Our programs are full-time degree programs which officially begin in September. Many incoming students choose to join us in July to conduct research with an HBS faculty member. Students are expected to complete their program in five years. Students typically spend their first two years on course work, at the end of which they take a field exam, and then another two years on dissertation research and writing.


Each of the five DBA programs require a minimum of 13 semester long doctoral courses. Students in the Management program are required to complete a year-long discipline sequence typically in microeconomics, psychology, or sociology. Students also complete courses in the areas of business management theory, research methods, academic field seminars, and the Business Education for Scholars and Teachers (BEST) Series. In addition to HBS courses, students may take courses at other Harvard Schools and MIT.


Student are required to complete a teaching assignment for one full academic term.

Management Field Exam

Students are required to pass a Field Exam in Management at the end of their second or the beginning of their third year. The exam has two parts: a written exam and an oral examination based on the student’s written exam.

Research & Dissertation

Students in Management begin research in their first year typically by working with a faculty member. By their third and fourth years, most students are launched on a solid research and publication stream. In management, the dissertation may take the form of three publishable papers or one longer dissertation.

See Program Requirements for detailed curriculum information.