Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

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


New intake: August 2020

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.

  • Year 1: Complete a minimum of 15 credits of 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 6 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.”
  • Year 1: Complete a Special Study (SS) of 3 credits.
  • Years 2-3: Complete a doctoral dissertation (60 credits) and defend it at an oral examination.
  • End of year 3: Obtain a satisfactory evaluation of the dissertation from the External Examiner.

First year DBA Program Structure:

Six doctoral level research methodology courses (total of 22.5 hours per course), delivered online and/or in person in downtown campuses:

  • Aug/Sept: Approaches of qualitative research
  • Oct/Nov: Methods of qualitative research
  • January: Foundations of management research
  • February: Management research methods and writing
  • Mar/Apr: Data strategies & hypotheses testing
  • Jun/Jul: Building models that link to theory

Knowledge Building Courses: Students select a total of six credits from the School of Management 

Special Study:

Toward the end of their coursework, DBA students take a research specialization study of 3 credits. The student works with his/her supervisor on a topic of interest. It will be tailor-made to the student’s research focus and 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 (a report) based on published research.

Year 2-3: Dissertation:

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

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 2020
  • Application consultation: From June 2020
  • Interview: From June 2020

In Hanoi

  • Intake Semester: August 2020
  • Application consultation and Interview: From June 2020


Application form can be downloaded HERE.

More about the School of Management, AIT and its faculty, please visit at:

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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