Online Doctorate Degree in Business Administration

Online Doctorate Degree in Business Administration

    Online Business Administration Doctorate Degree

    The multidisciplinary field of business administration prepares students for managerial roles in corporations, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Online doctoral programs in business can lead to senior-level occupations like chief executive officer and organizational development director.
    Online DBA programs often allow students to specialize in niche areas of business, such as accounting, human resources and project management. Many online DBA programs culminate in a dissertation, which requires students to complete a comprehensive research project related to their field of study.
    The DBA differs from a Ph.D. in business in that Ph.D. graduates are expected to go on to positions in academia or research, while DBA graduates use their degrees in corporate or other organizational positions.

    ONLINE DOCTORAL DEGREES IN BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT

    Online Benefits

    Online graduate programs are on the rise. Online doctoral business and management programs are becoming more and more accessible to suite the needs of the busy student, from private, public, for-profit, nonprofit, 100% online, hybrid, non-accredited, and accredited schools and programs. With an online doctoral program, students can further their career, at their pace, all the while working and juggling other responsibilities.

    Methodology

    This Top 25 list was ranked on the following criteria: accreditation, flexibility, prestige, estimated cost, and business management curriculum. Each criteria was given equal weight in order to gather a well respected and high quality business management program. Data was gather from each program’s website, US News and World Report, the Princeton Review, as well as the National Center for Education Statistics. Let this ranking help you find the highest quality online doctorate degree in business and management.
    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupations in management are expected to grow by 9 percent between 2016 and 2026, resulting in roughly 878,300 new jobs. The median annual salary for these occupations is $100,790.
    An online business administration doctorate program offers flexibility for students who are also working professionals. Web-based programs typically follow the same rigorous curricula as brick-and-mortar options, leading to similar advancement opportunities for graduates. The online format is also ideal for students who must tackle additional commitments – such as child or family care – on top of their work and class schedules.

    How long does it take to earn a DBA online?

    Online DBA programs typically require 54 to 60 credits. Full-time students can complete their DBA online within three to five years.

    How much does a doctorate in business administration cost?

    The cost of an online business administration doctorate degree depends on several factors. State residency is an important consideration, since many colleges and universities charge higher tuition for out-of-state students. However, some schools charge flat tuition for online students regardless of residency. Technology fees are another key factor; these fees often apply to online students but not their brick-and-mortar counterparts.
    Per-credit costs for an online business administration doctorate degree typically range from $500 to $1,000. Students should expect to pay between $27,000 and $60,000 in total tuition.

    Online doctorate in business administration admissions requirements

    A master’s degree is required for most Doctor of Business Administration online programs. Some admit only students who have earned a master’s in business administration or a related field of study.

    Choosing an accredited online business administration doctorate degree program

    Accreditation status is one of the most important considerations for prospective students. Colleges and universities in the U.S. receive accreditation from agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education; the accreditation process involves an extensive review of a school’s educational programs and student services.
    A school’s accreditation impacts course credit transferability, as well as student eligibility for federal financial aid, so students should ensure the school offering the program has earned national or regional accreditation.

    Online Coursework

    Example courses

    • Advanced business research methods
    • Leadership, ethics and corporate governance
    • Global management methods
    • Financial decision-making
    • Contemporary issues impacting organizational success
    Online DBA programs often include coursework in business research, including quantitative and qualitative methods. These courses are designed to prepare students for their dissertation projects. Additionally, students may be required to complete multiple courses as part of their dissertation project. Two to three onsite residencies may be required as well.
    Core courses tackle subjects like finance, leadership, statistics and economics. Another common component is international business. These courses compare operations, corporate culture and management strategies in different parts of the world. Additional core courses may explore topics like decision-making, contemporary issues in business and marketing, as well as business ethics.

    DBA degree specializations

    Many doctoral business programs online allow students to specialize in areas of business administration. Specializations typically entail three to five courses that must be taken in addition to core coursework.
    Specializations like international business and global supply chain management prepare students to work for international companies. Another specialization option is business intelligence, which focuses on topics like data mining and predictive analytics. Other specializations focus on niche fields within business administration, such as human resources, marketing, finance, accounting and project management.
    In addition, some specializations emphasize leadership and administration duties within certain industries. These include health care management, nonprofit leadership and management, homeland security, engineering and technology management, and criminal justice.
    Some DBA online programs also offer entrepreneurship specializations that explore topics associated with new businesses and startups, such as generating capital and managing innovation.
    Example concentrations
    Global operations and supply chain management
    Human resource management
    Data analytics
    Financial management
    Homeland security leadership and policy
    Technology entrepreneurship

    Dissertation or research project

    Most online DBA programs culminate in a dissertation project that often includes multiple courses. First, students must draft a dissertation proposal and receive faculty approval. After completing their research and writing the paper, the students must then present their findings and provide an oral defense. In most cases, the dissertation is completed during the later stages of the online DBA program.

    Professional Associations in Business Administration

    Professional associations provide a wide range of valuable resources for students in online DBA programs, as well as recent graduates. Benefits of membership include access to online journals and trade publications, professional development opportunities, job listings and in-person networking events. Three associations for DBA-holding business professionals are outlined below.
    • American Society of Association Executives: ASAE represents nearly 40,000 members belonging to roughly 7,400 organizations. ASAE offers the certified association executive credential, as well as multiple executive leadership education opportunities.
    • National Association of Professional Women: NAPW represents more than 850,000 women across 200 chapters in the U.S. Benefits for members include access to industry-specific groups, training courses in fields like HR and time management, and live video seminars and webinars. Students may also receive up to $2,000 in scholarships toward their degree.
    • International Institute of Business Analysis: Established in 2003, IIBA offers professional business analysis certification at four different training levels. The institute also offers an online career center where job seekers can post resumes and browse open positions.

    Job Outlook and Salaries for Graduates

    According to the BLS, the median annual salary for top executives is $103,950, and this occupation is projected to grow by 8 percent between 2016 and 2026. Meanwhile, management consultant employment is projected to grow by 12 percent during the same time.

    What can you do with a doctorate in business administration?

    An online DBA prepares students for leadership roles within a wide range of industries. The BLS says that 23 percent of chief executives are self-employed, and popular industries for chief executives include professional, scientific and technical services; government; manufacturing; and health care and social assistance.
    Roughly 30 percent of management consultants work in professional, scientific and technical services, while another 17 percent are self-employed.

    Online Doctorate Degree in Business Administration

    • Chief executive officer: CEOs oversee the majority of their organization’s executive decisions. They also work with other executives to create strategic plans and ensure that all personnel follow the guidelines of these plans. They may also have a hand in evaluating the performance of other high-ranking personnel, such as presidents and vice presidents.
    • Management consultant: Management consultants work with executive leaders to improve the efficiency, productivity and public perception of their organization. They create forecasts that predict performance factors and then evaluate employees in order to ensure goals are being met.
    • Organizational development director: These professionals manage and set goals for organizational development teams that are responsible for training and optimizing the skill sets of employees. In addition to a master’s degree or DBA, employers hiring for organizational development director positions often prefer at least six years of professional experience.
    • Senior business analyst: Senior business analysts use data to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of an organization and then work with executives to address areas where improvements are needed. Additionally, they help enforce deadlines, coordinate resources and provide client services.

    5 Most Affordable Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Online 2019


    Prospective doctor of business administration (DBA) students are immersed in their careers, quickly rising to the ranks of their organizations. Although they have a burning desire to continue their education and professional development, rarely do they have time to take a sabbatical from their busy day jobs. Luckily, with low-cost online DBA programs, they don’t have to. Specifically designed with the working professional in mind, these offerings allow students to complete coursework remotely while continuing to make meaningful contributions at the office. In this ranking, we explore the top 25 most affordable online doctorate in business administration offerings.

    #25—Felician University

    Lodi, New Jersey

    Online Doctor of Business Administration
    Graduate Enrollment: 370
    The affordable DBA online offering from Felician University is a self-paced option for busy professionals with a desire to advance in the business world. Although the vast majority of the program can be completed online, students will need to make two trips to campus for residencies: one for a statistics course and one for the required doctoral dissertation. Students enrolled in the program will take core knowledge classes such as Historical Perspectives in Management, Applied Management Theory, and Contemporary Marketing Theory. They will also take foundational courses such as Statistical an Quantitative Analysis, Introduction to Research Methods, and Advanced Academic Study and Writing. Felician University is one of just 24 Franciscan universities in the nation. It is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it as one of the best regional colleges in the North.
    In-State Tuition: $18,360

    #24—Northcentral University

    San Diego, California

    Online Doctorate Business Administration
    Graduate Enrollment: 10,699
    Northcentral University offers one of the most versatile and affordable online doctor of business administration programs in our ranking. Students can choose from 18 different specializations, including Homeland Security, Leadership and Policy, Computer and Information Security, Financial Management, International Business, Applied Computer Science, and Public Administration. Students enrolled in the program will take core courses such as Doctoral Studies in Business, Ethics in Business, and Qualitative Research Design. Depending on their chosen specialization, they will also take classes like Advanced Forensic Accounting Theory and Practice, Financial Management for International Business, Local Emergency Management and Civil Preparedness, and Urban and Regional Planning. A doctoral dissertation is also required. Northcentral’s affordable DBA online can be completed within 39 months, and prospective students can take advantage of multiple annual start dates. The university is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
    In-State Tuition: $16,553

    #23—Franklin University

    Columbus, Ohio

    Online Doctorate in Business Administration
    Graduate Enrollment: 1,244
    Franklin University offers an affordable DBA online that can be completed within three years. The program is fully online with no required visits to campus. Students who enroll in the program will be required to fulfill a research core consisting of classes like Writing Foundations, Introduction to Statistics, and Research Methods and Design. They will also take major area courses such as Development of Management Theory Practice, Ethics and Social Responsibility, and Change Management and Organizational Development, for instance. These classes are all taught by faculty members who are respected practitioners. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is specifically designed for adult learners. It has been called the #1 online school in Ohio. Franklin offers numerous student services to distance learners, including resume assistance, career coaching, interview preparation, and more.
    In-State Tuition: $15,816

    #22—City University of Seattle

    Seattle, Washington

    Online Doctor of Business Administration
    Graduate Enrollment: 1,271
    City University of Seattle offers an affordable online doctoral program in business administration from its School of Management. This 91-credit hour offering can be completed within three to four years depending on the student’s desired pace. The content for the program is also versatile in that students can choose a specific specialty area to concentrate their studies in. However, all students must fulfill a business administration core, including classes such as Financial Decision-Making, Business Process Analysis and Strategic Management, Industry Analysis and Market Innovation, and Technology Implementation and Change Management. In addition to coursework, a 15-20 page doctoral dissertation is also required. Although the program can be completed predominately online, students must make trips to campus for three required residencies. City University of Seattle is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). U.S. News & World Report has ranked it amongst the top schools in the nation offering online graduate business programs.
    In-State Tuition: $15,264

    #21—Concordia University-Chicago

    River Forest, Illinois

    Doctorate in Business Administration Online
    Graduate Enrollment: 4,297
    The cheap online DBA from Concordia University-Chicago features two available specializations: Innovation in Healthcare and Leadership and Innovation. The curriculum for the program emphasizes four pillars of knowledge in business: Ethics and Social Responsibility, Critical Thinking and Entrepreneurial Mindset, Communication and Human Relations, and Global Interconnectedness and Inclusiveness. Enrolled students will take core courses such as The Global Leader, Global Concepts in Strategic Marketing, Business Analytics, and Quantitative Research and Statistical Methods. A doctoral dissertation is required, and students are assigned a personal mentor to guide them through the dissertation process. The program is designed to be completed within three years, and minimal residency components are required. U.S. News & World Report has placed Concordia University-Chicago in the top 50 best value schools and the top 75 regional universities in the West.
    In-State Tuition: $15,000

    #20—Colorado Technical University

    Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Online Doctor of Business Management
    Graduate Enrollment: 3,211
    The affordable online DBA from Colorado Technical University is a highly versatile option featuring 13 different areas of concentration, including Global Leadership, Homeland Security, Technology Management, Healthcare Management and Leadership, Organizational Development and Change, and Project Management, for instance. Despite their chosen concentration, all students will take core classes like Practice and Theory of Consulting and Intervention, Application of Action Research, Organizational Innovation and Scenario Thinking, and Management and Ethics. In addition to coursework, a doctoral dissertation and residential symposium are required. Prospective students can take advantage of multiple start dates per year, and the program can be completed within three years. Colorado Tech is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and its affordable DBA online holds programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
    In-State Tuition: $13,393

    #19—California Baptist University

    Riverside, California

    Online DBA
    Graduate Enrollment: 2,527
    The affordable online doctorate in business administration program from California Baptist University is a 50-unit offering that follows a cohort model. Enrolled students take one eight-week course at a time and finish their degrees within three years. Required course titles include Financial Analysis for Decision Making, Applying Economic Theory to Decision Making, Foundations of Organizational Management, and Topics in Human Resource Management. Courses required for the dissertation include Dissertation Research and Design and Dissertation Defense Preparation. Some residency participation is required for the program, though most of the coursework can be completed online. U.S. News & World Report has ranked CBU in the top 50 regional universities in the West and in the top 20 best value schools. It has also received national acclaim for its innovation in distance education.
    In-State Tuition: $13,287

    #18—South University

    Savannah, Georgia

    Graduate Enrollment: 3,519
    South University offers a 72-credit hour affordable online doctor of business administration program. The curriculum for the program emphasizes teaching, scholarship, and service, and courses are taught by expert practitioners in the field. Major course titles include Seminar in Ethics and Social Responsibility, Seminar in Organizational Development and Change, Seminar in Leadership, and Seminar in Organizational Theory. To earn their degrees, students must also pass a comprehensive examination and prepare a formal doctoral dissertation. A unique feature of the program is its requirement that students teach an online course under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Graduates of this affordable online DBA program go on to fill advanced positions in consulting, management, and post-secondary teaching. South University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has named it one of the top regional universities in the South.
    In-State Tuition: $13,097

    #17—George Fox University

    Newberg, Oregon

    Graduate Enrollment: 1,378
    George Fox University offers a 56-credit hour affordable online doctor of business administration program featuring concentrations in Accounting, Management, and Marketing. The program takes four years to complete; the first three years of the program are devoted to coursework while the final year is dedicated to the required dissertation. Sample course titles comprising the ACBSP-accredited curriculum include International Business, Conceptual Foundations of Finance, Ethics and Moral Decision-Making in Business, Human Resource Development, and Organizational Theory and Behavior. Students must also pass a comprehensive examination. George Fox University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. U.S. News & World Report has designated the school as one of the top regional universities in the West. In addition, Forbes has ranked it a top Christian college.
    In-State Tuition: $13,015

    #16—Johnson & Wales University

    Providence, Rhode Island

    Doctorate in Business Administration Online
    Graduate Enrollment: 484
    The affordable online DBA from Johnson & Wales University is offered through a collaboration of the school’s College of Business and College of Online Education. Students can complete the program entirely online without any visits to campus, and they can receive their degrees within three years. The curriculum is career-focused and emphasizes organizational development. Required courses include Contemporary Issues in Finance and Accounting, Organizational Strategy and Design, Problems and Methods in Marketing Management, and Organizational Intervention: Disruption and Change. Courses are eight weeks in length, and students take just one course at a time. Unlike many other affordable online doctorate business administration offerings, this program allows students to begin work on their dissertation after their first year of classes. Johnson & Wales is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it in the top 75 regional universities in the north as well as the top 75 best value schools. The school’s online graduate business programs have also received national recognition.
    In-State Tuition: $13,008

    #15—Baker College

    Flint, Michigan

    Online DBA
    Graduate Enrollment: 415
    Baker College offers a 60-credit hour affordable online doctorate in business administration program from its Center for Graduate Studies. The program features five areas of specialization: Leadership, Finance, Human Resources, Management Information Systems, and Marketing. Enrolled students also have the option of designing their own focus areas. The core curriculum for the program is comprised of core classes like Leading 21st Century Organizations, Knowledge Management and Information Systems, Introduction to Research Methods and Design, and Quality Improvement and Organizational Change. A comprehensive essay and qualifying paper are required in addition to a formal doctoral dissertation. Students typically earn their affordable online doctorate business administration degrees within 3.5 years and go on to work as C-level executives, business operations specialists, analysts, and business consultants, for example. Baker College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is an Academic Quality Improvement Program participant.
    In-State Tuition: $12,510

    #14—California Intercontinental University

    Irvine, California

    DBA in Entrepreneurship and Business Management Online
    Graduate Enrollment: 374
    California Intercontinental University offers an affordable online DBA program that emphasizes entrepreneurship and business management. The 60-credit hour program is designed to be completed within seven semesters and features a prescribed curriculum. Sample course titles include Business Research Methodology and Quantitative Statistics, Organizational Change and Development in Management Systems, Global Business Finance, and Case Studies in Global Entrepreneurship. A doctoral dissertation is also required. Students will devote the entire seventh semester to this formal research paper and presentation, taking classes like Dissertation Results and Findings, Dissertation Conclusion and Recommendations, and Dissertation Presentation and Defense. CIU is accredited by the Distance Education Accreditation Commission, and it offers over 21 fully online associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs.
    In-State Tuition: $11,880

    #13—Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo, Florida

    DBA Online
    Graduate Enrollment: 3,428
    The affordable online doctorate in business administration offering from Saint Leo University features a track in Teaching and a track in Consulting. The 57-credit hour curriculum for the program is comprised of course titles such as Global Leadership Ethics, Analytics for Decision Making, A History of Applied Management Theory, and Global Perspectives in Human Resources. In addition to fulfilling coursework requirements for the degree, students must also pass a written comprehensive exam and prepare a doctoral dissertation. After receiving their online DBAs, students are qualified for professional roles as executive managers, investment analysts, college professors, research analysts, economists, and chief financial officers, for instance. Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has named it among the top 15 best value schools in the country.
    In-State Tuition: $9,990

    #12—Grand Canyon University

    Phoenix, Arizona

    Online DBA: Management
    Graduate Enrollment: 33,728
    Grand Canyon University offers a 60-credit hour affordable online doctorate in business management from its College of Doctoral Studies. The curriculum for the program emphasizes theory, application, and scholarship/research and includes core courses such as Management Theory in A Global Economy, Designing Organizational Structures, Approaches to Research Design and Data Analysis, and Using Business Analytics for Competitive Advantage. A standout feature of the program is its Integrative Case Study in which students develop and analyze a business enterprise. Most graduates of this online DBA program go on to fill advanced positions in domestic and international business corporations, postsecondary education, or consulting. Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
    In-State Tuition: $9,737

    #11—Wilmington University

    New Castle, Delaware

    Doctor of Business Administration Online
    Graduate Enrollment: 5,730
    Wilmington University offers a flexible and affordable online doctoral degree in business administration that can be completed entirely online or via a hybrid model. The 54-credit hour curriculum for the program is prescribed and includes classes such as Global Management Models, Statistics for Research, Managing Innovation and Change, and Ethics in Business and Management. In addition to coursework, students must also complete a doctoral dissertation or research project. The program is intended to be completed within three years, and graduates go on to pursue careers as chief executives, general managers, operations managers, and business intelligence analysts, for example. Wilmington University enrolls over 18,000 students per year, and approximately 44% of these are online students. Its affordable doctorate in business administration program is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.
    In-State Tuition: $8,388

    #10—University of South Florida

    Tampa, Florida

    Doctoral Degree in Business Administration Online
    Graduate Enrollment: 11,768

    The University of South Florida offers a 72-credit hour comprehensive and affordable online doctoral degree in business administration. Offered through the Muma College of Business, the program features a prescribed curriculum, including courses such as Creativity and Innovation, Sustainability and Ethics, Multivariate Statistics, and Business Analytics. In addition to the required doctoral dissertation, students must also complete three external activities with other doctoral students outside of USF. These can include workshops, conferences, colloquiums, and the like. The AACSB-accredited program is approximately 70% online; students must meet on campus for a total of ten weeks per year prior to completing their degrees. The degree is designed to be completed within three years with the final year devoted to work on the dissertation. U.S. News & World Report has placed the University of South Florida in its top 60 public schools and top 75 best value schools.
    In-State Tuition: $8,350

    #9—University of Maryland University College

    Adelphi, Maryland

    Doctorate in Business Administration Online
    Graduate Enrollment: 13,775
    The University of Maryland University College offers an affordable online doctorate business administration degree program requiring just 48 credit hours. The curriculum for the program is writing intensive and includes core courses such as Designing Evidence-Based Management Solutions, Interpreting and Translating Management Theory in Practice, Research As a Tool for Management Decision Making, and Data Analytics in Practice. Students are expected to take the courses required for the degree in a prescribed sequence. A two-day residency requirement must also be met during each term. Distance learning students can take advantage of the university’s array of student services such as academic tutoring, writing assistance, library access, and career services. After graduation from this low-cost DBA online program, students are prepared for top careers in higher education, government, consulting, non-profits, and private corporations. The University of Maryland University College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is a member of the University System of Maryland.
    In-State Tuition: $8,244

    #8—Liberty University

    Lynchburg, Virginia

    Online DBA
    Graduate Enrollment: 29,290
    The affordable online DBA offered through Liberty University’s Overton Graduate School of Business is a highly versatile program, featuring 12 available areas of specialization. Options include Project Management, Marketing, Strategic Management, Leadership, Finance, and Non-Profit Leadership and Management. Despite their chosen specialization, all students will take core courses such as Qualitative and Case Study Methods for Business Research, Strategic Thinking for Decision Making, Qualitative Management and Productivity, and Strategic Allocation of Financial Resources. Both a comprehensive examination and a formal doctoral dissertation are required. Liberty University has been offering academic programs through distance education since 1995. U.S. News has ranked its online graduate business programs among the best in the nation.
    In-State Tuition: $8,217

    #7—University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

    Whitewater, Wisconsin

    Doctorate in Business Administration Online
    Graduate Enrollment: 1,301
    The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater offers an affordable online DBA from its College of Business and Economics. Students who enroll in the 60-unit program will join a cohort of 20 students and complete the program within three years. Required courses include Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Global Issues in Business; Measurement and Research Design in Business; Advanced Applied Regression Analysis; and Contemporary Research Methods and Dissertation. In the latter course, students will work on the required doctoral dissertation under the guidance of faculty mentors. Students can complete the majority of the coursework required for this program online, but they will need to attend campus meetings one weekend per month. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Report has placed it in the top 75 regional universities in the Midwest and in the top 15 public schools nationwide.
    In-State Tuition: $7,949

    #6—University of Management and Technology

    Arlington, Virginia

    Graduate Enrollment: 259
    The University of Management and Technology offers a 60-credit hour affordable online doctorate in business administration program. The online DBA is the school’s only doctoral program, but it also offers over a dozen online undergraduate programs and nine online master’s degrees. Core courses comprising the curriculum include Philosophical Foundations of Knowledge and Research, Evolution of Management Thought, Business and Government Relations, and Managing Modern Business Operations. A formal dissertation is also required. Most students enroll in the program on a part-time basis while continuing to work full-time in their respective occupations. UMT was chartered by the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia and enjoys accreditation by the Distance Education Accreditation Commission (DEAC).
    In-State Tuition: $7,020

    #5—Trident University

    Cypress, California

    Online Doctoral Degree in Business Administration
    Graduate Enrollment: 2,611
    The low-cost online DBA from Trident University is offered completely online with no inconvenient visits to campus. The curriculum for the program is broad and emphasizes sustainable, ethical business solutions. In lieu of the formal doctoral dissertation required by most online DBAs, students enrolled in this program will complete an applied doctoral study project. This is a joint program pursued alongside an organization of the student’s choice. Classes are intentionally kept small, facilitating strong, mentor-like relationships with the respected faculty members who deliver course content. A unique feature of Trident’s cheap online doctorate in business administration program is its Doctoral Positioning System, an innovative online tool that allows students to track progress towards their degree. Trident University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
    In-State Tuition: $6,120

    #4—Westcliff University

    Irvine, California

    Online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
    Graduate Enrollment: 832
    Westcliff University offers an online doctorate business administration program through its College of Business. The program can be taken fully online or via a hybrid format. Enrolled students will take one 8-week course at a time, and course titles include Business Intelligence and Information Systems, Transformation and Execution Strategies, Management of Technological Innovation, and Creative Solutions Leadership. Both a final project and a formal dissertation are required. Graduates of this affordable DBA online program find advanced positions in business and management such as an educational administrator, management analyst, vice president of operations, director of business development, and manufacturing director, for instance. Westcliff University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission and the Distance Education Accreditation Commission. It has been designated a “military friendly “school.
    In-State Tuition: $6,000

    #3—William Howard Taft University

    Lakewood, California

    Online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
    Graduate Enrollment: 743
    The affordable doctor of business administration online program from William Howard Taft University is an accelerated independent study program that can be completed in as few as 27 months. The 60-semester unit curriculum for the program includes core courses such as Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics, Organizational Design, Marketing Research for Managerial Decision Making, and Business Law. Students will also choose from available electives like Negotiations and Dispute Settlement, Conceptual Foundations of Accounting and Finance, Global Business Practices and Challenges, and Competitive Analysis and Strategy. A qualifying examination is required after the completion of three courses. William Howard Taft University offers fully online programs in business and education. It’s accredited by the Distance Education Accreditation Commission (DEAC).
    In-State Tuition: $4,500

    #2—University of North Carolina—Charlotte

    Charlotte, North Carolina

    Online Doctorate in Business Administration
    Graduate Enrollment: 5,403
    The University of North Carolina- Charlotte offers a three-year affordable online business administration doctorate from its Belk College of Business. The curriculum for the program emphasizes three sub-fields of business administration: marketing, management, and information systems. Specific course titles include Organizational Theories and Systems, Introduction to Business Theory, Business Statistics and Data Analysis, and Introduction to Experimental Design and Measurement. In addition to completing eighteen courses, students are also required to prepare a formal doctoral dissertation. Most of these requirements can be satisfied online, but students can expect to visit campus for one long weekend per month that they are enrolled in the program. Admission to this cheap online doctor of business administration requires a master’s degree and five to ten years of related experience. Students can continue to work while pursuing their studies. U.S. News & World Report has named the University of North Carolina-Charlotte a top public school and a top national university.
    In-State Tuition: $4,337

    #1—University of Missouri- St. Louis

    Saint Louis, Missouri

    DBA Online
    Graduate Enrollment: 3,519
    The University of Missouri-St. Louis offers an affordable DBA online program designed to be completed within three years. The program is offered through the school’s AACSB-accredited College of Business. Courses are taught by internationally acclaimed faculty members, and the curriculum is prescribed. Sample course titles include The Role of Accounting Information in Firms and Markets, Contemporary Marketing Intelligence and Decision Making, Management of Sustaining and Disruptive Information Technologies, and Strategic Business Analysis. A doctoral dissertation is required, and students devote their entire third year of studies to work on this important research paper. Three weekend visits to campus are required each year, making this a predominately online doctor of business administration program. The university is a member of the Executive DBA Council and U.S. News & World Report has named it a top national university and a top public school.
    In-State Tuition: $2,928
    What Is An Affordable Online Doctor of Business Administration Program?
    An online doctor of business administration—or DBA, as it is commonly called—is a terminal degree in the field of business administration, meaning it’s the highest level of education a student can pursue in this academic area. Online DBAs are specifically designed for working professionals who desire a flexible and convenient medium for advancing in their business careers. Typically, prospective students will already hold mid-level positions in the corporate world, in consulting, or in academia, and most DBA online programs will require that students have a master’s degree in business or a closely related field. Affordable online doctorates in business administration are typically research-intensive programs; students will be expected to analyze current research in the field and apply it to business problems, and they will also be charged with conducting their own research in business administration and its sub-fields, using both qualitative and quantitative research methods. In most online DBA programs, a substantial part of the curriculum will be devoted specifically to research courses.
    What Are the Most Frequently-Searched Low-Cost DBA Degrees Online?
    Grand Canyon University—Online Doctor of Business Administration With An Emphasis in Management: GCU offers a low-cost online DBA program with a focus on management from its College of Doctoral Studies. Students can take courses leading to the degree online or on campus during the evenings.
    California Southern University- Online DBA: California Southern University’s online DBA program required four years of full-time study. Up to a quarter of the program is dedicated to working on a doctoral research project on a subject chosen by the student.
    Frequently-Asked Questions About Affordable Online Doctoral Programs in Business Administration
    Deciding to enroll in a low-cost online doctorate business administration program is a big decision that will have many repercussions in both the short and the long term. Thus, it’s not something to jump into blindly. You’ll need to do your homework and take some time to consider all of your options. It may be tempting to enroll in the cheapest online DBA program you can find, but it’s wise to weigh a number of different factors such as curriculum, scheduling options, accreditation, student resources, and the like. It’s inevitable that questions will arise during your decision-making process. In this section, we’ll attempt to address some of the most commonly posed questions about affordable business administration doctoral programs.
    Q: What is the best online DBA program?
    A: There are many good, affordable online DBA programs, many of which are listed in this ranking. Identifying the very best online doctorate in business administration for you, however, may prove a more challenging task. Since there is no one-size-fits-all program, it’s up to you to decide which features are most important to you and choose a program accordingly. Factors many students consider when selecting a DBA online include scheduling, cost, content customization options, and accreditation.

    Q: Can I earn an online doctor of business administration degree without completing a dissertation?
    A: A doctoral dissertation is a particularly intimidating element of many online DBA programs, causing many prospective students to wonder if it’s possible to earn a DBA without writing one. The short answer is “yes.” While the vast majority of such programs do require a dissertation, a few programs allow students to complete an applied research project or other culminating experience instead. Keep in mind, though, that the colleges and universities offering online DBAs provide extensive support and numerous resources to students working on their dissertations, so don’t let this be the deciding factor for you if you are considering a DBA but fear the dissertation element.

    Q: Is it possible to earn an online doctorate in business administration degree without a residency?
    A: One of the strongest appeals of a low-cost online DBA program is its convenience. Full-time working professionals with a desire to continue their education in business administration often need to do so without the hassle and time commitment involved in traveling to campus. The good news is that there are a few 100% online DBA programs that have no residency requirements. Still others require a residency but allow distance learners to fulfill this requirement via Skype or other video conferencing tool. It is important to keep in mind though that residencies do add an element of interactivity to online DBA programs that cannot be achieved without actual face-to-face meetings.

    Q: How long does it take to complete the requirements for a low-cost online doctor of business administration program?
    A: The time requirement necessary for an affordable online DBA program depends on the specific program you choose. While many offerings will take four years to complete, it is possible to find accelerated DBAs online that can be finished in three years or even less. When selecting a program, keep in mind that a shorter completion time usually means more intensive study, so you’ll have to devote more hours per week to hitting the books as opposed to a longer program that allows for a more relaxed pace.
    Q: Is a cheap online DBA worth it?
    A: Even the cheapest online doctor of administration programs require a significant investment of not only money but time. This leads many students to ask the inevitable question: “Is it worth it?” In most cases, the answer is an unequivocal “yes”. Online DBA graduates are qualified for some of the most advanced and well-paid positions in business administration. With this terminal degree, you’ll have the knowledge, confidence, and credentials to achieve the loftiest goals imaginable in management, consulting, or academia.
    Q: Can I pursue a cheap online doctor of business administration degree without a master’s degree?
    A: Typically, no. Most low-cost online DBA programs require an MBA or master’s degree in business or a closely related field for admission. Some may also require prior work experience in the field. Check with the specific school you’re interested in attending for a complete review of admission requirements.

    Available Concentrations for Affordable Online Doctorates in Business Administration
    The field of business administration is a vast one, so it’s understandable that there are many available concentrations for online DBA students to choose from. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the more common specialty areas. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
    Accounting
    An accounting DBA is a popular choice for students with career goals of becoming or advancing in positions such as a certified public accountant, auditor, certified management accountant, and budget supervisor. Those who pursue this concentration will take core DBA classes alongside concentration courses in auditing techniques, tax research, accounting theory, decision making in accounting, and ethics in accounting.
    Healthcare Management
    Those interested in pursuing advanced careers in the rapidly expanding field of healthcare may consider an affordable online doctorate in business administration with a concentration in healthcare management. This concentration prepares students for many career opportunities, including hospital administrator, pharmaceutical project manager, healthcare management consultant, health information manager, or nonprofit administrator, for example. In addition to core DBA courses, students focusing on healthcare management will take classes in health informatics, legal issues in healthcare, healthcare human resources, healthcare administration, leadership in healthcare, and healthcare ethics among related topics.
    Information Systems
    An affordable online business administration doctorate with an emphasis in information systems is ideal for students looking to advance in their IT careers. The curriculum for these programs prepares graduates for high-level careers as database administrators, computer and information systems research scientists, computer systems analysts, and computer network architects, for instance. Classes will focus on topics such as knowledge management, information security, enterprise models, human-computer interaction, information technology infrastructure, and systems analysis, for example.
    Supply Chain Management and Logistics
    The field of supply chain management and logistics deals with the efficient transfer of goods and services from supplier to consumer. Those students who desire to advance in this burgeoning field will benefit from pursuing a low-cost online DBA with a concentration in supply chain/logistics. These programs are comprised of core business administration courses alongside specialization-specific classes that tackle subjects such as global operations, supply chain design, total quality management, logistics, and operations management. Career opportunities for graduates of these types of online DBA programs include chief operations officer, global manager, supply chain consultant, manufacturing director, director of global sourcing, and procurement director, for example.
    International Business
    Students with an interest in the global marketplace can use an affordable DBA online with a concentration in international business to advance their careers in this exciting field. Curricula for these programs typically include studies in international finance, global supply chain management, multicultural management, international law, economics, and global strategic planning. Graduates are well-prepared for careers as international business consultants, trade specialist, international finance manager, cultural advisor, and international business professor, for example.
    Project Management
    Project managers are detail-oriented business professionals who schedule and oversee the completion of projects within an organization from start to finish. Those who want to advance to the very top of this career field can do so with an affordable business administration doctoral degree with a concentration in project management. These programs cover topics such as contemporary leadership theory, operations, quality control, global project management, and risk management, for instance. Graduates will take on job titles such as senior project manager, project management consultant, and project scheduler.
    Human Resources Management
    Human resources is one of the most pivotal sub-fields in the business arena, no matter what type of organization you’re dealing with. Students with aspirations to rise to the top of HR will benefit from affordable DBA online programs with a specific concentration in human resources or human resources management. These programs address typical DBA topics as well as HR-specific subjects such as talent acquisition, talent development, HR theory, innovation in human resources, workforce planning, compensation management, and more. Graduates go on to work as chief human resources officers, vice presidents of labor relations, talent acquisition directors, vice presidents of human resource development, and directors of compensation and benefits, for instance.
    Career Questions for Cheap Online Doctorate in Business Administration Degree Programs
    Q: How much money will I make after completing my low-cost online DBA degree?
    A: Job titles requiring a DBA credential are associated with some of the highest paid salaries in the business field. It’s impossible to say exactly how much you’ll make with this degree without more information about your specific position, work experience, and employer. To give you a general idea, we can report that Payscale.com estimates that business professionals with a doctoral degree in business administration will make approximately $122,000 a year on average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), post-secondary business teachers brought home a median annual wage of $80,300 in 2017 while top executives earned $104,700.
    Q: What types of careers can I pursue with a DBA online?
    A: Graduates of low-cost online doctor of business administration programs are prepared to take on numerous different job titles in advanced management and administration. Depending on your specialty area and/or work experience, you may decide to fill positions as any of the following:

    • Business Professor
    • Finance Director
    • Chief Operations Director
    • Top Executive
    • Chief Financial Officer
    • International Marketing Manager
    • Project Manager
    • Global Supply Chain Manager
    • Vice President of Operations
    • Human Resources Manager
    • Director of Analytics
    This is just a small sampling of the career opportunities you’ll have as an online DBA graduate.
    Q: What professional associations exist for online DBA graduates?
    A: Two of the most popular professional associations you can join after earning your affordable online DBA are the American Management Association and the National Management Association. Joining one of these organizations lends you even more credibility and provides endless opportunities for professional development and networking in your field.
    Q: Can I work while I pursue my affordable online doctorate in business administration degree?
    A: Definitely. In fact, most of the affordable DBA online programs in our ranking are designed especially for working professionals.

    This concludes our ranking of the Most Affordable Online Doctorate in Business Administration Degrees. Thanks for checking it out!
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