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.
- Salary Increase
- PayScale salary data from September 2020 indicates that doctoral degree-holders average $102,320 annually, whereas MBA-holders make about $89,380 annually (as of February 2021).
- A DBA encourages specialization in particular industries and niche fields. Popular DBA specializations include human resource management, strategic management, international business, and leadership.
- Networking Opportunities
- 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.
- Leadership Skills
- 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.
- Accreditation: 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.
- Tuition Costs: 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.
- Available Concentrations: 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.
What does a doctor of business administration do?
What is the difference between a Ph.D. and a DBA?
Can I get a DBA without a master of business administration?
How many years does it take to get a DBA?
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