Doctorate in Business Administration



  • September


  • Online
  • Full time

Graduation diploma

  • DBA

Teaching languages

  • English English


The DBA is the highest academic distinction in management: the Doctorate In Business Administration (DBA). The programme is aimed at senior and experienced executives. During this course, you first familiarise yourself with the methodology and applied research in management science (1 year) before carrying out your field study and preparing for the defense of your thesis at the end of the course (2 years).

Our DBA is a key programme that is designed for outstanding managers who hold a master’s degree or equivalent with at least five years of professional experience. It aims at developing critical thinking and research with high societal and managerial impacts. Choosing to pursue doctoral studies is a life-changing decision. School choice, location, and specialisation can all impact your successful future as a business leader.



Minimum conditions for entry into the program

  • A master’s degree or equivalents, such as MBA and EMBA, from an accredited university
  • Five years of professional experience
  • English level minimum of TOEFL 80, IELTS 6.5 or equivalent   

Elements of the application file

  • CV and statement of purpose essay
  • Letters of recommendation 
  • Proof of 5 years of professional experience
  • Transcripts and copies of previous degrees
  • Certificate of English, minimum of TOEFL 80, IELTS 6.5 or equivalent
  • Proof of payment of the application fees
  • Copy of the candidate’s passport and a digital ID picture
  • One page research proposal (optional)

The stages of the admission process

  • Evaluation of the application file
  • Motivational interview in English
  • Overview

  • Programme

  • Career

  • Fees

Academic Process

1st year

  • Full time

The taught stage of the DBA program is completed during the first year, which culminates with the Grand Comprehensive Exam.

DBA students will begin with an orientation into the programme, which will take place after the opening ceremony. During this period, they will benefit from 4 courses related to management research providing them with fundamental theories and concepts. Four other courses, devoted to research design and research methodology, will provide the necessary tools and methods.

2nd & 3rd Year

  • Part-time

The field stage of the programme takes a minimum of two years to complete. DBA candidates will cooperate with a supervisor to conduct their field studies and write the thesis.

During this period, DBA candidates have to meet, physically or via videoconferences regularly, the supervisor to report on the work progress. The thesis shall be written in a way that may allow subsequent publications in academic and professional journals.

In Short


Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA)


  • A master’s degree or equivalents, such as MBA and EMBA, from an accredited university
  • Five years of professional experience
  • English level minimum of TOEFL 80, IELTS 6.5 or equivalent   


3 years


Paris (France)

Tuition fees

€ 21 000

Our DBA programme in Paris To find out more

Do you have a Master's degree and would like to open up new career opportunities? Discover what the Doctorate of Business Administration can bring to your professional project and your career!

Doctorate in Business Administration: Description and Principles

What is the DBA?

The Doctorate in Business Administration is a doctoral program taught by the prestigious Grandes Ecoles for managers and professionals who wish to carry out a research project by obtaining this prestigious diploma, while benefiting from quality supervision and support from a thesis director who is an expert in the field chosen by the student.

This high school program is very popular with professionals who wish to develop new technical skills over the course of three years of study to enrich their professional experience. For this reason, this course is ideally suited to students who are already working in a professional capacity.

The DBA is mainly known for its innovative approaches in the fields of business management: management, finance, human resources, marketing, international business, etc. It allows its students to bring new methods and strategies to their current or future companies.

What's the difference between a Doctorate/PhD and a DBA?

The DBA is easily mistaken for the doctorate, also called PhD. While the standard of study and the number of years of study are identical, these two degrees do not target the same profiles and do not have the same objectives: while the PhD requires the student-researcher to work on a project that makes a significant contribution to scientific knowledge with the publication of a doctoral thesis, the DBA, for its part, provides the student with theories that allow him or her to rethink and innovate his or her professional practices and operational and strategic management in a professional world. After a PhD, opportunities are more likely to arise for a teaching and research career in a university or other academic institution, while the DBA offers a strong managerial advantage in the student's professional career.

It appears obvious that for a different purpose, the content will also be different. While the PhD focuses mainly on an analysis of conceptual and theoretical content and the empirical validation of theories, the DBA benefits from a more management-oriented methodological approach allowing its students to evolve professionally in their current or future position.

In contrast to the DBA, the PhD is a doctoral training program mandated by the French government, which leads the student to obtain a recognized doctoral degree. To find out whether the degree you are considering will be state-approved, you will need to check with your host institution to find out whether your enrollment in a doctoral school is part of your program.


Why should I do a Doctorate in Business Administration at IPAG Paris?

The DBA is a program of outstanding quality that brings many career benefits and solutions to a professional career:

  • the shared knowledge and the achievement of a certain level of expertise in a specialized field of business management;
  • the opportunity to develop one's business in a particular field;
  • the possibility of starting your own business with a solid background;
  • the improved professional insertion within the framework of a professional evolution in a company or the job hunting for a new position;
  • the development of new skills through a better level of education and the improvement of certain concepts while preserving one's professional activity.

At the IPAG Business School, the DBA is one of  our student programs available on our Parisian campus, where the pedagogy is structured around several courses, but also seminars and international exchanges (from Paris to Shanghai via Canton).


Courses & Seminars

DBA courses and seminars cover general and cross-cutting aspects of intercultural management, business strategy, entrepreneurship, project management and CSR. Over 3 years, 120 ECTS credits are earned with 660 hours of courses (applied research) and coaching.


Coaching/ Guidance

The research theme is openly chosen. Regardless of your topic, IPAG will offer you the support of an expert who can advise you, answer your questions and guide you throughout your research project and thesis writing.



The DBA involves several hours of research workshops. These sessions allow students to meet and share their experiences, findings and methodological tips.


What is the admission criteria for the Paris DBA at IPAG?

Regardless of whether you graduated from a MBA or any other master's degree with five years of higher education, you can apply for a DBA at IPAG under certain admission criteria:

  • hold a master's degree with at least 5 years of professional experience;
  • have a minimum TOEFL score of 80 or equivalent;
  • motivational interview in English.

At IPAG, admittance to the DBA is based on an online application.

1st Year

Applied Research

  • Strategic management
  • Entrepreneurship & International Management
  • Organisational Structures & Change Management

Research Methodology

  • Research Design 1: Problem Formulation
  • Research Design 2: Methods
  • Research Methodology: Case Study
  • Research Methodology: Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis


2nd & 3rd Year

2-year research phase


The Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) enables executives to legitimise their professional experience through academic work. Thus, they offer themselves the opportunity of a new impetus in their career. In addition, this program gives you the opportunity to teach in the most prestigious establishments.


Tuition fees

  • € 21 000