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What are the differences between Ph.D. and DBA programmes?

Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA)
The DBA focuses on managerial relevance and the application of theory to field-based research.  It is designed to advance business/professional management practice, processes and programs, ranging from the management of people to the management of operations and projects.  It allows students to develop their ability to conduct empirical research to unexplored or under-explored apply appropriate research methods to managerial areas questions of interest, often within the student’s own organization.  While the DBA has more practical application in managerial settings, it also prepares graduates for academic careers.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The PhD focuses on the development of new theory, and prepares candidates to conduct highly specialized scholarly research.  Most PhD graduates lead careers as university researchers and professors or as senior researchers in business or government.

The DBA and PhD are academically equivalent in that both entail a rigorous course of study and typically culminate in the defense of a doctoral dissertation.

Is the DBA programme appropriate for educators?

Yes, it is. The DBA programme for the practitioner scholar provides the ideal linkage between theory and practice that is important to effective teaching at any level. Many of our DBA students plan to teach after graduation.

I am interested in obtaining a DBA to assist me in my consulting work. Is this an appropriate degree for me?

Yes, it is. The Consultancy Practice offered in the DBA programme provides ideal training and preparation for a career in consulting.

Do you offer specialization in the programme?

No, we don’t. However, students may choose a specialization in their dissertation.

Where and when are the classes held?

DBA part-time students attend classes from 9.00 am to 12.45 pm and 2.00 pm to 5.45 pm (with 15 minutes break) on Sundays.


DBA classes are held at our main campus in Gombak, Kuala Lumpur.

What is the maximum number of years allowed to complete the programme?

Part-time students are allowed to complete their studies up to 8 years.

Do you offer distance learning mode?

No, we don’t. Students must attend 12-week classes at our campus.

Is a comprehensive examination required as part of the DBA programme?

Yes, it is. There are 7 areas (questions) in the comprehensive examination such as Business Strategies, Economics, Leadership, Finance, Information Technology, Marketing and Accounting. Students should answer 4 questions only in 5 hours.


When should I apply to the DBA programme?

For July intake, application should arrived by 30 May. For November intake, application should arrive by 30 September.

Do I need a master’s degree before applying to the DBA programme?

Yes, candidates must hold a master’s degree or any professional qualification which is proven equivalent to a master’s degree by a recognized body.

I have a master’s degree in engineering and a couple years of working experience. Can I apply?

Yes, you can.

Should I apply to the programme if I do not have any working experience?

Management experience is required. The DBA programme is designed for current executives and management personnel. This experience is critical to students working on their dissertations where current organizational problem will be investigated and researched extensively. You may want to consider applying at a later date after you have sufficient managerial experience.

Do I need to take IELTS/TOEFL, and what is an acceptable score?

International applicants must present valid IELTS or TOEFL results in their application. The acceptable score is:



Required Score

IELTS – Academic Version

(General version is not accepted)

6.0 overall

TOEFL – paper

550 overall

TOEFL – computer

213 overall

TOEFL – internet

79 overall


I took my IELTS for my undergraduate admission. Do I have to retake it?

Yes, you have to. Those results are considered invalid.

Do I need to have a dissertation topic before starting the DBA programme?

No, you don’t. Students are encouraged to formulate ideas for the dissertation during the coursework rather than waiting until all of the coursework is completed.

Do I need to submit 2 referee forms together with my application?

Yes. Without the two referee evaluations, your application will be considered as incomplete. Recommendation letter is a supporting document and thus will not be considered as a referee report.

Can I defer my admission?

Yes, you can. However, you can only defer once after you have been offered a place. Meaning that, you can only defer to the next intake.


What is the total cost for the DBA programme?

The total cost for part-time (Malaysian) is RM48,000.00. A registration fee of RM3,600.00, which is included in the total cost,  should be paid according to the deadline stated in your offer letter.

How do I make payments for the processing fee and tuition fee?

Payments can be made:

Within Malaysia via:

  • Banker’s cheque
  • Postal order
  • Money order
  • Bank transfer
  • Cash deposit
  • Credit card

Outside Malaysia via:

  • Telegraphic transfer
  • Bank draft

Candidates must attach together a copy of payment slip as proof of payment (for bank transfer, cash deposit, telegraphic transfer).

All payments should be made payable to ‘IIUM Management Centre’

Bank :

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Berhad

Address :

IIUM Branch,
Central Complex
International Islamic University Malaysia
Jalan Gombak
53100 Kuala Lumpur

Account number : 1407-0000008-71-7
Swift code : BMMBMYKL
Phone : ++603-61858102
Correspondent bank : Citibank