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phd in business management germany

Become a doctoral candidate at TUM School of Management

Conduct high-profile research in an inspiring academic environment.

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phd in business management germany

Welcome to the Graduate Center of TUM School of Management

Our doctoral program ensures all our doctoral candidates receive the best preparation possible for a successful career in industry or academia. To achieve this, we provide strong, individualized support and mentoring for our doctoral candidates in their academic and professional development. Our disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses provide doctoral candidates with the in-depth theoretical and methodological knowledge they need to successfully conduct their own research projects. These projects address some of the great challenges in society that we face today and combine content relevance and methodological rigor.

Overall, the Graduate Center of TUM School of Management, together with the TUM Graduate School, offers a wide range of possibilities for pursuing excellent research, including interdisciplinary cooperation and international research stays at top-tier universities. Our doctoral candidates move on to academic positions in Germany and abroad, e.g., at Imperial College London, or to leadership positions in industry and professional service firms.

Professor Alwine Mohnen and Professor Martin Meißner Speaker of the Graduate Center, TUM School of Management

The Graduate Center of TUM School of Management is the first point of contact for doctoral candidates at our school. Here you will find detailed information on

  • Qualification Program
  • Administrative Support
  • Funding and Scholarships

General information about doing your doctorate at the Technical University of Munich, which may be an addition to the information on this website, can be found on the  website of TUM Graduate School . Please note that the information of the Graduate Center of TUM School of Management is binding for doctoral candidates of our Graduate Center. Please find the official regulations of the Graduate Center in the Download Center .

The team of the Graduate Center is happy to help and guide you. Find all contacts of the Graduate Center here .

phd in business management germany

Learning goals

Upon completion of this program, our doctoral graduates will:

  • have expert scientific knowledge in their field of specialization.
  • be problem-solvers for complex scientific issues.
  • be effective communicators of scientific issues.
  • be responsible scientists.
  • be active scientists in a global world.

Please note:

Our program is a doctoral program equivalent to the German doctorate (“Doktortitel”). It does not correspond to structured Ph.D. studies. For detailed information about the German doctorate, please click here . TUM School of Management can award the doctoral titels Dr. rer. pol., Dr. oec. publ., Dr. phil. and Dr. jur..

Paths to a doctorate

Doctorate as a research associate.

As a research associate, you will be employed as an academic assistant at the respective department or institute, where you will be closely involved in research as well as in teaching. Your dissertation supervisor will support you in your academic development and in developing your dissertation topic.


As a scholarship holder, you finance your doctorate with a stipend. Numerous foundations and other funding and research organisations support and finance highly-qualified doctoral candidates. Organizations that provide scholarships for outstanding candidates usually also support them with seminars and opportunities to exchange views within an alumni network. TUM School of Management grants doctoral stipends within the Academic Training Program.


External doctoral candidates are employed either by an industrial company or a research institution while the academic support is provided by TUM School of Management. If you choose this path, you will need a dissertation supervisor at TUM School of Management who will support your research project as an external doctoral candidate. You will do your work and research mainly at the respective research institution or company, but you are also integrated into the academic environment at TUM School of Management.


If you are a doctoral candidate at another university in Germany or abroad, you can enroll for a guest stay at TUM School of Management for six terms at most. In order to do a guest doctorate at TUM School of Management you will have to find a professor who supervises your research at TUM School of Management. As a guest doctoral candidate, you do not need to have your diploma recognized. The participation in courses offered by TUM Graduate School is possible in individual cases. For details, please contact the Graduate Center.

phd in business management germany

Admission requirements

A university degree completed with above-average results (diploma, master, magister) from a German university, an equivalent German state examination (Staatsprüfung) or a master’s degree from a German University of Applied Sciences.

Results are regarded as above-average with a final grade of at least 2.5 (“good” in the German system). In exceptional cases, your above-average qualifications can also be proven through academic work completed after your examination.

Applicants with non-German degrees need to have their degrees officially  recognized .

Special rules apply to applicants with a diploma qualification from a University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule or Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften). Please make an appointment with the Graduate Center to discuss your particular situation.

Confirmation from a professor at TUM School of Management that he or she is prepared to act as your academic supervisor.

Please keep in mind that it is your sole responsibility to search for your supervisor as well as your mentor.

Finding a supervisor and mentor

Additional information for applicants

Application steps

1. find a supervisor and a dissertation topic.

First of all, you have to decide in which area you want to do your research in. Whether you already have your own research idea, or you would like to develop it with a researcher at TUM School of Management:  Writing a research proposal  will help you make your research project more specific and thus find an appropriate supervisor.

In order to find a professor at TUM School of Management who is willing to supervise your doctoral research, please find all our professors listed in their respective academic departments on our website:

  • Academic department for Economics & Policy
  • Academic department for Finance & Accounting
  • Academic department for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Academic department for Marketing, Strategy & Leadership
  • Academic department for Operations & Technology

You can find more information about finding a supervisor  here .

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please contact the chair or the respective professor directly to apply as a doctoral candidate. Applicants are entirely responsible for finding a supervisor on their own account.

2. Sign a supervision agreement

Once you have found a supervisor for your doctoral thesis, the two of you must fill in a supervision agreement. The respective document can be found  here . IMPORTANT NOTE: The document also has to be signed by the mentor at the time of application for the list of doctoral candidates.

3. Register as a doctoral candidate

When you have found an academic supervisor, you can apply to register as a doctoral candidate .

Please note that you need to apply online to be officially entered onto the list. To do so, please visit  DocGS , the online platform for doctoral candidates at the Technical University of Munich. Print out the application form, which has to be signed by the supervisor and by yourself. Submit the following completed and signed documents personally at the Graduate Center :

German University Degree

Foreign University Degree

An information sheet on official notarization is available here .

Application at a glance

  • A confirmation from a professor of TUM School of Management that he or she will supervise your dissertation is a prerequisite for registering in DocGS.
  • We only accept and process complete applications. Incomplete applications will extend the application process.
  • Please only submit officially certified copies of your Master’s degree certificate and transcript. For legal reasons, copies of your degree have to be certified even if you hold a TUM degree.
  • At the time you submit your application, your supervision agreement must state your mentor and must be signed by you, your mentor and your supervisor.
  • A personal appointment at our Graduate Center to hand in your complete application documents is mandatory for being added to the list of doctoral candidates. Please make an appointment in advance.
  • TUM distinguishes between the entry into the doctoral candidacy list and enrollment as a doctoral student. Once you are registered in the doctoral candidacy list, you can also enroll as a doctoral student of TUM and thereby take advantage of several benefits. This is possible for maximum 6 semesters. The TUM Graduate Schools shares more information on this process here .

Doctoral candidates

You made it and were successfully entered on the list of doctoral candidates of TUM School of Management? Congratulations!

Please find below further information on your doctoral program:

  • Support offers
  • Steps of your doctorate

Doctoral course program

  • Current doctoral defenses
  • Download Center for most important documents

Support options and further information

Funding & scholarships.

There are several ways of financing your living expenses during a doctorate. Employment as an academic assistant is the traditional way to finance a doctorate. Employment with a company or a non-university institute is another option for earning money. Furthermore, there is the possibility of being granted a scholarship.

For detailed information on other possibilities, please click  here .

Compulsory Qualification Program

Your doctorate consists of compulsory and voluntary qualification elements for some of which you can apply for funding if necessary.

The qualification program is designed to promote the subject-specific and interdisciplinary competences of doctoral candidates and thus support the doctoral phase in the best possible way. In addition, various optional offers as well as special financial support such as the proof-reading service and internationalization funding are available.

Please find detailed information on the qualification program in the Regulations of the Graduate Center and in the Download Center.

Funding for international research activities

Doctoral candidates at the Graduate Center of TUM School of Management can apply for funding for international research activities:

  • TUM Graduate School - Internationalization Support,
  • Graduate Center of Management - Mobility Fund
  • TUM Graduate School - Internationalization Grant (for doctoral candidates who are not employed at TUM),

For more information, please click  here , find more information in the Download Center or contact us .

Good scientific practice

The foundation of scientific work is the compliance with the principles of good scientific practice. We provide you as a new academic with extensive information on these principles, which conform to the  TUM Code of Conduct for Safeguarding Good Academic Practice and Procedures in Cases of Academic Misconduct  of the Technical University of Munich and the  corresponding memo  of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

Pause of Proofreading Service / Introduction of Grammarly

TUM wants to evaluate Grammarly and has started a 12 month test period. Grammarly is an AI based writing assistant. Grammarly is available for all Doctoral Candidates at TUM. Please log in by using Shibboleth with your TUM-ID on the Grammarly Website . During the evaluation period, the proofreading service is paused.

Please visit the Graduate School Wiki for more information.

Submitting your dissertation

In order to submit your dissertation, you have to apply in  DoCGS  for this process. For more information, please click  here  or contact the  Graduate Center .

Doctoral candidates who would like to hand in their dissertation must contact the  Graduate Center   in time (at least three months in advance)  in order to make sure the compulsory qualification program is completed.

Publishing your dissertation

You are required to publish your dissertation. The  University Library at the Technical University of Munich  can help you publish your dissertation quickly and in a high-profile manner. You can choose between a printed book and an electronic publication.

Academic Training Program

We strive to prepare highly talented and especially motivated doctoral candidates with outstanding degrees and extraordinary research potential in the best possible way for their international academic careers. Participants in the  Academic Training Program  can expect dual supervision and all-round support during this 4-year program (including a two year scholarship). The main focus is on the scientific course program, academic career coaching and international networking.

Find all doctoral courses of the Graduate Center of TUM School of Management as well as further information on doctoral course requirements in general and the process of recognizing courses from other institutions here.

phd in business management germany

In addition to courses from the Graduate Center of TUM School of Mangement, recognition of subject-related or transferable skills courses from the following institutions might be possible. Please contact the Graduate Center in advance for recognition options:


Doctoral Defenses and Graduates

Find all doctoral candidates including current defense dates as well as all doctoral graduates of TUM School of Management since 2016 here.

You have more questions? Check out the FAQ Center.

Find all downloads for the doctoral program here.

Campus Munich

Campus Heilbronn

Doctoral candidates' representation

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Doctorate at HHL

Overview doctoral program.

  • Dr. rer. oec.

Program Length

Program start.

  • Rolling admission, no application deadline

Admission Criteria

  • Master’s degree in business or economics (or related field) with the final grade of a 2.5 or better
  • Letter of acceptance from an HHL professor, following a personal interview regarding your research project
  • Research proposal
  • Letter of motivation

Tuition Fees (from Jan 01, 2024)

  • Study fee EUR 19,800, including:
  • Enrollment fee EUR 2,500 (waiver for HHL alumni)
  • Examination fee EUR 1,000 (waivers possible)


  • Doctoral AACSB
  • 25-35 new doctoral students/year
  • Average age: 31
  • > 350 doctoral graduates (1998-2023)

Core Modules

  • Philosophical Underpinnings of Economic and Management Research
  • Economic Analysis & Policy

Elective Modules

  • Econometrics/Methods of Multivariate Statistics
  • Qualitative Data Analysis
  • Scientific Writing & Publishing
  • Structural Equation Models
  • Time Series Models/Panel Data Models (elective courses are examples only)

Course Format

  • Online or hybrid

Program Structure

Hhl’s doctoral program focuses on your research project.

The Doctoral Program of HHL is designed on a part-time basis and is particularly of interest to research oriented candidates, seeking to combine their job with a postgraduate degree. It includes coursework in the form of lectures and seminars, independent research and participation in doctoral forums, research colloquia, summer schools and conferences.

Program structure

As a rule, HHL’s Doctoral Program takes three years. Doctoral candidates have the flexibility to arrange the coursework according to their individual schedule. All seminars take place in an online or hybrid format.

Course overview

We are offering a rolling admission, which allows you to start the Doctoral Program in your preferred term. Admission to the Doctoral Program at HHL is highly competitive and the participation in such a program in Germany differs from an American Ph.D. or a DBA program: It requires that the candidate finds a professor to supervise his or her doctoral thesis and a research proposal has to be submitted.

Application Documents

Please  apply online  with the following documents, which will then be assessed by HHL’s Doctoral Committee:

  • Confirmation of supervision from an HHL supervisor (letter of acceptance)
  • Final transcript and a degree certificate of all completed degree programs (at least one of them has to be a Master’s degree in Economics or Business Administration with a final grade which is equivalent of the German grade “good”)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Research proposal* **

* These documents can be handed in during the admission process. ** You find an overview of the research topics of our faculty below.

The admission requirements can also be found in the  Doctoral Statutes  (in German).

Application Process

  • Step 1 : Check whether you fulfill the formal admission criteria: a Master’s degree in Economics or Business Administration with a final grade which is equivalent of the German grade “good” .
  • Step 2 : Define your research topic (and begin to write your research proposal) .
  • Step 3 : Identify and contact potential supervisors from the HHL faculty according to your research topic.*
  • Step 4 : Write the research proposal in accordance with your potential supervisor.
  • Step 5 : If you obtain a confirmation of supervision, apply online , selecting your supervisor.
  • Step 6 : The Doctoral Committee evaluates your application .
  • Step 7 : You will be informed by the Admissions Officer about the final decision of the Doctoral Committee via email.
  • Step 8 : You receive the official admission documents and you get enrolled in the program.

If you have any questions or doubts regarding the doctoral program, contact us: [email protected]

Career Perspectives

With new competencies to challenging positions.

A doctoral degree from HHL enables you to choose from quite a variety of career options.

Depending on your own preferences you may either seize a next-level job opportunity with a company, even set up your own business, or –  if you like teaching and research – pursue an academic career. At HHL you may also habilitate and thus further indulge in research. In the last 22 years almost 300 students have obtained their doctoral degree from HHL. More than 30 of these postgraduates now work as professors at universities or at universities of applied sciences.

HHL Alumni in Academia

phd in business management germany

The magic word is “Balance“!  As an academic with consulting experience too, HHL’s doctoral program was the perfect fit for going through a well-thought plan of connecting academia with the industry, and showing the outcome of that in my thesis. As a foreigner with originally a British education, HHL provided the amazing educational environment, exposure to connections and events, as well as being taught by experienced professors. After graduation from HHL, I was offered multiple jobs in academia and in the industry. I am currently the Associate Dean of a reputable British University and I take over consulting projects as well. If time goes back, I definitely wouldn’t have picked anywhere else!

phd in business management germany

HHL provided me with the perfect framework for my doctorate. In addition to research at the chair of Professor Torsten Wulf, I was able to develop new methods for strategic planning in a practice-oriented way by working at the Center for Strategy and Scenario Planning together with Roland Berger: For me, the perfect balance of research, practice and teaching.

phd in business management germany

Since my studies in one of the first classes after the re-establishment of HHL, I have been very attached to HHL and very grateful for the excellent academic education and the great network. When, 12 years after my graduation and a career in brand management at Unilever and McCain, I decided to pursue a professorship at an HAW and still needed a doctorate, HHL was my first choice and in Prof. Vilks I found a doctoral supervisor to whom I am very grateful for his supervision and support during my external doctorate. Last but not least, the Leipzig location is a real competitive advantage, as are the service-oriented employees.

phd in business management germany

When I joined HHL as a research associate at the Chair of Strategy and Organization in 1995 HHL’s doctoral program was about to start. What I learned at our Chair is the unsubstitu­table basis for my whole academic ... read more career. In addition, a course program oriented towards international scientific standards was established step by step. As a highlight, Arnis Vilks’ course Philosophy of Science opened up topics for me which I profit from almost on a daily basis. Thus, HHL’s doctoral program embedded in a wide and fruitful international network became and still is what I call: my academic home. 1997: Completion of doctoral studies at HHL ( Chair of Strategic Management and Organization ) 2001-2002: Assistant Professor, Boston University 2002-2015: University Professor, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management

phd in business management germany

After my graduate studies at HHL I decided to join HHL’s doctoral program as a research associate at the Chair of Financial Management to continue working in the vibrant environment of academic excellence, ... read more innovation and business impact. I especially liked to develop and hold courses for the highly motivated and committed HHL students. These teaching experiences but also the research and project work prepared me well both for my former job as management consultant with BCG and for my current job as Professor of Finance. since 2019: University President of TH Brandenburg, University of Applied Sciences, Brandenburg, Germany since 2012: Professor of Business Administration, esp. Finance, TH Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences, Brandenburg, Germany 2009-2012: Consultant with BCG The Boston Consulting Group 2008: Completion of doctoral studies at HHL ( Chair of Financial Management )

Further graduates of HHL’s doctoral program work as professors at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW), Leipzig University of Applied Sciences (HTWK), KIT Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, IMD International Institute for Management Development (Switzerland), Philipps-Universität Marburg, University Duisburg-Essen, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim and at the University of Passau.

HHL Alumni in Companies

phd in business management germany

The Doctoral Program at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management was not only an outstanding academic experience for me, but also a time in which I built a strong (international) network. I had the opportunity to participate in various academic conferences in Germany and abroad and to present the research work of the Chair. The cross-chair collaborations with my peers and professors not only significantly influenced my professional development, but also my personal growth and have developed into lifelong friendships. The valuable network I built at HHL has been instrumental in preparing me for a successful start as a strategy consultant at Roland Berger.

phd in business management germany

After my graduate studies HHL’s doctoral program provided me with a unique opportunity to pursue my research interests and closely work together with outstanding supervisors as well as fellow researchers. Supervisors, faculty and fellow researchers at HHL were always available for help or advice on an idea I wanted to develop, a paper I had a hard time writing, or my dissertation that needed to be done well.

Further doctoral alumni work with SAP, EY – Ernst and Young, The Boston Consulting Group, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Otis, Roland Berger, Vodafone, Miele, BMW Group.

HHL Alumni Leading Their Own Business

phd in business management germany

After completing my Master of Science at HHL, I returned to my hometown in 2014 to complete my doctorate. As a research assistant at the Marketing Management Chair of Prof. Dr. Manfred Kirchgeorg, I supported practical projects as well as teaching courses. Looking back, I particularly appreciate the value of the well-founded way of working during my doctoral studies – a competence that has proven extremely helpful in my role as founder and CEO of two companies. Of course, I also benefit from HHL’s large network. I am proud of my academic journey at the “Gründerschmiede” and always look forward to an opportunity to return to my alma mater.

Career Development

The HHL Career Development guides you on your way to start a new employment or to develop on the job. The career support does not end once your aim is reached – you may contact the team of HHL’s career service also in later stages of your life.

  • CV and Cover letter checks
  • Personal career coaching
  • Mock interviews
  • Experienced hire job newsletter
  • Company and HHL alumni contacts
  • Salary information (and advice on negotiations)

Also the wide network of  HHL alumni  can prove to be a door opener to the targeted position. The HHL alumni are an active, international community offering lots of possibilities for networking.

phd in business management germany

Research Topics

Make an impact with your doctoral project.

At HHL, more than 20 chairs and centers work on a comprehensive range of research topics in the fields of business and economics. The research questions are often interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral, i.e. they combine economics issues with knowledge from e.g. ethics, psychology, health or law.

HHL researchers present their findings at international colloquia and conferences and publish the results in numerous journal articles and monographic dissertations. Latest topics dealt with at HHL were e.g. moral risk management, communicative leadership ethics, employee involvement in open innovation, current conceptual and empirical issues in group reporting under IFRS, service productivity, sustainability in supply chain networks or the perception of family firm brands.

The work of our researchers is greatly acknowledged by the research community. In 2013, Nagwan Abu El-Ella received the ISPIM Award for the “Best Paper on practical implications for technology”. In 2015, HHL doctoral candidate Christian Comberg together with co-authors received the ISPIM “That’s Interesting!” Research Award for their research paper titled “The Design Logic for Business Model Innovation in Sharing Economies”. Each year, HHL honors one of the doctoral candidates for excellent research with the HHL Research Award.

Which research area would you like to explore further? Check also the chairs’ pages for their focus and current projects.

A worthwhile investment

From Jan 01, 2024, the tuition fee amounts to EUR 19,800 for the entire program (including an enrollment fee of EUR 2,500 and an examination fee of EUR 1,000; the enrollment fee will be waived for HHL alumni), which is to be paid in three installments at the beginning of the first, second and third academic year. The tuition fees for the Doctoral Program are tax deductible as anticipated professional expenses. Get first tips by reading the  brochure “Steuertipps”  (in German). For detailed information please contact your legal tax advisor.


Seize funding opportunities.

Would you like to concentrate on your research only and attend HHL’s doctoral program without working? Then you may apply for a scholarship to cover the tuition fees (and/or living expenses). If you are interested in a research project on ethics, supervised by Prof. Dr. Andreas Suchanek , you might be interested in the scholarships of the Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics (WCGE) which are offered annually. There are plenty of scholarship options from other foundations for German and for international students. The following list gives you starting points for your scholarship search:

  • Scholarship tips from the German Association of University Professors and Lecturers (in German)
  • Funding opportunities recommended by the German Academic Exchange Service
  • Stipendienlotse (in German)

WCGE Scholarships “Ethics and Responsible Leadership in Business"

As a result of the generous support on behalf of the Karl Schlecht Foundation, a doctoral program was established in cooperation between the Wittenberg Centre for Global Ethics (WCGE) and the Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin (LEIZ) in Spring 2014. The program also includes a societal dialogue platform whereby the expertise of leading business ethicists, the experience of multi-national corporations and the individual perspectives of various different societal actors and organisations are brought together in the form of various different events and publications. The HHL is one of the associated academic institutions and is represented by Prof. Dr. Andreas Suchanek as one of the supervising professors. The program is open to outstanding doctoral students whose research interests address the field of responsible leadership in business in a global context. The goal is that students not only gain a qualification in their specific area of research but also, that they understand the broader theoretical and sociopolitical framework of their research activities.

Six Doctoral scholarships are offered annually to gifted students. The scholarship finances the students’ cost of living for the duration of the three year program. The associated study program includes 6 mandatory courses, 2 electives and 2 field projects via which the students test their theoretical knowledge and ideas in a practical context. Current students’ research topics span several aspects of economic and business ethics such as Behavioural Business Ethics, whereby insights from behavioural research and psychology are applied to business ethics issues, and Human Rights Due Diligence, which involves investigating how companies can guarantee that no human rights violations occur throughout their entire supply chain.

  • Doctoral Program "Ethics and Responsible Leadership in Business"

Individual Support

We are there for you.

Look forward to experiencing HHL as an institution with a truly personal atmosphere. As one of 30-40 students each year you will not only receive reliable and individual support from your supervisor and your fellow researchers but also from our administrative staff.

The Department of Student Affairs will guide you through your doctoral studies. Starting with showing you the HHL Campus and providing information about Leipzig, Mariah Littley will support you in managing your course plan and complying with the study regulations up to the final disputation. The HHL Library is well equipped and ready to help you with your research projects, providing not only comprehensive digital resources, but also individual consultations. The IT team organizes IT introduction sessions and can be approached with all IT-related questions. HHL’s Career Development offers individual and strategic guidance on your career development not only during your doctoral studies but also after graduation from HHL.

The intranet of HHL provides information on all HHL departments and its services, and also the HHL faculty. It serves as a communication tool and makes it easy for you to feel as a part of the HHL community and to easily reach the right persons for your questions.

phd in business management germany

At the Dr. Werner Jackstädt Chair of Economic and Business Ethics we attach great importance to the intensive exchange between our doctoral students. During a two-day seminar which takes place twice ... read more a year the doctoral candidates meet to discuss their current findings but also fundamental texts and topics. One of these seminars is also open to our doctoral alumni giving them the possibility to update their knowledge in the field of business ethics. On the other hand, current students may receive valuable advice and stimulation for their doctoral research from those who successfully completed the doctoral program at HHL. Apart from that we host a monthly telephone meeting each of which is lead by another doctoral student. The idea is to focus on a special aspect of his/her thesis and to present it to the others in an easily accessible way. Thus, we foster something that is essential to every doctoral student (and unfortunately too often neglected): the discussion of one’s own research with others.

phd in business management germany

Every doctoral student gets a welcome email from us with information on all services we provide. We support the students with research information sessions, which can also be arranged as an online meeting. ... read more These sessions are often very individual, due to the low student numbers. Especially useful for doctoral students is our free Citavi campus license that enables the effective management of collected references.

phd in business management germany

The HHL Career Service team responds individually and at the same time systematically to all your questions relating to your job entry and your further career development. Each biography unfolds an ... read more own story covering a variety of interests, likings, values and skills. We are very happy about the successful careers of many of our doctoral graduates and are pleased to still receive the latest news about their current business from them even beyond graduation.

A worldwide network as a source of inspiration and innovation

As a doctoral student at HHL you will be a member of a multi-faceted network. HHL as an institution as well as the chairs and centers maintain relations to partners from business, research and academia in Germany and abroad. They are a source for support and exchange. The close contact to external partners offers possibilities for joint research and transfer projects.

The HHL network comprises regional partners such as the local Leipzig University and the Leipzig Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer and stretches over renowned German research institutions like the KIT and Hasso Plattner Institute to the world’s top research institutions such as the Harvard Business School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The HHL community itself is a strong network. The SVI-Endowed Chair for Marketing, for instance, unites all current and former doctoral students in the Academic Marketing Association which offers regular meetings for mutual exchange. You will experience HHL’s close ties to its alumni in various ways. We are looking forward to your commitment to further develop and shape the HHL network.

International Partners

  • Harvard Business School, Boston, Mass., U.S.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Mass., U.S.
  • Stern School of Business, New York, U.S.
  • University of Exeter Business School, UK
  • European Academy of Management
  • European Health Management Association
  • European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ESCB)
  • Kozminski University, Warsaw, Poland

Partners in Germany

  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam
  • Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics
  • Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy, Leipzig
  • Leipzig University
  • Leipzig University of Applied Sciences (HTWK)
  • Leipzig Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer
  • SMILE Initiative
  • SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator, Leipzig
  • Translational Center for Regenerative Medicine, Leipzig

Doctoral Theses

The list below gives an overview about all doctoral theses published by HHL doctoral graduates. If you are interested in further publications by the HHL faculty or if you would like to search for a special topic, please start your search on the HHL Publications web page.

Click on the button to load the content from HHL publications database.

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Rolf BRÜHL - Berlin Campus

Prof. Dr. Rolf BRÜHL

Scientific Director + 49 (0) 30 32 007 150

Fabian Felten  - PhD Programmes -  Berlin Campus

Fabian Felten

PhD Programmes Tel: +49 30 32007 139

Berlin | Doctoral Programme

  • Berlin Doctoral Programme

Entry level

University degree in Business Administration or Economics (Graduate Diploma or Master/Magister)

German and English

An annual intake of around ten participants from different courses of study.

Where you study

  • Faculty & Research
  • Application and Fees

Berlin Doctoral Programme A leading player among German business school faculties

Rolf BRÜHL - Berlin Campus

- Prof. Dr. Rolf Brühl, Scientific Director of doctoral studies, ESCP Berlin Campus

Since 2003, when it was granted the right to confer doctoral degrees, ESCP Berlin Campus has offered a European doctoral programme in International Management. The School has set itself the task of providing new generations of university graduates with high-quality postgraduate study, which includes the writing and defence of an outstanding thesis, entitling the author to the academic degree of “Doctor of Business Administration” (Dr. rer. Pol.).

An intensive supervision

An intensive supervision to each doctoral student is an integral part of the programme. The regular period of doctoral study is three years: In the first year several courses are to complete: from philosophy of science to international business. The second and third year are primarily devoted to writing the thesis. The course of study ends with the “disputation”.

The ESCP Berlin Campus has joined the “recommendations for assuring a good scientific practice“ and has decided to adopt the “Procedure in Cases of Suspected Scientific Misconduct”

Application for the Doctoral programme

PhD regulation [DE]

The PhD regulation can be downloaded at the following link as a pdf document:

Scientific Misconduct [DE]

Procedure in Cases of Suspected Scientific Misconduct

Work for Us

Work for ESCP Berlin during the Doctoral programme

Berlin Doctoral Programe Europäisches Promotionsstudium in Internationaler Betriebswirtschaftslehre

The regular period of doctoral study is three years..

In their first year doctoral students take part in block seminars and lectures. The seminars build on the students’ university education and, in addition, coach the methodical and methodological skills needed to successfully write a thesis. The seminars are offered as block courses and have the following thematic priorities:

  • International Management
  • Theoretical and methodological problems of intercultural / international comparative research
  • Research programs in economics
  • Methods of the empirical social research
  • Theorie of Science

Second and Third Year

The second and third years are primarily devoted to writing the thesis, which takes place in close coordination with the supervising professor. Parallel to this, in the framework of research colloquia, current topics of international business studies and related disciplines are taken up and discussed with regard to both contents and methods. In the colloquia, too, doctoral students regularly report on the progress of their thesis, subjecting their work to critical discussion.

Academic exchange

In order to further academic exchange at the Business School , the participants of the programme take part in workshops with doctoral students from other ESCP campuses. Visits abroad for research purposes, as well as the presentation of research results at international congresses, are encouraged, and receive financial support from the ESCP network. The course of study ends with the “disputation”, the oral defence of the thesis.

Berlin Doctoral Programme application and fees

Application process and fees.

ESCP expects from its young scientists outstanding academic work and provides an optimal supervisory relationship. Therefore, the approval process for the doctoral program is highly selective. The programme has an annual intake of around ten participants from different courses of study. About 35 doctoral students are currently being supervised at ESCP Berlin Campus.


University degree in business administration or economics.

University degree in Business Administration or Economics (Graduate Diploma or Master/Magister) rated good or higher; further requirements apply to graduates of other subjects as well as to applicants from other institutions of higher education. The relevant provisions can be found in our PhD regulations (paragraph 3).

High level of proficiency in English

The seminars of the doctoral programme will be offered entirely in English; proficiency in further languages if research visits abroad are planned.


Step 1 contact the academic chair.

Candidates for the program contact the academic chair for the field they are interested in and ask weather a cooperation is possible. The supervision of extra-occupational promotions can be realized.

Step 2 Application Documents

If there is the opportunity to support your research project, application documents need to be submitted. Please use the application form , it includes a list with further documents which are required for a successful application.

Step 3 Admission Interview

Suitable candidates will be invited for an admission interview. Based on the interview and the submitted documents, candidates are suggested to the doctoral board for participating in the doctoral programme which decides on the admission of the candidate.

Annual Fee (3 years)

Registration fee (for admission), final exam (disputation.

In general, these costs are eliminated for research assistants of ESCP Berlin Campus.


Faculty of management, economics and social sciences cologne graduate school in management, economics and social sciences, doctoral study programme in management.

a head silhouette with symbolic gears and an unlighted bulb - symbolic for CGS’ Doctoral Study Programme in Management

CGS offers four research-oriented doctoral programmes: management, economics and social sciences as doctoral study programmes and economic research as an integrated study programme. CGS is one of the few graduate schools worldwide that foster multi-disciplinary research and teaching that transcends conventional academic boundaries. The doctoral courses in each study programme can be combined with courses from other disciplines. The programme structure therefore promotes the exchange of ideas, methods and approaches for conducting innovative research projects.

Doctoral Study Programmes

In the doctoral study programme in Management each doctoral student is generally required to accumulate a minimum of 30 credit points (exceptions may apply to students in post-graduate programmes ("Graduiertenkollegs") or IMPRS students). The course programme consists of core, field-specific courses that are supplemented by a wide range of elective courses.

Supervision of Doctoral Projects

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phd in business management germany

Programme Overview

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management is one of Europe’s leading business schools with an internationally recognised reputation for relevant and rigorous research. We are determined to attract the most talented doctoral students in accounting, economics, finance and management, therefore we offer a stimulating academic environment.

Researchers at Frankfurt School work on fundamental problems that challenge firms and society. How should firms respond to climate change? Can markets be redesigned to support fair outcomes? Does working from home improve gender equality?

The five-year doctoral programme equips students to contribute to these debates. The first two years generally consist of classes in which students focus on analytical skills. Students also take courses in their chosen area of academic specialisation in Accounting, Economics, Finance, or Management, which provides the foundation from which to develop research topics. The programme encourages students to broaden their scope and obtain training in related areas such as data sciences, operations research, or economics.

The coursework phase ends when students successfully pass their Qualifying Exam and graduate to the dissertation stage. At this time, students have the opportunity to obtain a Master’s degree in Business Research and Analytics as part of their doctoral programme. In the dissertation stage (years 3-5), students move to active research and write their dissertation.

While our primary intention is to provide graduates with an ideal platform to enter the world of academia, their research topics are also directly relevant for business and politics. We train our students to develop solutions to complex problems and to develop the social and conceptual skills they need to advise others. Our faculty mentors and supports students in their research. This nurturing intellectual climate is combined with an exciting state-of-the-art campus environment.

Frankfurt School confers a Dr. rer. pol., the German equivalent of a PhD in Economics. The School offers fully-funded study places and a generous monthly stipend for up to 5 years.

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In the first two years, doctoral students attend core courses, elective courses, and concentration courses in their respective academic specialisations. In this phase, they obtain the knowledge and skills to research.

The four specialisations, Accounting, Economics, Finance & Management, follow a similar structure.

We asked Dr. Timo Vogelsang, Assistant Professor of Management Accounting, why it is important to invest in coursework at the beginning of your research career. Here is what he had to say:

Timo Vogelsang

“The courses are an important basis for excellence while doing your dissertation research. Moreover, during your academic career, you will probably never have so much time available to learn new things. My supervisor always told me this. Now I sometimes regret that I did not spend much more time during the course-phase to learn more about the most current empirical methods and theoretical approaches.“

Ruishen Zhang, Assistant Professor of Accounting

Ruishen Zhang, Assistant Professor of Accounting

Finished his doctoral studies at frankfurt school and is now an assistant professor at shanghai university of finance and economics., "the frankfurt school faculty has introduced me to a wide range of topics in accounting research and has helped me connect with the international research community. my experience at frankfurt school has prepared me for my academic career.", ruishen zhang, assistant professor of accounting,.

Prof. Dr. Tobias Berg

Prof. Dr. Tobias Berg

Professor of finance, head of finance department, „we seek to educate our dr. rer. pol. students so that they can work on the frontier of academic research. we want to foster creativity and challenge dr. rer. pol. students every day, making them well prepared to work at top universities and research institutions worldwide.“, prof. dr. tobias berg,.

Prof. Dr. Frank Ecker

Prof. Dr. Frank Ecker

Professor of accounting, head of accounting department, "what i find very attractive about accounting is how many different important research areas it actually encompasses. while evolving around the concept of “information”, accounting spans strategic considerations in the reporting of financial and non-financial information, consequences for resource-allocation decisions, corporate governance, employee performance measurement, and designing optimal incentive schemes, to name a few. many important questions in these areas remain unanswered, providing ample research opportunities for talented students from all over the world.", prof. dr. frank ecker,.

Ionela Andreicovici

Ionela Andreicovici

Assistant professor of accounting, “having a data science background myself, i can confidently say that frankfurt school is the perfect place for me to apply my knowledge in data science in answering important questions. for instance, i use machine learning algorithms to try to push the boundaries of accounting research. for dr. rer. pol. students, the faculty not only offers vision but also resources to support them in putting their data science knowledge into action while advancing their understanding of economics.”, ionela andreicovici,, doctoral student life at fs.

We asked some of our current doctoral students to describe a typical day in their lives at the Frankfurt School. Here is what they said:

Xu Huiting

"On a typical day, I get up at 7:30 am. I check my emails, do in-door sports, and have breakfast. I leave home around 9:15 am and learn German on the underground. At school, I continue working where I stopped yesterday. As a third-year student I have finished my coursework, so I fully focus on my research. My favourite part of the day is the lunch break when I meet my school mates. Today in the afternoon, I attended the regular reading group lead by Professor Falko Fecht on the topic of banking and financial intermediations."

My favourite part of the day is the lunch break when I meet my schoolmates. Today in the afternoon, I attended the regular reading group lead by Prof. Dr. Falko Fecht on the topic of banking and financial intermediations."


“Once a week, we usually have a research seminar day, where a scholar from another university presents their research. Sometimes these scholars are legends in your field, whose work is quoted everywhere and it is always interesting to see the rigour with which their work is still interrogated. My favourite thing about this day though, is you get a chance to spend some time speaking with them and you realize they are pretty cool people, trying to do the best research they can, just like you. ”

My favourite thing about this day though, is that you get a chance to spend some time speaking with them and you realise they are pretty cool people, trying to do the best research they can, just like you.”

Maximilian Vojgt

“On a usual day, I am arriving at my desk between 8 and 9 am after having exercised in the morning. Then, I am getting my first coffee in the Faculty Lounge, which is also an excellent place to meet fellow PhD-students or faculty. After that, I am settling down at my desk and start working. As I am mostly working on theoretical projects, a lot of my work consists of solving mathematical problems. Hence, I am either programming potential solution algorithms or I am working with pen and paper. Here, the atmosphere at the Frankfurt School allows me to work in a highly concentrated manner."

At around twelve, most doctoral students are having lunch together. So, that’s perfect timing to chat about current news, research updates, or general things. Often, we are also having a seminar at lunchtime, where a top researcher presents his or her current project. These seminars are mostly highly interactive and a good way to get to know professors from other institutions as well. Due to Corona, a lot of seminars also shifted to online, such that there is a virtual presentation at some conference or seminar series almost every day. After lunch, I am typically trying to read a paper to catch-up with the current state of research. Thereby, I am trying not to focus too much on a single field but really to get a broader understanding of the economics and finance literature. Thereafter, I am often having a meeting with my supervisor or some other faculty member in the afternoon. There, we discuss my progress and these meetings are a great opportunity to ask open questions that help me to progress faster. After having had some more coffees throughout the day, I am leaving the Frankfurt School in the evening. After dinner at home, I am mostly reading books that are not connected to my research. Sometimes, this is also the perfect time to answer emails from students that arrived throughout the day.”

Student funding and scholarships

Frankfurt School offers fully-funded study places for the doctoral programme in order to attract and support the brightest minds in academia.

Students are expected to devote 100% of their working time to their doctoral studies at Frankfurt School for up to five years.

Funding includes a tuition fee waiver and a cost-of-living stipend. The monthly stipend comprises of EUR 1,820.

The stipend will be granted for five years, conditional on continuing to satisfy all academic programme requirements.

Doctoral students will receive EUR 1,820 from the first year onwards, for five years.

Furthermore, Frankfurt School covers costs related to research, including conferences and overseas visits.

Publications by doctoral students

Frankfurt School doctoral students contribute to high-quality research and publish in scientific top journals.

phd placment candidates

Application process

1. target group.

Outstanding graduates of a Bachelor‘s or Master’s programme in business administration, finance, management, accounting or related fields who aspire to launch an academic career.

Candidates in the final year of a Master’s or Bachelor’s programme are welcome to apply with their most recent academic transcript. Please note that the degree has to be completed by the time of the beginning of the PhD. The expected grade of the applicants may not be less than a “B” grade point average or 75% of the achievable credits. Foreign degrees will be checked regarding their equivalence.

2. Online Application

The first step of our application process is to complete the online application form. You will need to upload the required documents. Please note that you need a certified English or German translation for all documents not originally in German or English. The application platform will be open from 15 September until 15 January

Required Documents

  • CV and list of publications (if existent)
  • Certified copy of your University Entrance Qualification (Abitur, A-levels or equivalent)
  • Certified copy of your University Degree Certificate or equivalent and academic transcript of records
  • Official GMAT or GRE results
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency Test (TOEFL IBT min. score of 100/IELTS min. score of 7.0)
  • Statement of Purpose (up to 2 pages): Why are you interested in your chosen field of study? What are the potential areas of research you might pursue? Have you completed any research projects with faculty? Is the research of any member of the FS faculty of interest to you?
  • Optional Statement: If you would like the committee to consider any of the following factors, you can describe their relevance in a separate statement within the application. This can contribute to the diversity of the entering class: background, extracurricular activities, work experience.

Two letters of recommendation: To request the letters from your recommenders, you have to register on a separate platform and send your request from there.

Please click on this link to access the platform:

Create a profile by clicking on the button “Apply now”.

If you require assistance, go to the “Home” tab and click the “Dossier Quick Start Guide”.

Once you send your request to your potential recommender, they will receive an e-mail together with a link where they can upload their recommendation letter confidentially. Please provide a deadline for your recommendation letter to ensure we receive it on time. Once the recommender has uploaded the letter, we will be notified and will be able to access it.

3. Interview

Successful applicants will be invited to an online interview with faculty members of their chosen concentration.

The final decision regarding admission to our doctoral programme will be made by the Committee for Doctoral Proceedings. It is based on the applicant's overall portfolio and the interview.

If you wonder what qualities the selection committee is looking for in applicants, here is some advice:

Markus Fitza

Prof. Dr. Markus Fitza, Professor of Management

states: “We are looking for outstanding conceptual and analytical skills. A genuine interest in research and a career in academia is a must.”

Francesco Sangiorgi

Prof. Dr. Francesco Sangiorgi, Professor of Finance

similarly highlights analytical skills for the Finance programme: “We encourage applications from candidates with strong analytical and quantitative skills.”


Prof. Dr. Yuping Jia, Professor of Accounting

emphasizes that applicants do not need to be experts in accounting regulation, indeed she argues that “Accounting is interested in original thinkers, who are creative and have broad interests. People with diverse backgrounds, but with genuine curiosity will find that accounting research has a lot to offer.”

phd in business management germany

Isabeau Köhncke Recruitment Officer

phd in business management germany

Lianna Mirzoyan Recruitment Officer

Fully funded PhD Scholarships: Apply now for the structured Ph.D. Program in Operations Management

Der Mittelbau des Mannheimer Schlosses im Sonnenlicht

3 January 2024

Interested in pursuing a fully funded PhD in operations management at Germany's top-ranked business school?

We are inviting applications for our structured Ph.D. program in Operations Management at the Center for Doctoral Studies in Business ( CDSB ). Our program trains outstanding talents to apply theoretical, data-driven, or empirical analysis to advance knowledge in all areas of operations management – from procurement and supply chain management all the way to production and service operations .

Please see this flyer for more details and note that the early application deadline is January-15, 2024 ; the final application deadline is March-31, 2024 . In case of questions, please contact our faculty – we are happy to provide additional information.

Related Files

  • CDSB_OPM_Flyer-2024.pdf ( PDF , 199 KB )

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phd in business management germany

  • State-recognized since 1999
  • Accredited by the German Science and Humanities Council
  • Leading positions in various rankings
  • Munich – a prime business location

PhD Studies for Executives

PhD studies are quite specific in their nature in that they are often targeted to those who have just done their master’s degree and may not necessarily have professional experience. But what if you had a dream of getting a doctorate which had to be set aside to prioritize employment? Furthermore, what if you don’t want to leave employment but doctoral studies still play on your senses? Does an alternative to PhD in business exist? The short answer is yes, and it’s called a DBA.

Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) is an equivalent of PhD studies in business for those who earned at least 5 years of work experience with at least 3 years in a managerial role. The part-time nature of this programme allows to complete studies in parallel to full-time employment and the structured approach for taught modules makes it easy to plan.

Munich Business School together with Sheffield Hallam University have years of experience delivering the DBA programme together. Our collaboration resulted in many outstanding research projects in areas such as technology, marketing, finance, HR or organizational behavior. Self-directed nature of these studies puts you in full control of your research area, supported throughout by our experienced faculty members.

phd in business management germany

Why choose DBA at Munich Business School:

  • Full control over your research project, you can propose a research question in any topic related to business and direct your study as you wish
  • Flexibility to combine full-time employment with doctoral studies so that you don’t pause your career or put your financial stability at risk
  • Expert supervisors from two institutions provide you with latest industry knowledge and technical know-how on how to conduct research and write your thesis
  • Doctor title recognized in Germany and completed in two international institutions gives you opportunities for wider networking and access to a bigger pool of resources and expertise

This business-oriented alternative to PhD studies enables you to become an expert in your field of study, increasing employment opportunities and earning potential. Showing your future employer that you are willing to go the extra mile and stand out from the crowd will help you in increasing your salary and securing a leadership role.

Munich Business School has been named the best private specialist business university in Germany (WirtschaftsWoche ranking 2022).

The Munich-based private university was founded in 1991 and offers a range of programs at bachelor’s and master’s level as well as a doctoral program (DBA).

What do you need to join our research programme:

  • Minimum 5 years of work experience with at least 3 years in a managerial position i.e. budget or team responsibility, project management
  • Master degree in business, management or related area, alternatively an MBA degree
  • English proficiency
  • Research proposal indicating your topic of interest, motivation for completing the programme and insights as to how you wish to complete the degree

The application process is very simple and you need to upload all your files to our online portal, for more information you can visit our dedicated page .

Our DBA programme is a part-time opportunity and so it does not qualify for visa support or scholarships. However, if you contact us for more information, we can provide you some insights about interest-free payment plans to help spread out the cost according to your needs. Below you will find contact details to our DBA study advisor.

phd in business management germany

Our alternative to PhD Studies for Executives in a nutshell

No need for career breaks.

Benefit from experienced partnership of two prestigious institutions who are here to support you along the way. You can complete our DBA programme in 4 years part-time without taking career breaks but having the flexibility to take a break from your research if required.

Become an expert in your field

The DBA is an open to any research that has business relevance. Unlike a PhD, we don’t impose a subject for your research, giving you the steering wheel and providing you with all that you need to succeed in mastering your field of study.

Capitalize on your investment into the programme

Committing to the programme is not easy both in terms of money and time – and we know that very well. However, think of it as a long-term investment. Your doctorate will open up new opportunities to you in the future and the Dr. title makes your salary negotiation position much stronger.

Key Information

  • The DBA programme begins in mid-September with a module in Sheffield, two other modules take place in Munich
  • Minimum duration of the programme is 4 years, some doctorands complete it faster and some take a little longer – depends on your personal circumstances
  • The programme is part-time so you can continue with your professional career whilst researching for your DBA
  • DBA with Munich Business School costs €36,000 in total – we offer no scholarships but can discuss interest-free payment plans available
  • You can submit your application any time with three deadlines available – 31 st January, 31 st March and 31 st May – places are limited so you are encouraged to apply early.

Financing your PhD studies or DBA studies

Working in business, you have to see your PhD studies alternative as a long-term investment. We understand it’s not always easy and although we may not offer you a scholarship, by keeping the cost of our DBA programme low, we don’t artificially try to lure you in. The total cost of the programme is €36,000 for the 4 years. This cost does not include travel & accommodation for your 1-week intensive residential modules or additional years. Should you need more than 4 years, each additional one is charged at €3,600. We offer interest-free payment plans to help you manage the costs better with monthly, quarterly or half-year options.

First steps to your PhD studies or DBA studies

Your next step would be to join our information session or set-up a virtual consultation to discuss the programme in more detail. We want to ensure you have all the information you need before applying and then you can simply submit all your documents on our website. To make your first step, please check out our events and register for an MS Teams link.

Alternatively, please send a copy of your CV and availability to Maciej Kapron our study advisor who will be very happy to meet you for a personal consultation.

Would you like to learn more?

Studienberater MBS: Andrew Heldt

Elsenheimerstraße 61,  80687 Munich Germany

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Doctor of Business Administration

  • extra-occupational
  • DBA degree by LJMU
  • university cooperations

Get the highest academic degree in management education. With the part-time Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), you get to apply your leadership skills to a real business case and take your company to the next level.

  • Coming soon

Doctor of Business Administration

Your Part-Time DBA Degree 

The DBA is a part-time degree programme designed for managers and executives who want to earn a professional doctoral degree and develop both their research skills and their career prospects .

As the programme structure is tailored to active professionals , you can apply your findings directly to the needs of your organisation , driving progress without sacrificing your studies or your work.   

The DBA is a partnership with LJMU, Liverpool John Moores University, UK, which also awards the DBA degree. The workshops take place in both Liverpool and Berlin .

The rest of the time, you will be mentored virtually and apply your insights to your company or an organisation of your choice . Thanks to the part-time approach, we offer you the opportunity to achieve the highest academic qualification while working full-time. The programme has been running very successfully at LJMU for ten years and will be available soon to SRH Berlin students. 

Interested? This study programme will be available very soon. Click here to sign up for more information and stay updated.

phd in business management germany

Why It’s Worth Getting a DBA

Upon completion of the Doctorate in Business Administration, you'll have a specialised repertoire of problem-solving and decision-making strategies that will take you to the next level of your career and will help your organisation save money and implement new innovative strategies through your research. 

By working closely with other senior professionals, you'll also expand your network with valuable contacts around the world. 

Companies benefit from the support of DBA candidates by developing and retaining talent and using knowledge as a competitive advantage. 

The advantages of the Doctorate of Business Administration at a glance:

  • enables you to acquire a part-time doctorate
  • enhances your professional and academic qualification
  • strengthens the competitiveness and financial security of one's own company
  • provides a solid foundation for further professional development or an important career step
  • offers a large international network of managers and senior professionals

Der Doctor of Business Administration ermöglicht eine berufsbegleitende Promotion

What students say about the DBA programme

Learn more and stay in touch.

Get to know the Berlin School of Management and our business programmes in Berlin!

phd in business management germany

Frequently asked questions

  • What is a DBA? A Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is the highest academic management degree.  
  • Is the DBA equivalent to a PhD in Germany and am I allowed to use the title "Dr." in Germany? Yes, the DBA is recognised as an equivalent degree programme. A DBA differs from other doctoral degrees as it focuses on the application of research in a real business environment, which is also a prerequisite for successful completion. Under the current regulations, the abbreviated form "Dr." may be used (without a subject-related addition and without a designation of origin).  
  • How is the DBA programme structured? The DBA programme is unique in its design and structure as well as the intensive supervision of students. It lasts approximately four years, with a maximum duration of seven years. In the first three years, a total of four 5-day workshops are held in Liverpool and Berlin. Here, the research process is planned and the topics and methods to be implemented in the company are specified. In addition, students learn more about data collection and analysis, academic writing and take part in the colloquium. After the third year, there are no more workshops and students focus on completing their dissertation and prepare for the exam. Typically, students receive their DBA degree within four years.

Our requirements

To submit your application, you will need the following:

  • Master's degree in Business/Management
  • Min. 2 years of managerial experience or min. 5 year of other relevant work experience
  • Letter of motivation incl. research plans
  • One academic and one industry reference
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Copy of your passport/ID

Here are our English language requirements:

  • TOEFL 87 ibt (direct entry)
  • TOEFL 79 - 86 ibt (with additional agreement)
  • TOEIC 785 (Listening/Reading 785, Speaking 160, Writing 150)
  • IELTS/ IELTS ONLINE (academic) 6.5 on average - please see Language Centre guidelines if results differ
  • CAE (grade A, B, or C)
  • CPE (grade A, B or C)
  • Pearson English Test Academic (PTE-A) 59 points
  • Linguaskill: 176 - 184 (CES) - all four skills required
  • Duolingo 110 points

Details letter of motivation including research plans

Personal statement (max. 2,000 words). This is not a full research proposal, but should address why you would like to do a DBA, why you think you are suitable for the programme and what you expect from the DBA. You should furthermore provide a brief outline of your research topic and its contribution to theory and practice, including:

  • title of your research
  • introduction of your research
  • literature review of current studies
  • research methods
  • contribution of your research.

phd in business management germany

Your tuition fees

Tuition Fees

  • Year 1 - 3 | Citizenship "International" (all countries excl. UK): £13,100 / year (part-time)

Write-Up Fees

  • Year 4 - 7 | £4,400

If you have any questions, our team is happy to help you

  • Your contact

phd in business management germany

Main building and Geschwister-Scholl-Platz from above

Master of Business Research

The Master of Business Research (MBR) offers students a gateway into the fantastic world of academia. Completed alongside the PhD, it offers important insights on academic methods, culture and career building.

Quick Links

  • Course Catalogue
  • Regulations
  • Frequently Asked Questions
A PhD in Management at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität gives PhD students the opportunity to dig deep into one research problem of their interest. Two years of methodological and subject-specific training allow students to learn the necessary tools to conduct high-quality research and become an expert in their specialized area.

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  • ESMT Berlin
  • Faculty & Research
  • PhD Program

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PhD program

Do you have questions or need more information about our program?

Take your research and career to the next level with a PhD. ESMT Berlin's structured PhD studies provide an intellectually stimulating and academically rigorous environment for you to make the most of your research. With our vibrant international community and focus on real-world impact, it's the ideal environment to progress your career. 

  • Rigorous training in state-of-the-art methodology in preparation for your independent research.
  • Access to ESMT’s world-class faculty and the Berlin science community.
  • Close collaboration and supervision by ESMT professors.
  • Successful applicants must have obtained a Master’s in Economics or Business Studies and have performed exceptionally well in their studies.
  • Applicants from related fields (such as industrial engineering, statistics, or quantitative social sciences) may also fulfill the admission requirements if they have an interest in economics or business studies.
  • ESMT’s PhD program addresses outstanding candidates with a strong desire to conduct their own research projects. Participation is free of charge.
  • PhD positions will be offered alongside part-time Research Assistant employment. View current vacancies .
  • ESMT offers support to cover the costs related to research, including conferences and overseas visits.
  • Awarded degree: PhD or Dr. rer. oec.

PhD curriculum (180 ECTS)

  • Methodological and research-oriented training in mandatory course work. 
  • Selection of research area and supervisory support. 

60 ECTS from qualification courses, soft skill courses, and presentation of a scientific article.

  • Own research, electives, and further development of soft skills and teaching. 
  • Participation in seminars and conferences, presentation of dissertations.

120 ECTS for the dissertation and the defense colloquium.

An individual study plan, which determines the selection of courses to be taken, must be agreed upon in writing with the supervisor within two months after enrollment in the PhD Program and approved by the PhD Council.

The content of the required coursework should guarantee that ESMT PhD candidates obtain the necessary training to conduct research independently and at the highest levels. This typically requires the mastering of a broad set of research methods commonly applied in the area of management.

Integration into Berlin's scientific community

You can choose from a variety of PhD courses typically (but not only) offered by the  Berlin School of Economics (BSoE) . The courses are not limited to management science, allowing candidates to choose from topics in economics, machine learning, analytics, and data science.

ESMT is a founding member of the Berlin-wide structured doctoral BSoE PhD program which candidates can choose to enroll in as an alternative to the ESMT PhD program.

For candidates enrolled in the BSoE program, ESMT offers financial support through stipends and travel allowances. Applications for the BSoE program must be made directly via the Online Portal .

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Stefan Wagner

Earn your phd at esmt berlin.

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To learn more about our exciting PhD program, please use the below link to download our brochure.

Develop your research skills, mostly in the quantitative areas, currently offering a series of seminars on using generative AI for various research tasks.

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PhD students & graduates

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PhD Studies & Research

Research in Germany

Science and research in Germany are characterised by a distinguished infrastructure, a wide variety of disciplines, well-equipped research facilities and competent staff. Germany offers various career opportunities for international PhD students and researchers.

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Find your PhD position in Germany

Before you start your search ....

Before you start your search you should know that there are different PhD models:

  • Individual doctorate  or
  • Structured PhD programmes

What's the difference? Check out our  overview of the various ways to do your PhD in Germany  

Find your individual doctorate

Two young researchers are sitting on a lab desk listening to a standing professor and taking notes. The professor holds a molecular model in his hands.

The "traditional" or "individual" path to a PhD remains the most common in Germany. An individual doctorate involves a thesis or dissertation that is produced under the  supervision of one professor . This form of PhD study offers a great deal of  flexibility , but demands a high degree of  personal initiative  and responsibility.

How to find your PhD supervisor

In Germany there is no central admissions or selection office for doctoral students. Therefore, your first step is to find a suitable professor who is willing to be your supervisor.

One way to find a supervisor is to look for a university institute that matches your area of research. The following online search engines might help you find a suitable supervisor:

  • GERiT – German research institutions GERiT is a website containing information on approximately 29,000 research institutions in Germany. GERiT allows the user to search easily by location or subject. It provides all the information needed to choose an institution at which to research, study or do a doctorate.
  • Finding a PhD position PhDGermany publishes PhD openings in Germany that specifically target international applicants. Accordingly, in most cases the working language is English. Fluent knowledge of German is only required for certain special positions. PhDGermany helps you find the right PhD opening or supervisor for your doctoral thesis and assists you with the online application process.
  • Higher Education Compass   This database provides up-to-date information from universities about doctoral opportunities in Germany. The search engine enables you to carry out targeted searches on the basis of departments, admission requirements and form of doctoral thesis.

Furthermore,  your contacts with your professors or previous university  could help direct you to a suitable department or potential supervisor in Germany.

It is also helpful to attend  academic conferences  in your own subject area. There you will be able to exchange information and make contacts ­– and perhaps even find a future PhD supervisor.

Find your structured PhD programme

Students are sitting in a modern study hall on red chairs at grey desks.


Structured PhD programmes in Germany are frequently very similar to the PhD programmes in English-speaking countries, in which a  team of supervisors  look after a  group of doctoral students . Around 12,000 doctoral students from abroad – roughly one in four – do their PhDs in structured programmes. As a rule, it is possible to complete a doctorate in four to five years.

Where to find your PhD programme

There is no central database of all structured PhD programmes in Germany. You can usually find these programmes directly through the respective universities, graduate schools or non-university research institutions. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) database is also a good place to look. Here you will find a large number of PhD programmes that are specially aimed at international doctoral students.

International doctoral programme database

Are you interested in an international doctoral programme in Germany? This DAAD database presents a selection of roughly 230 international doctoral programmes in Germany. The database can be searched according to different criteria. 

Doctoral programmes at universities

Many universities offer structured doctoral programmes, which they publicise on their websites. The Student Advisory Service or Graduate Centre at the respective university will also provide help here. You can find the relevant addresses using the Higher Education Compass provided by the German Rectors’ Conference.

​​​​​​​DFG-funded research training groups

Research training groups are also funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) for a period of up to nine years. Their key emphasis is on the qualification of doctoral researchers within the framework of a focused research programme and a structured training strategy. > Current Research Training Groups

Helmholtz Research Schools, Colleges and Graduate Schools

The Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organisation. In collaboration with various institutions of higher education, Helmholtz Association research centres have established structured PhD programmes under the auspices of Helmholtz Graduate Schools, Helmholtz Research Schools and Colleges. > PhD Candidates 

Leibniz Graduate Schools

The Leibniz Association connects 97 research institutes that conduct problem-oriented research and provide scientific infrastructure of national and international importance. Together with universities they run structured PhD programmes in Leibniz Graduate Schools. > Leibniz Graduate Schools

International Max Planck Research Schools

The Max Planck Society specialises in innovative basic research and its institutes are able to offer up-and-coming researchers excellent infrastructure and support. The website lists the programmes available at International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS): > International Max Planck Research Schools  

Max Planck Schools

In Germany, the best researchers in a specific field are often work at different universities and non-university research institutions spread throughout the country. The Max Planck Schools serve as hubs which gather this distributed knowledge. Here, the brightest minds in their fields have come together from within the scientific community to interconnect in faculties made up of active researchers. Students gain access to these unique networks, learn in close personal exchange from leaders in their fields and their peers, and enjoy access to outstanding infrastructure. Currently, three Schools are operating in the fields of Cognition, Matter to Life, and Photonics.

Where can I find out about requirements?

Application procedures  differ from programme to programme . The precise requirements and deadlines can be found on the website of the respective university, research training group or graduate school. You should therefore first choose a PhD programme and/or graduate school.

You've found the position you want to apply for, but how does applying to a potential supervisor or structured PhD programme work in Germany? Find out more here.

DAAD/Jan Zappner

We help you navigate through the large number of job portals that specialise in openings for academics and scientists. These are some of the sites that may get you started.

DAAD/Uta Konopka

The cover of the brochure "Doing a PhD in Germany". It depicts a graduation cap and a diploma. On the bottom left there is the logo of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. On the bottom right is the logo of "Research in Germany"

Check out our brochure

Doing a phd in germany (2019, 40 pages).

This booklet for (prospective) international doctoral students presents the different options for doing a doctorate in Germany. It explains the formal requirements and gives some practical advice on finding the right supervisor or doctoral programme. It also outlines different sponsorship and funding options.

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Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business Launches M.S. in Management Program

Students sit in a classroom at the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business.

Scheller’s M.S. in Management program begins classes in Fall 2024

In Fall 2024, the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business will enroll students in a full-time, on-campus M.S. in Management program . This graduate degree is designed for early career students from any background seeking a solid business foundation as they shape their career trajectory.  

“We are excited to expand Scheller’s reach in providing exceptional business education for students from all backgrounds and in all career stages,” said Jonathan Clarke , senior associate dean for strategic initiatives and associate professor of Finance. “I look forward to seeing students merge their diverse interests in the Scheller classroom and then exceling at wherever their interests may take them because of the solid business foundation they built here.” 

The two-semester, 30-credit hour M.S. in Management degree adds valuable knowledge and functional skillsets to those starting out on their career journey. The program places students alongside MBA classmates as they acquire a core knowledge of business principles across subjects, including the fundamentals of accounting, marketing, finance, organizational behavior, and strategy. These core courses are supplemented by elective coursework, chosen by the student to complement their unique interests and career goals.  

Applications open for Fall 2024 admission on April 29, 2024 and close on Sunday, June 30, 2024.  

Learn More: M.S. in Management

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Management Researcher Unveils Surprising Insights into Startup Inventions

April 17, 2024

Charlotte Jacobs, a woman with brown hair and a grey suit, smiling for headshot photo.

The study delves into the intricate web of invention dynamics, exploring the influence exerted by patents from startups and established firms. Through meticulous analysis of patent citations, which serve as markers of influence and inspiration for future innovations, Jacobs and her co-author, Francisco Polidoro Jr. (Professor, The University of Texas at Austin), uncovered intriguing patterns.

The research reveals that startup patents receive an average of 6% more citations than technologically similar patents from established firms. This surprising finding prompts a deeper investigation into the factors driving the outsized influence of startup inventions. The research also underscores the pivotal role of university endorsements. These endorsements not only boost startups’ credibility and visibility but also highlight the potential for fruitful collaboration between academia and industry in fostering innovation.

Additionally, the study highlights the phenomenon of limited appropriation of inventions by startups, which typically have fewer resources than established firms, leaving room for other firms to capitalize on untapped potential. This trend spurs other firms to build more on innovations from startups.

Lastly, startups’ limited resources make the threat of patent litigation less credible. Instead, patent litigation by startups might draw even more attention to their innovations. Hence, the study finds that startups’ litigiousness further amplifies the influence of their inventions.

While startups’ increased citation rate signifies industry recognition and potential for standard-setting, it also presents a challenge for startups in capturing the total value of their inventions. This delicate balance between influence and value capture is a crucial consideration for startups navigating the competitive landscape of emerging industries.

The researchers emphasize the significance of these findings as a crucial step in understanding the dynamics of innovation within emerging industries. The study opens avenues for further research to explore the mechanisms underlying these differences and their implications for startups, established firms, and the broader industry landscape.

In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, Jacobs’ research offers invaluable insights for organizations and policymakers alike. By unraveling the complex interplay between startups and established firms in shaping the future of industries, this study paves the way for informed decision-making and strategic innovation initiatives. However, one thought remains clear—the collaborative efforts of startups, established firms, and academic institutions are essential for driving the next wave of technological advancements and industry evolution.

Read the Full Study

Full Study Published in Strategic Management Journal

Watch the video abstract

About the Rucks Department of Management

The Rucks Department of Management at LSU's E. J. Ourso College of Business endeavors to prepare students for careers in fields such as international management, human resources, and strategic leadership. A generous donation by LSU alumnus William W. Rucks and his wife, Catherine, has aided the department in securing faculty who are repeatedly recognized for their research and has assisted student-affiliated organizations in achieving top honors nationally. For more information, visit the Rucks Department of Management or call 225-578-6101.

Danielle H. Basilica

Director, External Relations E. J. Ourso College of Business 225-578-8783


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