Doctorate in Business Administration

Earning an Ph.D. in business administration can lead to many career opportunities. Here, we list the top programs available.

January 5, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Doctorate in Business Administration is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Doctor of business administration (DBA) programs focus on the application of theoretical knowledge to business practice. A DBA is one of two terminal degrees a practitioner can earn in the field. The other degree, a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in business administration, prepares graduates for teaching positions in academia or careers in theoretical research.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs in the business and finance sector to grow 5% between 2019-2029. Many careers in this sector offer high salaries and opportunities for advancement.

This guide ranks the best doctorate in business administration programs. It also covers other important information for prospective students, including common courses and scholarship opportunities for business administration students.

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Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Why Get a Degree in Business Administration?

Doctorate in business administration programs develop advanced skills in planning and strategic decision-making. Degree-holders often work for large corporations as chief executive officers and directors of global operations. According to the BLS, these professionals typically earn six-figure salaries.

Pursuing a doctorate in business administration online gives students the flexibility to balance their studies with other obligations. Additionally, many schools offer tuition discounts to online students.

How Much Does a Business Administration Degree Cost?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, one year of postgraduate enrollment (2018-2019) at a public institution costs $12,171 on average. Graduate students who enrolled at a private college or university during the same year paid an average of $27,776.

However, many colleges and universities support doctoral candidates through grants and fellowships. Many of these financial aid packages require doctoral students to complete teaching and/or research responsibilities in exchange for covering tuition.

Online students often save money on their degree compared to on-campus students. For instance, online students may save on some of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as commuting costs. Additionally, many schools offer tuition discounts to online students.

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Business Administration Majors Make?

A doctorate in business administration qualifies graduates for chief executive positions in diverse professional arenas. Salaries for these roles vary by factors like industry and location.

For instance, the BLS reports that the top-paying industries for chief executive officers include computer and equipment manufacturing, deep sea and coastal transportation, and natural gas distribution. States that pay the highest salaries for chief executives include South Dakota, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

According to the BLS, companies and businesses hire the highest number of professionals in this field, followed by local governments and elementary and secondary schools.

Courses in Business Administration

Schools often allow doctoral candidates to craft an individual plan of study that supports their academic and career objectives. However, most programs still require students to enroll in several foundational courses. Doctoral students also typically need to complete a major culminating activity, such as a capstone project, thesis, or dissertation.

Some doctorate in business administration programs offer concentrations in areas like finance, global business, marketing, and operations and supply chain management.

Courses vary by program, but the following list outlines several courses commonly found in doctorate in business administration programs.

Certifications and Licensure for Business Administration

Many jobs for graduates with a DBA do not require certification. However, earning these credentials can help candidates stand out in the job market and demonstrate specialized skills. The following list outlines several certifications for DBA graduates.

Candidates for this credential must complete a certification program that covers management practices, business communication, customer service, and human resource management and organizational behavior. The Institute of Certified Professional Managers administers this program. Candidates must complete 90 hours of required learning and pass three assessment exams. Candidates must earn the credential in 15 months or less. Recognized across several industries and throughout North America, the PMP credential requires at least 35 hours of PMP training. Candidates must also pass a qualifying exam.

Scholarships and Fellowships for Business Administration

Many schools support students pursuing a business administration doctorate through fellowships and grant programs. Some programs include annual stipends in addition to covering tuition and fees. Doctoral candidates can also explore scholarship opportunities from professional organizations and private nonprofit groups. The following list outlines several scholarship and fellowship opportunities for DBA students.

Scholarships and Fellowships for Business Administration
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

American Fellowships

$6,000-$30,000 The American Association of University Women welcomes applications from women scholars at different stages of their doctoral program. Applicants must be enrolled full time.

American Indian Graduate Center Fellowships

Varies American Indian and Alaskan Native students pursuing a doctoral or professional degree at an accredited U.S. institution can apply for this fellowship opportunity. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and be enrolled full time.

Government Finance Professional Development Scholarship

$10,000 Part-time students pursuing a graduate-level degree in business administration with a focus on government can apply. Candidates must show at least two years of employment at a state or local government agency.

Doctorate In Business Administration 2021

  • Bellevue University

    Bellevue, NE



    Students with the desire to effectively design human capital development programs may benefit from a PhD in Human Capital Management from Bellevue University. This program focuses on up-to-date knowledge and practice related to human capital development that can advance the performance of an organization. The coursework in this degree is divided into 4 modules that concentrate on a process or concept that can help an organization succeed. These 4 modules include Strategic Human Capital Management and Productivity, Linking Human Capital to Organizational Outcomes, Human Capital Leadership and Introduction to Measurement and Measuring, Analyzing and Assessing Human Capital Effectiveness. To graduate with a PhD in Human Capital Management, students must complete a dissertation, which is an applied research project that is performed in their company or an approved company they have access to. Prospective students must hold a master's degree, have 5 years of work experience and submit a resume as well as a statement of interest, letter of recommendation and a nomination from their employer.

  • Capitol Technology University

    Laurel, MD



    A Doctor of Philosophy in Business Analytics and Decision Sciences is available at Capitol Technology University. The goal of this program is to teach students how to use data to make management decisions. It is primarily taught online by data professionals who have hands-on experience helping all types of organizations make data-centric decisions. To graduate with a Doctor of Philosophy in Business Analytics and Decision Sciences, students must complete 54 credit hours and courses such as Fundamentals of Doctoral Learning, Analytics and Decision Analysis and Professional Ethics and Leadership. In addition, they must work on a dissertation, which they will prepare for publication. To apply for this program, students must hold a master's degree in business, analytics or a related field and have at least 5 years of relevant work experience. After graduation, students will have high-level critical thinking and leadership skills and know how to use data effectively.

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo, FL



    Saint Leo University offers a Doctor of Business Administration for students who hope to advance their careers in teaching, consulting or academic leadership. This degree can be completed online and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs or ACBSP. It focuses on the creation of sustainable and vibrant organizations and includes courses such as Organizational Behavior and Social Responsibility, Analytics for Decision Making and Strategic Management in Global Organizations. Students can opt for the teaching or consulting track and complete a practicum that relates to their chosen track. They'll enhance their research and critical thinking skills and work on a dissertation, in which they'll design an original essay related to the field of business or management. Many Doctor of Business Administration graduates land positions as business teachers, economists, financial managers, college professors or consultants. They can be seen working as professionals at Penn State University-Harrisburg, Cobbham Inc. and Private Consulting Practices.

  • The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles

    Los Angeles, CA



    Students who are interested in landing leadership positions as industrial organizational psychologists should consider the online PhD in Business Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Students who hold a bachelor's degree can complete this program in 5 years of full-time study while those with a master's degree can graduate in 3 years if they enroll on a full-time basis. This program includes courses such as Adult Development and Work, which focuses on career development theories and Virtual and Global Leadership, which discusses techniques on managing and motivating virtual teams. Students who enter the program with a bachelor's degree will be required to complete two 300-credit-hour internships that must be approved by the faculty internship supervisor. In addition to holding a bachelor's or master's degree in psychology, behavioral sciences or management, prospective students must submit their official transcripts, GRE scores and 3 letters of recommendation. After graduation, students often find work in nonprofit or for-profit organizations where they collaborate with CEOs, supervisors and human resource professionals.

  • University of Charleston

    Charleston, WV



    The Doctor of Executive Leadership at University of Charleston is designed for students who wish to maximize their exectuive value to various organizations and institutions. It can help them advance their careers by expanding their knowledge on research, strategy, business theory and leadership. This is a cohort style program, which is offered online and requires a 5-day residency at the start of each year of study. It includes courses such as Generating, Conserving and Transforming Knowledge, Leadership Theories and Perspective and Conceptual Frameworks in Leadership. Students may earn a Doctor of Executive Leadership at University of Charleston in as little as 3 years. Admission requirements include official transcripts from all graduate colleges and universities attended, letters of recommendation, a 5- to 7-page paper that discusses why a student would like to earn this degree and a resume that outlines at least 5 years of experience in a leadership role.

  • Wilmington University

    New Castle, DE



    At Wilmington University, students may earn a Doctor of Business Administration online. This degree is specifically designed for students who would like to develop into senior managers or leaders who hope to further their business skills and knowledge. It includes 54 credit hours and involves a dissertation or research project. Although students can complete all courses in 2.5 years, the dissertation or research project typically takes 1 to 2 years to complete. All Doctor of Business Administration students are required to attend a residency, which is 2 days long and involves workshops as well as a consultation where students will work with faculty members to plan their dissertation. Prospective students can apply by submitting their official bachelor's and master's degree transcripts, a current resume, 3 letters of recommendation and a statement of goals and objectives. In addition, they'll need to participate in a faculty panel interview and complete writing, critical thinking and finance assessments.

  • Wright State University

    Dayton, OH



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