How To Pursue A PhD After MBA: A Step By Step Guide

A PhD After MBA

Written by Pareeshti Rao

It all started with an impulsive urge to befriend Enid Blyton and be a part of the famous five! Writing since then has been my magic wand and I've used it to sprinkle words like fairy dust and express myself thereat.

July 30, 2021

Choosing a PhD after MBA should be solely based on interest, as it will have a significant impact on your future job prospects. After graduation, if you had to pick between an MBA and an MCom, you would know that the decision was between a career in corporate management or the academic domain. However, pursuing a PhD after completing an MBA is usually referred to as the ‘road less taken’ because it is a relatively unknown field. Here’s what you need to know about PhD options after MBA, the benefits, the courses, and the career options. 

A PhD after MBA will undoubtedly shape your career to be better suited for an academic domain, and even your corporate job will have a research undertone, such as research analyst or business development consultant, which are positions hired by business giants such as –

  • McKinsey
  • Endava
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Morgan Stanley
  • BlackRock Associates
  • Securities Exchange Commission, and
  • Ernst & Young

A PhD After MBA

Who Is Eligible To Opt For PhD Subjects After MBA?

Aside from the prerequisite of having an MBA, the remaining qualifying conditions are as follows:

1. Excellent IELTS/TOEFL scores to demonstrate your command of the English language.

2. Depending on the university you intend to apply to, a GMAT/GRE score is required.

3. Academic transcripts as well as two to three letters of recommendation are required.

4. To examine the student’s competence, an interview is usually performed either in person or by video call.

5. Depending on the university, candidates may be expected to have one or two research ideas ready to present to the university when applying.

Time Taken For Completing A PhD After MBA

On average, a PhD programme in Management or Business takes three to five years to finish. The duration of the programme and the format of the PhD programme differ based on the country and university where you choose to continue your studies. Typically, the first two years include the whole of the PhD programme’s coursework.

Students can spend their time after the third year choosing and working on their research issue, gathering and analysing data, and writing their dissertation thesis. As a final stage of their PhD, they will take qualifying exams, seminars, thesis defences, or a mix of the three.

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Benefits Of A PhD After MBA

A PhD abroad is loaded with upsides. Many students opt for a PhD after MBA abroad because of the following reasons:

  • There is a wide range of study interests and dissertation topics to select from.
  • World-renowned programme leaders who are experts in their academic disciplines.
  • Substantial Stipend or Tuition Waiver for PhD students ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 per year.
  • Extensive facilities and exclusive access to museums, locations, information centres, archives, or equipment
  • A well-funded network of public universities that offers a variety of academic lecturers from which students can pick.
  • Develop two to three years of coursework prior to dissertation research, allowing students to get an in-depth understanding of the field.
  • Option for lab rotations for students in their first year to effectively choose the lab in which they wish to complete their dissertation work.
  • A large network and enhanced possibilities for postings in top businesses.

Top PhD Programmes Available After MBA

Since a PhD after MBA is quite uncommon, it is very rare for students to know the programmes they can opt from in order to pick up their dissertation topics. Here are some of the PhD courses after MBA that students can opt for – 

  • Behavioural Science
  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Management Science & Operations Management
  • Marketing
  • Financial Economics
  • Finance
  • Econometrics and Statistics
  • Accounting & Management
  • Business Economics
  • Health Policy (Management)
  • Management
  • Organizational Behaviour
  • Strategy
  • Technology & Operations Management.

A PhD After MBA

Employment Opportunities

PhD abroad after an MBA is a booster pack that will earn you some of the most prestigious and well-paid positions in the world.

The vast majority of students who study for a PhD after MBA, pursue lucrative teaching positions at business schools across the world. Other prestigious positions that many students pursue include research associate, investment analyst, managing director, senior marketing manager, human resource manager, marketing manager, data analyst, business development manager, associate, business analyst, team leader, consultant, and financial economist.


1. Is a PhD possible after an MBA?

Yes, you can apply for a PhD after completing a distance MBA. But, if you want to pursue a doctoral degree, you must first complete an MBA from a UGC-accredited university or college.

2. Is a PhD worth it after an MBA?

A PhD after an MBA is more useful in the educational area than it is in the professional field. The ROI and opportunity cost for this course are also not up to par at first, but that does not mean the course is not worthwhile; a PhD can be quite rewarding if done correctly.

3. Why do people do a PhD after an MBA?

PhD after MBA allows people to work in the field of research in management, finance, or business, distinguishing them from other managers who only pursue an MBA. PhD after MBA in Management opens the door to becoming a professor at one of the world’s top business schools, which is the most searched job.

4. How long is a PhD after an MBA?

In India, it typically takes 3-5 years to complete a PhD after an MBA, whereas the duration of a PhD after an MBA abroad can range from 4 to 7 years.

Thank you for reading this blog on How To Pursue A PhD After MBA. If you’d like to read more, here are some blogs that might be of interest to you:

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