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Competitiveness in the classroom. Readiness for a rewarding career.

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Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Prepare to Lead a Classroom or Boardroom

Our Doctor of Business Administration program can equip you to teach college business courses or to serve as a trusted senior manager or business consultant. Develop your area of expertise—and the research skills to go with it—so that you’re ready to teach and lead in business.

Program is offered at the following campuses. Select a campus to learn more.


Focus on Teaching, Scholarship, & Service

By emphasizing teaching, scholarship, and service, the South University Doctor of Business Administration degree program mirrors the performance criteria for faculty in higher education and ultimately can prepare you to make valuable contributions in either the academic or professional business community.>/p>

In the classroom, our instructors* share their own past experiences working in diverse businesses and universities, as well as offer you one-on-one support and mentorship that helps foster your growth and development.

Find Your Business Specialty

In the Doctor of Business Administration program, you’ll first explore topics relevant across the business world before narrowing in on your area of interest. The initial topics you’ll cover include:

  • Organizational behavior
  • Group and team behavior
  • Organizational theory
  • Leadership
  • Organizational development and change
  • Ethics and social responsibility
  • Research methods and statistics
  • Instructional design
  • Measurement and assessment in education

As you learn about research methods, your instructors will teach you how to best direct research for peer reviewed journals, business practices, and consulting assignments.

Beyond this foundational knowledge, our Doctor of Business Administration program gives you the opportunity to develop expertise in a specialized area of business, giving you the opportunity to study current research in that field, analyze and apply appropriate research methods for the discipline, and develop methodologies to teach the topic to future students.

Our Doctor of Business Administration program’s preliminary exam and dissertation experience starts with research, followed by a proposal, dissertation development, and a dissertation defense. During your doctoral program, you’ll also teach a South University course under the mentorship of an experienced faculty member.

Flexible Learning Options that Fit Your Schedule

The Doctor of Business Administration degree program is available either fully online or with a mix of in-person and online learning. In the blended modality, students meet on campus every other week, while completing online coursework during the time in between their face-to-face classroom experiences.

Our Doctor of Business Administration online program can be completed in 22 months, and the online + on campus learning experience can be completed 27 months.

Doctor of Business Administration Program Admissions

Admissions criteria for the Doctor of Business Administration online and blended programs include:

  • Completion of an MBA degree from an acceptable accredited institution
  • -Or-
  • Completion of an undergraduate degree in business and a master’s degree in a business field (such as organizational leadership, management, or human resources) from an acceptable accredited institution. The College Dean makes the final decision regarding accepted fields of study for admission to the program.
  • -And-
  • A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0) on the earned master’s degree. Additional coursework may be required to meet the Required Knowledge Base. Refer to section on Required Knowledge Base for further information.
  • Completion of an application for admission.
  • Submission (within 10 weeks of class start date) of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
  • Personal interview with a representative from the College of Business as designated by the Dean of the College of Business (may be conducted by teleconference).
  • Submission of the following:
    • A 1,000-word Statement of Purpose Essay that targets the applicant’s academic and professional preparation for the South University DBA, along with future academic and professional goals. This statement must detail how the applicant’s goals will be enhanced from earning a South University DBA and how the degree will be integrated into future career goals.
    • Résumé or curriculum vitae that clearly outlines academic and professional preparation for a doctorate program.
    • Three current academic/professional recommendations submitted directly to South University from the evaluator. References submitted to South University by an applicant will not be accepted. These recommendations must present the applicant’s ability to successfully matriculate the program and how the applicant will contribute to the overall quality of the program. Additionally, the recommendation must include an assessment of the applicant’s ability to be successful as a professional in teaching, service and research.

Scholarships and financial aid are available to those who qualify. For answers to questions about admissions or financial aid, call us at 1.888.444.3404.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

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