Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA)

General Description:

This is a three-year programme that allows candidates to obtain a doctoral qualification through a series of workshops and a thesis centred on issues specifically related to their own professional activities. The thesis requires interventional research to solve a specific problem or improve productivity in industry or services on a particular managerial area.

The seminars are delivered by highly qualified faculty that have a blend of academic cutting-edge knowledge and practical experience. In each seminar, they will share their experience in contemporary research issues in their specific field. This will allow participants to understand the present research directions.

Training objective :

At the end of this programme, participants will have mastered research methods enabling an improvement in their problem-resolution and decision-making process and will have analysed the importance of each of the topics that influence corporate and public institutions.

They will have become expert leaders in intervention research.

They will have developed core competencies in the various fields covered in this programme.

General Characteristics :

The program of study is organized in modules. Credits for each module are shared between research, improving managerial skills, advancing report and research writing skills. The delivery of seminars is conducted through lectures, exercises and practical work in class.

The DBA program is divided into two stages :

  • Research analysis skills
  • Improving the Managerial skills
  • Improving the report and research writing skills

The program of study is organized in modules. Each module are shared between research, improving the Managerial skills, improving the report, research writing skills, lectures, exercises or practical work in class (onsite contact hours).

First year:

  • Seminar 600: Introduction to Research
  • Seminar 601: Writing a research report
  • Seminar 600: Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methodology
  • Seminar 601: Planning Your Research Thesis
  • Seminar 602: Publishing Your Work: Strategies for Moving Forward
  • Seminar 603: Information Technologies for Business Research

Second and Third year:

  • Second year of doctorate: documentation or in-the-field investigation, empirical work and construction of a provisional drafting plan.
  • Third year of doctorate: drafting of the thesis.

Who is the Doctorate for? :

UMEF’s Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is a professional doctoral degree designed to enhance executive, professional practice and senior manager.

  • Is looking for an internationally recognized research qualification
  • Advanced research techniques to issues of Managerial
  • A new managerial ideas and practices
  • Focusing their research on a current business issue within their organization
  • How effective managers lead, how they make decisions
  • How they motivate employees to achieve superior results in leading organizations

Key Points:

Organiser: School of Business

Duration of the programme: 3 Years

Faculty: International from 24 nationalities

Teaching methods: Courses, research, conferences, debates, case study, discussions and presentations

Teaching language: English or French

Degree earned: Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


 Campus: Château d’Aïre, Geneva – Switzerland  

Teaching Methodologies

While the teaching methodologies used by faculty inevitably vary from subject to subject, they comprise basic elements that have been listed as follows:

  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Debates
  • Case studies
  • Learning by teaching
  • Tutorials
  • Discussions
  • Presentations
  • Individual or group projects
  • Use of the computer laboratory.

In every case, the exchanges with the faculty are student-centred and the exchanges are always enriching for both. Our graduates practice critical thinking as one of the most important skills in a complex society.

Accreditations and Recognitions

Founded in April 1984 by Professor Marc François Maret, SWISS UMEF UNIVERSITY (UMEF), formerly known as ISGC (Institut Supérieur de Gestion et Communication) is a private university.

UMEF has a long track record of training a large body of students who originated from all continents and who have had, since graduation, highly successful careers. Furthermore, UMEF has strongly supported its alumni to assist them in developing outstanding careers or to be highly successful actors in their chosen fields.

UMEF operates campuses in three continents – Europe, Africa and Asia – and its contribution to the development of the citizens of these countries has been recognised with prizes and appreciations in several countries.

UMEF strictly applies the Bologna system, and it is accredited by IACBE, EduQua and ASIC. It is also a member of several other accreditation bodies.

 DBA Tuition fees:

  • Administrative fees: CHF 150 NON REFUNDABLE
  • Admission charge: CHF 1’500 one time only
  • Tuition fee: CHF 19’500 (For all programme three years)

These fees include all reaching materials distributed in class but exclude textbooks, cases and other materials.

Payment method:

All fees will be paid in local currency at the Finance Department or directly transferred to the account of SWISS UMEF UNIVERSITY. Students can pay annually, in semesters, quarterly or, at the request of the student and/or payer, bimonthly, but the student and/or the payer must ensure regular payment by a permanent order at their bank. Proof of such a permanent order must be submitted to the Finance Department.

Refundable fees:

For candidates who couldn’t acquire a student visa, the fees (except the registration fee of 150.00 francs) will be refunded within 45 days. However, proof of rejection of their visa application must be provided.

For candidates who have received a visa but unable to attend the courses in Geneva, the fees will be refunded as per the contractual clause.

All candidates must fill in an application form and send the supporting documents. The application file must contain the following:

  • The completed application form
  • Supporting documentation (as listed in the application form).

The admission files are processed in the order they are received and examined individually by the Head of Admissions. When the file is completed, the Head of Admissions hands it to the Academic Vice-Rector for validation. Selected candidates will be requested to attend an interview as a part of the admissions process. The purpose of the interview is to enable an evaluation of the objectives and motivation of the candidates in the study branch they have selected as well as the identification of their potential. This oral evaluation will determine the acceptance or rejection of the candidate. It should be noted that UMEF is not obligated to justify their decision. For applicants from outside Switzerland, a Skype interview can be arranged.

The file can be sent via email or by post to:


185 – 187 Route d’Aïre, 1219 Aïre – Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0) 22 732 07 12
Email: admission@umef-university.ch
Website: www.umef-university.ch

Conditions for admission into a DBA programme:

  • Bachelor’s and master’s degree or equivalent from an approved university/college
  • Copies of all transcripts
  • An application form for admission, duly completed and signed
  • Strong command of written and spoken English or French
  • A Curriculum Vitae, duly signed and dated
  • A copy of your identity card or passport
  • Four recent passport photos
  • Proof of financial resources*
  • A list of all your published works (optional)
  • Presentation of a research project (minimum 10 pages)
  • A 250–350-word motivation letter
  • An interview with the Vice-Rector of AcademicAffairs
  • A non-refundable registration fee of CHF 150

(*For international students)

Please note that only fully completed applications will be considered.

Our Faculty

UMEF is proud to count on a distinguished faculty that is active in academic research or consulting, which makes them capable of transferring cutting-edge ideas and practices to their students. UMEF is extremely rigorous in selecting its faculty, considering both their academic background, such as in which university they have taught and their practical experience. Candidates have to sit for an interview and provide a class demonstration of their pedagogical skills if required.

UMEF relies on both full-time and part-time faculty. All faculty are evaluated by students and peers, which enables management to evaluate student satisfaction. In turn, faculty members are also given the opportunity to evaluate both students and management.

The list below is a partial list of our faculty.

The campus is located in an old priory in Geneva that dates back to the 15th century. It is a classified monument, which was restored in 1917 and is constantly maintained in perfect order.

The campus covers an area of 18,400 sq. m. It is a magnificent environment with a view of the Rhône River and the iconic Salève Mountain. In this environment, students will be able to concentrate on their studies and be involved in the research.

The campus is easily accessible from the Geneva train station (Gare Cornavin), being only 3.4 km away and 10 minutes by car. A bus service (N° 7) from the Cornavin Train station also drops you off in front of the main door of the campus.

UMEF students enjoy the privilege of using this unique environment both during their studies and their free time. They are also free to invite their friends over.

Contact :

Château d’Aïre
Route d’Aïre 185-187
Aïre 1219 – Geneva – Switzerland
T: +41 (0) 22 732 07 12
E: admission@umef-university.ch
W: www.umef-university.ch