Programme Overview
Doctor of Philosophy are research programmes offered throughout of the year. These programmes are offered as full-time and part-time modes to qualified Malaysian and International Students to do independent research supervised by their respective lecturers in the respective field of expertise. Upon graduation, students may seek employment in both public and private sectors.
Admission Requirement
Qualifications (any of the below):
  1. Master Degree (Coursework or Mixed Mode)
(A) CGPA of at least 3.00 / 4.00; or
(B) CGPA of 2.50 - 2.99 with; or
  • Research experience – 2 years; or
  • Professional experience in related field – 2 years; or
  • Two (2) academic publications in the field; or
  • Grade B+ for major/elective courses; or
  • Grade B+ for Coursework Mode or P for Mixed Mode dissertation/project;
 II.    Master Degree (Research Mode)
For non-CGPA qualifications, please refer to IPS for confirmation.
Duration of Candidature
FEES Arts Science
A candidate will be supervised normally by one or two supervisors from the School throughout his/her candidature. The candidate is expected to discuss with the supervisors his/her plan of study and schedule regular meetings with the supervisors to discuss his/her progress.
Click the Research Specializations tab to identify potential supervisors in respective field of studies.
Postgraduate Colloquium
All research mode students must participate in the School’s Postgraduate Colloquium. The colloquium is held once a year, normally in December. During the colloquium, students will listen to research related talks and present their progress.
Proposal Defence
A candidate in the PhD programme in the School of Distance Education is required to submit and present his/her proposal of study before an Examining Committee appointed by the School. A PhD candidate is expected to attend proposal defence in third semester. Only upon satisfactory performance in defence can the candidate submit the final thesis to the Institute of Postgraduate Studies for the final viva-voce.
A candidate for the PhD programme is required to produce a thesis. As a general guideline, a PhD thesis should not exceed 80,000 words. The thesis can be written in either English or Bahasa Malaysia.
How to Apply
Refer to this step-by-step guide to apply: APLLICATION GUIDELINE
You can also visit for further information on postgraduate studies opportunities.

School of Distance Education
Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM, Penang, Malaysia