DBA, business courses

Study a graduate DBA program

What will I study on a DBA?

A Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is the equivalent of a PhD in business administration. Unlike its close cousin the MBA, a DBA is focused on research and is more suited to students looking to tackle the theoretical issues in business, rather than the practical.
Not all countries and institutions offer DBAs, but those that too tend to be high level business schools. You should expect your DBA program to be focused around researching coursework and a final thesis, with lots of independent research and academic reading.
You should expect to cover topics such as business practices, accounting, global economics and financial strategy. However, ultimately your final thesis and study topic will be up to you.

Length of program

Doctorates of Business Administration can be taken either full time or part time, depending on your requirements and those offered by your chosen institution. As the DBA is a PhD level qualification, you will be studying for a number of years.
Most DBAs take between three to four years to study full time, but can take up to six years if you choose to study your program part time.

Entry requirements

The majority of DBA programs around the world will require you to be well qualified in business before you will be accepted on a program. You should expect to have the following:

  • An MBA or Masters in a related business subject
  • Evidence of substantial senior level managerial experience
  • Evidence of previous experience at a high academic level
Applicants will also be expected to attend an interview to discuss their experience and research topic.

Career development

A DBA is the pinnacle of business education, the highest possible academic level you can attain. Consequently, graduates are in demand both in industry and academia. As DBA programs are designed for senior professionals, you will normally already have a track record of excellence in business.

A DBA will allow you to develop your academic thought in an area you may not have previously had the time to develop. Graduates go on to board level positions in industry, or to senior level academic positions.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for international DBA programs vary from country to country and program to program. As a guide, you should expect your DBA program to cost around the following amounts:

  • UK - £10,000 - £40,000
  • USA - $60,000 - $100,000

What to do next?

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