#23. Best management PhD university in Italy, Finland, and Germany.

In the post “how to choose a PhD university“, we have seen 2 metrics–course structure and funding–that are important to evaluate a PhD university. Continuing on this line, I will share the best business schools in Italy, Finland, and Germany for doing a management PhD based on the 2 metrics. Let us deep-dive into their funding and course structure in this post. If you are looking for the best universities in Spain and France, check out the post “Best PhD universities in Spain“ and “Best PhD universities in France“.

  1. Bocconi University, Milan, Italy

Course Structure

The duration of a PhD program is 4 years. In the first year, students attend 8 common courses and 4 curriculum courses. There are 2 curriculums: management and marketing. During the second year, they choose elective courses in their preferred field of study. In the third and fourth year, they do research and dissertation development.


PhD students are eligible to get a Bocconi scholarship either by merit or financial conditions. Not all students are qualified for the scholarship. If you are qualified for the scholarship, you will get an annual stipend of 20,280 euros (years 1 and 2) and 15,343 euros (years 3 and 4). The amounts are before social security-INPS contributions. When students are fully dedicated to coursework (years 1 and 2), the scholarship amount is higher, and the amount decreases in subsequent years as students can earn by working as a teaching/research assistant (TA/RA). If the student spends time abroad, there is an increase of 50% in the scholarship amount.

2. Aalto University, Espoo, Finland

Course Structure

The university offers a management PhD under the name of “Doctoral Programme in Business, Economics and Finance” and the duration of the program is 4 years. The university offers management training in 12 disciplines: Accounting, Business Law, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Information systems science, International Business, Logistics, Management Science, Marketing, Organizational communication and Organization & Management. Below are the stages in the doctoral studies:

Stages in the management doctoral studies – Aalto University


There are no tuition fees for PhD students. For the first two years, funding of 25,000 euros (after tax) is provided by the university to cover the living expenses. The arrangement is a combination of 50% employment contract and 50% personal grants. The benefits of an employment contract are as follows: health care support, paid annual leave, pension contribution, a computer, communal working space with large screens and adjustable tables. From the third year onwards, students should secure external funding to continue their research. Once the admission is confirmed, the university team will contact the students to initiate the funding procedures.

3. Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Frankfurt, Germany

Course Structure

The duration of the program is 5 years. In the first 2 years, students focus on analytical skills. The university offers 3 specialisations: accounting, finance, and management. Students can choose academic courses based on their academic specialisation. Once the qualifying exams are completed at the end of the second year, students move to the dissertation stage. From the third year, active research takes place.


The PhD program is fully funded. The funding covers tuition fee waiver and monthly living expenses of 1750 euros from first year till 5th year. The school covers other costs related to conferences and overseas visits.

In summary, I have shortlisted the best business school in Italy, Finland, and Germany based on funding and course structure. Out of which, my first preference is Aalto University, Finland.

Thanks for reading the full article. I hope you agree with my selection. If I left out any major business schools with PhD options in Italy, Finland, and Germany, please share them in the comments section.

Published by Portgas D. V

I am a self-motivated person who likes to explore different themes of lifestyle. In the process, I enjoy guiding my inner psychic energy for the betterment of self. When I am free, I would like to read and listen. My long term goal is to become a good writer.

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