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Best Online Doctorates In Business and Management 2020

Compiled and Written By Staff
Last Updated: Apr 15, 2020

The rigorous, advanced study involved in an online doctorate in business management supports career excellence and advancement, enhancing job performance and potentially qualifying graduates for well-compensated, high-level management occupations in diverse industries. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that managers made a mean annual salary of $121,560 as of 2018, far exceeding the national mean salary of $51,960.

The following rankings introduce 2020's top online doctorate in business management programs. Our list receives annual updates to reflect the shifting landscape of business education. The page below also provides helpful tips for choosing which online doctorate in business management best suits your current and future lifestyle.

The 10 Best Online Doctorates in Business Management

Rank School Location
1 Keiser University Fort Lauderdale, FL
2 Gardner-Webb University Boiling Springs, NC
3 Felician University Rutherford, NJ
4 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL
5 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
6 Hampton University Hampton, VA
7 Franklin University Columbus, OH
8 Wayland Baptist University Plainview, TX
9 Wilmington University Georgetown, DE
10 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA

Top Doctorate in Business Management Programs and Schools for 2020

#1 Keiser University – Fort Lauderdale, FL

Keiser is a private university in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The nonprofit institution is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and serves approximately 19,600 students. The school offers dozens of online degrees, including three graduate programs. Distance students enjoy remote access to the school's online business doctoral program.

Students complete eight-week online classes entirely remotely. Learners in the online doctoral program in business can choose from specializations In marketing, global business, or global management.

Degree-seekers need 60 graduate-level credit hours for graduation. Additionally, doctoral students need to complete two residencies, including one during the first year and one in the second year before taking comprehensive exams.

Prospective students must demonstrate competency in business areas such as finance, accounting, economics, and statistics before they begin coursework for the DBA. Kaiser expects applicants to have completed six undergraduate credits or three graduate credits in accounting, finance, and economics, with a "B" or higher grade in each area. Accepted students can take these courses at Keiser if needed.

Interested DBA students must possess a master's degree in management, business administration, public or nonprofit management, or a related field. Additionally, Keiser applicants need two years of full-time professional or managerial experience before entering the program.

Applicants without a graduate degree in business or a related field must hold a master's degree from an accredited institution. They should also possess 3-5 years of professional work experience.

Average Net Price: $27,649

#2 Gardner-Webb University – Boiling Springs, NC

Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, Gardner-Webb is a private institution with nearly 3,600 students. Established in 1905, the school offers a dozen online programs, including an online DBA program in business. Gardner-Webb is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and holds a religious affiliation with the Baptist church. The school prides itself on representing at least 24 Christian denominations within its student body.

This hybrid doctor of business administration prepares students with key skills in global strategic management, academic research, leadership, and critical thinking. Learners choose from concentrations in finance, international business, accounting, marketing, or management. Full-time students typically complete the program in nine consecutive semesters. These students typically take six hours or more per semester.

Degree-seekers need to complete 60 credit hours for graduation. The diverse curriculum covers essential topics in advanced marketing strategies, advanced corporate finances, academic research methods, applied business statistics, and global business strategies. Doctoral students must also write a traditional dissertation for graduation.

Prospective students need a master's degree in business or a related area with a 3.0 or higher GPA from a regionally accredited university or college. Applications must also include a personal resume, statement of interest, and two letters of recommendation. Applicants may also need to partake in an interview with the DBA director and committee. Upon completion of this degree, graduates from Gardner-Webb typically move on to careers in business, government, and education.

Average Net Price: $19,197

#3 Felician University – Rutherford, NJ

Felician offers an online doctoral program in business for remote students. Located in Rutherford, New Jersey, the school is based only 12 miles from New York City. The private institution holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Founded in 1942, Felician maintains a religious affiliation with the Catholic church and serves around 2,400 students.

This fully online doctor of business administration program focuses on developing students' academic research abilities to contribute to scholarship in the business field. Degree-seekers study foundational and recent theories in marketing, management, and decision-making by taking 15-week classes over the course of several semesters.

Students engage with a four-phase curriculum consisting of foundational courses, core business knowledge and management skills, demonstrations of competency, and a dissertation. Required courses include statistical and quantitative analysis, historical perspectives in marketing, contemporary decision theory, and online communication of business knowledge. Doctoral students must also complete a teaching assistantship, an online teaching practicum, and a traditional dissertation for graduation.

Prospective DBA students need to submit an application fee, a personal statement, a resume, official transcripts, and a letter of recommendation. Applicants can also submit their GRE or GMAT scores as optional supplemental documents.

Online learners receive remote training and assistance in the Brightspace app. Additionally, Felician offers online tutoring for all enrolled students. Felician is also part of an online alliance with Madonna University and Villa Maria College. Remote students may be able to take classes offered at other institutions to diversify their online learning experience.

Average Net Price: $17,917

#4 Saint Leo University – Saint Leo, FL

Established in 1889, Saint Leo is a private university with an online DBA program. This nonprofit institution, located just 30 miles north of Tampa in Saint Leo, Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Saint Leo is one of the oldest Catholic institutions of higher education in the state and serves approximately 2,300 students on its main campus. The student body includes approximately 13,000 students including the school's 35 regional campuses and online learners.

This graduate program prides itself on preparing DBA students for careers in teaching, academic leadership roles, and consulting positions. Degree-seekers in this doctor of business administration program develop advanced research, critical analysis, and intellectual skills through 57 credit hours of classes. Required courses include analytics for decision-making, best practices in consulting, global leadership and ethics, and qualitative research methods.

Doctoral students must also complete a management teaching practicum and a consulting practicum. The department requires learners to pass doctoral comprehensive exams and an oral dissertation defense. Depending on the duration of the dissertation process, many full-time students complete this program in four years.

Prospective students must possess a master's degree with a 3.5 or higher GPA from a regionally accredited institution. Applications must include two letters of recommendation, an application fee, a resume, official graduate transcripts, and a $500 deposit. Interested DBA online students must also submit a professional goal statement that explains why they wish to pursue a doctoral degree, outlines a specific area of interest, and describes their intended career plans upon completing the degree.

Average Net Price: $20,036

#5 California Baptist University – Riverside, CA

CBU is a private school in Riverside, California, founded in 1950 by the California Southern Baptist Convention. With regional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), the school educates approximately 11,100 students. CBU offers more than 30 graduate programs, including an online business doctoral program.

Doctoral degree-seekers need to complete 50 major units for graduation. Faculty deliver accelerated, eight-week courses entirely online or in a hybrid format. Full-time learners usually take one class per eight weeks and typically finish the cohort learning program in approximately 36 months.

The doctor of business administration offers CBU students training in sustainable solutions and business-focused creativity, both of which help learners perform in today's global business environment. Learners in this program study leadership roles in public, private, and nonprofit organizations. Additionally, DBA students receive advanced training in areas such as human resources, marketing, and professional management.

Distance learners enjoy remote access to the academic success center, including 24/7 online tutoring support. Online DBA students at CBU can also meet with faculty members in online office hours or on campus. Distance career support services include career assessment, interview preparation, job search coaching, and resume writing.

Incoming students who are veterans or active service members in a branch of the military are eligible for tuition assistance. Incoming graduate students with financial need, a strong academic record, and a CBU undergraduate degree can apply for the Lancer Loyalty Graduate School Grant to fund their DBA schooling. Grant recipients can receive up to $3,000.

Average Net Price: $24,170

#6 Hampton University – Hampton, VA

Located in Hampton, Virginia, HU is a private school with an online Ph.D. program in business. Founded in 1868 as Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, today HU serves approximately 4,300 students. The nonprofit institution is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Colleges (SACSCOC).The main campus is near the Chesapeake Bay and shares the landscape with historical sites, beaches, and attractions, including the NASA Langley Research Center, the Virginia Air and Space Center, and Fort Monroe.

This Ph.D. in business administration best serves students interested in pursuing careers as consultants or professors. The program can also help established working professionals to advance in their current careers and obtain leadership roles or administrative positions.

HU students complete between 61-81 credits for graduation. Required courses include organizational behavior, strategy and business policy, teaching methodology, empirical research methods, and advanced leadership concepts. HU also accepts up to six credits of minor coursework for students with relevant professional experience.

Doctoral students pursuing a degree in business administration online must participate in two summer residencies on HU's main campus. These four-week residencies take place in mid-July and mid-August during the students' first and second years in the program.

Prospective online business administration students need a master's degree in a business field or an approved area. Students who do not meet this requirement need to complete nine master's-level courses in accounting, economics, and quantitative business analysis. Additionally, competitive applicants should possess a 400 or higher score on the GMAT.

Average Net Price: $28,347

#7 Franklin University – Columbus, OH

Located in Columbus, Ohio, Franklin is a private school with regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Founded in 1902, the school serves approximately 5,000 students and boasts more than 25 satellite campuses throughout the Midwest. The nonprofit university offers distance students an online DBA program.

Franklin DBA students learn how to apply relevant research to solve present-day business issues, excel in leadership roles, and enact organizational transformation. Online pupils also explore key aspects of business such as economic and political influence in global markets, government intervention and regulation, and diversity in the workforce.

Students need to complete at least 58 semester hours for graduation. Required major courses include organizational leadership, strategic thinking and decision-making, organizational performance analysis, and ethics and social responsibility.

Franklin offers a unique dissertation structure that helps students complete this significant task in a step-by-step format while taking classes. Students also receive faculty mentoring and peer-to-peer support throughout the dissertation process.

Prospective students need a master's degree with a 3.0 or higher GPA from a regionally accredited institution. Franklin also expects applicants to possess 30 hours of graduate coursework in a business-related field. Many online DBA students complete this program in three years. Incoming learners can transfer up to 24 hours of previously earned credit.

Enrolled students can take advantage of a variety of online resources, including resume services, interview preparation, and career coaching. Distance pupils also enjoy remote access to tutoring services and writing assistance.

Average Net Price: $18,684

#8 Wayland Baptist University – Plainview, TX

WBU is a private school in Plainview, Texas. Founded in 1908, the nonprofit Baptist-affiliated school boasts more than 4,500 students across 14 campus locations. External campus locations include American Samoa, Kenya, New Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, and Arizona. WBU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and offers an online doctor of management program.

This D.Mgt program best serves graduate students interested in learning high-level academic research techniques and theories. Online pupils learn to understand global business practices that positively affect nonprofit, governmental, and commercial endeavours. As such, WBU graduates often pursue careers as consultants, practitioners, or college faculty members.

The doctor of management degree requires at least 60 semester hours of coursework for graduation. Faculty deliver 11-week courses in areas such as organizational behavior and theory, human resource management, management theory, and project design. WBU follows a synchronous, cohort-based learning model.

Online doctoral online students need to pass a comprehensive exam with an 80% or higher for graduation. Additionally, the department requires degree-seekers to complete an applied research project during their 10th term.

Applicants with a 3.4 or higher GPA need to submit an online application, application fee, their official transcripts, and a current resume. Prospective students with a 3.0-3.39 GPA need to participate in a personal interview with the admissions committee for consideration. Incoming students can transfer up to two-thirds of the required credits toward the DBA, provided they earned a "B" or higher grade in eligible courses.

Average Net Price: $21,593

#9 Wilmington University – Georgetown, DE

WilmU is a private nonprofit school located in Georgetown, Delaware. The school holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and features an online DBA program.

WilmU offers this DBA program to help foster the next generation of senior managers and innovative leaders in the business world. Remote students build upon the skills acquired throughout their master's program to develop high-level academic research skills and an understanding of progressive business theories in their specialty areas.

Degree-seekers need to complete at least 54 credits for graduation. Remote students take seven-week courses entirely online or in a hybrid format. Most full-time learners take two classes per semester, or six classes per year. Required courses include statistics for research, business intelligence, ethics in business and management, executive decision-making, and organizational strategy and policy.

Distance students also need to write a traditional dissertation or complete a culminating research project. At least nine semester credit hours come from dissertation research credits or time spent on the research project. Whether students choose to write a dissertation or complete a project, they need to present the results to a dissertation committee for evaluation. Depending on how long it takes to complete the dissertation or research project, full-time students can finish this degree in approximately three years.

Remote students complete a two-day residency on campus to participate in workshops and meet with faculty members to discuss the dissertation or final project process.

Interested learners need to submit an online application, including a current resume, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of goals.

Average Net Price: $13,814

#10 Liberty University – Lynchburg, VA

Liberty is a private Evangelical university located in Lynchburg, Virginia. The nonprofit institution is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1971, the school serves more than 100,000 students worldwide. Liberty also boasts over 400 online programs, including 300 graduate degree options. Distance students enjoy remote access to the school's online doctoral degree in business.

Pupils pursuing this doctor of business administration degree need at least 60 credit hours for graduation. Faculty deliver eight-week courses entirely online and help students explore essential topics in finance, healthcare management, accounting, and leadership. Required courses include strategic supply chain management, human resource development, and strategic thinking for decision-making. Most students follow Liberty's suggested course sequence and complete required classes in nine semesters.

Liberty's DBA program builds upon students' existing business skill set and prepares them for leadership and administrative roles in a specialty area. Graduate students in this program can choose from a dozen specializations, including information systems, international business, strategic management, real estate management, and strategic management and digital content.

Prospective students need a master's degree in business or a related field. Students who wish to pursue the concentration in accounting should have a master of science in accounting or a related degree. Liberty expects applicants to possess a 3.0 or higher GPA. Incoming students can transfer up to 15 credit hours toward the DBA. Liberty waives application fees for military personnel, veterans, and service members.

DBA graduates move on to careers such as college or university faculty members, corporate consultants, education administrators, government policy consultants, and executive managers.

Average Net Price: $27,432

Why an Online Doctorate in Business Management?

Earning an online doctorate in business management expands and deepens the scope of students' business knowledge, qualifying them as experts in their field and providing an advantage over MBA-holders competing for academic or upper-level management positions.

Individuals passionate about research or teaching may pursue an online Ph.D. in business or management, opening doors to business scholar and professor careers. Meanwhile, working professionals seeking industry leadership sometimes opt for a doctor of management (DM) or doctor of business administration (DBA) degree. These business doctoral programs support career paths such as executive director, chief executive officer, and president.

According to PayScale, business professors earn an average annual salary of $87,122, while vice presidents of business development make an average of $133,615. Academics often make less money than industry professionals, but they can pursue their own research interests while also influencing industry practice through developing theory or teaching. Business management doctoral graduates aspiring to company management positions can work in an array of industries, including finance, healthcare, community service, and information technology.

The specific hard skills acquired in an online doctorate in management depend on the program's curriculum, but most degrees emphasize soft skills in business leadership, communication, and strategy.

Learn More About Doctorates in Business Management

How to Find the Right Online Doctorate in Business Management Program

Selecting the right online doctorate degree in business can feel overwhelming. However, carefully researching the variety of program structures and available specializations can lead prospective students to the right program for their lifestyle and career interests.

Working adults seeking career advancement in a specific industry often choose doctoral programs with industry-based concentrations, such as computer and information systems or finance. Other concentrations focus on role-based managerial skills in marketing, entrepreneurship, or global business. Concentrations vary widely, so explore your options thoroughly.

Doctoral requirements differ considerably. Online Ph.D. programs in business management typically involve an original, research-based written thesis, but some do not. Given that thesis timelines depend on students' self-discipline and availability, non-thesis programs often work better for busy industry professionals who are not seeking academic careers.

Some working professionals choose part-time business doctoral programs with longer timelines, while others pursue accelerated programs featuring shorter, more intensive courses and terms.

Location does not usually become an issue for distance learners, but some online programs feature on-campus residency requirements, which students should review carefully before applying.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Doctorate in Business Management?

Most online doctorates in business management entail around 60 credits over a three- to four-year period; however, part-time programs typically take longer to complete. Thesis-based programs usually take longer, as well, largely depending on students' work pace and their quality of guidance.

If a school charges a flat, per-term tuition rate, taking extra credits saves money and time. Students eager to graduate quickly sometimes opt for accelerated programs offering condensed courses and additional terms in summer and winter. Graduate study typically requires considerable time and focus, so consider your time constraints realistically as you choose your program pace.

Professional Organizations in Business Management

DM, DBA, and Ph.D. students and professionals often rely on organizations for networking, news, and continuing education opportunities. Most professional organizations run annual conferences and provide online networking platforms. Many organizations also feature job boards, career centers, and volunteer opportunities. Students often benefit from discounted membership rates and student chapters.

American Management Association

This leading management nonprofit provides certificate and training programs for individuals and corporations. Members receive free seminars, quarterly research papers, discounted sessions and room rentals, and subscriptions to AMA's journal and newsletter.

International Association of Administrative Professionals

IAAP advocates for and enriches office and administrative professionals by providing certifications, leadership development, and conferences. The association also runs an online career center and offers leadership opportunities within the organization.

Business Professionals of America

A career and technical organization for business students, BPA boasts 1,800 chapters and 45,000 members. The organization provides competitions, certifications, conferences, and volunteer and internship opportunities.

American Society of Association Executives

For over 100 years, ASAE has fostered innovation and growth in the field of association management. ASAE supports association professionals and students through its career center, conferences, advocacy, and online resources.

Sales and Marketing Executives International

By facilitating networking and information sharing, SMEI increases the credibility and capability of sales and marketing professionals. To these ends, the organization offers courses, certification programs, conferences, events, and career resources.