Doctorate in Business Administration

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

Updated September 19, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Doctorate in Business Administration

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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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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 2022

#1

Bellevue University

School Information
Location Bellevue, Nebraska
Graduation Rate 24%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 95% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

From its campus in Bellevue, Nebraska, Bellevue University enrolls degree-seekers as a private institution. The school offers an online doctor of business administration. The doctoral program builds on students' prior knowledge to strengthen advanced skills.

The program's flexible learning format helps enrollees complete their doctoral degree. Online graduate students can visit campus to meet with faculty or fellow students.

Doctoral graduates gain expert-level knowledge in after earning the terminal degree in the field. Students typically spend 3-6 years completing a doctorate. After earning a doctorate, graduates may work in academia or research.

Bellevue University Numbers:

Graduate Tuition: $10,530

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 27-to-1

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#2

Saint Leo University

School Information
Location Saint Leo, Florida
Admission Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 49%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 72% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Situated in Saint Leo, Florida, Saint Leo University has one of the best online offerings in the country. Prospective graduate students interested in business should look into the school's doctor of business administration program. Learners who choose an online format can save money on their graduate degree.

Students typically complete their doctoral program in 4-7 years. The program entails required coursework, exams, and dissertation research.

Saint Leo University at a Glance:

Grad Tuition: $7,296 

Number of Online Master's Programs: 27

Number of Online Doctoral Programs: 1

Average Cost Per Credit: Not Known

The school holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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#3

Wilmington University

School Information
Location New Castle, Delaware
Graduation Rate 21%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 75% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Wilmington University offers graduate programs that prepare students for new job opportunities and career advancement. The school offers a doctor of business administration online. Students who choose an online format can save money on their graduate degree.

Enrollees first complete 1-3 years of coursework followed by dissertation research and exams. With a doctorate, graduates can pursue many different careers, including research and academic careers.

Wilmington University Fast Facts:

Online Master's Programs: 35

Number of Online Doctoral Programs: 4

Average Cost Per Credit: Unknown

Grad Tuition Rate: $8,784 

The school is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

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