What does it cost?

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; a membership to the World Affairs Council of Atlanta; and partial reimbursement of approved conference registration fees. See the Tuition tab below for more details.

How long will it take?

3 years (6 semesters)
24 residencies (Monthly, Thursday-Saturday)
Part-time schedule

Participants attend four, three-day residencies (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) during the fall and spring semesters at Georgia State’s Buckhead Center.

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 and cap each cohort at 24 students. We encourage you to apply as early as possible. The fall 2021 application is now open.

Doctor of Business Administration

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

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   |   View 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

  • 83% graduation rate
  • Recognized as a premier DBA program in CEO Magazine’s 2020 global DBA rankings
  • Alumni dissertations have been downloaded more than 150,000 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

  • UT Dallas ranks Robinson #1 in Georgia, 29th in the U.S., and 32nd in the world for research productivity.
  • Georgia State houses more than 60 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 3rd 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.
  • DBA faculty publish, edit, and contribute in top academic-practitioner journals.
  • 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:

  • 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
  • Master’s degree and previous coursework

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.

Semester 1

3 courses | 9 hours

  • DBA 9000 – Leadership To Create Human Value (3 hours)
  • DBA 9020 – Philosophy and Practice of Engaged Scholarship (3 hours)
  • DBA 9050 – Qualitative Research I (3 hours)

Semester 2

3 courses | 9 hours

  • DBA 9070 – Qualitative Research II (3 hours)
  • DBA 9080 – Quantitative Research I (3 hours)
  • DBA 9140 – Laboratory for Business Driven Research (3 hours)

Semester 3

3 courses | 9 hours

  • DBA 9030 – Theory and Practice of Managing Organizations (3 hours)
  • DBA 9100 – Quantitative Research II (3 hours)
  • DBA 9140 – Laboratory for Business Driven Research (3 hours)

Semester 4

3 courses | 9 hours

  • DBA 9040 – Emerging Markets and Global Models for Business (3 hours)
  • DBA 9061 – Business Topics and Theory (3 hours)
  • DBA 9170 – Dissertation Lab (3 hours)

Semester 5

3 courses | 9 hours

  • DBA 9110 – Influences and Limitations on Executive Decision Making (3 hours)
  • DBA 9170 – Dissertation Lab (3 hours)
  • DBA 9170 – Dissertation Lab (3 hours)

Semester 6

3 courses | 9 hours

  • DBA 9120 – Evidence-Based Management (3 hours)
  • DBA 9150 – Creating and Disseminating Research Knowledge (3 hours)
  • DBA 9170 – Dissertation Lab (3 hours)

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; a membership to the World Affairs Council of Atlanta; and partial reimbursement of approved conference registration fees. 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.

*These amounts are estimates and are subject to change.

Students may elect to purchase books on their own. If students elect to purchase books, their tuition will be adjusted per semester based on book needs for each course during each semester.

VIEW THE TUITION REPAYMENT SCHEDULE


Financial Aid

Loans

Veterans' Benefits
Veterans benefits are fully applicable to the Doctor of Business Administration degree.

Find out more about GSU’s Military outreach

Industry
Consulting/Business Services: 14.2%
Education: 18.3%
Finance/Accounting/Banking/Insurance: 11.8%
Government/Public Services/Military: 7.7%
Healthcare: 8.9%
Information Technology: 11.8%
Manufacturing: 9.5%
Supply Chain/Transportation/Communications: 10.1%
Other: 7.69%
Response Rate: 84%
Position
Executive/Officer: 17.3%
Manager/Director/Dean: 30.1%
Owner/CEO/President: 24.9%
University Staff or Faculty: 12.7%
Other: 15%
Response Rate: 86%
Geographic Location
In-State :60.3%
Out-of-State or International:39.7%
Response Rate: 100%
Average Age: 42

Average Years Managerial Experience: 14

Top 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 Doctor of Business Administration 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.

Check our list of frequently asked questions for additional information.

Research Highlights

Dissertations

Our student dissertations have been downloaded more than 150,000 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 is founding member of the Executive Doctorate in Business Administration Council (EDBAC). The EDBAC fosters excellence and innovation in executive doctoral degree programs worldwide. Programs are directed at fully employed experienced professionals with more than 10 years of meaningful post baccalaureate work experience, who already possess an MBA or equivalent graduate degree.

Member institution criteria include:

  • Develop scholarly practitioners by focusing on engaged scholarship research that tackles contemporary business and management problems
  • Require successful defense of a dissertation
  • Are taught by research active faculty with doctoral degrees
  • Are a minimum of three years in length
  • Are residency based
  • Have a major cohort-based, lock step component

Careers

Many executives pursue the DBA degree because of a desire for more professional flexibility, or to change or advance their careers. All students pursue the degree because of their thirst for academic rigor. Graduates pursue many unique avenues—they 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, presented research at conferences, and guest lectured.

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

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.

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

Karen Loch

Professor

Spotlight on Success

Doctor of Business Administration students

Cohorts comprise students from diverse firms and industries including Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, healthcare, human resources, IT and cybersecurity, start-ups, and the 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 Bill Bradford, who assumed the position of CEO at the Electronic Components Industry Association.

Program News & Updates

Arun Rai Appointed Inaugural Holder of Howard S. Starks Distinguished Chair
Rai is uniquely qualified for the appointment, which specified selection of a chairholder with an international reputation for scholarly excellence, a sustained record of high-impact and innovative research, and demonstrated achievement with potential for continued broad-based impact to shape the future direction of scholarship at-large and within the Robinson College.
Celebrating at the undergraduate commencement ceremony on Dec. 17.Congratulations, Robinson College 2020 Graduates!
Despite a year of unprecedented challenges, 1,958 students graduated from Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business in 2020.
Robinson College of Business Graduate Enrollment Surges 78 Percent; Incoming Class is Largest, Most Diverse in its History
Robinson welcomed 862 new graduate students this fall, a 78 percent increase over 2019’s incoming class of 484 students. They are enrolled in 14 degree programs.

Contacts

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

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

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