You think a DBA could be right for you? Check here what the admission requirements are and how you can start applying.


To join the DBA, you need a Belgian Master's degree or an equivalent higher education degree. You need to have graduated with distinction.

You’ll also have at least 10 years’ managerial experience – and some experience at executive level.

To apply, you need to:
  • Submit an initial research topic that relates to our research expertise and is academically challenging
  • Explain your motivation for joining the programme
  • Submit a GMAT/ GRE test score from the last five years (you may be eligible for an exemption)
  • Prove you are fluent in English
  • Get support from at least two supervisors – one from the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at Ghent University and one from the Faculty of Economics and Business at KU Leuven. We’ll help you find them.


We accept admissions on a rolling basis. We discuss applications during our monthly doctoral committee meetings. Upon acceptance and payment of a commitment fee, you receive access to online resources and your supervisors to immediately get you started. The first course week takes place in September.

We distinguish two stages in the process leading towards the full doctoral programme:

  • Eligibility stage
  • Commitment stage

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1. Eligibility stage

At this stage, we assess if you meet the admissions requirements and learn more about your ambitions.

First, you need to fill in the eligibility form online.

Please upload your:
  • CV
  • Diplomas and transcripts
  • GMAT/GRE report (if applicable)
  • English Language Proficiency Exam score (if applicable)

You also need to write a short essay with your research title, topic and motivation.

In this essay you also need to include two references to academic papers – you can find these on open source databases like:

We’ll contact you as soon as we can to share our initial feedback. If you meet the criteria – and we think the programme is a good fit for you – we’ll set up an in-depth interview with the academic director.
We’ll help you identify and get in touch with potential PhD supervisors. They’ll talk to you, suggest relevant academic papers for you to read and help you to crystallize your research topic.

The DBA doctoral committee will then discuss your file – and if you’re eligible, you are admitted in the programme.

2. Commitment stage

Upon enrolment and payment of a commitment fee, you enter the commitment stage. You get access to online resources and can start working with your PhD supervisors on your initial research topic.

After the first doctoral course in September, you need to write a first paper on your research idea and get feedback from the course holder, the DBA team and your supervisors. Only then you need to confirm your commitment to the whole doctoral programme and to pay the remaining fee of the first year. This way, you get the chance to experience what academic research is about before taking the full engagement.

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