Doctoral degree from Egypt (PHD vs DBA)


1          Doctoral degree from Egypt (PHD vs DBA)

I have been asked several times about the main difference between PHD and DBA, and how we can get a doctoral degree while we are in Egypt or Middle East. Below is how I try to answer these questions upon my personal experience in acquiring my PhD.

First doctoral degree especially in management is divided into two main types. First called Doctor of Philosophy (PHD), which is more theoretical and conceptual, it will be essential, if you are looking for academic career like teaching as academic professor in a university. Second called Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), which is mainly focus on business administration. It is considered more applied than PhD and is a strong asset for government advisors, professionals and consultants.

The decision to do a doctoral degree or not, depends mainly on you and your career path. For our countries in Middle East I see we need to acquire knowledge and transfer it back to our countries and communities. Since we are still lack behind what we should be. Obtaining a doctoral degree from international reputable university will leverage you to be in the elite group of specific discipline, so you will become the source of knowledge in this discipline. This can help you in developing yourself and supporting your community.

Despite the fact that researchers and academic are not fairly appreciated in our communities but still our importance is vital. If you are looking for money and fame only, go for Arab idol and make a song or dance.

To obtain a real international reputable doctorate, you will have to pay money you need, you will have to put effort nobody can, and you will have to put a lot of sacrifice nobody can afford. If you are not ready for this challenge, please don’t do it and waste your time and effort. And put in mind that there is no guarantee that you will have the reword you deserve. It is a very tough mission. Over 70% of my colleagues in the doctorate have stepped over and didn’t complete. And put in mind that the easy two years online doctorate is not a real one. And it won’t help you on the international level.

2          What is the main Types of Doctoral degree?

As mentioned before there are two main types of doctoral degree in management, these degrees are the PHD – Doctor of Philosophy and DBA – Doctor of Business Administration

2.1       PHD – Doctor of Philosophy

Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as PhD, Ph.D., D.Phil., The academic level known as a Doctorate of philosophy varies considerably according to the country, institution, and time period, from entry-level research degrees to higher doctorates. A person who attains a doctorate of philosophy is automatically awarded the academic title of doctor.



2.1.1     What are the PHD studying options?

You can study your PHD in Egypt or abroad. Most PhD’s in Egypt are with local public universities. But I would recommend you to go for foreign university if you can, since foreign universities especially in Europe and USA have more interest in research and appreciate researchers.

2.2       DBA – Doctor of Business Administration

The degree of Doctor of Business Administration (abbreviated DBA or D.B.A. and equivalent to PhD in Business Administration), is a research doctorate in business administration. The D.B.A. requires coursework and research beyond the master’s degree that normally results in a dissertation and possible journal publication that contributes to business practice.


2.2.1     What are the DBA studying options?

You can study your DBA in Egypt or abroad.

A] Study in Egypt – What are the main DBA programs in Egypt?

There are different DBA programs in Egypt you can obtain without the need of relocation abroad.

  1. Edinburgh business School (EBS) – through American university in Cairo (AUC)
  2. Maastricht School of Management – through Regional IT Institute (Riti)
  3. ESLSCA Business School www.eslsca.org
  4. Cairo University – Faculty of commerce
  5. Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport – Graduate School of Business

B] Study Abroad

The DBA program is most common in English speaking western countries like UK, USA and Canada.

You can study through these programs or search for DBA programmer via distance learning or full time, the best is in United Kingdom. Some can be full time for 2 years in UK too, check British council in Cairo and . Second option would be USA but make sure of the ranking and recognition of the university you are willing to attend. You can check AMIDEAST Egypt . Also Canada can have a variety of options especially if you are looking for immigration it can help you in collecting points and reduce the fees.

If you are specialized in supply chain, information systems or economics you can also check for scholarship in Singapore, Korea and china.

3          Perquisites

Most of PHD’s or DBA’s require one of the following degrees:

  • MBA – Master of Business administration: accepted by DBA’s program and some PHD’s accept it.
  • MSc – Master in science: if it is related to management normally accepted by PhD and DBA some other disciplines are accepted like computer sciences.
  • MPhil – Master of philosophy: some DBA program like Maastricht school of management include an MPhil degree to finish your DBA, normally it is required if your master didn’t include research thesis.
  • Others: GMAT, GRE, TOEFL: if you are applying for scholarship abroad normally you will be asked for TOEFL to prove your English and GMAT to prove your analytical skills. GRE is requested in case of engineering related doctoral degrees. Application requirement differ depend on the school or university.

4          Application process

You will need to prepare the following in order to obtain your doctoral degree. The requirements differ from universities.

  • CV: a detailed resume showing your experience and qualification.
  • Cover Letter: a one page describing your qualification and experience in narrative way
  • Letter of interest: this letter reflects why you need to do this research and why the university should select you.
  • Recommendations letter: most university ask for recommendations letter which normally come from your professors or mangers. Some universities asked for specific format or these letters to be sent directly to the university.

5          Funding options

The cost of your doctorate degree will include different elements;

  • Tuition fees
  • Travel cost
  • Accommodation cost (in case abroad)
  • Material; books; journals; conferences; S.W.& H.W…

There is no specific budget I can tell you, since there is a lot of variables.

How you will finance your doctoral degree differ. As below

5.1       Scholarship

You can look for scholarship where the university or specific agency will take the responsibilities to pay your fees and may include a salary to help you focus on the research.

You can check for scholarship options in below links:

5.2       Fellowship

If you have a teaching experience, a fellowship may be a better option for you. You will be asked to teach plus your research. So your fees will be deducted from you will not pay fees but you will work for your fees.

5.3       Self-funding

You will pay yourself the fees and accommodation

6          Recommendation

In order to prepare your research, you have to participate in conferences related to your subject, Even if you have to pay the cost. Attending conferences will keep you up to date in your field, making network, and finding opportunities for funding. Most international conference has PhD colloquium. In the PhD colloquium you can present your idea of research to professors from different top universities in you field, and they give you advice how to go ahead. It is very useful and helped me a lot.

7          Sources: