phd in thailandTeaching 

5 Best Universities for a PhD in Thailand

If you’re based in Thailand and think about furthering your academic career you might end up considering a PhD at some point. There are several reasons why one could think about doing a PhD abroad first (it’s really expensive here for example) but there are some pros for doing it right here as well (a: you are already here so getting supervision is easier). So if you consider doing your PhD in the land of smiles, here are the five best Universities to look into for such a venture. Please be advised that it, obviously, also depends on your field of studies and this is just a rather general overview to give you a few pointers.

Points taken into consideration when creating this list (in no particular order) were: Ease of contact, communication & response time & variety of subjects / degrees offered.

NIDA – National Institute of Development Administration

NIDA, out of all the Unis tested, seemed to be one of the few to actually put emphasis into their online presence. The Uni name doesn’t sound cool or progressive, their web presence looks much more modern than many other websites though (depending on the faculty that is though). The response time was also much faster than with any other University which already speaks for them. They offer a variety of courses which are all somewhat related to NIDA’s initial message of promoting ‘development administration’. Lots of the programs offer full time, part time, or research based programs which makes it easy for interested students to find a fitting program.

On the downside most programs seem to be rather expensive starting at around 700,000 THB and go up until around 1,500,000 THB. That is a lot. NIDA’s standing in Thailand as a graduate school is rather good though which might make the investment worth it.

More information on the NIDA website. 

Chula – Chulalongkorn University

Chula is probably still the most famous University in Thailand. They offer loads of courses with the choice of English speaking courses being a bit more limited though. Nevertheless there are a lot of international courses available. Most of the Chula websites are terrible though and hence make it difficult to obtain appropriate information. The response time also was incredible long – at least in this very instance. It took several months for them to respond to an inquiry. Given the fact that Chula has lots of different schools the fee structure also highly differs but you shouldn’t expect it to be cheap as you will quite likely also have to pay for the Chula name when deciding to enroll here. In the areas I was looking into I also didn’t see any research based graduation possibilities but that could also differ within different faculties and you might be luckier when you give it a try in your respective field.

More info on the Chula website.

AIT – Asian Institute of Technology

The AIT is, for some reason, not very well known among undergraduates but once you reach graduate level it’s a household name. As one can guess from the name it focuses on Technology and has lots of respected scholars in this field at its disposal. They are also hosting international conferences there which might come in handy once you are thinking of graduating in that field of work. Besides being well known for its technology related research AIT also has a management school though and is trying to increase its standing in this field of research as well. As it stands right now I haven’t found any research based PhD option which means you would have to attend at least some classes on-site. The programs I looked into would have an accumulated fee of around 1,300,000 THB which, once again, is definitely not cheap.

More info on the AIT website.

ABAC – Assumption University of Thailand

ABAC doesn’t necessarily has the best standing amongst Universities in Thailand simply because it operates as a private Uni and that always brings lots of criticism with it. When looking at its PhD programs though you will find a rather big variety of choices. They even offer degrees in eLearning Methodology which is still unique in Thailand, I believe. The fees are starting somewhere around the 500,000 THB mark (for said elearning degree) and obviously can also go way up depending on the field of studies you’d choose. Some of the programs can be done via distance learning, some require on-site classes.

If you’re interested to see what ABAC has to offer, check out their PhD program website.

MUIC – Mahidol University International College

Mahidol is somewhat that outsider who overtook all the others by doing things a bit more different. The feel that MU provides is more structured (more strict maybe even) and more goal oriented. This approach now lands them frequently in the top spot of local Uni rankings. Their PhD offering is also quite extensive with ranges from medicine to business and music. The costs also differ between the programs and the PhD structure you choose but most examples I saw started somewhere around the 850,000 THB scale. There are full time, part time, and distance based possibilities available – again depending on the respective faculty.

For more information check out the Mahidol University Graduate School website.

Did I miss something? Do you have PhD experience with other Universities in Thailand? Let me know in the comments! 

Sascha Funk

Founder / Editor at My-Thai.org
Sascha is the publisher of my-thai.org and switched from an online marketing agency life in Europe to a teaching and education life in Thailand. He also writes about Teaching & Technology.

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  • Phirachash Piyawutiposh

    I am interest of master’s degree and PhD as well, I always plan to study more when I’m working, in other country or may be in Thailand then this content is valuable to me. However, I need to finish my bachelor’s degree first LOL.

  • Chung Veeravutthiphol

    It’s good a good advice for people who want to study for PhD program, having high educated is better. However, considered in my field of studying, I would probably end up with the master’s degree in abroad and then works. It’s better to absorb the experience from working.

  • Thananopawan Rattanatrisri

    I want to study PhD program in the future! So, this is very useful. I’m wondering why Thammasat is not in top 5 :/ However, I want to study PhD abroad but the tuition fee is veryyyyy expensive. At that time, I hope I have job and spend my own money for education. Better start to work part-time jobs now! 2 more years to go!

  • It’s expensive everywhere. One million Baht :o thammasat is not in there due to the limited amount of international PhDs offered, that’s all. If there would be more available in English they’d certainly be on that list I believe.

  • Thammasat is not on there simply because the offer in regards to international (English speaking) PhDs isn’t that great. That’s the only reason. Can only judge what’s being available, otherwise they’ probably have made the list ;-) Fees here in Thailand are also insane though, not much difference from the UK or US. If you’re good with doing research on your own I’d recommend a research based PhD in Germany – way cheaper with probably higher quality supervision. Class-based PhD are also expensive there by now though.

  • Fully agree. It really depends on which line of work you’re focusing on. If you’re not in academics you might not need a PhD and work experience is much better.

  • I hope that all works out as planned ;-)

  • Booker Vannapruk

    For sure I want to study PhD program in the nearly future. This is very helpful for me :) Thus, I would like to study master degree at Chulalongkorn Under is MBA program to be better in business mind and strategy . However, as I’m former student at Assumption University and my home is nearly there I still have good relationships with ABAC so one day I might go back there in master degree because to be honest their Business program is really good. I would say it one of the best business program in Thailand. Thanks for the information :)

  • Surely a PhD? Why? And nice how you hijack the post to then advertise for the ABAC master degree ;-) what makes that degree so good though if I might ask? Serious question as I’m not familiar with it. Thanks already!

  • Jenny Philomena

    Sad but true that Thammasat is one of the top universities in Thailand, except for when it comes to International Programs. BJM, for example, has a structured schedule for us to follow. There aren’t as many classes offered in English as in Thai, but it’s been great so far! I’m enjoying all of the classes in our faculty. Good to know all of this for the future tho, because I do plan on getting a PhD. Thank you :)

  • Why if I may ask? Everybody says that here which is rather surprising for me :o

  • Jenny Philomena

    For what I know, the University doesn’t have enough english speaking teachers to teach all of the subjects that are already taught in Thai, such a pity! :(

  • That might be true but I meant why would you be aiming for a PhD? :o

  • That might be true. I meant why you would be aiming for a PhD though :-)