The title says it all. To elaborate, In Sweden Ph.D. is being considered a formal job and students receive a monthly salary and pay taxes. Therefore, the question is specifically about whether applying and pursuing an MBA in parallel with pursuing Ph.D. is legally feasible or a special type of permission is required from the university?

Update 1: I'm aware that it's not recommended to pursue these two demanding degrees together. The question is whether in Sweden it's technically possible or not.

Update 2: It's a question related to Sweden, only!

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    One or the other is pretty intense, done right. How much do you like to sleep?
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 31, 2020 at 12:54
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    Sure, working on writing your thesis is a walk in the park, doesn't take much time at all... Well, aside from being the most stressful time in a PhD for many people.
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 31, 2020 at 16:26
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    @user2768: Potentially, yes. Both questions relate to a single country and it is not at all clear from the questions that the answers are the same.
    – user111388
    Sep 1, 2020 at 8:13
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    Neither myself nor @JonCuster are arguing, we're merely speaking from experience. Perhaps you have an explanation, but 1.5 years is about forty percent of the time allowed for a PhD in Sweden. Realistically, it's far higher in terms of workload, since earlier years aren't as efficient.
    – user2768
    Sep 1, 2020 at 9:15
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    @user2768 I guess the question is crystal clear. Especially with the last 2 updates. I also asked for answers specifically for Sweden! Regarding contracts, In Sweden, one can overrun almost indefinitely, without getting a salary from the university. It's possible to underrun as well (like myself), but almost nobody does that, simply because we're getting salaries and our visas/citizenships are based on that (unless we get a better position elsewhere and/or don't care about visa/citizenship). Sep 1, 2020 at 10:55

1 Answer 1


It's surely unlikely that an institute will forbid the simultaneous pursuit of two degrees. However, an MBA and a PhD are both demanding. Pursuing them simultaneously is seemingly a route to failure, unless they are each tackled on a part-time basis.

  • @linker Maybe edit your question to clarify your situation. My answer is country-independent: There's surely no reason for any university to forbid the pursuit of two degrees. Regardless, surely no country does universally, so it only makes sense to consider a single institute, making such a question off topic. Since you have a "no sideline" clause in the contract with your university, you cannot be employed elsewhere. That doesn't mean you can't study an MBA elsewhere (since that's not employment, at least, I know of no business school that'll pay you to study).
    – user2768
    Aug 31, 2020 at 17:24
  • It's still not clear to me (seeing such rules from across the Atlantic) where a "full-time employment" (for a PhD) also precludes "a full-time degree program". So far as I can tell, the literal legality of this is not clear. (Apart from the issue of the wisdom of it...) Jul 25, 2021 at 23:00

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