PhD In Public Policy

PhD In Public Policy


This programme aims to train the next generation of thought leaders with the analytical skills and substantive knowledge needed to generate, evaluate, and communicate research in public policy. It provides advanced training for candidates to assume positions in academic institutions, international organisations, governments and NGOs with significant research commitments.

Generous scholarships, in addition to access to a range of teaching and research assistantships, are available. Admission to this programme is highly competitive. Only about six to eight candidates are admitted every year.


The PhD in Public Policy programme is a very competitive programme. We select a handful of students, typically 6 – 8 a year, from more than 100 applicants. To ensure that we admit only students who demonstrate strong potential for high quality doctoral work, timely completion, and successful academic careers, the PhD Admissions Committee takes into account the following considerations:

  • 1. Your application should provide evidence of academic excellence and suitable academic preparation, both indicating your ability to perform well in the PhD programme, including the required coursework (for details of the PhD coursework curriculum, please visit the school’s website). This includes the relevance and quality of your undergraduate and graduate degrees, and your GRE test score.
  • 2. You should apply if you are intending to pursue an academic career in a university or an institution where intensive research is a core function.
  • 3. You should prepare a high quality research proposal indicating a research topic that is aligned with a potential supervisor’s research interests and the overall research interests of the LKY School. You would be expected to contribute actively and productively to our research activities and publication output. The 3 broad research areas are:
    • 1. Policy Studies, Public Management and Governance
    • 2. Social Policy
    • 3. Economic Development and Competitiveness

    You should therefore identify a potential supervisor from the LKY School faculty web page and state in your application who you would like to work with and on what topic of research. Only full-time Professors, Associate Professors and Assistant Professors of the LKY School can be supervisors.

    Please note that getting a potential supervisor’s consent does not guarantee admission. Your application will need to be assessed by the Admissions Committee. You may be asked to appear for an interview and a written examination. Applicants from the following disciplines are eligible to apply to the PhD programme: public policy, public administration, economics, political science and social science.

    Please visit the school’s website for further information.

Application and required documents

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit an online application. The following documents (in soft copies) are required when submitting an application.

  • • Official Transcripts and Certificates
  • • Curriculum vitae or Resume
  • • GRE
  • • Research proposal, statement of intent and writing samples
  • • 2 letters of references (Academic)

Course Outline

To graduate, a PhD student must complete the following:

  • • 8 Core modules
  • • 1 Independent Study module
  • • 1 Elective module
  • • a PhD Qualifying Examination, followed by a thesis

Students are expected to complete the programme in 4 years.

For more information on the core, specialisation and elective modules offered, please visit the school’s website.

PhD Qualifying Examination

The PhD Qualifying Examination comprises of a comprehensive written examination consisting of two parts and successful defence of the PhD thesis proposal.







The following tuition fees are applicable for Academic Year 2018. Please note that fees are subject to change.

PhD Tuition Fees per academic year

Academic Year

Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents (Subsidised Fees)1


International Students (Subsidised Fees inclusive of GST)2


Non-subsidised Fees (inclusive of GST)


1 Fee amounts quoted here for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents are exclusive of prevailing GST. The applicable GST is subsidised by the Ministry of Education, MOE.

Fee amounts quoted here for International Students are inclusive of prevailing GST. International Students will have to bear the prevailing GST (currently 7%) levied on the fees payable by them.

* Students who have previously enjoyed government subsidy or sponsorship by a Singapore government agency (such as scholarships offered by the Ministries, Public Service Commission and Statutory Boards) in a graduate programme will not be eligible for Ministry of Education (MOE) subsidy in another graduate programme at the same or lower level. Instead, such students will be liable to pay “Non-Subsidised Fees”, inclusive of prevailing GST. For example, students who had previously enjoyed subsidies/scholarship in a Master programme and had attained the Master degree will not be eligible for subsidies in another programme at Master or lower level.

Unless you are on a full scholarship, you should ensure that you have sufficient funds to cover the costs of your travel from your home country to Singapore and return, accommodation in Singapore and other living expenses. While all students are eligible to join the School’s medical insurance plan, a co-payment element is applicable. You are advised, therefore, to make provision for medical expenses.

The LKY School offers a number of merit-based scholarships. Some of our students also rely on student loans as part of their financing strategy, while others are able to secure funding from outside sources. These include private charitable foundations, their employers, the government in their home countries, or professional associations and organisations.

There are two types of scholarships available for PhD candidates. Please visit the school’s website for further information on scholarships.

Contact Information

If you have any other queries or would like to receive a copy of our programme brochure, please submit your request via our query form on the school’s website. Alternatively, you may also speak to our admissions officers at +65 6516 8004.