• International accreditation provided by IACBE

  • High quality, intensive supervision and digital support

  • Blended learning principles as a standard

  • Focus on Business and Academical trajectories

International accreditation IACBE
High quality, intensive supervision and digital support
Blended learning principles as a standard
Focus on Business and Academical trajectories
Home/Programs/Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is designed as a twoyear program based on full-time studies. But, what does that mean? In this article, we try to explain how the study load works. 

To complete the program, the candidate must write an initial research proposal, a definitive research proposal and a doctoral thesis. To conclude the DBA, the student must pass an oral exam. The nice part of a DBA program is the opportunity to combine the tasks from you day job, with the research you are doing for the DBA. We see that many students link their research topic to their current job. In that way, the determination of how many hours one will spend to complete the DBA is hard. Using the information found below, we tried to explain this more in-depth.  

Technically, a freshly enrolled DBA student starts with coursework to collect ECTS credits. Following the European Quality Framework regulations, a doctoral graduate has collected a total of 300 ECTS credits. One ECTS stands for 25 hours of study. Usually, a bachelor’s degree is 180 ECTS or 240 ECTS, and a master’s degree is 60, 90 or 120 ECTS.  

Phase 1: Coursework
To make sure all our DBA students are equipped with the right tools to conduct research on the doctoral level, we offer our students in the first phase coursework. That phase takes six months and is awarded with 30 ECTS credits. The courses are on research methods, quantitative methods & techniques, and qualitative methods & techniques. This first phase has a study load of 750 hours (30 ECTS x 25 hours), divide that by 26 weeks, totals 28 hours a week.  

An example week looks like this: 

Monday to Friday – study 3 hours a day
Saturday and Sunday – study 7 hours a day 

We do not recommend our students to read the books from cover to cover but see the first six months as an iterative process to come to an approved research proposal. Only study the aspects that are relevant to the research topic and work with your supervisor to determine those aspects.  

Phase 2: Research lab 
This phase is dedicated to data collection and analysis. Here you will work closely with your supervisor and work on the execution of your research proposal. The study load depends heavily on the way you manage your time. On average, students take 12 months for data collection and analysis.  

Phase 3: Doctoral thesis 
Writing the thesis usually takes three to five months to complete. After the final version of the thesis is ready and approved, it takes about two months for the Board of Examiners to assess and plan the oral exam. 

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is designed as a three-year program based on full-time studies. Enrolled candidates can take as long as they want, though. Using our 10-step study plan, students spent on average 16-20 hours a week on their PhDFor a longer answer, please check the article we wrote for the PhD here.

Swiss School of Management offers doctoral candidates two focused pathways towards a doctoral degree: a doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). Both degrees are on the highest academic level (level 8 by the EQF framework), but there is a significant difference between the nature of the programs. Please click here for a clear overview of the similarities and differences between a PhD and a DBA.

  • Make sure the research topic is something you are passionate for, that way is does not feel like another thing on your to-do list but more like a hobby. 
  • Doing this program full-time, so in two years is demanding. A balance needs to be found in family/work/study-time. The easiest way of combining this program with a fulltime employment is to make transparent agreements with your employer. See if he can grant you some time off to work on your research.  
  • Try to find common ground with your employer, make sure the research you are doing is also in his interest. That way leniency can be expected 
  • Truly dedicate yourself to the program, it is only for two years. Cut back on social events and other non-essential activities. Spent your weekends wisely.  
  • A week holds 168 hours. Full-time employment is 50-60 hours, sleep takes 56 hours, leaving 52 hours for family, relaxing and other things (eating, sports, etc.). Time enough. Time management is key. 

Doctoral candidates get a supervisor to assist and coach him with his academic journey. To apply for DBA or PhD, applicants must draft an essay with their motivation and a brief overview of the research topic or an initial research proposal based on the template we provide. After enrolment, the Research Committee looks for a supervisor that has the most relevant experience with the topic and is interested to work with the candidate. 

To get a glance overview of our supervisor database, check this page: https://ssmresearch.com/about-ssm-research-center/faculty/

Our database of supervisor is constantly updated. Please check our faculty on the following page: https://ssmresearch.com/about-ssm-research-center/faculty/ In special cases, candidates may submit their own suggestions for a supervisor. External supervisors are exepted on a separate decision in individual cases. This must be communicated with the Research Committee. 

At SSM Research Center we designed an application process that is effective and fast. We do not have application deadlines or specific start dates. Applications are usually processed within a week and enrolled candidates can start within two weeks after application. 

 When we receive a digital application form, members of the Office of Admission check if the profile of the candidates fits the profile of SSM Research Center and if the applicant has the right credentials to be enrolled. When this is the case, a Provisional Letter of Acceptance (PLOA) is issued. The PLOA is accompanied with an invoice. After receiving payment, SSM Research Center issues a Definitive Letter of Enrollment (DLE). 

The current tuition fees can be found in the respective program description. Scholarship programs are often available. Payment plans will be agreed on mutual understanding. Instalments are possible. Please contact us for detail information at office@sssmswiss.ch

Swiss School of Management is located in Bellinzona (Switzerland) and is a decentralized international oriented Business School offering graduate, postgraduate, and research degree programs to students from all over the world. Swiss School of Management delivers its so-called “In Residence Programs” in Rome and Brescia (Italy), Cairo (Egypt), Bahrein (GCC), Dubai UAE), Barcelona (Spain). There are many international academic partnerships with study facilities all over Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. For an overview of our study facilities, visit our “Partners” page. 

The Swiss School of Management is an internationally accredited and recognized higher education institution and has been awarded by world wide rankings for its extraordinary quality. Service quality and learning outcomes are verified by accreditation agencies and other third party institutions.

The Swiss School of Management has been accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). Accreditations granted by the AICBE are recognized by the US Department of Education (USDE) and are registered and monitored by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). In addition to this SSM has also been directly accredited and registered as a recognized university by the state “US Department of Veterans Affairs”. Furthermore the Swiss School of Management with its locations in Bellinzona, the capital of the Kanton Tessin of Switzerland, as well as the location in Rome, have been certified according to swiss educational and quality standards (eduQua:2012) with respect to higher education in the field of “Business Administration and Management at Bachelor, Master and Doctoral level. EduQua is the only accredited Swiss quality label specifically tailored to providers of continuing education. Finally, the SSM is recognized by multiple international bodies such as UNESCO, IAU, INQAAHE and CHEA.

Doctoral studies at the Swiss School of Management are distance learning programs that are offered via blended learning concept with synchronous learning and asynchronous learning elements.

Asynchronous classes offer learners the flexibility to study in a self-paced manner. While most asynchronous classes still have submission deadlines, students can connect with materials, peers, and instructors on their own schedules, often over an extended period of time. Asynchronous online learning allows students to view instructional materials at any time they choose and does not include a live video lecture component.

Synchronous learning is the type of learning you would get in a traditional classroom: everybody is there at the same time, interacting and taking in the same information simultaneously. The synchronous settings are led and facilitated by the teacher or course instructor.

If and when possible, we organize physical or other academic events as close to our students as possible. 

Explore our Doctoral Programs

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

At SSM Research Center you will find a variety of DBA programs. DBA Studies are one of the most challenging and highest rewarding levels in Higher Education. SSM Research Center has developed an outstanding Doctor of Business Administration Programs. These programs have unique features, which add significant values to graduates beyond the rewarding Doctor Degree.

View our DBA Programs

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

At SSM Research Center you will find a variety of PhD programs. A PhD is the highest academic degree that is conferred after a course of study by universities in most English-speaking countries. PhDs are awarded for programs across the whole breadth of academic fields.

View our PhD Programs

SSM is Internationally Recognized by:

Join Other Students From Around The World With Digital Education Now

Become Part of The SSM Research Center Family to Further Your Career.

Enroll now!