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 programme. 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


  • The EDBA experience challenges you to sharpen your critical and analytical expertise. You will develop your research skills to become an expert in your field with a proven ability to think out of the box. The EDBA is a bridge between the research and the professional worlds.
  • Applied research tailored to your background and business career goals with high level of academic supervisory
  • Small class size: Cohorts are composed of a maximum of 18 senior candidates per major, each one is mentored by a senior researcher 
  • Courses are scheduled one weekend per month to allow you to study and work at the same time if you so choose 
  • Mostly distance work, you can continue to work while studying: International Faculty of academics and leading professionals
  • 100% of success rate 


Career Enhancement

  • Management of large private and public enterprises
  • Management Consulting
  • Socio-economic studies/consulting
  • Marketing expertise
  • Treasury and Finance


An EDBA is a gold card to executive positions across a wide spectrum of global business fields. You can create knowledge from your experience and your management practices.

Managers, Professionals with successful careers and Senior executives; looking to make a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge in their area of expertise and transmission of experience. Upper level professionals eager to take a step back from their ongoing professional activities and do research on a specific managerial situation.

With this very high-level diploma, IAE Nice seeks to impact the management community by offering top-notch learning to senior executives from around the world. Our programmes are designed and delivered by researchers and practitioners with close ties to the international business community. 

A hallmark of EDBA Nice is the dedication to your individual development in our programmes. We support you to conceptualize your knowledge and acquired experience in the form of a professional Doctorate. 

We aim at fostering your culture of learning. The intention is to position the professional and personal development of our executive fellows at the heart of our learning process.


  • Go deeper into fundamentals acquired in management science, Marketing or Finance and train executives according to the market expectations 
  • Give you the ability to take your career to the next level and gain more expertise in Business Administration 
  • Acquire lifelong tools to achieve your ambitions and dreams 

Key Points (Strengths)

  • Applied research tailored to your background and business career goals with high level of academic supervisory
  • Small class size: Cohorts are composed of a maximum of 18 senior candidates per major, each one is mentored by a senior researcher 
  • Courses are scheduled one weekend per month to allow you to study and work at the same time if you so choose 
  • Mostly distance work, you can continue to work while studying: International Faculty of academics and leading professionals


What is the difference between a PhD and Executive DBA ?

A doctoral thesis is a diploma of state which asks for a registration in a doctoral  program. It takes place in principle in 3 years after a Master's degree (professional, but most of the time search) The doctoral thesis is centered on the production of knowledge with academic purpose, even if in sciences of management, the interest in the practice of organizations has to appear.

 A Executive DBA has a professional purpose. Produced knowledge have to provide to be quickly inserted into the practice of the affairs in the broad sense. It doesn’t require a solid theoretical Knowledge as that required in a classic doctorate.

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 differences: 

   a- Target groups

   b- Motivation

   c-  Career goals

   d- Financing

- Executive Doctorate of Business Administration target groups: young graduates vs. senior professionals

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

If people aim a career in social sciences and eventually want to become of fulltime professor at a business school. A PhD program is tailored for them. Their goal is to become an academic and do research. These people often come directly from the university and start the PhD after graduating.

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

- Motivation: career perspective vs. personal challenge

A difference between PhD in Management and 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 career 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 at a career in academia. They apply for positions as fulltime professors after graduating or go for a Postdoc for some years. Their key activity is doing research, publishing in academic journals or books, and teaching. And this is what PhD in Management students become qualified for – at least at top schools.

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 for doing research as well. They may teach as guest professors, invited or adjunct faculty occasionally.

d -Financing your Doctorate in Business Administration

PhD in Management students, particularly at top schools, often get financial support during the studies, either by a scholarship or through a position as 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 Executive DBA?

Every graduate of the higher education with a Master's degree. It is recommended to have economic or management Education. But another profile of training can be also accepted. A work and Management experience is asked in principle.

Is the DBA a recognized diploma?

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

What we can expect from a DBA?
  • On a personal plan, the capacity to realize a research project. The personal valuation to master a subject and answers to a question which calls out to the professionals in service.
  • On the professional level, it completes a will and a capacity to dominate a precise problem met in the company (private or public)

Finally, the wish to share an experience accumulated and formalized within the framework of a Executive DBA is an important gratifying element.

What are the skills developed in a Executive DBA?

Essentially, the capacity to lead a professional research. The methodology occupies an important place which allows to distinguish the knowledge so produced by the one as a practitioner in service can bring. The knowledge produced during a Executive DBA are leaned in the theoretical knowledge validated in the concerned field (marketing, management control) The methods and protocols of research are rigorous, what gives the legitimacy and the robustness to the produced knowledge.

Which subject research we can choose?

In essence, the Executive DBA is designed to professionals having a few years of experience. The Research subject must be connected, directly or indirectly to their experience. The intuitions, the problems lived by the candidate are on the basis of the formulation of their subject research.

What workload represents a Executive DBA for the participants?

It is a very long training. "On a daily basis, the personal investment is not particularly raised. It’s important, to hold on the duration and to be regular in the work.

In Summary, How interesting is Executive DBA for a manager? How does the Executive DBA knowledge help managers in their job?  What we learn in a Executive DBA program?

Doctorate in management - whether fulltime or part-time, whether a PhD or a Executive DBA - NEVER has the purpose to increase your management capabilities. You can get some take-aways from a doctorate that you can apply in business. But the primary reason for doing a doctorate in management is NOT to become better managers.

Well, you learn to become a researcher. This means that you will be able to identify a relevant research problem, to frame it in a terminology such that it can be studied, to design an apt methodology, and to actually study it.

Of course, this research topic can and should be related to the real management world. And in a Executive DBA program, this research topic will be even closer to your every day life as it may stem directly from your employer's practice. But at the end of the day, a doctoral student is learning the tools to do research on these problems on a higher level, abstracting from the one concrete company case to a more general level 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

The candidates are pre-selected based on the following 3 cumulative criteria:

  • Necessary pre-requisite to be eligible: to have been awarded a Master’s degree or equivalent (300 ECTS Credits or 150 US Credits)
  • Academic results and distinctions
  • Quality of professional background
  • English proficiency

Following examination of the application, pre-selected candidates will be interviewed.

During the interview, you will be requested to present your 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….). They should contact ASURE Formation for further details about the application process and the validation of prior job experience (VAE/VAP). 


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
Unit 3: Seminars and conferences 2
Seminars and conferences on different topics, organised during the year 20
Unit 4: Research presentations workshop 2
Workshop 1 15
Workshop 2 15
Workshop 3 15
Unit 5: Specialised research 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
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 defence - (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€