Postgraduate Program

Doctorate of Business Administration Program (DBA)

SBS Swiss Business School > SBS Doctorate Programs > Doctorate of Business Administration Program (DBA)

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The DBA Program is an integrated work and research program for management practitioners and professionals who are oriented towards making a significant contribution to practice and policy. 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.


The world of business and management is undergoing rapid and profound changes. Theories, practices and strategies, which seemingly worked yesterday, are failing today. Institutional leaders, policy makers and managers everywhere are increasingly confronted by novel situations without historical precedent, precipitating the need for new knowledge.

The SBS DBA program takes place on Saturdays and Sundays, every three months. The DBA comprises a total of 180 SBS Credits 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. It includes the following two components


Coursework Phase

Doctorate Seminars and Workshops (50%)

Research Phase

Supervision Workshops (50%).

Learning Outcomes


Students will demonstrate an understanding of the state-of-the-art knowledge in the field of the student’s research


Students will demonstrate a high level of global mindedness


Students will exhibit a strong civic engagement and behave ethically in their community

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

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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, at least 3 months before submission, by the Doctoral Panel. The maximum completion time is 4 years. Extension may be applied for between the minimum time of one-and-a-half years (11⁄2) 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.

Course Curriculum
Tuition Fees

The program is designed to advance the professional development of senior practicing managers and professionals in the business arena by extending their management knowledge and equipping them with broad research and process management skills, enabling them to make a key leadership contribution to their chosen fields. Graduates of the program will have: extended knowledge of emerging business and management ideas and deeper understanding of their relevance to applied business settings;

  • conceptual frameworks of practice knowledge and innovative approaches for business and management application;
  • extensive familiarity with the literature of selective specialist applied areas within the business and management field;
  • ability to link and integrate applied research to learning as a precursor to the formulation of vision, strategy and process leadership for corporate and business enterprise;
  • skills in applied research methodologies including literature searches, field research design, data analysis and the communication of research findings.

The DBA is offered in face-to-face delivery. Candidates are required to attend 7 courses and 4 research seminars, resulting in 11 intensive sessions over 3 years. The sessions are offered over the weekend (Saturday and Sunday from 09:00 – 18:00) to accommodate working professionals.

Mode of study: part-time (3 years)

180 SBS Credit / (Level / EQF 8)

  • Successful completion of an MBA degree
  • Min. 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 i.e. economics, business
  • Complete CV and work certificates indicating professional experiences and responsibilities
    • Min. 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 FeeCHF 40’150.-
  • All fees include material and VAT, amounts are stated in the local currency of Swiss Francs (CHF).

SBS Swiss Business School is incorporated in Canton Zurich, Switzerland. The independent higher learning institution is institutionally accredited. Our DBA programs are internationally accredited by the following professional accreditation bodies:

Learn more about our accreditation bodies

Please note that the DBA is not part of the Swiss Federal Act, HEdA. For consumer protection, we recommend each applicant to check their national legislation. 

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SBS Experience Stories

  • I chose SBS Swiss Business School because it provides the opportunity to study part-time and it has a strong focus on internationalization as well as the courses come up with many practical examples. Both aspects are useful to combine theoretical and practical items in a logical way in a globalized world.

    The SBS education helped me to enlarge my view upon different political and societal aspects and furthermore encouraged me to think and reflect in a critical way.

    I liked that there was always a person with who I was able to get in contact with as well as the quick feedback upon my questions and items raised.

    I would recommend the SBS because of the reasons mentioned above.


    Oliver Kuerten
    DBA Alumni
  • I wanted to expand my career and to go the extra mile beyond “the possible”, deepen my business knowledge, and to gain analytical skills. I chose SBS Swiss Business School because of the balance of in-class seminars and self-learning, DBA Europe ranking, class sizes, and the location. I have improved my leadership, research, writing, and analytical skills. The seminars provided me with a strong and relevant business management foundation and the case study projects with other candidates allowed me to share real-life experiences. The program is very well balanced between seminars, projects, writing of essays, and exams, with very good and engaged lecturers which were easy to contact if needed.

    I found the program to be particularly effective at providing a relevant and large breadth of business knowledge. Participation in the program allowed me to pinpoint those areas of business that I found most interesting. It also allowed me to plan around my work and family schedules to complete my work at a pace that worked for me. The in-class sessions allowed for deeper, focused discussions on key course topics, which I found to be efficient and effective in learning important concepts.

    I would highly recommend the DBA program to all individuals who are eager to prepare themselves for a successful and rewarding future

    Cristina Troiani Rodriguez
    DBA Alumna
  • To learn proper academic research methods, and to further enhance my knowledge on Private Banking/Wealth Management as well as Succession Planning. I have been dealing with the Swiss for more than 30 years. The Swiss are meticulous, good and friendly. Moreover, the fees are reasonable. It has helped me to learn proper research methods, and to acquire in-depth knowledge of the subjects I am interested in.

    Tew Kim Chuan (KC)
    DBA Alumni
  • My motivation for studying at SBS Swiss Business School was that I wished to expand my knowledge in business practices and theory by exploring specific areas of research that intrigue me. This was coupled with my passion to embark on a self-development journey that would pave my career path with additional opportunities.

    I chose SBS Swiss Business School for its excellent reputation. I liked the family spirit and I would summarize my experience as following: Inspirational, challenging, and life-changing.

    Rima Yasser Helal
  • SBS is located close to Zurich and offered my preferred course; the DBA. I wanted the intellectual challenge of studying for a doctorate. The DBA program has improved my knowledge of my subject, my critical thinking, and my writing skills. The DBA program at SBS is challenging but totally enjoyable!

    Mark Lambert
    DBA Alumni
  • For me, the DBA is the most suitable continuation of my career. Both my diploma studies and the MBA at the Campus of Finance had a very strong connection to professional practice too. The doctorate in the DBA program must not only comply with strict scientific research guidelines but also make an important and verifiable contribution to practice. This was a strong motivation for me. The appearance of the Business School is very professional and both the many years of experience in the academic programs and the competent and friendly contact with the staff convinced me. In addition to professional competence, I particularly appreciated the great energy and spirit that can be felt at SBS. The time at SBS was extremely intense and challenging. The contact with my fellow students and to the lecturers and faculty was very valuable and I am very proud of my degree at SBS. I would and will definitely recommend the degree to others.

    Claudia Stehr
    DBA Alumna
  • Having obtained my undergraduate degree in the United Kingdom and my master’ degree in Africa, Kenya, I was looking for another place that would add to the diversity in the countries of my studies for that global fit in today’s highly international business environment. Switzerland, with its distinguished reputation in quality of education and SBS Swiss Business School for its high accreditation and ranking among the best business schools in Europe for Doctorate degrees, was an obvious choice.
    SBS Swiss Business School’s doctorate program is among the best in Europe. This, coupled with the school’s international accreditation and high reputation swayed my decision to settle on SBS Swiss Business School for my doctorate degree. My education at SBS Swiss Business School has not only broadened and sharpened my knowledge and skills but has also helped me get recognition in my work place and assume higher and more challenging roles. I have interacted with people from different backgrounds and this has given me a wider and more informed perspective on how I view life in general. The SBS Swiss Business School education is a sure career and personal development booster. The diversity of the faculty and students at SBS Swiss Business School is commendable. Although a European school, it accommodates people from all over the world and one can never feel out of place in SBS Swiss Business School. The mode of teaching is flexible yet firm, rigorous and resonant in content. The personalized attention to students due to carefully managed student numbers is a big plus! It was an amazing journey that I would walk all over again. I graduated with a wealth of knowledge from the academic studies I pursued, the many experiences I encountered, the networks I built and the memories I helped build. For anyone looking for a world-class education, SBS Swiss Business School is the option.

    Matongo Chikuba Shilimi
    DBA Alumna
  • My motivation for studying at SBS Swiss Business School was the schools ranking, location, flexibility, study schedule
    and the support of the faculty. I was looking for a school with a good education but also a unique personality. When talking to the Academic Dean, Dr. Bert Wolfs, over the phone for my first initial interview I felt that SBS is not only a school but also a place where I can grow. I enjoyed attending classes and meeting students from different fields and backgrounds even the teachers. Additionally to the learning material, having an amazing network with individuals from all over the world was great. That’s priceless! It was a difficult journey but somehow having all the support needed to be made it enjoyable and worth the hard work!

    Hessa Ali Rashed Ali AlKaabi
    DBA Alumni
  • My motivation to study is to further my learning and interested in the subject of employee engagement. Through the research process, I will not only enhance my knowledge but also benefit my work. I choose SBS as each module is closely linked and help me build up my research skills. Besides, they offer comparatively short of learning periods and at reasonable tuition fees. The education at SBS helped me in many areas. For example, other than a better understanding of my research topic, I learned how to conduct quantitative research, prepare an academic paper, and enhance my self-discipline capability towards a long-term goal. In SBS, I can get fast response and enough support. Besides, the rules and regulations in the School are simple and easy to follow. It is not bureaucratic at all. The learning journey is fun though the road is rocky. With the support of SBS, I build up my confidence in the road less traveled. I would recommend people who have strong desire in learning but can only offer limited time to study at SBS. The School provide us a good platform in learning while people are helpful.

    Andy C.S. Lock
    DBA Alumni
  • My main goal was to pursue higher academic qualification, that would enhance my skills academically and professionally. SBS Swiss Business School provides great flexibility, that allowed me to have a balance between my pursuit of academic qualification and my career goals. I had the pleasure of learning from the great tutors provided by SBS Swiss Business School, I had an amazing learning experience from colleagues, and of course the one to one interaction my dissertation supervisor Dr. Tatjana Volkova. It was a great experience to study, learn and evolve both on an academic and professional level.

    Mohammed Khalfan Saeed Aldhaheri
    DBA Alumni
  • 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
    DBA Alumni
  • 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
    DBA Alumni
  • 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
    DBA Alumni
  • 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
    DBA Alumni
  • I decided to do the SBS DBA because it would enhance my business and employment opportunities. The reason why I choose SBS was that the course arrangement is flexible and I was able to work while studying at SBS. The SBS DBA education helped me improve my knowledge to a higher level with the support and guidance from the faculty and staff.

    Ng Kim Fai
    DBA Alumni

The Doctorate 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

For SBS Swiss Business School in general.