is confirmed in early April.

If you are accepted to INSEAD, you would need to provide us with the original and/or official, certified copies of your degree diplomas and transcripts and other required documents.  Scanned PDF or e-copies (< 1 MB in file size) will suffice during the application stage and for the purpose of meeting the deadline. You do not need to send ANY hard copies to us during the application stage - the process is fully electronic. 

*NB. The Code Centers for the PhD Programme are: 3244 (GRE/INSEAD's PhD in France), 7324 (GRE/INSEAD's PhD in Singapore) and DL3-S8-08 (GMAT).  TOEFL code is 3244.

A word about the TOEFL exam

** 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. With a degree taught primarily in English, applicants are automatically exempt from the TOEFL requirement and will be granted a waiver without prior approval. On the application, simply select “not applicable” when asked for the TOEFL score. The degree transcripts will suffice as proof. Nothing further is needed for the exemption - it will be automatically granted with a completed application and transcripts from your degree in English.

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