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PhD in Business Management Programs

Written by Victoria Hudgeons
Last Updated: October 12, 2020

A doctorate in business management builds necessary knowledge for aspiring business leaders and academics. Boasting the terminal degree in their discipline, doctoral graduates demonstrate advanced expertise in at least one business area.

Individuals seeking research careers or higher education teaching positions often opt for a Ph.D. in business management, and students seeking management positions may pursue a doctor of business management (DBM), doctor of management (DM) or doctor of business administration (DBA) degree.

All doctoral business degrees exceed educational requirements for upper-level management positions in most industries. Because these positions typically garner high salaries, a DM, DBA, or Ph.D. in business management can increase graduates' financial security and prosperity.

The following guide discusses the academic requirements and professional benefits of earning a terminal business degree. The guide also breaks down the differences between DBA, DBM, and Ph.D. programs and includes a detailed list of 25 accredited schools offering doctoral degrees in business.

Programs Offering Doctoral Degrees in Business

School Location
Binghamton University Endicott, NY
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH
Cornell University Ithaca, NY
George Washington University Washington, D.C.
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA
Harvard University Cambridge, MA
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
Purdue University – Main Campus West Lafayette, IN
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY
Rice University Houston, TX

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Why a Doctorate in Business Management?

A doctorate in business management can improve a professional's job performance, expand their network, and qualify them for executive positions as president, director, or chief information officer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), management occupations garnered a median annual salary of $105,660 as of 2019. Manager job prospects also appear promising, as the BLS projects a 5% growth in management occupations from 2019-2029.

A doctorate in business management demonstrates serious discipline and commitment to leadership excellence and sets graduates apart from their competition for management positions. Depending on degree concentration, interests, and industry expertise, doctoral graduates work in a variety of booming national industries, including healthcare and information technology. Many Ph.D. in management graduates shape the future of business practice through research or teaching.

This degree best suits midcareer business professionals who want to further their knowledge and advance their careers.

Even for newer professionals, business management doctoral programs include internship programs and other job placement services.

In addition to training students in "hard" management skills — such as data and market analysis, budgeting, and hiring — doctoral programs in business management foster "soft" business skills in leadership, communication, and decision-making.

DBA vs. DBM vs. Ph.D. in Business Degrees

Earning a terminal degree requires major financial and time commitments, so learners should make sure to select the program that truly fits their goals. At first, prospective students may struggle to distinguish between DBAs, DBMs, and Ph.D.s in business. The following table compares and contrasts these degrees.

Comparing DBA, DBM, and Ph.D. Programs

Doctor of Business Administration Doctor of Business Management Ph.D. in Business Management
Program Focus Professional degree that applies theoretical concepts to business careers. Scholar-practitioner degree that combines research, theory, and practice in business careers. Theoretical research degree, focused on academic questions and development of original research.
Outcomes Designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of business professionals planning to continue employment in their field. Designed to enhance the knowledge and research capabilities of professionals who want to work in business or education. Designed to prepare graduates for academic careers and scholarly pursuits like journal publication.
Student Demographics Attracts mid- and senior-level professionals with many years of work experience. Attracts mid- and senior-level professionals with many years of work experience. Attracts mid-level professionals and younger students with limited work experience, often coming directly from their graduate degree.
Program Format Online and on-campus options available. Online and on-campus options available. Online and on-campus options available.
Program Length Approximately 3-5 years of full-time study. Part-time options rarely available. Approximately 4-5 years of full-time study. Part-time options rarely available. Approximately five years of full-time study. Part-time options rarely available.
Culminating Requirements Requires a capstone experience, research project, or dissertation. Requires a capstone experience, research project, or dissertation. Requires a dissertation.

Ph.D. in Business, DM, and DBA Programs

Now that you know a bit more about each program type, let's take a look at 25 universities offering DBAs, DMs, and Ph.D.s in business. The following list is not comprehensive, but it can serve as a good starting point for prospective students searching for the perfect program.

Binghamton University

Public university in Endicott, New York, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Originally founded in 1946, Binghamton University joined the State University of New York system four years later. Binghamton is recognized nationally for academic quality, innovative research, and educational value, enrolling approximately 17,000 students each year.

Binghamton University School of Management, Ph.D. in Management

The 90-credit Ph.D. in management program at Binghamton takes approximately 4-5 years to complete, depending on a student's background.

Binghamton's program offers an intimate 1-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and the opportunity to co-author articles in leading academic journals. Admitted students receive funding in the form of a full tuition scholarship and either a teaching or research assistantship lasting a full academic year.

In order to graduate, degree candidates must successfully complete written and oral comprehensive examinations and write and defend a dissertation.

Binghamton Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Finance
  • – Marketing
  • – Organizational science
  • – Custom specialization designed according to student interests and capabilities

Case Western Reserve University

Private university in Cleveland, Ohio, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Upon its founding in 1826, Case Western Reserve University became the first college in northern Ohio. It carries a long legacy of seeking innovation and embracing the sciences. More than 11,000 students attend each year.

Weatherhead School of Management, Doctor of Business Administration, Doctor of Management, Ph.D. in Management

CWRU's doctoral degrees in business target practitioner-scholars who possess a minimum of 15 years of work and leadership experience.

The 60-credit DBA/DM takes three years to complete. Motivated and qualified DBA/DM students can apply to the Ph.D. program in their second year of study, which extends their coursework an additional year. All candidates must complete a qualitative research paper, capstone exercise, and dissertation.

Program alumni can join the school's Engaged Practitioner Scholar membership organization to access networking, continuing education, and research opportunities.

CWRU Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Designing sustainable systems

Cornell University

Private, Ivy League university in Ithaca, New York, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Approximately 24,000 students attend Cornell University each year. Founded in 1865, the privately endowed research university carries a mission to discover, preserve, and disseminate knowledge — promoting a culture of broad inquiry around the world.

SC Johnson College of Business, Ph.D. in Management

Cornell's Ph.D. in management prepares graduates for careers in research and teaching at top-tier institutions. The small program size — about 60 students — ensures the opportunity to work closely with faculty mentors.

The flexible curriculum requires no specific courses, allowing students to investigate and research business challenges that interest them. Students can also take graduate courses outside the college of management.

The full-time, residential program takes approximately 5-6 years to complete. A dissertation is required.

Cornell Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Accounting
  • – Strategy and business economics
  • – Finance
  • – Marketing
  • – Management and organizations
  • – Operations, technology, and information management

George Washington University

Private university in Washington, D.C., accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

An act of Congress chartered George Washington University on February 9, 1821. Located just four blocks from the White House, GWU is the largest institution of higher education in D.C. More than 26,000 students attend each year.

GW School of Business, Ph.D. in Business Administration

GW's Ph.D. in business administration requires a total of 45 credits. Following the first two years of coursework, students typically complete three years of research in anticipation of their dissertation defense.

Due to the university's location in the heart of the nation's capital, program students receive the unique advantage of easy access to major data hubs, regulators, and area conferences. The Doctoral Student Association provides a network of support and community throughout the school of business.

GW Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Accountancy
  • – Decision sciences
  • – Finance
  • – International business
  • – Management and strategy

Georgia Institute of Technology

Public university in Atlanta, Georgia, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

The Georgia Institute of Technology educates more than 25,000 students each year. Initially founded in 1885, Georgia Tech has grown to become one of the largest research agencies in the South.

Scheller College of Business, Ph.D. in Management

Georgia Tech's research-oriented Ph.D. in management requires full-time attendance and residency in or near Atlanta. The program primarily utilizes the tutorial model of instruction, requiring regular, small group sessions. While students can expect considerable personal attention and support from faculty, the program places significant emphasis on learning outside the classroom.

During the first two years of study, students propose, write, and present two research papers. To obtain their degree, doctoral students must successfully complete a comprehensive exam, dissertation, and final oral exam.

Georgia Tech Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Accounting
  • – Finance
  • – Information technology management
  • – Marketing
  • – Operations management
  • – Organizational behavior
  • – Strategy and innovation

Harvard University

Private, Ivy League university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education

Harvard University's history dates back to 1636, making it the oldest institution of higher education in the country. Harvard boasts global name recognition, 49 Nobel Laureates, 48 Pulitzer Prize winners, and more than 36,000 students.

Harvard Business School, Ph.D. in Business Administration

Harvard's Ph.D. in business administration offers five specialization options including management. The management specialization requires a minimum of 13 courses covering foundational concepts, research methods, and electives. All students must teach or assist in a Harvard course for one full semester. The teaching requirement totals eight hours of front-of-class teaching and 16 hours of teaching preparation time.

The five-year program culminates with a field exam and dissertation. Students satisfy this requirement by writing three publishable papers or one longer research paper.

Harvard Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Accounting and management
  • – Management
  • – Marketing
  • – Strategy
  • – Technology and operations management

Michigan State University

Public university in East Lansing, Michigan, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Michigan State University serves nearly 50,000 students every year. Its 5,300-acre campus stands out in research, graduate success, and sustainability, with a gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Broad College of Business, Ph.D. in Management

MSU accepts only 1-5 students to the management Ph.D. program each year. The program is strictly a full-time, on-campus degree, and students typically graduate in five years.

Core courses include seminars in organization behavior, strategy process, human resource management, and strategic management. Working in close partnership with faculty, students participate in ongoing research projects and complete a dissertation.

Every student in the program receives funding in the form of a half-time graduate assistantship and/or fellowship.

MSU Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Organizational behavior
  • – Strategic management
  • – Human resource management

Purdue University – Main Campus

Public university in West Lafayette, Indiana, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Founded in 1869, Purdue University's original 100-acre campus has since grown to encompass a major system of seven locations. The main campus enrolls more than 40,000 students each year.

Krannert School of Management, Ph.D. in Management

All Ph.D. management students at Purdue complete two core courses and a minimum of 15 credits of research courses. Available areas of research include applied statistics, designing laboratory and survey research, and optimization.

Outside of these foundational requirements, Purdue allows students to select their own concentration and their own minor, according to professional interests. The degree culminates with a dissertation. Ph.D. students receive close support from faculty and the Doctoral Student Association.

Purdue Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Accounting
  • – Data science in business/economics
  • – Finance
  • – Management information systems
  • – Marketing
  • – Strategic management
  • – Supply chain and operations management
  • – Quantitative methods
  • – Organizational behavior and human resources management

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Private university in Troy, New York, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Nearly 8,000 students attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute each year. The 275-acre campus houses 746 labs, studios, and technology spaces, and one of the most powerful university-based supercomputers in the world.

Lally School of Management, Ph.D. in Management

Learning from faculty members with years of advanced experience, Ph.D. students at Rensselaer develop high-level skills in research and teaching. The 90-credit program takes a minimum of three years to complete.

The Ph.D. utilizes a variety of learning formats including formal courses, seminars, independent studies, and workshops. During the program, students complete independent studies, written papers, presentations, and a final dissertation.

Rensselaer Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Finance and accounting
  • – Information systems and information technology
  • – Organizational behavior
  • – Strategic management
  • – Marketing
  • – Operations management
  • – Innovation management and new product development
  • – Entrepreneurship
  • – Global management

Rice University

Private university in Houston, Texas, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Rice University was chartered by businessman William Marsh Rice in 1891 as a gift to the city of Houston. The campus welcomes approximately 7,000 students each year.

Jones Graduate School of Business, Ph.D. in Business

The doctoral degree in business available from Rice trains aspiring university faculty members in the processes of research and publication. The full-time, residential program requires students to take at least three courses per semester during the first two years. Seminars, workshops, and summer research experiences are also required.

Rice expects students to successfully defend their dissertation within seven years from program start. Students work extensively with faculty during the dissertation process.

Rice Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Finance
  • – Marketing
  • – Accounting
  • – Strategic management

Rutgers University

Public university in Newark, New Jersey, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Rutgers University conducts innovative research that contributes to the state's medical, environmental, social, and cultural wellbeing. More than 70,000 students attend each year.

Rutgers Graduate School, Ph.D. in Management, Doctor of Business Administration

The 72 credits required for the Rutgers Ph.D. in management comprise 36 credits of coursework, six credits of early research requirements, and at least 18 credits of dissertation research.

Course topics vary according to specialization selection. With approval, students may also complete an individualized Ph.D. program, designed by a mentoring committee of at least three faculty members.

Both the Ph.D. and the DBA require completion of a comprehensive exam and dissertation.

Rutgers Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Accounting
  • – Accounting information systems
  • – Economics
  • – Finance
  • – Information technology
  • – International business
  • – Marketing
  • – Operations research
  • – Organization management
  • – Supply chain management

The University of Texas at Austin

Public university in Austin, Texas, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Founded in 1883, the University of Texas at Austin is the state's leading research university, receiving more than $650 million in annual funding. Over 50,000 students attend its 18 colleges and schools each year.

McCombs School of Business, Ph.D. in Management

UT Austin aims to produce Ph.D. graduates who shape both academia and the practice of management through research, teaching, and service. Available courses include behavioral decision theory, management of diversification, seminar in organizational behavior, and introduction to research methods in management.

Students typically complete the program in 4-6 years. During the first two years, students focus on coursework, research activities, and field-specific requirements. The program culminates with dissertation research and defense.

UT Austin Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Organization science
  • – Strategic management

University of Arizona

Public university in Tucson, Arizona, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

The University of Arizona became the territory's first higher education institution in 1885. Today, UArizona strives to advance interdisciplinary scholarship, expand human potential, and create solutions to our greatest challenges. More than 45,000 students attend each year.

Eller College of Management, Ph.D. in management

Boasting top faculty and leading research labs, UArizona's Ph.D. in management allows students to develop essential skills in research and publication.

The 69-credit full-time program offers no specializations but is interdisciplinary in nature, allowing students to master a variety of topics. Coursework includes organizational behavior and theory, statistics, and research methodology. All students must complete a minor.

A final dissertation and defense are required. The entire program takes approximately five years to complete.

University of Buffalo

Public university in Buffalo, New York, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

The University of Buffalo is a research-intensive institution founded in 1846. Over 30,000 students attend its three distinct campuses each year. UB maintains a dedication to the three pillars of research, education, and service.

University of Buffalo Graduate School, Ph.D. in Management

Designed as a full-time in-person program, the Ph.D. in management from UB requires 72 credits of coursework and research. Students typically graduate within 3-5 years, possessing the skills needed to launch a successful academic career.

All students must complete courses in statistics and research methodology. Additional course subjects vary according to specialization selection. Some specialization options offer further opportunity for customization through minors and additional tracks.

The program culminates in a dissertation and defense. Students receive financial aid primarily through assistantships, with limited fellowships available.

UB Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Accounting
  • – Finance
  • – Management science and systems
  • – Marketing
  • – Operations management and strategy
  • – Organization and human resources

University of California – Irvine

Public university in Irvine, California, accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges

The University of California-Irvine enrolls more than 36,000 students in more than 200 different programs. Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the Association of American Universities, a prestigious, invitation-only organization.

Paul Merage School of Business, Ph.D. in Management

UCI's Ph.D. in management prepares graduates for careers in academia and consulting. Though 75% of applicants hold an MBA or other master's degree, a bachelor's degree satisfies minimum admission requirements.

The full-time program requires several courses in university teaching, research methods, and theory. Other credits are satisfied through specialization and dissertation.

Every admitted student receives a five-year funding package from fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships. This covers tuition, fees, and a living stipend.

UCI Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Accounting
  • – Finance
  • – Information systems
  • – Marketing
  • – Operations management
  • – Strategy

University of California – Los Angeles

Public university in Los Angeles, California, accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools

The University of California-Los Angeles enrolls more than 45,000 students each year and receives more applications than any other school in the country. Since 1919, UCLA's core mission has remained education, research, and service.

Anderson School of Management, Ph.D. in Management

Ph.D. students at UCLA enjoy both the innovative Los Angeles environment and the university's top-tier research facilities. A 1-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio allows close collaboration with celebrated researchers.

Program courses vary by specialization selection, but all students participate in faculty- and student-led seminars, which provide the opportunity to receive feedback on current research and writing.

The program culminates with a dissertation. Over 90% of graduates secure faculty positions after leaving UCLA.

UCLA Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Accounting
  • – Behavioral decision-making
  • – Decisions, operations, and technology management
  • – Finance
  • – Global economics management
  • – Management and organizations
  • – Marketing
  • – Strategy

University of California – San Diego

Public university in San Diego, California, accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools

Founded in 1960, the University of California-San Diego is a top research university with nearly 40,000 students. The university aims to transform California and the world through education, public service, and disseminating knowledge and creative works.

Rady School of Management, Ph.D. in Management

To prepare graduates for academic and research careers, UCSD's doctoral program emphasizes innovation and rigorous training. The degree offers a flexible and personalized curriculum, allowing for self-directed research and study with the support of faculty.

All students complete a core curriculum of mathematics review and fundamental concepts in economic and social sciences. Students also take courses in their area of specialization. Degree candidates must complete a dissertation.

The program guarantees a teaching or research assistant role, providing full funding for the duration of five years.

UCSD Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Finance
  • – Marketing
  • – Management
  • – Economics and strategy
  • – Innovation, technology, and operations

University of Connecticut

Public university in Storrs, Connecticut, accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education

The University of Connecticut was founded in 1881 as Storrs Agricultural School. Today, a diverse community of more than 32,000 students attend UConn each year, pursuing degrees from 14 different schools and colleges.

University of Connecticut School of Business, Ph.D. in Business

During the first two years of UConn's Ph.D. in business, students complete a minimum of 37 credits, including foundational, supporting, and elective courses. Students also participate in ongoing research with faculty to aid in the development of research skills.

After passing a qualifying exam, students then move onto the dissertation phase of the program, which typically lasts 2-3 years.

A majority of students complete teaching assistantships before graduation and go on to pursue careers at leading universities throughout the country.

UCONN Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Accounting
  • – Finance
  • – Management
  • – Marketing
  • – Operations and information management

University of Iowa

Public university in Iowa City, Iowa, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

The state's oldest higher education institution, the University of Iowa serves 32,000 students annually. The university offers the world-renowned Iowa Writers' Workshop, an acclaimed medical center, and dozens of arts and sciences degrees.

Tippie College of Business, Ph.D. in Management

UI admits about three students into its management Ph.D. each year. The small enrollment size enables learners to enjoy a 1-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, ensuring maximum mentoring opportunities. The program requires completion of 72 credits and a dissertation. Coursework comprises both required and elective classes.

In exchange for research or teaching assistantship work, all students receive tuition funding, a living stipend, and comprehensive health and dental insurance. Additional fellowship funding is available.

University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Public university in Amherst, Massachusetts, accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education

One the nation's top public research universities, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst enrolls more than 30,000 students each year. Its nine colleges and schools offer 108 bachelor's, 78 master's, and 48 doctoral programs.

Isenberg School of Management, Ph.D. in Management

UMass Amherst offers a 66-credit Ph.D. in management, with eight concentration options designed to satisfy a variety of research interests. In addition to coursework, students must fulfill a three-semester teaching experience requirement, pass a comprehensive exam, and complete a dissertation.

The university offers students an assistantship for four years, opportunities to present research at major conferences, and intensive training and mentoring from faculty. Graduates are prepared to teach and conduct research related to the management of organizations.

UMass Amherst Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Accounting
  • – Finance
  • – Hospitality and tourism management
  • – Information systems
  • – Management science
  • – Marketing
  • – Organization studies
  • – Sport management
  • – Strategic management

University of Miami

Private university in Coral Gables, Florida, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Since its establishment in 1925, UM has grown into a major research university whose faculty have made major contributions to medicine, marine science, engineering, education, and psychology. Over 17,000 students enroll each year.

Miami Herbert Business School, Ph.D. in Business

In order to maximize interaction between faculty and students, the Ph.D. in business at UM requires a year-round, full-time commitment.

The 60-credit curriculum consists of 12 dissertation credits, 33 concentration credits, and 15 core credits. Depending on concentration, core coursework may cover topics in macro- and microeconomic theory, social psychology, or advanced research methods.

Admission requires minimum scores of 650 and 300, respectively, on the GMAT or GRE. Five years of funding is provided.

UM Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Accounting
  • – Finance
  • – Management science
  • – Marketing
  • – Management and operations management
  • – Management and organizational behavior
  • – Management, strategy, and international business

University of Pennsylvania

Private university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

In 1749, Benjamin Franklin and other trustees founded the secondary school that would later become the University of Pennsylvania. Today, Penn serves more than 20,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.

The Wharton School, Ph.D. in Management

The interdisciplinary Ph.D. in management from UPenn requires 16 credits of coursework. Core subjects include economic foundations of management, research methods, and psychological and sociological foundations of research in management.

Students customize their degree plan with specialization and elective options. To gain research experience, students work with faculty on current projects, aiming to place several papers in the publication pipeline before they enter the job market.

A dissertation is required. The program typically takes 4-5 years to complete.

Penn Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Entrepreneurship
  • – Human and social capital
  • – Multinational management
  • – Organizational behavior
  • – Organizational theory
  • – Strategy

University of Pittsburgh

Public university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

The University of Pittsburgh dates back to 1787, making it one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the country. Pitt is a member of the Association of American Universities. More than 30,000 students attend each year.

Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, Ph.D. in Business Administration

Pitt's signature apprenticeship model provides every doctoral student with faculty mentorship and support. While pursuing their Ph.D. in business administration, students receive the opportunity to teach courses and publish original research of their own.

The customizable degree offers seven specializations, each with a unique two-year course sequence. Upon completion of coursework, students take a comprehensive exam and begin work on their dissertation.

Admitted applicants receive a five-year financial aid package, including tuition, a stipend, and health insurance.

Pitt Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Accounting
  • – Business analytics and operations
  • – Finance
  • – Information systems and technology management
  • – Marketing
  • – Organizational behavior and human resources management
  • – Strategic management

University of Washington

Public university in Seattle, Washington, accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

The University of Washington educates more than 54,000 students each year. Defined by unshakable optimism and a belief in possibility, UW empowers the development of research and innovation with a global impact.

Foster School of Business, Ph.D. in business administration

Though primarily designed for students seeking academic careers, UW's Ph.D. in business administration can also serve learners interested in business, government, and consulting opportunities. Before beginning their dissertations, students complete 18 courses in their chosen specialization. The first two years of study also require participation in doctoral seminars, independent study, and research.

The program requires full-time attendance. Students complete teaching assistantships in their area of specialization. A limited number of research assistantships are available.

UW Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Accounting
  • – Finance
  • – Information systems
  • – Management (strategic management track or organizational behavior and human resource management track)
  • – Marketing
  • – Operations management
  • – Technology entrepreneurship

Yale University

Private, Ivy League university in New Haven, Connecticut, accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education

Yale University's academics and research boasts local, national, and international reach. Since its founding in 1701, Yale has grown to support more than 13,000 students and nearly 5,000 faculty members.

Yale School of Management, Ph.D. in management

Taking anywhere from 3-5 years to complete, Yale's full-time Ph.D. in management allows students to collaborate with faculty on research projects and scholarly papers.

All students take several courses covering core disciplines. Afterward, students focus on their specialization, research, and preparation for qualifying exams. Yale offers the opportunity to study across the university's many schools.

The school of management admits new students once a year. Five years of funding are provided.

Yale Doctorate Program Specializations

  • – Accounting
  • – Finance
  • – Behavioral marketing
  • – Marketing
  • – Organizations and management
  • – Operations

What To Expect From Business Doctoral Programs

Deciding to pursue a doctoral degree in business is no small commitment. Ph.D., DBA, and DM programs typically take 3-5 years of full-time study to complete. The number of required credits vary depending on program and specialization selection, often comprising 60-72 credit hours of coursework.

Unlike undergraduate programs, which rely heavily on lecture-based courses, a doctorate in business typically utilizes seminar-style courses. In these courses, students and faculty meet in small groups for intense study of a single subject or area. Seminars often involve presenting and critiquing one another's current research efforts, papers, and projects.

Doctoral students also engage in one-on-one collaboration with faculty and may lead courses of their own as teaching assistants.

Admission to a doctorate in business typically requires completion of a master's degree in a relevant discipline, qualifying GRE or GMAT scores, and supplemental materials like letters of recommendation and a personal statement. Applicants are expected to hold many years of experience in their field.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Doctorate in Business Administration?

DBA programs require about 60 credits, which usually take 3-4 years of full-time study to complete. However, timelines vary based on program requirements. DBA programs requiring a thesis can take significantly longer, depending on program structure and faculty guidance. Many programs require full-time students to complete the entire degree in 4-5 years, though schools usually grant extended timelines to part-time students.

Popular Doctoral Program Courses

Before doctoral students begin the dissertation process, they complete two years of advanced coursework. Doctoral degrees in business are highly specialized to let students focus on specific areas of research and academic interest. However, most programs require a handful of core courses, like those listed below, to give each student a similar foundation.

  • Doctoral Research Methods: This course introduces students to the fundamentals of social science research and prepares them to conduct their own research and experiments. Topics include theory development, experiment and research design methods, and writing for scholarly journals. Coursework requires students to practice these skills through research assignments.
  • Organizational Behavior: This doctoral-level course helps students grow as academics by examining recent research and scholarly work in the fields of organizational behavior and theory. Topics may include leadership, motivation, and ethics. Students may also discuss group dynamics, satisfaction, and performance.
  • Advanced Statistics: Typically combining theory and hands-on practice, doctoral courses in statistics build off of knowledge gained in prerequisite statistics courses. A two-course sequence in statistics is common, often covering univariate and multivariate statistics. Students learn to apply statistical analysis, models, and methods to issues in management.
  • Topic-Specific Seminar: Seminars often make up the bulk of doctorate coursework. Seminars involve small-group discussion around a single topic, which varies by program and specialization (e.g., seminar in marketing methods or seminar in HR management). Seminar courses allow students to grow as scholars and researchers by giving presentations, participating in discussions, and receiving feedback.

The Doctoral Dissertation

Most doctoral students complete a dissertation as the culminating requirement of their degree.

This substantial project requires two major milestones: the dissertation proposal defense, which presents the student's topics and research plans for approval, and the final dissertation defense, which presents the final document. These defense presentations take place in front of a dissertation committee and may be open to the public.

Dissertations aim to contribute new ideas and original research to the scholarly understanding of business. Students work closely with faculty advisors to choose a topic and find a unique angle in which to approach it. An ideal topic aligns with the student's interests and career goals.

Students typically begin the dissertation process by the end of their third year of study. After completing all coursework, completing the dissertation can take several years. Every student's timeline differs depending on factors like writing schedules and faculty approval.

What Jobs Can You Get as a Doctor of Business?

MBAs are becoming fairly commonplace — earned at a higher rate than any other graduate degree in the country — but doctorates in business management and administration made up just 2.7% of all conferred doctoral degrees as of 2018, according to data from the National Science Foundation.

Since a limited number of professionals complete DBM and DBA programs, these designations allow job candidates to stand out in their fields and compete for the highest-paying leadership positions in business.

Graduates may also find management and consulting opportunities in government, education, and the nonprofit sector.

A Ph.D. in business administration uniquely positions job candidates for opportunities as university faculty, college presidents, and school district superintendents.

Let's take a closer look at three popular opportunities for program graduates.

Top Executives

Top executives include CEOs, general managers, government leaders, postsecondary school administrators, and other professionals who coordinate and direct the activities of an organization. Common tasks include establishing goals, managing general activity related to products or services, overseeing financial activity, and consulting with others.

  • Requirements: Education requirements vary by organization, but most top executives possess at least a bachelor's and considerable work experience. Doctoral degrees are preferred for some positions, such as college president or school superintendent.
  • Job Outlook: +4% (2019-29)
  • Median Annual Salary: $104,690

Management Analysts

Management analysts consult with managers and executives on ways to improve organizational efficiency, reduce costs, and improve revenue. They gather information, conduct research, analyze data, and develop solutions. Management analysts commonly work in private business and government.

  • Requirements: Entry-level positions require at least a bachelor's and several years of work experience. Master's degrees are often preferred. With a doctorate or Ph.D., candidates can compete for the highest-paying, senior-level opportunities.
  • Job Outlook: +11% (2019-29)
  • Median Annual Salary: $85,260

Postsecondary Teachers

Postsecondary teachers educate students and conduct scholarly research at colleges and universities. This career requires developing instructional plans and staying informed about industry innovations. Business educators are the third-most employed type of postsecondary teachers in the U.S.

  • Requirements: Most four-year universities require job candidates to possess a Ph.D. and work experience in their chosen field of study.
  • Job Outlook: +9% (2019-29)
  • Median Annual Salary: $79,540

How To Find the Right Ph.D. in Business Program

Each business management doctoral program features its own concentration offerings. Prospective students should look for programs offering coursework that aligns with their career goals and interests. For example, those interested in manufacturing logistics may concentrate their degrees in supply chain management or logistics designed for supply chain managers. Other popular concentrations include healthcare management, human resources, and information systems.

As they review curriculum options, prospective learners should consider practical concerns such as capstone requirements. Working professionals should pay attention to degree timelines — the best Ph.D. business programs often require a dissertation, which can take several years to complete. Students with sufficient time and motivation to finish quickly may opt for accelerated programs, while busy working professionals may need to study part time.

Should You Get Your DBA Degree Online?

Online education has become increasingly popular in recent years, with even the nation's most respected colleges and universities offering online learning options. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 3 million people — nearly 17% of all college students — enrolled exclusively online in 2018.

Doctoral degrees in business lend themselves well to an online format, occasionally allowing learners to maintain their current employment while studying. This flexibility enriches the learning experience as students can immediately apply their coursework knowledge in the workplace.

Before choosing an online degree, consider the program's technology requirements, your learning style, and your learning environment. Some students simply learn better in a classroom with other people, and not all professionals can get the quiet time and space they need to study at home. Online students must also feel comfortable interacting digitally, through means like email, discussion boards, and video chat.


Professional Organizations in Business Administration

Aspiring and current business administrators can connect with established professionals in their field through business administration professional organizations. The following organizations provide continuing education, conferences, leadership opportunities, and many useful online resources; some even offer free or discounted membership to full-time students.

American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management

Focused on revenue management and other topics related to healthcare administration, AAHAM provides certification, training, conferences, webinars, and other professional development resources.

American Management Association

Founded in 1913 as the National Association of Corporation Training, this international nonprofit provides training, events, and products for management professionals.

Association of Change Management Professionals

ACMP connects management professionals around the globe, offering professional development programs and publishing professional standards for change management.

Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals

An association for organizations and individual leaders interested in business partnerships, ASAP builds knowledge and skills through certification programs, workshops, webinars, and conferences.

Reaching Out

A nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting and supporting the LGBTQ business community, Reaching Out runs an annual conference and regional chapters. Students can join this organization's free web portal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it take to get a Ph.D. in business?

A Ph.D. in business requires around 60 credits, comprising core coursework, electives, and dissertation research. Ph.D.s can take five years of full-time study or longer, depending on dissertation difficulty.

Can I get a DBA without an MBA?

Admission requirements vary by university, but it is possible to pursue a DBA without an MBA. Schools may consider non-MBA candidates with extensive work experience, a closely related degree, or other forms of advanced education.

What is the difference between a DBA and a Ph.D.?

Although they share some similarities, DBAs and Ph.D.s satisfy different professional goals. DBAs focus on applying current research to business practices, while Ph.D.s focus on making new research findings.

Is a doctoral degree in business worth it?

A doctoral degree in business is certainly not required to succeed, but for the right type of student, a DBA degree can enhance overall career experience, enable professional growth, and increase salary potential.

What can you do with a Ph.D. in business?

A Ph.D. in business administration prepares students for advanced careers in education and research. Graduates typically go on to work as university professors, college administrators, and school superintendents.

Learn More About Doctorates in Business Management