Doing A PhD After MBA

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 of 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 what a PhD after MBA entails and how it can advance you further in your career journey.

Why Pursue PhD After MBA?

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 a rundown below:

  1. Passion for Research
  2. Inclination Towards Academic Arena
  3. Gives You An Edge in the Business World
  4. Chance to Become a Professor
  5. Become an Academician at Business School

Passion for Research
To begin with, a PhD is research-extensive by nature and demands individuals to submit their original thesis to reach the conclusion of 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 MBA would importantly require you to be passionate about research, having an innate curiosity towards your field and 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, 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 a teaching exam.

Gives You An Edge in the Business World
Though many would tell you that with a PhD after MBA you can only ground yourself in the academic world, this is actually not the case in reality. If you don’t see yourself fit 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 while an MBA also gives you a unique and practical glimpse of this domain and the combination of these two can be potentially utilised by opting the role of a consultant or analyst for entrepreneurial ventures, business giants or even hedge funds and investment-related firms.

phd after mba

PhD After MBA: Specializations Offered

In Business and Management, there is an array of specialised PhD courses that one can choose from. Some of the major areas of specialization for PhD after MBA are enlisted as follows:

PhD in Entrepreneurship PhD in Commerce PhD in Accounting
PhD in Management PhD in Economics PhD in Commercial Law
PhD in Human Resource Management PhD in Operational Research PhD in Marketing
PhD in Healthcare and Management PhD in Organizational Behaviour PhD in Finance
PhD in Chemistry PhD in Computer Science PhD in Law
PhD in IT PhD in Engineering PhD in Political Science
PhD in Education PhD in Statistics PhD in Psychology


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:

  • English proficiency test scores such as IELTS, TOEFL, etc.
  • SOP and LORs
  • GRE or GMAT scores
  • An Updated Resume or CV
  • Academic Transcripts

Also Read: Everything About PhD in Management

PhD After MBA in India – Admission Process & Entrance Exams 

If you are interested in pursuing PhD after MBA in India, then the following points can be beneficial for you: 

  1. MBA in India is a 2 year degree program which can be done after cracking exams like CAT, XAT, SNAP, etc. 
  2. After completion of the program, you will have to take entrance exams like GATE, CSIR NET or UGC NET as per your field of PhD. 
  3. Depending upon your overall profile including scores of entrance exams, MBA percentage and other academic as well as professional experiences, you will be shortlisted for the PhD program. 
  4. The duration of PhD after MBA is approximately 5 years where the 1st year is more theoretical but from the beginning of the second year, you can pick specializations as per your choice. 
  5. You have to identify a unique problem within your specialization and work around it for the entire program duration. The major part 

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 project 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 of the 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?

Top Universities

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, US Pacific States University, US
Technical University of Munich, Germany INSEAD, France
Robert Gordon University, UK University of Wales, UK
Southern Illinois University, US ISEG, Portugal
Taylor’s University, Malaysia Heidelberg University, Germany
Alliant International University University of California- Berkeley

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. 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 schools, 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 with combining it with a PhD might give you the knowledge of both corporate as well as research world. Getting the 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 consultants and analysts. As many of the doctoral scholars move further to become professors or researchers, only a small proportion of them head towards the industry. As this degree provides aspirants with the understanding of employing PhDs derive wisdom from their theoretical and unique methodologies for analysis, which when combined with the pragmatic training obtained during 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.

FAQs about PhD after MBA

1. Can I do PhD after MBA?

Anyone with an MBA degree can pursue 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, London Business School have most professors with a PhD degree. So, if you aim to teach at top business schools of the world, pursuing PhD after MBA is indeed a good decision.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Is a PhD in Business worth it?

A PhD in Business is often referred to as 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 consultant or you can pursue academic positions which is another beneficial route to take.

5. 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 is commerce-related disciplines while opting for a doctorate in other domain might depend on the criteria provided by the particular university.

6. Can I do a PhD after Distance MBA?

The answer to this question is explained well in the points given below:
1. Yes, you can do PhD after distance MBA
2. You 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 degree.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    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.

You May Also Like
Read More


Every organization looks for dynamic professionals with a specialized skill set. Completing a bachelor’s degree may not help…