Insead Phd Application Personal Statement

Programme Structure

The programme consists of coursework and dissertation - the first 2 years of the programme, students take courses - core and advanced, focusing on their area of specialisation. Dissertation phase starts from 3rd until 5th year.

A set of core and advanced courses in the first year provides the basic theory and methodology for research in management, irrespective of the eventual field of specialization, and forms the basis for the more advanced, specialized studies of the second year.

During the second year, students focus on training in their chosen field of expertise. Advanced courses are typically offered on a two-year cycle and may be complemented by reading courses or independent studies in fields of interest to the student and to faculty members. For more updated details, visit or

Core Courses:

1.Social Theory

2.Introduction to Social Psychology

3.Math Tutorials

4.Microeconomics A, B & C

5.Probability and Statistics I A & I B

6.Research Methodology

Advanced courses:

Courses required by multiple fields:

1.Game Theory (A) and (B)

2.Econometrics (A) and (B)

3.Industrial Organization (A) and (B)

4.Multivariate Analysis (A) and (B)

5.Bayesian Analysis

6.Time Series


8.Experimental Design

9.Macroeconomics & Finance

10.Organizational Economics


1.Accounting Research (A) and (B)

Decision Sciences:

1.Foundations of Utility, Risk & Decision Theory

2.Behavioral Decision Theory

3.Dynamic Programming Applications

4.Experimental Economics

5.Non-Expected Utility

6.Choice over Time

7.Selected Topics in Decision Sciences


1.Entrepreneurship (A), (B) and (C)


1.Information Economics (A) and (B)

2.Finance Theory in Continuous Time (A) and (B)

3.International Finance

4.Financial Economics (A) and (B)

5.Empirical Asset Pricing (A) and (B)

6.Corporate Finance Theory

7.Empirical Corporate Finance

8.Research in Corporate Finance

9.Behavioral Finance (A) and (B)


1.Consumer Behavior (A)

2.Consumer Behavior (B)

3.Marketing Models (A)

4.Marketing Models (B): Econometric Models of Marketing Issues

5.Marketing Management (A)

6.Marketing Management (B): Marketing Strategy

7.Social Psychological Foundations of the Management Disciplines

8.Consumer Decision Making

9.Decision Neuroscience for Management

10.Quantitative Methods and Mkt Topics

Organisational Behaviour:

1.Organization Theory

2.Organizational Behavior

3.Organizational Sociology

4.Advanced Topics in OB/OT

5.Applied Event History Analysis

6.Network Analysis A

7.Network Analysis B

8.Organizational Psychology


1.Strategic Management Process (A) and (B)

2.Readings and Research on Multinational Enterprises (A) and (B)

3.Competitive Strategy Research (A) and (B)

4.Foundations of Strategy and Organization

5.Innovation and Industrial Dynamics

6.Special Topics in Strategy

7.Corporate Strategy (A) & (B)

Technology and Operations Management:

1.Foundations of Operations (A) and (B)

2.Discrete Stochastic Processes

3.Supply Chain Management

4.Technology Management

5.Operations Strategy

6.Queueing Theory

7.Empirical Methods in OM


9.Introduction to Mathematical Proofs

10.Modeling Workshop


12.Incentives in Operations

13.From Idea to Paper Submission

14.Research Topics in TOM

15.Information and SCM


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 10 Oct 2004, 00:15

The SOP is precisely that - Statement of Purpose - " Why do I want to do a PhD from Your Institute". Please note that the previous quotes must be answered in full. If your bio details help you advance the argument of why a doctoral career is the only thing that excites you , by all means do so. The "From your institute" is perhaps more important and focused on less by many applicants. This means you would need to spend a day or so on the website of each school, noting down how your interests and future aspirations (of research, of subjects, of ideas) can match with at least some of the faculty in that institute. The one-size-fits-all SOP will NOT do. The last-paragraph-change-to-fit-the-institute-name-somehow will also not do. IF you can link your interests convincingly to the institute, your battle is won.

Please note that even in best institutes, you have approximately 50-70 people applying for one seat in the specific department. (don't go by total applicants). Out of these, you need to stand out . Well what makes a difference ?

A. Shortlist
The first or preliminary Shortlisting is done by PhD Office, not adcomms. This is usually on GMAT score (less than 600 is out for example), no background to do a business PhD, incomplete applications and so on. 20% applicants drop out after this round.

B. Second shortlist
This is done by Faculty. They go over SOP, recommendations, and transcripts - in that order, roughly. 80% of remaining applicants are rejected, and the final shortlist is of around 5-7 students for a particular department. In a final meeting, firm and backup offers are finalized and faculty then gets in touch with these applicants.

Net, GMAT and SOP are critical differentiators at different points. A bad Gmat can break your chances, a good gmat is no guarantee of admit !
A Good SOP on the other hand can almost make the tilt.

The above analysis is true for 90% of admit cases. 10% admits are those students who do not need a SOP to back them up, their academic brilliance and records are enough to convince the faculty of their worth!

Hope this helps !


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