Usually serving aspiring top executives, doctor of business administration (DBA) programs offer core courses and specializations in various fields. DBA programs cultivate high-level research, analysis, decision-making, and problem-solving skills that can serve graduates well in public service administration or business executive roles.
DBA graduates often qualify for management occupations that pay an annual median salary of $105,660, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Management positions with especially promising job growth projections include financial manager, social and community service manager, and medical and health services manager.
Applicants to doctor of business administration programs typically need a 3.0 minimum GPA and a related master's degree. However, some programs admit bachelor's degree-holders with relevant professional experience. Read further for additional information on DBA requirements, benefits, careers, and scholarships.
What Are the Goals of a Business Administration Degree?
Learners interested in doctoral degrees in business usually choose between a doctor of business administration, a doctor of business management (DBM), or a Ph.D. in business administration. Generally speaking, DBA and DBM degrees work best for industry leaders, while Ph.D. degrees suit academics and researchers.
DBM programs focus on management of daily operations, while DBA programs examine organization-wide initiatives and decisions. Some DBA programs offer dozens of courses and curriculum specialization in fields such as real estate management, information systems management, nonprofit management, and healthcare management.
Why Get a Business Administration Degree?
As terminal business degrees, doctor of business administration degrees meet or exceed degree requirements for most business careers. Professionals with a DBA often enjoy many personal and professional benefits, including promotions, salary increases, field or industry specialization, and networking opportunities.
Many working professionals pursue business administration degrees to advance their careers. A DBA can make recipients more competitive for top executive roles such as president, director, vice president, or CEO.
A DBA encourages specialization in particular industries and niche fields. Popular DBA specializations include human resource management, strategic management, international business, and leadership.
Usually composed of high-level professionals, DBA cohorts encourage forging of advantageous professional collaborations and connections. Many doctor of business administration programs also include internship components that support networking.
DBA programs prepare graduates for leadership roles in business, education, research, or the nonprofit sector. Enrollees typically take courses such as organizational leadership, which focuses on strategic decision-making.
What Are the Requirements for a Business Administration Degree?
Doctor of business administration programs usually seek applicants with relevant master's degrees and professional experience. Some programs also require strong GMAT or GRE scores and writing samples. Applicants must typically submit official transcripts, resumes, recommendation letters, and test scores.
To graduate with a DBA, students usually complete 60 credits of core and specialization courses. Many doctor of business administration programs require a dissertation project involving original research. Some DBA programs and dissertation projects include a real-world internship component at an approved site, which may include working students' current places of employment.
How Much Will a DBA Degree Cost?
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) tracks graduate tuition over time by institution type. The NCES reported that average graduate tuition and related fees ranged from $12,000-$28,000 for the 2018-2019 school year.
The price of a DBA degree may vary based on the prestige or reputation of a university and its private or public status. Degree-seekers who study online may also pay less than those who study on campus. Other expenses include educational materials, technology, campus fees, and transportation.
Financial resources can help offset the cost of a graduate degree. DBA candidates can apply for financial aid, scholarships, grants, fellowships, and loans. The linked pages below offer guidance on submitting the FAFSA and top scholarships.
Learn more about paying for college:
Choosing the Right DBA Program
DBA applicants can use rankings to begin their school search. However, there are several other educational factors to consider when selecting the right program.
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) sets the highest standard for business schools. AACSB only offers accreditation to the top 5% of programs. Candidates should pursue DBA programs that hold AACSB accreditation to ensure the quality and merit of their degrees.
Learners should carefully budget their educational expenses to avoid building too much student debt. Review tuition rates at several schools before making your decision. Many public universities offer high-quality, accredited education at reasonable tuition rates.
DBA programs may include concentrated study and research in a specific field like accounting, human resource management, or international business. Applicants should confirm that potential schools employ experienced faculty and offer relevant concentrations.
FAQ on Doctor of Business Administration Degrees
What does a doctor of business administration do?
DBA graduates often become leaders in industry or the public sector. Possible careers include financial analyst, consultant, manager, or director.
What is the difference between a Ph.D. and a DBA?
A Ph.D. usually serves aspiring academics and researchers, while DBA programs offer more preparation for management and administration careers.
Can I get a DBA without a master of business administration?
Some DBA programs accept applicants with bachelor's or master's degrees in non-business fields, but these learners may need to complete foundational coursework.
How many years does it take to get a DBA?
DBA programs usually require 60 credits and take 3-5 years to finish. Enrollees with transferable master's coursework may finish sooner. Programs requiring a thesis may take longer.
Best Doctor of Business Administration Degrees 2021
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The Ph.D. in business at Bentley University builds expertise in business administration. The private university offers competitive doctoral programs in three subject areas. Students can pursue their degree online or on campus.
The Ph.D. in business program includes coursework, examination, and research requirements. As a culminating project, learners conduct original research and defend a dissertation to demonstrate mastery in the business administration field. Doctoral students often present their research at academic conferences, which builds their professional network. Degree-holders can pursue careers in academia and research.
While rigorous, this doctoral program provides unparalleled flexibility through its dual modality. Doctoral candidates receive professional and research support. The program incorporates experiential learning opportunities that lead to career opportunities outside of academia. Prospective applicants can contact the school to learn more.
Carnegie Mellon University
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The Ph.D. in business program at Carnegie Mellon University builds advanced competency in business administration through specialized study. With 72 doctoral programs, the private university stands out for its graduate options. Many of the doctoral programs provide flexible enrollment options.
Candidates take doctoral classes, conduct research, and pass comprehensive examinations. Throughout the program, learners work closely with faculty advisors to craft an original dissertation topic that contributes to the business administration field. Doctoral students may present their research at academic conferences and gain teaching experience. These opportunities prepare graduates for careers in research and academia.
Degree-seekers progress toward their doctorate in a flexible environment. The program offers research and professional support to doctoral candidates. The program's experiential learning components prepare students for careers outside of academia. Contact the program for more information about the curriculum and application process.
City University of Seattle
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The doctor of business administration program at City University of Seattle prioritizes flexibility in its advanced business administration curriculum. Doctoral learners choose from two subject areas offered by the private institution. Many of the doctoral programs prioritize flexibility by offering online classes.
Degree candidates complete comprehensive exams and research components. Learners demonstrate their expertise in business administration by writing a dissertation that contributes original research to the field. Doctoral students may present their research at academic conferences and gain teaching experience. The comprehensive program prepares graduates for academic and research careers.
Degree-seekers select courses and research options that fit their schedule. Candidates pursue career, research, and professional opportunities independently. Career workshops and experiential learning opportunities also prepare students for careers outside of academia. Contact the program to learn more about the length of the doctoral program and enrollment options.
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Students seeking a flexible doctoral program can pursue the executive doctor of business administration at Drexel University. With 48 doctoral programs, the private university stands out for its graduate options. Many programs offer online options in addition to on-campus enrollment.
The business program includes doctoral classes, comprehensive exams, and research components. Throughout the program, learners work closely with faculty advisors to craft an original dissertation topic that contributes to the business field. Doctoral students pursue independent research and present their findings at academic conferences. These opportunities provide the foundation for academic and research careers.
While academically rigorous, the program provides flexible options for learners. Candidates gain professional and research experience independently. Students also prepare for careers outside of academia through experiential learning components. Prospective applicants can contact the school for more information.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach
|Location||Daytona Beach, Florida|
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Students seeking a doctorate can enroll in the doctor of aviation business administration program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach. Doctoral learners can enroll in six subject areas at the private university. Many of the doctoral programs prioritize flexibility by offering online classes.
Candidates in the doctor of aviation business administration program complete coursework and pass comprehensive exams. Learners demonstrate their expertise in the field by researching and writing a dissertation that includes original research. Doctoral students often present their research at academic conferences, which builds their professional network. Graduates take on academic and research roles with a doctorate from the university.
While academically rigorous, the program also provides flexibility for degree-seekers. The program encourages candidates to strengthen their research and professional training. Prospective applicants can contact the school for more information.
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