What does it cost?

Program fees include tuition, class materials, assessments, mentoring, printed books, electronic materials, required software, parking while in residency, breakfast, lunch and snacks during each residency, and a membership to the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. See the tuition repayment schedules below for both in-state and out-of-state students.

How long will it take?

3 years (6 semesters)
24 residencies (Monthly, Thursday-Saturday)
Executive, part-time format

Participants attend four, three-day residencies (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) during the fall and spring semesters at Robinson’s Executive Buckhead Center (Tower Place 200).

Classes begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Some class days will include optional after-hours study sessions and networking events.

VIEW RESIDENCY DATES

Where can I take classes?
Buckhead Center (200 Tower Place)

Application Deadlines View Admissions Requirements

We review applications on a rolling basis as they are submitted, and once we admit 24 students we begin recruiting for the next year. We encourage you to apply as early as possible to ensure your spot this year.

Doctor of Business Administration

Robinson’s Doctor of Business Administration is a 3-year, cohort-based, part-time doctoral degree program designed for senior-level decision-makers. Upon graduation, you will be able to apply research methodology and business theory to practical problems, and develop new perspectives on leadership, global change, and decision making. Through this rigorous and intellectually stimulating process, you will be transformed on a personal and professional level.

This mission is accomplished by helping executives develop general competence in applied research (including demonstrating knowledge of relevant theory and scholarly literature) while creating new knowledge on contemporary business problems through rigorous, hands-on coursework as well as the writing and defense of a dissertation.

Choose a Unique Program Design
To help students graduate in 3 years, the Georgia State DBA program use a unique design that consists of two major parts.

  • First, in semesters 1-3 we provide students with the knowledge and experiences they need to develop a dissertation. This includes courses where students learn qualitative and quantitative research methods, as well as a group research project in which students experience a full research cycle from real-world problem to publication.
  • Second, in semesters 4-6 students gbuild on this theoretical and practical foundation to develop and defend their individual dissertations in close collaboration with their advisor and dissertation committee.

View the curriculum and course descriptions


DBA vs. Ph.D.
A Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and Ph.D. are similar in a few ways, but also differ in terms of program length, structure, candidate profile, curriculum, and expected outcomes. DBA students are typically looking to evolve business practices, develop new perspectives through applied research, and create flexibility for future career change (including academia). 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. 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.

Compare the programs

Program Highlights

Proven Success

  • 79% graduation rate
  • Recognized as a premier DBA program in CEO Magazine’s 2022 global DBA rankings
  • Alumni dissertations have been downloaded more than 200,000 times
  • Founding member of the Executive Doctorate in Business Administration Council
  • Center for Engaged Business Research supports and promotes active research for alumni post-graduation

Top Research Institution

  • Robinson is among the top 50 business schools worldwide for research productivity.
  • Georgia State houses more than 75 research institutes and centers.
  • Georgia State's annual research expenditures exceed $200 million, rising 153% over the past decade, making the university one of the fastest-growing research institutions in the nation.
  • Georgia State is ranked the 2nd most innovative university in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Outstanding Faculty

  • Robinson’s globally recognized faculty are experts in their fields, prolific authors, distinguished researchers, and award-winning leaders.
  • 15 Robinson faculty are among the world’s most cited business researchers, 9 of which teach and/or advise in the DBA program.
  • The program's internationally renowned, tenured professors include Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) Eminent Scholars and Regents Professors.

Program Details

Applications are reviewed by a selection committee comprising faculty and the directors of the Doctor of Business Administration program.

Potential candidates will be short-listed based on criteria that include:

  • Master’s degree and previous coursework
  • Managerial experience in senior positions
  • Capacity for conducting applied scholarship
  • Compatibility of professional goals with the objectives of the Doctor of Business Administration program
  • Motivation and commitment

Application Process

  • Online application and $100 application fee
  • Resume
  • Essays (3 separate essays, 1-1.5 pages each)
  • College transcripts
  • Proof of Lawful Presence

View application process instructions and get started on your application.

Along with business-driven group research labs and dissertation labs, students also take research method and content courses, such as:

  • DBA 9050 – Qualitative Research I and II
  • DBA 9080 – Quantitative Research I and II
  • DBA 9000 – Leadership to Create Human Value
  • DBA 9020 – Philosophy and Practice of Engaged Scholarship
  • DBA 9030 – Theory and Practice of Managing Organizations
  • DBA 9040 – Theory and Practice of Digital Transformation
  • DBA 9061 – Business Topics and Theory
  • DBA 9110 – Influences and Limitations on Executive Decision-Making
  • DBA 9120 – Evidence-Based Management
  • DBA 9150 – Creating and Disseminating Research Knowledge

View the Course Descriptions and Curriculum by Semester

Georgia residents: $112,500*
Non-Georgia residents: $117,500*
Seat deposit: $2,000

Program fees include tuition; class materials; assessments; leadership and career coaching; mentoring; printed books; electronic materials; required software; parking while in residency; breakfast, lunch and snacks during each residency; and a membership to the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. The cost of tuition does not cover travel and hotel costs, additional meals, or a laptop computer. A $2,000 deposit is due upon enrollment, and tuition will be billed at the beginning of each semester. Please see the tuition repayment schedules below for both in-state and out-of-state students.

View Tuition Payment Schedule and Financial Aid Assistance

Industry

18%: Education
14%: Consulting/Business Services
12%: Finance/Accounting/Banking/Insurance
12%: Information Technology
10%: Manufacturing
10%: Supply Chain/Transportation/Communications
8%: Healthcare
8%: Government/Public Services/Military
8%: Other
Position

30%: Manager/Director/Dean
25%: Owner/CEO/President
17%: Executive/Officer
15%: Other
13%: University Staff or Faculty
Geographic Location
60%: In-State
40%: Out-of-State or International
Average Age: 42

Average Years Managerial Experience: 14

Sample List of Companies Students Work for at Enrollment

  • Google
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • IBM
  • United Health Group
  • Emory Healthcare
  • Ernst and Young
  • General Electric Company
  • Wells Fargo
  • City of Atlanta
  • Oracle
  • Comcast
  • COX Media
  • Accenture
  • NCR
  • Facebook
  • Delta Airlines
  • Charles Schwab
  • Anthem
  • General Motors
  • Coca Cola
  • Morgan Stanley
  • SAP

The DBA program is designed to transform executives with strong managerial, industry and academic experience into engaged practitioner-scholars with interdisciplinary, global perspectives on the dynamic business environment of today. This mission is accomplished by helping executives develop general competence in applied research (including demonstrating knowledge of relevant theory and scholarly literature) while creating new knowledge on contemporary business problems through rigorous coursework as well as the writing and defense of a dissertation. Below are examples of where students entered the program and where they are today:

Alumni Before the DBA After the DBA
Maureen Director of Marketing EVP & CMO, Multinational Payment
Alex Open-Source Software Executive President, Software Development Firm
Jeanette State Department Official Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship, Penn State University
Joel Software Marketing Executive Lecturer of Marketing, University of Richmond, Advisor &
Consultant to Start-Ups
Barry CIO of Government Agency Cybersecurity/IT Business Consultant
Louis Real Estate Executive/Partner Director, DBA Program, Georgia State University
Kevin Director, Brand Performance Global Brand Head & Vice President
David IT Executive Principal, Global Digital Transformation Consultancy Firm
Kristine VP, Marketing Senior VP, Global Marketing
Kim IBM HR Executive Founder, Independent HR Consultancy Firm
Tim  IBM Marketing Executive Professor and Chief Marketing and Graduate Enrollment Officer, Notre Dame
Late NGO Senior Director NGO Co-Vice President Global Programs
Dawn Fortune 500 Executive Corporate Strategy Consultant

Check our list of frequently asked questions for additional information.

Research Highlights

Dissertations

Our student dissertations have been downloaded more than 200,000 times.

Students apply quantitative and qualitative research methods to contemporary business problems and draw on interdisciplinary, practical application of theory. Dissertations are written with the guidance of a faculty advisor.

Fabiola Corvera

Fabiola Corvera

"IT-Enabled Service Innovation-A Field Study of Agile Approaches to Value Co-Creation." Corvera-Stimeling, Fabiola {2015). Doctoral Dissertation, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University.

Dawn McKell

Dawn McKell

"Does Merger and Acquisition Activity Play a Role in The Pre-Existing Healthcare Initiatives of Improved Quality and Decreased Costs Highlighted by The Affordable Care Act?" McKell, Dawn C. {2016}. Doctoral Dissertation, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, 2016.

Hazen Witemeyer

Hazen Witemeyer

"Employee Engagement Construct and Instrument Validation." Witemeyer, Hazen A. {2013). Doctoral Dissertation, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University.

Merle Campbell

Merle Campbell

"Decision-Making Amplification Under Uncertainty: An Exploratory Study of Behavioral Similarity and Intelligent Decision Support Systems. Campbell, Merle {2013). Doctoral Dissertation, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University.

Late Lartego Lawson

Late Lartego Lawson

"Designing and Orchestrating Embedded Innovation Networks: An Inquiry into Microfranchising in Bangladesh." Lawson-Lartego, Late M. {2016}. Doctoral Dissertation, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University.

Edward Cho

Edward Cho

"Exploring Barriers to Effective Risk Management Through a Proposed Risk Governance Framework." Cho, Edward {2016}. Doctoral Dissertation, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University.

SEARCH PUBLISHED DISSERTATIONS

Publications

We emphasize publication of research in peer-reviewed journals and conferences. Books are also encouraged as an alternative format for knowledge dissemination.

panel on stage in front of group

VIEW BOOK PUBLICATIONS VIEW JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS VIEW CONFERENCE PUBLICATIONS

Post-Graduation Support

Center for Engaged Business Research

The Center for Engaged Business Research (CEBR) promotes engaged scholarship through collaboration between DBA alumni, as well as Robinson faculty. CEBR membership includes access to the GSU Library, technology, and online databases. Quarterly workshops provide members with publication support, research feedback, networking, and topic-specific presentations by guest presenters.

People seated at round table eating dinner

Executive DBA Council

Georgia State’s DBA is a founding member of the Executive Doctorate in Business Administration Council (EDBAC). The mission of EDBAC is to foster excellence and innovation in executive doctoral degree programs. Currently consisting of over 60 DBA programs, it provides a platform for a community of engaged scholars throughout the world.

Member Institution Goals include:

  • Engaged Scholarship: encourages scholarly research at the intersection of theory and contemporary business issues.
  • Collaboration: provides a forum for collaboration by engaged scholars.
  • Networking: serves as a point of contact and information source for professionals.

Careers

Executives pursue a DBA degree to transform and advance their professional careers, including entering academia. All students pursue the degree because of their thirst for academic rigor. Graduates pursue many unique avenues, for example, various alumni have formed their own consulting firms, moved up in their current companies and industries, become part-or full-time professors, published books and in top research journals, and presented research at conferences.

Become a Better Teacher

The Doctor of Business Administration Teaching Certificate is designed not only to help those who have little or no teaching experience at the university level but also to improve the skills of those who have taught. The course presents empirical-based research on how to improve student learning and student evaluation of instructors. The course maximizes student involvement through integrating lectures and hands-on exercises. There are short homework assignments.
Here is a sample list of universities where our alumni currently teach:
Emory, Penn State, University of Georgia, University of South Carolina, Notre Dame, Clemson, Georgia State University

Meet Your Faculty

Lars Mathiassen

academic director
Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar
cofounder, Center for Process Innovation
professor, Computer Information Systems

Arun Rai

Regents' Professor; J. Mack Robinson Chair of IT-Enabled Supply Chains and Process Innovation and James A. Harkins III Professor in Information Systems

likoebe maruping

Professor of Computer Information Systems and a member of the Center for Process Innovation (CEPRIN) in Robinson College of Business

Qian Gu

Associate Professor

Spotlight on Success

Doctor of Business Administration students

Cohorts are comprised of students who are diverse in gender, ethnicity, industry, and educational backgrounds. Our students have executive experience from ranging from Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, healthcare, human resources, IT and cybersecurity, start-ups. They are from disciplines, including but not limited to, accounting, finance, IT, marketing, HR, manufacturing, academia, construction, and career-military.

Doctor of Business Administration alumna

Our alumni have made an enormous impact in their fields. A very brief sampling of achievements include Dr. David Bishop, who received a patent based on his dissertation research; Dr. Deborah Hazzard, who has been named Associate Dean of Diversity & Inclusion at the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business; and Maureen Schumacher, EVP/CMO of Global Payments.

Program News & Updates

Bala RameshBalasubramaniam Ramesh Appointed to George E. Smith Eminent Scholar’s Chair
Distinguished University Professor Balasubramaniam (Bala) Ramesh has been appointed to the George E. Smith Eminent Scholar’s Chair in Computer Information Systems (CIS) at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved the appointment on May 18.read more ❯
2022 Alumni AwardsRobinson College Honors Six Business Leaders at Alumni Awards Celebration
Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business honored five alumni and an honorary alumnus at its 2022 Alumni Awards celebration on March 31.read more ❯
Teresa MacCartney, Osie Gaines, Brian Blake, and Sachin Shailendra pose for a photo at the Nov. 9 Board of Regents meetingGeorgia State Alumnus Shares Research on Prescriptive and Predictive Analytics at Board of Regents Meeting
Second place winner of the 2021 Three Minute Thesis competition Osie L. Gaines III was invited to present his research on prescriptive and predictive analytics to the Board of Regents at its Nov. 9 meeting.read more ❯

Contacts

Jorge Vallejos
associate director
execdoctorate@gsu.edu
404-413-7178

Follow Us on Social


Buckhead Center
Tower Place 200
3348 Peachtree Rd. NE, fifth floor
Atlanta, GA 30302

GET DIRECTIONS