Frequently Asked Questions

Applying to Simon Business School’s PhD program isn’t as complex as you may think. Below you’ll find answers to our most frequently asked questions, and stats on the average program candidate.

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About the PhD Program

The Simon PhD Program is a full-time program. We do not allow part-time study. Students are encouraged not to work outside of their academic roles in order to ensure enough time to meet the program requirements and prepare for their scholarly career. 

The typical  time to degree completion is 5years.

We require students to be in residency for the duration of their doctoral studies. In some circumstances, a student may waive their residency requirement after close consultation with faculty and program staff. In normal times, full time residency is required so students can engage fully in the research culture of the school.

Admitted PhD students qualify for full-tuition scholarship and an annual fellowship of $35,500 plus student health insurance for five years. Students also get a research budget and dedicated PhD spaces including recently renovated offices and a computer lab. Please see our Tuition and Financial Aid page for a full outline of our offerings and opportunities.

An admitted student may work with their area faculty to determine if courses taken at another institution may be used to waive required courses in the Simon PhD Program. In this case, additional courses would be substituted for the student to maintain full-time enrollment.


About Admissions

The Simon PhD Program does not have minimum requirements for test scores or GPA. Admitted students typically have GMAT scores around 700 or higher and GRE scores around 317 or higher. The average GMAT for admitted students is 718 and the average GRE score for admitted students is 327.

Applicants who are interested in multiple areas should choose their primary interest and indicate these other interests in their optional essay.

We cannot provide assessments of your application or the probability of acceptance of your application. Admissions decisions are made by faculty from each area and are made after all applications have been reviewed. We encourage all interested candidates to apply.

The faculty admissions committee may reach out to applicants to schedule an interview, but an interview cannot be granted upon the request of applicants.

A valid GMAT or GRE score is a requirement of application that cannot be waived. GMAT and GRE scores are valid for 5 years from the date of the exam.

If you have or will receive a degree, before your intended start term, from an institution whose language of instruction is English, then you will qualify for a TOEFL or IETLS waiver. The application will ask you to upload a document stating that you qualify for this waiver. Please note, we do not accept Duolingo.

The non-refundable USD $50 application fee can be waived for applicants with a GMAT score of 720 or above or a GRE combined score of verbal and quantitative of 329 or above. If your GMAT or GRE score qualifies you for the fee waiver, the waiver will automatically be applied to your application at the time of submission.

Can I apply without a master's degree?

Yes, we admit students with a variety of academic and work backgrounds. Many of our students come straight from their undergraduate years while others have graduate degrees or work experience.

We have an area in our application that allows you to upload an authored journal article, master’s thesis, or unpublished manuscript. Submission of these materials is optional.

Due to the volume of requests for visits and meetings with faculty, we regret that we are unable to honor these requests. Invitations for visits and meetings may be extended to applicants after all applications are reviewed. You are welcome to contact the PhD Office with any questions about the program. We encourage you to attend one of our online events.

There are no specific prerequisites for the PhD Program beyond the completion of an undergraduate degree. However, a strong academic record is essential. Successful applicants usually have a strong background in quantitative subjects like mathematics and economics.

  • Each applicant is evaluated individually based on their full application. We look for students with the best chance of success after reviewing all applicants for any given year. We can offer the following suggestions: 
    • Prospective students should demonstrate a set of clearly defined career objectives. 
    • A strong quantitative background is essential. 
    • Your ability to communicate in English is heavily factored into admissions decisions. 
    • Recommendations that provide a good assessment of your abilities are helpful to the faculty admissions committee when evaluating your application. 
    • Any additional materials (optional) that you submit with your application should reflect your fit for the program.

Students are admitted to the Simon PhD Program without a faculty advisor or sponsor. We encourage our students to work with several faculty within their first few years to study to find the best research fit before choosing an advisor. As such, it is not necessary to contact a faculty member during the application process.

We do not know how many students will be admitted to each area of study until all applications are received and reviewed. We typically enroll a cohort of 10-12 per academic year, which includes students in all our areas of study.

We have an area in our application that allows you to explain anything that you would like to bring to the faculty admissions committee’s attention.

  • We can offer the following suggestion: 
  • Schedule your exams (GMAT, GRE, TOEFL) several months ahead of the application deadline. 
  • Submit your application before the January 5 deadline. 
  • Check your application status online, and check your email regularly.
Can I reapply?

Yes. If you have previously applied, you must complete a new application. Simon has recently launched a new application system and does not have access to previously submitted materials.


If you have additional questions about the application process, please reach out to us at

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