Most students pursuing graduate work in business embark on their careers after completing the MBA. For some, however, a doctoral program beyond the master’s degree is necessary or desirable to meet career goals or to advance in executive leadership within a corporate structure.
If you’re one of those students, you may be interested in a Doctor of Business Administration degree – the highest available post-graduate degree for professionals who already hold an MBA with some managerial experience. These programs last between three and five years, and focus on applied research and real-world applications. Some DBA programs focus on preparing students to teach in business schools, while others are focused on executive leadership.
The DBA can lead to a variety of careers, including:
The degree prepares graduates for work in these fields through coursework in management topics and related research. And, according to Payscale, graduates of doctoral programs in business can expect salaries of $90,000 and up. Perhaps you’re interested in online education? Take a look at our rankings of online business administration programs.
DBA or PhD? What’s the difference?
Because many business schools offer a PhD in business or management as well as a DBA, you may be wondering what the difference is between the two degrees and which is right for you. A PhD is a research degree for candidates who would like to pursue a career in academia and conduct research that contributes to business knowledge or theory. A DBA is a professional doctorate with a focus on theoretical knowledge and its use in business practice. While a PhD candidate is focused on making a contribution to scholarship, a DBA candidate is focused on making a contribution to the practice of management and a difference in the industry. The DBA is a professional doctorate that can be used to indicate a practitioner’s level of expertise in their chosen fields.
There’s a difference in funding as well. Most PhD programs offer funding through fellowships and graduate assistantships to their students. DBA programs, on the other hand, do not. The considerable cost of the degree is usually paid by employers or by the students themselves. So before embarking on this path, you’ll need to take your financial options into consideration.
What are the best Doctor of Business Administration degrees?
We’ve ranked the top 20 DBA programs that can help you become a leading candidate for a new executive position – or to move up within your current organization. Our rankings take into account factors including reputation, graduation rates, selectivity, and faculty resources. Some, but not all, are targeted towards management professionals already working in the field and require significant previous work experience for admission. Check those requirements carefully so you can find the program that best fits your needs.
College Choice Score: 100
Tuition per credit hour: $1,301
Our top-ranked program is at Harvard’s renowned business school, where doctoral students are challenged to ponder the most critical issues in business management. Business scholars at Harvard Business School investigate a wide range of topics and study questions that relate to a broad range of topics in management, markets, finance, and organizations. Harvard’s DBA students benefit from resources that are unmatched by any other school, including access to first-class research facilities, a generous fellowship and living stipend, and additional financial support for research and conference attendance. If you’re an outstanding student with an intense desire to learn, the curiosity to ask and pursue questions using rigorous research methods, and the motivation and drive to work independently as a scholar, this highly competitive program may be right for you.
Harvard’s doctoral programs in business are designed to train students to become the next generation of faculty at the world’s leading business schools and institutions of higher learning. There are 8 doctoral programs to choose from within the DBA, each with its own policies and procedures. Check your field of interest for more details. Available tracks include:
- Accounting and management
- Business economics
- Health policy management
- Organizational behavior
- Technology and operations management
Regardless of which track you choose, you’ll study business in motion, and your studies in this dynamic program will not be limited by traditional academic boundaries. You’ll gain the knowledge and research skills leading to mastery of a field of study, and you’ll learn through experience to design and execute a major piece of original scholarly work.
A noteworthy shared feature of each program is its focus on research. Harvard Business School invests more than $100 million in research annually—more than any other school. These funds give researchers at the School the freedom, flexibility, and independence to pursue groundbreaking research, wherever it may lead. The School’s global connections and reputation give doctoral students access to industry, academia, government, and other organizations and institutions worldwide. A far-reaching network of regional resource centers is a vital element in the creation of the School’s intellectual capital. Closer to home, the doctoral community often convenes at the Wyss House for study groups and monthly social gatherings where students can exchange ideas and build lifelong friendships. Harvard University is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and the business school is accredited by AACSB.
Washington University in St. Louis
College Choice Score: 85.7
Tuition per credit hour: $1,676
The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Finance program at Washington University in St. Louis prepares you to do applied research in a number of business disciplines, and to pursue an advanced career in corporations, banks, government agencies, and research-oriented consulting positions. At the Olin School of Business, you’ll find a collaborative atmosphere centered on industry-relevant applied research. This advanced graduate program crosses traditional boundaries and provides you the opportunity, under the guidance of Washington University faculty, for structured course work along with focused, independent scholarly reading and research on important issues relating to business. The Olin DBA is a 72-credit-hour doctoral degree designed for individuals with a serious interest in research who wish to pursue graduate study either on a part-time or full-time basis.
The Olin DBA is a practitioner’s doctoral degree designed to meet the needs of the researching professional, rather than the professional researcher. While a PhD is intended for those who wish to pursue research careers in academia, the DBA is extended graduate study beyond a master’s degree for students who hope to pursue or continue their careers in corporations, consulting firms, or government agencies that can benefit from advanced research skills in analyzing business problems. The research skills developed in the DBA program have more immediate real-world applicability than typical research pursued in the PhD program. And, unlike the PhD program, the DBA program is aimed at those who are working in industry and may continue to work during their enrollment in the DBA program.
In today’s unpredictable business environment, the ability to conduct and interpret applied research is crucial for corporations to address problems and spur growth. While the DBA program is designed to be an extension of prior master’s level work in a relevant field, an earned master’s degree is not a prerequisite for admission to this DBA program. Candidates for admission must demonstrate a strong academic record, documented by academic transcripts, high GMAT/GRE scores and recommendations. The DBA program at Washington University in St. Louis is accredited by AACSB, and the University itself is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
College Choice Score: 81.6
Tuition per credit hour: $2,222
Creighton University’s Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program is a research-based terminal doctorate in business administration designed primarily for students seeking a full-time tenure-track faculty position at an accredited teaching college or university. Those seeking an analytical, research approach to business, as well as those interested in consulting, may also find that this program is right for them. Creighton’s DBA trains you to conduct and publish applied business research. Upon graduation, you will have defended and submitted for publication at least 3 applied scholarly articles co-authored with research-active faculty at Creighton or other Jesuit institutions. This will help you not only qualify for tenure track academic positions but also make progress towards tenure.
As a Jesuit, Catholic university, Creighton offers you the opportunity to integrate Ignatian reflection and formation into your business education. You’ll learn about innovative teaching methods to prepare you for a future in a college or university classroom. The program offers the benefits of a broad array of accomplished faculty research and teaching mentors, not only in Creighton’s AACSB-accredited Heider College of Business, but also across the network of AACSB-accredited Jesuit institutions. Creighton University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
University of Scranton
College Choice Score: 69.4
Tuition per credit hour: $1,888
The University of Scranton’s DBA program offers a research-focused degree designed to give experienced professionals the advanced skills and credentials required to teach in business programs. This program offers a concentration in accounting and is delivered in a format that allows you to keep your current full-time accounting job while you study. It was created in direct response to specific calls made by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the American Accounting Association to mitigate the accounting faculty shortage crisis and to advance the practical relevance of doctoral education.
The flexible and rigorous research-based curriculum is designed to provide experienced professionals with the skills and credentials required to secure and succeed in full-time, tenure-track faculty positions at accredited institutions. It consists of on-campus residencies delivered over 2-4 weekends per semester that enable a student to maintain his/her current position, with other coursework completed online or at home. This program is also distinguishes by its small program cohort size of 10 or less that includes one area of concentration (accounting), ensuring that individual attention and mentoring can be given to each student’s professional development and research interests.
As a Jesuit university, the University of Scranton is dedicated to developing the whole person and giving graduates the foundation they need to succeed in their personal, public and professional lives. The program is grounded in the ethical foundation of the university’s Ignatian identity. Students will be prepared to to make ethical and wise contributions to both academia and business and, in the words of St. Ignatius, they will be positioned to “set the world on fire.” The DBA Program is housed in the AACSB accredited Kania School of Management, and the University of Scranton is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
University of Florida
College Choice Score: 63.3
Tuition per credit hour: $1,720
The DBA program at the University of Florida is designed to integrate the theory and practice of business with the context of current issues that the business world faces. As a professional doctorate, the Florida DBA emphasizes the application of theory to practice in addressing real-world business issues. Not only will you advance your knowledge in the business arena, you’ll also develop scholarly proficiency in applied research by improving your methodological and analytical skills. Executives with exceptional analytical skills are in demand now more than ever, and the Hough Graduate School of Business at UF can prepare you to guide your business with strategies based on dependable research principles.
The degree requires 60 credit hours and takes approximately three years to complete. As a professional, non-resident program, it requires limited visits to campus giving students maximum flexibility to complete their studies without having to sacrifice time away from family and their careers. Over the course of the three-year program, participants will need to make only one or two trips to campus per term. Students who complete the program will be equipped for high-level positions in a number of sectors. You may seek a faculty position at a research university. You may choose a career in consulting, where you can share your sound and innovative understanding of business theory and practice with companies on your own terms, working flexibly at your own pace. Or, you may choose to take the knowledge you’ve gained and apply that expertise to benefit your own company or organization.
The DBA program is open to a small, select group of experienced executives in senior leadership positions who hold a master’s degree from an accredited U.S. university or its international equivalent, and who are committed to pursuing a formal, rigorous program as practitioner-scholars. A minimum of 10 years experience in a managerial capacity is preferred. The University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the business programs are accredited by AACSB.
College Choice Score: 52.1
Tuition per credit hour: $1,255
Located in Bloomington, Indiana University offers a doctorate in business with a flexible and adaptable curriculum. Students are encouraged to follow their own needs and interests as they shape their program. 10 areas of study are available from which to choose a major, each with its own specific rules and protocols. Minors are available in each of these fields, as well as in International Business. Students can also minor in fields outside the Kelley School of Business and experience the outstanding resources available in the larger Indiana University community. Popular outside minors include mathematics, psychology, sociology, political science, or one of the excellent cultural and language programs. Generally, though, all Kelley doctoral students do follow the same basic academic path, which is designed to give them the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes described in the Doctoral Program Learning Goals.
Most students complete the doctorate in four to five years, depending on the strength of their backgrounds and, especially, depending on how quickly they are able to complete the dissertation. Available majors in the doctoral program include the following:
- Business Economics & Public Policy
- Management and Entrepreneurship
- Organizational Behavior & Human Resource Management
- Strategic Management & Organization Theory
- Operations & Decision Technologies
- Decision Sciences
- Information Systems
- Operations Management
In total, 18 credit hours are required in the major field, 9-12 credit hours in the minor, and 10.5 credit hours in teaching development and research methods. For specific information about each major’s qualifying exams, dissertation defense, and more, please consult the website for each area of study.
Each year, the program admits 10 to 14 new students, with a total of around 60 doctoral students in their first four years of the program. Indiana University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The business school is accredited by AACSB.
College Choice Score: 50
Tuition per credit hour: $1,192
The Executive Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) at Philadelphia’s Drexel University is a part-time executive doctoral program designed to equip executives and senior managers with methods to address complex industry and organizational challenges. The program builds on Drexel’s 120-year history of experiential learning to provide a broad theoretical perspective of current business issues as well as a strong foundation in applied research and analysis to enrich critical knowledge, skills and abilities in your chosen field. Through an integrative framework of empirical exploration and evidence-based decision making, executives develop successful data driven strategies and solutions that can be applied to their respective organizations.
The program is designed to be completed in as little as 2.5 years (10 consecutive quarters), compared to a typical 6 semester program in 3 years. The flexibility of on-campus residencies and online virtual modules means that you can keep your full-time position while completing coursework. At the same time, you’ll also be guided and mentored throughout the program. Each student is assigned a dissertation chair, who will guide the student through the dissertation process starting in year one.
This program is suited for professionals with 10+ years of industry and/or leadership experience who already hold a master’s degree in a related field of study. You’ll be part of a group of 12 to 18 doctoral students on a guided pathway of coursework that gives candidates an extra level of support, as well as the opportunity to learn from other top professionals in various industries. Drexel’s LeBow College of Business is among the elite 20 percent of business schools to be accredited by AACSB. The university as a whole is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
University of Dallas
College Choice Score: 49
Tuition per credit hour: $1,895
The Doctor of Business Administration program at the University of Dallas is a research-based program that prepares experienced business professionals to expand their breadth of knowledge and abilities in leadership, innovation and customer engagement. This 61-credit-hour program has been designed to equip students to apply evidence-based solutions to the challenges presented by the dynamic complexity of the contemporary global economy. The University of Dallas DBA is a doctoral program for experienced managers and academics who want to further enhance their business knowledge beyond an MBA or graduate degree, and to bring a rigorous approach to solving existing managerial and organizational problems.
- Transition into an academic position in either a full or part-time role
- Advance in their current careers through the development of evidence-based tools for improving organizational effectiveness
- Develop advanced skills in organizational analysis in a variety of management consulting roles
The 61 credit hour program can be completed in three years, and is designed to accommodate working business professionals. You’ll collaborate with a cohort of senior-level business executives in both blended classroom and online learning environments. Throughout the program, you’ll have the opportunity to focus on finding solutions to the challenges of the modern workplace, under the close guidance of scholar-practitioners.
Thanks to a recent partnership with Prospanica, the Association of Hispanic Professionals, all Prospanica members will be eligible for special tuition benefits when they enroll at the University of Dallas. Benefits can be applied to undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs in the Gupta College of Business’ Center for Executive Education. The University of Dallas offers the first and only AACSB-accredited DBA program in Texas, assuring you of the highest standards in business education. The University of Dallas is also regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
St. Ambrose University
College Choice Score: 46.9
Tuition per credit hour: $1,043
Located in Davenport, Iowa, St. Ambrose University offers a Doctor of Business Administration program designed to arm you with the skills and credentials necessary to move ahead in your career or to pursue a college-level academic career or consulting opportunities. The program offers courses in the evening to allow you to pursue your degree while working full-time. Depending on the pace at which you complete your Doctor of Business Administration courses, exams and dissertation, you can expect to finish in three to five years. Upon completion of this rewarding and challenging DBA degree program, not only will you be able to contribute to your own organization at a higher level, but also to the management profession.
The 48 credit hour program consists of 11 courses, written and oral comprehensive exams, and a dissertation. Coursework includes the following areas:
- Research methods: provides students the tools to design research studies and analyze data
- Seminars in four major areas: covers organizational behavior, human resources, strategic management, and organization theory
- Case research course: focuses on helping students analyze organizational cases and developing abilities to research and write case studies
- Topics courses: An in-depth study of a particular area in the fields of organizational behavior, human resources, strategic management, and organizational theory
Written and oral comprehensives examine the student’s mastery of the management literature. Then, under the guidance of a dissertation chair, you’ll undertake and conduct a dissertation that represents an original contribution to the field of management.
College Choice Score: 45.3
Tuition per credit hour: $2,300
The Fox Executive DBA program at Philadelphia’s Temple University is designed to hone your decision-making abilities as you gain new perspectives on everyday business challenges. This is a part-time, three-year program designed to equip senior managers and executives with the knowledge and skills they need to transform today’s business environment. Through the tools of applied theory and research, the Fox Executive DBA prepares you to approach problems as an evidence-based manager—and as a thought leader in your field. The result will benefit both your personal development and the development of your company. You’ll develop your research curiosity, teaching you new tools for understanding organizational systems and preparing you to address the unique challenges and opportunities of today’s business environment. Your company will gain new perspectives and problem-solving methods, enhanced managerial decision-making, and rigorous testing of assumptions, comparative solutions, and successful assessments of corporate initiatives.
Throughout this program that combines face-to-face weekend residencies and online coursework, you’ll engage in academically rigorous and practice-focused business research. You’ll learn how to conceptualize and investigate complex business problems, as you develop a program of research tailored to your background and career goals. You’ll also receive personalized mentorship from Executive DBA faculty as you progress through your coursework and develop your research interests. As the program concludes, you’ll contribute to your industry’s body of knowledge through a dissertation that addresses practical problems in your field.
College Choice Score: 44.9
Tuition per credit hour: $580
Anderson University’s Doctor of Business Administration Program’s purpose is to provide a program of rigor and quality that serves the needs of faculty and potential faculty in institutions of higher education. Special emphasis in the program is placed on teaching effectiveness, and an active approach to the integration of Christian faith into the business classroom is encouraged. The program is designed in a format that offers a rigorous, realistic alternative for individuals who are working full-time in higher education or in industry but who desire a doctoral program in an academic discipline in the business curriculum.
- Provide a strong theoretical understanding of business disciplines
- Improve undergraduate student learning by increasing the pedagogical abilities of doctoral students
- Develop an increased appreciation of scholarly research and writing within individual doctoral students
- Increase participation of Christian business scholars in higher education
Students accepted into the program begin the program on April 1st. The first residency on the Anderson University campus occurs the last two weeks of May each year. They return for a week in August and then a final week each year in January. All students are required to be in residency for four weeks a year during the first three years of coursework. All other work is completed while at home while working or teaching. This makes it possible for students complete their degree in as few as four years, all while maintaining full-time employment. Generally, students in this program are already serving as instructors in college business schools.
DBA graduates from Anderson University have had their dissertation research accepted for publication in books, papers, and conference proceedings. They find that the degree has opened the doors for consulting, administrative duties, faculty promotion, and continued scholarship. Anderson University’s Doctor of Business Administration Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). As a whole, the university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Sacred Heart University
College Choice Score: 42.9
Tuition per credit hour: $1,212
The DBA program at Sacred Heart University allows students to continue to explore their passions, advance their career opportunities, and enhance their decision-making, leadership and management skills. You’ll participate in in-depth coursework that covers extensive quantitative methods and mathematical modeling, global financial markets and institutions, and advanced risk management. Then, you’ll develop a specialized, original dissertation research project that matches your interests and career aspirations. The cohort style of the program enables you to engage in group research projects, gain direct access to library and laboratory resources, and establish networking opportunities with faculty and fellow students.
This three-year program uses a unique student cohort model, hands-on learning laboratories and blended meeting formats to encourage collaboration and networking. It’s designed to accommodate full-time students as well as working adults. Through the knowledge and skills you gain in the DBA degree program at Sacred Heart University, you’ll meet the following professional goals:
- Prepare for a highly specialized career in a business or financial institution, consulting firm, government agency or academia
- Acquire advanced knowledge in finance and gain research skills for conducting independent, complex financial projects
- Develop new knowledge through original research
- Gain global perspective on issues related to financial markets and institutions
- Comprehend and appreciate the importance of high ethical standards and values for finance professionals
- Gain an attractive qualification that combines research and application
The efficiency of the business world relies on innovative professionals, and leaders with a DBA can be part of moving their respective industries into the future.
Graduates of this program stand out in a competitive market and have achieved leadership positions in:
- Academic institutions
- Financial management
- Quantitative analysis
- Risk management
- Regulatory compliance
The program is part of Sacred Heart University’s Jack Welch College of Business, one of the minority of business schools to hold the prestigious AACSB accreditation. Sacred Heart University is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
University of Wisconsin at Whitewater
College Choice Score: 41.2
Tuition per credit hour: $1,400
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is home to another one of the handful of AACSB accredited DBA programs in the United States. This program is designed as a professional doctorate that enables students to develop in-depth expertise in a specific business area, given the reality that master’s degrees often do not provide students with the level of skill development needed to tackle today’s complex and rapidly changing global business environment. In this program, you’ll be prepared to contribute to organizational knowledge and effectiveness through required coursework and interaction with academics and practitioners at the leading edge of their fields. You will also complete a dissertation that represents an original contribution to business practice. Students earning the DBA degree will extend their career horizons by preparing themselves for expanded roles within their organization or another firm, a consulting career, and/or a faculty position at a university or college.
The Wisconsin-Whitewater DBA is a 60 credit program offered using a cohort model where students attend classes one weekend each month for two years, followed by a year of dissertation work. On-campus weekend classes run from Friday afternoons to Sunday afternoons. During the week, students use an online learning platform in between class meetings to participate in a discussion with faculty, submit assignments, and engage in other learning activities. Prospective students attend a one-day research interest workshop at UW-Whitewater, and the next workshop will take place on Saturday, February 24, 2018. This is an important opportunity for you to meet other prospective students, learn more about the opportunity and challenges of doctoral level research, and begin preparation for your doctoral program. Faculty members will discuss the various aspects of doctoral research and you will be provided with textbooks and other review materials.
The admissions process for this program is complex, so check the requirements carefully as you apply. In order to begin the process, you should have the equivalent of a master’s degree in a business discipline. The following qualifications are preferred for admission:
- A minimum of six years of significant professional and/or senior level management experience with high levels of responsibility and expertise in the concentration area you choose
- Evidence of active contributions to your field of expertise beyond your academic work through making presentations or preparing written contributions and leading major projects
- A track record of other significant professional achievements and personal and professional development.
The DBA program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is accredited by AACSB, and the university as a whole is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
College Choice Score: 40.8
Tuition per credit hour: $810
If you’re an executive leader looking for an educational challenge that affords you tremendous personal and professional growth, you may want to consider the Doctor of Business Administration degree from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Saint Mary’s rich learning environment encourages collaboration and in-depth conversations with your peers, and you’ll have the opportunity to explore your passions through research and reflection alongside highly regarded scholar-practitioners. Regardless of your background—business, government, nonprofit, military, higher education, or something else—you’ll find value in the breadth of perspectives represented and the skills that you build that can be immediately applied to your workplace. When you graduate with a doctorate from Saint Mary’s, you’ll feel well-prepared to advance in your field and use your expertise to positively impact organizational goals.
All Saint Mary’s doctoral candidates in Business Administration are required to enter with a master’s degree, and they are encouraged to research their interests as they align with one of two specialization tracks: Management and Strategy or Business Economics and Finance. Each specialization track offers unique courses and degree requirements, but the structure of the 54 credit program remains the same:
- Cluster I: The Global Business Environment – 9 credits
- Cluster II: Research Skills – 9 credits
- Cluster III: The Internal Environment of Business – 9 credits
- Cluster IV: Specialization Courses – 12 credits
- Summative Activity, including 12 dissertation credits – 15 credits
Strategy and management majors will study topics including organizational change, leadership, power, motivation and performance, conflict and negotiation, and organization culture. Economics and finance majors, on the other hand, focus on the decisions made by consumers, organizations, and governments including unemployment, inflation, savings, investment, exchange rates, and the role of governments in markets. You’ll also study finance topics like capital budgeting, management of assets and liabilities, the role of financial markets, and the institutions of the global financial system.
Upon completion of this program, graduates of the Doctorate of Business Administration program will be able to perform the following business leadership functions:
- Analyze complex issues in a global, diverse business context
- Conduct relevant research for business applications
- Create innovative and adaptive solutions to complex business problems
- Provide adaptive leadership for continual organizational sustainability and growth
- Serve through ethical practices and social responsibility
- Communicate effectively in a variety of modes appropriate to the setting
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
University of South Florida
College Choice Score: 36.7
Tuition per credit hour: $1,250
The Doctor of Business Administration program offered by the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business gives graduates the skills needed to conduct rigorous research and apply their findings to real-world decision-making in industry and government. The program helps students to grow intellectually, as they work closely with faculty in seminars, research projects, and other assignments that develop their research skills and ability to communicate their findings to a broad audience of both practitioners and researchers. It also offers them the opportunity to develop a portfolio of skills that, when combined with the extensive experience that students bring into the program, uniquely qualifies them to serve in clinical faculty positions.
The curriculum is designed to build upon the breadth of business understanding that students have previously achieved as successful executives. This is achieved by offering substantive coverage of a broad variety of qualitative and quantitative research techniques and by allowing students the flexibility to focus more deeply on personal areas of interest during their dissertation. The degree consists of multi-disciplinary course offerings that include both research methods and areas of strategic focus for the USF Muma College of Business. Publication courses give students structured opportunities to publish different types of research, and topics for “issues courses” later in the program are selected by students from a list of course proposals. Students may propose issues courses and even design and co-teach them under faculty direction. The dissertation requirements are rigorous but also flexible, and may be fulfilled with a traditional thesis, book, major research project, or with a portfolio of research-driven activities.
Florida Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 33.7
Tuition per credit hour: $1,288
The DBA program at Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) is a professional degree that prepares students with the advanced knowledge necessary to manage complex corporate environments. It provides expert education for professionals with at least five years of managerial experience who are interested in becoming leaders in business, government, education, healthcare, and non-profit industries. Students in the DBA program apply theory, advanced research skills, and an understanding of the challenges facing the public and private business sectors to develop their skills. With a focus on strategic planning, organizational behavior, human resource management, financial management, innovation and entrepreneurship, quantitative research, and more the DBA will help you reach your career goals. The program is offered in Huntsville, Alabama through the FIT Huntsville location, the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center in California, Maryland and on the university’s main campus in Melbourne, Florida.
Through the application of theory, use of advanced research skills and an understanding of the complex challenges that exist in the public and private business sector, students will develop important skills in strategic planning, organizational behavior, human resources management, financial management, innovation and entrepreneurship, quantitative research and more. Included in the curriculum is a three-year cohort program that meets each semester for collaborative learning. In the final year, students complete an intensive research project. Hands-on experience plays an important role in an education at Florida Tech, and cohort programs provide unparalleled learning experiences from professors working in the field. The DBA program culminates in the formation of a dissertation. Once core business classes are completed, students have the chance to enhance their body of knowledge on any business relevant subject that most interests them and aligns with their career goals.
Graduates of the program have found employment with corporations and government agencies including AuthenTec, Modus Operandi, Symantec, Siemens Energy, NASA, Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Scottrade. Common career paths for graduates include senior managerial consultants, chief executive officers, operations managers and business training professionals. Florida Tech is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
College Choice Score: 31.6
Tuition per credit hour: $1,014
The John L. Grove College of Business at Shippensburg University has recently begun offering the DBA, making the program the only AACSB-accredited DBA at a public university in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia. Whether you’re seeking advancement in your current position, preparing to launch a consulting career, or transitioning to a career in higher education, the Shippensburg DBA gives you the opportunity to transform your professional potential. Committed to attracting candidates from diverse business backgrounds, the Shippensburg program DBA welcomes executives, career military, mid-level managers, masters-prepared instructors, international students, and recent MBA graduates.
Unlike a traditional 4 to 6 year full-time residential PhD program, the DBA is designed to meet the needs of a wide range of doctoral students. Classes meet on weekends to accommodate the busy schedules of full-time mid-level managers, senior executives, career military, and international students. During the first year of the program, students take a deep dive into the scientific and statistical methods upon which all quality research is constructed. In addition to a series of research courses, students take a series of transition courses to aid in their development as scholars. In “From Practice to Science,” students begin to make the transition from practice to theory and develop an appreciation of the possibilities of business scholarship. The second year of the program begins with the “Research Colloquium” course, in which students develop a specific research question to drive their continuing studies. Also during their second year, students participate in a series of seminars where they can grow as scholars and pursue their own more narrow academic interests. During the third and final year of the program, each student works closely with a faculty mentor to complete high quality original research. Shippensburg DBA graduates demonstrate their mastery of a content area and their ability to produce rigorous research which makes a contribution to their discipline.
The Shippensburg DBA also recognizes the importance of out-of-class experiences in a professional education program. The weekend residential format gives students the opportunity to form lasting relationships with fellow students and faculty members, and helps them make the transition from student to collaborator with their faculty mentors. The Grove College of Business also sponsors a “FlagSHIP” visitor series that gives students the opportunity to interact with national, regional, and local business leaders as well as academics. Shippensburg University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the DBA program is accredited by AACSB.
Saint Leo University
College Choice Score: 28.9
Tuition per credit hour: $900
Designed with the needs of highly mobile professionals in mind, the Doctor of Business Administration degree program at Saint Leo University offers a unique blend of online and classroom learning designed to fit your busy life. In total, the coursework and dissertation will generally take three to four years to complete, depending upon the student, though students are permitted to take a maximum of seven years.
- Strong research skills and the ability to use critical thinking
- Ability to identify and synthesize global implications of research
- Ability to think critically about interrelated activities that occur in functional areas of accounting, economics, finance, marketing, project management, and statistics
- Preparation for teaching careers
- Excellence in consulting practices
- An original and intellectual contribution to the field of management and/or business
- Integration of Saint Leo’s core values into the dissertation process
- A commitment to the idea that the business world and in life, values matter.
In your courses, you’ll study the significance of values and ethics as they relate to global leadership, human behavior in organizations, business innovation and entrepreneurship, analytics for decision making, human resources in multinational organizations, and strategic management.
As a business school located at a Catholic university, the Donald R. Tapia School of Business provides students with a values-centered education that develops tomorrow’s business leaders with exceptional skills as well as the ability to take ethical and effective action. In all its programs, it emphasizes the core Benedictine values of community, respect for all, and responsible stewardship, along with the values of excellence, personal development, and integrity. Saint Leo University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the business school is accredited by IACBE.
College Choice Score: 28.6
Tuition per credit hour: $1,428
The Davis Doctor of Business Administration program at Florida’s Jacksonville University is an applied program where candidates practice using analytical tools to solve a variety of business problems and challenges. This program is ideal for executives, aspiring consultants, policy makers, or “clinical” or applied faculty who hope to teach in schools of business internationally. Based on the three pillars of Leadership, Globalization, and Business Analytics, the doctoral program for executives at JU is designed to take business intelligence to a new level.
The 63 credit hour Davis DBA can be earned in a minimum of 3 years—two years in classes and the final year working directly with their dissertation advisor. Davis DBA classes meet once a month all day Friday and Saturday. The learning environment is a combination of both onsite classwork and engaging individual work that can be accomplished through online exchanges and collaboration with faculty and colleagues. Depending on the focus of each student’s research interests, the program offers more than 18 hours of graduate credits to qualify the graduates to teach if they so desire.
Classes are held monthly and are combined with engaging individual work that can be accomplished through online exchanges and collaboration with faculty and colleagues. Cohorts begin each Fall semester with a limited number of students starting in the Summer semester. Applications are accepted on a continual basis, but once the cohort is complete, the website will show that the program is no longer accepting applications for the upcoming cohort. The Davis DBA degree is one of an elite group of AACSB accredited DBA programs, and Jacksonville University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
College Choice Score: 27.6
Tuition per credit hour: $1,555
Located in America’s second largest financial city, UNC Charlotte’s DBA program attracts faculty and students from all over the world. This is a professional degree taught in an executive format, which allows you to work full-time, and to obtain a degree more quickly than a Ph.D. program. At UNCC, you can study to gain an advanced level of knowledge in several subspecialties including marketing, management, operations management and information systems. In total, the DBA is a three-year (six-semester) program consisting of 18 three-credit courses taught over one weekend per month. The curriculum has three major components: Research Methodology, Seminars in Applied Research, and the Dissertation.
With courses held one weekend each month, you can continue to lead your current organization while advancing your education. As a DBA student, you’ll master the existing body of knowledge in your field, and develop new knowledge through original, independent research. The initial focus of the program is on research content and methodology. Then, as you progress through the program, the emphasis shifts toward applied research content courses and projects that address issues confronting contemporary business leaders. The program is designed to be highly personalized, meaning that you’ll work closely with a faculty mentor to advise you throughout your coursework and research. In the final year, you work with your mentor on a dissertation that will addresses a complex, cross-functional business problem that is both relevant and valuable to your career.
As a cohort program, you will be working closely with faculty and your fellow students during the first two years of study. The first two years of the program will consist of five on-campus residencies per semester that take place over three-day weekends. Weekend residencies can include classroom instruction, seminars, and networking events. UNC Charlotte was the first university in the Charlotte region to earn accreditation by AACSB International, and has now held that distinction for more than 30 years. UNC Charlotte is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.