Graduate Programs in Business

DBA Program Structure

Program and modules

The DBA program is divided into two stages: 

Stage I – Training in Doctoral Research in Management Sciences:

Philosophy, Methods and Tools (18 to 24 months)

The DBA candidate starts by learning research design, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques to conduct, write up, and publish research to doctoral standards. Students complete a series of four to six research training workshops held in Grenoble and in the partner countries.

Between the workshops there are periods of individual supervised research. The candidate prepares a detailed research proposal for his/her thesis. Under the direction of doctoral supervisors, the student also completes a “pilot study” before embarking on the main fieldwork for the DBA research. 

Before being allowed by the thesis committee to proceed to stage 2, students must fulfil certain written work requirements. Four pieces of work must be produced:

  • A Project Proposal (1500 words)
  • A comprehensive Literature Review of publishable standards (7,500 words)
  • A Research Proposal (7,500 words): fully justified research question and hypotheses, intended methodology, pilot test study and expected results;
  • A DBA thesis Research Plan and Scheduling

When successfully completed, stage I leads to the delivery of the Certificate in Research in Management Sciences.

Stage II: Thesis

(24 to 30 months of part-time study)

The DBA research and thesis element of the program consists primarily of individual research, under the supervision of a fully qualified professor who brings a broad range of expertise and international reputation in technology, innovation and change management.

The DBA thesis should exhibit substantial evidence of original scholarship and contain material of a publishable standard, as well as useful managerial recommendations. 

A candidate for the degree of Doctorate of Business Administration is required to show ability to conduct original investigations, to test, apply and/or examine ideas – his/her own or others’, and to understand the relationship of his/her theme to a wider field of knowledge. 

This may involve the identification of current issues and the application of theory relevant to problem-solving in the candidate's work environment and/or the identification of both theoretical and practical issues to facilitate future implementation of operational and/or strategic plans within his/her organization.

Two types of dissertations are acceptable:

  • A classical doctoral thesis, including original and unpublished content written by the student.
  • The paper-based DBA thesis, which is an original document that presents the applicant’s academic research achievements and results, together with publications in B-level peer-reviewed journals. In this case, the student must include a minimum of three papers, published in ranked, peer-reviewed journals, in the dissertation. Two of the three publications must be single-authored by the DBA student. For any additional papers, co-authoring is acceptable, under the condition that the DBA student is the first or primary author of the paper.


Each DBA candidate is assigned a research-active professor from Grenoble Ecole de Management or an accredited institution.  Most students in the Grenoble DBA program hosted by CSUN are supervised by CSUN faculty.

The Supervisor brings a broad range of expertise and an international reputation in research on business innovation, technology management and the organizational dimensions of technological change.