International University of Monaco
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Degree Programs

DBA Program

At a Glance:

  • 3-year program (or 4-year possible)
  • 90 US credits (30 per year), equivalents to 180 ECTS
  • Intake in October and in June
  • Blended format: Online and Residential Weeks
  • Two Residential Weeks per year

IUM offers the Doctorate in Business Administration in response to a high demand coming from experienced professionals wishing to take a step back from their ongoing professional activities to research a specific managerial situation/problematic they encounter at work.

The DBA is practitioner-oriented and designed to be of functional significance to the practice of management.

It allies applied research with professional practices and provides the opportunity to theoretically reflect on activities undertaken in a professional context.

The undertaken research can be oriented towards sustained theoretically-based investigation of the management field leading to novel reconsiderations of existing work, or towards a purely research-based, original analysis and consideration of data and phenomena to correspond with similar research existent in the academic milieu.

The DBA degree intended to allow you to embark on careers as applied researchers, consultants, and senior corporate roles.

  • Who can do a DBA and why should you?

    This DBA program (Doctorate in Business Administration) has been created for managers and, more broadly, for upper level professional employees. Students are expected to have a minimum of five years professional experience prior to DBA study, and a post-graduate level diploma (e.g., Master, MBA).

    Indeed, the researched problematic should resolve a managerial issue you have encountered. Your research will be based on sound scientific methods and make a contribution to managerial knowledge.

    The DBA degree intends for you to stay in business and enhance your career. Nonetheless, the IUM DBA could be followed up and expanded through a traditional PhD diploma at a university, whereby one of IUM’s habilitated professors might take the role of a supervisor.

  • How long does it take to complete the DBA at IUM?

    The DBA is scheduled for 3 years. Taking into account the various professional circumstances, including time availability and also the topics of analysis, the study programme may, in certain cases, be extended for one more year.

  • Who delivers the Executive DBA?

    The DBA is delivered by IUM, with recognition of the Monaco Government. The quality and rigor of the thesis on which basis the degree is awarded, are guaranteed by the supervising professors, themselves supported by the International Scientific Council of IUM. This Scientific Council is composed of academic professors and research scientists whose collective experience includes many dozens of doctoral thesis and hundreds of published scientific articles.

Key Features:

  • Seminars led by research Professors with high international reputation
  • Presentation and discussion of on-going research amongst scientific peers and in events open to a wider public
  • Use of the newest digital communication technologies to faciliate collaboration and sharing of experience between academics and professionals
  • Delivery of an IUM certificate of research in business administration at the end of the 1st year of the program

Year 1


  • Submission of a 1-page description of the planned research problem to be tackled
  • Study of the indicated literature on the Philosophy of Science and on The History of
  • Read 3 Research Articles from various fields (e.g. finance, economics, marketing) [provided Economic Thought by the DBA Committee]

On site November: Building the foundations of your research

E-lectures: “Foundations” and “Methods” courses

November – February:

  • Theory of the Firm

    The course THEORY OF THE FIRM is one of the “Foundation Courses” in the IUM DBA Program. As such it requires a thorough knowledge of the “Development of Economic Thought”.

    Based on extensive readings from numerous classical economists the course provides the students with the intellectual fundament to better understand:

    Why do firms exist? What is their function, what determines their scope? How do markets work? What is the role of business in society?

    These are obviously important questions for both entrepreneurs and business executives who act as “strategists” in highly competitive local and global markets.

  • Data and Models

    This course introduces classical descriptive and inferential statistics with a focus on random variables, common probability distributions, estimation, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The course then focuses on the use of ordinary least squares (OLS) simple and multiple regression to model relationships amongst economic variables.

    The course will finally introduce more advanced topics including time series analysis and panel data methods.

    The course emphasis throughout will be on interpreting data, choosing appropriate models and methods, and on practical applications of the statistical methods.

    The course relies extensively on use of the spreadsheet package Excel.

March – June:

  • Introduction to Qualitative Methods

    This course will provide students with the tools needed to

    • select the appropriate qualitative method for their research work,
    • plan and execute high qualitative empirical work,
    • analyze the gathered data in the most informative manner and
    • present the findings in a way to gain acceptance of audiences.

  • The literature project

    This course serves the purpose of supporting the students in the development of their research proposal. The preliminary advisors will guide the students in their search for adequate literature, their selection of the theoretical approach, and in writing up their proposal.

On site June: Methods for Developing your Research Proposal

June -November: Supervised Research

Year 2

On site November: Advanced Methods for your Empirical Research

November -June : Supervised Research

- Refinement of Research proposal
- Empirical work

On site June: Implementing your Research Findings

June – November: Supervised Research

- Work on Publications
- Submission to Journal with double-blind review process or Work on monograph

Year 3

On site November: Work on and Refinement of your Doctoral Research

November –June: Supervised Research

- Finalize empirical work and data analysis
- Further work on publications
- Write-up of research project synopsis or monograph
- Preparation of DBA presentation to supervisors

On site June: Presenting and Defending your Doctoral Research

Defense : End of November

The DBA Thesis

In general, the doctoral thesis takes the form of a cumulative dissertation. In special cases and in agreement with the IUM Scientific Committee the thesis may also take the form of a monograph.

The thesis is a substantial written work possessing publication quality. It is a personal effort of original applied research that engages the professional experience of the DBA candidate as well as the academic knowledge acquired during the three years of study. The thesis links academic insights with a field of management practice in business or other organisations.

The thesis (research synopsis or monograph)

  • has an applied character. It mobilises the professional experience of the student and reflects the objectives of the DBA programme;
  • addresses a research problem related to one of the research centres established by the IUM.

and includes

  • an introduction,
  • a review of the literature,
  • resulting research questions,
  • the presentation of conceptual framework (where it applies),
  • the selected methodology and its conduct,
  • the results of the empirical study,
  • a discussion of the main results and their contribution to academic as well as managerial knowledge,
  • limitations of the accomplished work,
  • conclusions and recommendations,
  • the publications of the candidate (for a cumulative dissertation)
  • a bibliography.

The technical format of the thesis is not rigidly constrained. The thesis may take the form of a

  • Research synopsis (app. 40 pages) based on a manuscript submitted to an international Journal with double-blind review process which has not been desk-rejected, together with an accepted paper for an international conference or a case study with its pedagogic note accepted for publication by an approved Case Study Centre,
  • WORD/PDF document of a minimum of 120 pages (in case of a monograph),
  • A combination of printed and electronic media (for example Content Management Systems) accessible on the Internet, with a research synopsis (WORD/PDF) and a ‘Guide to the Visitor’.

The Thesis Examination Process

The examination of each thesis is based on a presentation by the candidate and the defence to a qualified jury. The date and hour of thesis defence is published in advance and the event is open to the public.

The jury is composed of 4 members, as follows: 2 members of the teaching faculty of the DBA programme, one of which may be a thesis advisor); one qualified researcher (university professor or other) from outside the DBA programme; and one person from the business or other appropriate professional world.

The thesis examination procedure is as follows:

  • an introduction,
  • Oral presentation of the work by the candidate (30 minutes),
  • Observations and questions from each member of the jury (5 minutes per member),
  • Candidate’s responses to questions, and discussion with the jury (up to 40 minutes),
  • Deliberation by the jury and decision concerning the award of the DBA degree,
  • Public announcement of the result,
  • In the case of a positive decision, award of the degree of Doctorate in Business Administration from the IUM in a public ceremony.

Impact on Business Activities

The DBA is an important source of added value for companies and other employers.

Through the 3 years of the programme, the DBA student undertakes research that, in most cases, is on a topic of direct relevance to the business or other employer.

The employer thus benefits from the work of clarification carried out by the DBA student and supported by the international academic network of the Executive DBA programme. The participants in the DBA can, by virtue of the rich collaborative environment, generate new ideas, tools for analysis and reference frameworks that they wouldn’t be able to produce alone in their ordinary working conditions. The DBA programme gives rise to an action-research dynamic comparable to the mission of a high level consultant with, in addition, methodological advice and support from a network of experienced research scientists.

Finally, and making these synergies possible, the programme is fully compatible by design with an ongoing professional activity. This explains why several of those currently engaged in the Executive DBA are financed wholly or in part by their employer (private or public sector).

Alumni testimonial

Alexander Kern Alexander Kern, German, DBA 2013
PhD, Management Science, Université Aix-Marseille, France

The international University of Monaco provided me with an extraordinary academic doctoral education in a truly global Doctorate in Business Administration.

The DBA is a globally recognized academic doctoral degree, which prepared me to analyze complex tasks and ultimately conduct business in a fast changing environment on an international scale. Since that IUM is a melting-pot of different spirits, backgrounds and cultures, I appreciated the close collaboration, discussions, and pieces of advise from my professors and my fellow doctoral candidates.

Overall, the program was an incredible experience which I would not have wanted to miss for my career.

Eleftheria Egel Eleftheria Egel, Greek, DBA 2014

My DBA path has been a life changing experience as it offered me the possibility to take distance from daily repetitive work, contemplate and give shape and substance to an idea that had been close to my heart for a long time.

During this long scientific quest, IUM has been a fertile ground stimulating and fostering my intellectual and professional growth.

Faculty and Learning Environment

The educational team for the Executive DBA programme is made up of professors, most with high international standing, notably in the management field. Amongst the characteristics of the team:

  • Many who are, or have been, academic faculty members at major universities around the world;
  • With a cumulative research experience measured in hundreds of published works (scientific journal articles, books, research reports, magazine articles, etc.);
  • With extensive experience in research leadership, including doctoral research and also multinational teams;
  • Enthusiastic to guide and accompany experienced students in the preparation of their Executive DBA thesis;
  • With extensive experience accompanying students in distance learning;
The teaching resources available on line constitute a key success factor for the students of the Executive DBA programme. These state-of-the-art tools allow IUM to build learning communities and develop its teaching activities at a fully international scale. The local capacity of IUM is complemented by network links and reciprocity with other establishments.

Research Community

The International University of Monaco devotes a high priority to the intellectual contributions of its faculty.

Our professors contribute to enriching their fields of expertise and to the diffusion of knowledge through outstanding publications in top ranked academic journals and through research dedicated to business practitioners. They also actively participate in international conferences where they present their research and discuss with their peers the latest additions to the science of management.

The IUM Research Department's primary objective is to bring the most advanced knowledge and innovations of various management-related fields to the classroom, so that students can get the highest level of education and be well prepared to succeed in the challenging global business environment.

Our research department is divided into three academic sections:

  • Economics, Finance and Accounting
  • Marketing, Communication, Distribution Services
  • Strategy, Management and Organizations

The research activities include the organization of international conferences in Monaco, the organization of regular research seminars where renowned professors come to IUM and share their expertise, and the workshop meetings where faculty members frequently present their latest researches.

Research IUM

Our research department also benefits from the partnership with the Group INSEEC Research Laboratory, which provides IUM faculty with wide access to databases, to technical software and other supports to pursue their research activities. IUM researchers contribute to the Group INSEEC Research Laboratory and participate in the research seminars at the Group level. This valuable partnership offers to our faculty the possibility to collaborate with more than sixty researchers from the Group.