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Online Doctorate Degree in Business Administration

Find out what to expect from an online doctorate degree program in business administration and the typical admissions requirements for these programs. You can also learn more about what topics and classes may be included.

What Can I Learn in an Online Doctoral Degree Program in Business Administration?

A Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree program may be offered with concentrations in finance, international business or marketing. The program generally takes about four years to complete beyond a master's degree and will likely require you to complete a dissertation. You will learn the theoretical aspects of business management, strategy and leadership, including ways in which these skills can translate into the workplace. Your courses are meant to build on your existing business experience and provide you with the skill set needed to problem solve and develop efficient companies.

Some degree programs allow you to take part in summer residencies or internships as a way to transfer your classroom lessons into real-world business leadership experience. If you are interested in growing your career to become a business consultant or professor, you may also be required to conduct research on best business practices.

Program Concentrations Finance, international business, marketing
Prerequisites Master's degree, GMAT scores, previous work experience
Common Courses Ethics and leadership, accounting theory, organizational theory, business law
Median Salary (2018)  $189,600 (for all chief executives
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 8% growth (for all top executives)   

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

What Will I Need to Be Admitted?

An online DBA program is designed especially for business professionals who want to expand their careers. Your college is likely to take into consideration your current or previous business experience and the potential you show to further your career as a manager or executive. Most schools will require that you hold a master's degree that relates to business; however, some schools may admit you if you have a specified number of graduate credits. You also may need to take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT).

What Kind of Classes Might I Take?

Your classes will revolve around all aspects of business, including marketing, management, human resources and organizational behavior. You can take some or all of your courses online, or you could take a combination of online and on-campus courses. You may be required to visit your college campus to take part in research studies, meet with professors and complete your dissertation. Some potential courses may include:

  • Organization theory
  • Strategy and business policy
  • Ethics and leadership
  • Accounting theory
  • International business and finance
  • Business law
  • Financial economics