The DBA in 10 Key Points

Page last updated on 24/05/2024

1. Why did Business Science Institute create the Executive DBA programme?

To meet the demand of experienced executives qualified to MBA level (or equivalent) who wish to take a step back from their work, reflect on their management practice, write a thesis and publish it in the form of a book. This internationally AMBA-accredited programme is delivered either face-to-face or online in French, English, German and Spanish.


2. What is Business Science Institute?

Business Science Institute is a networked international academic organisation based at the Château de Wiltz in Luxembourg, running a DBA that is specifically designed for managers.

We work with more than 150 international professors who have collectively supervised several hundred doctoral students and published thousands of articles and books during their careers.

Our faculty team represents an international pool of highly experienced professors, who are available and committed to working with management practitioners on a broad range of topics.

Business Science Institute awards its doctoral students a Certificate of Research in Business Administration after the first phase and the Business Science Institute Executive DBA at the end of their thesis defense.

Graduates are also awarded the DBA from our academic partners.

3. What is the duration of the Executive DBA programme?

The Executive DBA is organised over three separate phases, structured to allow participants to defend their thesis within 4 years, the average duration of the +170 theses defended since 2015 being 3.5 years:

  • Phase 1 is devoted to five three-day seminars (15 days in total), each providing students with key methodologies and concepts,
  • Phase 2 focuses on data collection under the supervision of a thesis director, with students benefitting from the contribution of a two-day Impact Seminar and three one-day follow-up seminars,
  • Phase 3 is devoted to the writing of the thesis and the public defence in front of an international panel of examiners. Students receive invaluable support for the thesis writing process through 3 one-day follow-up seminars per year in Years 3 and 4.

Taught seminars are currently held in 10 locations in Europe, Africa, Asia and remotely for participants regardless of their location.

Each year an International Week is held in Wiltz (Luxembourg) or an international capital. It brings together doctoral students, alumni and professors for workshops, Certificate of Research in Business Administration presentations, DBA thesis defences and our Graduation Ceremony.

4. What sets the Business Science Institute’s Executive DBA programme apart?

  • An exceptional faculty team in terms of size (+150), diversity, and quality who understand that a DBA is based on managerial practices, conceptual hindsight, and impact-generating recommendations,
  • Individual follow-up at a distance and responsiveness provided by both the support team and our professors. This also explains the remarkably high thesis defence success rate (75%): one of our alumni notes in the book “80 tales of DBA Impact” that he had 60 meetings with professors during his DBA! You have the possibility of having 48 follow-up interviews and of presenting your project 12 times in front of a jury. Follow-up is the key factor in the success of your thesis.
  • A unique collection of books (+55) dedicated to the DBA written by professors and doctors (+25).
  • International recognition linked to the presence of Business Science Institute in the international accreditation and ranking processes. Our DBA is accredited by AMBA and ranked globally by the Dubai Ranking. 
  • An active and rapidly-growing alumni association, plus the possibility of Associate Researcher status from the Business Science Institute for publishing doctors.

5. What are the tuition fees for the programme?

  • 5.1. Face-to-face Executive DBA (in English, French or German) 27.500€ including:

Enrolment at AMBA-accredited Business Science Institute (Certificate of Research in Business Administration & Executive DBA) plus enrolment in partner academic institutions.

For the entire three/four years of the programme: seminars, personalised supervision by professors, the online pedagogical kit (software, access to databases, books etc.), support for documentary research.

  • 5.2. Online Executive DBA (in English, French, German, Spanish) 27.500€ including:

Enrolment at AMBA-accredited Business Science Institute (Certificate of Research in Business Administration & Executive DBA) plus enrolment in partner academic institutions.

For the entire duration of the programme: access to recorded video seminars, personalised supervision by professors, an online learning kit (software, access to databases, books, etc.), support for documentary research.

6. What is the difference between the Business Science Institute Executive DBA and a PhD?

The Business Science Institute Executive DBA is grounded in specific executive managerial experiences, offering privileged access to the field where management practices can be observed, and the study of academic literature used to underpin these observations. As such, managerial recommendations are an extremely important part of the programme.

The objective of Business Science Institute is to develop a new generation of thesis. A traditional PhD is characterized by an exclusively academic orientation. A DBA covers simultaneously the experience of the doctoral student, an academic perspective and managerial recommendations.

This is why Business Science Institute focuses on the realization of true DBA theses that generate managerial impact. It is also for this reason that we created the DBA Managerial Impact Business Science Institute-Xerfi-IQSOG Award, and the online DBA Impact(s) journal to support us in sharing the impact of theses defended by our graduates.

We actively encourage books resulting from DBA theses to be published by our Doctors in the Business Science Institute collection at EMS Editions.

7. Who is this programme intended for?

  • This programme is specifically destined for practising professionals qualified to MBA level (or equivalent) and with at least five years of managerial experience,
  • The average age of the 200+ enrolled doctoral students at the start of 2021 is 46 years old,
  • Managers, business executives, consultants, business school educators and practitioners are enrolled on the programme.

8. Does the Executive DBA allow graduates to become University Professors?

The programme was not designed to achieve this goal. A traditional doctoral degree (PhD) is required for a career in higher education, if this is your objective. However, when considering applicants for teaching opportunities or part-time positions, business schools value applicants who are able to combine managerial experience, an academic perspective, and who have published their work.

9. What title will I be able to add to my business card should I successfully complete my thesis?

Executive Doctor of Business Administration, Business Science Institute

10. What is the first step in starting the application procedure?

Take a look at the videos of the Business Science Institute and send your CV to to get some advice and feedback concerning your profile, your eligibility, and your chances of successfully enrolling on the programme.