Vlerick Business School

Doctorate in Business Administration


The DBA programme is a five-year executive doctoral programme, split into a learning stage (year 1) and a research stage (year 2 to 5). The learning stage aims to build up participants’ research capability and leads to a formal progress assessment that gives access to the research stage, in which they further develop their doctoral assignments and PhD thesis. Throughout the whole programme participants also need to engage in the academic and broader community by taking part in relevant academic, professional and business conferences and activities.

The research stage results in a doctoral thesis that meets international academic standards, contributes to original knowledge and enhances management practice. The doctoral thesis needs to be defended in public at one of the partner universities. The DBA programme is completed with the successful defence of the doctoral thesis, resulting in a joint PhD degree (PhD in Business Administration) from Ghent University and KU Leuven.

Teaching ModePart-Time
AccreditationsAMBA AACSB EQUIS
Length5 Years
Application Deadline

We accept applications on a rolling basis.

Application Procedure

To be eligible for the DBA programme, candidates need:

  • A Master degree (Flemish) or equivalent (foreign institute) with honours (to be proven with certified copies of diplomas or transcripts). Eligibility will be checked with Ghent University and KU Leuven requirements

• At least 10 years of managerial experience, including a period at executive level

• To prove the necessary intellectual capability to engage in a doctoral journey. A GMAT/GRE is required (exemptions are possible)

• To proof fluency in English (exemptions are possible)

• To show motivation for a doctoral track

• To submit an initial research idea