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Program Overview

The Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) is designed for practicing professionals in business, industry and other for-profit fields. Goals are to:

  • Develop leaders who are well versed in the triple-bottom-line sustainability paradigm (economic, social and environmental).
  • Equip leaders with the skills and competencies to initiate and manage change in today’s competitive environment.
  • Educate and train leaders to employ pedagogical, empirical and research skills to initiate, conduct and evaluate independent research.
  • Provide a forum for area professionals to network and collaborate with others who share their interests in leadership, service and development of communities.
  • Enable candidates to customize their studies based on work context, educational background and career aspirations.
  • Advance frontiers of theoretical knowledge and practical application in leadership.

Entrance requirements

See Admission Requirements for a complete listing of entrance criteria.

About the program

The DBA requires 60 credits beyond the master’s degree and consists of 27 credits of core coursework, 12 credits from a specialization tier, 9 credits of research methodology courses, and a 12-credit applied research-based capstone project.

Core leadership tier

Courses in this tier provide every cohort member a common set of understandings about key elements of effective organizational leadership:

  • Seminar in Leadership Theory and Practice (4 credits)
  • Seminar in Ethics and Leadership (4 credits)
  • Leading and Managing Human Capital (3 credits)
  • Financial Stewardship for Leaders (3 credits)
  • Sustainable Systemic Leadership (3 credits)
  • Seminar in Leading Strategic Change and Transformation (4 credits)
  • Leadership and Strategic Communication (3 credits)
  • Leadership, Advocacy, and Policy (3 credits)

Research tier

All candidates complete the following three Research Methodology courses for a total of nine credits:

  • Qualitative Research in Social Sciences: Theory and Design (3 credits)
  • Statistical Methods for Social Science Research: Design & Analysis (3 credits)
  • Fundamentals of Evidence-Based Management: Theory, Research, and Application (3 credits)

Specialization tier

Candidates select 12 specialization credits (three courses) from among graduate course offerings within the departments of Psychology and Counseling, Economics and Business Administration, and Education. Also, in consultation with their adviser, students design and conduct a one-credit project related to each of those elective courses. These projects will involve either the candidate’s employer or a local organization and have as their goal to inform the candidate concerning the ultimate subject of his/her research-based capstone experience. Up to six credits beyond the master’s degree may be transferred toward meeting this requirement with the adviser’s approval.

Note: Selection is subject to the approval of the candidate’s adviser and Program Director. With approval, courses from other departments may also meet this requirement.

  • AFHS 524 Race and Racism in the United States 3.0
  • COUN 500 Human Development as Lifelong Development 3.0
  • COUN 502 Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling 3.0
  • COUN 503 Lifestyle and Career Development 3.0
  • COUN 506 Research and Program Evaluation 3.0
  • ECON 560 Managerial Economics 3.0
  • ECMG 578 International Financial Management 3.0
  • EDUC 502 Technology for Literacy, Leadership, and Learning 3.0
  • EDUC 513 School Law 3.0
  • EDUC 514 Administration of Pupil Services 3.0
  • EDUC 581 Research-based Teaching and Learning 3.0
  • EDUC 582 Educational Philosophy in a Diverse Society 3.0
  • EDUC 584 Systemic Change Processes for School Improvement 3.0
  • EDUC 586 Principles of Supervision 3.0*
  • MGMT 562 Financial & Managerial Accounting 3.0
  • MGMT 563 Marketing Management 3.0
  • MGMT 565 International Management 3.0
  • MGMT 566 Management & Information Technology 3.0
  • MGMT 568 Accounting Information Systems 3.0
  • MGMT 569 Project Management 3.0
  • MGMT 570 Marketing Analysis for Managers 3.0
  • MGMT 572 Supply Chain Management 3.0
  • MGMT 576 Advanced Financial Management 3.0
  • MGMT 577 Portfolio and Investment Management 3.0
  • MGMT 580 Strategic Cost Management 3.0
  • MGMT 581 Financial Statement Analysis 3.0
  • MGMT 582 Negotiation & Conflict Resolution 3.0
  • MGMT 587 Public Administration 3.0

Research-based capstone courses

During the last two years candidates work within a series of applied research-based capstone project courses for a total of 12 credits. This work is guided by an advisory committee and includes a public presentation of the results. Capstone projects are expected to address a challenge within the candidate’s working context, organization or community and to incorporate leadership-based research and the impact of effective leadership. Examples include the design and implementation of a strategic plan, implementation of a diversity management program and an assessment of the effectiveness of various implemented programs.

The capstone project consists of the following three courses which are distributed across three semesters:

  • Capstone I: Theoretical Framework (4 credits)
  • Capstone II: Research Proposal Defense (4 credits)
  • Capstone III: Project Defense (4 credits)

DBA candidates must also fulfill the following requirements before graduation:

  • Attend a minimum of two approved management workshops each year for a total of six.
  • Present a paper at a national conference.
  • Present a paper at a regional conference.
  • Work as an apprentice to a faculty member to gain skill and experience in teaching and research.
  • Publish a paper in at least a practitioner-oriented publication.
  • Participate in a minimum two-week international immersion program (strongly recommended).