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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.
2021 Accredited Online Doctorate in Business Administration Programs
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|Owosso, MI||Graduation Rate: 19%||
Founded in 1965, Baker serves students online and from its main campus in Owosso. The school offers a doctorate in business administration that can be completed entirely online. The program uses a combination of seminars, research papers, classes, and a final dissertation. In the final dissertation, students apply business theories learned in their courses, applying knowledge to real business environments.
Students complete 60 credits over the course of this 3.5-year program. After completing their degree, individuals may work as business consultants, analysts, or business operation managers. Alternatively, some graduates opt to pursue a career teaching business administration.
Baker is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.Learn More
|Bellevue, NE||Graduation Rate: 0%||
Founded in 1966 and located in easern Nebraska, Bellevue offers a doctorate in business administration that features entirely online coursework. Students learn how to manage technological and sustainable changes in an organization, preparing to solve modern industry problems.
The degree does not include a written dissertation. Students instead engage in an applied research-based project. This project should solve a problem or business challenge that the student is passionate about. Coursework covers advanced communication, advanced scholarly thinking, business research, societal problems, and more. Interested applicants need an accredited master of business administration in order to apply.
BU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.Learn More
California Baptist University
|Riverside, CA||Graduation Rate: 55%||
A Christian institution founded in 1950 in Riverside, CBU enrolls over 11,000 students annually. The school's online doctorate in business administration degree provides students with the skills necessary to develop high-level change in private, public, and nonprofit organizations. Coursework focuses on training in professional management, human resources, marketing, professional leadership, and more
Students take one online class each eight-week session. The program also requires a written dissertation. Interested applicants need to hold a master of business administration from an accredited university. They should also submit a personal statement and a resume.
CBU is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission. Its business school holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.Learn More
City University of Seattle
|Seattle, WA||Graduation Rate: 0%||
Founded in 1973, CityU offers over 60 degree programs, many of which can be completed online. The online doctor of business administration offered by CityU focuses on providing guidance on interventional thinking, leadership, specialized business knowledge, and more.
Online classes feature live teaching sessions. Courses include developing effective business strategies, evaluating complex organizations, utilizing project-oriented approaches, and analyzing the state of an organization. Students can transfer up to 12 applicable credits into this program. Students need a master of business administration from an accredited university to apply.
CityU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.Learn More
|River Forest, IL||Graduation Rate: 49%||
Located in Chicago, Illinois, CUC enrolls over 11,000 students every year. The university's doctorate in business administration teaches online students advanced management and leadership skills. Coursework offers learners the opportunity to foster global relationships due to the university's global presence.
The dissertation process begins right when students begin coursework. Participants choose a preliminary topic at the beginning of their studies. The program includes residencies, mentorships, and two concentration options (i.e., healthcare management and strategic leadership and innovation).
Students need an accredited master's degree in business administration to apply. CUC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and its business school holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.Learn More
|Lodi, NJ||Graduation Rate: 46%||
Founded in 1967, Felician University teaches students online and at its main campus in Lodi, New Jersey. The university's fully online doctorate in business administration program focuses primarily on business evaluation, research, and quantitative techniques in improving organizational function.
Coursework is divided into four phases. The first phase focuses on advanced academic writing, statistics, and research methods. The second phase consists of a project in management, quantitative decision-making, and marketing. The third phase looks at certification courses and specialization requirements, and the last phase focuses on a dissertation and a brief residency requirement.
Interested applicants need a master of business administration degree from an accredited institution. They must also submit a resume, official transcripts, and a personal statement with their application packet.
Felician University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.Learn More
|Columbus, OH||Graduation Rate: 30%||
Located in Columbus, Ohio, Franklin was founded in 1902. The coursework in Franklin's online doctorate in business administration program focuses on changes in accessibility, consumer expectations, and technology. Students look at initiating corporate-wide agendas to improve profitability.
The program also includes microdentials. These are small, stand-alone courses that demonstrate a student's competency in a distinct area. Completion of these programs is usually demonstrated by sharing digital badges.
Interested applicants need a master of business administration from an accredited institution. Some students may be asked to take an entrance exam. Learners can transfer in up to 24 qualifying credits to expedite graduation.
Franklin is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.Learn More
George Fox University
|Newberg, OR||Graduation Rate: 67%||
Located in Newberg, Oregon, this Christian university offers over 60 degree programs. George Fox's doctorate in business administration program follows a hybrid format. Students take most of their coursework online, but must complete two in-person sessions in Newberg, Oregon, each year.
Students complete a research core, business core, education core, and dissertation. The education core includes a consulting practicum or teaching practicum. Interested applicants need a master's from an accredited institution to apply.
George Fox is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Its business school is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.Learn More
Johnson & Wales University-Online
|Providence, RI||Graduation Rate: 67%||
Located in Providence, Rhode Island, JWU provides students with over 80 different major options. The university's online doctorate in business administration degree focuses on high-level business management topics in healthcare, higher education, and more. Coursework covers ethics in business challenges and ways to solve problems creatively.
The program prepares students to become policymakers, leaders, and consultants at the executive level. No residencies are required for degree completion. Each course lasts eight weeks. Individuals need a master of business administration degree in order to apply.
JWU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.Learn More
|Lynchburg, VA||Graduation Rate: 50%||
Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty enrolls over 100,000 students online and in person. The school's online doctorate in business administration prepares students for executive management roles.
The program offers a wide variety of concentrations to further specialize the degree. Specializations include marketing, international business, nonprofit leadership and management, real estate, tourism, and more. All theoretical research may be applied in a real-world setting. Liberty is an evangelical institution, and all of its coursework is instilled with Christian values. Interested applicants need a master of business administration degree earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Liberty is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and its business school is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.Learn More
St. Thomas University
|Miami Gardens, FL||Graduation Rate: 44%||
The online doctor of business administration in management at STU trains students about the management of people, products, and policies in business. The degree also prepares students to pursue teaching roles in higher education.
Up to 30 credits from a student's master's degree will be put towards the doctorate's 90-credit requirement. Depending on how many credits are transferred from the student's master's degree, the program can take just 1-2 years to complete.
Coursework can be taken online, in person, or through a hybrid format. Students can choose between a traditional dissertation, article dissertation, and action research project. Applicants need a master of business administration from an accredited institution.
STU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.Learn More
Trevecca Nazarene University
|Nashville, TN||Graduation Rate: 54%||
The doctorate in business management offered by Trevecca can be completed entirely online. Students choose one of three different concentrations: higher education, consulting and coaching, or leading and managing.
The higher education track prepares students for teaching business administration or for working as a college administrator. The consulting and coaching track focuses on preparing students to be internal and external executive consultants. The leading and managing track develops high-level leaders for various entrepreneurial settings.
The program can be completed in three years. Graduation requires an applied doctoral research project. Interested applicants do not need a master of business administration to apply; the program accepts applicants with a wide variety of master's degrees.
Trevecca is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.Learn More
University of the Cumberlands
|Williamsburg, KY||Graduation Rate: 33%||
The online doctorate in business administration at Cumberlands focuses on helping students develop advanced management competencies. Coursework covers a mixture of theoretical and applied topics.
Full-time students can complete the program in three years, with part-time students taking up to five years. Coursework is offered entirely online. Interested applicants need an accredited master's degree in business administration in order to apply.
Cumberlands is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Business programs at Cumberlands are accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.Learn More
|New Castle, DE||Graduation Rate: 24%||
The doctor of business administration offered by WilmU teaches online students to apply theoretical research in an organizational setting. The degree can be completed entirely online, in a hybrid format, or in person.
Coursework focuses on leadership management, communication skills, critical thinking, and ethics. The program format follows a cohort model, in which students work in tandem to complete projects and coursework.
During their dissertation project, students partner with an industry expert. The program consists of 54 total credits and takes roughly three years to complete. All applicants need a master's degree in business administration to apply.
WilmU is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and its business school holds accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.Learn More
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.
- 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.