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A doctor of business administration (DBA) builds specialized knowledge in business strategy, management practices, and academic research. More practically focused than a Ph.D., a DBA prepares students to pursue various careers in academia, business management, research, and consulting.
Many doctoral candidates hold an MBA. However, not all programs require this degree. Some programs accept bachelor's degree-holders with a strong business background.
Our online doctor of business administration degrees guide offers information on tuition, common classes, and potential jobs for graduates.
Featured Online DBA Programs
Why Get a Doctor of Business Administration?
An online doctor of business administration degree combines rigorous academic and research training with practical business applications. Graduates can pursue academic, consulting, or business leadership positions.
Students pursuing an online doctor of business administration degree benefit from convenience and flexibility. They can listen to lectures and complete assignments anywhere with an internet connection. An online format can help learners continue their careers while earning their DBA. Online students can also enroll in the most affordable program without relocating. Some programs include occasional in-person meetings that occur in the evenings or on weekends.
How Much Does a Business Administration Degree Cost?
A doctorate costs an average of $114,300, according to EducationData.org. Many doctoral programs offer either full or partial funding to students. Funding amounts vary by program. Programs may offset tuition expenses by requiring doctoral candidates to teach classes. However, this requirement is less common for online programs.
According to the National Science Foundation, 57% of doctoral candidates graduate debt-free, while 43% graduate with some debt. On average, doctoral programs take anywhere from 4-8 years to complete.
Additional Online Student Fees
Online learners can save money by not paying for campus housing or meal plans. However, they should budget for other expenses, such as supplies and books. Some schools charge technology fees to cover tech support and other online resources. Students may also need to pay administrative fees for services such as registration or graduation.
Many online doctor of business administration degrees use a hybrid format. Learners complete online classes with some trips to campus. Students may need to factor in transportation and lodging costs.
How Much Do Doctor of Business Administration Graduates Make?
Doctor of business administration degrees prepare graduates to pursue many high-paying careers. Common career paths include academia and management. Salary depends on factors such as experience, location, and industry.
Courses in Doctor of Business Administration Programs
Learners pursuing an online doctor of business administration degree build knowledge in advanced business concepts. Programs focus on topics such as management theories, business statistics, and research methods.
Some programs offer concentrations that help students build specialized knowledge. Business concentrations may include accounting, management, or analytics. Many programs also include a dissertation. This culminating project requires in-depth original research into a specialized business topic.
See below for three common classes in online DBA programs. Keep in mind that not all programs offer these courses.
Nearly all doctoral programs emphasize advanced research. This course prepares students to conduct quantitative and qualitative business research. Learners examine research principles and methods to design their own research. Coursework covers literature searches, data collection, and ethical research practices.
This course highlights key concepts for business strategy formulation and deployment. Students explore the major principles of strategic management and how businesses adapt their strategies to stay competitive. Many courses emphasize the role of innovation in aiding business organizations.
Business Strategy and Innovation
Doctoral programs prepare candidates for upper-management positions and other leadership roles in businesses. This course focuses on leadership theories and strategies and how they apply in complex business environments. Many programs explore leadership in a global business context. This course may also focus on ethical leadership and social responsibility.
Career and Salary Outlook for Business Administration
An online doctor of business administration degree prepares graduates for many careers in academia and the private sector. Doctoral students commonly pursue careers as college professors. The degree may help experienced professionals transition from the business world into the academic world.
Doctoral graduates may also pursue advanced management careers. Students develop skills that translate naturally to management positions. Many top careers call for a combination of advanced education and comprehensive professional experience.
Top ExecutiveExecutives oversee and manage operations and work activities for businesses. They may take responsibility for departments or entire organizations. Executives help organizations strategize and achieve overall goals, increasing productivity and profitability. They may manage various administrative functions, such as negotiating contracts or hiring managers.
Postsecondary TeacherThese professionals typically work at colleges and community colleges, teaching students at the undergraduate and graduate level. An online doctor of business administration degree prepares graduates to teach advanced business programs. Instructors teach classes while also conducting business research.
Human Resources ManagerThese managers direct administrative and staffing functions for organizations of all types. They oversee recruiting and hiring. They also handle employee benefits and compliance with labor laws. Human resources managers may also handle staffing issues, such as employee conflicts and disciplinary proceedings.
|Career||Median Annual Salary||Projected Growth Rate (2020-2030)|
|Human Resources Manager||$121,220||9%|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Best Online Doctor of Business Administration Degrees
STILLWATER, OK | PH.D. IN BUSINESS FOR EXECUTIVESYou can take your career to the next level with a Ph.D. in Business for Executives from Oklahoma State University. This program blends online course delivery with limited monthly residences of four days per month for ten months a year. Students are exposed to concepts in macro and micro organizational issues, creativity, innovation, and research methods. The program consists of 60 units, and students can complete it in three years. Net Price:$14,513
IRVING, TX | DOCTOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATIONMaster skills in leadership, innovation, and customer engagement with the Doctor of Business Administration from the University of Dallas. This 61-unit program is offered in a blended online and in-classroom format. Monthly residence weekends on Friday and Saturdays enhance the student experience. Students will learn to develop evidence-based tools for improving organizational effectiveness. Students will gain the skills to transition to faculty roles in business education, advance their careers, or lay the groundwork for management consulting roles. Net Price:$26,657
MIAMI, FL | DOCTORATE IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATIONTake your business education to the highest level with the Doctorate in Business Administration from Florida International University. Designed for senior executives, the program blends online learning with classroom experiences. The program is delivered in four two-day residencies throughout the semester with the remainder taking place online. Students will learn to develop business best practices and gain a background in academic research and publishing. The program consists of 72 units and can be completed in three years. Net Price:$12,219
OMAHA, NEBRASKA | DOCTORATE IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATIONSenior executives looking to transition to tenure-track faculty positions can earn their terminal degrees with the Doctorate in Business Administration from Creighton University. Delivered in a hybrid-format, students attend seven-weekend residencies during their first two years. The remainder of the three-year program is completed online. Students will learn to publish and defend applied business research, giving them the credentials to join the faculty in accredited business schools. Net Price:$31,481
PHILADELPHIA, PA | EXECUTIVE DOCTORATE IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATIONLearn the methods to address complex industry and organizational challenges with the Executive Doctorate in Business Administration from Drexel University. The curriculum focuses on evidence-based decision making, giving students the foundation to develop data-driven strategies and solutions in their own organizations. Students attend on-campus residencies to build on coursework completed online, and the program can be completed in two and a half years. Net Price:$40,977
Frequently Asked Questions About Business Administration
Is a doctor of business administration the same as a Ph.D.?
While similar to a Ph.D. in business, a DBA focuses on both research and practical business applications. A Ph.D. typically emphasizes research.
What kind of jobs can I get with a DBA?
An online doctor of business administration degree prepares learners for careers in both business and academia. Graduates may work as college professors, consultants, or executive managers.
Do you need an MBA to get a DBA?
Some DBA programs require applicants to hold an MBA. However, many accept students with other degrees. Most DBA programs require candidates to hold a strong business background.