Graduates of business doctoral programs often pursue careers as advertising, promotions, and marketing managers. These professionals make a significant impact on their company’s success, and they earn a median annual salary of $135,900, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Other potential careers for individuals with a doctorate in business administration include consultant and entrepreneur.
Unlike Ph.D. in business programs, which prepare degree-seekers for careers in academia, DBA programs emphasize practical knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the business field. Many schools offer online DBA programs, which allow learners to continue working while earning their degree. Doctoral students who maintain employment in the field can apply new skills immediately, and working full time can help learners avoid debt.
Although admission requirements vary by university, they often include a minimum GPA, GRE scores, and recommendation letters. Students typically earn the degree in 2.5-3 years, depending on the program. This guide covers the benefits of earning a doctorate in business administration, along with common course requirements and career paths for graduates.
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Top 25 Doctorates in Business Administration Programs of 2021
The largest Catholic university in the nation, DePaul offers a doctorate in business administration. Learners complete the DBA program in cohorts and prepare for positions in higher education and the corporate world. DePaul delivers the program in a part-time format, allowing students to continue working while earning the degree.
The curriculum emphasizes interdisciplinary business knowledge and research methodology.
Coursework explores topics including data science and visualization, empirical research methods, and behavioral decision theory. Learners also hone organizational leadership techniques. Degree-seekers develop advanced research skills while developing their dissertation.
Degree-seekers typically graduate in three years, and students attend regular residencies at DePaul's Loop campus, located in Chicago's financial district. DBA students supplement in-person events with virtual sessions. Like many business doctoral programs, DePaul's program requires applicants to hold a master's degree. The university does not require GMAT or GRE scores.
Program length: 3 years
Credit requirements: 72 credits
Admissions requirements: Master’s degree in a related field
Based in North Carolina, Duke offers a Ph.D. in business administration program through the Fuqua School of Business. Learners pursuing the doctoral degree develop advanced research expertise and prepare for positions at leading colleges and universities.
The Ph.D. program requires two to three years of coursework, and most full-time students complete the program in about five years. Concentration options include accounting, finance, marketing, or decision sciences. Learners must participate in a teaching and research assistantship, complete a comprehensive exam, and write and defend a dissertation.
Duke provides generous financial assistance. Doctoral students receive a full tuition waiver, a competitive stipend, and health insurance. Graduates can benefit from Duke's alumni network, and the university's partnerships with top firms in various industries. While applicants to the Ph.D. in business administration program often hold an MBA, the business school does not require a master's degree for admission. Applicants must have competitive GMAT or GRE scores.
Located blocks from the White House, GW operates three campuses in the District of Columbia. The university offers a Ph.D. in business administration program on its main campus. The 45-credit program offers concentrations in areas including accountancy, international business, and decision sciences.
Degree-seekers participate in seminars and receive constructive feedback on dissertation research. While coursework varies by specialization, all Ph.D. students must pass a comprehensive exam and complete a research dissertation.
GW students can access leading organizations and institutions, including the World Bank. The business school provides five years of financial support through a full-tuition fellowship, a stipend, and travel funding to help learners attend conferences. Admission requirements depend on the applicant's concentration, but all applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores.
Based in Columbus, Ohio State delivers a Ph.D. in business administration program that trains learners to become scholars and experts in the business world. The full-time program consists of coursework, research, and teaching responsibilities. Students complete 80 credits and can specialize in a field such as finance, organizational behavior, international business, or operations management.
During the first and second years, doctoral students undertake assistantships that include research responsibilities. Learners develop research by writing research papers and submitting them to conferences and academic journals. During their third year of studies, Ph.D. students begin work on a dissertation, which they must defend during their fourth year.
Ohio State operates one of the nation's most extensive library systems, and learners can access state-of-the-art living and dining facilities. Doctoral students can receive a fellowship that covers tuition and includes a monthly stipend. Applicants must have competitive GMAT or GRE scores.
Rollins is a private liberal arts college located in Florida. Executives with an MBA or an equivalent degree can earn the executive doctorate in business administration. Learners in the program develop proficiencies as thought leaders and develop skills necessary to effectively guide organizations. The program is ideal for executives with at least 10 years of experience.
Degree-seekers prepare to apply theoretical knowledge and research methods to address contemporary business problems. Students in the cohort-based program meet once each month at the Winter Park campus, and seminar-style sessions facilitate interaction between faculty and students. Before each class, students read in-depth articles on topics relevant to the class discussion.
Degree-seekers work with a faculty advisor to develop research projects and a final dissertation. Students must self-fund their education, and all learners pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency status. Applicants must submit a resume, but Rollins does not require standardized test scores.
Program length: 3 years
Credit requirements: N/A
Admissions requirements: No standardized tests required
Located in Fairfield, Connecticut, SHU delivers a doctor of business administration that helps students prepare for careers as business leaders. Learners develop decision-making and management skills, along with expertise in quantitative methods and mathematical modeling. The low-residency program uses a cohort model that blends in-person sessions, learning labs, and online components.
The curriculum includes coursework in econometric methods, price theory, advanced asset pricing, and global financial markets and institutions. Group research projects help foster teamwork. Learners complete two courses focused on formulating and executing a finance dissertation project, which ultimately lead to the development of a dissertation.
Learners complete a final course on career transitions, which covers topics including effective networking strategies. Graduates often secure positions in industry and academia. Like many DBA programs, the program's admission requirements include a master's degree. However, applicants do not need to submit GMAT or GRE scores.
Stevens Institute of Technology, one of the nation's oldest technological colleges, offers a Ph.D. in business administration program that prepares learners for research positions in industry. The program comprises 84 credits, and Stevens awards 30 credits for a master's degree. Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in subjects including calculus, statistics, and linear algebra.
Doctoral students complete coursework in topics including statistical inferences, econometrics, and multivariate data analytics. Learners choose a concentration in finance, innovation and entrepreneurship, or information systems and analytics. After completing all coursework and exams, learners write and defend a dissertation. The school is located minutes from Wall Street, which can lead to professional opportunities for business students.
Students earning the Ph.D. in business administration complete a teaching assistantship, and Stevens offers tuition assistance, competitive stipends, and health benefits. Applicants must have a bachelor's in a business or a related discipline and must submit GMAT or GRE scores.
Program length: N/A
Credit requirements: 84 credits
Admissions requirements: bachelor’s degree in a business or related field, and GMAT or GRE scores
Based in Philadelphia, Temple offers a 54-credit doctor of business administration program that prepares students for executive-level positions. The curriculum prepares learners to apply research theories to solve complex business challenges. Temple delivers the three-year program in a part-time format, allowing students to continue working while earning the degree.
Learners attend six weekend residences on campus each year and complete the remainder of program requirements online. The DBA curriculum explores topics including the global marketplace, scientific inquiry through applied research, and innovation and entrepreneurship in the modern economy. Students master advanced quantitative and qualitative research methods. Like many business doctoral programs, Temple's program culminates with a dissertation.
DBA students participate in a mentorship program and can access additional support and resources through the business school's research centers and institutes. Applicants must have an MBA or a related master's degree and at least 10 years of professional experience.
Program length: 3 years
Credit requirements: 54 credits
Admissions requirements: MBA or related master’s degree and at least 10 years of professional experience
The flagship institution of an 11-college system, Texas A&M offers a Ph.D. in business administration program that trains students to become researchers. Graduates often secure positions in private and public organizations. The program requires 64-96 credits, depending on the student's academic background.
Learners specialize in a field such as accounting, management, or supply chain management. Degree-seekers conduct original research under faculty guidance. Students build a portfolio by completing research papers. While earning their Ph.D. in business administration, learners attend workshops hosted by visiting scholars. Doctoral students must pass a preliminary exam and a comprehensive final exam.
Students must complete at least nine credits during each term of their required residence, which comprises one academic year for master's degree-holders and one academic year plus one semester for bachelor's degree-holders. Students demonstrate their ability to perform independent research by completing a dissertation. Research assistantships provide tuition assistance and a stipend. Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores.
Tulane is a private research college located in New Orleans. The full-time Ph.D. in business administration program helps learners develop research and teaching expertise to prepare for careers in academia. Students choose a concentration in finance or financial accounting.
The curriculum explores topics including mathematics, economics, econometrics, and price theory. Doctoral students hone their skills as educators by teaching classes independently, and learners conduct research that culminates in a dissertation. Tulane offers personalized faculty support, and students participate in workshops and seminars. Learners can access resources and mentorships through Tulane's centers and institutes.
Ph.D. students pay no tuition and receive an assistantship. Learners receive a technology support budget, which funds a laptop and other approved technology. A research and teaching budget pays for conferences and related expenses. The program admits students every other year. Applicants to the Ph.D. in business administration program must have a bachelor's degree and submit GMAT or GRE scores.
Founded in 1868, Berkeley offers a Ph.D. in business administration that prepares learners for research careers. Doctoral students work with faculty as they conduct research in one of six fields, such as accounting, organizational management, or business and public policy. Program requirements vary based on the learner's concentration area.
Students may explore topics such as asset pricing theory, operations management, buyer behavior, and the economics of innovation. Doctoral students complete a teaching course that covers the pedagogical knowledge and techniques necessary to teach at top business schools. All students pursuing the Ph.D. in business administration conduct original research and defend a dissertation.
The Haas School of Business provides a five-year financial support package that includes paid tuition, a stipend, and a fellowship. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and satisfactory GMAT or GRE scores.
Program length: 3 years
Credit requirements: N/A
Admissions requirements: minimum 3.0 GPA and competitive GMAT or GRE scores
Learners at UF can pursue a 60-credit doctor of business administration as a track under the Ph.D. in business administration program. The three-year DBA program is ideal for students who want to focus on applied theory. The program includes both online learning and weekend residencies.
Coursework helps learners hone methodological and analytical skills, and degree-seekers learn how to apply business theory to address current issues in the field. The curriculum explores topics such as change leadership, corporate finance, strategic management, and international business. Degree-seekers engage in research throughout the program, which culminates with a dissertation defense.
Students typically take six credits per term, and graduates often secure positions in business or academia. Students often continue working while earning the DBA. Applicants must have a master's degree and at least 10 years of management experience, and candidates must submit GMAT or GRE scores.
Program length: 3 years
Credit requirements: N/A
Admissions requirements: Master's degree, at least 10 years of management experience, GMAT or GRE scores
One of the nation's oldest public schools, UGA administers a Ph.D. in business administration program that emphasizes hands-on research and leadership development. The curriculum delivers rigorous training in research methodology, and students develop the pedagogical skills necessary to excel as professors. Graduates can also qualify for high-level positions in business and industry.
The program offers seven areas of study, including finance, accounting, management information systems, and risk management and insurance. Doctoral students complete coursework and conduct original research that culminates in a dissertation. The real estate emphasis typically includes coursework from other programs within the business school.
Learners enroll full time and typically complete the degree in five years. Like students in many business doctoral programs, learners in UGA's program often pursue graduate assistantships and fellowships. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and satisfactory GRE or GMAT scores.
Program length: 5 years
Credit requirements: N/A
Admissions requirements: Bachelor's degree, 3.0 GPA, GMAT or GRE scores
U of I delivers a Ph.D. in business administration program that helps students become lifelong scholars and innovators. The program uses a cohort model, and graduates often secure roles as college instructors and researchers. Students choose a specialization such as marketing, international business, operations management, or strategy and entrepreneurship.
Learners pursuing the doctoral degree must select a minor, which does not need to be related to business administration. Students develop a dissertation based on original research. Doctoral students engage in peer mentoring, professional development, and events that foster collaboration and community.
Most degree-seekers earn the Ph.D. in five years. Doctoral students can qualify for a financial package that includes a tuition waiver. Most applicants to the Ph.D. in business administration program hold an MBA or a master's degree in a related field. Admitted students with only a bachelor's degree must take additional courses. Applicants must submit GMAT scores.
Enrolling more than 32,000 students, University of Iowa offers professional academic degrees including a Ph.D. in business administration. The Ph.D. requires 72 semester hours comprising Ph.D. core coursework, major and minor classes, and dissertation research.
The core curriculum helps learners develop research competence. Degree-seekers specialize in a field such as accounting, organizational behavior, human resource management, or management information systems. Learners also choose a minor, which does not need to be related to business. Doctoral students must pass a comprehensive examination and complete a dissertation.
The business school covers each Ph.D. student's full tuition and fees. Learners also receive a stipend and comprehensive health insurance. Graduates often secure teaching and research positions in academia, business, and the public sector. Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores.
University of Minnesota offers a Ph.D. in business administration program that prepares students for roles as researchers and teachers. The curriculum includes 40 credits of coursework, which learners complete within the first two years. Students choose from seven concentrations, including accounting, finance, and strategic management and entrepreneurship.
During the university's teacher training program, students complete workshops and an in-class teaching experience to become confident instructors. All students earning the Ph.D. in business administration conduct research and develop a dissertation in their concentration area.
U of M's location in a thriving business region provides access to Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, and entrepreneurs. Recruiting events often help business students secure teaching positions at higher education institutions. Doctoral students receive financial support, including a full-tuition scholarship and a stipend. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree and must submit GMAT or GRE scores.
Program length: 3 years
Credit requirements: 40 credits
Admissions requirements: Bachelor’s degree, GMAT or GRE scores
A public research college, OU maintains three campuses. Students at the main campus in Norman can pursue a Ph.D. in business administration. The program focuses on managerial, strategic, and organizational aspects of management. Learners study full time and typically graduate in four years. The curriculum includes departmental seminars, coursework on topics including research methods, and a second-year research project.
Students earning the Ph.D. in business administration specialize in strategy, organizational behavior, or international business. Each concentration requires focused coursework and a teaching assistantship completed under faculty guidance. Doctoral students learn to conduct original research and prepare for positions at research institutions. The program culminates with a dissertation defense.
Applicants do not need a business background. Graduate assistants receive a tuition waiver, a stipend, and health insurance. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and must submit GMAT or GRE scores.
Program length: 4 years
Credit requirements: N/A
Admissions requirements: Bachelor’s degree, GMAT or GRE scores
Located in Upstate New York, Rochester offers a business program that emphasizes collaboration and mentorship. During the first year of the 90-credit Ph.D. in business administration program, learners develop skills in economics and statistics. Students gain advanced knowledge in a specialization such as accounting, marketing, or finance.
The curriculum varies by specialization, but all doctoral students conduct original research during which they develop quantitative and analytical skills. Students engage in teaching to strengthen their classroom skills. The program culminates in the completion of a dissertation, which students defend during their fifth year of studies.
The business school offers a full-tuition scholarship, a fellowship, a research budget, and student health insurance. According to Rochester, most students in the business program secure employment before defending their dissertation. Applicants must submit GRE or GMAT scores and must have at least a bachelor's degree in a field such as business, engineering, or mathematics.
Program length: 5 years
Admissions requirements: Bachelor’s degree, GMAT or GRE scores
A Jesuit Catholic college in Pennsylvania, University of Scranton offers a doctor of business administration that helps accounting professionals develop academic expertise. Students learn to produce practice-relevant research. Doctoral students often work while earning the degree, which Scranton delivers through two to four on-campus residencies per term. Degree-seekers complete about 20 residencies during the three-year program.
The DBA program requires 87-93 credits. Students complete coursework with a cohort of about 10 peers. The curriculum includes two seminars on Ignatian identity, as well as courses on fraud research, applied research methods, and teaching and pedagogy. Students complete a comprehensive exam during their second year, and they begin work on their dissertation in their third year of studies.
All students in the DBA program pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency status. Applicants must have a master's in business, a minimum 3.5 GPA, and at least five years of work experience.
Program length: 3 years
Credit requirements: 87-93 credits
Admissions requirements: MBA, 3.5 GPA, five years of work experience
University of South Carolina offers two doctoral business degrees at its flagship campus in Columbia. Full-time learners can pursue a Ph.D. in business administration, which requires at least 60 credits beyond a bachelor's degree. Learners specialize in one of seven concentrations, such as accounting, organizational behavior and human resources, or finance.
While program requirements vary by specialization, all students earning the Ph.D. in business administration develop skills in research methodology. Graduates often become educators, researchers, and businesspeople. Students regularly attend conferences and seminars, and UofSC provides access to scholarly resources.
Ph.D. students work as graduate assistants, fulfilling teaching and/or research responsibilities. Graduate assistants receive a tuition waiver and a stipend. Students typically complete the degree in five years, and the university generally offers four years of financial aid. Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores, and master's degree-holders receive preference.
USC offers a Ph.D. in business administration that features instruction from renowned faculty members. Graduates of the program often secure teaching positions at top business schools. Students can pursue a specialization in accounting, finance, marketing, management and organization, or data sciences and operations.
While earning the Ph.D. in business administration, students apprentice with a faculty member and eventually co-teach a course. Learners develop the quantitative skills necessary to conduct research that advances their field as a whole.
Doctoral students complete a screening exam during their first year. During their second or third year of studies, they must pass a comprehensive exam that tests core knowledge of their discipline. The fourth year of the business program focuses exclusively on research, culminating in a dissertation. USC offers a tuition waiver for doctoral students, and applicants must have a bachelor's degree, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and adequate GMAT or GRE scores.
Average tuition cost: $47,880
Credit requirements: N/A
Admissions requirements: Bachelor’s degree, 3.0 GPA, GMAT or GRE scores
Founded in 1917, the University of Utah offers a Ph.D. in business administration program that emphasizes academic research and business leadership. The degree prepares learners to secure teaching positions at research colleges. Applicants need only a bachelor's degree in any discipline.
Doctoral students pursue one of seven areas of specialization, such as accounting, finance, organizational behavior, or operations management. A series of seminars helps learners develop qualitative and quantitative research skills. Degree-seekers master pedagogical techniques during specialized teaching coursework. During their first year of studies, doctoral students begin a graduate or teaching assistantship.
Each student creates a personalized curriculum tailored to their interests and career goals. Doctoral candidates must pass a qualifying exam and develop and defend a research dissertation. Students pursuing the Ph.D. in business administration receive a four-year tuition waiver and a stipend. Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores.
UW students at the Seattle campus can earn a Ph.D. in business administration. The doctoral program prepares learners for careers in academia and the public and private sectors, and full-time students typically complete the program in four to five years. Learners work with a faculty advisor to design a curriculum based on their interests and goals. Degree-seekers choose from several specializations, including finance, management, technology entrepreneurship, and operations management.
Regardless of specialization, doctoral students complete 18 courses, take written exams, and conduct research that culminates in a dissertation. Learners also complete a teacher training program to prepare for careers as business educators. The teacher training program consists of weekly sessions, classroom observation, and teaching assignments.
The Ph.D. in business administration program offers small class sizes, allowing for mentorship and collaboration between faculty and students. Degree-seekers receive financial support including tuition waivers and teaching and research assistantships. Applicants must submit all previous transcripts and GMAT or GRE scores.
Washington University delivers a variety of graduate degrees, including a Ph.D. in business administration. The curriculum requires 36 credits, including rigorous coursework in foundational business skills. Doctoral students can specialize in one of seven concentrations, including accounting, finance, organizational behavior, and strategy and entrepreneurship.
Learners take a core exam to demonstrate aptitude in their specialization. Ph.D. students collaborate with faculty members while completing research, and they participate in a teaching assistantship. They must also develop and defend a dissertation. During their fifth year of studies, doctoral students begin searching for a faculty appointment. Washington University provides free tuition and a generous stipend.
Alternatively, the 72-credit doctor of business administration program offers specializations in finance and marketing research. Students can complete the DBA program full time or part time. While Ph.D. students generally aspire to positions in academia, DBA students train for research roles in industry. Applicants to either of Washington University's business doctoral programs must have competitive GMAT or GRE scores.
Based in Massachusetts, WPI delivers project-based learning that helps students prepare for leadership roles. WPI offers a Ph.D. in business administration that emphasizes practical problem-solving skills. Students complete 60-90 credits of coursework and research. Learners pursuing the Ph.D. in business administration can specialize in IT, entrepreneurship, or operations management.
The program curriculum varies based on the student's concentration. For example, operations management students conduct research related to deploying quantitative modeling at all levels of operations decision-making. Students explore topics such as technology usage, operation systems design, and performance measurement.
Ph.D. students complete an internship, and the program culminates with a dissertation. WPI provides funding for select doctoral students. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation and GMAT or GRE scores. Admission requirements include a minimum 3.5 GPA and a bachelor's or master's degree.
Program length: 3 years
Credit requirements: 60-90 credits
Admissions requirements: minimum 3.5 GPA and bachelor’s or master’s degree
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Answering your questions about doctorate in business administration program
How long does it take to get a doctorate in business administration?
DBA programs typically require three years to complete. Learners can graduate more quickly by transferring previous credits or choosing an accelerated program.
What is the difference between a Ph.D. and a DBA?
Although both are terminal business degrees, Ph.D. programs emphasize skills necessary for careers in academia. DBA programs prepare students for senior-level management positions.
Does a DBA make you a doctor?
Like a Ph.D., a DBA qualifies graduates to use the title of doctor. They can use this title because a doctorate in business administration is a terminal degree.
What can I do with a DBA degree?
DBA graduates can pursue numerous career paths, such as corporate executive, economist, and logistician. Career services counselors help students explore relevant positions.
What Are the Goals of a Doctorate in Business Administration?
Although available courses and graduation requirements vary among DBA programs. However, typical learning outcomes include applying research methods to decision-making, embracing lifelong learning, and modeling appropriate behavior to subordinates. Students in business doctoral programs also develop transferable skills in areas such as collaboration and professional competence.
Completing a business doctoral program can help individuals advance professionally. Doctoral students collaborate with like-minded peers, developing networks that can lead to long-term business relationships and job opportunities. Additionally, a doctorate in business administration can qualify graduates for top positions at their company or organization.
Doctorate in Business Administration Overview
A doctoral degree in business administration is designed for advanced business professionals to continue their education, develop research, and become industry leaders. In fact, some programs will require at least 10 years of relevant professional experience to be admitted. Most DBA programs take three to five years to complete and involve a dissertation or presentation capstone. You’ll learn about organization management, corporate leadership, and market strategy.
To be admitted to a business administration doctoral program there are several universal requirements. You’ll need some previous higher education, while some programs require an MBA others may only ask for a bachelor’s degree. Every program on our list will also require GRE or GMAT scores from the last five years.
Letters of recommendation and a professional resume are also commonly a part of the application. There are also some doctorate in business administration programs that require a minimum number of years for work experience. Programs designed for advanced professionals may ask for 10 years of work experience in a related field.
Why does accreditation matter for DBA degrees?
While researching prospective DBA programs, you should only consider institutions with regional accreditation. The U.S. Department of Education charters six agencies to evaluate the nation’s postsecondary institutions and grant accreditation to those that meet rigorous educational standards. If you attend a school without regional accreditation, you may have difficulty finding a job or attaining professional advancement after graduation.
Universities that offer online degrees may also hold national accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). Accreditation from DEAC demonstrates that the school’s online programs offer the same educational experience and learning outcomes as its on-campus programs.
Lastly, if you’re considering a business doctoral program, you can look for programmatic accreditation. Reputable U.S. business programs hold accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, which grants accreditation to undergraduate and graduate business programs that prepare learners to succeed in business careers.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
Many DBA programs offer concentrations that allow you to specialize in an area of business management. A concentration can help you develop expertise for specific job roles and better prepare you for a career after graduation.
A concentration in finance will offer the knowledge needed to lead finance-based businesses, or finance departments of businesses. You’ll learn about making investment and finance decisions, managing capital assets, exploring venture financing, and market microstructure. Courses may include microeconomics, quantitative methods, accounting courses, corporate finance, and capital market theory.
An operations management concentration will teach you to manage organizations that produce goods and services. You’ll learn to operate supply chains, manufacturing activities, and access global markets. Courses may include operations management, stochastic models, networks and combinatorial optimization, and dynamic programming.
This concentration is focused on individual behavior, team dynamics, and how employees and organizations work together. You’ll learn more about the psychology behind managing a business and large teams of people. You may take courses like psychology of organizational behavior, sociological foundation of strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
Courses in a Doctorate in Business Administration Program
The coursework in DBA programs helps learners master in-demand leadership skills, which graduates often use to lead teams and organizations. Online learners typically hone these skills by participating in discussion boards, writing essays, and performing original research. Other activities may include analyzing case studies and collaborating with peers during group projects.
Students earning a doctorate in business administration generally complete coursework in leadership theory, leading organizations, and organizational design. This section describes a few courses common to many DBA programs. However, course titles and requirements vary by institution. Learners should contact their prospective school for information regarding its DBA program.
Career and Salary Outlook for Business Administration Students
Professionals with a doctorate in business administration often work as top executives, postsecondary teachers, personal financial advisors, and management analysts. The BLS projects strong growth for these occupations between 2019 and 2029. Additionally, these careers feature higher-than-average median annual salaries.
Top Executive Top executives use their doctorate in business administration to oversee business operations. These professionals coordinate and consult with other executives and use performance indicators to make long-term plans. Typical job titles include chief executive officer, operations manager, and county administrator. Some top executive positions require professional experience in addition to an advanced degree.
Postsecondary Teacher Postsecondary teachers educate undergraduate and graduate students. Job responsibilities also include creating curricula, serving on committees, and publishing research. Teachers who possess a doctorate can qualify for tenure, which provides job security and greater freedom when performing research.
Personal Financial Advisor Personal financial advisors use their business expertise to advise clients on financial goals and investments. These professionals need strong research skills to explore the latest and best investment opportunities. Other responsibilities include staying up to date with tax law and producing annual investment reports.
Management Analyst Management analysts, also known as management consultants, analyze the practices of a business or organization to improve efficiency. Some projects require a team of analysts to conduct research and interview employees. Management analysts present their findings and make suggestions to senior management professionals. Analysts can specialize in an area such as inventory control or corporate structures.
Marketing managers need a bachelor’s in marketing, journalism, or a related field. Earning a bachelor’s degree takes approximately four years, and degree-seekers gain practical marketing knowledge along with transferable skills that apply to numerous career paths. Undergraduate students can enhance their resume by taking courses in sales and communications and by completing an internship.
After earning a bachelor’s degree and gaining work experience, professionals can return to school to earn an MBA or DBA. Both degrees can lead to career and salary advancement. Graduate programs take 2-4 years to complete, depending on the degree and program.
What is the ROI for a Doctorate in Business Administration?
Tuition for a DBA can range from $11,000 to $60,000 depending on the school you choose and whether you’ll have to pay in state or out of state tuition. Once you’ve graduated, the average annual salary for careers in business administration fields ranges from $80,000 to $105,000. Jobs in this field also have a projected growth between 4% and 11% in the next decade. Pursuing a doctoral degree in business administration can lead to a lucrative career and a quick return on investment.
Certifications and Licensure for Business Administration Students
Business professionals with a doctorate can enhance their career prospects and salary potential by earning one or more professional certifications. Private organizations award certifications to candidates who pass an exam and meet other requirements, which may include a specific degree and professional experience. Finance professionals also need a license to engage in specific activities, such as selling stocks.
Certified Management Consultant
The Institute of Management Consultants (IMC) awards CMC certification to consultants with at least three years of experience. Candidates for certification must pass a written and oral exam. Candidates with 10 or more years of experience can complete an abridged certification process. IMC offers the CMC credential to members and nonmembers.
Certified Public Accountant
The American Institute of CPAs awards the CPA certification to candidates who pass a rigorous examination. Additionally, each state sets specific certification requirements, which typically include a bachelor’s or master’s degree and an application to the state’s board of accountancy. CPAs often qualify for additional job opportunities and command higher salaries than their peers.
Series 7 License
The Series 7 credential qualifies professionals to sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments to clients. Candidates for licensure must pass the Securities Industry Essential exam and the Series 7 exam. The latter comprises 125 multiple-choice questions covering topics including accounts, record keeping, and investment objectives.
How Can a Ph.D. Student Pay for School?
Although universities often provide funding for doctoral students, learners can apply for additional financial aid from private organizations. Below are a few of the scholarships available to learners pursuing a doctorate in business administration. Students should research each award’s requirements and stipulations before applying.
American Public Transportation Foundation Scholarship Who Can Apply: Undergraduate upperclassmen and graduate students can apply for this scholarship. Requirements include a minimum 2.0 GPA and coursework relevant to the public transportation industry. Applicants must submit a 1,000-word personal essay and two recommendation letters. Candidates must be sponsored by American Public Transportation Association. Amount: $5,000-$10,000
Frank L. Greathouse Government Accounting Scholarship Who Can Apply: The Government Finance Officers Association awards this scholarship to learners pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in accounting. Applicants must plan to work for a government agency. The scholarship committee evaluates each applicant’s GPA, work experience, and recommendation letters. Students can apply for additional scholarship opportunities from the association. Amount: $10,000
Richard “Dick” Wiegers Scholarship Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports Illinois residents pursuing a degree in finance, law, or business. The Illinois Real Estate Educational Foundation considers each applicant’s GPA and recommendations. Amount: $1,000
SILA Postsecondary College Scholarship Who Can Apply: The Securities and Insurance Licensing Association awards five scholarships each year to graduate students majoring in one of seven fields, including marketing, business administration, and finance. Applicants should have a minimum 3.0 GPA and may be studying full time or part time. However, part-time students must also work. Amount: $2,500
Why Should I Get a Doctorate in Business Administration Degree?
Completing a doctorate in business administration program can lead to numerous benefits. These benefits aren’t guaranteed with a degree and can depend on the university and your performance in your career.
Increased Salary Potential
Business professionals with a DBA earn the field’s highest median salaries. You can maximize your earning potential by pursuing this doctoral degree. Additional financial incentives can include a more substantial benefits package and leverage for negotiating higher wages.
DBA programs help learners gain in-demand, transferable skills in areas such as leadership, communication, organization, and analysis. You can also choose a concentration to specialize your education and prepare you for a specific career path.
Professionals with a doctorate in business administration often qualify for senior management positions, such as chief executive officer, chief operating officer, and company president. Returning to school to earn a DBA can help you earn a promotion or come into a new company at a higher level.
HIGHER EDUCATION REPORTER
Danika Miller is an education reporter at Grad School Hub who covers higher education news and trends, as well as paying for college. Her writing has also appeared in Best Value Schools, Affordable Colleges Online, and Her Campus, and her financial expertise has been featured in The Simple Dollar and CreditCards.com.
Andrea Perez is the schools editor at Grad School Hub who oversees our college rankings, school profiles, and other higher education coverage. A graduate school alumna of the University of South Florida, she previously served as an editor at The Simple Dollar, as well as a staff writer at Connect, USF's digital magazine.
An MBA is a highly-respected degree that can help working professionals advance their careers and increase their salaries. While MBA programs can easily exceed six figures, we’ve rounded up some of the best programs on a budget, with an average cost of around $23,000. And based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), […]