Admission Process


Making your application to pursue the doctoral program at IESE is straightforward.

There are five essential steps to admission.

Remember that to proceed to the PhD phase, you will first need to complete the Master of Research or be in the possession of a postgraduate degree in research methodologies for business and management sciences.



Your application needs to be completed online. To be eligible for admission you should hold at least the equivalent of a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. A non-refundable application fee of 50 Euros will be payable online.
• Keep a copy of your documents safe
• Clip each different document separately
• Do not submit theses or other materials that are NOT requested
• The GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) or GRE is mandatory for all candidates. If you have taken both, please submit both scores.

Documents required

  • Completed application form
  • Application fee of €50
  • Scanned copies of your BA or BS
  • Diplomas and transcripts of each college and graduate institution attended for at least 6 months

    If you are admitted to the MRM Program and you accept the offer, an original copy of your transcripts must be sent to MRM & PhD Office within one month of your admission date. Failure to provide evidence would preclude the enrolment in the Program. Therefore, we recommend that you request this document as soon as possible.


    GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) or GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) are compulsory for all the applicants. Tests taken more than five years prior to date of entry will not be accepted.
    Results should be sent directly from the test agency, using IESE’s code: S21-BK-53 for GMAT and 3607 for GRE.
    For further information please check the official website of either GMAT or GRE.

  • English language ability

    Adequate command of spoken and written English is required for admission. If English is not your native language and you have not obtained a degree in the English language, you must take a recognized English test:
    TOEFL minimum score 95
    Results should be sent directly from the test agency, using IESE’s code:
    0755. 7099
    IELTS minimum score 7
    Please note that both tests expire two years after the test date.

  • 3 letters of recommendation

    These should be written by professors familiar with the applicant’s academic record. Recommendation letters must reach IESE before deadline, and can either be uploaded online, sent by the proposers to the PhD Department by e-mail: or sent by ordinary mail in sealed envelopes.

  • Motivation letter

    Tell us why you want to do the IESE PhD. What journey did you take that led you to believe that you wanted to pursue a doctorate? What is it about academic life that inspires you?

  • Essay on research interests

    Write a short essay describing your research interests and goals. Tell us about what interests you and why; literature in your field; and what research you have done previously.

  • Photograph

    You can upload your picture directly onto the application form in the required field.

  • Copy of your passport
  • Military or civil service obligations (if applicable)
  • Fellowship form


Admission Process | PhD | IESE Business School

Once a complete application is received at IESE (application online, three recommendation letters, GMAT, TOEFL and photocopies of university transcripts and diplomas), the Admissions Committee will review the application and invite you to a personal interview, or notify you that your admission has been denied.


Admission Process | PhD | IESE Business School

If, after an initial review of the application, the Admissions Department decides to invite you to a personal interview, you will be notified in writing. Interviews will be held at the IESE campus in Barcelona. In the event that you are unable to travel to Barcelona, you will be asked to arrange your interviews with an IESE representative through videoconference or Skype.

In the interview, we like to see certain awareness and consciousness about the involvement and implications of a PhD Degree. You have to match the research lines and interests of the department and viceversa; we have to match yours! Do you have the right aspirations and approach to work on a research project?
Do you know what this entails? And above all, you’ll also need to make clear that this is the right school for you.


Admission Process | PhD | IESE Business School

Once the interview report is received at IESE, the Admissions Committee meets again to review the application as a whole in order to reach a final decision. Decisions will be sent by e-mail. The Admissions Committee never communicates decisions over the telephone.


Admission Process | PhD | IESE Business School

Welcome to IESE!

You’ll receive a phone call and email confirming the committee’s decision.