Skema > Programmes > PhD in Business Administration > specialisations > Management

PhD AND DOCTORAL PROGRAMMESPhD in Business Administration



Management specialisation


Director of the management specialisation

The Management specialization of the Ph.D. in Business Administration at SKEMA is a selective, four-year, full-time program. The specialisation is designed to provide doctoral students with a solid education in areas needed to carry out cutting-edge management research. Successful graduates will receive a Ph.D. degree from SKEMA Business School and a French state doctoral degree from the Université Côte d'Azur (UniCA). All the courses and seminars are held in English.

Our faculty members are top-notch scholars of the international research community and publish regularly in top-tier academic journals. The main research areas of our faculty are Strategy, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Organization, Sustainability, and AI for business.  Our seminar series is very rich and enables students to meet other top researchers from around the world. This lively research environment prepares students for the academic job market by providing them with the skills necessary to teach in top business schools and publish in leading academic journals. 

The program selects highly qualified and motivated applicants with strong research potential who have the ambition to make scholarly contributions to their chosen fields. Candidates should hold a master’s degree (or be close to completion). All candidates are supported by a combination of scholarships and appointments as research assistants. The financial support is competitive. Tuition fees are waived. SKEMA also provides financial support for conferences and visiting stays at other research institutions. 

Since SKEMA is a multi-campus business school, accepted candidates will be located on the campus of their supervisor. However, the first-year courses mainly take place on our Sophia Antipolis campus.

The next call for Ph.D. students’ recruitment will be posted in January 2025 for the September 2025 intake.
For any information about the program please write an email to

Programme structure

​First year

Our first-year students attend a number of methodological and field courses. Please see the table below for the list of courses offered in the next academic year (the course list may change). As for methodological courses, students attend both quantitative and qualitative courses. As for the field courses, students mostly focus on strategy, innovation, entrepreneurship, and organization theory courses.

During the first year, PhD students will be assigned to a supervisor based on their research interests and affiliated with a research center. Students need to attend the research seminars of their respective research centers. Students will also be required to write a detailed research proposal that will be defended at the end of the first year.

Retake exams will be organized at the end of the first academic year to allow first-year students to retake failed exams. There is no retake for the research proposal. 

  • Econometrics I (40 hours)
  • Research Design (20 hours)
  • Economic theories of the firm (20 hours)
  • Corporate strategy (24 hours)
  • Knowledge Base and Innovation (24 hours)
  • Qualitative research methods (20 hours)​
  • Introduction to Experiments (10 hours)
  • Organization theories (24 hours)
  • Entrepreneurship (20 hours)
  • Strategic management (20 hours)
  • Advanced topics in management research (24 hours)

​second year

To enter the second year, students must have obtained at least a B- in each course (corresponding to a grade of at least 70%) and a successful defense of the student's research proposal (end of the first year). Students who fail these requirements are not allowed to enter the second year and thus cannot re-register in September unless approved by the Scientific Committee.

During the second year, students will take an advanced course on econometrics, which is focused on causal inference. Students will start to work on their thesis. Students need to continue attending the research seminars of their respective research centers. 

​third and fourth year

The third and fourth years are dedicated to the writing of the doctoral thesis. Students will also need to attend PhD-related events, like the SKEMA KTO Paper Development Workshop. Students are expected to present their work in peer-reviewed academic conferences (like, for example, the Academy of Management, the Strategic Management Society, Druid, and EGOS).

Students may be offered the opportunity to visit a partner university. Students need to continue attending the research seminars of their respective research centers.  


​​Scientific Committee

The purpose of the Scientific Committee is to manage the program's evolution and innovation. The members of the scientific committee are: 

Advisory Board

The purpose of the Advisory board is to provide recommendations to the Scientific Committee on the Ph.D. strategy.

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