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2 Years




Barcelona – Online


Year Round Enrollment


Blended – 120ECTS



We receive applications all year round and recommend that you apply as soon as possible to secure your place at our next intake.

We review all applications with a holistic approach by looking at all elements of your application and above all your motivation and passion in pursuing a career in business, regardless of citizenship or country of residence. Each academic year we bring together a group of high-achieving, intellectually gifted students from diverse backgrounds to create an exceptional, inclusive learning environment.

Before you proceed with the application, we recommend that you read carefully all the information provided on this page, containing details on the application process, standardized admission requirements, and financial aid programs. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • Official Certified true copy of Master’s Degree Diploma (or equivalent academic qualification: e.g. Level 7)
  • Official Certified true copy of Master’s Degree Transcript of Records
  • Proof of past or current work experience (Preferred but not required)
  • Expressed Research Interest and expected contribution to the industry (or community)
  • One-on-one interview with the Provost
  • Complete all required forms for admission and submit all required documents

Please note that meeting the academic requirements alone does not guarantee acceptance into the program. The oral interview and demonstrated research interest play a crucial role in assessing the eligibility and preparedness of the student for doctoral studies.

Under certain circumstances, students may gain acceptance into the doctoral program with a BBA or BS degree, even without a Master’s Degree, given that they can provide verifiable documentation indicating over ten (10) years of experience in leadership positions. However, even in such cases, the student must still demonstrate readiness to meet the rigorous academic requirements.

Required Documents

To apply for our DBA Degree program, you must show successful completion of your undergraduate and postgraduate studies from accredited higher education institutions. This should include your bachelor’s and master’s degree certificates and final academic transcripts including courses taken and grades achieved. There are no prerequisite subjects for our DBA Degree program.

All documents must be issued in the English language, and bear the stamp and signature of an authorized university official. An official translation will be required for documents issued in any language other than English.

You must be fluent in English to participate and fully benefit from our programs.

These are the multiple ways to prove your proficiency in English:

  • English as a native language.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL PBT): Minimum score 57.
  • Internet-Based Test (iBT): Minimum score 61.
  • International English Language Test (IELTS): Minimum score 6.0.
  • Pearson Test of English Academic Score Report: Minimum score 44.
  • Duolingo English Test: Minimum score of 95.
  • 4-skill Michigan English Test (MET): Minimum score 53.
  • Michigan Examination for the Certificate of Competency in English (ECCE): Minimum score 650/LP.
  • Michigan Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English (ECPE): Minimum score 650/LP.
  • Internal English level testing at Swiss School of Management Barcelona.
  • Cambridge ESOL, Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) – Minimum score: C.
  • English as the language of instruction during previous studies in the formal educational system.

The student must have studied at least one year in classes taught in English. Taking classes to study the English language is not sufficient.

If your proficiency in the English language is not up to par, we offer an intensive English Language Preparation course that you can take before commencing your degree studies

Motivation is a vital factor in achieving success not only with your current or future professional career but with your studies too. We encourage our students to pursue a Doctorate in Business Administration. Your research proposal should be 3-5 pages long, outlining your reasons for pursuing a DBA and your research interests.

Someone who is able to comment on your academic or professional performance should write your letter of reference. This can be a professor who has taught you or a current / ex-employer if you have work experience. The letter should include the referee’s relationship with you, how long they have known you, your abilities, and why they consider you a suitable candidate for the program. Your reference letter should also include the contact details of your referee.

If you are an EU citizen, you can apply with a valid national ID card. If you are a non-EU citizen, you must apply with a valid international passport valid for the duration of your program. You will need to send a scanned copy of the data page of the document in color. 

Your Curriculum Vitae (CV) should be a summary of your accomplishments and responsibilities over the years. It should be clear, concise, and complete with up-to-date and verifiable information about your education, employment history, and unique abilities. Your CV must be submitted in English.

Annual Intake

We have a continuous enrollment cycle all year round. We review applications and conduct interview to potential high-caliber students and assist them with inquiries and preparations in moving to Barcelona or finding accommodations for their year of study.

Our annual intake starts every month of October, January and April. See our academic calendar below for reference.

Academic Calendar

Doctor of Business Administration
Academic Year 2023-2024
SSM Barcelona

General Orientation: September 28, 2023 (Thursday)
Start of Class: October 2, 2023 (Monday)

October 2- November 3, 2023
Module 1: Introduction to Academic Research

November 6- December 8, 2023
Module 2: Qualitative Research Methodologies & Techniques

January 4- February 9, 2024
Module 3: Quantitative Research Methodologies & Techniques

February 12- March 15, 2024
Module 4: Guide to Dissertation Writing

March 18- April 20, 2024
Module 5: Advance Experimental Research Design

May 10, 2024
Submission of FINAL Research Proposal

May 14- 31, 2024
Selection and Finalisation of Research Director

April 1- September 30, 2024
Writing and Data Gathering

October 1- January 31, 2025
Data Analysis

February 1- May 30, 2025
Final Writing Stage

June 28-30, 2025
Viva Voce Defense

What Happens Next

The applicant is required to write a 750-1,000 words essay as to what research topic s/he wants to work on. Although this is not definitive, the student must demonstrate a clear research path. Meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry. The student must demonstrate the ability to carry out research independently and possess a high level of theoretical understanding.

The Academic Senate with review all the academic credentials, the essay and all other documents required to be accepted in the program. Acceptance is also subject to Faculty Expert availability for supervision.

SSM will schedule an interview with the student. The Provost or any member of the Academic Senate will do this interview and make a recommendation to the Admissions Committee.

Once approved, the In-Residence Program Director will issue the Acceptance Letter. This document would state the merit of the student application documents (Academic Credentials, Interview and Essay). It would also indicate the step by step process of the Registration. 

Educational Agreement and Tuition Fees

After receiving the letter of acceptance, please fill in the educational agreement. The student receives a confirmation of enrolment and can start the educational path, as soon as the study contract is signed and submitted (an electronic version/pdf-file can be submitted via email) and the application and tuition fee are paid at least for the first semester.

The students will be informed of the official start of the class as well as provided with the academic calendar. S/he is also required to attend the Orientation as scheduled by the In-Residence Program Director.

Ready to begin?
Transfer Credit Policy

Applicants aiming to join the DBA program and who have already started a doctorate level program in an authorized institution other than SSM are subject to the below transfer policy:

  • An official transcript of record showing courses and grades earned must be scanned. All certificates and transcripts should be translated into English unless they are issued in German, Italian, or French.
  • The admissions department validates the authenticity/legality of the transcript and its issuing institution.
  • Once authenticity is proven, a copy the transcript is sent to the transfer committee comprised of the Academic Dean and Head of Admissions.
  • The Academic Dean matches and maps the transcript courses with a passing grade against SSM’s list of modules for transfer equivalence decisions. The five modules offered by SSM might be completely or (partially) waived in case the applicant had successfully accomplished similar comprehensive or (partial) research studies.
  • The number of credits to be transferred are modified so that they fit a common practice or norm used for conversion into the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).
  • SSM grants up to 15% credits to transferring students of the DBA program requirements at SSM; thus, students need to accomplish at least 85% of their course requirements at SSM so that they earn SSM’s doctoral degree.).
Policies and Procedures for Exceptions to Admissions Criteria

SSM allows candidates who hold recognized secondary school certificates and a BBA or BS degree but not a Master’s Level degree to enroll at the DBA program Level and take courses and thesis toward a degree from SSM.

Such applicants should have gained at least 10 years of leadership experience and passed any of the designated internationally approved English Exams stated within the admission criteria section of the DBA program.

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