DBA Studies are one of the most challenging, but academically also a highest rewarding level in Higher Education. The Swiss School of Management has developed outstanding Doctor Programmes. These programmes are having unique features adding significant value to Graduates beyond the rewarding Doctor Degree.
Multiple academic collaborations contribute to the exceptional programme quality. These start with the involvement of highly renowned and recognized academics as Directors of Studies. Both the University’s own Professors and Visiting Professors from a wide variety of international Universities support our Doctor candidates on individual base.
Today academia has no more borders. Therefore, knowledge and expertise of seasoned academics influenced structure and content of our Doctor Programmes from which candidates can select.
The Doctor of Business Administration will be awarded by the internationally recognized Swiss School of Management. The result is all about delivering studies of highest quality and multiple benefits to SSM’s Doctor candidates. Swiss School of Management is committed to impress and to express. Impress by value of the studies resulting in Degrees, which express the outstanding skills of those being awarded with these recommending themselves for top careers in industries, administration, and academia.
Doctoral Candidates are offered two major pathways. The first pathway is known as Professional Doctorates. The notion ‘professional’ should not be misunderstood. They are by no means only professional qualifications. Professional doctoral studies have been globally developed and are accepted as fully-fledged doctoral degrees. In contrast to PhD studies their objective is applied sciences: research in what is called the real world for application in it. Likely the most famous degree pathway here is the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).
For good reasons Universities around the globe have extended doctoral studies by these professional doctorates. The industry is very interested in such Graduates. These demonstrate through their, e.g., DBA Degree skills and capabilities going beyond any Master’s graduate. At the same time, these doctoral Graduates are practice-oriented. Consequentially they are the candidates of first choice for top-management positions. On the other hand and without any doubt, PhD studies have not lost their reason and attractiveness.
The Doctor of Business Administration addresses research in business, economy and management. The thesis can be placed in the student’s personal interest
and also in their personal work environment. At the end of these studies students are awarded with the Title of the Doctor in Business Administration (DBA).
Before this Degree is awarded the DBA thesis has to be written and defended in the viva. The thesis is about applied sciences. It consists of 50,000 words, which fulfils the criteria of independent research on superior level and consequentially demonstrates the internationally acknowledged standards of doctoral studies. Type and style of this research represents applied sciences, in which a robust theoretical understanding is evident.
The variety of topics is extensive and candidates can make their own choice upon approval of the Academic Board. The only request is that the chosen research relates to management, business and / or economy. Theory and empirically consistent research, which the thesis delivers, are expected on superior level. An individual Director of Studies will support each student’s thesis development and writing. Students will find personal support, but according to the individual nature of such studies on this high level, they are expected to work individually. Therefore strict limitations on extent and length of such support apply.
Duration of Programme
The DBA programme has a duration of 4 semester with an amount of 120 ECTS-Credits.
Begin of Study
Enrolments are generally accepted throughout the year. Intakes will be announces on the website or by writing. Individual academic achievements such as the portfolio of expertise and for example Intensive courses or tutor coaching services can be taken at any time.
The programme of studies is aligned to international standards of Higher Education and fulfils the criteria of the process of Harmonisation of Higher Education in Europe accordingly. It consists of: Four taught Research Method modules being delivered in two blocks of physical student presence. (A distance learning version will be introduced as alternative form of study as well.) The Doctoral Thesis demonstrating independent empirical research as evidence of a candidate’s ability and capability to undertake applied defendable and empirical research on the highest level of academic studies.
Mode of Study
The DBA program is based on a practice oriented and part-time study model. Residential study, web- based-learning, blended learning, distance learning are combined with work-based-study supported by systemic coaching or supervised by faculty and teaching staff.
Each module is assessed by one assignment. It forms an essay addressing all Intended Learning Outcomes of the module. Students are requested to write a critical review (parts of it) of the existing and actual literature taken from peer-reviewed research publications.
Dissertation and Viva
DBA candidates are requested to submit a doctoral thesis, which fulfils the criteria of independent research following acknowledged standards of empirical research The thesis consists of 50,000 words (+/- 10%). The DBA candidate will defend their thesis through a summarising presentation.
The DBA Programme structure is aligned with inter- national standards of Postgraduate Education and fulfils the criteria of the process of Harmonisation of Higher Education in Europe (Bologna Process) ac- cordingly.
The doctoral programme will require the completion of five taught Research Methods modules as first stage. Only the successful completion of all five modules entitles students to progress to the second stage, the thesis level.
The course awards successful students 120 ECTS credits:
- 30 ECTS credits by completion of five Re- search Methods Modules (6 ECTS credits per module), and
90 ECTS credits through the Doctoral’s thesis
The modules are delivered interactively and are based on actual knowledge and research in this pathway. The “Research Methods” modules being taught via lectures/seminars with physical student presence. A distance learning version will be introduced as alterna- tive form of study as well.
The data collection, analysis of data and the Doctoral Thesis demonstrating independent empirical research as evidence of a candidate’s ability and capability to undertake applied defendable and empirical research on the highest level of academic studies.
This programme of studies is considered as relevant, rich and academically valid by adoption of highest standards of Higher Education. Superior professional standards have been embedded additionally. Learning objectives and module content are further closely re- lated to the Six Principles of the PRME Framework of the United Nations.
Candidates with Master’s Degree
Candidates need to have completed a significant research project, dissertation or thesis, at university level. Candidates must be in possession of a cognate Master’s Degree; i.e., it has to be awarded by an officially acknowledged Higher Education Institution.
Equally admitted are Graduates not having a Master’s Degree, but another cognate Degree being directly comparable to a Postgraduate Degree, which is equivalent to level 7 of studies. This regulation acknowledges differences, which may internationally exist on national levels.
All applicants from countries in which the official language is not English or German are required to submit official evidence of English or German language proficiency.
Acceptance by the Department
Meeting our academic requirements does not guarantee entry. You must demonstrate an ability to research independently, and possess a high level of theoretical understanding.
Acceptance is subject to staff availability for supervision. A committee decides whether your qualifications suffice for admission as a doctoral candidate. The department’s committee usually meets at regular intervals.
SSM is certified to the standard of Swiss Further Education by EduQua.
EduQua is a Public Private Partnership with e.g. the Swiss Federation for Adult Learning and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs for Quality Assurance in HE in Switzerland (SQS).
Certificate of Accreditation and excerts from online data base of EduQua are displayed on the following pages.
1. Application and Biographical Information (Portfolio)
To apply for a DBA programme, please submit first the application form and provide us your biographical data. For this purpose, use the student portfolio form at next. The student portfolio is used to assess whether an applicant is eligible for a Doctorate. In case of acknowledgement, the candidate receives a letter of acceptance. You can download the forms at our website or use the application form which you will get at the Office of Admissions.
The Application form will ask you to provide biographical and academic information, to detail your educational and extracurricular activities. Information must be complete with exact dates given on each entry. Please fill in the form carefully and as far as you can, so that your application can be edited as soon as possible. All Documents has to be submitted in electronic version (PDF or jpg-Format) to the Office of Admissions.
2. Letter of Acceptance
SSM will notify you of the results of your application. Await the decision! In the case of acknowledgement, the student receives a letter of acceptance.
3. Educational Agreement and Study Fees
After receiving the letter of acceptance, please fill in the educational agreement. As soon as the study contract has been signed and submitted (an electronic versions / pdf-file can be submitted via email), the application fee and the study fee have been paid for at least the first semester, the student receives a confirmation of enrolment and can start with study.
4. Begin of Study
Together with your student counsellor, an individual study plan can be prepared or discussed at a personal meeting or at an introductory seminar at the beginning of the course.
In order to be enrolled into the DBA programme at the University students must submit the following documents in either one of the following languages: English, German:
- Passport or ID-Card (photocopy or scan as pdf file)
- Certificate from an accredited secondary school, High School diploma, VWO, Baccalauréat, Maturité Fédérale, German Abitur or equivalent.
- University degree certificates (Bachelor, Master etc.)
- Official Transcript of Records (educational records) / Curriculum (a certificate issued by his University / Faculty which contains all the marks that the student received for each discipline during his University studies, in each semester, and the ECTS numbers for each discipline)
- Curriculum Vitae
- Evidence of English or German language proficiency (Toefl, Goethe Institute, Cambridge, or equivalent))
Please note: The original documents or original translations shall be submit on request or have to be given to your student counsellor.
Documents in other languages must be translated into one of the aforementioned languages and legalized by a notary public in the country of origin.
If necessary school and university certificates and documents are required in certified form (Apostille), plus the following:
- Passport photography (jpg or other file format)
- A non-refundable application fee
Application form Portfolio – dated and signed in original (available on our website or at the office of admissions)
|Qualification||Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)|
|Structure||Five taught research methods modules being delivered in two blocks of physi- cal student presence, three semester of data collection and analysis, and the final thesis. (A distance learning version will be introduced as alternative form of study as well.)|
|ECTS-Credits||120 ECTS Credits|
|Begin of Study||Enrolments are generally accepted throughout the year. Intakes will be announces on the website or by writing.|
|Duration of Programme||2 Years / 4 Semester. Extension of study will be granted on request.|
|Requirements||Completed master’s degree (or equiva- lent) or long-term professional experi- ence (work-based entry route) and via decision of special competence in the individual case. Evidence of English or German language proficiency.)|
The DBA will expand your professional skills as well as practical experience in your company.
A higher level of education makes you indispensable as an employee and opens doors for new challenges and tasks. In addition, you strengthen your so-called market value which usually entails better financial benefits.
Embedded in the realities of global business, the DBA equips you with knowledge, real-world skills, and business and management best practice. It is also about your potential – it will develop your skills, enhance your career opportunities and expand your professional networks. Whether you are seeking promotion or looking for a new career direction, an DBA demonstrates that you are an aspiring employee who is prepared to invest in your career.
Getting a higher salary after graduation, landing a top management position or even becoming your own boss are just a few of the extra advantages of the DBA.
The tuition fee for the doctoral programs is Euro 35,000.
The tuition fees can be paid in instalments, in accordance with a step-by-step plan consisting of 20 steps that will give structure to your study. Broadly speaking, candidates are expected to pay in three instalments as per payment plan below:
- Application fee: € 200.-
- Enrollment fee: € 12,000.- (before start of the program)
- First Instalment: € 12,000.- (at the beginning of the second academic year)
- Second Instalment: € 11,000.- (at the beginning of the third academic year)
Application have to be sent
to the following address:
Swiss School of Management
University of Washington Rome Center
Piazza del Biscione 95
00186 Rome, Italy
Phone: +39 06 4004 93 20