Program structure and curriculum

Individual endeavor in a supportive learning community

The DBA program is a tutorial program that revolves around guidance in writing the DBA dissertation. Hitotsubashi ICS offers a supportive learning environment with formal coursework and interaction with other DBA students and faculty, while the student engages in his or her own individual research initiatives.

A DBA dissertation considers a set of theoretically consistent hypotheses using data that has been gathered and analyzed through social scientific approaches and methods. By presenting objective evidence and comparing the presented hypotheses with alternative hypotheses, the DBA dissertation is essentially different from a general management book, which typically expresses ideas based on unsupported conjecture. Writing a DBA dissertation puts the theoretical consistency behind the hypotheses, the feasibility of practical application, and the thoroughness behind the investigation, to the test.

The DBA program values independence in learning. As a DBA candidate, you’ll determine the course and nature of your own personal specialization, while learning to produce unique research at the leading edge of a management field. Your dissertation will identify a research question and assess a range of theories and frameworks for resolving it. Over three years, with the support of a dissertation advisor and dissertation committee members, you’ll develop a set of hypotheses and explore/examine those using social scientifically rigorous approaches and methods. Once your dissertation project is approved, you will qualify for a grant from the DBA committee to cover related expenses (maximum per DBA candidate and project: JPY 100,000).

See list of past Hitotsubashi ICS DBA dissertations

Throughout the three (to six) years of the program, some DBA students serve as a research assistant (RA) or teaching assistant (TA) for their supervisor or other ICS faculty member, and/or conduct joint research with ICS faculty. ICS offers scholarship opportunity for full-time students if the student is not fully supported by an external agency such as MEXT (see DBA Admissions page for more on scholarship opportunities). Full-time students are expected to fully commit to the program and to create and maintain an effective learning community as an assistant to the faculty. In addition, full-time students are strongly encouraged to work as a paid researcher of a well-funded faculty research project.


Hitotusbashi ICS DBA program stractrue

where you can learn from the best

The Hitotsubashi ICS DBA faculty, trained at many of the world’s top institutions, bring a wide range of deep expertise to the program through teaching and advising.

LEE, JinjuAdjunct Assistant Professor, Hitotsubashi ICS
AKUTSU, Satoshi (Toshi)Professor, DBA Program Director, Hitotsubashi ICS
OKADA, EricaProfessor, Hitotsubashi ICS
ONO, HiroshiProfessor, Hitotsubashi ICS
SUZUKI, SatokoAssociate Professor, Hitotsubashi ICS
SUN, KangyongAssociate Professor, Hitotsubashi ICS
PARK, Jin Suk (Jin)Assistant Professor, Hitotsubashi ICS
ROBINSON, Patricia (Tish)Associate Professor, Hitotsubashi ICS

then network your research

As a Hitotsubashi ICS DBA candidate, you’ll also develop your regional savvy in vast and dynamic East Asia. Through the BEST Alliance (Beijing Seoul Tokyo) – uniting Hitotsubashi ICS with esteemed regional partners Guanghua School of Management at Peking University and Graduate School of Business at Seoul National University – you can collaborate internationally in research, present your work to the universities’ faculty and leadership at annual BeST Alliance conferences, and apply for supplemental network grants to support your dissertation research and disseminate your results.