Doctorate in Business Administration

Study Format Online, On Campus
Program Length 60 credits; 3 years


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An Innovative Doctorate in Business Administration

The Concordia University Chicago Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) is designed to meet the demand for doctoral business education that is the next step in individual professional development. The program, one of the top DBA programs in Chicago, provides a further tier of leadership and management preparation beyond the master’s level. The DBA creates an opportunity for students and faculty to further cultivate the global perspectives, knowledge, and networks already established through the College’s expanding global presence. The curriculum, residencies, specializations, and the Mentor interface are innovative by design and delivery. A unique feature of Concordia-Chicago's DBA program is that the dissertation process begins immediately with students choosing a preliminary topic at the beginning of their program of study. 

The Concordia-Chicago Doctorate in Business Administration has been designed for professionals who seek professional enrichment and want to focus on real-life business challenges while developing application-oriented research. Seasoned business professionals know that they must blend research with their management practice. They must know how to assess current global trends in business, leadership, and management that affect their organizations. The DBA program is committed to scholarly business research, and qualified candidates will have research interests that align with one of the two specializations offered. Those who earn a DBA degree will be prepared to advance in their profession and to use their research expertise to positively impact organizational goals.

Four DBA specializations are offered, Innovation in Health Care Management, Innovations in Human Resources, Strategic Leadership and Innovation and Marketing Innovations. Please visit the Curriculum page for program and specialization information.

The DBA program outcomes are aligned with the College of Business’ Pillars of Knowledge:

Ethics and Social Responsibility  
Critical Thinking and Entrepreneurial Mindset 
Communication and Human Relations 
Global Interconnectedness and Inclusiveness  

Program Outcomes

The program prepares graduates to:

  • Critically examine the literature of business, leadership, and applied research
  • Undertake independent, ethical, innovative, and rigorous business research
  • Synthesize global trends, business knowledge, and leadership theory to advance both theory and practice
  • Design and implement innovative business solutions
  • Evaluate the efficacy of business principles to effect change in global environments 

What is a DBA and how does it differ from a PhD?

A DBA is a professional doctorate with a focus on theoretical knowledge and its application to business practice. While also intended to prepare graduates for academic careers, the DBA has more practical application in managerial settings than the PhD.

A PhD is a research degree for candidates who would like to pursue a traditional academic career and conduct research that contributes to business knowledge or theory.  

The DBA and PhD are academically equivalent. Concordia-Chicago graduates holding a DBA degree are prepared to work in executive and leadership positions within organizations, as consultants, or in scholarly pursuits at universities and colleges. 

Download PDF with program information.

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