Doing A PhD After MBA: Universities, Programs, Benefits

13 minute read
PhD After MBA

Higher studies often encompass the decision of pursuing a bachelor’s, master’s and then, if you feel like delving deeper into your chosen field, a doctorate degree.

When it comes to the vast domain of commerce, a PhD is commonly chosen by those wanting to explore the academic arena. Working professionals don’t usually opt for a PhD given the extensive amount of time it demands and also because it has more academic use.

So, if you have recently completed your Master of Business Administration, choosing a PhD might require some thinking to finally arrive at the right decision. This blog aims to elaborate on what a PhD after MBA entails and how it can advance you further in your career journey.

PhD After MBA in India

Want to pursue PhD after MBA in India? There are colossal benefits of PhD after an MBA that can equip you with a competitive edge in the management and business world as well as the research and professional exposure you need to aim for high-salary managerial profiles in India and abroad.

Here’s what you need to know about PhD after MBA in India:

  • Eligibility: You must have completed a 2-year MBA degree to apply for PhD in India along with qualifying for UGC-NET or GATE exam to gain admission at top business schools and universities in India.
  • Duration: In India, you can complete your PhD after MBA in 3-5 years depending upon the program and university.
  • Requirements: For PhD after MBA in India, you must have GATE/UGC-NET/CSIR-NET scores, a research proposal ready along with letters of recommendation and optional work experience to increase your chances of admission.
  • Top PhD Programs After MBA in India:
    • PhD in Management
    • PhD in Organizational Behaviour/Management
    • PhD in Behavioural Finance
    • PhD in Applied Statistics
    • PhD in Information Technology/Data Analytics
    • PhD in Market Analysis and Research
  • Top PhD Colleges in India:

Also Read: PhD Scholarships in India

Benefits of PhD After MBA

Source: R3ciprocity Team

As the highest academic degree in theoretical disciplines, a PhD or Doctorate of Philosophy is perfect for those seeking a greater depth of knowledge in a specific area of interest. Going for a PhD after MBA can be beneficial for a plethora of reasons, some of which are given in a rundown below:

  1. Get a Competitive Edge over MBA
  2. Master Research Skills and Methodologies
  3. Inclination Towards Academic Arena
  4. Chance to Become a Professor
  5. Become an Academician at Business School
Get a Competitive Edge over MBA with a PhD

Though many would tell you that with a PhD after MBA you can only ground yourself in the academic world, this is not the case in reality. If you don’t see yourself fitting the position of a lecturer or a professor, you can explore varied prospects in the corporate sector.

A doctoral degree in a business or management specialisation imparts you with a deep-embedded and insightful knowledge of the commercial world. An MBA also gives you a unique and practical glimpse of this domain.

The combination of these two can be potentially utilised by opting for the role of a consultant or analyst for entrepreneurial ventures, business giants or even hedge funds and investment-related firms.
Master Research Skills and Methodologies

To begin with, a PhD is research-extensive by nature and demands individuals to submit their original thesis to conclude this degree. It challenges scholars to break away from the limited amount of knowledge of their field and delve deeper into whichever specialization they have chosen to study.
So, a PhD after an MBA would importantly require you to be passionate about research, have an innate curiosity towards your field and be ready to devote yourself for a longer period of time to your thesis.
Inclination Towards Academic Arena

Another reason why many graduates aspire for a PhD after MBA is when they are planning to make a career as an academician. Since one needs to exhaust many years to this degree, you can pursue the profile of an assistant professor at the university itself while getting mentored for your research thesis.

Further, by completing a PhD, you would be deemed eligible for the position of a professor at an academic institution though some universities or colleges might demand you to qualify for a teaching exam.
phd after mba

Also Read: Research Institutes in India

Top PhD Programs After MBA

The average duration of PhD after MBA is approximately 5-7 years where the 1st year is more theoretical but from the beginning of the second year, you can pick specializations as per your choice. In Business and Management, there is an array of specialised PhD courses that one can choose from. Here are the top specialisations to pursue PhD after MBA:


Though the specific prerequisites might vary from one university to another, there are some general criteria for PhD after MBA or any other postgraduate program that every candidate needs to fulfil.

The primary requirement is that of a master’s degree in the related discipline (from a recognised institution) in which one is applying for a doctoral degree, if you are applying for a PhD in Business Administration, you need to have completed a postgraduate course like, MBA, MIM, amongst others.

Along with these, you will be required to submit the following documents:

  • GATE/CSIR-NET/UGC-NET Scores for Indian universities
  • Research Proposal
  • Letters of Recommendation (Academic and/or Professional)
  • GRE, English proficiency test scores such as IELTS, TOEFL, etc. and SOP and LORs to apply for PhD after MBA abroad
  • An Updated Resume or CV
  • Academic Transcripts

Also Read: Part Time PhD

PhD After MBA Abroad – Admission Process & Entrance Exams 

If you are planning to pursue PhD after MBA from abroad then the following points will guide you through the application process and entrance exams: 

  1. The application process for global universities is very different from Indian universities. You don’t have to give any entrance exam to pursue a PhD after MBA from abroad, rather, you need to submit a GMAT / GRE score. 
  2. LORs, SOPs and previous projects and research work matter a lot when you are looking to pursue PhD abroad. They make your profile strong and increase the chances of getting selected. 
  3. Most universities have a 3-5% acceptance rate for PhD programs. Thus, it is essential to make your application strong, if you need any help regarding the same, get in touch with Leverage Edu experts.
  4. The PhD curriculum more or less remains the same, you need to work on your thesis and submit it in the provided duration to complete your PhD after MBA.

Also Read: How to Get PhD Funding?

PhD After Distance MBA

Yes, it is possible to apply for PhD after distance MBA but if you are aiming for a doctoral course, you must pursue your MBA from a UGC-accredited university or college. To apply for a PhD after a Distance MBA, you must be able to provide valid transcripts as well as mark sheets from your MBA thus it is essential to check the certification of the institution before studying for an MBA.

PhD After MBA in Finance

MBA in Finance professionals often opts for a PhD to pursue a career in research or academia. Finance is one of the most popular specialisations for PhD after MBA and students can choose from various subjects like Financial Management, Financial Analysis, Financial Modelling, etc. To pursue PhD in Finance in India, you will have to qualify for UGC NET, NMIMS or NIPER JEE while you will have to qualify GRE for universities abroad. Let’s take a look at the universities for PhD after MBA in Finance:

  • Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi
  • National Institute of Technology, Silchar
  • Department of Management Studies-IIT Madras
  • Alliance School of Business, Bangalore
  • Ahmedabad University
  • Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management
  • Ahmedabad University

Here are the major careers for PhD after MBA in Finance:

  • Professor
  • Statistician
  • Financial Analyst
  • Chartered Financial Analyst
  • Stock Broker
  • Budget Analyst
  • Financial Researcher

Top Universities for PhD after MBA Abroad

Numerous renowned business schools and universities across the globe offer specialised PhD programs in varied fields of Business, Commerce and Management. To help you further in your research, we have listed down some of the major academic institutions that are internationally popular for their offered specialised courses for those aspiring to pursue a PhD after MBA:

Harvard University, USPacific States University, US
Technical University of Munich, GermanyINSEAD, France
Robert Gordon University, UKUniversity of Wales, UK
Southern Illinois University, USISEG, Portugal
Taylor’s University, MalaysiaHeidelberg University, Germany
Alliant International UniversityUniversity of California- Berkeley

Top Countries to Study PhD after MBA

Many study destinations like the UK, USA, Australia and Canada are renowned for their research doctoral courses so selecting the right country to study PhD is an important decision you must carefully take. Let’s take a look at the top countries to study PhD after MBA and their popular research universities:

PhD after MBA in the UK

Here are the major universities to study PhD in the UK:

Also Read: PhD Scholarships in the UK

PhD after MBA in the USA

Popular for its STEM courses as well as top-ranked business schools, the top universities for PhD in the USA are:

PhD after MBA in Canada

Canada is another renowned destination for PhD programs and offers a plethora of specialisations in business and management. Here are the popular universities for PhD in Canada:

Also Read: PhD in Canada with Scholarship

PhD after MBA in Australia

The land of Kiwis is internationally lauded for its focus on research education and high-ranked entrepreneurial programs. Check out the top universities for PhD in Australia:

PhD after MBA in New Zealand

If you are looking for affordable PhD courses after completing MBA, New Zealand is the best place for you. Take a look at the popular universities for PhD in New Zealand:

Career Scope & Employment Sectors

Adding the renowned academic degree of PhD to your list of qualifications, there are a plethora of career opportunities awaiting you. Since a doctoral degree in business-related disciplines provides you with an insightful acumen into the commercial arena, you will be equipped with the knowledge of data analysis and business trends and organisational problems.

Further, you will be skilled with research methods such as econometrics, experimental methods, field studies, modelling etc. So, with a PhD after MBA, you will not only be a perfect candidate for academic profiles but you can also explore plentiful prospects in the corporate world.

Here are the top job profiles you can explore after pursuing PhD after MBA:

The salary of PhD after MBA in India is somewhere between INR 7 Lakhs to 17 Lakhs per annum depending upon whether you work in the corporate sector or explore the academic domain working as a lecturer or academician.

We have elucidated upon the major employment sector for graduates with a PhD in Management and Commerce-related specialisations below:


The most popular career path post a PhD is that of becoming a professor. Most PhDs in business or management pursue it in the first place to pursue a career in academics. Further, most of the research universities prefer to hire PhDs as business school professors.

If you are aiming to become a part of a prestigious academic institution or especially Ivy League school, you should definitely go for a PhD after MBA because this striking combination coupled with a few years of professional experience can make you an ideal candidate for the position of a university professor or lecturer at a business school.

To give a rough statistical description, nearly 80% of business ‘PhD after MBA’ graduates become faculty members at business schools, and roughly 20% take jobs in the industry. 

A PhD is quite a data-driven degree and involves extensive analysis and in-depth assessment as it constitutes submission of a research thesis as its incremental element.

If you have been planning to pursue a career in research, an MBA is more of a professional route to take but combining it with a PhD might give you knowledge of both corporate as well as the research world.

Getting a taste of both these areas, you can further enter the research sector with a versatile skill set which will prove extremely useful in carrying out path-breaking case studies and contributions with the potential of bringing the commercial industry in a newer light.
Corporate Sector

As a common myth, you might be told that a doctorate degree is of no use in the professional world, but it is quite the opposite as a PhD after MBA can furnish you with the quintessential business acumen to fit the role of business consultant and analyst.

As many doctoral scholars move further to become professors or researchers, only a small proportion of their heads towards the industry. As this degree provides aspirants with the understanding of employing PhDs to derive wisdom from their theoretical and unique methodologies for analysis, which when combined with the pragmatic training obtained during the MBA, marks for a marvellous body of knowledge.

You can explore varied prospects in entrepreneurship ventures as well as companies like SEC, JP Morgan Chase, McKinsey and Morgan Stanley which are known to hire PhDs frequently. 

Also Read: Branches of Chemistry


Can I do PhD after MBA?

Anyone with an MBA degree can pursue a PhD. In fact, it’s a good idea to do PhD after MBA if you are interested in exploring the arena of academics or research and you can also pursue opportunities in consulting firms in the corporate sector. Also, the top B-Schools such as Columbia University, Yale University, Harvard University, INSEAD, and London Business School have most professors with a PhD degree. So, if you aim to teach at top business schools in the world, pursuing PhD after MBA is indeed a good decision.

How many years is a PhD?

The exact duration of PhD depends on the specialization as well as the university, the fact whether it’s part-time or full-time, and other factors. Doing a PhD after MBA usually takes 4-5 years but relying upon varied factors, be it your chosen course or institution, it can take less than 3 years and as long as 7-8 years to complete.

Can I do a PhD in psychology after MBA?

Yes. You can do a PhD in Psychology after MBA. However, you will need 55% marks in your MBA discipline to qualify for a PhD in Psychology after MBA.

Is a PhD in Business worth it?

A PhD in Business is often referred to as a DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) which is usually considered as the sequel of the MBA and is the highest form of management degree. Pursuing a doctorate in Business or its related specializations would provide you with an enhanced insight into the commercial arena after which you can target higher-level career profiles ranging from a business analyst to a consultant or you can pursue academic positions which is another beneficial route to take.

Is MBA eligible for PhD?

The essential prerequisite for a PhD is to have a master’s degree along with the minimum marks specified by the academic institution you are applying for. With an MBA, you are eligible to pursue a PhD in commerce-related disciplines while opting for a doctorate in other domains might depend on the criteria provided by the particular university.

Can I do a PhD after a Distance MBA?

The answer to this question is explained well in the points given below:
1. Yes, you can do PhD after a distance MBA
2. Your degree must be from a UGC-recognized institution
3. The application process remains the same as for the regular degree holders
4. Make sure you meet all the eligibility requirements
5. Some universities prefer candidates with regular MBA degrees.

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Going for a PhD after MBA will equip you with one of the best educational combinations in the world. It might not be the easiest of programs to pursue but the benefits are going to be fruitful for your professional journey.

If you are planning to pursue a doctoral degree and don’t know how to go about it, sign up for a 30-minute career counselling session with our experienced team of mentors and experts at Leverage Edu and we’ll guide through the process of choosing the right PhD program and university that fits your interests and aspirations and can provide you with extensive exposure and opportunities to soar ahead in your career.

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    1. Hi Akash, we are glad to know that you liked our blog. If you need any further assistance regarding the admission process to any PhD course abroad, get in touch with our experts and we will help you build an awesome career.

    1. We are glad to know that you liked our work! Don’t forget to share it with your friends who are looking for PhD courses after MBA.

  1. I have done MBA. My specialization is marketing (major) & human resource(minor).I want to know which specialization should I choose for PhD or Can I choose other specialization like social work, political science,etc.

  2. Very good article. In my opinion, having a PhD will make you more likely to earn a higher salary over someone with just a Master’s degree. Nowadays more professionals are doing PhD research programs for a better career.

  3. Thank you very much for your elaboration on Ph.D. after MBA.
    I would like to know which specializations are available here in the USA..
    Thank you.

    1. Hi George,
      To know about the specializations of your choice, get in contact with our experts at 1800572000.

  4. Hello
    I’m Amir I done MBA 3.5year and I want to study PhD directly after MBA can u guide me forther I continue which subjects

    1. Hi Amir,
      To get our profile evaluated for pursuing a PhD after MBA, give us a call on 1800572000 and our experts will guide you about the same.

    1. Hi Akash, we are glad to know that you liked our blog. If you need any further assistance regarding the admission process to any PhD course abroad, get in touch with our experts and we will help you build an awesome career.

    1. We are glad to know that you liked our work! Don’t forget to share it with your friends who are looking for PhD courses after MBA.