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Top-20 DBA Ranking

Below you will find a ranking of the world's most prominent DBA courses. The DBA ranking is based on the following criteria:

1. Academic accreditation such as AMBA, AACSB, etc
2. Student support, i.e. how are students supported by the university, professor, academic office, etc
3. International mindset, e.g. does the school promote international exchange or study opportunities abroad for doctoral students
4. Reputation of the DBA course assessed by its current and former students
5. Seniority and management experience of student body

For a detailed chart table, please see the table at the bottom of this page.
1) Manchester Business School (UK)

One of the top-three business schools worldwide for undertaking your DBA and this year ranked number one, congrats to Manchester Business School.

Accredited by AMBA and with an excellent reputation. Your choice if you are up to a challenging and yet rich DBA experience.

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2) Maastricht School of Management (NL)

Another top-university offering a great DBA journey. Get to know an international diverse group of students and professors, who will help you through the first difficult months of the DBA trip.

Maastricht School of Management has consistently ranked highest in all aspects of our research for this ranking - a well deserved second place is the outcome.

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3) Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HK)

First in Asia and on top of the world - that is in short what Hong Kong Polytechnic University is all about.

Catering of course mainly to Asian top executives, you will find a well-managed course and great academic support for your personal DBA topic.

If you're looking for the best, here you will find it.

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4) Cranfield University

If you like to get your degree from a UK-based university and if you choose Cranfield for your DBA, you can be sure your money is well spent.

The professors are used to a challenging student body, the support staff is always helpful and the university has a great reputation. What more can one ask for?

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5) Grenoble École de Management (FR)

Another top-European business school and the leading institute on French ground - care for the French touch in your DBA studies? Here you find all your needs fulfilled:
Great academic reputation, excellent student body and a well-structured program. Plus: French "savoire vivre" just around the campus

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6) City University of Hong Kong (HK)

Another top-Asian institute with a great reputation including professors, who are leaders in their area of expertise.

The City University of Hong Kong has a high number of top executives in their student body. Thus, networking is another great asset at this place.

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7) Universidad Centrum Católica (PE)

The AMBA accreditation is just one highlight of this university - the other one is its location: Peru, South America.

One of the best business schools in South America, it also ranks in the DBAstudies.com ranking in front of many other universities. Contact them and you know why.

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8) IE Business School

Even though the Spanish economy is hit hard these days, the Spanish business schools are still shining. Among them, IE shines brightest when it comes to undertaking a DBA.

Great support for students by their professors, well-experienced academic help-desk and highest seniority of student body.

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9) Aston Business School (UK)

Another AMBA accredited business school from the UK - Aston Business School is a well-managed university with highest DBA experience.

Students will benefit from the staff support and although many students are from the UK, this might just be what you are looking for.

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10) Gloucestershire University (UK) / FHM (DE)

Gloucestershire has constantly climbed the ranks and now even crashed into the top-10!

It is very international including a strong cooperation with German "Fachhochschule des Mittelstands". Students are of highest calibre and professors know what they are talking about. All this makes a top rank!

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11) Manchester Metropolitan University (UK)

Of course, Manchester Met is a great place for itself, especially within the UK. However, focussing on the DBA it has recently stopped teaching it - according to our sources for adjusting the course content and teaching material.

Still, the DBAs currently undergoing their years of study have chosen a great place.

We hope to hear from the admin soon for an update and will keep you informed about any news.
12) Durham University (UK) / Fudan Univ. (CN)

Linking academic experience from the UK with an international-Asian mindset, you will have a great DBA experience at Fudan University.

However, if you are looking for the original campus, you need to sign up for the Durham experience in the UK.

Great value for money, so don't hesitate starting your DBA at Durham/Fudan.

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13) Queensland University of Technology (AU)

The only top-20 listing of an Australian university is reached by Queensland University of Technology.

Known for very good academic support and achievements, the DBA program at QUT can be named as one of the best in the Asian-Pacific region and even surpasses many of the better-known UK universities - and this is not only due to the sunny weather in Brisbane.

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14) University of Surrey (UK) /IBS (DE)

The University of Surrey has been offering its DBA course for many years now and based on this experience it stands for highest teaching and research quality.

Similar to the University of Gloucestershire it has close links to German institutions, namely the IBS in Lippstadt. This adds to a very diverse and international student body and in return helps to raise the quality of the DBA experience.

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15) University of Reading (UK)

Henley School of Management has already an excellent reputation and with its DBA program it is not different at the University of Reading.

Reading offers great facilities, DBA students are happy with the support and professors are used to supervise DBAs. Altogether this makes a good choice for anyone interested in studying his or her DBA at Reading.

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16) Oklahoma State University (US)

As Harvard Business School is not ranked in this list, the best US university offering the part-time DBA is Oklahoma State University. Great facilities for DBAs, a well-experienced academic board and good student feedback made it possible for Oklahoma to be ranked as the best DBA university in the US. Well done, OSU cowgirls & -boys.

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17) Kennesaw State University (US)

Kennesaw State is one of the top DBA program providers in the US and offers a great learning experience for DBAs.

The program, which started in 2009, is well-structured, students' management experience is highly senior and the course itself is accredited by the AACSB.

The first KSU DBAs graduated this May and you might be one of them soon.

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18) London Metropolitan University (UK)

London Met is another considerably new DBA provider, who has though quickly climbed up the ranks. Why is this?

First, their constant investment in the facilities gives you a state-of-the-art learning experience. Second, students report a high degree of satisfaction and, last but not least, academic support is very well organized. Thumbs up for London Met.

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19) Case Western Reserve University (US)

Case Western Reserve is in our ranking the third US-based university that offers good value for your money if you think about pursuing a DBA.

The Weatherhead School of Management at CWR has a good academic record, is known for good student support and consistently improves the facilities, also for doctoral students.

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20) Georgia State University (US)

Finally, Georgia State University jumps onto the 20th place in our DBAstudies.com 2012 ranking.

As part of the Robinson College of Business, the program is fully accredited by AACSB and hence offers highest academic quality.

Based in Atlanta, the facilities on campus are state-of-the-art and students' feedback is excellent.

Go there now...

Detailed Chart Table for the Top-20 DBA Programs
(in each category, a total of 100 %-points could be reached within our analysis and study; figures show rounded sums)

Rank No. / University

Academic Accreditation

Student Support

International Mindset

Reputation & Seniority




95 & 90




80 & 80

11. Manchester Metropolitan University (UK)




75 & 65




60 & 65




55 & 60




50 & 65




50 & 55

Kindly notice:

Harvard Business School is not ranked in this list, as its DBA curriculum is today a full-time program, thus, you would need to drop out of your current management job for a couple of years and later return to business life. Thus, we did not include it in our ranking. DBAstudies.com only included universities with the commonly known part-time DBA courses for managers, who will stay within their job while pursuing a DBA.

Further, the ranking above is solely the view of DBAstudies.com and based on hundreds of hours of investigation, personal visits to campuses, a detailed course comparison, in-depth discussions and long interviews with faculty and/or students. Thus, we were trying to incorporate as many objective data as possible, hoping to give you a hint on where to get your DBA without being biased by any possible means.