Doctor of Business Administration Schools
Doctor of Business Administration Schools confer the highest academic award in business management: the DBA degree. DBA degrees are designed for those who have already earned a masters degree or MBA and wish to further develop practical skills to rev up their professional life. Graduates are prepared to lead, consult and/or teach in corporate and academic environments.
Doctor of Business Administration Schools & the DBA Degree
Students in Doctor of Business Administration Schools hone their ability to lead, strategize and problem solve while they delve deeper into business and management theories and applied research. Since many participants are mid and senior managers, they might apply the new creative and innovative concepts and skills from class to a current workplace even as they strive toward a DBA degree.
What Does DBA Stand For?
DBA, which stands for Doctor of Business Administration, is an applied research doctorate in business. Through research and extensive case study analysis, participants study to sharpen their ability to make informed and ethical executive decisions in corporate culture. Things like corporate social responsibility, globalization, integration of IT, and managing change.
DBA Program Requirements
For those who choose Doctor of Business Administration Schools with campus-based DBA programs, the curriculum could come to life. This through in-class participation, response to discussion questions, and group assignments. A DBA school might also host networking events, workshops or guest lecture series so students might be able to expand professional contacts as they build skills as critical thinkers.
Students could reasonably expect to write research papers, analyze case studies, and sit for mid-term and final examinations (Comprehensive Learning Assessments). A Doctoral Final Project/ Dissertation is also common.
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Doctorate in Business Administration?
In some universities, courses for a 60-credit DBA program may be delivered in three years but students might take 6 years or longer if they choose a part-time option. That stated, credit weight and program length do vary and are set by individual Doctor of Business Administration Schools.
DBA Degree Curricula
A course list is a window into the emphasis of any given Doctorate in Business Administration program, and savvy students may want to do some sleuthing and actually read course descriptions. Usually the meat of a DBA is visible in its ‘core’ requirements. These may include applied research, statistical methods and managerial practices for business operations.
To orient their studies further, some DBA schools offer a choice of electives or area of emphasis.
- Teaching in Higher Education
- Business Consulting
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship
For example, an executive who wanted to pursue a second career as a postsecondary business administration might want to choose the education emphasis. i Through the extra focus, participants might get a handle on how to manage college classrooms, plan and design curricula, assess and measure student progress.
Refine Expertise Through a Concentration
While initially many curricula appear very broad, students may work towards a concentration that lines up with their own professional goals and serves to anchor research projects. Some of the potential areas of emphasis could include the following.
- International Business
Inside a DBA Degree Program
Below is a sample 3-year DBA degree program with suggested topics. It should serve as a simple guide, to pique interest, but a more thorough review of individual schools is suggested.
Year One: Decision-Making
- Financial Statement Analysis
- Global Economics
- Marketing Strategy, Forecasting & Consumer Behavior
- Business Intelligence & Information Systems
- Management Strategy for Performance
- Management of Change
Year Two: Leadership and Competitive Advantage
- Global Business Initiatives
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- Statistics for Business
- Strategic Planning & Implementation
- Creative Solutions Leadership
- Management of Technological Innovation
Year Three: Data Analysis
- Quantitative & Qualitative Analysis
- Transformational Change
- Organizational Development
- Dissertation Courses (E.g. writing, presentation, literature review, research proposal)
Five Potential Take-Aways From a DBA Program
Below are five potential take-away skills that some students might achieve through their efforts. i
- Develop effective ways to communicate and present business analyses, research and reports
- Figure out how a system should work and how changes could affect new outcomes
- Fire up critical thinking skills to find alternatives and logical ways to approach problems
- Identify complex problems, develop and evaluate options and adopt solutions
- Evaluate how a system could be improved to enable an organization to meet goals
What Is a Doctor of Management?
Similar to the DBA, the Doctor of Management (DM) degree is a terminal degree that narrows in on study and research in the applied science and practice of professional management. Most DM programs aim to ready managers to navigate the complexity of corporate culture with sharper leadership and decision skills.
Management Focused Courses
No two schools have exactly the same course lists. See below for some generalized topics, then refer to individual programs to review syllabi.
- Systems and Design Thinking
- Leadership and Follower-ship
- Project Leadership
- Applications of Crowd Sourcing & Cloud Computing
Applied Projects and Consulting
A DM’s focus on professional leadership may be bolstered through a curriculum that melds theories, models and practices of strategic leadership with applied projects and consulting courses. This may challenge today’s manager to think outside the box about complex issues. Or, explore new ways to manage projects and personnel for transnational corporate culture.
Independent Study and Research
Doctor of Management students generally cap their program with a dissertation or thesis that aims to problem solve in their field of interest. To do this, they might extensively scan literature, interview experts or engage in development activities to refute or defend norms.
The DBA PHD Difference
Is there a difference between the DBA and PhD? in short, a PhD is a terminal research degree in business administration or business management which makes it the academic equal to the DBA. That said, somewhat like twins who are not identical, the PhD in business and management differs from the DBA in several ways.
DBAs may have somewhat more variety – a practical course list with the executive in mind. Most DBA programs offer experienced students the opportunity to build on masters level competencies, skills and knowledge. Graduates may be prepared to approach a current professional role with sharpened insights, seek to climb up the corporate ladder with their earned credential, or pursue a career in postsecondary education. ii
PhD programs in business often include extensive coursework, challenging exams, in-depth data collection, research, and analysis, and detailed reporting. The objective of a PhD in Business program is to challenge intellectual limits, and fully immerse the student in a research environment where they could refine expertise in one of the functional areas such as management, marketing, etc.
With this in mind, prospective PhD business students should take a close look at the research faculty within the universities on their list. When the research expertise of faculty lines up with a student’s own research goals, it could be conducive to collaboration and productive dissertation results.
While the DBA tends to be practice oriented, the PhD is frequently designed to harness curiosity and for those who want to contribute new knowledge and fresh ideas to business management and academia. As thought leaders, successful students might influence the way people think and how businesses are managed.
DID YOU KNOW?
Per the BLS, employment of postsecondary business teachers is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2016 to 2026.iii
Application Information – DBA, PhD, DM
To apply to a Doctor of Business Administration school, applicants typically need to have earned a graduate degree (MBA or Masters) with a minimum GPA such as 3.0 from an accredited institution.
Universities with Doctor of Management programs may have similar requirements. Applicants to some PhD in Business Management may need GRE/GMAT scores and a minimum of a Bachelors degree but may not necessarily need to have earned a graduate degree.
For Executive DBA programs, the amount of prior work experience may be higher, but as a generality, grad schools may look for a range of between three to five years of full-time managerial or professional experience. This is generally documented by a recently updated resume, CV, or an online professional profile.
Some DBA schools also ask students to furnish letters of reference, proof of English proficiency as required, personal statement and all transcripts. It is not uncommon for a university to interview candidates, or to set other prerequisites such as required coursework. Ultimately, admission protocol and standards are set by a university, so make sure to set some time aside for due diligence.
Why Choose a Grad School with a Campus-Based DBA Program?
Those who appreciate the ability to manage their time around a pre-set schedule might want to choose a university with an on-campus program. Today’s universities want to encourage at-work students to continue their education, so they may even have classes on weekends and evenings. Executive DBA programs are often part-time which could also be a boon to busy adults. Either way, on-campus doesn’t mean one necessarily has to be ‘on the campus’ every day. It really speaks to an in-person learning format where one might enhance team-building skills through group projects and get to know research mentor(s) through meetings and hands-on seminars.
Whether one chooses a university that is walkable from work or a commute away, these are frequently cohort-based programs. This in itself might engender lively and informative discussions with other adult professionals and executives. One might even expand professional networks which could be a link to other opportunities.
Review and Apply to DBA Schools
Looking for Doctor of Business Administration Schools nearby? Search our directory for DBA programs in a preferred city, state or country. Find a DBA school to apply to? Use the on-page form provided to get started. It is both free and easy.
[i] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-1011.00 |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-4 | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-6
- Savannah, GASavannah, GA
- Irvine, CAIrvine, CA
The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is designed for candidates who, having already completed a Masters program, are looking to further develop their practical and theoretical knowledge of the principles that govern global business.
- Orlando, FLOrlando, FL
University of Orlando
This program is designed to meet the needs of a broad population of working adult learners who need graduate business education skills. The skills acquired in the course work are applicable to the problems of the public sector as well as the private. In...
- Exmouth, United KingdomExmouth, United Kingdom
This is a research-based doctoral degree that will expose participants to an intellectually rigorous programme of study.
- Cheyenne, WYCheyenne, WY
Warren National University
The graduate program offers exposure to those mid-career professionals with a firm grasp of business fundamentals, who wish to advance themselves in their current work, transition to a new challenge, or simply increase their knowledge in the area of bus...
- Grenoble, FranceGrenoble, France
Grenoble Graduate School of Business
This doctoral program is designed for managers, consultants and business education trainers who wish to gain an internationally respected qualificatio...
- Hampton, VAHampton, VA
Two programs that lead to the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and one online program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) are offered through the Department of Business Administration in the School of Business and the Graduate Colleg...
Hankuk Aviation University
This graduate school was established in 1998 to develop a new concept of executive MBAs. It consists of 2 Departments, Business Administration and Aviation Management. It also offers master courses and research courses.
- Kyoto, JapanKyoto, Japan
- Fukuoka, JapanFukuoka, Japan
- Des Moines, IADes Moines, IA
- York, United KingdomYork, United Kingdom
University of York (UK)
The mission of the Department of Management Studies is to provide high-technology and knowledge-based organisations with developed programs and research on leading edge issues affecting their long term profitability and growth.
- Montreal, QCMontreal, QC
The Faculty of Management also offers a Ph.D.
- University, MSUniversity, MS
University of Mississippi
- San Diego, CASan Diego, CA
Alliant International University
Alliant's DBA program offers an interdisciplinary perspective that prepares you to exel in advanced positions of management.
- New Orleans, LANew Orleans, LA
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
Golden Gate University
- Salt Lake City, UTSalt Lake City, UT
University of Utah
- Kelowna, BCKelowna, BC
University of British Columbia
The Master's of Management offered at UBC's Okanagan campus is a one year, full time professional development program ideally suited for individuals with a Bachelor's degree in non-business disciplines such as arts, sciences, and engineering. The Int...
- Charleston, WVCharleston, WV
University of Charleston