Doctoral Programs

The doctoral programs of ISM offer you many advantages such as optimal international business management orientated program contents, counseling and support throughout the application process and your subsequent doctoral period. We offer you the opportunity to continue your academic career after your master's degree and to pursue a doctorate with one of our internationally renowned and accredited partner universities abroad and receive your PhD degree. According to the decision of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of Germany, the doctoral degrees awarded at our partner universities may be used in Germany as "Dr." without a subject-related addition and without a designation of origin.

We are at your side from the first second until the completion of your doctorate. You will receive professional and administrative support, and personal supervision will be provided by an ISM professor. In this way, our doctoral program will optimize the chances of success of your application. This opens up the possibility of doing your doctorate in a very practical way and completing a doctorate abroad. We currently collaborate with various partner universities in Scotland, Spain and Australia.

We have PhD cooperations with the Strathclyde Business School (SBS) in Glasgow and the Edinburgh Napier University (ENU), both in United Kingdom, the Bond Business School (BBS) in Australia, the Westcliff University (WU) in the US, and the University Ramon Llull in Barcelona, Spain. ISM has been collaborating with these universities in the field of teaching for a number of years. The cooperative supervision of PhD projects enables the joint definition of research topics that can be promoted on an international basis. This PhD cooperation additionally allows ISM to intensify its international cooperation and to meet the significantly increasing demand for doctoral research opportunities.

Your advantages at a glance

  • Personal supervision by an ISM professor
  • Professional and administrative support
  • Doctorate with a German supervisor and doctoral degree abroad

Edinburgh Napier University (UK)

Edinburgh Napier University, the #1 modern university in Scotland (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023) and a top 10 UK modern university, stands as the leading Scottish modern university for research power and impact. Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) is AACSB accreddited and prides itself on fostering a community of difference makers—an enterprising and innovative cohort renowned globally for an unparalleled student learning experience. ENU provides meaningful, difference-making education and research for a rapidly changing world.

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Westcliff University

Westcliff University (USA)

The Westcliff University campuses are located in Irvine, California, Los Angeles, California, and in Miami, Florida. It is regionally and globally accredited. Founded with the aim of providing high-quality education for students in the expanding fields of Business and Education, Westcliff University has been accredited since 1993 by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Westcliff prepares students for the practical and theoretical demands of the job market.

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Strathclyde Business School (UK)

The Strathclyde Business School (SBS) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, is one of the few business schools in the world to hold triple international accreditation (AMBA, AACSB and EQUIS). The cooperation with ISM enables ISM graduates from other universities to complete a PhD or DBA program. The Business School's postgraduate research area is primarily concerned with the following topics: Accounting & Finance, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management, Management Science, and Marketing.

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PhD program at Universitat Ramon Llull

Universitat Ramon Llull (Spain)

The IQS School of Management at the Universitat Ramon Llull in Barcelona, Spain, has a strong international focus and holds important international accreditations. The cooperation with ISM allows ISM graduates from other universities to be trained as Doctorado. The research focus is primarily on corporate finance and marketing.

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PhD program at the Bond University

Bond University (Australia)

The Bond Business School (BBS) at Bond University is located on the Gold Coast in Australia. Bond University strives for international recognition as a leading independent university and is AACSB and EQUIS accredited. The PhD program emphasizes independent research, a thorough understanding of subject-specific knowledge, competence in research methods, and the ability to communicate research findings.

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Frequently Asked Questions on PhD programs in Germany:

Who can pursue a doctorate degree at ISM?

Anyone with a Master's degree in a relevant field and with a grade point average of at least 2.0 (German grade system) can apply for a PhD at ISM. In addition to the research proposal (ca. 4 - 6 pages) with the desired topic for the doctoral thesis, our applicants also need proof of their English language skills in the form of an IELTIS or TOEFL language certificate (this varies depending on the partner university). The different partner universities sometimes have additional requirements for admission. Please see the individual pages (links above) of our partners for more information on the eligibility criteria.

What is the difference between full-time and part-time doctoral studies?

A full-time doctorate usually takes three years to complete, while a part-time doctorate takes three to six years. In the case of a part-time doctorate, students work part-time alongside their doctorate, whereas in the case of a full-time doctorate, PhD students have the option of concentrating solely on their doctorate.

How long does it last to graduate?

A doctorate in the standard time takes three years. Part-time doctoral studies at German universities take three to six years. If required, the full-time doctorate can be extended to up to four years and the part-time to up to eight years.

Why do a doctorate? What will I get out of a PhD?

During the doctorate, phD students deal intensively with the topic of the doctoral thesis, this enables the new acquisition of important specialist knowledge. A doctorate also has advantages in the working world. For example, the starting salary is higher for an employee with a doctorate, and there is often a better chance of a management position with a doctorate.

What are the costs of a PhD program?

The cost of a PhD at ISM depends on the partner university and whether the full-time or part-time model is chosen.

The cost of a full-time doctorate program (three years) ranges from €13,000 - €46,850.

The part-time doctorate program (three to six years) ranges from €26,500 - €62,740. You can find detailed information about the costs at the respective partner universities.

Is it possible to do a doctorate in business administration?

At ISM, you can do a PhD in various specializations at the partner universities. At Strathclyde Business School in Scotland, the main focus is on Accounting and Finance, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management, Management, Management Science and Marketing. Our partner school in Australia, Bond Business School, offers research focuses in Marketing & Digital Business, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Hotel & Tourism Management, Sports Management, Big Data, Management, International Business & Global Strategy, among others. The Universitat Ramon Llull in Barcelona is particularly suitable for students who want to focus on Corporate Finance and Marketing.

Counseling PhD & DBA Programs

Prof. Dr. Kai Rommel

Vice President for Research
Prof. Dr. Kai Rommel
+49 231.97 51 39-76
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Anette Herbst

Research Assistant
Anette Herbst
+49 69.66 05 93 67-57
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