DBA Degree | PhD Business Administration & Management Programs

Why Consider a DBA Degree?

Students interested in a doctorate in business degree might consider either a DBA degree or a PhD in Business Administration & Management. Within these doctoral programs, students generally take highly specialized business courses, exams, seminars and research for dissertation work. Students might enroll in a PhD or Doctorate of business administration program to distinguish themselves from MBA graduates, prepare for potential leadership positions within a current career setting, or transition into a new venture.

DBA PhD in Business Administration Degree Information

DBA vs. PhD 

While the Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A., DBA degree) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D., PhD) in Business Administration are academically equivalent, terminal degrees, there are differences to consider between them. To choose between the DBA and the PhD program, prospective students need to consider their own goals.

What is a DBA Degree?

The DBA degree is a professional doctorate with a focus on theoretical knowledge and its applications in business practice. A Doctor of Business Administration is the highest level of degree awarded in the field of business administration.

Who Might Consider a DBA Program?

DBA programs offer students the opportunity to contribute knowledge to business theory as well as apply it to professional business practices.  As such, earning a DBA degree might appeal to working business professionals (executives) or those whose interests lie in consulting and upper-level administration and management.

FACT: In 2014, per DATA USA, there were 93,402 people in the workforce with Doctorate Business Degrees [i]  Click To TweetMasters in Graphic Design

DBA Programs: Concentration Areas

As with the Master of Business Administration, students pursuing a doctorate degree in business administration tend to choose a professional concentration to establish expertise. DBA degree concentration areas might include:

  • Management: (Doctor of Management)
  • General Business
  • Information Technology Management
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Economics
  • Finance

DBA Programs: Potential Adminision Requirements 

Admission practices for DBA programs tend to vary. Some universities might require students to already have significant experience in business leadership and strategy, and a Masters degree such as the MBA, while others might accept students with a Bachelors degree such as the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA degree). Other generalized requirements might include:

  • Resume of work experience
  • Statement of purpose
  • Transcripts
  • GMAT or GRE scores
  • Letters of recommendation

About Executive DBA Programs

Professional executive DBA programs tend to admit individuals such as senior-level executives with years (may vary by program) of experience. This type of DBA might be based on the cohort model, where all participants share their knowledge and work on group projects. While each university’s curriculum may have unique features, topics might include: 

  • Global business
  • Leadership
  • Executive decision-making
  • Emerging markets
  • Analytics and advanced research methodology

How Long Might it Take to Earn a DBA Degree?

While time to completion varies, it might take students about three to five years or more to earn a DBA degree. Factor in the course work (rigorous), the time you personally have to devote to your research, and other responsibilities. If you are not someone who is able to pursue your doctor of business administration as a full-time student on campus, you might consider other formats such as:

  • Online DBA Programs which may be completely we-based and students study remotely
  • Hybrid DBA Programs which combine campus requirements with distance-learning
  • Part-time DBA Programs which may extend time to completion

What is a PhD in Business Administration?

A PhD in business administration and management is a research degree generally designed for candidates who aspire to pursue potential careers in academia and conduct research that contributes to business knowledge or theory. This, by nature differs from the DBA degree which is considered a professional practice doctorate.

Who Might Consider a PhD in Business Administration?

Aside from being drawn to advanced level management courses, prospective PhD business administration students might;

  • Have a measured interest in the process of discovery and innovation
  • Enjoy data collection
  • Desire to work as university professors, scholar-researchers

Business Administration PhD Programs: Concentration Areas

Business Administration PhD programs might include challenging coursework, rigorous exams, in-depth data collection, research, and analysis, and detailed reporting of findings. Concentration areas for these doctoral programs might include:

  • Business systems
  • Leadership
  • General business management
  • Financial management
  • Strategy
  • Social responsibility
  • Accounting
  • Economics

Business Administration PhD Programs: Potential Admission Requirements 

Admission requirements vary between PhD in Business administration programs and universities. Some programs require students to have earned a Masters degree from an accredited university. Some programs may admit students with a Bachelors in Business earned at an accredited college. Students from other fields may have to have high GMAT/GRE scores and meet other school specific requirements. If you are thinking ahead as an undergraduate student, you may want to explore the specific requirements of the graduate business schools on your preferred list.

About Executive PhD Business Administration Programs

Executive PhD business and management programs are designed specifically for current executives and senior managers who are interested in conducting advanced research in their fields. These are programs that focus on management theories and empirical data rather than management techniques; another contrast to the Doctorate of Business Administration.

How Long Might It Take to Earn a PhD in Business Administration?

Earning a PhD in Business Administration may take about four to five years, although time to completion might vary between graduate schools and students. Typically, PhD students complete core coursework during the first two years. The remainder of the program consists of an extensive research project (dissertation). Students are wise to check each program for its requirements; they may differ by institution. Furthermore, PhD Business administration programs are generally full-time, although there may be part-time PhD business programs as well as online and hybrid formats available.

After Graduation

After graduating from DBA degree or PhD business administratio and management programs, students may be prepared to pursue a variety of potential career paths, namely;

  • College Presidents and Superintendents[ii]
  • Chief Executives[iii]
  • Director of Global Intelligence[iv]
  • Director of Enterprise Strategy[v]
  • Business Administration Professor[vi]
  • Marketing Professor[vii]
  • Leadership Development Manager[viii]

Find Accredited PhD & DBA Degree Programs

Whether you are specifically searching for a DBA degree or a PhD in Business Administration and Management, savvy doctoral students are going to look for business graduate schools that are nationally and regionally accredited. Further to that, students can check for accreditation by specialized program accrediting agencies such as the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP). Institutions with programs that are accredited by an agency such (not limited to) the ACBSP are committed to continual improvement since they must renew this status. [ix]

Take the Next Step

One of the objectives of a doctoral business administration and management program is to challenge students intellectually, immersing them in a research environment. Whether you feel cut out for a DBA degree or a PhD in Business, review accredited sponsored program listings with our easy on-page navigation. Refine your search by program type (campus, hybrid or online), or use the location setting to find graduate schools by city, state or country. Request info from prospective schools directly from the page you are on. Take the next step in your business education today.  


[i] datausa.io/profile/cip/5202/ |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm |[iii] [ii] |[iv] onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1199.08 |[v] [iv] |[vi] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-1011.00 |[vii] [vi] |[viii] onetonline.org/link/summary/13-1111.00 |[ix] acbsp.org/?page=accreditation

 

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