Postgraduate Programs 2022/23
Doctor of Business Administration Program
Award Title

Doctor of Business Administration

Program Short Name


Mode of Study


Normative Program Duration

4 years

Program Fee


For students who cannot complete the program in the normal 4 year period, an additional yearly tuition of $50,000 will be charged starting the 5th year.

Program Advisor

Academic Director:
Prof Shaohui ZHENG, Chair Professor of Information Systems, Business Statistics and Operations Management


The HKUST Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Program is well-designed for senior executives who are motivated to equip themselves with rigorous doctoral training to enhance their research capabilities, gain exposure to latest business research trends across disciplines, and to carry out insightful applied research for influential informed business decision making in the interconnected world.

On successful completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Conduct applied research independently with their in-depth knowledge of different research methodologies;
  2. Articulate business and organization issues within their area of specialization; and
  3. Apply their advanced business knowledge and research skills in their business settings.

The DBA Program is a 4-year part-time program. Students will complete a 55-credit curriculum which comprises of coursework and thesis preparation in Year 1 and 2, and a residential program and thesis research in Year 3 and 4.

Classes will be conducted on a live-in modular basis and students will attend classes for 4 consecutive days (including weekend) for each module in the first two years. There will be 8 modules in the first year and 8 modules in the second year.

  1. Minimum Credit Requirement

55 Credits

  1. Core Courses

15 Credits

DBAP 5010
DBAP 5020
DBAP 5030
DBAP 5040
DBAP 5110
DBAP 5120
DBAP 5130
DBAP 5140
DBAP 5150
DBAP 5160
DBAP 5170


  1. Elective Courses

8 Credits

Supervisors will be identified for students by the end of Year 1. Students and supervisors will work out a study plan to take 8 credits of elective courses from the following list based on the academic background of the students and their intended research topic.


DBAP 5210
DBAP 5220
DBAP 5310
DBAP 5320
DBAP 5410
DBAP 5420
DBAP 5430
DBAP 5510
DBAP 5520
DBAP 5610
DBAP 5620
DBAP 5710
DBAP 5720
DBAP 5810
DBAP 5820


  1. DBA Thesis Preparation

   2 Credits

DBAP 6200


Students are required to take DBAP 6200 to complete an independent study advised by their supervisors in Year 2.

  1. DBA Residential Program

DBAP 6300


Students are required to register in DBAP 6300 each regular term starting from Year 3 for up to four regular terms before they graduate. They will set up real-time meetings online or offline with their supervisors at least once a month during the term, for a minimum of 10 contact hours in total per regular term. They are also required to attend a 2-day residential program for research activities on campus together with students from the same cohort every regular term as scheduled by the Program Office. The credits earned from DBAP 6300 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

  1. Thesis Research

    30 Credits

DBAP 7980


Students are required to submit a research proposal and conduct an oral presentation to pass a qualifying examination by end of Year 2. They will then proceed to their DBA research and thesis write-up in Year 3 and Year 4. Students are required to present the DBA thesis and defend orally in front of the Thesis Examination Committee, normally by end of Year 4.

Last update: 10 August 2020 

To qualify for admission, applicants must meet all of the following requirements. Admission is selective and meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

1. General Admission Requirements of the University
  • Applicants seeking admission to a doctoral degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree with a proven record of outstanding performance from a recognized institution; or presented evidence of satisfactory work at the postgraduate level on a full-time basis for at least one year, or on a part-time basis for at least two years.

2. English Language Admission Requirements

Applicants have to fulfill English Language requirements with one of the following proficiency attainments:

  • TOEFL-iBT: 80*

  • TOEFL-pBT: 550

  • TOEFL-Revised paper-delivered test: 60 (total scores for Reading, Listening and Writing sections)

  • IELTS (Academic Module): Overall score: 6.5 and All sub-score: 5.5

* refers to the total score in one single attempt

Applicants are not required to present TOEFL or IELTS score if

  • their first language is English, or

  • they obtained the bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an institution where the medium of instruction was English.

3. Additional Information
  • A Master’s degree from a recognized university is preferred.
  • Preference will be given to candidates with at least twelve years of managerial experience.
  • Applicants will be asked to submit a proposal on a research idea that they would like to pursue.

Apply online before the application deadlines.


Application Fee


Application Deadlines

For 2022/23 Fall Term Intake (commencing in Sep 2022):

Non-local Applicants*
Part-time: 28 Feb 2022 (Round 1); 15 Apr 2022 (Round 2); 31 May 2022 (Round 3)

Local Applicants
Part-time: 28 Feb 2022 (Round 1); 15 Apr 2022 (Round 2); 15 Jun 2022 (Round 3)

 * Applicants are considered as non-local students if they hold (i) student visa/ entry permit; or (ii) visa under the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG); or (iii) dependent visa/entry permit who were 18 years old or above when they were issued with such visa/ entry permit by the Director of Immigration. For details on student visa/ entry permit requirements, please click here.