Doctor of Business Administration
An Executive DBA and a Ph.D. are similar in a few ways, but also differ in terms of program length, structure, candidate profile, curriculum and expected outcomes. The Executive DBA was created with senior-level managers, C-suite executives and professionals with extensive experience in mind. These individuals are typically looking to evolve business practices, develop new perspectives through applied research and create flexibility for future career change (including the possibility of entering academia either part- or full-time). Ph.D. students, in contrast, typically pursue full-time, research-focused careers in academia.
The research focus also differs between the two terminal degree programs. Executive DBA students learn research methods and business theory through applied research and address real-world issues within their dissertations. Ph.D. research is typically theory-based and addresses broad, discipline-specific topics.
|Program Length and Structure||3 years, part-time, cohort-based, four on-campus residencies per semester||5-7 years, full-time, individual learning|
|Discipline/Philosophical Approach||Interdisciplinary – Applies theories to practice.||Single-discipline focus (e.g., marketing, finance, computer science, etc.). Develops theories.|
|Research Skills||Develops rigorous quantitative and qualitative research skills.||Develops rigorous quantitative and qualitative research skills.|
|Previous Work Experience||On average our students have 15-20 years of experience, with 7-10 of those years at the managerial or executive level.||Work experience not always required.|
|Previous Education||MBA or M.S. equivalent required.||Graduate degree not always required.|
|Career Outcomes||Graduates advance within their field or organization to executive positions. Other graduates move into consulting. Twenty five percent of graduates teach at the university level either part- or full-time. Graduates also continue research, publishing in journals and books as well as at conferences.||Graduates will have a full-time career in academia with their focus entirely on research and teaching.|
|Dissertation||Program culminates with successful defense of dissertation.||Program culminates with successful defense of dissertation.|
|Degree Awarded||Doctor of Business Administration||Doctor of Philosophy|