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Aalto Executive DBA

Reaching for the Top

The Aalto Executive Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is a structured program in Business Administration for experienced individuals with considerable managerial experience who wish to contribute to the development of their professional competence and their key areas of interest.

Accredited by AACBS, AMBA and EQUIS

The program has both real world relevance and academic rigor and focuses on the relevance to the employer and the professional development of the candidate.

Aalto Executive DBA graduates will develop doctoral level in-depth knowledge of the latest theories and methodologies in business research and act as thought leaders for organizational change. In addition to executive positions, DBA graduates typically work in various expert positions in corporations and the public sector. The DBA research project – finalized in a publicly defended DBA thesis – typically has strong linkages to business and managerial practice. DBA candidates can, for instance, conduct a sizable research project for their employer.

Compared to some more scientifically oriented doctoral programs, the DBA studies and research place emphasis on the application of theories – the creation and testing of an entirely novel theory is not a necessity. The majors of Aalto Executive DBA are strategy and marketing, but any managerially relevant interdisciplinary topics are strongly encouraged.

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Novel, innovative, and creative solutions to business problems and opportunities as well as thought leadership for organizational change

Doctoral level in-depth knowledge of latest theories and methodologies in business research

Flexible part-time study structure and a strongly applied nature of the doctoral thesis


To graduate the Aalto Executive DBA candidate must have completed 10 personally tailored online doctoral courses (60 credit units):

  • A course on academic reading and writing (an example »)
  • Courses on academic research methods (qualitative and quantitative methods) (an example »)
  • Tailored online courses on strategy, marketing, or other substance discipline in business administration, as agreed with the supervisor (an example »)

Normally, an online course consists of approximately 30 journal articles or research papers around a subject. Typically, there are no traditional lectures. The primary instructor can be contacted online when preparing the reaction papers and essays around the readings. Moreover, the students discuss the readings related to their coursework and receive face-to-face feedback from the instructors during the two annual research seminars. Thus, for most courses, there is also no traditional exam.  

Admission Requirements and Fee

Admission Requirements

  • A recognized Master’s degree in any discipline or a recognized MBA or Executive MBA
  • Minimum five years postgraduate work experience prior to DBA study, some of this at a senior level
  • A full application form with resume
  • Two recommendation letters, at least one from an academic source
  • From non-native English speakers a proof of their English language skills 
  • A research proposal
  • An application fee of € 1,500 (+ VAT)


Tuition Fees

  • The tuition fees are charged for each year of studies.
  • If the candidate has an access to the employer’s data, to serve as a basis of the research project the fee is € 29,000 per year (+ VAT).
  • If the candidate does not provide research data but the data is provided by Aalto EE / Aalto University the fee is € 34,500 per year (+ VAT).
  • The fee for the first year is charged after the candidate has approved the letter of acceptance.
  • Travel and accommodation costs related to Aalto Executive DBA seminars and the costs related to possible attendance to international academic conferences are not included in the tuition fee.


Please contact the program director in order to apply for the Aalto Executive DBA program. You will get the application form from the program director, and also from this page.

Application Process

The application process consists of:

  1. Contacting the Aalto Executive DBA Program Director for the application criteria check and an interview date
  2. Participating an interview with the Academic Director of the DBA program, receiving guidelines for writing a research proposal
  3. Preparing the application form
  4. Submitting the research proposal, application form with resume, and recommendation letters to Aalto EE
  5. Receiving a notification of possible acceptance
  6. Starting the studies