Postgraduate Program

DBA in Strategy, Project Leadership and PMO Management

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

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 Leadership and PMO Management 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 Leadership and PMO Management 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 Swiss Business DBA program takes places on Saturdays and Sundays, every three months. The DBA in Strategy, Project Leadership and PMO Management 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-Zurich

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 in Strategy, Project Leadership and PMO Management 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
Learning and Assessment
Tuition Fees
Career Opportunities
Current Research

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%)


  1. Management Research Perspectives
  2. Information Technologies for     
  3. Business Research          
  4. Eleven Schools of Project Management                                
  5. Critique Analysis of Research                                                                                                                            
  6. Mega Projects and Complexity                                                                                                                          
  7. Research Methods in Business & Management                  
  8. Management Research Design & Methodologies          

Research Phase

  • Supervision Workshops (50%)

We use a variety of teaching methods to engage with students and provide a stimulating learning experience. You’ll learn through lectures, seminars group work practical exercises as well as a colloquium, and research conferences. You’ll be encouraged to explore new ideas, frameworks, concepts, and apply your learning by analyzing real-world situations. Guest speakers from industry and professional bodies will give you an insight into current and trending practice.

You will be assessed in on assignments that will help you prepare for your research proposal and its defense. The final assessment with being your thesis or submission by publishing and an overarching Kappa (cover chapter), and your Viva (defense of your research).

Student Support

You’ll have access to support in terms of administration and research. Every student is allocated a personal academic supervisor who can advise on topic and course-related matters. Also, peer support is encouraged where the program director will link you to the various academic forums including SBS’s own DBA/MBA and MSc forum on LinkedIn with over 2’500 members managed by Dr Robert Joslin.

Specialization: Strategy, Project, Program, Portfolio Leadership, and PMOs

Mode of study: part-time (3 years)

110 units / (Level / EQF 8)

  • Successful completion of a Master’s degree related to Project Management
  • 10 years of professional work experience, out of which min. five years of experience at the executive /managerial level  
  • English Proficiency for non-native speakers
  • Successful completion of the admissions interview
  • Minimum age required: 30 years

Required documentation for a successful Doctor of Business Administration Application

  • Copy of MBA degree/transcript or related Master’s degree related to Project Management
  • Complete CV and work certificates indicating professional experiences and responsibilities
    • 10 years of professional work experience, out of which min. five years of experience at the executive /managerial level  
  • 1000-word outline of proposed research topic/idea
  • English proficiency unless previous education was conducted in English
    • TOEFL IBT 90, IELTS 6.5 or equivalent
  • Front-facing photograph, high quality in jpg/png/gif format
  • Scanned copy of passport or government-issued ID

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).

Project and PMO management has become an essential competency in every industry sector, so this degree opens up a wealth of opportunities. With our partnership with AIPMO, you could become a management consultant or take up a project management role in the industry or the services sector. You may be interested in a career in the public sector, healthcare, education, or the arts. Or you may want to elevate yourself to be the next C level generation where your competencies in project and PMO management and excellent understanding of the operational environment with your academic standing will be highly sought after.

Below you can get to know the current DBA PMO Students and the research they are conducting:

Damir Matrljan Sujit Ranjan Mishra Aiysha Alnuaimi Ayesha Al Mansoori Lolwa Al Naemi

Academic Calendar

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Annual Program Reports

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Professors/Supervisors In This Program

Prof. Ralf Müller

Adjunct Professor and AIPMO/SBS Supervisor
More Details

SBS Experience Stories

  • The journey was just started a year ago as the first-year student and knowing nothing little about research. My time in the DBA program at SBS was about continuous intellectual development and critical thinking skills, which prepared me for a successful career in academia. SBS is a well-structured program combined with AIPMO, continued and invaluable support from my advisors made this uphill ride a memorable journey. I have the opportunity to discover my passion for academic research and build/ transform into an independent researcher. The research on the project management office (PMO) provided tremendous exposure to cutting-edge research in my learning curve. I am grateful to the SBS/AIPMO program for providing me with an excellent learning experience. I am making me grew from being a student to be a researcher. Moreover, it was all because of the help and guidance I received from the kind and caring people, especially my amazing advisors. I believe the future will build properly with immediate improvement.”

    Sujit Mishra
    DBA Strategy, Project Leadership and PMOs
  • I was in search of an academic program which could fulfil my high expectations based on my professional project management experience and international certifications. SBS/AIPMO’s DBA program matched all my requirements and collaborated with renowned project management experts as professors/supervisors. This demanding doctorate research program guides you through specially designed theoretical and practical courses that tremendously improve your academic abilities and guarantee high-quality research which could be published in top tier academic journals. The program also provides a clear focus on the research topic and improves the leadership competencies of a doctorate student. As a second-year student, I may say that I have already successfully implemented newly acquired knowledge in my professional career.

    Damir Matrljan
    DBA Strategy, Project Leadership and PMOs
  • I have benefitted in many ways from joining the SBS family. Before starting my DBA, I had firm beliefs about what I wanted to do for my research. However, the professors that I met at SBS has helped me to broaden my views and find the areas that I have a true passion for. Besides the professional impact, the overall experience at SBS was memorable. Through classes, discussions, and presentations we learned about each other’s cultures and formed strong friendships.

    Sara Al Maraghi
    DBA Strategy, Project Leadership and PMOs
  • I chose the DBA program at SBS Swiss Business School because of its enrolment standards, flexible program, and the intense focus on the PMO (Project Management Office). The international and varied perspectives presented in class made an enriching learning experience. The personal and professional value-added by this program is immeasurable and includes more strategic thinking, improved leadership skills, an increase in professional and academic competency skills, and so much more. Pursuing a doctorate degree is a fulfillment of a long-standing personal dream, and I am glad that I took this important decision.

    Lolwa AL Naemi
    DBA Strategy, Project Leadership and PMOs
  • My goal was always to continue my learning journey along with my career progression. I gave a serious look into this around 2014 after having completed my master’s degree and settled well into my role of leading Project Management and PMO in my department. I was on the lookout for the ideal course that would propel me in my career and personal development. My search culminated in me taking up the DBA program, which perfectly aligned, to my needs and direction. The trigger for this was my chance encounter with Dr. Robert Joslin while attending the PMO conference in London, who gave me an insightful peek into the course offering. I feel fortunate to be part of this program under the guidance of the top professors in the world. Being part of this program not only enhanced my depth of knowledge and clarity in the core areas of study but also sharpened my strategic thinking and analytical skills. The regular interaction with the experienced faculty and fellow students from diverse backgrounds has augmented my ability to solve practical problems and bring innovation to my area of work. I find the course engaging and value-added, I look forward to the day all the effort would pay off, and I would earn my Doctorate from this esteemed organization.

    Ayesha Al Mansoori
    DBA Strategy, Project Leadership and PMOs
  • Joining DBA program at SBS was a unique experience for me. I was both pleased and impressed with the academic rigor of the program. I enjoyed networking at each of the courses in different world-class settings. The opportunity to connect with other professionals during courses and build a network is invaluable. This program’s innovation offered me the chance to detail and challenge my ideas with renowned researchers and gave me the opportunity to explore and contribute knowledge to a subject that interests and excites me. The DBA had been an opportunity to reflect on my own current management practices, and explore current developments in research and leadership thinking.

    Aisha Alnuaimi
    DBA Strategy, Project Leadership and PMOs

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