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Business Administration Doctorate

July 2024

Next Start Date

17

Courses Required

$1,200

Cost Per Credit Hour
Military Discount Available

53

Total Credit Hours

Online Courses

Learning Format

Build a career utilizing advanced business research skills

The Doctorate of Business Administration degree, offered by the John Chambers College of Business and Economics, serves experienced professionals who may be considering careers in academia, consulting, or in advanced professional positions. The DBA is carefully constructed to provide students with a foundation in research, an in-depth exposure to academic literature, and a supportive environment through faculty guidance and mentorship. The online curriculum is augmented by optional on-campus residences and allows students to maintain momentum in their career while pursuing their doctoral degree.

Business student standing in front of a group.

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WVU's John Chambers College of Business and Economics is accredited by AACSB International, the principal accrediting organization for business schools. Only 5% of business schools worldwide achieve this distinction.


The program is designed to be completed in three years. The program is 53 credit hours with 17 credit hours in research methods, 16 credit hours in content seminars, 20 credit hours in research and the dissertation. Beginning in Summer 2023, the DBA program is offering concentrations in accounting, economics, management, and marketing.

Experienced Cohort that Bridges Academia and Industry
The DBA addresses the shortage of doctoral-qualified faculty in the field. Given the experience level of the students entering the program, this will create graduates who can easily help bridge the gap between academia and the industry. DBA students will benefit from their faculty members’ expertise but will learn a great deal from their peers through professional networking and sharing experiences and expertise.

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Thank you for your interest in the Doctorate of Business Administration Degree program at West Virginia University! Attend a Virtual Information Session and learn more about the Doctorate of Business Administration Degree program.

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Doctorate of Business Administration Degree Admission Requirements

Admission to the DBA is highly competitive; meeting the minimum standards for admission does not guarantee admission. A holistic admissions process considers minimum requirements as well as professional accomplishments and certifications. The program is delivered in a cohort-based online asynchronous format and begins in the summer semester. Success in the program requires significant commitment and time. The cohort design does not permit for students to take courses outside of the prescribed sequence. Consideration for admission is only given to those applicants that have a complete application package on file with the WVU College of Business and Economics.

To be eligible for consideration for the DBA program applicants must:

  • Have a minimum of 5 years of work experience.
  • Have a Master’s degree in business, communications, media management, or other related field from an accredited college or university.
  • To be eligible for admission into the Accounting AOE applicants must have a recognized certification in the broadly defined field of accounting (e.g., CPA, CIA, CMA, CVA, CFE, CISA, CFF)

Once qualified to proceed with the application to the DBA program, applicants will be required to submit additional documents, including:

  • Upload a current resume.
  • Request two letters of recommendation from employers, faculty, or professional associates.
  • Create a Statement of Purpose. Your statement of purpose should be a short, one-page essay which describes your interest in the program, why you wish to pursue the program at WVU, how the program will help you reach your career goals, and your business-related research interest (Management, Economics, Accounting, or Marketing). Explain your general research interests and identify 3 DBA faculty with whom you would be interested in working.
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended colleges and/or universities. Please send your official transcripts to:
    WVU’s Office of Admissions
    One Waterfront Place
    PO Box 6510
    Morgantown, WV, 26506-6510
    or electronically to: graduateadmissions@mail.wvu.edu.
  • International Students - A minimum TOEFL score of 600 paper, 250 computer, or 100 internet. An official grade report must be sent directly to:
    West Virginia University
    P.O. Box 6009
    Morgantown, WV 26506-6009

The integrity of the admissions process is of paramount importance. All grade and/or score reports received are subject to verification. The above-mentioned items are required for admission review. Additional documents may be requested after initial evaluation of a student’s admission application.

Apply Now Plan of Study

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Financial aid is available. Students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827.

Beginning fall of 2024, employee tuition waivers for the DBA program will no longer be accepted.

Doctorate of Business Administration Degree total degree cost: $63,600 – Residents and Non-Residents

Credits Cost
1 $1,200
3 $3,600
6 $7,200
9 $10,800

Tuition and fees are usually not the only educational expenses you may have while pursuing a degree. You may have other costs such as books, supplies and living expenses. Please see the Estimate Costs and Aid webpage for how to estimate and plan for other potential expenses.

Courses and Curriculum

DBA Educational Goals

Learning Goal 1: Students will be able to apply the holistic nature of research to business opportunities and problems.

Learning Goal 2: Students will be able to apply research methods and data analysis to solve business problems.

Learning Goal 3: Students will be able to develop a theory-based research plan to address unique business problems.

Learning Goal 4: Students will be able to apply research skills to analyze and develop solutions to business problems.

Learning Goal 5: Students will be able to create and communicate original scholarship that addresses researched solutions to business problems.


Disciplinary Content (16 credit hours)
The content area encourages students to acquire a critical understanding of their conceptual foundations grounded in their own unique real-world perspective. The course work includes four content-area research seminars as well as two pedagogy seminars.


Research Methods (17 credit hours)
As highly experienced business professionals, our students will have experience identifying meaningful resolutions to complex organizational and marketplace issues. In this program, they pursue more in-depth explanations using cutting edge, current, and rigorous research methods with the ability to navigate data archives and access relevant populations that are potentially rich settings for empirical research. The coursework emphasizes methodological skills to do high-quality research on emerging business issues to contribute to knowledge, including a statistics boot camp and five research methods seminars.


Dissertation/Research (20 credit hours)
The program develops students’ ability to generate high-quality original research that drives new business and academic insights. Moreover, there is a strong emphasis on conducting this research at a quality level that is publishable in high-quality scholarly journals. This will be supported by our expert faculty mentors.

Plan of Study

Semester Course Credit Hours
Year 1
Summer Statistics Boot Camp 2
Fall Research Methods I 3
Disciplinary Content Seminar I 3
Winter Scholarly Ethics, Diversity & Inclusion 2
Spring Research Methods II 3
Disciplinary Content Seminar II 3
Year 2
Summer Research Methods III 3
Summer Research Paper (Qualifying Exam) 3
Fall Research Methods IV 3
Disciplinary Content Seminar III 3
Winter Business Pedagogy 2
Spring Research Methods V 3
Disciplinary Content Seminar IV 3
Year 3
Summer Summer Research Paper (Proposal Defense) 6
Fall Dissertation Research 3
Winter Dissertation Research 2
Spring Dissertation Research (Defense) 6

Total Hours: 53

The future for Doctorate of Business Administration graduates

The DBA is carefully constructed to provide students with a foundation in research, an in-depth exposure to business literature, and a supportive environment through faculty guidance and mentorship. The online curriculum is augmented by optional on-campus residences and allows students to maintain momentum in their career while pursuing their doctoral degree.

The Benefits of pursuing a Doctorate of Business Administration degree

Our Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) program, with concentrations in accounting, economics, management, and marketing, targets experienced business professionals creating pathways for you to consider academia, consulting and advanced professional positions. The online delivery of the program allows you to maintain momentum in your career while also pursuing your doctoral degree. The DBA can be completed in three years and its online curriculum is augmented by optional on-campus residences.

Career Outlook for Doctorate of Business Administration graduates

Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) graduates are highly sought after by employers due to their advanced knowledge, research skills, and expertise in business administration. The career outlook for DBA graduates is generally positive, with a wide range of job opportunities available in various fields.

Some of the most common career paths for DBA graduates include:

Executive Leadership: DBA graduates may be well-suited for executive leadership positions such as CEO, COO, or CFO in organizations across different industries.

Consulting: DBA graduates may work as consultants for businesses, advising on areas such as strategy, operations, and finance.

Academia: DBA graduates may choose to pursue careers in academia as professors or researchers, working in business schools and universities.

Government and Non-profit Organizations: DBA graduates may also find opportunities in government agencies and non-profit organizations, where they can use their expertise to drive policy and social change.

Overall, the career outlook for DBA graduates is strong, with many opportunities for growth and advancement in various industries. The demand for highly-skilled business professionals continues to grow, making the DBA degree a valuable investment for those seeking to further their careers in the field of business administration.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete a Doctorate of Business Administration degree?

The DBA can be completed in 3 years and is built on three foundational areas:

Research Seminars: you will be exposed to business literature with a deep dive into business research scholarship and advanced theoretical constructs. These seminars will provide a basis for selecting your intended area of research. Along with business-focused seminars, you will take seminars focused on pedagogy and ethics, diversity and inclusion.

Research and Methodology: you will receive intensive instruction in research methods and statistics to build the foundation upon which to conduct empirical research.

Dissertation: you will put your research skills into practice under the guidance of your faculty mentor to engage and conduct meaningful and impactful research that is focused on solving problems in industry.

Do I need an MBA to pursue a Doctorate of Business Administration?

To be eligible for consideration for the Executive DBA program applicants must:

  • Have sufficient work experience.
  • Have a business-focused Master’s degree or related degree from an accredited college or university.*

*For students who do not possess a Master’s degree, inquire about the pathway to the DBA via the accelerated pathway.

What is the difference between a PHD and a Doctorate of Business Administration degree?

While both a PhD and a DBA are doctoral-level degrees, a PhD in Business Administration emphasizes research and academic pursuits, while a DBA emphasizes practical skills and application in the business world. The choice between a PhD and a DBA depends on the individual's career goals and interests.

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