Doctor of Business Administration
The Doctor of Business Administration Program is a 3-year innovative doctoral degree program designed with senior-level decision makers in mind. Upon successful completion, you and other executives graduating from this program will be better problem solvers, able to apply research methodology and business theory to complex issues. Your career and way of thinking likely will be transformed in this rigorous and intellectually stimulating process with the goal of developing new perspectives on leadership, global change, and decision making. The program is interdisciplinary – i.e. instead of highly specializing in a specific sector of business such as finance or marketing, you will be exposed to a top-level, integrated view of business and commerce.
The Doctor of Business Administration is designed for working senior-level executives who desire to continue or make changes to their careers while obtaining a doctorate by becoming more effective leaders and problem solvers. Our students generally are mature (average 43 years old); have more than 10 years of significant work experience (average 22 years); seven years of “meaningful” executive experience (average 14 years); and a relevant advanced degree, such as an MBA or M.S. The executive in the cohorts are diverse in most all aspects: gender, ethnicity, education, industry, job function, and overall work experience. Prospective students must also exhibit excellent communication skills in the English language and demonstrate high potential for applied research skills. A comprehensive understanding of the functional areas of business, including accounting and finance, marketing, human resource management, corporate and competitive strategy, information systems and operations management, is also expected.
Executives pursue and use the EDB degree to:
- Advance within their firm or industry
- Change career paths or industries
- Provide flexibility for a future career change
- Enter academia (24% of our graduates now teach at a university level)
- Build new networks of accomplished leaders and faculty
- Learn how do conduct and critically evaluate rigorous research
- Establish academic credibility for purposes such as consulting
- Develop new business skills and perspectives
- Improve their organization’s operation, design, efficiency, and profitability
- Become more analytical thinkers, decision-makers, and problem-solvers
- Stimulate intellectual thought and discussion
The Doctor of Business Administration and a Ph.D. in a business-related field (e.g. marketing, finance, computer science, etc) are similar in many ways but also differ in terms of structure, candidate profile, curriculum and expected outcomes:
|Dimension||PhD||Doctor of Business Administration|
|Research Skills||Develops rigorous quantitative and qualitative research skills||Develops rigorous quantitative and qualitative research skills|
|Philosophical Approach||More theoretical approach/single discipline (eg marketing, finance, computer science, etc)||Applies theories rather than develops them/ Approaches problems from an interdisciplinary perspective|
|Written & Oral Skills||Advances written & oral communication skills||Advances written & oral communication skills|
|Doctor Title||Results in graduates becoming doctors||Results in graduates becoming doctors|
|Time Commitment||Full-time||Part time but rigorous requiring an average of 25-30 hours per week of study|
|Duration||Typically 5-7 years||Typically 3-5 years|
|Structure||Individual learning||Cohort structure/action-based learning/learn along with others|
|Dissertation||Culminates with dissertation and defense||Culminates with dissertation and defense|
|Candidate Profile||Younger/little practitioner experience||Older/substantial practitioner experience|
|Career Outcome||Primarily prepares students to be academicians||Primarily prepares students to go back into industry but often graduates teach at least part time.|
Yes, because this is a terminal degree program, you will receive a doctorate upon successful completion of the program.
We are very proud that 76% of our students graduate within 5 years. We work very hard to work with you to ensure that you are successful in this Program. This is a very rigorous program, however, which requires a substantial commitment of time and finances and significant self-discipline requiring at least an average of at least 25-30 hours of study per week for each week you are in the Program. In short, it is not easy but if you are disciplined and put in the necessary work, you will succeed.
Yes, the Doctor of Business Administration program is part of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, which is fully accredited by the AACSB. The Executive Doctorate in Business program is a founding member of the Executive Doctorate in Business Administration Council (EDBAC), an international organization of similar, executive-format doctoral degrees.
Yes. Many of our current students are from outside the city and state, some from as far away as California to Connecticut or foreign countries. While you must be present during each residency, you do not have to live in the Atlanta area. Logistically we try to make it as easy as possible for out of town students. Atlanta is home to the busiest airport in the world, Hartsfield Jackson Airport, with excellent connections worldwide. You may board Atlanta’s subway system, MARTA, in the baggage claim area of the airport and will arrive in about 30 minutes at the Buckhead MARTA station only a few hundred yards from our Executive Center. For your stay during Residency, the Center is surrounded by hotels of all levels with which the EDB Program has negotiated special rates for students.
While pursuing your Doctor of Business Administration, you will have the opportunity to make valuable networking connections with other high-level executives as well as our faculty. Upon successful completion, you and your fellow executive-scholars graduating from this program will be better problem solvers, able to apply research methodology and business theory to complex issues. Your career and way of thinking likely will be transformed in this rigorous and intellectually stimulating process with the goal of developing new perspectives on leadership, global change, and decision making. The program is interdisciplinary — i.e. instead of highly specializing in a specific sector of business such as finance or marketing, you will be exposed to a top-level, integrated view of business and commerce. Participants’ firms can expect to benefit by their executive graduates providing tangible and innovative solutions for complex problems; new ideas on organizational development and skill-building; and better recruitment and retention of talent.
The application process is fairly easy:
- Go on line and complete the application form and provide the needed materials.
- Once we receive a complete application packet, the Admissions Committee will review the materials and usually get back to you within 2 weeks as to whether you are not a good fit for the Program or if we would like you to come in for an interview.
- The one-hour interview is usually with the Director and Academic Director of the Program. We require it be face-to-face unless you live a considerable distance away in which case we can do the interview by Skype. The purpose is for you to ask questions of us and for us to get to know you and your expectations and goals.
- Within approximately 2 weeks after the interview, we will let you know if you are accepted to the Program.
- If you are accepted, we will ask you to submit a $2,000 deposit within approximately 1-2 weeks in order to secure your seat in the upcoming cohort. If you fail to submit the deposit within the required time, you will need to re-apply to the Program if you wish to attend. This is a nonrefundable deposit. If you enroll, it will be applied against your total 3-year tuition. If you fail to enroll for any reason, you will forfeit the deposit.
- The total process from the time we received your completed application to the time you are notified you are accepted (or not) is usually no longer than 30-45 days.
An applicant’s managerial and executive experience in senior positions; perceived capacity for conducting applied research and educational background; compatibility of professional goals with objectives of the EDB Program; and overall motivation and commitment will be the determining factors for admission. For a profile of our candidates see above under “Who is the Executive Doctorate in Business for?”
We accept applications on a rolling basis. This means we accept and review applications throughout the year. Once we accept a maximum of 24 qualified candidates for a given fall enrollment, we begin reviewing applications for the next fall. If you wish to start the Program in a certain year, therefore, it will benefit you to complete your application as soon as possible.
Your completed application file should contain:
- An application
- Your detailed resume
- Three entrance essays (topics and guidelines can be found on the application)
- Official transcripts from all institutions of higher learning that you attended
- $100 application fee (payable by check or credit card)
No. You are not required to send scores from graduate school entrance exams, as most applicants already will have taken the exam to complete their MBA, M.S. or other graduate program.
Yes. The one-hour interview is usually with the Director and Academic Director of the Program. We require it be face-to-face unless you live a considerable distance away in which case we can do the interview by Skype. The purpose is for you to ask questions of us and for us to get to know you and your expectations and goals.
Yes, international candidates follow the same application process as domestic candidates and tuition is the same as well. Our Program requires proficiency in writing, speaking, and understanding English but does not require you to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). We do require proof of either a F-1 or J-1 visa. You can find out more about the visa requirements by visiting the International Student & Scholar Services website »
The cost of a seat deposit is $2,000. This amount is non-refundable, but will be credited towards your 3-year tuition if you enroll but will be forfeited if you do not enroll.
No. Though MBAs are the most common advanced degree, any relevant advanced degree is acceptable for application to the program.
Because the Doctor of Business Administration proceeds in a cohort format, the program lasts 3 years. Students who do not complete and defend their dissertation within 3 years are allowed 2 more years (approximately 5 years total) to finish. This would require additional tuition (as of 2019, $6,250 per semester for in-state students and $6,527 for out-of-state students) for each semester until dissertation completion. Students who have not completed their dissertation by that time will leave the program All-But-Dissertation (ABD).
No. The Doctor of Business Administration is designed in a cohort format with set residency dates.
Each student is required to attend each of the four three-day residencies each semester. One residency occurs per month.
Yes. Each student must attend all residencies. We are very strict on this requirement. We project these dates 3 years into the future (see link below) and ask all students to put them on their calendars when they are accepted into the Program. Only illness or personal emergencies are considered valid reasons for missing a residency.
No except perhaps as a supplement to certain classes. All classes take place at our Buckhead Center.
No. The program is a unique cohort-based, executive-format program and prevents credit transfers or waivers.
Classes are held at Georgia State’s Buckhead Center, located at 3348 Peachtree Rd. NE, Tower Place 200, Atlanta, GA 30326. The Buckhead campus is very convenient to plenty of dining and shopping options, hotels, and the MARTA transit system. Residencies begin on Thursday and end on Saturday. Each day begins promptly at 8:00 AM continues until 5:30 PM. Breakfast, lunch, coffee/soft drinks, and snacks are provided during Residencies as part of the tuition.
Tuition Payment Schedule
Prior to semester 1
|Prior to semester 2||$18,750.00|
|Prior to semester 3||$18,750.00|
|Prior to semester 4||$18,750.00|
|Prior to semester 5||$18,750.00|
|Prior to semester 6||$18,750.00|
Prior to semester 1
|Prior to semester 2||$19,583.34|
|Prior to semester 3||$19,583.33|
|Prior to semester 4||$19,583.33|
|Prior to semester 5||$19,583.33|
|Prior to semester 6||$19,583.33|
*These amounts are estimates and subject to change.
Note: Because the Doctor of Business Administration proceeds in a cohort format, the program lasts 3 years. Students who do not complete and defend their dissertation within 3 years are allowed 2 more years (approximately 5 years total) to finish. This would require additional tuition (as of 2019, $6,250 per semester for in-state students and $6,527 for out-of-state students) for each semester until dissertation completion. Students who have not completed their dissertation by that time will leave the program All-But-Dissertation (ABD).
Currently, all financial aid must be obtained through student loans. To find out more about financial aid, email RCBFinancialAid@gsu.edu. However, many of our current students receive some form of financial aid through their employers or veteran’s benefits packages.
The cost of printed books, electronic materials and required software is included with the cost of tuition. You also will be provided with parking, breakfast, lunch and snacks during each residency. The cost of tuition does not cover travel and hotel costs, additional meals or a laptop computer.
After a one-time $2,000 seat deposit, tuition will be billed as a payment at the beginning of each semester, resulting in six payments. See above under “How much is tuition?”
Tuition currently is $112,500 for Georgia residents and $117,500 for non-Georgia residents.
Both on-campus and virtual information sessions are held throughout the year.
The best way to get to know the program is through an information session. At each session, you will have the opportunity to meet with program directors, staff, current students and other prospective students. All the details of the program will be thoroughly explained by our program directors. An information session is also the best way to connect with program directors to ask questions and find out if the program is right for you.