Beyond the MBA: GMAT for PhD Applicants

gesticulating man

Siddharth Natarajan

The GMAT exam can be your first step to a career as a business school professor.

It is common knowledge that many business schools require MBA applicants to submit their GMAT scores as part of their application. However, not many people are aware that taking the GMAT exam can be a stepping-stone into a doctoral program in business schools around the world.

A PhD in Management prepares an individual to become a professor in a business school. Business academics engage in three main activities: research, teaching and academic service. Some professors in business schools also engage in consulting assignments with companies. A career as a business school professor, though challenging, is intellectually stimulating, flexible and financially rewarding. 

However, getting into a doctoral program is not easy. The GMAT score is only one of several admission requirements. Most schools also assess an applicant’s suitability for research by evaluating credentials such as past academic records, statement of purpose and letters of recommendations.

Since a PhD is a commitment of at least 4 to 5 years, applicants need to carefully consider the trade-offs of pursuing a PhD in different schools. Applicants should consider the availability of research resources, which are often provided in research-oriented business schools. For example, in Singapore, NUS Business School provides full funding for doctoral students, which includes a stipend, IT support and conference travel funding. Moreover, along with personal considerations such as relocation and family, applicants should also carefully consider whether a school fits in with their research interests.