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DBA in Strategy, Project Leadership and PMOs

SBS - Europe’s Premier Doctoral Business School

AIPMO has partnered with the SBS Swiss Business School to offer the first Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in the world for professionals who need to understand Strategy, Project, Program, Portfolio Leadership and PMOs.

The SBS Swiss Business School is one of the top business schools in Switzerland. The DBA in Strategy, Project, Program, Portfolio Leadership and PMOs has been created by AIPMO and the program is jointly delivered by professors from both AIPMO and the SBS Swiss Business School.

This unique program uses the top professors in the world in the project management area such as Professor Ralf Müller, Professor Aaron Shenhar, Professor Robert Joslin and other members of the AIPMO Advisory Board to be available to be assigned as supervisors.

The SBS Swiss Business School Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Strategy, Project, Program, Portfolio Leadership and PMOs is an integrated work and research program for management practitioners and professionals, who are oriented towards making a significant contribution to the field of strategy, project, program, portfolio management and PMOs.

An Overview of the Program

The program may be completed in a minimum of three years.

The coursework component takes place during the first year. Courses are conducted in the classroom in an intensive workshop model with face-to-face seminars. All courses are assessed by written assignments.

The transition from coursework phase to the research phase is by the candidate completing the set of assessed Research Proposals. On satisfactory completion of the coursework candidates enter the research phase where they undertake individual, supervised research projects.

The output of each research project is a research paper of publishable style and quality. The dissertation is submitted for external examination. Consequently there will be scope for requisite specialization within a general organizational and management framework. Graduates from the program are expected to make a key contribution to practice, so program work will relate to leadership, change and process management as well as research methodologies.

Program Focus

The world of strategy formation and strategy execution is undergoing rapid and profound changes.

Business models, and strategies to execute them in terms of portfolio, program and project approaches are failing today by not having the desired impact nor success that was expected on their outset.

Senior executives, technical and non-technical leaders and managers are increasingly confronted by novel situations and challenges that demand greater understanding in terms of theories, methods and approaches.

The SBS DBA program takes places on Saturdays and Sundays, every three months. The DBA comprises a total of 108 units and can be completed in a minimum of 3 years part-time / next to the job study. The program is taught in a classroom format based on the use of intensive workshops and includes coursework and research.


  • Academic Lectures
  • Workshops
  • Coursework and Written Assignments
  • Team exercises
  • Research project
  • Published research paper

Program Location

  • SBS Swiss Business School
    Flughafenstrasse 3
    CH-8302 Kloten-Zurich

Admission Requirements

  • A Master in Project Management degree;


  • Where other masters degree level qualifications are held, applicants may be asked to complete a
    prescribed bridging program (normally designated courses from an MBA program);


  • At least 5 years’ experience in management role.
  • All DBA candidates must be able to demonstrate their education and/or professional performance to undertake research at a doctoral level. They should be able to show success in their career to date and document how the DBA program fits into their personal or career plans for the future.
  • All DBA applicants must submit a 1,000 word outline of their proposed research topic/ idea as part of their admission application submission.
  • All DBA candidates must have a sound command of the English language, spoken & written, as evidenced by the criteria: Having completed a Masters degree in English;


  • Submit proof of having achieved a TOEFL IBT score of minimum 90, IELTS test score of 6.5 or higher.

The final decision concerning the eligibility, acceptability of qualifications and research areas for the DBA Program rest with SBS Swiss Business School. SBS admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin.

Completion by Dissertation or Publishing

A dissertation may be submitted in place of Papers 1 and 2 or alternatively other forms of scholarly writing may be accepted subject to the approval of the Program Director.

Examination process is dependent on the mode of submission of final work. Where a paperbased submission has been chosen, successful completion of the DBA is by both papers being accepted for publication by an International peer-reviewed journal that has been approved by the Doctoral Panel. These journals are found on an approved list which may be changed from time to time.

Where dissertation-based submission (or other than by publication) has been chosen, successful completion of the DBA is by external examination by two independent experts in the area of the research study.

These examiners must be approved by the Doctoral Panel at least 3 months before submission. The maximum completion time is 4 years. Extension may be applied for between the minimum time of one and a half years (1 1/2) and the maximum time of four years (4) subject to approval by the Doctoral Panel but extension fees apply. Extension beyond four years will only be granted in special circumstances and by written application to the Doctoral Panel.

The DBA is a full fee-paying programme. Students must have ready access to a modern computer (with appropriate software), electronic mail, Internet and use of microphone/speakers or headset for the duration of the programme. Continuing enrollment in the programme is subject to satisfactory progress which is reviewed each six months by supervisors and the Doctoral Panel. The programme is scheduled and timetabled so that it is suitable for candidates who maintain their full-time professional work.

Candidates must satisfactorily complete each phase before proceeding to the next phase. Candidates who satisfactorily complete the coursework phase only may exit the programme with a Master of Applied Business Research. During the research phase there will be structured meetings between candidates and supervisors based on agreements between the parties.

Program Structure

Coursework Phase

  • Doctoral Program Seminars and Workshops (50%)

Research Phase

  • Supervision Workshops (50%)

Academic Calendars

DBA Project Leadership Academic Calendar 2019- 2021

How to Apply

Interested in the DBA in Strategy, Project Leadership and PMOs?

Apply Online    

Tuition Fees

We offer a 5% discount on full payment at the start of the program.

Application fee (non-refundable) CHF 150.-
Semester 1 CHF 10'000.-
Semester 2 CHF 10'000.-
Semester 3 CHF 10'000.-
Semester 4 CHF 5'000.-
Semester 5 CHF 5'000.-
Total tuition fees CHF 40‘150.-
  • All fees include material and VAT, amounts are stated in the local currency of Swiss Francs (CHF).

Program Manager

  • Wolfs Bert

    Dr. Bert Wolfs

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Accredited and Certified by

SBS Swiss Business School

SBS Swiss Business School
Flughafenstrasse 3
8302 Kloten-Zurich

Call us: +41 44 880 00 88
General inquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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