PhD in Business Administration

Are you interested in pursuing doctoral research in Business Administration? Stockholm Business School offers a fully funded, competitive Doctoral programme with specializations in Accounting, Finance, Management and Marketing.

As a doctoral student at Stockholm Business School you will be part of a vibrant academic community fully committed to the study of people, markets and organisations. You will be working with faculty members who are renowned for their significant contributions to key areas of business administration research, such as financial markets and instruments; branding, consumption and customer orientation; accounting and intellectual capital; public sector management and accounting; health services and workplace health promotion; organizational change, learning and decision-making.

Doctoral research and writing a PhD thesis is about making a significant contribution to knowledge. As a doctoral student you will undergo rigorous training in theory, method and analysis – through individual supervision, coursework, seminars and workshops. No doubt, you will also benefit from being part of an academic community where scholarly dialogue continues outside of the seminar room. Doctoral students are expected to complete their PhD in four years. To learn more, read under the specialization of interest below.

Do you want to dig deeper into how organizations control their operations? Do you want to investigate how firms report performance? Do you want to study how accounting technologies interplay with societal changes? If any of these or adjacent questions are interesting for you, you might want to apply for the doctoral program in business administration, with specialization in accounting and operations management.

Research environment

For inspiration about possible research topics, you can read more about the current research at the SBS Accounting section here.

To get a better understanding of the life as a PhD student at the Accounting section you may want to contact some of our current PhD students:

Are you curious about how financial markets operate, how corporations make financial decisions, or how to manage risks in a portfolio? Are you interested in how financial markets can be made sustainable, or how societies can promote financial stability? Then you should consider the PhD with specialization in Finance.

The courses for students who specialize in finance typically include a few courses offered at SBS, but most courses are taken at the SU economics department, at the Swedish House of Finance, and at partner universities in the Nordic Finance Network (click the links to see current course offerings). The course program is tailored to your profile and decided in agreement with your supervisors.

Research environment

SBS Finance is a highly international group of about twenty faculty members, post-docs, PhD students, and teaching assistants. The group hosts a weekly seminar series, where external as well as internal speakers present their academic research. There are also ad hoc academic events in the form of workshops and conferences. For more information about our group, see Finance section.

Research topic

The programme is open for thesis proposals on any topic related to Finance. For inspiration on possible  topics, current research that our faculty members work on are presented under Research projects in the Finance section.

Recently, in a joint venture between the Department of Economics (DE), the Institute for International Economic Studies, and Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University received a grant from the Sveriges Riksbank Tercentenary Foundation. The broad purpose of this collaboration is to further develop our PhD programs within the areas of monetary policy and financial stability. Specifically, as there are new funds available for this purpose, we hope to attract more PhD applicants with these interests. A new center is therefore in the process of being launched – the Center for Monetary Policy and Financial Stability. Applicants interested in a money-finance specialization need to be admitted to the general program in open competition with all other applicants. See PDF. A new PhD specialization (200 Kb)

SBS Finance is also particularly interested in research proposals related to sustainable finance. This includes how environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) aspects influence public and private financial institutions, as well as individuals who participate in financial markets.


Are you curious about how organisations are structured and managed, how they emerge and change, how they function and how they are challenged, how people work and interact within them, and how organisations influence and are influenced by the world around them? Then you should consider the PhD with specialization in Management.

Research environment

For inspiration about possible research topics, you can read more about the current research at the SBS Management section here.



Virtually all organizations engage in marketing in order to make sure that they provide value for customers, clients, partners and society at large.

If you are interested in how organizations can use marketing to better achieve their goals, or if you are interested in how the proliferation of marketing in society profoundly shapes contemporary cultures, then you might want to apply for the doctoral program in business administration, with specialization in marketing at Stockholm Business School.

Research environment

For inspiration about possible research topics, you can read more about the current research at the SBS Marketing section here.



The coursework includes a few courses offered at SBS as well as a range of courses in Sweden and elsewhere. The course program is partly tailored to your project but is also directed towards a broader academic journey in which earlier bodies of thought are studied and analyzed.


The thesis is developed under the guidance of the supervisors and through feedback at three milestone seminars: the thesis proposal seminar, the midway seminar, and the final script seminar. PhD students are also encouraged to present their work at conferences in Sweden and abroad. At the end of the program, the thesis is assessed at the public dissertation defence. Doctoral theses written at Stockholm Business School are either published as a monography, or consist of a set of three or more academic articles of which at least one is solo-authored.

Graduation ceremony at City Hall
Graduation ceremony at City Hall Photo: Ingmarie Andersson

Departmental duties

Many students also choose to teach during their PhD studies, but this is optional. Doctoral students may take on departmental duties of up to 20% of full time each year, thereby prolonging the total study time in the doctoral programme. In addition to teaching, the departmental duties may include research assistance and administrative tasks, such as assisting in the organization of academic events.


Syllabus PhD programme Business Administration (192 Kb)


Candidates for the doctoral program at SBS must fulfil at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Completed an advanced level degree (master’s degree).
  2. Completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 credits must be at master’s level.
  3. Acquired equivalent knowledge in another way, in Sweden or elsewhere.

In addition, the applicant must have successfully completed at least 90 higher education credits in business administration, or equivalent, including a thesis comprising at least 15 higher education credits.
Admission to PhD positions is restricted and competition for positions is usually tough.


The general period of opening for PhD positions is in the month of January.
Currently advertised PhD positions at Stockholm University are listed here.

An important part of your application is the research proposal. Your proposal should outline and motivate a research idea, supported with references to the academic literature.

Selection criteria

Selection of applicants is made with respect to their ability to benefit from studies at doctoral level. This is assessed on basis of (i) documented knowledge in a relevant subject area, (ii) English language skills (written and spoken), and (iii) analytical, critical, communicative, and creative thinking skills. We pay particular attention to the quality of your research proposal, your academic merits, and your academic references. Short-listed candidates are called to an interview.


The PhD position is fully funded and the selected student is paid a monthly salary. There is no tuition fee. The position takes the form of a temporary employment for a maximum of four years of full-time study, conditional on that the studies proceed according to plan. The program requires that the student is based in Sweden, with the main workplace being Stockholm Business School.

Fatemeh Aramian

Fatemeh Aramian, PhD student at the Finance Section

What is your research about?

I think that one of the great aspects of doing research, in particular PhD is the flexibility to work on a topic that interests you and you are passionate about. And for me, it turned out to be doing research in the field of market microstructure. In my dissertation, I analyze the impact of financial regulatory reforms and information releases on the competition between different trading systems, and the subsequent effect on the quality of the markets.

What are the best things about SBS for you as a PhD student?

The Finance section at SBS has a well-structured PhD program with courses in both Economics and Finance that provide a solid basis for research. Additionally, PhD students have the opportunity to take different mini-courses from top business schools through the Nordic Finance Network (NFN). As all expenses are usually covered by NFN, I could take several courses and I learned a lot from them. From a research perspective, SBS Finance has researchers doing high quality research in different areas.

What I value the most about SBS is its great work environment. The PhD is a roller-coaster ride and I think it’s important to be in a community that helps you to finish this journey with joy as well. I feel grateful to be a part of this group, as I see myself surrounded by friendly yet ambitious and talented people who are inspiring and bring a positive competition into the group.

Ian Khrashchevskyi
Ian Khrashchevskyi

Ian Khrashchevskyi, PhD student at the Finance Section

What is your research about?

My research lies in the field of asset pricing and behavioral finance. In my dissertation “Essays on risk in investment strategies”, I take a broad view on different types of risks and how they can be managed in different investment strategies. In my job market paper, I make a methodological contribution to higher moment risk premia estimation and show its relationship with macroeconomic conditions. In the second and the third papers, I investigate diversification benefits of multi-asset portfolios and how consumption of different financial information affects portfolio performance.

What are the best things about SBS for you as a PhD student?

One thing that I really like is the individual approach to each student. My study plan is designed to help me in my research in asset pricing.  It allowed me to start working on my research and academic career from day one! During my studies I took courses from different universities in Sweden and other Nordic countries; visited exciting places for the conferences and even did an exchange semester in the UK, which ended up in a research collaboration. Stockholm Business School helped me not only build my professional network, but meet inspiring people and make new friends.

As a PhD student at Stockholm Business School you are part of a friendly community and an international research environment.

PhD community

The SBS PhD Council organizes frequent social activities among PhD students from the different sections of Stockholm Business School. It also organizes an annual PhD conference, where you can learn about the research of other PhD students; socialize and get feedback on your work.


For more information about living in Stockholm and how to find a place to stay, see the information provided by Stockholm university here.

Studies abroad

Some doctoral students spend part of their doctoral studies at universities abroad. Funding for research visits and courses abroad may be obtained through scholarships.

Students who graduate with a PhD from SBS Finance go on to careers in academia, financial regulators, and the financial industry.

Ester Félez Viñas
Ester Félez Viñas

Ester Félez Viñas

PhD in 2019, now Assistant Professor at University of Technology, Sydney

"The program is highly stimulating and personally enriching. SBS Finance provides interesting talks from world-leading researchers, opportunities to attend international conferences and present your work to the research community, a well-rounded coursework in finance and economics, and the possibility of learning much more than your research topic. Very importantly, the finance section at SBS also provides a wonderful working environment. Besides the friendly PhD students, the faculty in the section are very approachable and supportive and make excellent supervisors. Honestly, I had an amazing time doing my PhD at SBS."

Mohammad "Vahid" Irani
Mohammad "Vahid" Irani

Mohammad "Vahid" Irani

PhD in 2016, now Assistant professor of finance at the University of South Carolina, Darla Moore School of Business

"I received tremendous support from my advisors, colleagues, and administrative staff at SBS. Everyone was very friendly and relaxed. I also greatly appreciate having the freedom to select courses that are most relevant to my research."


Dong Zhang
Dong Zhang

Dong Zhang

PhD in 2015, now Analyst at the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen)

"The program provides excellent opportunities for the PhD candidates to engage actively in course work, research projects and sometimes teaching. During the program I attended both advanced theoretical courses and different international conferences in my research field. Experiences from this program prepared me to take further challenges in my career. I also appreciate the dynamic and inspiring atmosphere fostered by the colleagues at Stockholm Business School. The PhD program was interesting, challenging, rewarding and fun!"

Anders Stenkrona
Anders Stenkrona

Anders Stenkrona

PhD in 2007, now Behavioral Insights Expert at Nordéa

"There is an open atmosphere where you can ask any and all uncomfortable or stupid questions. There is a genuine desire to learn and understand new things at SBS."






For further information please contact the Director of Graduate Studies:
Professor Björn Hagströ

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