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Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA)

General Description :

This programme is designed to provide candidates with a doctoral qualification through a series of workshops and the writing of a thesis focused on issues specific to their professional environment. The thesis requires a research approach on an innovative subject, aimed at solving a tangible problem or enhancing productivity in a managerial domain.

The curriculum is structured into modules, awarding credits for research, the development of managerial skills, project advancement, and scientific writing skills.

Seminars, led by high-level professors, blend cutting-edge academic expertise with practical experience. They address current research questions in their specific field, enabling participants to become familiar with the latest research trends.

Programme Objective :

Participants will acquire research methods skills to refine their problem-solving and decision-making processes. They will explore the impact of various themes on the public and private sectors.

Upon completing the DBA, participants will develop :

  1. The ability to analyse scientific publications.
  2. Improved managerial skills.
  3. Proficiency in writing reports and scientific publications.

SWISS UMEF offers this DBA programme in collaboration with its partner ISTEC. Doctoral students who successfully complete the programme will receive a diploma from ISTEC, a prestigious French business school, as well as a Master in Research, issued by SWISS UMEF at the end of the first year.

ISTEC Business School Paris is dedicated to developing its students' talents, forming agile, autonomous, operational, and responsible managers. The school also promotes entrepreneurship and initiative among its students, ensuring excellent professional integration of its graduates.

Programme Structure :

  • First Year: Focus on the development of the research project, epistemology, and research methodology.
  • Second Year: Continuation of the programme with particular attention to the empirical part and field research as well as the beginning of thesis writing.
  • Third Year: Writing and defending the thesis.

The first year of training is recognised as a Research Master's by SWISS UMEF. During this period, participants are required to write a research paper intended for publication either in the SWISS UMEF journal or in another recognised journal. At the end of the first year, a Research Master's degree will be awarded to the participants.

Who is the DBA for?

The DBA is aimed at executives and leaders wishing to:

  • Obtain an internationally recognised research qualification.
  • Master advanced research techniques.
  • Explore new ideas and managerial practices.
  • Focus on a specific managerial problem.
  • Improve substantially the decision-making process.

Admission Conditions :

The admission process consists of two stages: the review of the academic dossier and the interview. The candidate must provide the following documents, in the order listed below:

  1. A copy of the Bachelor's and Master's degree (or equivalent) from a recognised institution.
  2. Copies of all Master's degree transcripts.
  3. An employer's certificate of 3 years of experience.
  4. A duly completed and signed admission application form.
  5. CV.
  6. A copy of an identity card or passport.
  7. Four recent passport photographs.
  8. Presentation of a research project.
  9. A motivation letter.

Only complete applications will be considered. No explanation will be provided in the event of a candidate's rejection.

After the academic dossier is validated, the candidate will be invited for a personal interview by the admission committee, composed of three members, either via Zoom or in person, normally lasting 60 minutes.

The programme offers two academic entries, in October and February, allowing greater flexibility for candidates.

Fee structure :​

SWISS UMEF is proud to offer high-quality educational programmes at competitive rates, significantly more affordable than those on the Geneva market. Our goal is to make education accessible to a greater number of students by offering reduced tuition fees, without compromising the quality of teaching and the resources provided. Moreover, SWISS UMEF stands out as the first and only private institute in Geneva recognised by the Swiss Confederation.

We recognise the importance of an educational investment and are committed to supporting our students throughout their academic journey. We offer them the opportunity to receive top-level training at a reduced cost, in the exceptional environment of the Château d’Aïre. This democratic approach to education allows us to effectively contribute to the training of future generations of competent and well-prepared professionals, capable of meeting the challenges of tomorrow.

The fees consist of application fees, admission fees, and tuition fees. These will be paid according to the following model:

  • Application fee: CHF 150 payable upon submission of the application – non-refundable.
  • Admission fee: CHF 1,500 upon acceptance – one-time fee.
  • Tuition fees: CHF 19,500 for the entire duration of 3 years

This amount is payable as follows:

  • First instalment: CHF 4,500 before the start of the first semester.
  • Second instalment: CHF 5,000 before the start of the second semester.
  • Third instalment: CHF 5,000 before the start of the third semester.
  • Fourth instalment: CHF 5,000 before the start of the fourth semester.
  • These amounts fully cover the three-year programme.

In case of extension, an additional flat rate of CHF 3,500 Swiss francs per year, renewable twice at most, and after justification and validation by the senior management of SWISS UMEF, is due.

Bank name: Crédit Suisse - CH-8070 ZURICH (Suisse)

  • In favour of: SWISS UMEF
  • IBAN: CH29 0483 5025 7942 1100 0
  • Swift code: CRESCHZZ80A

Key facts :

  • Organiser: Faculty of Management Sciences.
  • Programme Duration: 3 years.
  • Faculty: International.
  • Teaching Methods: Lectures, debates, case studies, discussions, research, and presentations.
  • Language of Instruction: French and English sections or bilingual.
  • Diplomas awarded: Master of Research from SWISS UMEF and Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) by our partner ISTEC.
  • Campus: Château d’Aire, Geneva – Switzerland.
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SWISS UMEF was founded in 1984, in accordance with Swiss Law, as a higher private education institution in Geneva and is institutionally accredited by the Swiss Accreditation Council, in accordance with the Higher Education Act (HEdA).


SWISS UMEF is also certified by EDUQUA (the Swiss quality label) and has programme accreditation by ACBSP and IACBE.


SWISS UMEF is proud to have been the first private federally accredited institution as a University of Applied Sciences Institute in Geneva.

  • Swiss Accreditation Council

  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

  • International Accreditation Council for Business Education

  • CHEA - Council for Higher Education Accreditation

  • EduQua

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