Students with online doctorates in business administration have achieved the highest level of academic success a business learner can achieve. According to Payscale, DBA graduates can make up to $100,000 more than MBA graduates. Doctor of business administration degrees are becoming a popular option for professionals who want to distinguish themselves and rise to leadership positions in various fields.

Choosing a Program


Many online DBA programs require significant work experience. Applicants often have to prove years of management and executive level experience before beginning the program. An MBA is typically also a requirement.


The right online program depends on the individual; each degree is different. Some programs will require students to complete on-campus work. So it's important to evaluate your situation and figure out what you need out of a program. Look at factors like completion time, cost, class-time required, and format.


Many students earn their online DBA while working. Since the degree requires years of experience in the field, applicants are usually working professionals, and programs design coursework with this in mind.


Pursuing an online DBA makes it easier to maintain current responsibilities. Remote learning is more flexible and functional for working business leaders. Online doctoral programs in business administration allow students to take classes at schools that are in other states.

Accredited Online Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle

Baker College

Flint, MI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 19%

Located in Flint, Michigan, Baker serves more than 9,300 students each year. The school delivers affordable remote learning opportunities through the Canvas platform, with degree options like the online doctor of business administration. By completing this 60-credit program, graduates can pursue positions as operation specialists, business consultants, and C-level executives.

Coursework covers topics in corporate/personal ethics and managing in a worldwide context. Students take three advanced courses in a chosen specialization and gain hands-on experience through a professional residency. This doctorate in business administration program culminates with a dissertation presentation and defense.

Applicants need to submit all official school transcripts and a current resume. They must also send in a 500-1,000-word essay detailing relevant academic and work experiences, along with their career goals. Baker is a test-optional institution.

California Baptist University

Riverside, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

CBU powers distance education through the Blackboard platform, delivering over 40 remote academic programs. Students can enroll in an online doctor of business administration program to gain leadership skills to maximize organizational effectiveness in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. With accelerated eight-week classes, working professionals can obtain their credentials in three years.

Totaling 50 credits, the degree plan contains required classes like financial analysis for decision-making, quantitative research methods, and strategic marketing. Candidates also learn to apply micro- and macroeconomic theory to business with respect to global markets. Doctorate in business administration students round out their training with a comprehensive seminar and dissertation defense.

CBU requires applicants to hold a minimum 2.75 GPA. Candidates with a 3.0 GPA or higher receive unconditional admissions status. Applicant materials include a resume/CV and a 500-word personal essay.

City University of Seattle

Seattle, WA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

CityU serves 7,000 students annually and dedicates its mission to providing career-relevant education to busy professionals. Distance learners choose from 46 academic programs, including an online doctor of business administration. Candidates may complete a fully remote curriculum or create a hybrid experience by taking some classes on campus.

The degree plan totals 91 quarter credits and includes classes like technology implementation for change management and financial decision-making. As part of the research core, students learn to apply quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-mode methods. In addition to dissertation work, this doctorate in business administration program requires candidates to attend three residencies.

CityU allows applicants to transfer up to 12 quarter credits, earned at a minimum 3.0 GPA, toward degree completion. The university provides a variety of financial aid, including scholarships, grants, and military tuition discounts.

Concordia University - Chicago

River Forest, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49%

Founded in 1864 as a training school for teachers, CUC now offers comprehensive academic programming across its four colleges. The catalog contains more than 100 certificate and degree options, including an online doctor of business administration that totals 60 credits. Candidates can choose to take classes online and/or on campus to graduate in three years.

Coursework includes global business operations, strategic marketing concepts, and quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Doctorate in business administration candidates attend three residencies, gaining hands-on skills with data analytics. They take advanced classes in one of four concentrations, with options like healthcare management and human resources innovations.

CUC pairs each student with a mentor who helps them conduct research and develop their dissertation. Applicants need a relevant undergraduate degree earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The university recommends that candidates hold at least five years of full-time work experience.

Felician University

Lodi, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 46%

Based in Lodi, New Jersey, Felician enrolls 2,400 students in 60 academic programs every year. The graduate catalog contains a fully online doctor of business administration that enables distance learners to take classes at their own pace. Through a four-phase curriculum, candidates develop the ability to conduct transformative research and manage multidisciplinary teams in a global business environment.

Courses cover topics like contemporary management theory, statistical and quantitative analysis, and historical perspectives in marketing. In the third phase, students either complete a teaching assistantship or cultivate enough knowledge to pass a recognized certification/licensure exam. To earn their online doctorate degree in business administration, candidates also need to successfully defend their dissertation.

Applicants must hold an MBA degree. They must submit an up-to-date resume and a personal statement. Felician does not require standardized test scores.

Franklin University

Columbus, OH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 30%

Franklin maintains its flagship campus in Columbus, Ohio, and powers distance education through Canvas. Degree offerings include an entirely online doctor of business administration that prepares candidates to meet changes in technology, accessibility, and consumer needs. Through an accelerated curriculum, students can graduate in three years, taking one year to complete and defend their dissertation.

The doctorate in business administration degree plan totals 58 credits. Courses comprise research methods and design, organizational performance analysis, and ethics and social responsibility. Candidates use three electives to personalize their training, choosing from options like instructional design consulting and healthcare policy, regulations, and reform.

Applicants without a regionally accredited master's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA must take an entrance exam. The admission committee also considers candidates' references, work history, and personal characteristics.

George Fox University

Newberg, OR Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 67%

George Fox serves 1,400 graduate students annually, many of whom obtain their credentials remotely. The academic catalog includes an online doctor of business administration fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs. This cohort-style program operates a hybrid learning structure that requires candidates to attend two in-person sessions at the Newberg, Oregon, campus each year.

The 56-credit degree plan covers topics like international business, conceptual foundations of finance, and ethics and moral decision-making. Students pursue advanced classes in either an accounting, management, or marketing concentration. This doctorate in business administration program breaks down into three years of coursework and one year of dissertation research and defense.

George Fox requires applicants to hold a bachelor's and master's degree earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prospective learners also need full-time faculty appointment or at least five years of work experience.

Hampton University

Hampton, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58%

HU uses Blackboard Learn to deliver a comprehensive array of remote certificates, degrees, and professional development programs. Graduate students may pursue an online Ph.D. in business administration to prepare for careers as consultants, executive administrators, and postsecondary educators.

Degree candidates take required classes like organizational behavior, teaching methodology, and advanced computer applications. They network with peers and gain hands-on skills by attending four-week residencies over the summer. Students round out degree work by defending their dissertation and sitting for a comprehensive exam.

To enroll in this doctorate in business administration program, applicants need to score at least a 400 on the GMAT. Candidates without a relevant master's degree must complete nine credits of prerequisite coursework. HU grants up to six transfer credits for professional experience.

Johnson & Wales University - Online

Providence, RI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58%

JWU is located in Providence, Rhode Island, and serves more than 7,300 students each year. The school powers distance education with Blackboard learn, providing a fully online doctor of business administration program that enables candidates to succeed in the healthcare, government, higher education, and nonprofit sectors. With accelerated eight-week classes and no residency requirement, distance learners can earn their DBA in three years.

Students take one class at a time, delving into core topics like innovation and change, business analytics and intelligence, and executive decision-making. They complete three advanced courses in an organizational development concentration. Like other doctorate in business administration programs, the JWU track requires candidates to complete a research-focused dissertation.

Applicants need a business-related master's degree and at least five years of management/industry leadership experience. They must submit a resume, a personal statement, and three recommendation letters.

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

Liberty stands as a leader in distance education, offering over 450 remote academic programs. Degree options include a fully online doctor of business administration that helps students gain the skills to work as corporate consultants, executive managers, and entrepreneurs. By taking accelerated eight-week classes, distance learners can graduate in under three years.

Required classes comprise case study research methods and strategic allocation of financial resources. Liberty stands apart from other online doctorate in business administration programs by offering 14 concentrations. Candidates may focus their studies on areas like real estate management, supply chain logistics, and nonprofit leadership and management.

Prospective students need an MBA earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Liberty allows candidates to apply up to 15 transfer credits toward degree completion. Financial aid comes in the forms of grants and loans.

What Else Can I Expect From an Online Doctorate in Business Administration Program?

Every online DBA program is different. The time frame for completion, the number of credits required, the types of concentrations offered, the faculty's expertise, and the delivery format can all vary between programs. Although many programs cover similar material and feature the same core classes, each program includes a number of unique qualities.

CONCENTRATIONS OFFERED FOR AN ONLINE Doctorate in Business Administration

Concentration Description Careers This Concentration Prepares For
Finance Assets, liabilities, investments, and long-term planning are the cornerstones of finance. This concentration will prepare students for many advanced positions in the field. High level executive roles in investment firms, banks, hedge funds, and private equity firms.
Marketing Marketing students can use a DBA to rise to leadership positions. They learn the best practices to sell goods, including advertising strategies. Many programs will also cover international marketing. High-level outside marketing consultant and executive of a marketing division at a large consumer goods business
Management/Operations Management/Management Information Systems The management concentration has different names which will focus on different areas. DBAs in management and organization leadership help students to eliminate waste and streamline business functions. High level manager, leader or executive in nearly any business


The exact coursework requirements and offerings vary by program. Some programs may require more research classes, while others may have a large elective requirement. Despite the curriculum differences, many class subjects are shared. An example curriculum is listed below.

Research Methods: Research methods prepare DBA students to research and analyze their own business structures for better outcomes. Students learn how to find problems and how to decide which method is best for solving them.

Organization Theory/Behavior: An online DBA can help students learn about new or better organization theories and ideas, which graduates will learn how to apply in the field.

Methods/Theories of Decision Making: From small businesses to multinational conglomerates, the success of every business is determined by decision-making. Most online DBA programs feature at least one class on rational decision making methods and how to disseminate these ideas throughout the company culture.


The completion time for an online doctor of business administration program can be impacted by a number of factors. The number of credits required, the type of dissertation or project needed for graduation, and how often classes are offered are some of the biggest factors that determine course length. The method of instruction and term-length are also critical. Some programs feature accelerated pacing options or allow some transfer credits to count toward the DBA.

Individually paced classes allows students to take as many credits as they can handle, which usually results in them earning their degree quicker. A cohort-based instruction model has students move through a program synchronously, requiring them to learn on the same timeline. This format usually takes more time to complete. Most DBA programs can be completed in three to four years.

Accreditation for Online Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Doctorate in business administration programs are usually nationally or regionally accredited. The program itself may also be individually accredited by an organization.

For a college or university to be accredited, it means that the institution has met a set of criteria for academics that has been set by peer institutions and approved by authorities to grant valid and valuable degrees. Most online schools are regionally accredited. It's most commonly nonprofit and academically focused schools that are accredited by one of the six regional U.S. accrediting bodies. Some vocational, religious, and for-profit colleges and universities are nationally accredited. Typically, regional accreditation is more prestigious and important than national accreditation.

Doctoral programs of business administration can also be individually accredited by the AACSB. The AACSB is a professional organization that ensures a program has met certain international standards. Nearly 800 business schools around the world have been accredited by the AACSB. The organization accredits accounting and business programs. This is an important accreditation for your DBA program to have.

Although the accrediting bodies are independent agencies, they are officially recognized by the Department of Education (DOE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for legitimacy. The DOE, a government agency, sets policy standards for higher education and empowers agencies, such as the six regional accrediting bodies, to set academic standards. The CHEA is an organization of colleges and universities that oversees and legitimizes the accrediting process in tandem with the DOE. You can find a list of all accredited schools on the DOE and CHEA website.

Employment Outlook for Doctorate in Business Administration Graduates


There are many ways that a DBA program can help aspiring executives and business veterans. Learn more about how the DBA helps students gain an edge on the competition and stick out in a crowded pack.

MBAs are commonplace – Once the key to becoming a leader and c-level executive, master of business administration degrees have become a basic necessity in the business world. DBAs have replaced MBAs as the credential that makes a job or promotion candidate unique.

DBAs open more doors – A DBA gives graduates the option to teach business as well. Whether full- or part-time, it's a good option for experienced men and women to impart their wisdom.

It's a credential in decision-making – Although DBA programs vary, most are designed to create excellent decision makers. Businesses see a DBA and immediately know that they have a candidate with several years of decision-making education.

Occupation Expected Job Openings Through 2024
Chief Executives 58,400
Computer and Information Systems Managers 94,800
Financial Managers 169,300
Human Resources Managers 46,600
Marketing and Sales Managers 172,200

Source: BLS


Doctor business administration online programs are designed for people seeking high-level management positions in a number of sectors. This table, featuring data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, showcases how salary can vary depending on what state you are employed in.

State Annual mean wage
1. South Dakota $242,220
2. North Carolina $226,540
3. Rhode Island $222,790
4. New York $219,410
5. Texas $218,880

Source: BLS


An online doctorate in business administration is a credential that shows a company that you are a top-level executive and have completed the highest academic level. A DBA has a wide range of career options, including executive leadership and teaching at a business school. A DBA provides all of the career opportunities of a PhD in business and more because of its focus on theory rather than research.

Computer Information Systems Managers

Information technology managers are in charge of everything technology related for a business, from software to servers. IT managers are up to date on the modern business tools and applications.

Median Annual Salary - $135,800
Projected Growth Rate - 15%

Financial Managers

Creating financial reports, monitoring growth, and creating long-term strategies are just a few of the responsibilities that financial managers have. In most businesses, a financial manager is in charge of the “financial health” of the company.

Median Annual Salary - $121,750
Projected Growth Rate - 7%

Operations Managers/Top Executive

Managers and executives guide the company by organizing and directing the goals of the business. Duties vary significantly based on the role and industry.

Median Annual Salary - $103,950
Projected Growth Rate - 6%

Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers are critical to a healthy business. They are in charge of the administrative capacities of a business, including the employees. Hiring, recruiting, and strategic long-term planning all fall under the HR manager's purview.

Median Annual Salary - $106,910
Projected Growth Rate - 9%

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers are in control of selling the products to consumers. They oversee the advertising and promotions of a company. Sales officers are often subordinate to marketing managers.

Median Annual Salary - $127,560
Projected Growth Rate - 9%


Professional organizations are helpful in any career field. In business, there are many organizations that cater to industry needs. They often host conferences and seminars for continuing education and allow for networking and mentoring.

American Society of Association Executives

Leaders can join the ASAE to network with fellow executives, attend conferences, and take continuing education courses.

National Association for Female Executives

NAFE is one of the largest professional business organizations for women in high-level leadership positions. The organization provides female DBA grads the opportunity to network with peers and experienced women in executive roles.

American Management Association

The AMA is a great resource for managers who want to learn about all of the newest techniques. The AMA, offering seminars and conferences, provides graduates with the tools they need to stay up to date in the field.

Financing Your Online Doctorate in Business Administration Program

Many students work while earning a DBA degree online to help cover the cost, but there are other ways to do this. By filling out a FAFSA, you can see what types of federal grants, scholarships, aid, and work-studies you may be entitled to. Schools may also offer individual scholarships or grants to students to help with tuition costs. Additionally, many businesses have incentive programs that help cover some or all of the cost of continuing education.


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