Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Create a body of knowledge embedded in practice for senior professional managers/administrators


New intake: October 2017

Are you ready? Contact our staff for more information




AIT School of Management is Asia’s pioneer business school for graduate studies offering Ph.D., MBA and diploma programs in three focus areas:

  • Management of Technology (MOT)
  • International Business (IB)
  • International Public Management (IPM)

SOM’s academic programs are of international standard and are adapted to the needs and challenges of the economies in an increasingly competitive region. Given the rapidly changing environment of modern management, the academic programs emphasize an understanding of fundamental concepts; application of analytical and value-added techniques; insights into human qualities and behaviour, and the ability to synthesize the human and technological aspects of management into unifying frameworks. Personal analytical judgment, autonomous learning capabilities and entrepreneurial skills are also developed.


AIT-SOM is offering a new program – Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) for senior professional managers/administrators. The DBA program is intended to create a body of knowledge embedded in practice. The first DBA program is being offered at AIT Campus in Thailand, Sri Lanka at the International College of Business and Technology (ICBT) Campus and Vietnam (Hanoi and HCMC) at the AIT in Vietnam (AIT-VN) since 2007.


SOM’s DBA programme is intended to provide further preparation skills for working professionals to re-enter industry upon graduation. Both educational qualifications and work experience are taken into consideration for admission to the DBA program. A master’s degree 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.

For the DBA, at least 24 credits of coursework are required. For those DBA students admitted without a master’s degree, additional coursework may normally be required.

For the DBA, the dissertation is worth 60 credits. The DBA program does not require a publication upon the graduation.

The ultimate academic objective of SOM’s DBA programme is to develop and disseminate “grounded” theories based on Asian business practices including developing case studies and industry analyses.



The cost of the program is US Dollars 25,000 which includes registration fee, tuition fee, and course materials. The fee is payable into 5 installments. The first installment of USD 5,000 must be paid before registration.

In case the candidate is not able to complete the degree within three years (6 semesters), the registration fee of USD 700 per semester will be charged for each semester under extension.

Duration and Credits

The program is normally to be completed within 3 years based on requirement of 84 credits (1 credit=15 contact hours). All participants will be required to complete course work equivalent to 24 credits and DBA dissertation writing of 60 credits.

Course Delivery

The courses will be offered in seminar mode and in modular form. Both in-class contact and extensive use of online interaction will be involved in teaching and learning each course. Each student will be supervised by a committee of faculty members. Committee will also consist of external experts, including highly experienced industry professionals.


  • Participant will defend the dissertation proposal within one semester (about 6 months) of completing the course work.
  • The writing of a dissertation is a must.
  • As per AIT practice, thesis will be sent for evaluation to external examiner.
  • The final defence will take place once the student has completed all requirements of the programme.
  • The maximum time allowable for DBA is 5 years.

I. Research Methodology Perspective (7 credits):

Research methodology courses and a research communication course are required courses for all. The courses are:

SM62.10 Research Design & Data Collection

2 credits

The course examines the process of research in business and management and the collection and representation of data. Students will learn a structured approach to the research process from defining the research question through the selection of methods to producing a final thesis. In the first part, research methodologies are discussed with the emphasis on relating theory to practice. In the second part of the course concepts of data collection are discussed including survey techniques, interviews and experiments. The course is conducted as a workshop for a critical review of published research from a student-centered perspective.

SM62.03 Qualitative Research Methods in Management

2 credits

This course covers research methods with an emphasis on qualitative research techniques. It includes topics on observational field research, case histories, narratives, and case studies, interviewing, principles of action research, evaluation and grounded theory. It examines the strengths of alternative methods and the connection between qualitative and quantitative research methods

SM62.11 Data Analysis & Interpretation

2 credits

The course aims at providing the doctoral students with statistical techniques and skills for analyzing quantitative data that may be required for their research. The emphasis is on practical uses of these tools in real databases in order to discover and prove new scientific facts and relationships. Some mistakes most commonly committed in the process are discussed

SM62.04 Communication for Management Research

1 credit

This course aims to develop and enhance participants’ ability to communicate their research data and results in both written and oral form. Communication of scholarly research is somewhat different than managerially oriented writing. This course has the objective of helping new DBA students to improve their writing and presentation skills so that they become successful at publishing and conference presentations. Formats for both thesis writing and internationally refereed journal articles will be examined. By the end of the course, participants should have an expanded ability to communicate their research data and results with academic quality and rigor

II. Knowledge Building Perspective (14 credits)

14 credits of management courses are required for all.

  • SM62.20 Theories and Models of Markets
  • SM62.30 Advanced Corporate Finance
  • SM62.31 Advanced Management Control System
  • SM62.40 Advanced Organization Behavior and Development
  • SM62.50 Advanced Marketing Management
  • SM62.70 Advanced Strategic Management of Technology
  • SM62.80 Advanced Strategic Management

III. Research Specialisation Perspective (3 credits)

A 3-credit advance course or special study in the area of specialization. The course or special study will be tailor-made to participant’s research focus, and will require understanding and critical review of the theories and research in the field of specialisation. The participant will be required to prepare a Review Paper based on published research papers.

IV. DBA Thesis Writing (60 credits):

This segment will include writing and defending of thesis proposal, forming thesis advisory committee, and completing and defending thesis.

Faculties are from the School of Management (SOM) – AIT Thailand.

Prof. Lawrence Stephen Abeln

Prof. Nazrul Islam

Prof. Sununta Siengthai

Prof. Dr. Barbara Igel

Dr. Yuosre Badir

Dr. Sundaravaradhan Venkatesh

Dr. Clemens Bechter

Dr. Fredric W. Swierczek

Prof. Urs Bumbacher

Dr. Willi Zimmermann

Dr. Pham Thi Kim Ngoc

MA. Dang My Thanh


  • Minimum 5 years’ work experience, of which at least 3 years’ experience in senior management/administrative position.
  • Undergraduate from recognised academic institutions or corporate universities.
  • MBA/EMBA is preferred
  • Other Master’s degree subject to the completion of MBA-level required courses as specified by the DBA program faculty
  • Proof of proficiency in English language (IELTS 5.5) or equivalent.
  • A letter from CEO/head of organizations supporting the candidate’s application and research work
  • A write-up on proposed research theme

Selection Process

The selection to the program will be based on several criteria such as academic qualifications, experience, professional accomplishments, level of responsibility of the applicant and statement of purpose. An interview may also be arranged before the final selection is made. The selected applicants will be informed at least one month prior to start of the program.



In Ho Chi Minh City

  • Intake Semester: August 2017
  • Application consultation: From June 2017
  • Interview: From June 2017

In Hanoi

  • Intake Semester: August 2017
  • Application consultation and Interview: From June 2017


Application forms can be downloaded from

Our Renowned Professors

Nazrul Islam


Research Areas: Technology Transfer; IT in Hotel Industry; Management of Technology, Innovation and knowledge

Sununta Siengthai


Specialization in Human Resource Management and Firm Performance, Organizational Behavior, Industrial Relations, Performance Management. Nationality: Thailand

Fredric W. Swierczek

Dr. /Associate Professor

Specialization: Cross Cultural Management, Asian Business, Strategic Management, Organizational Behavior and Change. Nationality: American

Urs Bumbacher

Prof./ Adjunct Professor

Specialization in International Business Management and Cross Cultural Management. Nationality: Switzerland

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