What is a DBA?

The Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) degree is a research doctorate that focuses on business practices and is deeply rooted in professional applied practice. It’s a 3years program.

A DBA is a gold card to executive positions across a wide spectrum of global business fields. You can create knowledge from your experience and your management practices.

Who is the DBA for?

Outstanding Managers, Professionals with successful careers and Senior executives; looking to make a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge in their area of expertise and transmission of experience. Upper level professionals wishing to take a step back from their ongoing professional activities and doing research on a specific managerial situation.

With this very high level diploma, IAE Nice seeks to impact the management profession by offering high-quality learning to senior executives from around the world. Our programs are designed and delivered by researchers and practitioners with close ties to the international business community.

A hallmark of DBA Nice is the dedication to the individual development of each participant in our programs. We support them to conceptualize their knowledge and acquired experience in the form of professional PhD.

We do this by fostering a culture of learning, and by placing the professional and personal development of all students and program participants at the center of our concerns.

Why Choose the Executive DBA?

The DBA is designed to fit the demanding lifestyle of executives and professionals

If you are looking to boost your career, and develop a research know-how and cutting-edge knowledge in your field, then the Executive Doctorate in Business Administration is the program for you.

The DBA experience challenges you to sharpen your critical and analytical expertise. You will develop your research skills to become an expert in your field with a proven ability to think outside of the box. The DBA is a bridge between the research and the professional world.

Objectives and Keys points


  • Go deeper on fundamental acquired in sciences of management, marketing or Finance and train student in the expectations of the market,
  • Give you the ability to take your career to the next level and gain more than expertise in Business Administration
  •  Acquire lifelong tools to achieve your ambitions and dreams.
  • Conduct a research project on a specific business topic or professional experience
  • Enhance your leadership potential by Business Games
  • Develop a dynamics of networking at the students.


Key Points (Strengths)

  • Applied research tailored to your background and career goals with high level of supervisory
  • Small class size: Cohorts are composed of a maximum 18 students per major, 70% of the Faculty members are hands-on business practitioners.
  • Courses are scheduled one Weekend per month in order to allow you to study and work at the same time if you so choose
  • Mostly distance work, You can Continue to work and study: International Faculty of academics and leading professionals
  • Tailor-made coaching; Support in the construction of Your professional project

 Selection Rate: 46,15%


“Impacting The MARKET……”

“Leading your Experience”


The candidates are pre-selected on the basis of the following 3 cumulative criteria:

  • Necessary pre-requisite to be eligible: to have been awarded a 5-year Bachelor’s degree or equivalent (300 ECTS Credits or 180 US Credits)
  • Academic results and distinctions
  • Quality of professional project

Following examination of the application, pre-selected candidates will be interviewed.

Candidates in continuing education: must hold a degree equivalent to 4 years of higher education and have at least 5 years professional experience, and must satisfy specific application criteria (2 years of study interruption, have a salary, individual leave of absence for education…..). They should contact ASURE Formation for further details about the application process and the validation of prior job experience (VAE/VAP).


The fees are composed of: 

  • National fees 
    Set by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research. All students must pay these national fees. The exact amount is published by the Ministry in mid-July.
  • Tuition fees
    Please consult: Student status and tuition fees



Unit 1: Research fundamentals   6
Research methodology 20  
Qualitative methods 20  
Quantitative methods 20  
Unit 2: Seminars and conferences   2
on different topics, organised during the year 20  
Unit 3: Specialised research seminars   2
Marketing 10  
Finance and accounting 10  
Strategy and organisations theory 10  
Knowledge management 10  
Unit 4: Research presentations workshop   2
students present the achievements of their individual research work and their progress on the dissertation
Unit 5: Specialised research seminars   2
on different topics, organised during the year 20  
Unit 6: Research presentations workshop   2
students present the achievements of their individual research work and their progress on the dissertation 20  
Unit 7: Specialised research seminars   2
on different topics, organised during the year 20  
Unit 8: Research presentations workshop   2
students undergo a mock examination including a simulation of their dissertation oral defence
Unit 9: Thesis   40
Written dissertation - (20)
Oral defence - (20)

Targeted professions and job opportunities


  • M1301 Management of large private and public enterprises
  • M1402 Management Consulting
  • M1403 Socio-economic studies/consulting
  • M1705 Marketing
  • M1207 Treasury and Finance






1 - What is the difference between a PhD and DBA ?

A doctoral thesis is a diploma of state which asks for a registration in a doctoral  program. It takes place in principle in 3 years after a Master's degree (professional, but most of the time search) The doctoral thesis is centered on the production of knowledge with academic purpose, even if in sciences of management, the interest in the practice of organizations has to appear.

 A DBA has a professional purpose. Produced knowledge have to provide to be quickly inserted into the practice of the affairs in the broad sense. It doesn’t require a solid theoretical Knowledge as that required in a classic doctorate.

DBA vs PhD Differences: Executive Doctorate of Business Administration Programs

Both, the PhD in Management and the DBA, are doctoral degrees and as such have similarities, but  there are some differences:


   a- Target groups

   b- Motivation

   c-  Career goals

   d- Financing


a-Doctorate of Business Administration target groups: young graduates vs. senior professionals

PhD in Management and DBA programs address different target groups.

If people aim a career in social sciences and eventually want to become of fulltime professor at a business school. A PhD program is tailored for them. Their goal is to become an academic and do research. These people often come directly from the university and start the PhD after graduating.

In contrast, people do a DBA when they are already successful in business for many years and look for a new intellectual challenge. These people often have an MBA already and want to further distinguish themselves from others by doing a doctoral degree. At the same time, they are interested in management research and may have a practical research question in mind .


b- Motivation: career perspective vs. personal challenge

A difference between PhD in Management and DBA program is often the motivation behind the studies. For PhD students the PhD is the path to a career as an academic. Their degree qualifies them as scholars and the overall goal is to start a career as a fulltime professor at a business school.

DBAs in contrast are driven primarily by the search for a personal challenge. They already have achieved a lot in their business career and some of them have an MBA. The DBA provides them with a new challenge that goes beyond the practical knowledge that they learnt in business or in the MBA. It challenges them as potential researchers.


c- PhD and DBA career Goals: fulltime vs. part-time academic

PhD in Management students aim at a career in academia. They apply for positions as fulltime professors after graduating or go for a Postdoc for some years. Their key activity is doing research, publishing in academic journals or books, and teaching. And this is what PhD in Management students become qualified for – at least at top schools.


In contrast, DBA graduates usually stay working professionals in their companies and want to stay in the business world even after their graduation. However, their doctoral degree qualifies them for doing research as well. They may teach as guest professors, invited or adjunct faculty occasionally.


d-Financing your Doctorate in Business Administration

PhD in Management students, particularly at top schools, often get financial support during the studies, either by a scholarship or through a position as research assistant. DBA students on the other hand often pay for their education even though some schools may provide scholarships for them as well.

Some companies fund DBA students, especially when they use data from their employers and when their research is relevant for their companies. PhDs on the other hand are sponsored by their universities because the university has an interest in them.

2 - Who can join DBA?

Every graduate of the higher education with a Master's degree. It is recommended to have economic or management Education. But another profile of training can be also accepted. A work and Management experience is asked in principle.

3 - Is the DBA a recognized diploma?

 It is a diploma of the university of Nice Sophia Antipolis. The DBA is recognized by the Anglo-Saxon companies or those really internationalized. The diploma is referenced EDBAC and the IAE of Nice AACSB.

4 - What we can expect from a DBA?

ü  On a personal plan, the capacity to realize a research project. The personal valuation to master a subject and answers to a question which calls out to the professionals in service.

ü  On the professional level, it completes a will and a capacity to dominate a precise problem met in the company (private or public)

Finally, the wish to share an experience accumulated and formalized within the framework of a DBA is an important gratifying element.

5 - What are the skills developed in a DBA?

Essentially, the capacity to lead a professional research. The methodology occupies an important place which allows to distinguish the knowledge so produced by the one as a practitioner in service can bring. The knowledge produced during a DBA are leaned in the theoretical knowledge validated in the concerned field (marketing, management control) The methods and protocols of research are rigorous, what gives the legitimacy and the robustness to the produced knowledge.

6 - Which subject research we can choose?

In essence, the DBA is designed to professionals having a few years of experience. The Research subject must be connected, directly or indirectly to their experience. The intuitions, the problems lived by the candidate are on the basis of the formulation of their subject research.

7 - What workload represents a DBA for the participants?

It is a very long training. "On a daily basis, the personal investment is not particularly raised. It’s important, to hold on the duration and to be regular in the work.

In Summary, How interesting is DBA for a manager? How does the DBA knowledge help managers in their job?  What we learn in a DBA program?

Doctorate in management - whether fulltime or part-time, whether a PhD or a DBA - NEVER has the purpose to increase your management capabilities. You can get some take-aways from a doctorate that you can apply in business. But the primary reason for doing a doctorate in management is NOT to become better managers.

Well, you learn to become a researcher. This means that you will be able to identify a relevant research problem, to frame it in a terminology such that it can be studied, to design an apt methodology, and to actually study it.

Of course, this research topic can and should be related to the real management world. And in a DBA program, this research topic will be even closer to your every day life as it may stem directly from your employer's practice. But at the end of the day, a doctoral student is learning the tools to do research on these problems on a higher level, abstracting from the one concrete company case to a more general level that can help explain similar phenomena in other settings as well.



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