Education for the higher educated

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

IE Business School

  • Description
  • Overview

The main goal of the PhD Program is to educate outstanding individuals to become international scholars in the general field of management. We expect our graduates to undertake careers in academia as world-class researchers and professors, as well as becoming high-profile leaders in industry and the public sector.

The capacities and skills that students acquire during the PhD Program include:

  • The vision to recognize important and unexplored business issues that are worthy of study.
  • A capacity to develop research questions that can be examined empirically following the methods of social sciences.
  • The ability to use a variety of research methods to collect, analyze and present data.
  • The organization and time-management skills required to follow the entire process of research from the conceptualization of a research question to the recommendations for the development of better management practices.
  • An ethical attitude when designing and conducting research.
  • The networking skills required to work in collaboration with the business community
  • The writing skills required to present the new ideas and body of knowledge in a coherent way following the standards of major management journals.
  • The presentation skills required to disseminate their work in professional conferences at national and international levels.
  • The teaching skills required for the effective use of the case method.

The students who are finally accepted in the PhD program have an excellent academic background and are supported with a very high score in the GMAT test. They have a very strong commitment to Research, and they want to develop their future career in the academia. The age of our students ranges from 25-35.

University degree from an accredited academic institution in a field of study related to management.

Advanced level of English TOEFL scores, (for information, please contact

GRE o GMAT test scores, (for information, please contact The IE Business School GMAT code is: PhD in Management: 6XT-ZH-45

Supporting Documentation

Candidates must hold a university degree from an accredited academic institution in a field of study related to management, such as business administration, economics, sociology or psychology. They must also have an advanced level of English and some mathematical background. They need to show potential for and interest in becoming an intellectual scholar and/or professional leader with an international orientation.

Application procedure

The application form may be requested from the PhD Office or downloaded from the website. An application for admission to the PhD Program must include the following:

  • The application form
  • University diplomas
  • Official transcripts of grades
  • GRE or GMAT score
  • Proof of Fluency in English: TOEFL, Cambridge Proficiency Certificate or British Council IELTS
  • 2 letters of recommendation

The PhD program takes four years and it is divided in two modules. First and second year are devoted to courses to acquire the basic disciplines of Management Research, while the third and the fourth year will cover the research period where you will develop your PhD Thesis.

Years 1 & 2:

Coursework Period. This period includes the study of fundamental disciplines from which Management research draws to provide students with a variety of theoretical backgrounds and help them crystallize their research interests. During this period students will also take a minimum of four methodological courses to develop their quantitative and analytical skills, including a full range of methodologies: field research, surveys, case studies, simulations and experimental research.

The academic year begins in early October and it is divided into three terms of thirteen weeks each, fall, winter and spring terms. The summer will be dedicated to research.

Throughout the first two years students will complete 60 credits per year by means of courses. These courses are designed to build the kind of research skills that are critical to the development of a high-calibre management scholar able to create solid research as the basis for excellence in teaching and the improvement of management practices. At the successful completion of this period students will undergo a comprehensive exam that will qualify them to start their dissertation preparation.

Years 3 & 4:

During their third year, students are required to work full time on a supervised research projects with a faculty member, and to defend their dissertation proposal orally to a committee comprising five faculty members. Students who successfully defend their dissertation proposal are expected to complete their dissertation in the fourth and final year of the program.

Based on the recommendation of the PhD Committee, the PhD degree is awarded by the Director of the Programme, with the endorsement of the Dean on behalf of the faculty. The degree is given by IE Business School under its own name and responsibility.

Level University
Form Full-time
Incompany No
Open enrolment No
Lead time 48 months
Costs (indication) More than € 4,550
Titles No title
Required language skills English
Country Spain
Completion Diploma