Postgraduate Program

DBA in Strategy, Project Leadership and PMOs

SBS Swiss Business School in Zurich, Switzerland > Doctorate Programs > DBA in Strategy, Project Leadership and PMOs

SBS - Europe’s Premier Doctoral Business School

AIPMO has partnered with the SBS Swiss Business School to offer the first Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in the world for professionals who need to understand Strategy, Project, Program, Portfolio Leadership and PMOs.

The SBS Swiss Business School is one of the top business schools in Switzerland. The DBA in Strategy, Project, Program, Portfolio Leadership and PMOs has been created by AIPMO. The program is delivered jointly by professors from both AIPMO and the SBS Swiss Business School.

This unique program makes available the top professors in the world in the project management area such as Professor Ralf Müller, Professor Aaron Shenhar, Professor Robert Joslin and, other members of the AIPMO Advisory Board, to be assigned as supervisors.

The SBS Swiss Business School Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Strategy, Project, Program, Portfolio Leadership and PMOs is an integrated work and research program for management practitioners and professionals, who are oriented towards making a significant contribution to the field of strategy, project, program, portfolio management and PMOs.

Program Focus

The world of strategy formation and strategy execution is undergoing rapid and profound changes.

Business models, and strategies to execute them in terms of portfolio, program and project approaches, are failing today by not having the desired impact or success that was expected from their outset.

Senior executives, technical and non-technical leaders and managers are increasingly confronted by novel situations and challenges that demand greater understanding in terms of theories, methods and approaches.

The SBS DBA program takes places on Saturdays and Sundays, every three months. The DBA comprises a total of 108 units and can be completed in a minimum of 3 years part-time / next to the job study. The program is taught in a classroom format based on the use of intensive workshops and includes coursework and research.


Academic Lectures


Coursework and Written Assignments

Team exercises

Research project

Department Contact Info

Doctor Of Business Administration

Dr. Bert Wolfs
DBA Program Manager
+41 44 880 00 88
[email protected]

Flughafenstrasse 3
8302, Kloten-Zürich

Mon – Fri 08:30 – 18:00

Social Info

Appointment Request Download Brochure

The Dissertation

A dissertation may be submitted in place of Papers 1 and 2 or alternatively other forms of scholarly writing may be accepted subject to the approval of the Program Director.

The examination process is dependent on the mode of submission of the final work. Where a paper-based submission has been chosen, successful completion of the DBA is by both papers being accepted for publication by an international peer-reviewed journal that has been approved by the Doctoral Panel. These journals are found on an approved list, which may be changed from time to time.

Where dissertation-based submission (or other than by publication) has been chosen, successful completion of the DBA is by external examination by two independent experts in the area of the research study.

These examiners must be approved, by the Doctoral Panel, at least 3 months before submission. The maximum completion time is 4 years. Extension may be applied for between the minimum time, of one-and-a-half years (1 1/2), and the maximum time of four years (4) subject to approval by the Doctoral Panel but extension fees apply. Extension beyond four years will only be granted in special circumstances and by written application to the Doctoral Panel.

The DBA is a full fee-paying program. Students must have ready access to a modern computer (with appropriate software), electronic mail, Internet and use of microphone/speakers or headset for the duration of the program. Continuing enrollment in the program is subject to satisfactory progress, which is reviewed every six months by supervisors and the Doctoral Panel. The program is scheduled and timetabled so that it is suitable for candidates who maintain their full-time professional work.

Candidates must satisfactorily complete each phase before proceeding to the next phase. Candidates who satisfactorily complete the coursework phase only may exit the program with a Master of Applied Business Research. During the research phase there will be structured meetings between candidates and supervisors based on agreements between the parties.

Program Structure
Tuition Fees

The program may be completed in a minimum of three years.

The coursework component takes place during the first year. Courses are conducted in the classroom in an intensive workshop model with face-to-face seminars. All courses are assessed by written assignments.

The transition from the coursework phase to the research phase is by the candidate completing the set of assessed Research Proposals. On satisfactory completion of the coursework candidates enter the research phase where they undertake individual, supervised research projects.

The output of each research project is a research paper of publishable style and quality. The dissertation is submitted for external examination. Consequently there will be scope for requisite specialization within a general organizational and management framework. Graduates from the program are expected to make a key contribution to practice, so program work will relate to leadership, change and process management as well as research methodologies.

Coursework Phase

  • Doctoral Program Seminars and Workshops (50%)

Research Phase

  • Supervision Workshops (50%)

Please note that we are unable to conduct individual assessments of qualifications in advance over the telephone or via email, if you have not submitted an online application with all of the required documents and paid the application fee of CHF 150.-.

  • A Master’s in Project Management degree;
  • At least 5 years’ experience in management role
  • All DBA candidates must be able to demonstrate their education and/or professional performance to undertake research at a doctoral level. They should be able to show success in their career to date and document how the DBA program fits into their personal or career plans for the future.
  • All DBA applicants must submit a 1,000-word outline of their proposed research topic/ idea as part of their admission application submission.
  • All DBA candidates must have a sound command of the English language, spoken and written, as evidenced by the criteria: Having completed a Master’s degree in English;


  • Submit proof of having achieved a TOEFL IBT score of minimum 90, IELTS test score of 6.5 or higher

The final decision concerning the eligibility, acceptability of qualifications and research areas for the DBA Program rest with SBS Swiss Business School. SBS admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin.

We offer a 5% discount on full payment at the start of the program.

Application fee (non-refundable)CHF 150.-
Semester 1CHF 10’000.-
Semester 2CHF 10’000.-
Semester 3CHF 10’000.-
Semester 4CHF 5’000.-
Semester 5CHF 5’000.-
Total tuition feesCHF 40‘150.-
  • All fees include material and VAT, amounts are stated in the local currency of Swiss Francs (CHF).

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SBS Experience Stories

  • I choose to do my DBA at SBS Swiss Business School because I wanted to dig deep into a subject that interested me. In addition, to learn more about contemporary management theories. Furthermore, SBS allowed me to have that international exposure as my classmates were from all around the world, which gave me insights in many new areas from different perspectives. My overall experience was very positive. Three years of hard work, but rewarding work.

    Tomas Olsson
  • I found the SBS DBA program to be a completely transformational experience. Science, not politics, is the most powerful force in transforming the world on a macro scale. During the doctorate program, one can expand one’s horizons and get a unique and informed perspective of the world, both from within academia and from the “outside” worlds of business science. For me personally, there is nothing more exciting than that. This experience gets you to a different level in everything you do, in terms of the way you think about the world as well as how to solve practical everyday problems. The doctorate degree is the highest academic degree and it is definitely worth the time, even though it requires significant commitment and organization. I would recommend SBS Swiss Business School to anyone who is passionate about science, who wants to get a greater worldview, and who wants to help to make the world a better place, faster.

    Viktor Prokopenya
  • The DBA is a great flexible program suitable for executives. The instructors are very good and couples with colleagues from different parts of the world reflected a unique. It was a great experience!

    Yassar Adnan Hamdan
  • As a proud graduate of the Swiss business school DBA program, I know that it not only trains one to become an even better manager, but also trains one into becoming a scholar and researcher able to publish in academic journals and move seamlessly between the business and academic world. With my already successful business career and an MBA, my going through and graduating from the SBS DBA program has enabled me to complement my knowledge as a business practitioner by becoming a scholar and now able to contribute new knowledge to professional practice as well as the academic world. The research skills I have learnt have enabled me to broadening and extend my capability profile.

    Dr. Anthony Chibo-Christopher
  • It’s great working together with a diverse group of people, committed to creating something greater than the sum of its parts. Our different experiences lead to much “learning fun”.

    Stephen Gardner
  • I decided to do the SBS DBA because i was enhance my business and employment opportunities. The reason why I choose SBS was because the course arrangement is flexible so I was able to work while studying in SBS. The SBS DBA education helped me improve my knowledge to a higher level with the support and guidance of the faculty and staff.

    Ng Kim Fai

The Doctor of Business Administration is an integrated work and research program for management practitioners and professionals, who are oriented towards making a significant contribution to practice and policy

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