In this article, we profile the top 25 most affordable options for an online doctoral degree in management, business administration with a management concentration or specialty, organizational leadership, or a related discipline.
A doctoral degree in management or leadership is the highest level of academic degree in the field. Employers, whether in academia or the business sector, view someone with a PhD as an expert in the field. Those interested in business and management programs now have online options, and won’t have to quit their current career to earn an advanced degree. Today, some of the nation’s top accredited institutions offer an online doctoral degree in management, leadership, or a related discipline.
We reviewed more than 50 accredited colleges and universities that offered an online doctoral degree in management, leadership, or a related field. We narrowed that pool by choosing schools that were ranked with major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. These recognized schools were then placed in order of tuition rates as published by NCES College Navigator. Below is our list of the 25 most affordable online doctoral degree programs in management, leadership, or a related business field, with our #1 ranked program being the most affordable.
Doctoral Degree in Management or Leadership Online: 2016 Affordability Ranking
#25 – Pace University
Online Doctor of Professional Studies in Business – Management Concentration
New York, New York
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $29,070
The online DPS degree offered at Pace University is suitable for graduate students interested in online DBA programs. The online DPS program is designed to prepare individuals as accomplished and highly skilled business professionals. Most coursework is completed online, with one required face-to-face meeting per month at the downtown campus location. There are three areas of concentration: finance, management, and marketing. The management concentration covers courses like competitive business strategy, corporate diversification strategy, government institutions and business strategy, organization theory, and strategic human resources management. Also, doctoral candidates complete two management seminars that focus on the concentration. Pace is a nationally ranked institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 180th best national university.
#24 – Antioch University
Online PhD in Leadership and Change
Yellow Springs, Ohio
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $23,462
Students in search of affordable online doctoral business and management programs may find the online PhD in leadership and change a good match. The program is designed for working professionals living anywhere in the nation who want to provide leadership and change that betters workplace environments like schools and business organizations. Required courses include case studies of leading change, cultural dimensions of leadership, ethics in leadership and inquiry, nature of leadership, and reflective leadership. A dissertation is also required, and must confirm the student’s knowledge while making a contribution to the field. Antioch University and its doctoral programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
#23 – University of Charleston
Online Doctor of Executive Leadership
Charleston, West Virginia
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,802
While some schools offer online doctoral business and management programs, the University of Charleston has an online doctor of executive leadership degree that is designed to equip a new generation of leaders and managers. The program is entirely online with an annual one-week Charleston residence required. Online courses include ethics and the impact of values on decision, executive decision making, leading and developing human assets, leading in a global environment, and organizational dynamics and communication. Several research classes are also required and include culture of inquiry, data analysis and interpretation, and responsible conduct of research. The University of Charleston is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 24th best regional college in the South.
#22 – Northcentral University
Online DBA in Management
Prescott Valley, Arizona
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,171
Northcentral University offers an accredited online doctor of business administration in management degree program that is designed to prepare graduates for senior management positions in corporate environments, higher education, or government and public agencies. The program is offered entirely online with no physical residency requirements. Students explore topics like contemporary policy issues in business, economics and marketing management, and leadership functions of environmental and legal compliance. The program is regionally accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission. Also, all business programs have received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
#21 – Eastern University
Online PhD in Organizational Leadership – Business Management Concentration
Saint Davids, Pennsylvania
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,060
Eastern University offers an alternative to the PhD in management online degree program. The school’s online PhD in organizational leadership combines management theories with competencies required for leadership within a particular sector. In fact, students may choose the business management concentration and take additional classes that emphasize this area of specialty. Required business management courses include consulting practice, leading in the community – problem solving and conflict, organizational design, and training and development. Students must also pass a comprehensive examination and complete a required dissertation. Eastern University is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 83rd best regional university in the North.
#20 – Concordia University Chicago
Online PhD in Organizational Leadership
River Forest, Illinois
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,688
Alternatives to online DBA programs include PhDs in management or organizational leadership. Concordia University at Chicago offers an online PhD with specialization in organizational leadership. The program is research-based, with classes delivered entirely online. Required courses include critical issues in leadership, leadership communication and decision-making, leadership development, leadership theories and professional practice, promoting and leading change, and strategic forecasting and planning. A comprehensive exam and dissertation are also required. Concordia University ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the institution as the 75th best regional university in the Midwest.
#19 – George Fox University
Online DBA in Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,592
George Fox University offers one of the most affordable online DBA programs, which also allows students to pursue a concentration in management. Coursework is delivered entirely online, but students must also attend on-campus residencies near the Portland area twice per year. Core business classes include conceptual foundations in finance, ethics and moral decision-making in business, international business, and research design and methods. Management courses include human resources development, organizational theory and behavior, and strategic management. Comprehensive exams and a dissertation, which includes a proposal, dissertation research, and final defense, are also required. George Fox is ranked by major publications like Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 28th best regional university in the West.
#18 – Capella University
Online DBA – Project Management Specialization
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,175
Capella University offers an affordable online doctor of business administration degree with a specialization in project management. The DBA in project management online program is designed to equip students with advanced skills and understanding that allow them to emerge as executives and business thought leaders. The program consists of online discussions, networking sites, and occasional face-to-face weekend residencies. Online courses are ten weeks in length and include advanced concepts of project management methodologies, advanced risk management systems and research, dynamics of program and portfolio management, and projects as complex adaptive systems. Capella is a nationally ranked institution and has been recognized in the past by major publications like U.S. News and World Report.
#17 – Colorado Technical University
Online Doctor of Management
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,731
Colorado Technical University offers an accredited PhD in management online degree program that is designed to be completed in three years. The online doctor of management degree requires the completion of numerous courses, doctoral research, and a dissertation. Three areas of competencies are covered, including leadership and change management, research and writing, and the specific management concentration discipline. Online management courses include management and ethics, management theory, organization innovation and scenario thinking, practice and theory of consulting and intervention, and strategic thinking and organizational alignment. Colorado Tech has earned recognition by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best national university.
#16 – Sullivan University
Online PhD in Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $79,750/full program. Tuition data edited September 2016 with information provided by Sullivan University.
Sullivan University’s PhD in management online program is designed to teach students how to conduct research and develop research proposals in various fields of management. Four areas of concentration are available, including conflict management, human resource leadership, information technology management, and strategic management. Students may choose one of the four concentration areas and complete the 16 hours of required coursework. Online classes include human capital management, organizational behavior, organizational theory, and strategic management. A comprehensive examination and dissertation are required for PhD candidates. Credits for the dissertation are awarded after the student successfully defends their proposal and research, and the graduate school dean accepts the dissertation.
#15 – Jacksonville University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,960
The Davis Doctor of Business Administration from Jacksonville University is one of the top rated AACSB-accredited online DBA programs. Classes are held monthly, on a Friday and Saturday, with individual required work that may be completed through online exchange with professors and colleagues. The program may be completed within three years and is designed for executives, policy makers, or those aspiring to faculty positions. Required courses include corporate and global strategy, marketing with a global market, organizational development, quantitative methods for executive decision-making, and transformation and change. Students may select an area of business, like management, and complete their applied research and dissertation. Jacksonville University is ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school #65 for best regional universities in the South.
#14 – Walden University
Online Doctorate in Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,609
One of the most affordable PhD in management online programs is offered at Walden University. The ACBSP-accredited program offers online classes and face-to-face residencies that hone research, writing, and critical thinking skills. Four specialization areas are available: finance, human resources management, information systems management, and leadership and organizational change. Depending on the student’s specialization choice, courses may include information systems management, management concepts and theories, and strategies for leading people. The program may be completed in as little as thirty months. Walden University has received recognition in the past from major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best national university.
#13 – Baker College
Online Doctor of Business Administration
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,745
Baker College’s online doctoral business and management programs are designed for business professionals who want to acquire advanced skills for solving critical business and management problems facing today’s business world. The program is delivered entirely online with required courses, seminars, research papers, and a final dissertation. Professional residencies may also be required. Required courses include corporate and personal ethics, introduction to research design, knowledge management and information systems, managing in a worldwide context, and quality improvement and organizational change. Baker College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, and the business administration program has received additional accreditation.
#12 – Hampton University
Online PhD in Business Administration – Management and Marketing Emphasis
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,298
Affordable online DBA programs can be difficult to find, but Hampton University’s online PhD in business administration is both inexpensive and accredited. Also, the program allows students to design their coursework in a particular area of interest. Those interested in management and marketing can take additional classes that emphasize these business disciplines. Management courses include advanced decision support systems, international management, issues in operations management, managerial economics, marketing management, and organizational change theory. Comprehensive examinations and a dissertation are also required. Hampton is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the school as the 18th best regional university in the South.
#11 – Grand Canyon University
Online DBA with Emphasis in Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,124
Grand Canyon University offers one of the most affordable online doctoral business and management programs in the country. The online DBA in management degree is designed for working students who are unable to take traditional day-time courses. While classes are entirely online, two in-person four-day residencies are required. Required courses include designing organizational structures, economics for business decisions, introduction to advanced graduate studies and scholarship, management theory in a global economy, managing stakeholder relationships, and statistics for business research. A dissertation is also required. Grand Canyon is accredited and ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school has received recognition from U.S. News as one of the top regional universities in the West.
#10 – Bellevue University
Online PhD in Human Capital Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,900
Bellevue University’s PhD in management online degree is designed to prepare graduates to be effective leaders in human capital development organizations and programs. Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, the program delivers online curriculum for working professionals. Required coursework includes economics of human capital valuation, human capital development and productivity, human learning and decision making, research in organizations, and strategic management of human-derived sources of capital. In addition to classes, a dissertation must be completed and defended. Bellevue’s graduate business programs, excluding the MBA, have earned recognition from U.S. News and World Report as being in the top 100 best online graduate business programs.
#9 – Indiana Wesleyan University
Online PhD in Organizational Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,700
Alternative paths to online DBA programs do exist. Some combine leadership and management curriculum, like the online PhD in organizational leadership at Indiana Wesleyan University. The program is offered in a blended format with a required residency that takes place in July. The program emphasizes leadership within the organization through courses in advanced leadership theory, ethics and leadership, leadership and personal development, organizational and adult learning, and stewardship. Students can complete the program in three years, or amend the completion time with the help of the department chair. The program and school are accredited nationally, and the institution is regionally ranked by major publications. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 30th best regional university in the Midwest.
#8 – Saint Leo University
Saint Leo, Florida
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,730
Saint Leo University offers an affordable online doctor of business administration program that is designed to prepare individuals for teaching careers at the university level. The program also equips students with the expertise needed to work as business consultants and executives. Classes are delivered online with three required one-week seminars that must be attended on campus during the intersession break. Required courses include business innovation and entrepreneurship, global leadership and ethics, management of financial resources, and strategic management in global organizations. Saint Leo University is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 71st best regional university in the South.
#7 – University of Maryland University College
Online Doctor of Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,514
One of the most affordable online doctoral business and management programs is found at the University of Maryland University College. Courses are delivered in a hybrid format that combines face-to-face residencies with online instruction. The flexibility allows students to participate in the program while living outside of the geographic location of the university. Required courses include foundations of management theory, innovation process and strategy, leadership and change, and organizational environments in a global context. Research methods and dissertation preparation courses are also required. Students may complete the program in seven years or less. The university and its management programs are accredited, and have earned previous recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report.
#6 – Wilmington University
Doctor of Business Administration Online
New Castle, Delaware
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,042
General and accredited online DBA programs are more common than management PhDs, although curriculum delves deep into management and leadership topics. The online DBA at Wilmington University combines coursework in business, leadership, and management. The program is designed to equip students for leadership roles in various business or academia. Required courses include business intelligence, ethics in business and management, global management models, leadership issues, and organizational strategy and policy. Students must also complete a DBA dissertation or culminating research project, which requires a minimum of nine semester credit hours. Wilmington University is accredited, and has received previous recognition as a best national university by major publications like U.S. News and World Report.
#5 – Liberty University
Online Doctor of Business Administration – Project Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,000
Liberty University’s online doctor of business administration degree program offers a concentration in project management. The program implements biblical principles, and is designed to equip students with the knowledge needed to successfully lead or teach across various business or education platforms. Required online courses include advanced project management, global project management, and operations management. All business programs, including the DBA in project management, have received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Liberty University is ranked by major publications. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 80th best regional university in the South. Also, the school’s online graduate business programs rank #75 in the country.
#4 – Johnson University
Online PhD in Leadership Studies
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,050
For students interested in a PhD in management online degree program, Johnson University offers a unique option. The online PhD in leadership studies offers four areas of concentration, including educational leadership, missional leadership, organizational leadership, and philosophy and theology of leadership. Depending on the choice of concentration, required courses may include global leadership systems and policy, intercultural behavior, leadership studies and theory, organizational studies and theory, and ways of knowing leadership development. A research core is also required and includes courses in qualitative and quantitative research and research principles. Students must also prepare a formal research study in the form of a dissertation.
#3 – Trident University
Online PhD in Business Administration – Management and Organizations
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,120
Trident University’s PhD in management online program combines business administration with management and organizations. The program is designed to shape individuals into researchers, scholars, and university professors. Five concentration areas are available, including the management and organizations emphasis. All courses are delivered online and include decision-making, groups and teams dynamic, organizational culture and climate, research methods, and stress and work-engagement. A required comprehensive examination includes both a written and oral portion. Also, students must complete a dissertation that shows doctoral study, knowledge and scholarship with significant research. Trident University is accredited and has received recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report as being a top national university.
#2 – University of the Cumberlands
PhD in Leadership Online
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,970
Individuals interested in online doctoral business and management programs may be interested in the online PhD in leadership program from University of the Cumberlands. The program is designed for students who want to strengthen their content knowledge in leadership and management. According to the program website, the leadership PhD is more theory- and research-intensive than a standard educational leadership degree (EdD). The institution is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Also, the school is ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News lists the school as the 87th best regional university in the South.
#1 – Regent University
Online PhD in Organizational Leadership
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $1,167
Regent University offers an alternative to an online DBA in management program. The PhD in organizational leadership is an online degree that is research-based and focuses on equipping students with ethical leadership abilities. Five areas of concentration are available, including organizational leadership and individualized program. Required courses may include organizational communication, organizational culture and climate, and trends in organizational leadership research. The program may be completed in as little as four years. While classes are delivered online, two four-day on-campus residencies are required. Regent University is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best national university. The school’s online graduate business programs rank #56 in the country. If you are looking for a recognized online doctoral degree in management or a related area at the lowest tuition possible, Regent will be a top choice.
This concludes our ranking of the top 25 most affordable options for an online doctoral degree in management, business administration with a management concentration or specialty, organizational leadership, or a related discipline.
By GSH Staff