The Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA)

Program Overview & Structure

The Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) is intended to provide further preparation and skills for working professionals to reenter industry upon graduation. Both educational qualifications and work experience are taken into consideration for admission to the DBA program.

  • The DBA program is offered in five terms:​

    • ​​January, March, June, August, and October

    • Students may begin their programs during any of the five terms.

  • The DBA is a flexible program. Students can complete their study within 3 to 5 years, depending on their study plan.

  • ​The DBA Program is delivered on weekends in the School of Management Asoke Campus.

  • Total of 84 credits consist of 21 credits of course work, 3 credits of special study, and 60 credits dissertation

DBA Degree Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 21 credits coursework with a minimum cGPA of 3.50. For DBA students who previously completed the MBA or equivalent Master Degree may apply for “Transfer of Credits” for up to 9 credits of relevant coursework. However, these credits should meet AIT criteria for credits transfer (e.g., equivalent to graduate courses at AIT, completed within the last five years). Transfer of credits for the DBA program is done through ‘Credit by Examination.”

  • Complete a Special Study (SS) of 3 credits

  • Pass your advancement to candidacy (ATC)

  • Complete a doctoral dissertation (60 credits). Once you have completed all of the course and dissertation credit requirements, you will no longer need to register. You will need to enroll, however, each term until you graduate.

  • Defend the dissertation at an oral examination.

  • Obtain a satisfactory evaluation of the dissertation from the External Examiner.



DBA Program Committee

  • The chairperson (supervisor) will work with the student to form the student’s Ph.D. research committee within the first 5 terms.

  • The committee should consist of a minimum of three members, including the supervisor, who will be its chairperson. One member should be from outside the academic program or school. In cases in which the committee is comprised of two co-chairpersons, the committee should have at least two additional committee members.

DBA Study Schedule (Timetable):

  • Year 1 (Term 1-5): Complete 21 credits of coursework on the 5th term​

    • Please notice that DBA students are allowed to complete their 21 credits before the end of the 12th term. SOM, however, prefers students to finish their course work on the 5th term or before so that students can graduate within 3 years.

    • Starting from the 1st term, students have to submit a “progress report” to the committee, which will be forwarded to DPRC twice a year (one by April and another by November). Please see below for more information.

  • Year 2 (Term 6-10):


I- In the 6th term, students register special study (SS) of 3-credits and complete it within the 7th or 8th term

  • Students have to submit their SS report and present it to the DBA program committee. The SS is usually a literature review of a topic of interest to the student and can be used as the foundation of chapter 2 in the ATC report (Chapter 2: literature review). Thus, the SS should prepare the students to pass their advancement to candidacy (ATC). See below for more information about both the SS and ATC.

  • AIT regulations allow DBA students to complete their Special Study (SS) before the end of the 14th However, in order for DBA students to complete their program in 3 years, we suggest that students complete their SS on the 7th or 8th term.



II- In the 7th or 8th term, students typically start to register dissertation credits (max 9 credits/term) and pass their advancement to candidacy (ATC) on 7th or 8th term. Please notice the following:

  • The ATC is basically a DBA research proposal defense (a qualification exam conducted by the DBA student program committee). Students cannot take their ATC exam unless they have (i) finished their 21 credits of coursework with a cGPA of not less than 3.50; and (ii) registered and completed their SS.

  • Typically, SOM DBA students submit their ATC report and SS report to the committee at the same time and present both (ATC and SS) in the same meeting.

  • AIT regulations allow DBA students to pass their ATC on or before the 15th However, in order to complete the program within 3 years, SOM suggests that students pass their ATC on the 8th term.

  • If the student did not pass his/her ATC exam by the 15th term, the student will be put on probation (automatic). Two consecutive probations will mean dismissal.


  • Year 3 (Term 11-15): Continue registering dissertation credits (max 9 credits/term)

    • Complete a doctoral dissertation (60 credits) and defend it at an oral examination, and

    • Obtain a satisfactory evaluation of the dissertation from the External Examiner.

Progress Report:

Towards the end of March and October terms (starting from the Year 1), DBA students have to submit a progress report and present their progress to the committee members in a formal meeting. Depends on the committee chair, students may present their progress once a year. However, the progress reports still have to be submitted twice a year (March and October terms). There is no need for such a meeting when the student is on coursework (year 1), but a progress report has to be submitted.

Course work and special study (24 credits):

DBA students complete the required coursework before beginning the dissertation. The DBA Curriculum requires 9 credits of Research Foundation (3 methodology courses which are 3 credits each) and 12 credits of Management related courses of your choice from our schedule offered courses. In addition, toward the end of their course work, DBA students take special study of 3 credits.


I- Doctoral-Level Methodology Courses (3-credit each):

Management Research Design & Methodology

Qualitative Research Methods and Analysis

Quantitative Data Analysis for Management Research


II- Knowledge Building Courses (MBA Courses, 3-credit each):

SM80.1706 Managerial Economics

SM80.1707 Managing Technology and Innovation

SM80.1702 Business Analytics for Management Decisions

SM80.1708 Marketing Management

SM80.1701 Accounting for Decision-Making

SM80.1705 Leadership and Organization Management

SM80.1709 Operations Management

SM80.1710 Strategy and Corporate Sustainability

SM80.1703 Corporate Finance

SM80.1704 Entrepreneurship and New Ventures


III- Research Specialization Perspective (3 credits):

The special study (SS) is a 3-credit study in the area of specialization. The student works with his/her supervisor on a topic of interest. It will be tailor-made to the student’s research focus, and will require understanding and a critical review of the theories and research in the field of specialization.

The student will be required to prepare a Review Paper (report) based on published research. The special study report is usually part of the Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) report (i.e., the special study report can be used as literature review chapter in the ATC report). Students may take this special study on their 3rd semester (or 6th Term). The special study has to be graded in the end of the semester. Students can also pass their ATC immediately after the SS report is evaluated.


IV- Dissertation (60 credits)

The dissertation is self-study and does involve any formal coursework. Students are expected to meet with their supervisor regularly during the dissertation development.

Advancement to Candidacy (the dissertation proposal) shall include:

Usually 3 or 4 chapters (you and your supervisor decide):

  • CH1: Introduction

  • CH2: Literature review (usually from your SS report)

  • CH3: Research model and hypothesis (if your study needs). This sometimes is part of CH2.

  • CH4: Research methodology

Advancement to Candidacy (the dissertation proposal) shall include:

Usually 3 or 4 chapters (you and your supervisor decide):

  • CH 1: Introduction

  • CH2: Literature review (usually from your SS report)

  • CH3: Research model and hypothesis (if your study needs). This sometimes is part of CH2.

  • CH4: Research methodology

Entry Requirements
  1. Completion of online DBA application.

  2. Completion of a four-year bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution with strong academic records and submission of academic transcript and certificate of degree. A master’s degree from a recognized institution prior to entry to the DBA is preferred. However, if one does not have a master’s degree prior to entry to the DBA, eligibility will be based on their professional experience and equivalent qualifications.

  3. It is recognized there is variation among grading systems in regions of the world. There is a minimum of 2.75/4.0 GPA from undergraduate degree (no candidates will be admitted below this minimum) required for the DBA.

  4. Five years of prior work experience is preferred. We expect most DBA candidates will enter with at least five years of work experience but some highly qualified DBA candidates may enter with fewer. And we expect most DBAs, in fact, will be accumulating additional work experience while in the program.

  5. One Letter of Recommendation is required prior to enrolment. Candidates may submit either the one-page standard recommendation form. Alternatively, the referee may write a letter and send it to the Admissions Office by email.

  6. All candidates must have evidence of English proficiency (please see the English requirements).

English Requirements
  • The minimum requirement for doctoral applicants is 5.5 (minimum entry requirement).

  •  As a requirement for graduation, students must attain a score of 6.0 on the AIT English Writing or must successfully complete EL19.

Exemption: Applicants who are citizens of and have been educated in an English-speaking country (e.g., Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA) are exempted from score submission. Proof of citizenship and studies must be submitted.

For more information regarding English requirements:


Also, you may want to visit AIT English Language: AIT’s Language Center 

Program Fees


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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

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