Doctoral Programme Application

Jana Tolle


For admission to the cooperative doctoral programme at HSBA the following requirements have to be fulfilled as well as the listed documents have to be submitted:

Admission requirements

The formal prerequisites for acceptance into the cooperative doctoral programme at HSBA are:

  • university or college studies (Business Administration, Economics, Business Informatics) with at least 300 ECTS, completed with a diplom or Master degree of grade 2,5 or better     


  • university or college studies (of any area not realted to Business Studies) with at least 300 ECTS, completed with a diploma or Master degree of grade 2,5 or better, and:
    - the studies included at least one economical subject, and
    - the grade in this subject was at least "good", and
    - the content and achievements in this subject are equal to the contents and achievements gained in an equivalent bachelor course
    - included a written Master thesis.


  • university or college business studies at an international academic institution with an equivalent university degree
    The Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) determines about the equivalence of foreign educational qualifications. General guidelines are:
    - the state recognition of the higher education institution which awards the degree
    - the comparability of the workload and the scientific character of the study programme
    Especially for university degrees obtained outside the European Union, it is highly advisable to apply for an individual ZAB statement of comparability for foreign higher education qualifications that evaluates your individual study programme. Please attached this ZAB statement to the application documents as well.
    - You can use the Database on admission requirements(currently information on more than 130 countries available) to check whether your higher education entrance qualification is recognised in Germany.
  • submission of Master Thesis/ Diploma Thesis as integral part of the graduate programme
  • Proof of good English skills (level C1/ C2,substantiated by IELTS, TOEFL IBT, Cambridge Certificate or Pearsons Test).
    (execpt for native English speakers or applicants who studied more than 6 months an English taught study programme)

The admission requirements of the respective partner university apply additionally.

Application documents

For your application for acceptance onto the programme, we need the following documents:

  • Letter of motivation (max. 1 page)
  • CV (max. 2 pages)
    a. Personal data
    b. Academic (incl. ECTS) and secondary education
    c. Professional career
    d. Language skills (classified according to CEF: A1-C2)
    e. Computer skills
    f. Social engagement, hobbies
  • Proof of third level qualification
    a. Copies of 1st and 2nd degree certificates (grades and credits of single courses must be listed)
    b. Diploma supplement or explanatory notes
    c. Proof of a vocational education qualification (if applicable)
  • Proof of good English skills (level C1/C2)
    substantiated by IELTS, TOEFL IBT, Cambridge Certificate or Pearson’s Test25, proof of English language degree course or experience in an english-spoken work- or study environment
  • Presentation of your research project (research proposal)

Supporting Application Documents:

  • Academic reference
  • Reference of current employer
  • Confirmation of job exemption
    A written statement by the employer that the doctoral student will be granted an average of (preferable) 20 hours per week to work on the doctoral topic for the duration of his/her time at the HSBA doctoral programme.

Selection process

The selection process ensures that candidates have the necessary personal, methodological and analytical skills to successfully complete the dissertation within the prescribed time and given circumstances (part-time employment).

Upon receipt of the application, it will be checked for completeness and compliance with the approval criteria. If the submitted documents meet the requirements, the application is forwarded for further professional and scientific assessment. In case of a positive assessment, we start the matching process.

According to its research topic, the application will be submitted to the respective HSBA professors and, if agreed, the contact between the doctoral candidate and the professor will be established. The dissertation project will then be discussed in a personal interview and the candidate's expertise and methodological competence will be tested.

After admission to the programme the HSBA-Professor and the candidate will discuss options regarding the cooperating university and will decide on the best possible liaison in regard of the candidate's research topic.

Closing date for applications

Candidates can submit applications at any time. We do not have fixed application deadlines and consider application carefully all year around. In addition, you can have a look at the HSBA job portal for internal positions and apply according to the application deadlines listed there.