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Business programs provide students with flexibility in how, where, and what they study. The discipline also grants learners access to a diverse selection of careers and postgraduate options. As a result, more students choose business degrees than any other discipline.

With an online doctorate in business administration, graduates can pursue some of the most promising careers in the field. To help students determine if a doctorate is right for them, this page delves into program coursework and examines career possibilities.

2020 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 Can I Expect From an Online Doctorate in Business Administration Program?

DBA programs often provide a heavier practical focus, whereas Ph.D. programs emphasize research and theory.

Many business students possess interpersonal, analytical, and problem-solving skills, but how and where they apply their abilities tends to vary by degree type. Online doctoral programs in business administration award either a doctor of business administration (DBA) or a Ph.D. DBA programs often provide a heavier practical focus, whereas Ph.D. programs emphasize research and theory.

In most cases, Ph.D. programs run full time and require students to complete at least 60 credits. These programs typically feature a dissertation. DBA programs often offer part-time study and require 45-60 credits. Students can often complete a DBA more quickly if their schedule allows, sometimes in under three years.

DBA students can often choose from concentrations that can greatly influence their career path, with options like finance, marketing, international management, and sustainable management. Ph.D. programs tend to direct students toward independent study and research based on their unique interests and career goals. Graduates often pursue careers in research and academia.

While the availability of online doctorate in business administration programs continues to increase, students may need to complete some on-campus residencies, especially for a DBA.

Admission Requirements for Online Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Both DBA and Ph.D. applicants typically need a master's in business administration, although many programs accept learners with only a bachelor's. DBA applicants usually need extensive professional experience.

Additional requirements may include a research proposal or statement of purpose, a minimum GPA, and writing samples. Depending on the program, prospective students may need to submit GMAT or GRE scores.

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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Doctorate in Business Administration Program?

The courses offered in an online doctorate in business administration vary by program and school, especially in Ph.D. programs, which focus on independent research. Nevertheless, the following list highlights several common courses at this level.

Issues in Global Business

In this course, students learn how to manage global organizations. They examine the most pressing issues involved in leading international businesses, such as international laws, exchanges, and differences in marketing and communication. This course also delves into the importance of understanding different sociocultural and economic settings.

Computer Information Systems

This course looks at the leading computer information systems in business and how professionals can better use this technology to improve business processes and results. Covered topics include data analytics, computational simulations, and modelling techniques.

Organizational Behavior

In this course, students learn how to evaluate and manage human resources within an organization. They examine ways that individuals, groups, and policies can influence organizational behavior. Additional topics include diversity, psychology, leadership strategies, and discrimination in the workplace.

Data-Driven Economies

In this course, students explore how data science and technology have impacted the economy. Learners examine how big data and analysis tools have changed organizations and international trade. The class discusses the future of global business.

Leading Innovation

Students in this course learn how to drive innovation within organizations. Learners study methods for stimulating design and development in business. Additional topics include leadership, assessment, and market research strategies.

What Can I Do With an Online Doctorate in Business Administration Degree?

After completing an online doctorate in business administration, graduates can access an array of management careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many of these positions boast strong growth potential and high median annual salaries.

While business professionals may face stiff competition for jobs, particularly for in-demand careers and employers, their diverse and marketable skills grant them access to many careers with significant workforces and opportunities.

Discover where a doctorate in business administration can lead. Learn more about business administration careers here.

Management Analyst

Management analysts evaluate organizations and suggest ways to improve processes, management strategies, policies, and revenues. They comb through financial details, observe business activities, and assess employee performances. According to the BLS, 32% of these professionals work in professional and technical services, 17% work in the government, and 12% work in finance and insurance.

Top Executive

Top executives help organizations achieve success through optimizing policy and strategy, overseeing operations, and implementing money-saving and revenue-boosting actions. These professionals may manage financial activities or specific departments. According to the BLS, 24% of chief executives are self employed, while 11% work in professional and technical services and 9% work in the government.


Economists analyze the flow of finances and resources on a regional, national, and global scale. They may research or analyze trends, look for solutions to critical issues, or make forecasts for individuals and organizations. According to the BLS, 23% of economists work for the federal government, 18% work in scientific research and development, and 17% work in management consulting services.

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts determine the need or demand for goods and services within a specific economy. They research the market and help set price markers, identify interest levels, and evaluate opportunities and risks. According to the BLS, 11% of market research analysts work in consulting services, 10% work in finance and insurance, and 8% work in management.

Postsecondary Teacher

Postsecondary teachers work in colleges and universities and educate students in their discipline. These professionals build their own curricula and conduct their own research and academic projects. According to the BLS, business teachers make up the third-largest group of instructors at this level.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Is a doctoral degree in business administration worth it?

An online doctorate in business administration can lead to some of the highest paying and fastest growing careers in the industry. According to the BLS, management positions pay a median annual salary of $105,660.

What can I do with a doctorate in business administration?

With a terminal degree in business administration, graduates can pursue most careers in business, including management, research, academic, and consulting roles.

How many business administration majors get jobs?

According to the BLS, the business and professional services industry featured an unemployment rate of 5.9% in November 2020, lower than the 6.7% national average at that time. In general, business professionals possess highly transferable skills, helping them find employment within many organizations and industries.

How much money can I make with a doctorate in business administration?

While management positions feature a median annual salary of $105,660, salary potential can increase with experience. Salary also depends on location. For example, management positions in New York, the District of Columbia, and New Jersey all pay median annual wages of over $150,000.

What are the highest paying jobs with a doctorate in business administration?

According to the BLS, marketing manager, compensation and benefits manager, financial manager, and sales manager rank among the highest paying positions for business graduates. Each of these positions pays a median annual salary of over $122,000.