Doctor of Philosophy

Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia


Non-Local Higher and Professional Education (Regulation) Ordinance
Registration Number: 272722

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About the University

Established in 1969, Universiti Sains Malaysia (English: University Science Malaysia) (USM) is the first science university and the second oldest university in Malaysia. USM is a public university and located in Penang with the main campus of 416.6 hectare where it is surrounded by the beautiful natural environment. The university currently has approximately 30,000 students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

With 17 dedicated research centres, USM is one of the most dynamic and progressive universities in Malaysia as well as in the Asia-Pacific region and is a leading research institution for research in South East Asia region.

The university is also internationally well recognized. The university has been ranked in 264 by the QS World University Rankings 2018 and over the past 3 years, the university has been ranked in the top 400 universities by the QS World University Rankings. The university takes pride in its ability to deliver high quality programmes that equip students with the ability to overcome real-world challenges as well as the ability in forging extensive connection with industry and professional bodies.

Reputation and Ranking

  1. Recognised by the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia
  2. Top 1% (Ranked 264th) of over 26,000 universities worldwide
  3. Ranked 23rd young university in the world (QS Top 50 Under 50 2018)
  4. Ranked 46th in Asia (QS University Rankings: Asia 2018)
  5. Awarded 5 Stars for excellence in:
     Specialist Criteria
  6. (QS Stars University Ratings 2016)
  7. Top 150 in Business and Management Studies in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017)
  8. The only APEX (Accelerated Programme for Excellence) University in Malaysia, a special status accorded to the best institutions of higher learning in the world.

The PhD Programme

The Doctor of Philosophy Programme (PhD) is offered by The Graduate School of Business at Universiti Sains Malaysia (GSB@USM). It is a research based programme. The standard, minimum and maximum duration of the programme are
3.5 years, 2 years and 5 years.

1. Programme Structure
A. Major Thesis
The principal component of the PhD is a major thesis at least 50,000 words, embodying the results of an original research project.
PhD research areas at GSB are categorised into six areas:
  1. Financial Research for Emerging Markets
  2. Marketing
  3. Innovation in Operation Management
  4. Global Strategy and Organizational Behavior
  5. Social Innovation and Sustainability
  6. Sustainability Accounting and Governance
B. Workshops
At GSB@USM, the workshop is designed to widen your knowledge, to place the specialized research project within a broader disciplinary context and to enhance your research skills.
You are required to complete the following 2 workshops in advancing your research skills and techniques:
-Research Methodology Workshop Part 1 and 2
-Statistical Analysis Workshop
These structured workshops are designed to ensure you have the knowledge, skills and capability to be able to read graduate level content and harvest the knowledge you need from it.
C. Checkpoint
There are 4 CHECKPOINTS, candidates must submit and/or present their work for review, including:
  1. Conceptual paper submission and presentation
  2. Research proposal submission and defence
  3. Data collection and analysis submission, and findings defence
  4. Final thesis submission and Viva Voce
D. Preserving the Malaysian Culture
GSB@USM offers a complimentary language workshop "LKM 100 Bahasa Malaysia" to all participants. The course will be an interesting way for you to learn the traditional language of Malaysia. Students are allowed to take the examination with multiple attempts. Completing this course with a minimum passing grade of "C" is a requirement for the completion of the PhD programme.
2. Semester Activities

Language Medium


It  is a matter of discretion for individual employers to recognise any qualification to which this course may lead.


-Course fee: HK$209,060, to be collected in 10 instalments
Installment 1 HK$51,060
Installment 2-8 HK$20,000 each
Installment 9-10 HK$9,000 each
-Application fee for new applicants: HK$250 (non-refundable)
This programme is an eligible programme under The Extended Non-means-tested Loan Scheme (ENLS) provided by the Government of HKSAR. For details, please refer to:

Entry Requirements

A Master's degree or an equivalent qualification from universities with a minimum CGPA of 3.00.

English Language Proficiency

An IELTS overall band score of 6.0 or TOEFL score of 550. Applicants with their mother tongue in English or who have completed their Bachelor's or Master's degree fully in English are exempted from the English language proficiency requirement.


Ms. Maisie Chow:
Ms. Fion Sze:
Email: /
General Enquiry Hotline:
+852-2774-8500 OR +852-2774-8501