Maastricht School of Management (MSM)

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


With a DBA degree graduates are armed to find creative solutions at the very frontier of management challenges. The content of the degree – coursework in the first year and applied fieldwork/ research in the remaining three years – is based on applied research and research in application. As such, it draws upon practical business administration issues and challenges on the organizational level. The DBA emphasizes interdisciplinary understanding, problem-solving skills and intellectual leadership – resulting in MsM’s graduates obtaining a lifelong advantage in management practice.

Doctoral Coursework and the MPhil Degree The core part of the Doctoral Program begins with coursework and literature review seminars in two common research areas:

  • Research Methods I
  • Research Methods II
  • Quantitative Methods I
  • Quantitative Methods II
  • Academic Writing in English

The student practices and increases his or her writing skills throughout the first year. The modules consist of 36 contact hours, delivered in the months September and October. Given the modular setup the different modules can be followed spread over two consecutive years. Class sessions are concluded with an assessment, mostly in the form of a take-home assignment. A large part of the literature review in support of the field of research, is done through individual reading under the guidance and supervision of the appointed advisor. It is from this field of research that the participant draws the research proposal, which is presented and defended in a seminar after the coursework has been successfully completed. The research proposal seminar is the final step towards the MPhil Degree award. This is also the moment for the research committee to decide on the student’s capabilities for further studies within the Doctoral Program.

Field Research, Data Analysis, Dissertation write-up and Defense

After the participant has been given permission to proceed with the field research, the participant gathers and analyses all the data and information from relevant sources, be it interviews, literature, surveys, or company-specific information, etcetera. The outcome of the dissertation research is a book length manuscript (ideally consisting of a combination of international scientific journal publications), representing an original contribution to one of the numerous facets in the broad fields of management. Originality is demonstrated through the discovery of new facets, the discovery of a new conceptual framework, or the creative application of existing analytical concepts and tools to address contemporary issues in industry. Such a contribution should ensure that the dissertation can withstand the independent critical scrutiny of experts in that field. The participant is therefore required to defend the dissertation in front of a dissertation defense (examination) committee, consisting of both faculty as well as external experts in the field of research.

Doctor of Business Administration Quality

Faculty members spend on average around 35% of their time on research. In 2011 MsM introduced a Working Paper Series of which more than 50 titles are published annually. Over the past three years research publications in refereed scientific journals increased by almost 40%. The most recent journal article, by Dr. Jakomijn van Wijk, entitled “Activists and Incumbents Structuring Change: The Interplay of Agency, Culture, and Networks in Field Evolution” has just appeared in the Academy of Management Journal, one of the most highly ranked journals worldwide. Last week Prof. Wim Naudé launched his new co-edited book on Industrialization (published by Oxford University Press) at the London School of Economics. MsM students are also increasing the rate at which their works are published: the number of publications from DBA theses increased fourfold over the past four years. Our DBA student Mr. Ma’ruf won the Student Best Paper Award during the International Conference on International Business in 2012.

MsM started the DBA Program in 1995. We receive more than 350 applications every year of which less than 15% are selected. Our candidates hold top level positions in their organizations, and largely benefit from being part of MsM’s stimulating research environment by taking part of research workshops, lectures and conferences and being able to discuss their ideas with the large pool of doctorate candidates and faculty. MsM’s Annual Research Conference that has developed into a fixture in many management scholars’ agenda’s, are held every year in September / October on a burning issue in sustainable management. This year’s Conference, on 6 September, focused on “Revolutions in Education”.

For more information on the DBA program, MsM’s Research, or for more information on our top-quality Research Methods and Skills (RMS) Executive Program (offered in collaboration with Maastricht University’s Graduate School of Governance), follow the hyperlinks, or contact the Doctoral Team at MsM, p/a Mr. Patrick Mans, Manager Research Operations (using teh REQUEST INFO button above).

Teaching ModePart-Time
AccreditationsAMBA EQUIS
Tuition Fees

Total Fees for the Doctoral Program (4 years) € 36,000

Master of Philosophy program (1st year)
Tuition fee
* 1st instalment of 25% € 4,000
* 2nd instalment of 25% € 4,000
* 3rd instalment of 25% € 4,000
* 4th instalment of 25% € 4,000
Total € 16,000

Doctoral Program
Tuition Fee 2nd year
1st instalment of 50% to be paid in March € 3,500
2nd instalment of 50% to be paid in September € 3,500
Total € 7,000

Tuition Fee 3rd year
1st instalment of 50% to be paid in March € 3,500
2nd instalment of 50% to be paid in September € 3,500
Total € 7,000

Tuition Fee 4th year
1st instalment of 50% to be paid in March € 3,000
2nd instalment of 50% to be paid in September € 3,000
Total € 6,000

Length4 Years
Application Deadline

No deadlines. Participant can apply any time during the year, but the coursework starts once a year in September

Application Procedure

The main prerequisite for admission to the Doctoral Program is a sound academic background. Applicants must hold at least a Masters degree or its academic equivalent from a recognized university. Proficiency in English is essential to complete the Doctoral Program. Candidates whose education has been in a language other than English must submit evidence of proficiency in the English language. A score of at least 600 on the paper based TOEFL or an equivalent score on an approved alternative test is adequate.

A preliminary research proposal must be submitted together with your application form. The modules of the Doctoral Program take place every three months. Applications should be submitted at least three months before the start of the next module. Selection takes place on an individual basis, based on the participant’s prior academic performance, the suitability of the preliminary research proposal for the School’s research programs, and the overall achievements and goals of the applicant.

The Maastricht School of Management reserves the right to change the name of a course or program due to evolving market trends.