Postgraduate Program

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

SBS Swiss Business School in Zurich, Switzerland > Doctorate Programs > Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

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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. 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.


Fall Admission


Winter Admission

January (Limited availability)


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 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. It includes the following two components


Coursework Phase

Doctoral Program 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 Progam Manager
+41 44 880 00 88
[email protected]

Flughafenstrasse 3
8302, Kloten-Zürich

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.

Applicants seeking admission to the DBA program shall normally hold

  • An MBA degree, or equivalent, from an approved university or equivalent


  • Where other master’s degree level qualifications are held, applicants may be asked to complete a prescribed bridging program (normally designated courses from an MBA program)
  • Substantial (not less than five years) experience at executive/management level
  • All DBA candidates must be able to demonstrate from their education and/or professional performance their potential 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 candidates must have a sound command of the English language, spoken and written, meeting the criteria as prescribed below
  • Applicants are required to have completed their previous master’s degree in English; or submit proof of having achieved an IELTS test score of 7 or higher

All applicants must submit a 1000-word outline of their proposed research topic/idea as part of their admission application submission.

Where, during the application process, concerns are raised about the English proficiency of an applicant from either of the English language proficiency categories, or for applicants who do not meet either of these categories, the 500 word outline will be considered as an additional/alternative basis for assessment, as one of the conditions for acceptance into the program.

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).

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SBS Experience Stories

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 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

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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