Doctorate in Business Administration

make an impact with new understanding

This four-year, part-time doctoral programme for experienced professionals gives you the opportunity to carry out in-depth research that will have true impact – either in your own organisation or across your sector or even society.

The Doctorate in Business Administration is designed to be flexible and tailored to you and your ambitions. You can organise your academic work around your schedule – and put together your own programme of self-study, residential sessions, academic conferences and events.

Once you pass all your doctoral assignments and reach the end of your doctoral journey, you gain:
  • A Certificate in Research in Management from Vlerick Business School.

  • A joint PhD degree from the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at Ghent University and from the Faculty of Economics and Business at KU Leuven. The PhD is awarded upon completion of the research and a successful defence of the doctoral dissertation. 

Prof Dr Marion Debruyne, Dean, Vlerick Business School


Doing academically sound research with relevance to business and society is core to the being of our school. Together with our two parent universities - Ghent University and KU Leuven – we train and guide our DBA participants to turn their executive experience to academic-based knowledge, ideas and insights with real business impact.

Prof Dr Patrick Van Kenhove, Dean, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University

Get inspired by our researchers - who are actively engaged in the wider community - and benefit from their knowledge to transform your corporate data into a research-based business case which can be immediately implemented into your own business. Together we’ll improve your research skills and put high emphasis on fostering an international mindset, on openness to the outside world, on multiculturalism and on the societal relevance of your research.

Prof Dr Wilfried Lemahieu, Dean, Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven

Rigorous and Relevant is the catchphrase to describe our School’s values: we are renowned for the analytical rigour in our research and education, but always in interplay with practical relevance and high impact on the corporate world and economic policy making. Joining the Doctorate in Business Administration is therefore an excellent way to pursue these twin objectives.

We accept applications on a rolling basis – and DBA students can start from twice a year: once in April and once in October.

meet us

Upcoming infosession Experience Vlerick

Meet us during one of the coming webinars! 

  • 28 May 2019 - 6 pm CET
  • 18 June 2019 - 12.30 pm CET
  • 3 September 2019 - 6 pm CET
Experience Vlerick at first hand, enroll for 2 out of 4 inspirational, hands-on workshops, free of charge and speak to a DBA programme advisor.
Register now Find out more

Why our dba programme?
You seek intellectual stimulation and want to study a topic in depth at doctoral level. Our DBA is designed to help you pursue relevant and rigorous research with immediate impact to your business practice. Three top academic institutions have joined forces for this unique doctoral programme.

Why a DBA
Programme structure
The Doctorate in Business Administration offers you the necessary research and transfer of knowledge skills to perform individual and guided thesis work.

Programme structure
Doctoral life
The Doctorate in Business Administration requires a lot of personal engagement. Check the mandatory parts of the programme to qualify for your PhD defence and discover how Vlerick Business School helps you to optimise your academic and business goals.

Doctoral life
We’re looking for candidates who are strongly personally motivated to embark on a doctoral journey. Find out what you need to do to apply.

Fees and financing
A Doctorate in Business Administration is a big investment. Find out what is included in the fee and what the instalment options are.

Fees and financing
Upon successful completion of the learning stage of the DBA programme, a “Certificate in management research” will be granted from Vlerick Business School. Participants who successfully complete their doctoral research and defend their thesis will be awarded a joint PhD degree from the Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration and from KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business. Find out what the graduation requirements are.


& Rankings

Equis Association of MBAs AACSB Financial Times