Part-time Doctoral Program

Renowned experts, high potential network & individual support

Doctoral Program


Dr. rer. oec.

Program Length

36 months

Program Start

Rolling admission, no application deadline

Application Requirements

Above-average master-level degree in business or economics
Letter of acceptance from an HHL supervisor, following a personal interview with an HHL professor
Research proposal (accepted by an HHL supervisor)
Letter of recommendation
Letter of motivation
Very good skills in English (e.g. TOEFL of 96+ ibt)

Tuition Fees

EUR 15,000


Doctoral AACSB


25 new doctoral students/year
Average age: 33
210 doctoral graduates (1998-2015)

Core Modules

Philosophical Underpinnings of Economic and Management Research
Economic Analysis & Policy OR Corporate Governance

Elective Modules (4 out of 6)

Methods of Management Research
Scientific Writing & Publishing
Qualitative Data Analysis
Methods of Multivariate Analysis
PLS Path Modeling
(elective courses are examples only)


Year 1: Two weeks (mandatory courses), 4-5 weekends (elective courses), one week (Summer School I), one day (Research Colloquium)
Year 2: One week (Summer School II), one day (Doctoral Colloquium)
Year 3: One day (Acceptance and defense of dissertation)

About the Program

HHL’s Doctoral Program focuses on your research project

The admission to the Doctoral Program at HHL is highly competitive and the participation in such a program in Germany differs from an American PhD or a DBA program: It requires that the candidate finds a professor to supervise his or her doctoral thesis.

The Doctoral Program is designed on a part-time basis and is particularly of interest to research oriented candidates, seeking to combine their job with a postgraduate degree. It includes coursework in the form of lectures and seminars, independent research and participation in doctoral forums, research colloquia, summer schools and conferences.

As a rule, HHL’s Doctoral Program takes three years, including the acceptance and defense of the thesis. Doctoral candidates have the flexibility to arrange the coursework according to their individual schedule. All seminars require students' attendance in Leipzig.

Program Structure


Career Perspectives

With new competencies to challenging positions

A doctoral degree from HHL enables you to choose from quite a variety of career options.

Depending on your own preferences you may either seize a next-level job opportunity with a company, even set up your own business, or -  if you like teaching and research - pursue an academic career. At HHL you may also habilitate and thus further indulge in research.
In the last 20 years about 200 students have obtained their doctoral degree from HHL. More than 30 of these postgraduates now work as professors at universities or at universities of applied sciences.

HHL Alumni in Academia - Prof. Dr. T. Hutzschenreuter, Prof. Dr. C. Springer and Prof. Dr. A. Wilms

 When I joined HHL as a research associate at the Chair of Strategy and Organization in 1995 HHL’s doctoral program was about to start. What I learned at our Chair is the unsubstitu­table basis for my whole academic career. In addition, a course program oriented towards international scientific standards was established step by step. As a highlight, Arnis Vilks’ course Philosophy of Science opened up topics for me which I profit from almost on a daily basis. Thus, HHL’s doctoral program embedded in a wide and fruitful international network became and still is what I call: my academic home.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Hutzschenreuter
University Professor of International Management, Technical University Munich

2002-2015: University Professor, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
2001-2002: Assistant Professor, Boston University
1997: Completion of doctoral studies at HHL (Chair of Strategic Management and Organization)

Looking back at my doctoral studies at HHL I especially remember the valuable talks and discussions with other doctoral students that were very helpful for the efficient completion of my doctoral thesis. Interesting lectures and fireside chats with executives as well as the participation in doctoral colloquia and conferences made the doctoral program perfect and offered plenty of opportunities for networking. So, my time at HHL was not only a time of doing research but also of establishing long-lasting enriching relationships.

Prof. Dr. Christiane Springer
Professor of Business Administration, esp. Marketing, Hochschule für Telekommunikation (HfTL), University of Applied Sciences, Leipzig, Germany

2009-2010: CEO, Leipzig School of Media
2008: Completion of doctoral studies at HHL (Chair of Marketing Management

 After my graduate studies at HHL I decided to join HHL's doctoral program as a research associate at the Chair of Financial Management to continue working in the vibrant environment of academic excellence, innovation and business impact. I especially liked to develop and hold courses for the highly motivated and committed HHL students. These teaching experiences but also the research and project work prepared me well both for my former job as management consultant with BCG and for my current job as Professor of Finance.
Prof. Dr. Andreas Wilms
Professor of Business Administration, esp. Finance, and Vice President for Academic and International Affairs, Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences, Brandenburg, Germany

2009-2012: Consultant with BCG  The Boston Consulting Group
2008: Completion of doctoral studies at HHL (Chair of Financial Management)

Further graduates of HHL's doctoral program work as professors at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW), Leipzig University of Applied Sciences (HTWK), KIT Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, IMD International Institute for Management Development (Switzerland), Philipps-Universität Marburg, University Duisburg-Essen, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim and at the University of Passau.

HHL Alumni in Companies - Dr. Beatrice Ermer and Dr. Christian Hoffmann

 The doctoral program at HHL is very well structured and tightly planned - for me, these were ideal conditions for completing the doctorate. I also liked the work at the interface of theory and practice and the internationality of the students. The doctoral degree as well as the HHL network were very valuable for my further career. I gladly recommend HHL's doctoral program. 


Dr. Beatrice Ermer
Retail Programme Management/Marketing, innogy, Essen, Germany
2014-2016 Project Lead "New Way of Working" (Change Management), RWE International SE Dortmund, Germany
2013-2014 Executive Assistant to the CEO of envia Mitteldeutsche Energie AG, Chemnitz, Germany
2013 Completion of doctoral studies at HHL (Prof. Dr. Manfred Kirchgeorg, Chair of Marketing Management

After my graduate studies HHL’s doctoral program provided me with a unique opportunity to pursue my research interests and closely work together with outstanding supervisors as well as fellow researchers. Supervisors, faculty and fellow researchers at HHL were always available for help or advice on an idea I wanted to develop, a paper I had a hard time writing, or my dissertation that needed to be done well.

Dr. Christian Hoffmann
Senior Associate, McKinsey and Company, Düsseldorf, Germany

2014 Completion of doctoral studies at HHL (Prof. Dr. Torsten Wulf, Chair of Strategic Management and Family Business)

Further doctoral alumni work with SAP, EY - Ernst and Young, The Boston Consulting Group, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Otis, Roland Berger, Vodafone, Miele, BMW Group.

HHL Alumni Leading Their Own Business - Dr. Kai Thürbach

 HHL has an environment that is truly inspiring academically with excellent ideas, excellent people and an excellent reputation. It is the ideal preparation for both, business as a rigorous academic discipline as well as for the challenges of everyday practice of entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership.
Dr. Kai Thürbach
Cologne Publishing Group, CEO, Cologne, Germany
T&L Publishing Group, CEO, Düsseldorf, Germany
2011: Completion of doctoral studies at HHL (Prof. Dr. Manfred Kirchgeorg, Chair of Marketing Management)

Further businesses founded by HHL doctoral alumni are Leverton (contract management software) and Coromandel (eco fashion).

The HHL Career Service guides you on your way to start a new employment or to develop on the job. The career support does not end once your aim is reached – you may contact the team of HHL’s career service also in later stages of your life. 

Career Services for Doctoral Students

  • CV and Cover letter checks
  • Personal career coaching
  • Mock interviews
  • Experienced hire job newsletter
  • Company and HHL alumni contacts
  • Salary information (and advice on negotiations)

Also the wide network of HHL alumni can prove to be a door opener to the targeted position. The HHL alumni are an active, international community offering lots of possibilities for networking.


HHL offers a rolling admission.

In order to be admitted to the Doctoral Program, you first need to find a supervisor at HHL and submit a research proposal. Please take a look at our faculty to find out about their research topics. Apart from the research proposal, applicants also have to fulfill the formal admission criteria for the program. Hence, they are evaluated based on an above-average academic degree in Business or Economics following a course of at least eight semesters (Bachelor + Master or Diploma) at an academic university or a university of applied sciences.

We are offering a rolling admission, which allows you to start the Doctoral Program in your preferred term. The admission requirements can also be found in the Doctoral Statutes (in German).

Admission Criteria

  • Above-average master-level degree in business or economics (at least a final grade which is equivalent of the German grade “good”) 
  • Letter of acceptance from an HHL supervisor, following a personal interview with an HHL professor
  • Research proposal (accepted by an HHL supervisor)
  • Very good skills in English (e.g. TOEFL of 96+ ibt)

Application Documents

The confirmation of supervision of an HHL professor is the basis for the acceptance of your application.

You can apply online with the following documents, which will then be assessed by HHL's Doctoral Committee:

  • Final transcript and a degree certificate of all completed degree programs (at least one of them has to be a Master’s degree in Economics or Business Administration with a final grade which is equivalent of the German grade “good”)
  • Letter of motivation
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Research proposal
  • Letter of recommendation from employer or previous academic advisor*
  • Proof of proficiency in English (e. g. TOEFL)*

* These documents can be handed in during the admission process.

Application Procedure in 10 Steps

Step 1: Check whether you fulfill the formal admission criteria: a Master’s degree in Economics or Business Administration with a final grade which is equivalent of the German grade “good”.
Step 2: Define your research topic.
Step 3: Identify potential supervisors from the HHL faculty according to your research topic.*
Step 4: Contact HHL if you have any questions or doubts.
Step 5: Write a research proposal (5 to 10 pages).
Step 6: Apply online via, selecting three potential supervisors.
Step 7: If one of the selected professors has interest in your topic, you will be contacted by the respective chair for an interview (via Skype or at HHL). **
Step 8: If you obtain a confirmation of supervision, the Doctoral Committee will evaluate your application.
Step 9: You will be informed by the Admissions Officer about the final decision of the Doctoral Committee via email.
Step 10: You receive the official admission documents and you get enrolled in the program.

* You can also contact the chairs directly if you wish to get a feedback on your exposé before applying; please bear in mind that due to the high number of interested candidates, the chairs are not responsible for giving you a feedback without a first draft of your research proposal.

** If none of the selected professors agrees to supervise your thesis, your application will no longer be considered for the program; the Admissions Officer will send you an email to inform you about the result. Please note that this part of the evaluation process might take up to 8 weeks. You are allowed to apply one more time with a different topic.

Research Topics

Make an impact with your doctoral project

At HHL, about 20 chairs and centers work on a comprehensive range of research topics in the fields of business and economics. The research questions are often interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral, i.e. they combine economics issues with knowledge from e.g. ethics, psychology, health or law.

HHL researchers present their findings at international colloquia and conferences and publish the results in numerous journal articles and monographic dissertations.
Latest topics dealt with at HHL were e.g. moral risk management, communicative leadership ethics, employee involvement in open innovation, current conceptual and empirical issues in group reporting under IFRS, service productivity, sustainability in supply chain networks or the perception of family firm brands.

The work of our researchers is greatly acknowledged by the research community. In 2013, Nagwan Abu El-Ella received the ISPIM Award for the "Best Paper on practical implications for technology". In 2015, HHL doctoral candidate Christian Comberg together with co-authors received the ISPIM “That’s Interesting!” Research Award for their research paper titled “The Design Logic for Business Model Innovation in Sharing Economies”. Each year, HHL honors one of the doctoral candidates for excellent research with the Research Award.

Which research area would you like to explore further? Below you find an overview of the research areas of HHL. Check also the chairs’ pages for their focus and current projects. 

Strategic and International Management, Business Psychology and Leadership

Boards and Governance in Entrepreneurial  Organizations (Prof. Dr. Stephan Stubner) 

  • Boards and CEO interaction in new venture teams
  • External managers in family firms
  • Board roles over family firm generations 

Corporate Entrepreneurship (Prof. Dr. Stephan Stubner)

  • Corporate accelerators in Germany
  • Entrepreneurial biases in decision making
  • Entrepreneurial approaches to strategy making

Public Value, Business Psychology, and Leadership (Prof. Dr. Timo Meynhardt) 

  • Public value and firm performance
  • Public value and the theory of the firm
  • Public value and non-financial reporting
  • Competency models - theory and practice
  • Values and self-organization
  • Public value and entrepreneurship in the public sector
  • Public value and leadership
  • Public value and personal growth 

Top Management Internationalization and Diversity (Jun.-Prof. Dr. Tobias Dauth)

  • Top Management Diversity: Implications for firms’ strategy and structure
  • Internationalization of top management and (international) careers
  • Investigating the link between diversity in top management teams and decision making processes

Finance and Accounting

Reporting, Investor Relations, Capital Markets, and Financial Integrity
(Prof. Dr. Henning Zülch)

  • Reporting: materiality of reported information, earnings management, IFRS standard setting and enforcement 
  • Investor relations: consistency of information from investor relations and reporting
  • Capital markets: relationship between financial communication and equity trading and prices
  • Financial integrity

Corporate Finance, Private Equity, Corporate Valuation and Governance, M&A (Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schwetzler) 

  • Corporate finance: optimal capital structure, risk of default, diversification, conglomerate discount
  • Private equity: PE business model, M&A activity under PE ownership, fund characteristics
  • Corporate valuation: dynamic structural models, tax shield and special topics in valuation practice, multiple quality
  • Corporate governance: ownership structure
  • Mergers & Acquisitions: fairness opinions, MACs, serial acquirers, synergies

Corporate Finance, Asset Pricing, and M&A (Jun.-Prof. Dr. Alexander Lahmann)

  • Corporate finance: optimal capital structure choice, tax benefits of debt financing, and taxation issuess
  • Asset pricing: real options, firm valuation, and structural modelling
  • M&A: company succession



Microeconomics, Regulation and Health Care Management

Market design and regulation (Prof. Pierfrancesco La Mura, Ph.D.)
Foundations of game and decision theory (Prof. Pierfrancesco La Mura, Ph.D.)
Information theory (Prof. Pierfrancesco La Mura, Ph.D.)

The notions of rationality, utility, and happiness (Prof. Dr. Arnis Vilks)
The weltanschauung of the Western world (Prof. Dr. Arnis Vilks)
Development economics (Prof. Dr. Arnis Vilks)

Health care services and health technology assessment (Center for Health Care Management)
Supply management in hospitals (Center for Health Care Management and Regulation)
Clinical risk and emergency management (Center for Health Care Management and Regulation)
Ethics and economy in medicine (Center for Health Care Management and Regulation)
Regulatory issues concerning healthcare, medical devices and pharmaceutical industry (Center for Health Care Management and Regulation)
Leadership and organization models for healthcare-related institutions (Center for Health Care Management and Regulation)
Cost-Benefit analyses for medical treatment alternatives (Center for Health Care Management and Regulation)

Economics, Ethics, Logistics, Marketing, and Multi-Channel Management

Competitiveness, Sustainability, Regulation and Cluster Research
(Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Althammer)

  • Determinants of Competitiveness
  • Sustainable Competitiveness
  • Regulation and Trade Patterns
  • Cluster Management and Cluster Performance

Trust Research, Corporate Responsibility and Leadership Ethics
(Prof. Dr. Andreas Suchanek)

  • Sustainable Development Goals – Status, implementation, and responsibilities of corporations
  • Is satisficing a possible strategy for a firm?
  • What are ethical risks and how to manage them?
  • Leadership ethics – basic fields of tension

Logistics, Value Creation and Supply Chain Management in the Digital Age
(Prof. Dr. Iris Hausladen)

  • Issues relating to Industry 4.0, Logistics 4.0/SCM 4.0
  • IT-based Logistics, Big Data & Business Analytics
  • Business Models & Digital Transformation
  • Business Process Management
  • Trust & Sustainability

Digitalization, Trust, Sustainability and Competitiveness
(Prof. Dr. Manfred Kirchgeorg)

  • Optimizing crossmedia communication based on big data analysis
  • Impact of corporate trust on employer attractiveness
  • Sustainable solutions through smart digitalization
  • Improvement of corporate resilience against climate change through cluster strategies

Multi-Channel Management
(Jun.-Prof. Dr. Erik Maier)

  • Moderators of Image Perception in E-Commerce
  • Endowment Effect vs. Burden of Ownership: Explaining Willingness to Accept on Re-Sale Platforms
  • The Effect of Mobile Channel Additions in an Omni-Channel Retail World



Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Venture Financing, Open Innovation, Technology Transfer, Business Didactics
(Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart)

  • Venture capital and private equity financing 
  • Employee involvement in open innovation
  • Re-invention of science-to-business collaboration
  • Entrepreneurial innovation in the field of bio-economy and health care
  • New approaches in business didactics in research and practice

Open Innovation, Value Creation (Prof. Dr. Kathrin Möslein)

  • Open innovation & Interactive value creation
  • Service innovation & Hybrid value creation

Business Models, Service Innovation (Jun.-Prof. Dr. Vivek Velamuri)

  • Business models/Business model innovation 
  • Sustainability and business models 
  • Service innovation


A worthwhile investment

The tuition fee is EUR 15,000 for the entire program, which is to be paid in three installments at the beginning of the first, second and third academic year (EUR 5,000, EUR 5,000 and EUR 5,000).

The tuition fees for the Doctoral Program are tax deductible as anticipated professional expenses. Get first tips by reading the brochure "Steuertipps". For detailed information please contact your legal tax advisor.


Seize funding opportunities

Would you like to concentrate on your research only and attend HHL’s doctoral program without working? Then you may apply for a scholarship to cover the tuition fees (and/or living expenses).
Center for Advanced Studies in Management (CASiM) at HHL offers Friede Springer Scholarships.
If you are interested in a research project on ethics, supervised by Prof. Dr. Andreas Suchanek, you might be interested in the scholarships of the Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics (WCGE) which are offered annually. Please check the web pages of the institutions for the respective calls for scholarship application and deadlines.

There are plenty of scholarship options from other foundations for German and for international students. The following list gives you starting points for your scholarship search:

WCGE Scholarships “Ethics and Responsible Leadership in Business"

As a result of the generous support on behalf of the Karl Schlecht Foundation, a doctoral program was established in cooperation between the Wittenberg Centre for Global Ethics (WCGE) and the Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin (LEIZ) in Spring 2014. The program also includes a societal dialogue platform whereby the expertise of leading business ethicists, the experience of multi-national corporations and the individual perspectives of various different societal actors and organisations are brought together in the form of various different events and publications. The HHL is one of the associated academic institutions and is represented by Prof. Dr. Andreas Suchanek as one of the supervising professors. The program is open to outstanding doctoral students whose research interests address the field of responsible leadership in business in a global context. The goal is that students not only gain a qualification in their specific area of research but also, that they understand the broader theoretical and sociopolitical framework of their research activities.

Six Doctoral scholarships are offered annually to gifted students. The scholarship finances the students’ cost of living for the duration of the three year program. The associated study program includes 6 mandatory courses, 2 electives and 2 field projects via which the students test their theoretical knowledge and ideas in a practical context. Current students’ research topics span several aspects of economic and business ethics such as Behavioural Business Ethics, whereby insights from behavioural research and psychology are applied to business ethics issues, and Human Rights Due Diligence, which involves investigating how companies can guarantee that no human rights violations occur throughout their entire supply chain. 

Doctoral Program "Ethics and Responsible Leadership in Business"

Friede Springer Scholarships

Since 2013, the Friede Springer Foundation has continuously promoted excellence in research by funding doctoral scholarships for outstanding candidates. Thanks to the generous support, CASiM is currently hosting two excellent members - Anirban Ash and Stefan Anderer who primarily investigate the role trust plays in firms and markets. The first Friede Springer Scholarship holder Dr. Linh Nguyen successfully completed her doctoral studies in 2016.

Friede Springer Scholarships

Individual Support

We are there for you

Look forward to experience HHL as an institution with a truly personal atmosphere. As one of 25 students each year you will receive reliable and individual support from your supervisor and your fellow researchers but also from our administrative staff.

The Department of Student Administration will guide you through your doctoral study. Starting with showing you the HHL Campus and providing information about Leipzig Lukas Kriebel will support you in managing your course program and the study regulations up to the final disputation. The HHL Library is well equipped and ready to help you with your research projects providing comprehensive digital resources and also individual tuition. The IT team organizes IT introduction sessions and can be approached with all IT-related questions. HHL's Career Service offers individual and strategic guidance on your career development not only during your doctoral studies but also after graduation from HHL.

The intranet of HHL provides information on all HHL departments and its services, and also the HHL faculty. It serves as a communication tool and makes it easy for you to feel as a part of the HHL community and to easily reach the right persons for your questions.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Suchanek, Holder of the Chair of Economic and Business Ethics

At the Dr. Werner Jackstädt Chair of Economic and Business Ethics we attach great importance to the intensive exchange between our doctoral students. During a two-day seminar which takes place twice a year the doctoral candidates meet to discuss their current findings but also fundamental texts and topics. One of these seminars is also open to our doctoral alumni giving them the possibility to update their knowledge in the field of business ethics. On the other hand, current students may receive valuable advice and stimulation for their doctoral research from those who successfully completed the doctoral program at HHL.
Apart from that we host a monthly telephone meeting each of which is lead by another doctoral student. The idea is to focus on a special aspect of his/her thesis and to present it to the others in an easily accessible way. Thus, we foster something that is essential to every doctoral student (and unfortunately too often neglected): the discussion of one's own research with others.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Suchanek
Holder of the Dr. Werner Jackstädt Chair of Economic and Business Ethics

Lukas Kriebel, Department of Student Affairs

Working with the doctoral students at HHL I especially appreciate the warm and friendly contact with each other. As a small business school we can offer a support ratio, which is very advantageous for our students.
Lukas Kriebel
Manager Student Affairs Doctoral Program

Andrea Lieb, Director HHL Library

Every doctoral student gets a welcome email from us with information on all services we provide. We support the students with research information sessions, which can also be arranged as an online meeting. These sessions are often very individual, due to the low student numbers.
Especially useful for doctoral students is our free Citavi campus license that enables the effective management of collected references.
Andrea Lieb
Director HHL Library

HHL Library 

Martina Beermann, Director Employer Relations/Career Service

The HHL Career Service team responds individually and at the same time systematically to all your questions relating to your job entry and your further career development. Each biography unfolds an own story covering a variety of interests, likings, values and skills. We are very happy about the successful careers of many of our doctoral graduates and are pleased to still receive the latest news about their current business from them even beyond graduation.
Martina Beermann
Director Employer Relations/Career Service

Career services for doctoral students


A worldwide network as a source of inspiration and innovation

As a doctoral student at HHL you will be a member of a multi-faceted network. HHL as an institution as well as the chairs and centers maintain relations to partners from business, research and academia in Germany and abroad. They are a source for support and exchange. The close contact to external partners offers possibilities for joint research and transfer projects.

The HHL network comprises regional partners such as the local Leipzig University and the Leipzig Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer and stretches over renowned German research institutions like the KIT and Hasso Plattner Institute to the world’s top research institutions such as the Harvard Business School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The HHL community itself is a strong network. The SVI-Endowed Chair for Marketing, for instance, unites all current and former doctoral students in the Academic Marketing Association which offers regular meetings for mutual exchange. You will experience HHL’s close ties to its alumni in various ways.
We are looking forward to your commitment to further develop and shape the HHL network.

International Partners

  • Harvard Business School, Boston, Mass., U.S.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Mass., U.S.
  • Stern School of Business, New York, U.S.
  • University of Exeter Business School, UK
  • European Academy of Management
  • European Health Management Association
  • European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ESCB)
  • Kozminski University, Warsaw, Poland

Partners in Germany

  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam
  • Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics
  • Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy, Leipzig
  • Leipzig University
  • Leipzig University of Applied Sciences (HTWK)
  • Leipzig Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer
  • SMILE Initiative
  • SpinLab - The HHL Accelerator, Leipzig
  • Translational Center for Regenerative Medicine, Leipzig

Contact & FAQ

Any questions? We are here for you!

Doctoral Program

How is the Doctoral Program structured?

The Doctoral Program is designed on a part-time basis and is particularly of interest to professionals seeking to combine their job with a postgraduate degree. The structure of the Doctoral Program is determined by course work in form of lectures and seminars, independent research and participation in doctoral forums and research colloquia.

The regular duration is three years including the acceptance and defense of the dissertation. All seminars and Summer Schools offered require students' attendance in Leipzig as follows:

  • Year 1:

    • Compulsory and elective courses during approximately 2 weeks and 4 long weekends (Thursday - Sunday);
    • Summer Meeting I (3 days) and
    • Research Colloquium (presentation of research paper, 1 day)

  • Year 2:

    • Summer Meeting II (3 days) and
    • Doctoral Colloquium (presentation of dissertation, 1 day)

  • Year 3:

    • Acceptance and defense of dissertation

Parallel to the courses, seminars and colloquia candidates have to work on their dissertation throughout the 3 years of the program. All seminars offered require students' attendance in Leipzig.

Furthermore, it is possible to spend an optional term abroad at one of HHL's partner universities.

How flexible am I in doing the Doctoral Program?

The doctoral program consists of ten mandatory parts and extends over three years. Apart from the dissertation, the doctoral students have to attend: two mandatory courses, four electives, two colloquia and two summer meetings; we suggest they should complete this part of the program within the first and second year, respectively. However, they are free to choose in which order they complete their studies. Thus they can either attend both mandatory courses in the first year or in the first and second year; bearing in mind that these are basic courses for their doctoral studies, we recommend to complete both of them in the first year.

The electives take place generally during the weekend (from Thursday until Sunday) during the winter, spring and summer term. The core courses take place during the fall term (October-November) and the summer meetings in June and July, these are usually 3 days long. The colloquia take place Fridays all day long.

When can I begin my Doctoral Program?

It is possible to begin your studies at any time.

What types of courses are offered?

Compulsory courses are

  • Philosophical Underpinnings of Management Research,
  • Corporate Governance and
  • Economic Analysis and Policy.

Among the elective courses are

  • Econometrics,
  • Structural Equation Models
  • Qualitative Data Analysis
  • Methods of Multivariate Statistics,
  • Time Series Models / Panel Data Models
  • Scientific Writing & Publishing, etc.

All courses are held in English to allow international students to actively participate in the program.

Who is eligible for admission to HHL as a doctoral candidate?

  • Graduates with an academic degree in Business or Economics following a course of at least eight semesters (Bachelor + Master or Diplom) at an academic university or a university of applied sciences
  • From university graduates an overall grade "good" or higher is expected; from graduates of a university of applied science an overall grade of "very good" is expected
  • An adequate proficiency of the English language is necessary
  • You should not have already been awarded the degree of Dr. rer. oec. or a similar Doctorate in Business or Economics by any other academic university
  • You should not have already been (unsuccessfully) part of a doctoral program for the degree of Dr. rer. oec. or a similar doctorate in Business or Economics at any other academic university.

    The admission requirements can be found in the Doctoral Statutes (in German).

How does the application procedure work?

Before you can be admitted to the Doctoral Program, you need to find a supervisor at HHL. Therefore, please use our application platform to hand in your application documents including the research proposal of your planned dissertation and choose three potential supervisors out of our professors. Please take a look at our faculty to find out about their research topics.

Your documents will be forwarded to the Academic Director of the Doctoral Program who will review the research proposal and will forward it to your preferred supervisors.

In case of a positive feedback from one your preferred supervisors the Doctoral Committee will evaluate your application. 

How do I find the right supervisor for my dissertation?

Please take a look at the main focuses of research of the professors at each of the faculty.

What documents do I need to complete my application?

The following documents, which will be assessed by HHL's Doctoral Committee, are necessary for your application:

  • Above-average academic degree in Business or Economics following a course of at least eight semesters (Bachelor + Master or Diplom) at an academic university or a university of applied sciences
  • CV/Résumé showing applicant's previous academic/professional performance
  • Research proposal
  • Letter of acceptance of your supervisor (after a personal interview with a professor at HHL, including the acceptance of the research proposal by your supervisor)
  • Letter of motivation
  • Letter of recommendation from employer or previous academic advisor
  • Proof of proficiency in English (e.g. TOEFL, etc.)

We are offering a rolling admission, which allows you to start at any time.

Are there any deadlines for applications?

You can apply at any time.

09/28/2017 Join the HHL Research SeminarOliver Prostak, M.Sc. student of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management is invited to talk about his master thesis Read ›
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