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phd after mba

Updated at : May 30, 2024

Ph.D. After MBA

A PhD after MBA is a good option for those who aspire to add a “Dr.” title to their names and serve their organizations at a CXO position. On qualifying for the UGC-NET or GATE Exam, you can become eligible to enroll in a PhD program. Being the highest level degree in the management field, this PhD program equips you with research-oriented business topics, providing you with a vast scope in teaching and research professions. Give your business expertise recognition in the industry by pursuing a PhD after MBA in your preferred specialization.

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Course Duration

3 - 5 Years


Graduation or Equivalent

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EMI Facility


Ph.D. After MBA Program Overview

PhD after MBA might sound new to you but its impact on a professional’s life has already created a history. After completing an MBA program in any domain in regular or online mode, you can apply for a PhD program. However, to become eligible for this course, you need to have a good score in some national-level entrance exams of GATE/UGC-NET/CSIR-NET. For a PhD abroad, you need to score well on the English level proficiency tests like TOEFL and IELTS and the entrance exam of GRE. In India, it takes around 5 years to complete a PhD program while abroad it ranges between 4 to 7 years.


Among the top management universities in India, FMS New Delhi, IIMs, BHU, and IITs are some renowned ones offering PhD after MBA. They provide learners with a list of top specializations in the business field including PhD Finance, PhD Operation Management, PhD Marketing, PhD Human Resource Management, and many others.

Here are some key aspects that you must know about PhD after MBA: 

Course Level


Modes Available

Regular, Online, and Hybrid


5 Years


Postgraduate degree with relevant subjects.

Admission Process

Entrance-based (GATE/UGC-NET/CSIR-NET)

Average Fee

INR 15,000 - INR 5,00,000

Job Profiles

Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer, Finance Manager, Professor, Chief Executive Officer, etc.

Average Salary

INR 5-24 Lakhs

Making it easy for PhD after MBA aspirants, some foreign universities have launched an online version of it in the name of Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) online which also adds a “Dr.” title to your name in just 3 years and is equally credible as a regular PhD program in India. An online DBA is not offered by Indian universities as it is yet not approved by UGC but on completing it from an accredited foreign university, it will be completely recognized in the global industry.

Why Opt for a Ph.D. After MBA?

Completing an MBA will help you explore senior management positions in your functional domain but doing a PhD after MBA will bring new opportunities for you! It will help you climb up the organizational ladder and become a suitable fit for CXO positions. Based on the specialization you choose in your PhD program, you will have a variety of options not only in the business sector but also in the research and teaching fields. Above all, a PhD after MBA will increase your earning potential by multiple times which otherwise would take several years to achieve.

All of the above-mentioned benefits can also be explored with an online DBA program which is a more accessible and affordable version of PhD. Its entrance-free admission procedure and short duration of 3 years encourage a large number of candidates to opt for it.

Who Should Do a Ph.D. After MBA?

All fresh MBA graduates and working professionals serving any business domain can apply for a PhD program. The only restriction that is there is they need to clear the entrance exams with the minimum cut-off score to get admission to their desired university and specialization.

With an online DBA program, you have the liberty to apply for it after your graduation, and the best part about it is that you do not have to appear for any entrance exam. 

When To Do a Ph.D. After MBA?

If you are concerned about the age limit to apply for a PhD program, you must go through the age restrictions put on the entrance exams for it. For instance, for a UGC-NET exam (JRF), the maximum age limit is 30 years and on the other hand, a GATE exam has no specific age limit.

With an entrance-free admission process, an online DBA program makes all interested graduates apply for it at any age. This feature of the program has made even senior professionals apply for it.

Key Highlights of Ph.D. After MBA In India

  • Get recognized for your management expertise with a PhD after MBA program.
  • Opt for your choice of specialization in PhD after completing an MBA in online, regular, or distance mode.
  • Qualify for the UGC-NET or GATE Exam to take part in a reputed institute’s PhD program.
  • Choose your major from a long list of PhD specializations including Finance, Operation Management, Marketing, Human Resource Management, etc.
  • Develop a research-focused understanding of the business concepts and launch new methodologies for the betterment of the industries.
  • Earn a “Dr.” title with the completion of PhD from top management institutes like FMS New Delhi, IIMs, BHU, IITs, and others.
  • Jumpstart your career as a CEO, COO, and board of director upon completion of PhD after MBA.
  • Enjoy the benefit of completing your PhD at any age with no age capping.
  • Widen up your career chances in the research and teaching domain other than the business world with a PhD after MBA.

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Ph.D. After MBA Course Subjects/Syllabus

The course structure of a PhD program is research-oriented and focused on the industrial aspects of the business. The syllabus of PhD offered at IIM Ahmedabad is provided here to help you get an overview of the program. 

Phase I: First Year Course Work

  • First Year Ph.D. Compulsory Courses
  • First Year Area Ph.D. Courses
  • Courses from other Areas and other Post Graduate Programmes (PGP, PGP-FABM, PGPX) and Ph.D. Elective Courses

Phase II: Second Year Course Work

  • Second Year Ph.D. Compulsory Courses
  • Second Year Area Ph.D. Courses
  • Courses from other Areas and other Post Graduate Programmes (PGP, PGP- FABM, PGPX)
  • Preparation and Completion of Area Comprehensive Examination

Phase III: Doctoral Dissertation

  • Formation of Thesis Advisory Committee
  • Approval of Thesis Proposal
  • Research and Writing of Dissertation
  • Thesis Seminar
  • Thesis Defence

Top Specializations of Ph.D. After MBA

There is a long list of specializations available in PhD programs based on the domain you choose. Here is a list of top specializations that you can opt for in PhD after MBA.

PhD in Finance

PhD in Marketing

PhD in Healthcare Management

PhD in Accounting

PhD in Leadership and Strategy

PhD in Business and Data Analytics

PhD in Project Management

PhD in Cybersecurity

PhD in Sustainability

PhD in Data Science

PhD in International Business

PhD in Supply Chain

PhD in Human Resource

PhD in Generative AI

PhD in Social Impact Management 

PhD in Technology Entrepreneurship

All of the above-mentioned specializations are available in online DBA programs allowing you to opt for a domain of your choice.

Ph.D. After MBA Eligibility & Duration

The eligibility criteria to apply for a PhD after MBA include the following points:

  • A master’s degree in the related field from a UGC-recognized university or institution
  • A minimum of 55% marks or equivalent grades in the master’s degree
  • A good score in the entrance exams conducted for PhD program like NET, GATE, or any other university-specific exam
  • For PhD abroad, candidates need to pass English Proficiency Tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, etc.
  • A statement of Purpose (SOP), Letter of Recommendation (LOR), academic transcripts, and an updated resume are also needed for  PhD abroad
  • A good score on the GRE is needed for PhD abroad other than a master’s degree

To read the updated guidelines of UGC for undergraduate students, click here.

In case you want to skip these complications of understanding whether you are eligible for a PhD or not, go for an online DBA program that only demands a credible master’s or bachelor’s degree + work experience from an accredited university. 

The duration of a PhD after MBA in India takes around 5 years. However, if you are planning to do it from foreign, you will be able to complete it in 4-7 years. To complete it in an even shorter period of 3 years, you can opt for an Online DBA program.

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Program Fees for Ph.D. After MBA

Starting at ₹ 6,776/month

Program Fee: ₹60,000 - ₹2,50,000

Low Cost EMI Available


The fee package of the PhD program ranges between INR 15,000 and INR 5,00,00. This figure varies from university to university. If you have qualified for a PhD from a government institution like IGNOU or DU, your course will be completed under 1 lakhs. However, on going to a private institution, the cost of the program increases.

Online DBA programs are more expensive than regular PhD courses in India as these are offered by accredited international universities. It generally starts at INR 7 lakhs.

Ph.D. After MBA Admission Procedure

The admission process for a PhD program begins with filling out the application form for the national-level research entrance exams like UGC-NET, GATE, etc., or university-specific ones. After cracking these exams, candidates will have to appear for an interview wherein they will present their research proposal to the mentors of the university they have been selected for. On completing the paperwork and other documentation formalities for grants or stipends, candidates will be allowed to start with their research work.

With an online DBA, you will have a simple admission process that will not involve any entrance exam or interview. 

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Growth of Online Education in India

  • Online education in India is set to grow at a CAGR of 19.9% by 2030.
  • Skill development and employment are the major driving forces for this growth.
  • Higher education is gaining popularity in this online medium.
  • Financially affordability is a significant contributor to this boom.
  • The increased adoption of technologies, i.e., the Internet and smartphones, has increased accessibility significantly.
  • The advantage of flexibility in terms of time and location is the key highlight.
Growth of Online Education in India

Education Loan/EMI Facilities for Ph.D. After MBA

In general, the universities offering PhD programs do not have an EMI option in their fee payment method. However, to help students financially, some of them have developed an installment-based fee structure through which they can pay their fees in part. Moreover, you can avail of a debit card or credit card EMI facility if applicable at your chosen university.

In an online DBA course, you will have the option of an education loan which adds to the accessibility of this program by making you pay the fee in easy EMIs.

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Is Ph.D. After MBA Worth it?

If you wish to retire from a respected designation in your career, a PhD after MBA is something you should think about! After an MBA, you become eligible for the senior management positions but with a PhD, you get the chance to take charge of the business strategies and model as a CEO or COO of the organization. 

The research-focused learnings of the management concepts make you develop an innovative approach toward business issues. The choice of specialization in this highest degree program in the management field gives you the freedom to choose your domain. Upon completion of the PhD after the MBA, both your designation and the salary package increase by many folds. All of these offerings are also obtained after completing an online DBA after MBA. Thus, for a long-term and successful career, a PhD after MBA or an an online DBA after MBA is worth giving a shot!

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Job Opportunity after Ph.D. After MBA

Upon completing PhD after MBA, you not only earn a “Dr.” title but unlock some premium job designations that were not in your reach before. The career prospects that you have after a PhD will be the same after you complete an online DBA. Some of these job titles are listed below along with their annual package to give you an overview of the career prospects after a PhD/an online DBA.

Job Roles

Average Annual Salary (in INR)

Market Research Analyst

10 LPA

Business Consultant

13.37 LPA

Business Operation Specialist

14 LPA


20 LPA


24 LPA


37 LPA

Top Recruiters for Ph.D. After MBA

Top organizations in the business sector hire PhD candidates actively. These organizations admire the innovative way these PhD graduates use to tackle business issues. Their “out of the box” thinking puts them in the limelight for top recruiters globally. Online DBA holders also have a special place for top recruiters as their knowledge of global business trends adds significant value to their organizations.

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Let's clear up some doubts about Ph.D. After MBA

Yes, getting a PhD after MBA adds new career opportunities to your list. It makes you climb up the organizational ladder to CXO positions and improves your salary package at the same time.

There are numerous specializations available in the management domain of PhD for MBA graduates which include Finance, Marketing, Human Resource Management, Operation Management, and many more.

To qualify as a PhD candidate, you need to score well in UGC-NET, GATE, GRE, or other research-oriented entrance exams.

In India, it takes around 5 years to complete a PhD but abroad, this period ranges between 4-7 years depending on your chosen university.

As per the earlier UGC guidelines, online master’s degree holders with a minimum of 55% marks were eligible to apply for PhD but with the updated guidelines 4-year graduates with 75% marks can also apply for it.

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