The Best Online Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

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Updated October 5, 2023

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Business professionals hoping to advance their careers or branch out into academia should consider earning a doctor of business administration online. Students can earn either an online Ph.D. in business or an online doctor of business administration (DBA). Both are terminal degrees. While a Ph.D. prepares business professionals for postsecondary teaching positions, online DBA programs prepare students for executive positions in business. The earning potential for top executives with a doctorate of business administration is significant. Earning a doctor of business administration online may be a convenient and flexible way to attain this kind of earning potential.

As business sectors like technology and healthcare continue to expand, talented business leaders continue to grow in demand and value. With a number of quality schools offering DBA degree programs online, earning a doctorate of business administration has never been easier or cheaper. Online DBA programs not only let you study from the comfort of your home, but also allow you to pursue your degree without sacrificing your current job.

The Best Online Doctorate in Business Administration Degree Programs

#1 The Best Online Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Liberty University

  • Lynchburg, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The doctor of business administration program at Liberty University offers a flexible route to a doctorate. With its flexible format, the private university helps degree-seekers complete a doctorate. Doctoral students receive support services like career advising and research support.

The online business administration program incorporates 60 credits of doctoral coursework. After passing comprehensive examinations, doctoral candidates choose a dissertation topic and conduct research in their specialty area. Graduates with a DBA pursue roles in research, academia, and leadership.

Online doctoral students can pay for their degree with scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of financial aid. Contact the business administration program to learn more about doctoral admission requirements.

Liberty University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 78,511

Online Master's Programs: 67

Online Doctoral Programs: 9

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,980

Accepts Transfer Credits: Accepted

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$15,417
Out-of-state
$15,417
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,980
Out-of-state
$7,980
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
51%
Students Enrolled
85,586
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 The Best Online Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Drexel University

  • Philadelphia, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The DBA program at Drexel University enrolls online learners. Degree-seekers benefit from the flexible enrollment options at the private university. Doctoral students participate in career advising and gain research skills.

The online business administration program requires doctoral coursework. After completing coursework, doctoral candidates conduct research for their dissertation or doctoral project. A doctorate leads to job opportunities in research, academia, and leadership.

Doctoral students who enroll online at the accredited institution qualify for fellowships, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid. Contact the program to learn more about the enrollment process and start dates.

Drexel University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 9,300

Online Master's Programs: 39

Online Doctoral Programs: 2

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $35,181

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$52,146
Out-of-state
$52,146
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$35,181
Out-of-state
$35,181
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
75%
Students Enrolled
24,205
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#3 The Best Online Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Johnson & Wales University

  • Providence, RI
  • 4 years
  • Campus

The DBA program at Johnson & Wales University uses an online learning format. At the private university, degree-seekers participate in virtual classroom activities to earn a doctorate. Doctoral students receive research support throughout the business administration program.

In the online DBA program, graduate learners complete advanced classes. Doctoral candidates advance in the program by passing comprehensive exams and writing an original dissertation. A doctorate in business administration prepares graduates for careers in academia, research, and leadership.

Doctoral students qualify for federal financial aid and fellowships at the accredited institution. Prospective applicants can contact the program to learn more about financial aid opportunities and the admissions process.

Johnson & Wales University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 1,000

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,734

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$33,054
Out-of-state
$33,054
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$13,734
Out-of-state
$13,734
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
93%
Students Enrolled
6,695
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#4 The Best Online Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Saint Leo University

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

The online doctor of business administration program, offered by Saint Leo University, ranks as a top program in the field. Thanks to a flexible format, the private institution makes it easier to complete a doctorate. Doctoral students participate in career counseling and benefit from research support.

The online business administration program requires doctoral coursework. After passing comprehensive examinations, doctoral candidates begin working on an original dissertation project. Graduates with a doctorate in business administration work in academic, research, and industry positions.

Doctoral students qualify for federal financial aid and fellowships at the accredited institution. Prospective applicants can contact the program to learn more about research support, financial aid opportunities, and admission requirements.

Saint Leo University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 7,873

Online Master's Programs: 27

Online Doctoral Programs: 1

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,296

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$23,100
Out-of-state
$23,100
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,296
Out-of-state
$7,296
Retention Rate
69%
Admission Rate
72%
Students Enrolled
10,912
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
72% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 The Best Online Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

George Fox University

  • Newberg, OR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Doctoral students seeking an online DBA program benefit from the doctor of business administration at George Fox University. With its flexible format, the private university makes a doctorate more accessible. Doctoral students receive library access, research support, and career services.

The doctoral program includes a rigorous curriculum in business administration. Doctoral candidates pass comprehensive examinations and conduct research for their dissertation. A doctorate leads to job opportunities in research, academia, and leadership.

At the accredited institution, doctoral students qualify for several forms of financial aid. Reach out to the program to learn more about financial aid opportunities, admissions requirements, and start dates.

George Fox University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 456

Online Master's Programs: 1

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,845

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$36,750
Out-of-state
$36,750
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$13,845
Out-of-state
$13,845
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
4,063
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
11% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#6 The Best Online Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

University of Dallas

  • Irving, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Dallas offers a DBA program with an online learning format. Degree-seekers benefit from the flexible enrollment options at the private university. Doctoral students engage in advanced research and benefit from support services.

During the online business administration program, learners take doctoral courses to earn their degree. After passing comprehensive examinations, doctoral candidates complete an original dissertation that contributes to the field. A doctorate in business administration trains graduates for roles in research, academia, and leadership.

Online doctoral students at the accredited institution qualify for several forms of financial aid. Contact the program for more information about research support and financial aid.

University of Dallas at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 595

Online Master's Programs: 1

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $33,750

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$39,680
Out-of-state
$39,680
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$33,750
Out-of-state
$33,750
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
45%
Students Enrolled
2,481
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
24% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#7 The Best Online Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

California Baptist University

  • Riverside, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The doctor of business administration program at California Baptist University enrolls online learners. At the private institution, degree-seekers complete a doctorate in a flexible environment. Doctoral students receive support services like career advising and research support.

The doctoral program includes a rigorous curriculum in business administration. Doctoral candidates move through the program by passing exams and researching a dissertation project. Graduates with a business administration doctorate pursue roles in research, academia, and leadership.

Doctoral students who attend the accredited institution in an online format qualify for several types of financial aid. Reach out to the DBA program to learn more about the application process and start dates.

California Baptist University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 6,112

Online Master's Programs: 13

Online Doctoral Programs: 2

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $12,830

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$32,942
Out-of-state
$32,942
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$12,830
Out-of-state
$12,830
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
11,045
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#8 The Best Online Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

City University of Seattle

  • Seattle, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The doctor of business administration program at City University of Seattle offers an online option for doctoral students. Degree-seekers benefit from flexible course options through the private institution. Doctoral students receive research support and participate in scholarly events.

In the online business administration program, graduate learners take advanced courses. After passing comprehensive examinations, doctoral candidates begin working on an original dissertation project. As the terminal degree in business administration, the doctoral program trains graduates for roles in academia, research, and industry.

At the accredited institution, doctoral students can use fellowships, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid to pay for their degree. Contact the DBA program to learn more about doctoral admission requirements.

City University of Seattle at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 1,568

Online Master's Programs: 16

Online Doctoral Programs: 2

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 6-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,430

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$13,120
Out-of-state
$13,120
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,430
Out-of-state
$11,430
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,960
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#9 The Best Online Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Concordia University Chicago

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

The doctorate in business administration program at Concordia University Chicago appeals to doctoral students seeking an online route to their degree. The private university provides flexible enrollment options to meet the needs of diverse degree-seekers. Doctoral students participate in career advising and gain research skills.

In the online business administration program, graduate learners take advanced courses. After passing comprehensive examinations, doctoral candidates spend 1-2 years researching and writing their dissertation. With a doctorate in business administration, professionals work in academia, research, and leadership roles.

Doctoral students who enroll online at the accredited institution qualify for fellowships, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid. Prospective applicants can contact the program to learn more about the enrollment process and start dates.

Concordia University Chicago at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 4,222

Online Master's Programs: 48

Online Doctoral Programs: 9

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,910

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$31,926
Out-of-state
$31,926
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,910
Out-of-state
$8,910
Retention Rate
62%
Admission Rate
75%
Students Enrolled
6,205
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 The Best Online Doctorate in Business Administration Programs

Hampton University

  • Hampton, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Hampton University offers a top-ranked online Ph.D. in business administration program. The private university offers flexible enrollment options for degree-seekers. Doctoral students work closely with faculty mentors and career advisors.

In the online business administration program, graduate learners take advanced courses. After passing comprehensive examinations, doctoral candidates propose a dissertation topic and conduct research in their specialty area. A doctorate in business administration prepares graduates for careers in academia, research, and leadership.

The accredited institution meets federal requirements for financial aid support. Contact the business administration program to learn more about financial aid, enrollment options, and start dates.

Hampton University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 490

Online Master's Programs: 3

Online Doctoral Programs: 3

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $12,475

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$24,950
Out-of-state
$24,950
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$12,475
Out-of-state
$12,475
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
36%
Students Enrolled
4,293
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
11% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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What Can I Expect From an Online Doctorate in Business Administration Program?

Every online DBA program is different, offering unique courses, academic timelines, residency demands, and dissertation requirements. Though programs may differ from school to school, most online doctor of business administration programs seem to share certain key features. Students can anticipate certain foundational courses and dissertation requirements.

Curriculum for an Online Doctorate in Business Administration

  • Financial decision making:
    In this course, students learn how to collect and analyze financial data and use their findings to make sound financial decisions for organizations. Students also learn how to predict trends that may affect their organizations in the future.
  • Organizational development theories and trends:
    In this course, students learn the ins and outs of reorganizing a company. Coursework pulls from theories like organizational ecology, organizational frames, and lean operational strategy. Students learn how to assess, plan, and implement change in an organization to maximize efficiency.
  • Corporate and personal ethics:
    This course explores the ethical dilemmas inherent to the field of business. Students discuss how to fuse ethics into their corporate strategies, focusing on sustainable business practices, philanthropy, and personal morals. Using contemporary businesses as case studies, students learn how to enact best practices and set innovative standards for ethical business.
  • Global management:
    Students learn how to conduct business on a global scale. Coursework covers variables that affect foreign businesses, including cultural, political, geographic, environmental, and legal factors. Students also learn about international management, as well as international finance and accounting.
  • Research methodology and design:
    This course provides a foundation for students to begin their dissertation. Students learn research methodologies and apply them to research in a business setting. Students identify an area of interest, draft research questions, critique previous studies, and begin designing their own research study.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Doctorate in Business Administration?

Students typically earn a doctor of business administration online in three to five years, including the time required to research, write, and defend a dissertation. Programs generally require 60 credit hours of coursework. These credits include core and elective coursework, a research component, and the dissertation.

Several factors can affect how long it takes to earn a DBA degree online. Some schools will honor more transfer credits than others. Schools that accept a generous amount of transfer credits allow students to graduate earlier than they would otherwise. Schools that follow an individually paced learning format rather than a cohort learning format may also help students to graduate in less time. Individually paced learning allows students to advance through course requirements at their own speed. In cohort models, students progress through their program as a group of peers, usually taking one class at a time.

Employment Outlook for Doctorate in Business Administration Graduates

Doctorate in Business Administration Careers and Salaries

Professionals who earn a DBA online go on to work in a variety of fields, including healthcare, education, government, military, nonprofits, and private businesses. Many people in doctor of business administration online programs come from a business background and have earned either an MBA or a bachelor's degree in business. Candidates typically have experience in finance, management, or administration.

Many are active business professionals interested in advancing within their current field of employment. Alternatively, students pursuing an online Ph.D. in business administration may enter a career in academia. Below are five careers for graduates who complete an online doctor of business administration.

  1. Top Executive:
    Top executives manage companies at the highest level. They create plans for success and ensure a company enacts policies, strategies, and operations necessary to achieve its goals. They oversee financial activity, negotiate contracts, appoint employees to key positions, and determine where to cut costs. The position is often highly demanding and may require frequent travel to meetings and conferences.
    • Median Annual Salary: $104,980
    • Projected Growth Rate: 8%
  2. Human Resources Manager:
    HR managers serve as a bridge between an organization’s employees and employers. They help recruit, interview, hire, and compensate employees, and communicate with an organization’s management about hiring needs. They also handle interpersonal issues among staff, mediate conflicts, oversee employee benefits programs, and manage compensation issues. Many HR managers travel to meet with distant branches.
    • Median Annual Salary: $113,300
    • Projected Growth Rate: 9%
  3. Economist:
    Economists analyze data, evaluate economic problems, conduct surveys, and predict economic trends to advise businesses and organizations about financial decisions. When working in the private sector, economists study consumer demand and sales to inform business decisions and maximize profit.
    • Median Annual Salary: $104,340
    • Projected Growth Rate: 6%
  4. Postsecondary Teacher:
    Educators with a Ph.D. in business administration can teach business-related topics at a college level. They also conduct research in their field, publish papers or books, and practice their own business on the side. They can work in public or private universities, community colleges, or professional schools. Their schedules vary according to their school’s academic schedule.
    • Median Annual Salary: $78,470
    • Projected Growth Rate: 15%
  5. Financial Analyst:
    Financial analysts advise businesses and organizations in making financial decisions, specifically in the area of investments. They study stocks, bonds, and economic trends in order to recommend profitable investments or portfolios. They often work more than 40 hours per week.
    • Median Annual Salary: $85,660
    • Projected Growth Rate: 11%
Source:Bureau of Labor Statistics

Business Administration Professional Organizations

Professional business organizations allow students earning their doctor of business administration online to connect with employers and other professionals in their field. These organizations also provide professional development opportunities like conferences, seminars, online courses, and certification programs. Most offer member benefits such as discounts on conferences and courses, access to job boards, and online forums. Members can also access educational resources like podcasts, newsletters, and webcasts. In addition to larger professional organizations, students can join specialized organizations that focus on fields like healthcare management, international finance, and e-marketing.

  • Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI):
    SMEI is the only international professional association dedicated to sales and marketing. In addition to connecting sales professionals from across the globe, the organization offers online forums and webinars, certifications, a career board, and online courses.
  • American Management Association (AMA):
    AMA partners with several Fortune 500 companies to offer professional growth opportunities for business managers. The association offers seminars, conferences, books, podcasts, and webcasts. In 2017, Training Industry Inc. deemed AMA a top 20 leadership training company.
  • American Marketing Association:
    The American Marketing Association is the largest association of marketing professionals in the world. Members gain access to training programs, a marketer’s toolkit, conferences, educational articles, webcasts, and podcasts.

Paying for Your Online Doctorate in Business Administration

Students earning their online doctorate in business administration have many options for funding their education. Students pursuing their online DBA or online Ph.D. should fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine if they qualify for federal aid. Students should also contact representatives with their department and school to see if any funding opportunities exist. Professionals pursuing an online Ph.D. in business administration can apply for fellowships and scholarships through their school’s business department. Unfortunately, these same opportunities do not always apply for students earning their doctor of business administration online.

Employers may also assist with the cost of tuition, provided that the student plans to continue working for the company. Students should contact their employer to inquire about tuition assistance or tuition reimbursement programs. The flexible schedule of an online DBA program also allows students to continue working to fund their education. Students pursuing an online DBA can also take out loans or apply for grants from third-party organizations.

Accreditation for Online Doctorate in Business Administration Degrees

When a school is regionally or nationally accredited, it means that an accrediting agency has conducted a review and determined the school meets certain standards of educational quality. Of the two types, regional accreditation is generally considered more prestigious than national accreditation. While most schools and employers honor credits earned at a regionally accredited school, not all regionally accredited schools or employers will honor credits earned at a nationally accredited school.

When choosing an online DBA program, you should check to see that the school is accredited and determine whether this accreditation is regional or national. Common regional accrediting agencies include the Higher Learning Commission and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is a common national accrediting agency that reviews online programs. You should also look for online DBA programs accredited by business-specific accrediting agencies like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Two organizations oversee accreditation: the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The ED is a government agency responsible for overseeing the quality and progress of educational programs in the U.S. CHEA is an independent organization representing more than 3,000 colleges and over 50 accrediting organizations. While neither entity grants accreditation to schools, both organizations review accrediting agencies to determine if they meet certain standards of quality. Both organizations also publish a list of accredited programs for the public’s use. To find out whether an online DBA or online Ph.D. program in business is accredited, consult the list of accredited programs on the ED and CHEA websites.


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