Doctoral Programs

PhD in Management

General Structure

Obtaining a PhD in Management at the University of Geneva usually takes up to five years. During this time, students write their PhD thesis and collect credit points (see details below). The PhD in Management is regulated by the University of Geneva's “Réglement d'études du doctorat en économie et de management.” The following requirements and procedures apply to both internal and external PhD students at the Institute of Management.

Pre-requisites for enrolling as a PhD student at the Institute of Management

PhD candidates must hold an MSc in management, or from a related field, such as economics, sociology, psychology, statistics, and mathematics. Knowledge of French is not an admission requirement.

Students who eventually receive a PhD in Management should also have a basic understanding of the management  discipline (in teaching and research). Their supervisor and co-assessor will discuss the potential development needs of candidates without a management background.

Thesis advisor

A PhD candidate has to obtain an Institute of Management Professor’s consent to act as the supervisor of her or his dissertation (see list of members).

Format of a PhD thesis

To facilitate our PhD students’ competitiveness and visibility in an increasingly international field of research, the preferred thesis format is a collection of scientific articles written in English.

The following guidelines apply regarding the quality standards:

  1. A PhD thesis consists of a minimum of three papers.
  2. At least two of these papers have undergone a single- or double-blind review process with adequate results. I.e. they have at least been accepted for a major conference on the field, or recognized academic journals have invited the author to revise and resubmit them.
  3. At least one of these papers is based on empirical analyses using established scientific methodologies.
  4. The PhD candidate should be the lead author of co-authored papers. The PhD candidate’s specific contribution should be described.
  5. The thesis submission should include a summary addressing these guidelines. The summary will also gives candidates the opportunity to explain possible divergences from these guidelines. These divergences must be highlighted for the PhD committee.
  6. The thesis should contain an introduction that describes how the scientific articles are theoretically linked and summarizes its overall contribution to the scientific literature.

the Institute's PhD Conference

All PhD students have to attend the yearly PhD conference at the Institute of Management where they have to present their thesis at least twice before its completion: usually during the planning/ proposal phase and during its final stage.

Brownbag Talks

PhD students are required to attend the brownbag talks that the Institute organizes.

Credit Points

To improve their individual qualifications, PhD students have to collect a total of 18 credit points (CP). Credit points can be collected in a number of different ways (see details below). They should be collected in agreement with the thesis advisor and should relate to the research area in which these students are active, as well as to adjacent fields. Half of the credit points (= 9 CP) have to be collected within the first two years of the PhD.

What counts as credit points?

As outlined below, credit points can stem from three different categories. A minimum number of credit points must be collected for each category.

1. Dedicated PhD classes, and academic summer schools (minimum: 6 CP)

  • Successful completion of the dedicated PhD classes offered at the University of Geneva, or at another established and research-oriented university in Switzerland (2 CP per class)
  • Successful participation in academic summer schools for PhD students (2 CP for each summer school)

2. International workshops & conferences, collaborations (minimum: 4 CP)

  • Active participation in established international scientific conferences on relevant areas of research (requires presenting original research) (2 CP per conference)
  • Successful participation in scientific workshops hosted by the University of Geneva, or at another established and research-oriented university in Switzerland or abroad  (1 CP/ full day)
  • Official international short visits of at least two weeks to other research institutions (e.g., documented by a formal invitation or by funding from the SNSF) (2 CP per visit)

3. Teaching & institutional assistance (minimum: 4 CP)

  • Significant contribution to organizing scientific workshops and conferences (2 CP)
  • Significant contribution to a grant proposal submitted for research projects, for example to the SNSF, or to dedicated research grants submitted to the European Union (2 CP)
  • Significant contribution to a development program within GSEM (2CP)
  • Significant contribution to the development of teaching cases (2 CP)
  • Teaching activities above and beyond the duties defined in the cahier du charge (1 CP/ day)

Approval by the PhD committee

The requirements listed above have to be summarized and formally documented (e.g., through certificates of participation) when PhD students submit their thesis. The Scientific Committee of the Institute of Management verifies fulfillment of the requirements.

PhD thesis

Please consult our webpage on Research at the Institute of Management.

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