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This report may help those who are trying to decide between a D.B.A. and Ph.D. in business; then you should consider some of the differences. Students interested in a career as a college professor or researching business theories and models may prefer a Ph.D. Whereas, a D.B.A. is a professional doctorate with a focus on theoretical knowledge and its direct application to the business world.

We will look at these and other differences in this post to help you decide which degree is preferable and if is it necessary.

What is a Doctorate in Business Administration?

The Doctor of Business Administration, abbreviated as D.B.A., is generally a research doctorate awarded based on the concentrated study and research in business administration. The D.B.A. is a terminal degree in business administration.

A terminal degree-the same as the Ph.D., means you have attained the most advanced level of education. This degree may suit those currently working in a leadership position. An important consideration is that there are D.B.A. programs that require applicants to have management experience. To meet this prerequisite, candidates may have an MBA. Those pursuing this degree usually do so to elevate their stature and credentials professionally.

What is a Ph.D. in Business Administration?

A Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration curriculum typically focuses on preparing candidates for academic careers. Again, these programs are beneficial for individuals interested in academia. Instead of concentrating on the practice of business, the coursework tends to focus on the science of it. You study how behavior and management skills affect people in a business environment.

The Path to a Ph.D.

There are varieties of business schools that award Ph.D.s in Business Administration. You have the choice of campus-based or online learning formats. Most online programs have the benefit of not having any campus visits during your years of study. The average program takes four to six years to complete.

Business Ph.D. students may also have the opportunity to select an area of concentration depending on their specific interests and career goals. The assortment of choices will differ by school. However, some of the common areas of specialization pertain to topics relevant to business. Examples are marketing, finance, accounting, management, and healthcare administration.

Northcentral University is an example of a Ph.D. program with numerous specializations. The school offers a choice of seventeen in their Business Administration program. The diversity should suit most aspiring doctorate candidates. You can specialize in Homeland Security Leadership, International Business, and Organizational Leadership, to name a few.

The Path to a D.B.A.

As mentioned above, some schools require an MBA before applying. Liberty University‘s an online Doctor of Business Administration requires a regionally or nationally accredited master’s degree (no stipulation) with a 3.0 or above GPA for admission. You will need to present your master’s degree that must be from an ACBSP or AACSB accredited institution.

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP) has more than one thousand learning institutions on its accreditation list.

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is an international organization in the business of providing education to their 1,600 organizations. They exist in over 100 countries and boast over 40,000 leaders. Also, the AACSB has accredited over 800 schools of business globally.

Similar to the Ph.D., the Liberty D.B.A. also offers numerous (12) specializations. A short list includes Healthcare Management, Information Systems, Leadership, Project Management, and Strategic Management. You can complete any of the concentrations in four years or less online.

Another outstanding program is Concordia University‘s (Chicago) online or on campus D.B.A. with two specializations: Innovation in Health Care and Leadership and Innovation. Their doctorate concentrates on business theory and its application to business situations. Graduates may also seek employment in an academic setting. However, the school states that the D.B.A. is more practical in managerial settings than the Ph.D.

Graduates of the 60-credits degree will be able to advance in their profession and to use their research expertise to impact organizational goals positively. You can complete the Concordia program in as few as three years. The three-year delivery model mirrors the business environment, which students manage as a business enterprise.

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You may want to consider the following.

Cost

A Ph.D. or D.B.A. is an expensive endeavor. As with any college degree, tuition varies greatly. Students considering a Ph.D. in business administration will pay between $10k and $13k per year at a public university/college. Liberty University, for example, charges $650 per credit part-time and $596 part-time. St. Mary’s University of Minnesota costs $850 per credit for their D.B.A.

Career advancement

Unless you are seeking a professorship or want to advance your stature in academia, a doctoral degree may not be worth the time and expense. In business, an MBA may be adequate. This degree remains a hot commodity. In 1960, there were fewer than five thousand MBA graduates. By the year 2000, the number blossomed to over one hundred thousand MBA degree-holders.

Data from the governments National Center for Education Statistics reports that more than 150,000 students earn an MBA each year in the U.S.

Additional Resources:

Top 50 Online Business Degrees

15 Top Degrees for the Highest-Paying Business Careers

Top 10 Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Business Administration

How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA?

What Is the Difference Between a Business Administration Degree and a Business Management Degree?

What Is the Difference Between an MBA and a Master’s in Organizational Leadership Degree?

What Is the Difference Between a Business Degree and an Entrepreneurship Degree?

What Is the Difference Between a Business Degree and a Finance Degree?