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Association of International Project Management Officers - AIPMO®

DBA in Strategy, Project, Program, Portfolio Leadership and PMOs

AIPMO has partnered with the SBS Swiss Business School to offer the first Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in the world for professionals who need to understand Strategy, Project, Program, Portfolio Leadership and PMOs.

Swiss Business School

The SBS Swiss Business School is one of the top business schools in Switzerland. The DBA in Strategy, Project, Program, Portfolio Leadership and PMOs has been created by AIPMO and the programme is jointly delivered by professors from both AIPMO and the SBS Swiss Business School.

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This unique programme uses the top professors in the world in the project management area such as Professor Ralf Müller, Professor Aaron Shenhar, Professor Robert Joslin and other members of the AIPMO Advisory Board to be available to be assigned as supervisors.

The SBS Swiss Business School Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Strategy, Project, Program, Portfolio Leadership and PMOs is an integrated work and research programme for management practitioners and professionals, who are oriented towards making a significant contribution to the field of strategy, project, program, portfolio management and PMOs.

An Overview of the Programme

The programme may be completed in a minimum of three years.

The coursework component takes place during the first year. Courses are conducted in the classroom in an intensive workshop model with face-to-face seminars. All courses are assessed by written assignments.

The transition from coursework phase to the research phase is by the candidate completing the set of assessed Research Proposals. On satisfactory completion of the coursework, candidates enter the research phase where they undertake individual, supervised research projects.

The output of each research project is a research paper of publishable style and quality. The dissertation is submitted for external examination. Consequently, there will be scope for requisite specialization within a general organizational and management framework. Graduates from the programme are expected to make a key contribution to practice, so programme work will relate to leadership, change and process management as well as research methodologies.

Programme Focus

The world of strategy formation and strategy execution is undergoing rapid and profound changes.

Business models, and strategies to execute them in terms of portfolio, program and project approaches are failing today by not having the desired impact nor success that was expected at their outset.

Senior executives, technical and non-technical leaders and managers are increasingly confronted by novel situations and challenges that demand greater understanding in terms of theories, methods and approaches.

The SBS DBA program takes places on Saturdays and Sundays, every three months. The DBA comprises a total of 108 units and can be completed in a minimum of 3 years part-time/next to the job study. The program is taught in a classroom format based on the use of intensive workshops and includes coursework and research.

> Take a look at further details at the Swiss Business School



Programme Structure

Coursework Phase

  • Doctoral Program Seminars and Workshops (50%)

Research Phase

  • Supervision Workshops (50%)


SBS Swiss Business School
Flughafenstrasse 3
8302 Kloten-Zurich, Switzerland

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What You Need to Know


The programme can be completed in a minimum period of time of 3 years and maximum over 6 years.


  • Academic Lectures
  • Workshops
  • Coursework and Written Assignments
  • Team exercises
  • Research project
  • Published research paper

Completion by Dissertation or Publishing

A dissertation may be submitted in place of Papers 1 and 2 or alternatively other forms of scholarly writing may be accepted subject to the approval of the Program Director.

Examination process is dependent on the mode of submission of final work. Where a paperbased submission has been chosen, successful completion of the DBA is by both papers being accepted for publication by an International peer-reviewed journal that has been approved by the Doctoral Panel. These journals are found on an approved list which may be changed from time to time.

Where dissertation-based submission (or other than by publication) has been chosen, successful completion of the DBA is by external examination by two independent experts in the area of the research study.

These examiners must be approved by the Doctoral Panel at least 3 months before submission. The maximum completion time is 4 years. Extension may be applied for between the minimum time of one and a half years (11⁄2) and the maximum time of four years (4) subject to approval by the Doctoral Panel but extension fees apply. Extension beyond four years will only be granted in special circumstances and by written application to the Doctoral Panel.

The DBA is a full fee-paying programme. Students must have ready access to a modern computer (with appropriate software), electronic mail, Internet and use of microphone/speakers or headset for the duration of the programme. Continuing enrollment in the programme is subject to satisfactory progress which is reviewed each six months by supervisors and the Doctoral Panel. The programme is scheduled and timetabled so that it is suitable for candidates who maintain their full-time professional work.

Candidates must satisfactorily complete each phase before proceeding to the next phase. Candidates who satisfactorily complete the coursework phase only may exit the programme with a Master of Applied Business Research. During the research phase there will be structured meetings between candidates and supervisors based on agreements between the parties.

Further Information on DBA in Strategy, Project, Program, Portfolio Leadership and PMOs


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SBS Swiss Business School

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