PhD Admission


The University of Dubai was recently reaccredited by AACSB International USA. Accreditation by the AACSB is one of the highest forms of international recognition a university can receive. The University of Dubai therefore takes its place within the community of world leaders in business education (only about 5% of universities/business schools worldwide are granted this accreditation). The University of Dubai is also accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR), UAE.

UD's PhD program began on September 13, 2014, with a cohort of fifteen candidates. New applications for 2017-18 will be accepted starting from 18th October 2016.

The PhD Program Objectives

By the end of the PhD program, the candidate is expected to have fulfilled the following learning objectives:

  • Develop key pioneering research questions that can be explored empirically to provide innovative and creative solutions to specific problems
  • Explore advanced theoretical knowledge to develop research skills through original research
  • Integrate advanced knowledge into managerial and organizational contexts and roles
  • Prepare for teaching responsibilities in higher education (for those who expect to enter the teaching profession)

Unique Features of the University of Dubai PhD

  • AACSB International accreditation is the hallmark of a high-quality PhD program
  • The program’s focusis on applied business research, making it relevant to the growth of the UAE/GCC/MEA economies
  • The program is delivered by well-trained, highly qualified faculty at UD’s College of Business Administration as well as visiting professors from overseas institutions collaborating with UD.  Thus, diversity and international expertise become part of the student’s learning experience
  • Students are exposed to UAE culture and the global business environment, which enriches their experience as doctoral students
  • Instructional resources are available through the e-portal shared by UD and other partnering institutions to assist students with their PhD theses
  • The University of Dubai is sponsored by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an important link to the business community 
  • UD was founded in 1997 and has since then earned its reputation for providing quality education

Information for Prospective Candidates

The PhD program generally takes 4 years to complete. The curriculum involves three academic pillars:

  1. Research methodology courses (i.e. Research Design, Quantitative and Qualitative methodology seminars, Pedagogy, etc.)
  2. Concentration courses (Management, Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management, Strategic Management, Marketing, Finance, Accounting) – students admitted to the program must choose one of these concentrations
  3. The Dissertation/ Thesis.

Admission Requirements for 2017-18

Each year, candidates are admitted as a cohort limited to a maximum of 15. Candidates must demonstrate the potential for sustainable success in the PhD program. The admission process consists of four phases – eligibility, application, assessment and registration, and orientation.

Eligibility Phase

Eligibility for Admission to the First Year of the Program

Candidates must:

  1. Hold a Master's degree (or equivalent) in any business-related field from an accredited university.1.
  2. Have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher out of 4.0 in coursework taken for the Master's.2.
  3. Have at least three years' teaching or managerial experience.3.
  4. Fulfill the English language entry requirement: TOEFL 550 (paper-based test) or TOEFL iBT score of 79 or 4. IELTS 6 overall (with at least a band 6 in each skill)

Application Phase

Candidates must:

  1. Complete and submit the application form
  2. Provide two satisfactory reference letters from academicians and/or employers
  3. Provide a certified copy of the last two degrees (Bachelor's and Master's degree)
  4. Provide an up-to-date CV
  5. Write and submit a statement of their professional plans/career objective – this must be done in candidates'own handwriting and should total at least 1000 words or two pages and address why they are applying for the program
  6. Submit a research proposal
  7. Take an aptitude test to assess the knowledge level of PhD Candidates covering research process: including problem identification, hypothesis testing, basic statistics and probability concepts.
  8. Attend an interview with the PhD Program Committee
  9. Pay the application fee of AED 3,000 (non-refundable)

Aptitude test, Interview and Registration Phase

From 2015, all PhD candidates should take an aptitude test for 2 hours as per the schedule.The content of aptitude test covers elements of research process: including problem identification,hypothesis testing, basic statistics and probability concepts.

Each candidate must attend a personal interview with the PhD Program Committee to evaluate his/her suitability for the program. The PhD Program committee comprises at least three to four senior faculty members from UDCBA. Acceptance/rejection by the PhD Program committee is final. No appeals can be made.

Once the decision regarding admission has been made, the PhD committee transfers the original file of the candidate to the UD Registration Department, subject to payment of the appropriate tuition fees.

Orientation Phase

The registered students will participate in the UD PhD Orientation Week, meeting fellow students and faculty members and becoming familiar with UD regulations, procedures, services and facilities.

PhD Program Duration: a minimum of four years

Cost of the Program

The total cost of the program is AED 330,000 (Tuition fee for each 3CH courses is AED 16,500).

For more information, please contact Mrs. Manar Noufal at (04) 5566800 - Ext: 953, Email:

Due to the increased demand from serious UD-PhD seeking students, the key dates for 2017-18 have been advanced as below:

Key Dates for 2017-2018

University of Dubai PhD Dates
Submission of Application Opens Tuesday 18th October 2016
Deadline to submit electronically completed applications (along with alldocuments) to Mrs. Manar Noufal ( Tuesday 28th February 2017
Maximum number of PhD candidates for 2017-18 (on first come - first served basis) 15
Orientation of 2017-18 candidates to be announce
Seminars days (each week for Term-1) Sunday 4pm- 9pm
Tuesday 4pm- 9pm