PhD Admission

As of AY 2020-21 and until further notice, all classes in the VSB graduate programs are held online in both synchronous and asynchronous mode. This will continue indefinitely until the UP Administration allows on-site, face-to-face classroom work. Because of the uncertainty brought by the COVID-19 crisis, all dates are tentative and subject to change conditional on future events.
All applicants are required to: Fill out the online form, take an entrance examination, and submit application documents. A Google account is needed to upload the required documents. Find the full application process and FAQs below.


Deadline for submission of all Application documents AY 2022-23 10 March 2022

Doctoral Program Admission Test (DPAT) 11 April 2022

Interview Period May 2022

Results of Application Released (through email) June 2022

Download the Full VSB PhD Student Handbook HERE.

The Application Process

    1. Get the link to the online application form. You are required to accomplish and submit this form, otherwise your application will not be considered.

    2. Take any one of the following examinations:(a) the Doctoral Program Admission Test (DPAT) on the scheduled date(b) the Graduate Records Examination (GRE)

    3. Submit the required documents/materials listed below.

    4. Initial screening is based on the DPAT or GRE scores and the submitted credentials.

    5. Applicants are called for interview by the Admissions Committee.

Online Application Form

To start the online application process, send an email to with "Application Form Request" in the subject box. A link to the online application form will automatically be sent to you by email.

Note: (a) Avoid typographical errors in the subject box or the link will not be sent.

(b) Users of email filters like Boxbe have to make their own adjustments to receive the link.

Do the following upon receipt of the email:

  1. Click on the link and fill out the form.

  2. Click on the submit button after completing the form.

    • An acknowledgement page stating that your submission has been recorded should appear, and

    • A message is sent to your primary email address if your submission was received.

  3. Submit the required documents (see next section below). This may be done online or submit the same at VSB, room 105.

Documents Required for Admission

The documents and materials required for admission are as follows:

From the Applicant

    1. Transcript of Records. (Photocopy or PDF if submitting online) Those who will qualify for admission to the program must also submit the original copy.

    2. Personal Statement. The essay should be a 2 to 4-page double-spaced document written in English that should explain, among others, the applicant's purpose in pursuing further studies. It should be uploaded as a PDF or Word document. (The expected content of the essay can be found in FAQ #6 )

    3. Curriculum Vitae with a 2x2 photograph.

Instructions to upload a copy of these documents will be sent to you once you have submitted the online application form.

From Two Referees

    1. Letter of recommendation (to be submitted by two referees chosen by the applicant). The referee may send the letter as an attachment to or uploaded online. A Google account is needed to be able to submit online.

    2. Completed online referee evaluation form.

To start the refereeing process, the referee must send an email to with "Recommendation Form Request" in the subject box. A link to the recommendation form and instructions on file uploading will be sent to the referee upon receipt of the email.

The Admission Tests & Test Fees

All applicants are required to take an entrance/admission test.

Doctoral Program Admission Test (DPAT)

The DPAT is administered by the VSB's graduate program office. The examination covers two areas: quantitative ability and verbal ability. It takes 2 hours to complete (excluding breaks).

Graduate Records Exam (GRE)

Applicants who wish to take the GRE should contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the company which administers the GRE, at 60376283333 or visit their website at and have their scores sent to the University of the Philippines Cesar E. A. Virata School of Business, (code 1607). For the GRE score report to reach us before the application deadline, applicants should take the GRE before February. The cost of the GRE is USD190.00. You can find the online examination information here.

Application Fee

Applicants can pay the PHP150.00 application fee online or make a direct deposit to the UPD Cash Office's Landbank account.

The following links show alternative modes of paying the application fee:

  1. Pay online using LandBank’sLinkBiz

  2. Pay online via PESONET

  3. Direct Deposit to LandBank

Land Bank Account Number: 3072-1006-96

(UPD Revolving Fund)

Print/save the online application response email beforehand and use it to serve as the bill of payment. After the payment using any of the 3 modes, the applicant must email proof of deposit:



with "MBA/MS Finance/PhD Application Fee" in the subject box (without the quotes).

Information for International Applicants

An international applicant/student is a citizen of a country other than the Philippines. The MBA & MSFin Programs welcome applications for admission from international applicants. Applicants should take the GRE in lieu of the DPAT.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

International applicants except those with bachelor's degrees from the US, UK, New Zealand and Australian Universities must demonstrate fluency in English by taking the TOEFL (code B151), also administered by ETS.

Visa & Immigration Information

Financing and Aid

At present, financial aid from VSB is not available for international students. Hence, students from other countries must be able to show the financial viability of studying in the Philippines. A Certification of Finances must be submitted along with supporting documents detailing the sources of funds. The certification of finances form can be downloaded here. The estimated annual cost of graduate studies in the VSB is USD17,000.00. This includes board and lodging, tuition fees and books, health insurance, foreign student fees and air travel expense.

Housing in the Diliman campus

There are several lodging facilities within the Diliman campus that accommodate graduate students. For a list of these lodging facilities, click here. Admission into the MBA and MSFin program does not ensure availability of lodging facilities on campus.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I have an MBA degree which I feel is insufficient to achieve success in business. How can a PhD degree address this problem?

The PhD program's main objective is to train students to conduct original research similar to what is done in universities abroad and in international policy institutions like the IMF and the World Bank. The program equips the student with skills in research and pedagogy needed to thrive in an academic environment where the two major activities are teaching and research. Its objective is not to train students how to run a business successfully or help climb a management ladder. A PhD degree in business administration from the VSB is not an "advanced MBA" degree but is rather, a research degree.

If accepted, can I enroll in the PhD program on a part-time basis?

The program requires full-time participation by the student. We strongly discourage part-time enrollment in this program and is granted only under very unusual circumstances. No night classes are offered in the PhD program and courses are scheduled between 9 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday.

Are the PhD program courses case-study intensive?

All courses are lecture-based courses. There are no courses that rely solely or heavily on case studies. However, case studies are used whenever appropriate.

Can I begin the program in the second semester of the first year of PhD courses?

Admission to the PhD proper is only for the first semester of each academic year.This is because courses are offered in sequence where core courses are prerequisites of the field courses.

Which of the admissions criteria are given most weight?

Applications are considered based on all the information submitted by the student. We however closely look at applicants with a strong academic background and above-average quantitative aptitude.

I only have a vague idea of what the personal statement should contain. Is this important?

Yes, it is very important and we take this statement seriously. There is no minimum or maximum word limit. The typical length of a personal statement is between 2 to 4 double-spaced pages. It should demonstrate your ability to communicate in a concise manner. We do not expect you to exactly define your dissertation topic but you are expected to describe your interests beyond the general classifications of management strategy, marketing, finance, economics etc. Your application will not be considered if you fail to submit this on (or before) the stated deadline.

What is the coverage of the DPAT?

The DPAT is a two-hour multiple choice examination that tests the applicant's quantitative and verbal abilities. It is administered by the PhD program office once a year during the second week of February. Local applicants who cannot take the DPAT should take the GRE which is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) five times a year.

I am an International Applicant; I will not be able to go there to take the DPAT. What should I do?

International applicants from other countries must take the GRE. Local (Filipino) applicants must take either the DPAT or the GRE.

Do you accept GMAT scores instead of the DPAT or GRE scores?

We do not accept GMAT scores. All applicants are required to take either the DPAT or GRE as stated above. The GRE scores should reach us before the middle of April. This means that applicants should take the GRE before February. Submitted GRE scores should not be more than 5 year old.

What is the minimum score required for the GRE?

A total score of 300 or better in the GRE is desirable. Note however, that this is not a formal minimum requirement to be considered for admission since other factors can have balancing effects in the admission decision.

How must the GRE scores be submitted?

Please ask the ETS ( to have your scores sent to the University of the Philippines Cesar E. A. Virata School of Business. Our designated institution code is 1607.

Is the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) required?

International applicants except those with bachelor's degrees from the US, UK, New Zealand and Australian Universities must demonstrate fluency in English by taking the TOEFL. This test is also administered by ETS. Our institution code is B151. We require a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based exam and 90 on the Internet-based exam for admission. Applicants do not need to take IELTS.

What kind of financial aid is available?

We do not offer financial aid to incoming first year students. Teaching fellowships are however made available to promising second year Filipino students depending on their needs.

How much is the application fee?

The application fee is ₱1,150.00 (approximately US$20.00.) This fee cannot be waived.

From whom should we request letters of recommendation and what should it contain?

Letters from those who are familiar with your academic background are preferred, although letters from other referees will be accepted as well. Academics will give us the information we need to know more than other types because they will address your scholastic abilities. If your company boss/employer writes the letter (or someone who is not from an academic institution where you graduated for that matter), he/she will not be able tell us about your academic performance in detail. The purpose of the letters of recommendation is to build the best case for your admission to the PhD program.

How does the referee submit the recommendation letter?

The referee is requested to fill out an online form and upload a recommendation letter. To begin the process, the referee must send an email to with "Recommendation Form Request" in the subject box. A link to an online form will be sent to the referee by email. In the form, there is a set of rating questions about applicant characteristics. The email also gives the link to the upload page for the recommendation letter. A Google account is needed to upload the letter. Otherwise, it can be sent by regular mail.

Can graduate classes similar to the courses in the PhD program but taken elsewhere (in another University) be credited towards the PhD degree?

No. We do not transfer credit for courses from other universities. You must complete all requirements of the program in UP Diliman.

How important is a quantitative background?

It is vital to have taken formal courses in mathematics. Most of the courses rely heavily on quantitative methods at a fairly advanced level. Students must have acquired knowledge at more than the level of college algebra and trigonometry.

What kind of quantitative courses should I have taken?

It is desirable to have formally attended courses in single-variable and multivariate calculus. Some exposure to linear algebra and knowledge of probability and statistics would be a big help to the student. Many applicants with engineering degrees and who have been exposed to advanced mathematics have performed well in the program. It should be emphasized however that we are not after quants or math professionals but individuals who have a fair amount of mathematical maturity to be able to tackle interesting business/economics research questions in a systematic and logical manner.