Academic Programs

An overview of the contents of our courses, such as our systematic, integrated, practical curriculum.

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Ph.D. and DBA Programs

Differences between the Ph.D. and DBA programs


ABS offers two doctoral courses of study. The Ph.D. program is a unified 5-year full-time doctoral program targeting individuals who hold undergraduate degrees. It aims to cultivate superior academic researchers rich in creativity. In contrast, the DBA program is offered to individuals who have already acquired a master’s degree (e.g., MBA) and follows a curriculum that allows students to acquire a doctoral degree while working. It aims to cultivate researchers who handle practical research issues for corporations, etc.


The quality of research required for the Ph.D. and DBA programs differs. For a Ph.D., candidates must master extensive theory and analytical methodologies and prove their ability to conduct independent research. In contrast, a DBA requires problem-solving ability and perception, and candidates must successfully employ independent insight and analysis tools in practical fields.

About the Curriculum

There are two notable features in each program:

Students must present their research for approval to three research instructors each year for the DBA program, and from their third year for the Ph.D. program. The object is to create a stimulating research environment among the students and faculty and to enrich thesis quality.
ABS provides support, both educational and financial, for doctoral students to present their research at domestic and international academic conferences. For example, ABS's network of affiliated schools could set up an international conference where students could present papers.
Doctoral Study Course Workshop

Students must present their research twice a year to ABS professors, doctoral students, and MBA students. The presentation is followed by a question and answer session where students receive valuable feedback for developing their research. Students cannot submit their theses unless they participate in this workshop.

Many students in the doctoral course will become future business school professors, and will be expected to possess the skills necessary to develop creative educational programs. Doctoral students participate together with professors in the MBA-oriented Experiential Learning Project, which provides opportunities to learn instruction methods for innovative courses.

Educational research also works to bridge theory and practice. The curriculum aims to expand empirical research in the field of international management. These curriculum components allow us to cultivate researchers who excel in the international arena.