DU - Executive Doctorate in Business Administration (EDBA)

DU - Executive Doctorate in Business Administration (EDBA)

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Our Executive Doctorate in Business Administration (EDBA) degree is a research doctorate that focuses on business practices and is deeply rooted in professional applied practice. It is a 3-year program. Read more


Initial training / Executive Education Program / Accessible for resumption of studies /
Unknown label
3 years
Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE)
IAE / Campus Saint Jean d'Angély


IAE Nice logo
IAE Nice logo


  • Cultivate research abilities
  • Improve critical and analytical skills
  • Connect research and professional world
  • Weekend courses for work-study balance
  • Expertise in the field with creative problem solving
  • Applied research tailored to career goals with academic support
  • International faculty of academics and leading professionals while studying mostly by distance
  • Small classes: up to 18 senior candidates mentored by senior researchers for individualized attention 
  • 100% success rate


Career Enhancement

  • Management of Large Private and Public Enterprises
  • Management Consulting
  • Socio-Economic Studies/Consulting
  • Marketing Expertise
  • Treasury and Finance


An Executive Doctorate in Business Administration (EDBA) is a gold card to securing executive positions across a wide spectrum of global business domains. The program provides a platform for you to leverage your experience and management expertise to generate new knowledge and insights.

The EDBA program is designed for managers, accomplished professionals and senior executives looking to enhance their knowledge in their respective fields and share their expertise. It is particularly suited for senior-level professionals eager to take a step back from their professional work commitments and conduct research on a specific managerial issue.

With this highly esteemed diploma, IAE Nice seeks to make a significant contribution to the management community by providing top-notch education to senior executives from around the world. Our programs are designed and delivered by experts who maintain close ties to the international business community, comprising of both researchers and practitioners.

A hallmark of EDBA Nice is its dedication to nurturing your individual development as well as and supporting you in conceptualizing your knowledge and acquired experience into a professional doctorate degree.

At IAE Nice, we are dedicated to fostering a culture of education that places our executive fellows’ personal and professional development at the heart of our learning process.



  • Acquire lifelong tools to achieve your ambitions and dreams.
  • Give you the tools to take your career to the next level and gain expertise in Business Administration.
  • Delve deeper into fundamentals of management science, marketing or finance and equip executives with the skills needed to meet market demands.

Key Strengths

  • Applied research tailored to your educational and career goals in the business world, accompanied by extensive academic guidance.
  • Small class size: cohorts are composed of a maximum of 18 senior candidates per major, each mentored by a senior researcher.
  • Courses scheduled one weekend per month to allow you to study and work at the same time if you so choose.
  • Mostly distance work, allowing you to continue to work while studying with an international faculty of academics and leading professionals.


What is the Difference Between a PhD and an Executive DBA ?

In order to obtain a thesis, registration in a PhD program is mandatory.
A PhD typically takes three to five years following a master’s degree whether professional or research-oriented.
While the primary focus of a doctoral thesis is to produce academic knowledge, it is crucial to showcase a practical interest in organizational practices in the field of management sciences.

The Executive DBA program is geared towards professionals and emphasizes the practical application of knowledge in business affairs. The focus is on quickly integrating the knowledge produced into practical settings, so a strong theoretical background is not as necessary as it would be in a traditional PhD program.


Executive DBA vs PhD Differences: Executive Doctorate of Business Administration Programs

Both, the PhD in Management and the Executive DBA, are doctoral degrees and as such have similarities, but  there are some key differences: 

   a- Target groups

   b- Motivation

   c-  Career goals

   d- Financing

a - Executive Doctorate of Business Administration Target Groups: Young Graduates vs. Senior Professionals

PhD in Management and Executive DBA programs address different target groups.

A PhD program is specifically designed for those who want to pursue a career in social sciences and aspire to become a full-time professor at a business school. Their goal is to become an academic and do research. These people often come directly from the university and start their PhD after graduating.

In contrast, individuals do an Executive DBA when they have already been successful in business for many years and are looking for a new intellectual challenge. These people often already have an MBA and want to further distinguish themselves from others through a doctoral degree. At the same time, they are interested in management research and may have a practical research question in mind.

b - Motivation: Career Perspective vs. Personal Challenge

A difference between a PhD in Management and an Executive DBA program is often the motivation behind the studies. For PhD students the PhD is the path to a career as an academic. Their degree qualifies them as scholars and the overall goal is to start a career as a fulltime professor at a business school.

Executive DBAs in contrast are driven primarily by the search for a personal challenge. They already have achieved a lot in their business careers and some of them have an MBA. The Executive DBA provides them with a new challenge that goes beyond the practical knowledge that they learnt in business or in the MBA. It challenges them as potential researchers.

c - PhD and Executive DBA Career Goals: Fulltime vs. Part-time Academic

PhD in Management students aim for a career in academia. They apply for positions as fulltime professors after graduating or go for a Postdoc for several years. Their key activity is conducting research, publishing in academic journals or books, and teaching. At top schools, this is what PhD in Management students become qualified for.

In contrast, Executive DBA graduates usually stay working professionals in their companies and want to stay in the business world even after their graduation. However, their doctoral degree qualifies them to conduct research as well. They may occasionally teach as guest professors, invited faculty or adjunct faculty members.

d -Financing your Doctorate in Business Administration

PhD in Management students, particularly at top schools, often get financial support during their studies, either by a scholarship or through a position as a research assistant. Executive DBA students on the other hand often pay for their education even though some schools may provide scholarships for them as well.

Some companies fund Executive DBA students, especially when they use data from their employers and when their research is relevant for their companies. PhDs on the other hand are sponsored by their universities because the university has an interest in them.

Who Can Join the Executive DBA?

Every higher education graduate with a Master's degree. It is recommended to have a background in management or economics however other profiles of training may be accepted. Professional and management experience is asked in principle.

Is the DBA a Recognized Diploma?

It is a Université Côte d'Azur diploma. The Executive DBA is recognized by Anglo-Saxon companies or those highly internationalized. The diploma is referenced EDBAC and the IAE of Nice AACSB.

What Can Be Expected from a DBA?
  • On a personal level, the capacity to carry out a research project and gain expertise in a subject area, and find answers to questions relevant to professionals in the field.
  • On a professional level, it can demonstrate a commitment and ability to solve specific problems encountered in both private and public organizations.

Finally, the desire to share the experience gained and formalized through an Executive DBA is a rewarding element of the degree.

What Are the Skills Developed in an Executive DBA?

The ability to effectively lead research in a professional setting is crucial. Methodology plays a key role in distinguishing the knowledge generated by research from that gained through practical experience. Executive DBA programs rely on validated theoretical knowledge in specific fields such as marketing and management control. The research methods and protocols used in these programs are rigorous, resulting in knowledge that is both legitimate and robust.

Which Research Topic Can Be Chosen?

The Executive DBA is designed for professionals with a few years of experience. The research topic must be directly or indirectly connected to their experience. The candidate's intuitions and the problems they have encountered serve as the foundation for formulating their research topic.

What is the Workload Executive DBA Participants Face?
The program is quite extensive and requires a long-term commitment. On a day-to-day basis, the workload is not necessarily overwhelming, but it is important to maintain consistency and discipline throughout the duration of the program.
Overall, How Valuable is the Executive DBA for Managers and How Does the Knowledge Gained from the Program Help Them in their Profession?  What is Learnt in the Executive DBA Program?

Pursuing a Doctorate in Management, whether it is a full-time PhD or a part-time Executive DBA - NEVER has the purpose to increase your management capabilities. While there may be some practical take-aways from a doctorate that you can apply in business, the primary purpose of the program is NOT to become better managers.

The program teaches participants how to identify relevant research problems, frame them in appropriate terminology, design suitable methodologies, and conduct research. While the research topic can and should be related to the real-world management context, the ultimate goal of the program is to equip participants with the tools to conduct research at a higher level of abstraction, beyond the specific company case, that can help explain similar phenomena in other settings as well.



Roland ASAKER de Dubai (DBA Maroc 2013)

While working in the fields of Engineering and Business Management for 30 years, I decided to explore the career path of Teaching and Consultancy. I approached the IAE in Nice for the accreditation of the DBA program and the professionalism of the faculty professors.

I had the opportunity to explore a research topic that allowed me to study in depth its theoretical framework and the challenges of applying the results in the real world.

I recommend this program to anyone willing to increase the depth of their knowledge while earning an academic recognition”


"My program of DBA was in the continuity of my professional project. Indeed after 10 years of work experience international where I had the opportunity to realize several large-scale projects in the telecommunications sector in Europe I have create my consulting firm specialized in the support and the training - action in Business and Management in Europe and Africa.

The program of DBA allowed me to interpret the managerial problems of my customers according to various theoretical currents in particular those of the strategic Management.

High level program and teaching staff. The supervision for my professional thesis was also of a big utility."


My DBA in the IAE of Nice, brought to me credibility and care at every level public and private.

1- I am accredited as Algerian expert by the ministry of the tourism at the level of a reflection on the statistics of the tourism, including the countries of the Maghreb and the western countries of Africa

2- I am requested by the Graduate School of Management in Algeria (ENSM) for the implementation of a Master's degree in management of the tourism, the creation of a research laboratory

Thus this DBA is a great diploma which gives an academic pledge to all top managers to sit their activities in the field of the management and higher education. I highly recommend this diploma."



Graduate level

Conditions of applications

Candidates are pre-selected based on the following cumulative criteria:

  • Minimum level required for eligibility: Master’s degree or equivalent (300 ECTS Credits or 150 US Credits)
  • Academic results and distinctions
  • Quality of professional background
  • English proficiency

Pre-selected candidates will be interviewed where they will then present their research project.

Candidates in continuing education: must hold a degree equivalent to 4 years of higher education and have at least 5 years professional experience and must satisfy specific application criteria (2 years of study interruption, have a salary, individual leave of absence for education, etc). They should contact ASURE Formation for further details about the application process and the validation of prior job experience (VAE/VAP). 


First Year


Hours ECTS
Unit 1: Research Fundamentals 6
Research Methodology 15
Qualitative Methods 15
Quantitative Methods 15
Unit 2: Specialised Research Seminars 2
Marketing 15
Accounting and Corporate Finance 15
Strategy  15
Organisational Control 15
Human Resources & Knowledge Management 15
Innovation 1 and Knowledge Management 15
International Management 15
Second Year
Unit 5: Specialised Rsearch Seminars 2
Specialised Research Seminars 1 - Research Design 15
Specialised Research Seminars 2 - Empirical Studies 1 15
Unit 6: Research Presentations Workshop 2
Research Workshop 4 15
Research Workshop 5 15
Research Workshop 6 15
Academic Supervision 2
Third Year
Unit 7: Specialised Research Seminars 2
Specialised Research Seminars 3 - Empirical Studies 2 15
Specialised Research Seminars 4 - From Thesis to Article 15
Unit 8: Research Presentations Workshop 2
Research Workshop 7 15
Research Workshop 8 15
Research Workshop 9 15
Unit 9: Thesis 40
Written Dissertation - (20)
Oral Defense - (20)

Compatibility with a professional activity

  • Courses are scheduled one weekend per month to allow you to study and work at the same time if you so choose 

What's next ?

Level of education obtained after completion

Graduate level

Business sector or job


  • Management of Large Private and Public Enterprises
  • Management Consulting
  • Socio-Economic Studies/Consulting
  • Marketing Expertise
  • Treasury and Finance


Yearly tuition fees:

  • Year 1: 7000€
  • Year 2: 4000€
  • Year 3: 4000€