Start Date
3 September 2018
4 years


MSM has been offering the DBA program since 1995. Our graduates enjoy senior positions in their organizations and many are recognized in their business community.

We guide our DBA participants through the research process in a structured fashion, commencing with an intensive Research Methods and Skills (RMS) training program. After the successful completion of the RMS course work and positive assessment of your academic competencies, you are assigned a supervisory team to draft your research proposal. We aim to find the perfect match between you and the supervisors in terms of theoretical framework, methodological approach and professional experience. MSM furthermore offers an excellent and stimulating research environment for its DBA participants with its yearly research conference and many research workshops and lectures. Finally, MSM is well-known for its strong and vibrant alumni network, providing ample of opportunities to get connected across the globe.

For more information about the DBA program, please contact us at dbaadmissions@msm.nl.

This degree is awarded in terms of the international AMBA, ACBSP and IACBE accreditations.

Note: The DBA degree is not an equivalent to a Dutch doctoral or PhD degree in terms of the Dutch law on Higher Education and Research (WHW). 

Picture Stefaan Schatteman“A few years after completing my MBA, I needed a new intellectual challenge which I found in the DBA program. The DBA helped me in getting a more profound understanding of one specific chosen topic of interest. The DBA has a significant impact on the way I think, and analyze problems. It helps me a lot in my day-to-day work and therefore I would recommend it to people who are looking for a nice challenge”.

Dr. Stefaan Schatteman, MSM DBA alumnus and General Manager Mundipharma France

Click here for the Education and Examination regulations (EER) of all the MSM programs.

Program overview

The part-time DBA program comprises two stages: the MPhil stage in which you develop your research proposal (1 – 2 years) and the DBA stage in which you execute this proposal and draft your DBA dissertation (2 years). In total, the DBA study takes 4 years, with the possibility of extending the program with maximally 3 years.

MPhil Stage. Enrollment in our DBA program starts with the conditional admission into the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) phase that centers on course work and drafting an individual research proposal. Only those participants who pass our Research Methods and Skills (RMS) training (offered both on campus and blended) within the period of one year and whose academic competencies are positively evaluated by the MSM DBA Admissions Committee will be finally admitted into the MPhil phase. This rigorous admission procedure is aimed at ensuring that participants in our program are likely to succeed in drafting a defendable DBA dissertation within the given period of four years.

Upon final admission, you will be assigned a supervisory team that will guide you towards drafting an individual Research Proposal. This proposal needs to be presented and defended before a committee of scholars. If successful, you will be awarded the MPhil diploma.

The MPhil stage starts after successfully completing the Research Methods and Skills (RMS) training program and upon receiving a positive assessment of your academic competencies. The annual RMS program starts in September. When you follow the on campus RMS training program, this can be expected after 3 months of commencement of the course work (i.e. December in the first year of enrollment). When you opt for the blended mode of delivery of the RMS program, this can be expected after 9 months of commencement of the course work (i.e. June in the first year of enrollment).

DBA Stage. When you have been awarded the MPhil diploma, the DBA phase commences. Supported by your supervisory team, you will start collecting and analyzing data as outlined in your research proposal. The results of this empirical study are to be reported and discussed in a written manuscript. The DBA program is completed with the successful defense of this DBA dissertation and the subsequent award of the DBA degree.



  • Applicants must hold at least a Masters degree or its academic equivalent from a recognized university in a relevant discipline
  • 5 years of working experience
  • Proficiency in English is essential to complete the DBA program. Participants 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.

More importantly, however, is your personality since pursuing a DBA degree is not only intellectually stimulating, but also challenging at times. Thus, you should have a passion to make a difference in your business community by solving pressing problems and seizing opportunities. You should be curious about the challenges and opportunities your organization or industry is facing. You must have a drive to learn more and broaden your horizon. You should enjoy critical reading and thinking. You must be self-motivated to work on your DBA studies. And you must be able to work in a structured and disciplined fashion.

How to apply
Your first research ideas, outlined in the form “Expression of Interest” must be submitted via the MSM online application system  together with the following application documents:

  • Certified translated copy of Master degree
  • Certified translated copy of Master transcript
  • CV
  • Copy passport
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • Motivation letter

The non-refundable application fee of €75,- must be paid in order to start the admission procedure.

September intake – 1 July of each year

Selection takes place on an individual basis, based on the participant’s prior academic performance, the quality of the initial research proposal, the suitability of the preliminary research ideas for the School’s research programs, and the overall achievements and goals of the applicant. Although any high-quality research proposal is welcome, we encourage prospective DBA participants to align their studies with MSM’s research agenda to be found on www.msm.nl/research/expertise-clusters/.



September 2018 intake Closed
September 2019 intake 15 July 2019


Full tuition fee DBA program* €39,600
Application fee (non-refundable) €       75

*Including the first installment for the RMS course work

MSM Registered alumni receive a 10% discount on the tuition fee.


Please know that there are no NUFFIC scholarships available for the DBA program.

For the 12 weeks Research Methods and Skills program, we offer the option to apply for the NUFFIC NFP scholarships.
For more information on how to apply for the NUFFIC scholarship programs, click here.

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