Business Administration Doctoral Programs | BestColleges (2024)

Table of Contents
Featured Online Business Administration Programs Top Doctorate in Business Administration Programs Baker College Cambridge College Cleveland State University Concordia University-Chicago Franklin University Jacksonville University Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Lincoln Memorial University Northcentral University Northwood University Sacred Heart University Saint Leo University St. Thomas University Touro University Worldwide University of West Alabama University of the Southwest Walsh College Wilmington University How We Rank Schools Ranking Methodology Summary Should I Get a Doctorate in Business Administration? Is a DBA the Same as a Ph.D. in Business Administration? What Can I Expect from a Doctor of Business Administration? Concentrations Management Accounting Finance Marketing Human Resources Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs How to Choose a Business Administration Doctoral Program Programmatic Accreditation for Doctorate in Business Administration Programs How to Get Into a Business Administration Doctoral Program What Can I Do With a Doctorate in Business Administration? Popular Career Paths Featured Online Business Administration Programs How Much Money Can I Make With a Doctorate in Business Administration? Additional Certifications and Licenses for a Doctorate in Business Administration Frequently Asked Questions About Doctorate in Business Administration Programs Can a DBA graduate call themselves a doctor? Should I get an MBA before a DBA? What is a DBA Degree? What is the salary difference between a DBA and an MBA? Which is better, a Ph.D. or DBA?

Want to earn your doctorate in business administration? Learn all about DBA programs and what kinds of careers and salaries you can get after graduating.

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Bennett LeckroneRead Full Bio

Reporter, Business Education

Bennett Leckrone is a news writer for BestColleges. Before joining BestColleges, Leckrone reported on state politics with the nonprofit news outlet Maryland Matters as a Report for America fellow. He previously interned for The Chronicle of Higher Ed...

Updated on April 15, 2024

Edited by

Valerie BlackRead Full Bio

Editor, Business Education

Valerie Black has over 12 years of experience as a professor and 10 years in journalism. She empowers students to leverage the resources that are available but not easily accessible. Her focus is in online education, rich content, and digital storyte...

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Krystal CovingtonRead Full Bio

Reviewer & Writer

Krystal Covington is a business growth strategist with 15 years of experience in marketing and public relations. She founded Women of Denver to help women increase their business acumen, sharpen leadership skills, and connect with other high-achievin...

Learn more about our editorial process

By

Bennett LeckroneRead Full Bio

Reporter, Business Education

Bennett Leckrone is a news writer for BestColleges. Before joining BestColleges, Leckrone reported on state politics with the nonprofit news outlet Maryland Matters as a Report for America fellow. He previously interned for The Chronicle of Higher Ed...

Edited by

Valerie BlackRead Full Bio

Editor, Business Education

Valerie Black has over 12 years of experience as a professor and 10 years in journalism. She empowers students to leverage the resources that are available but not easily accessible. Her focus is in online education, rich content, and digital storyte...

Reviewed by

Krystal CovingtonRead Full Bio

Reviewer & Writer

Krystal Covington is a business growth strategist with 15 years of experience in marketing and public relations. She founded Women of Denver to help women increase their business acumen, sharpen leadership skills, and connect with other high-achievin...

Updated on April 15, 2024

Learn more about our editorial process

www.bestcolleges.com 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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Best Online Doctorate Programs in Business Administration

A doctorate in business administration (DBA) can be a good return on investment if you plan to head into executive leadership positions.

A DBA can set students apart from others who only have a bachelor’s in business or a master of business administration (MBA) degree. More than 200,000 students in the U.S. earned MBAs during the 2021-2022 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, compared to the less than 4,500 students who received doctoral degrees in business.

With a focus on problem-solving and research in real-world settings, a DBA sets you up for success in analytical leadership roles as a high-level consultant, CEO, economist, or business analyst.

A DBA also qualifies you to land research and postsecondary education jobs. Follow this guide to learn more about top schools for a doctorate in business and what you can expect from this degree program.

Featured Online Business Administration Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Top Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

We use trusted sources like Peterson's Data and the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. BestColleges.com 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. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such.

BestColleges.com 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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Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Baker College

  • Owosso, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $750

Out-of-State | $750

Credits to Graduate: 60

Study business at the highest level at Baker College, a private institution in Michigan. You can earn a doctorate in business administration with a fully online format. The program combines doctoral coursework with independent study to develop your knowledge of business theories and techniques. You’ll also learn how to apply principles in real-world settings.

During the program, you’ll complete a professional residency and a research-based dissertation. The degree prepares graduates for executive-level roles as well as opportunities as a consultant or professor.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$12,180

Out-of-state

$12,180

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$12,510

Out-of-state

$12,510

Retention Rate

63%

Acceptance Rate

41%

Students Enrolled

4,969

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

72%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Higher Learning Commission

Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Cambridge College

  • Boston, MA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

School Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $705

Out-of-State | $705

Credits to Graduate: 60

Specialize in quality management while earning your DBA at Cambridge College, a private institution. The doctor of business administration program focuses on quality systems and improvement management (QSIM), with five graduate courses that focus on QSIM.

You’ll conduct independent research, learn how to solve complex problems, and explore methods to improve business processes. After completing coursework, you’ll research and write a dissertation that combines business theory, original research, and topic-area expertise.

3. Cleveland State University

Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $632

Out-of-State | $916

Credits to Graduate: 64

Earn your doctorate while working full-time at this public research university. You can earn a doctorate in business administration through online classes offered in the evening.

Specialize in finance, information systems, marketing, global business, or management. Or you can explore operations and supply chain management at the doctoral level.

CSU uses a cohort model, so you’ll collaborate with peers throughout the degree program. You’ll also have opportunities to work with faculty on research projects — DBA students typically publish two refereed articles while earning their degree.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$16,442

Out-of-state

$16,442

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$16,409

Out-of-state

$16,409

Retention Rate

67%

Acceptance Rate

Not provided

Students Enrolled

2,451

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

44%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

New England Commission on Higher Education

Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Cleveland State University

  • Cleveland, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $632

Out-of-State | $916

Credits to Graduate: 64

Earn your doctorate while working full-time at this public research university. You can earn a doctorate in business administration through online classes offered in the evening.

Specialize in finance, information systems, marketing, global business, or management. Or you can explore operations and supply chain management at the doctoral level.

CSU uses a cohort model, so you’ll collaborate with peers throughout the degree program. You’ll also have opportunities to work with faculty on research projects — DBA students typically publish two refereed articles while earning their degree.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$11,610

Out-of-state

$16,574

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$10,419

Out-of-state

$17,845

Retention Rate

70%

Acceptance Rate

91%

Students Enrolled

15,308

Institution Type

Public

Percent Online Enrollment

44%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Higher Learning Commission

Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Concordia University-Chicago

  • River Forest, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $945

Out-of-State | $945

Credits to Graduate: 60

Concordia-Chicago, a private Lutheran university, emphasizes leadership and management preparation in its business programs. With a doctorate in business administration, you’ll hold the highest degree in the field.

The online DBA incorporates application-oriented research and real-life business challenges. You’ll choose from specializations in strategic leadership and innovation or innovation in healthcare management.

Three residencies bring learners to Chicago to interact with peers and faculty members. And you’ll start your dissertation discussions in the first year, helping you launch a successful research project.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$33,310

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$9,090

Out-of-state

$9,090

Retention Rate

57%

Acceptance Rate

88%

Students Enrolled

6,086

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

84%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Higher Learning Commission

Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Franklin University

  • Columbus, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $748

Out-of-State | $748

Credits to Graduate: 58

Concentrate your DBA with options like health informatics, human resources, or finance at Franklin University, a private institution in Ohio. The online doctor of business administration program also offers focus areas in public administration, information technology, and instructional design leadership.

As a doctoral student, you’ll learn how to manage corporation-wide initiatives and find competitive advantages while strengthening technical and communication skills. The fully online program allows up to 24 transfer credits to help you finish faster.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$9,552

Out-of-state

$9,552

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$16,080

Out-of-state

$16,080

Retention Rate

100%

Acceptance Rate

Not provided

Students Enrolled

6,815

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

95%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Higher Learning Commission

Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Jacksonville University

  • Jacksonville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $1,320-$1,500

Out-of-State | $1,320-$1,500

Credits to Graduate: 63-75

At this liberal arts college in Florida, you can earn a doctorate in a fully online format. The online doctor of business administration program offers concentrations in accounting and finance, management, or healthcare leadership. You can also design your own concentration. The program offers academic and professional tracks depending on your career goals.

As a doctoral student, you’ll receive one-on-one advising and participate in a mentorship program. You’ll also network with graduates and industry leaders as you strengthen problem-solving, critical thinking, and research skills.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$42,250

Out-of-state

$42,250

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$13,889

Out-of-state

$13,889

Retention Rate

69%

Acceptance Rate

78%

Students Enrolled

3,995

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

51%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale

  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Year:

In-State | $31,712

Out-of-State | $31,712

Credits to Graduate: 60

Prepare for leadership roles in business or academic careers with an online doctorate from Keiser. The doctor of business administration program incorporates theory and applied research to build the tools for a successful career in business. Strengthen decision-making and business management skills while specializing in marketing, management, or global business.

The DBA program includes core coursework, research classes, and a 15-credit specialization. You’ll also complete two residencies in Ft. Lauderdale. The program requires a master’s degree for admission.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$20,800

Out-of-state

$20,800

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$29,632

Out-of-state

$29,632

Retention Rate

72%

Acceptance Rate

96%

Students Enrolled

19,861

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

50%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Lincoln Memorial University

  • Harrogate, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $740

Out-of-State | $740

Credits to Graduate: 60

From its Tennessee campus near Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, LMU offers online and on-campus degrees. Designed for business professionals in Appalachia, the doctor of business administration program offers concentrations in management and marketing.

During the program, you’ll strengthen your analytical and leadership skills. The curriculum trains graduates to apply behavioral, policy, and strategic methods to improve an organization’s effectiveness. You’ll complete a dissertation to demonstrate your knowledge.

Applicants need a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a master’s degree with a minimum 3.5 GPA.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$23,760

Out-of-state

$23,760

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$19,654

Out-of-state

$19,654

Retention Rate

70%

Acceptance Rate

70%

Students Enrolled

5,118

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

32%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Northcentral University

  • La Jolla, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $442

Out-of-State | $442

Credits to Graduate: 48

Northcentral offers online degrees as part of the merged National University. You can earn a doctor of business administration degree online at this private institution. You’ll develop strategies to solve organizational problems while executing effective solutions.

During the DBA program, you can choose from specializations in health services, financial management, project management, or organizational leadership. Or consider a unique concentration like homeland security leadership and policy or industrial/organizational psychology.

The flexible program offers start dates every Monday, and you don’t need to submit GRE or GMAT scores for admission.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$11,064

Out-of-state

$11,064

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$16,881

Out-of-state

$16,881

Retention Rate

Not provided

Acceptance Rate

Not provided

Students Enrolled

12,648

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

Not provided

Accreditation

Yes

Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Northwood University

  • Midland, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $1,250

Out-of-State | $1,250

Credits to Graduate: 54-60

A university focused on business education, Northwood University offers degrees from its campus in Midland, Michigan, and in an online format. In the doctor of business administration program, you’ll apply business theory to real-world problems in the doctor of business administration program.

The three-year program includes one residency per year to connect with faculty on campus. During residencies, you’ll share in-progress research and collaborate with classmates. Throughout the year, you’ll take courses in leadership and business analytics in an online format. Small class sizes and faculty advisors mean you'll get personalized attention.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$29,000

Out-of-state

$29,000

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$37,080

Out-of-state

$37,080

Retention Rate

85%

Acceptance Rate

83%

Students Enrolled

2,422

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

71%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Higher Learning Commission

Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Sacred Heart University

  • Fairfield, CT
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Cost per Trimester:

In-State | $11,300

Out-of-State | $11,300

Credits to Graduate: 52.5

SHU is a private Catholic university in Fairfield, Connecticut. You can earn your doctorate in business administration with a concentration in finance in three years through the low-residency online program.

Designed for working adults, this program explores global financial markets, advanced risk management, and mathematical modeling. You’ll strengthen your research skills with a focus on complex financial projects. And you’ll design a specialized dissertation project based on your interests and career goals. SHU uses a cohort model with hands-on learning laboratories to encourage collaboration and networking.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$44,960

Out-of-state

$44,960

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$34,509

Out-of-state

$34,509

Retention Rate

86%

Acceptance Rate

66%

Students Enrolled

9,785

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

42%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

New England Commission on Higher Education

Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Saint Leo University

  • Saint Leo, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $965

Out-of-State | $965

Credits to Graduate: 57

At this private, Catholic university in Florida, you can earn the highest degree in business online. The doctor of business administration program centers on research, critical analysis, and applied skills. You’ll critique applied research in business, examine the global implications of business decisions, and complete a dissertation project that contributes to the fields of business and management.

Saint Leo takes a student-centered approach to graduate education, focusing on the application of knowledge and skills.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$23,990

Out-of-state

$23,990

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$15,218

Out-of-state

$15,218

Retention Rate

57%

Acceptance Rate

71%

Students Enrolled

9,523

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

84%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

St. Thomas University

  • Miami Gardens, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: N/A

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $1,029

Out-of-State | $1,029

Credits to Graduate: 60

The DBA program at STU, a Catholic university in Miami, Florida, offers multiple concentration options. Earn your DBA in sports administration to specialize in the sports industry or advance in tech with a DBA in cybersecurity management. You can also earn a DBA in management to focus on managing people, policies, and products.

As a doctoral student, you’ll take core business classes and courses in your focus area. Choose from doctoral research options such as a traditional dissertation, three journal articles, or action research.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$31,800

Out-of-state

$31,800

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$14,400

Out-of-state

$14,400

Retention Rate

56%

Acceptance Rate

71%

Students Enrolled

5,921

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

43%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Touro University Worldwide

  • Los Alamitos, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $700

Out-of-State | $700

Credits to Graduate: 48

Prepare for top executive positions by earning your doctorate online at TUW. The business administration doctorate examines business research and the theoretical foundations of business administration. You’ll also develop professional skills by developing managerial solutions.

Faculty mentorship and research activities will prepare you for a research-based doctoral project. You’ll design a project based on your interests, with the ability to research topics in finance, technology, global business, leadership, or other areas. The fully online program does not require a GRE for admissions and offers six start dates each year.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$14,440

Out-of-state

$14,440

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$9,000

Out-of-state

$9,000

Retention Rate

85%

Acceptance Rate

Not provided

Students Enrolled

2,251

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

99%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

University of West Alabama

  • Livingston, AL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council For Business Schools And Programs

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $630

Out-of-State | $630

Credits to Graduate: 60-66

Looking for a specialized DBA? At the University of West Alabama, you can earn a DBA in rural business. The online program examines global rural business challenges and strengthens leadership abilities.

During the program, you’ll explore entrepreneurial finance, statistical analysis, and legal issues. After researching rural business needs, you’ll complete an applied dissertation. And you can choose tracks in rural entrepreneurship and innovation or rural and transformational leadership. The program requires a master’s degree for admission.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$9,100

Out-of-state

$18,200

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$6,678

Out-of-state

$13,356

Retention Rate

63%

Acceptance Rate

74%

Students Enrolled

5,594

Institution Type

Public

Percent Online Enrollment

83%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

University of the Southwest

  • Hobbs, NM
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $799

Out-of-State | $799

Credits to Graduate: 60

At the University of the Southwest, a Christian institution located in New Mexico, you can earn your doctorate online. The doctor of business administration program offers multiple specialization options. You’ll choose from concentrations in data analytics, healthcare administration, or leadership and organization development. Or customize your DBA with a self-design option.

In the DBA program, you’ll explore research-based solutions to organizational challenges and learn how to put change into practice. The curriculum emphasizes real-world knowledge and executive-level problem-solving.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$16,000

Out-of-state

$16,000

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$22,500

Out-of-state

$22,500

Retention Rate

69%

Acceptance Rate

Not provided

Students Enrolled

1,064

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

100%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Higher Learning Commission

Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Walsh College

  • Troy, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $1,038

Out-of-State | $1,038

Credits to Graduate: 60

Located in Troy, Michigan, Walsh College is a private institution. As an online student in the doctor of business administration program, you’ll strengthen advanced business skills through applied research. While exploring the challenges facing business leaders, you’ll develop practical solutions.

In the part-time program, you’ll connect with faculty and students through online coursework and remote delivery. Coursework in organizational resilience, economic model analysis, and high-performance leadership emphasize in-demand leadership skills. The program concludes with a research-based dissertation.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$19,785

Out-of-state

$19,785

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$16,401

Out-of-state

$16,401

Retention Rate

Not provided

Acceptance Rate

Not provided

Students Enrolled

1,492

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

100%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Higher Learning Commission

Best Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Wilmington University

  • New Castle, DE
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $696

Out-of-State | $696

Credits to Graduate: 54

A private institution in Delaware, Wilmington stresses leadership in its graduate business programs. The online doctor of business administration program trains critical thought leaders who make significant contributions in their fields.

The DBA blends theory and practice by focusing on critical thinking, leadership management, and communication. In the fully online program, you’ll gain work experience through a critical evaluation research project. The program will connect you with a partner organization to put your coursework into action.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$11,700

Out-of-state

$11,700

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$9,000

Out-of-state

$9,000

Retention Rate

59%

Acceptance Rate

Not provided

Students Enrolled

13,129

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

87%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Middle States Commission on Higher Education

How We Rank Schools

To create this ranking, BestColleges sourced the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard. We then ranked each school according to the top variables college students selected in our College Choice and Admissions Survey. To learn more, check out our full rankings methodology or read the summary below.

Ranking Methodology Summary

To qualify for our rankings lists, each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution. Each eligible school was then ranked based on a formula measuring:

  • Affordability (30%)
  • Student outcomes (30%)
  • Reputation (20%)
  • Diversity and social mobility (20%)

In addition, we only included colleges with graduation rates in the top third of all online colleges.

Should I Get a Doctorate in Business Administration?

You can typically pursue a DBA after earning an MBA or a related degree and gaining years of professional experience. In these programs, you'll develop advanced leadership and management skills.

The best doctoral programs in business administration offer foundational courses in essential business strategy, financial decision-making, organizational theory and behavior, and market analysis. These programs also incorporate independent learning and research skills through a capstone or dissertation requirement.

You can complete a doctorate in business administration in roughly three years; however, completion times vary depending on your prior experience and program requirements. With a doctorate in business administration, you'll exceed most requirements for professional certifications, such as project management professional and professional in human resources.

Is a DBA the Same as a Ph.D. in Business Administration?

Both a DBA and a Ph.D. in business administration are terminal degrees with a heavy focus on research, but there are several key differences between the two.

Both programs generally culminate in a major research or thesis project but typically differ when it comes to the type of research being done. A Ph.D. in business administration tends to be focused more on theory and preparing you for academic research, whereas a DBA focuses on applied research to prepare you for roles in the business world.

What Can I Expect from a Doctor of Business Administration?

Schools may offer a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in business administration or a DBA degree. Depending on individual admission requirements and prerequisite coursework, programs typically require 60 credits and offer a choice of full- or part-time study. An online doctorate in business administration may include especially flexible enrollment options.

Most programs focus on sharpening skills in data analysis and strategic decision-making. Coursework also covers market analysis, trend-tracking, and corporate and nonprofit management techniques. After graduating, you can choose to pursue professional certification in a broad or specialized area of expertise.

Concentrations

  • Management

    This concentration emphasizes strong leadership and communication skills. You'll build on years of prior study in organizational theory, human resources development, and strategic management for public and private business sectors.
  • Accounting

    A concentration in accounting offers an in-depth examination of accounting ethics, applications, and compliance. Doctoral-level study of accounting also explores accounting tools and theory and conservative and skeptical behavior as related to best practices in accounting.
  • Finance

    This concentration prepares you for advanced roles in finance management, such as chief financial officer and private consultant. In this concentration, you'll explore managing investments, assets, liabilities, and long-term financial planning.
  • Marketing

    A doctorate in business administration with a concentration in marketing suits aspiring senior-level marketing, advertising, and promotions executives. Coursework in this concentration emphasizes advanced leadership skills and sales and advertising strategies.
  • Human Resources

    This concentration trains you to develop and implement advanced human resources policies. The curriculum explores organizational behavior and common challenges, and successful models in human resources.

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How to Choose a Business Administration Doctoral Program

You'll face several key considerations in your search for the best doctorate in business administration, including admission requirements, curriculum, format, and cost.

You can consider an online doctorate in business administration that offers accelerated paths to graduation and set or in-state tuition rates for distance learners. On the other hand, you might prioritize a program offering unique concentrations, career services, and networking opportunities.

Programmatic Accreditation for Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Any legitimate school offering a doctorate in business administration is accredited through the Department of Education and through a national or regional accrediting agency. Regional accreditation demonstrates that a school meets the highest standards in postsecondary education.

Many business administration programs boast additional specialized accreditation, most commonly through organizations, such as AACSB International, Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, or International Accreditation Council for Business Education. Programmatic accreditation ensures that a business administration degree meets academic and professional requirements for business and management fields.

How to Get Into a Business Administration Doctoral Program

Admission into a doctorate in business administration typically requires a master's degree in business or a related major and 1-3 years of professional experience. Though uncommon, some programs accept extensive work experience instead of a master's degree.

Though not always required, GMAT or GRE scores can be especially critical if you want to be admitted into a DBA program that accepts students without a master's degree. You should also prepare to submit your resume, official transcripts, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation.

Read Our Guide to Graduate Admissions Link

What Can I Do With a Doctorate in Business Administration?

While not all companies require a doctorate in business administration for high-level executive positions, professionals with a doctoral degree hold a distinct advantage. As a DBA graduate, you'll qualify for senior roles in corporate and nonprofit management within the public and private sectors. You can use your advanced leadership skills and extensive experience to earn a top salary and launch a long career.

With a DBA, you'll be able to pursue top executive positions like CEO, CFO, and CTO. You may also go on to become a business or management consultant, economist, financial manager, or postsecondary educator in business subjects. You might even carve out your own path in entrepreneurship or business development.

Popular Career Paths

  • Top Executive
  • Economist
  • Postsecondary Teacher
  • Finance Director
  • Management Consultant

Featured Online Business Administration Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

How Much Money Can I Make With a Doctorate in Business Administration?

According to PayScale, professionals with a doctorate in business make an average annual salary of $101,000. However, your salary will depend heavily on what types of positions you choose to pursue after graduating. A doctorate in business administration can lead to a position as a CEO, CFO, finance specialist, HR director, and consultant.

With a DBA, you can also use your advanced business expertise in a postsecondary teaching career in a subject like management or leadership. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), postsecondary educators earned a median annual wage of $79,870 in 2023, while top executives earned a median salary of $206,680.

Additional Certifications and Licenses for a Doctorate in Business Administration

Graduates with a doctorate in business administration often pursue PMP certification to demonstrate versatile project management skills in general business or a specialized field. Candidates must have field experience and/or previous professional certification to sit for the PMP exam. Graduates with a doctorate in business administration who aspire to senior roles in HR management may pursue PHR certification. Applicants with a master's degree or higher need at least one year of experience in a professional-level HR position to qualify for the exam. A step up from PHR certification, the SPHR credential denotes many years of senior-level experience in HR management. Candidates with a master's degree or higher must have a minimum of four years of professional experience to sit for the certifying exam. Salesforce is the most widely used e-commerce and customer-interfacing platform. This certification suits both sales professionals and network administrators seeking specialized skills. Students can take an exam to pursue more than 30 certification options, including salesforce administrator and salesforce certified advanced administrator. While many CPAs hold a degree in accounting, others may pursue CPA licensure to advance their careers in financial management after earning a doctorate in business administration. Becoming a CPA requires students to complete a post-baccalaureate or master's program and roughly two years of work experience (varies by state) and pass the CPA exam.

Frequently Asked Questions About Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Can a DBA graduate call themselves a doctor?

A DBA is a doctoral degree, so graduates can use the honorific "Dr." in the same way that people with a Ph.D. can. Those honorific titles are not to be confused with a medical doctor, which requires a host of different qualifications, training, and licensing requirements.

Should I get an MBA before a DBA?

Most DBA programs require a graduate degree for admission, but not necessarily an MBA. An MBA's instruction on leadership and management, however, can help prepare you for the more research-focused DBA.

What is a DBA Degree?

A DBA is a doctor of business administration. It is the highest-level degree you can get in business. DBA programs focus on providing students with applied knowledge they can use in a number of business roles, such as CEO, CFO, or consultant. These programs typically include a major, real-world research project.

What is the salary difference between a DBA and an MBA?

According to Payscale, professionals with a doctorate in business make an average annual salary of $101,000. Meanwhile, professionals with an MBA make an average annual salary of $94,000, meaning graduates with a DBA make an average of about $7,000 more per year.

Both an MBA and DBA can both open up doors to top-level management positions. However, a terminal degree like a DBA can help students stand out in the job hunt and can also lead to even higher earnings than those with a master's degree alone.

Which is better, a Ph.D. or DBA?

Which degree is better depends on what kind of career you would like to pursue. A Ph.D. in business and a DBA are both terminal degrees, meaning they are the highest level of education you can achieve in business. However, a DBA tends to be focused more on practical leadership training and research -- leading to more executive roles -- while a Ph.D is more academically oriented and focuses on theoretical research, leading to roles in academia.

Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by BestColleges. Page last reviewed February 22, 2024.

Business Administration Doctoral Programs | BestColleges (2024)
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