Business Programs

Individuals desiring to advance in their careers as executives should consider the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) or Ph.D. The Doctor of Business Administration focuses on the application of theory to practical problems in the work environment. Most individuals who obtain this particular doctoral degree use it to advance as executives or managers rather than teach.

Professionals who obtain a Doctor of Business Administration rather than a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) will find minimal differences. Both degrees rely heavily on research, require students to take a qualifying exam, and require that individuals defend a doctoral dissertation. However, the Doctor of Philosophy develops professional researchers who may possibly teach in addition to their research.

Some business schools will offer students the option to complete a Doctor of Business Administration as an interim step to a Ph.D. The Ph.D. will prepare the individual to teach and research within the academic environment. Students entering a Ph.D. program in Business Administration or a Doctor of Business Administration should first complete their Masters of Business Administration at an accredited school.

Doctoral Degree vs. Masters Degree

Enrollees into business doctoral programs have increased in the past two years. Columbia Business School experienced an increase of 27 percent in applications. Stanford University exhibited a 25 percent application increase and University of Chicago exhibited an application increase of 40 percent. University of Pennsylvania experienced a 34 percent application increase, which translated to an increase of nearly 1,182 applications.

Because of the increase in applications, universities are seeking to reduce the number of applicants accepted. Ph.D. students are expensive investments and universities cannot afford them if budgets are cut. Most receive fellowships or stipends of $15,000 to $30,000 per year.

Many professionals prefer this route to obtaining a professional degree, because the Masters of Business Administration only requires 1 to 2 years to complete. However, most schools require at least 3 years of work experience prior to applying to a Masters of Business Administration. Many schools prefer students with a bachelors or background in economics, math, engineering, or physics. However, some do accept others.

The doctoral business degrees take between 4 and 7 years depending upon the program. Doctoral business graduates are some of the highest paid professionals. These degrees require less time to complete compared to other professional degrees, such as J.D. and M.D. Doctorate of Business Administration graduates and Business Administration Ph.D. graduates are also more likely to receive jobs globally, rather than only in their home country.

Online Ph.D. or D.B.A. Programs in Business Administration

Currently, several programs offer both Ph.D. and Doctor of Business Administration online. A Masters of Business Administration is required to matriculate into the program. Students will receive their coursework online via Web 2.0 technology in most instances. In some instances, students will have specified times to meet with faculty, advisors, and peers through online communication or via face-to-face interaction.

The curriculum is primarily the same, but the extent of physical communication varies from program to program. Each course of study requires research, qualifying exams, and a dissertation defense.

Online programs are designed to help students develop strategic thinking, analytical thinking, decision-making skills, and process implementation. Most programs aim to demonstrate global business management and consulting principles to students. Students will learn ethical leadership skills, risk management, and project management skills in most online programs.

Students who graduate from an online program should have the ability to research and communicate high level concepts in a variety of business settings. Strategic thinking skills will help students develop solutions to industry applications and beyond.

Selected Online Programs

Sample courses from an online program include the following:

  • Applied Research through eLearning
  • Financial Economics
  • Global Economy
  • Organizational Change and Development
  • Managing Innovation
  • Strategic Management
  • Business Research Methodology
  • Risk Management
  • International Business
  • Project Management
  • Business Logistics

University of Phoenix

  • Doctor of Management in Organization Leadership

Jones International University

  • Doctorate of Business Administration


  • Doctorate of Business Administration – Global Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • Doctorate of Business Administration – Strategy and Innovation
  • DBA – Accounting
  • DBA – Business Intelligence
  • DBA – Finance
  • DBA – Human Resource Management
  • DBA – Information Technology Management
  • DBA – Leadership
  • DBA – Marketing
  • DBA – Project Management

Colorado Technical Institute

  • Doctorate of Executive Management

Baker College Online

  • Doctor of Business Administration

University of Maryland

  • Doctor of Management

California Intercontinental University

  • Doctorate of Business Administration – Entrepreneurship and Business Management
  • Doctorate of Business Administration – Global Business and Leadership

North Central University

  • Organizational Leadership – D.B.A.
  • Organizational Leadership – PhD in Bus. Admin.

Offline Ph.D. or D.B.A. Programs in Business Administration

Duke University Fuqua School of Business

Duke University offers students the opportunity to expand their business expertise through business curriculum aimed to improve analytical and research capabilities. Professors at Duke University emphasize independent inquiry in their programs of study. Emphasis is also placed on developing strong research methodology and communication skills. Students possess the luxury of a higher faculty-to-student ratio in these programs of studies.

This particular program requires four to six years to complete. In the third year, students should take their qualifying exams. Each student is required to determine a specific program of study. The specific programs include the following:

  • Decision Sciences
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Strategy
  • Operations Management

New Ph.D. students may receive stipends, tuition, registration, and health fees. Students will receive support from the school for 10 semesters or as long as the student remains in good standing. Each year for the past 3 years, the Fuqua School of Business has accepted 6 to 10 percent of the applicants received. The average GPA ranged from 3.6 to 3.9 from graduate schools. The average GMAT score was 709 to 719.

The stipend is typically $24,000 for the first and $21,000 the remaining 4 years. Students are required to research and work an average of 10 hours per week in the first year. Thereafter, graduate students may reduce this time to 6 hours. Research assistant funds will provide graduate students with at least another $3,000 per year. Health insurance is included for the first 6 years of study.

Stanford Graduate School of Business

The Stanford Graduate School of Business trains graduates to excel in the world of academia and business management. Their goal is to develop leaders who will direct the field in terms of management. Students will be trained in economic, behavioral, and mathematical sciences. Classes are small so students receive more personalized training from faculty.

Graduates will also address actual problems in the academic and business communities. The Stanford Graduate School of Business encourages students to interact with peers from various disciplines.

London Business School

The London Business School offers a four-year Ph.D. program that teaches students to excel in academia and research through cutting-edge research. The program is multi-disciplinary and the faculty is world-class. Students enjoy interacting with high-caliber classmates.

Ph.D. students may select from the following areas of research concentration:

  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Management Science and Operations
  • Marketing
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Strategic and International Management

Employment Opportunities and Salaries

After completing a Ph.D. program, many graduates will proceed into academia. Graduates with specializations in finance and accounting may earn salaries between $100,000 and $160,000. Doctorate of Business Administration graduates who obtain an executive position at a Vice President level or higher may earn between $250,000 and $500,000 after 10 to 15 years of experience.

Individuals who desire to obtain positions in upper management in the following categories may be good candidates for Doctorate of Business Administration:

  • Supply Chain Management
  • Global Business Strategy
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Accounting

Entrepreneurs starting their own businesses may also seek their Doctorate of Business Administration for credibility, networking, strategizing, or organizational management skills.

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2 Responses to “Business Programs”
  1. santoso sugianto

    Do you have any insights/reviews/evaluations for the distance DBA program of the Athabasca University – Alberta?


  2. Al hassane Ndiaye

    I would like join the Doctoral program for Duke university,how can i do ?

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