Saint Leo University

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Updated August 6, 2020

Initially chartered in 1889 as Florida's first Roman Catholic college, Saint Leo University is a major private non-profit liberal arts institution affiliated with the Order of Saint Benedict and the Holy Name Monastery. From its main 297-acre rural campus headquarters in Saint Leo within just 35 miles north of sunny Tampa, Saint Leo educates more than 16,200 students annually. Saint Leo operates a satellite location in Lakeland, 17 continuing education centers across the Southeast, and a highly developed online learning hub. Saint Leo University is renowned for being one of the largest higher education providers for military personnel. Saint Leo is committed to creating a diverse long-distance community for students of all faiths and beliefs.

Thanks to its long-standing tradition of excellence, Saint Leo University has been honored with several key recognitions. The U.S. News and World Report survey ranked Saint Leo as the 71st best regional college and 51st to school for veterans in the South. In particular, the university was distinguished for the 50th best online bachelor's programs. Saint Leo University is acclaimed as a "Military Friendly School" through GI Jobs magazine. The Chronicle of Higher Education named Saint Leo as a great college to work for the past three years. Saint Leo University also ranks among the top 100 institutions for minority students within Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Saint Leo University Accreditation Details

On-campus and online programs at Saint Leo University hold college-wide accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). This is one of six regional accrediting organizations approved by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Saint Leo is affiliated with the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (AACU). Furthermore, the Donald R. Tapia School of Business has received discipline-specific approval from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) since 1999. Sports business courses meet the standards of the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

Saint Leo University Application Requirements

With a selective acceptance rate of 72 percent, Saint Leo University requires strict criteria be met before extending admissions to incoming applicants. Graduate students wishing to pursue the Online DBA program must already hold a master's degree from an accredited U.S. institution or foreign equivalent. Carrying a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in graduate studies is preferred. Individuals who don't meet this academic mark can still be admitted with a minimum composite GMAT score of 500 or higher. Before admissions, applicants must possess at least two years of full-time professional work experience in business. International students must understand English enough to score 550 or higher on the paper-based TOEFL test.

Fulfilling the above requirements won't automatically guarantee admissions. Saint Leo looks for DBA students with motivation, maturity, work ethic, and leadership potential. Passing a panel interview will be mandatory to showcase the doctoral candidate's promise for success in advanced graduate work. At least 60 days prior to the program's start date, interested students must submit the following materials to the Donald R. Tapia School of Business:

  • Completed online graduate admission application
  • Payment for the one-time $80 application fee
  • Official transcripts directly from each college attended
  • Two professional letters of recommendation
  • A 500-word statement of future career objectives
  • Official GMAT test scores (optional)
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • FAFSA form for financial aid consideration

Tuition and Financial Aid

Saint Leo University is known for keeping outstanding private education affordable. Graduate students enrolled in the Online Doctor of Business Administration program can expect to pay $900 per credit hour in tuition regardless of residence. It's estimated that the total program will cost doctoral students $51,300 over at least four years. DBA students must also budget for indirect costs, including around $1,500 for textbooks, $1,160 for travel, and $1,300 for personal supplies each year. Online learners will save big by cutting out the $15,494 in room and board though. 100 percent tuition refunds are available for course withdrawal.

For help covering these costs, nearly 70 percent of graduate students at Saint Leo University are granted some form of financial assistance. Students may qualify for Federal Direct loans, Perkins loans, Grad PLUS loans, or private alternative loans, but funds must be repaid with hefty interest later. Federal aid is available through the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. Certain local residents may profit from the Florida Resident Access Grant, Florida Student Assistance Grant, or Florida Bright Futures Scholarship. Military benefits can be provided through the Montgomery GI Bill. DBA students could receive corporate assistance from their employer. Saint Leo doesn't offer graduate scholarships or fellowships, but students can explore outside opportunities.

Online Degrees Available

At Saint Leo University, online learners have a breadth of 16 bachelor's degrees, 28 master's programs, 10 graduate certificates, and one doctoral degree to choose from. All online courses are identical to those offered at the traditional Florida campus, but there's an added amount of flexibility. Saint Leo has created a student-centered virtual classroom ideal for busy working adults needing to study at their own pace. Within the Donald R. Tapia School of Business, online graduate students can pursue the:

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Building on Saint Leo's rich Catholic heritage, the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program was founded in 2013 to provide current business professionals with the knowledge, skills, and attributes for achieving ethical, values-based leadership. The program strives to put graduates on the track to senior executive positions for creating vibrant, sustainable organizations. Students are also prepared for pursuing a teaching, research, or administrative career in academia at the university level. The 57-credit program encourages tomorrow's business leaders to follow Benedictine values for responsible stewardship in the 21st century.

Over the course of four to seven years, DBA students will benefit from a unique blend of online coursework and minimal campus visits. Online learning is offered in convenient eight-week sessions through Blackboard Collaborate, an acclaimed web-conferencing platform. Doctoral candidates will only need to physically attend three separate one-week seminars in Saint Leo. Coursework will delve into meaningful topics on global leadership, organizational behavior, financial management, entrepreneurship, quantitative analysis, social responsibility, human resources, and strategic planning. Aspiring professors can add in an applied management teaching practicum. Conducting and orally defending original dissertation research is required for graduation from Saint Leo University.

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