On this page 0
Best Online DBA Programs: 2024

Best Online DBA Programs: 2024

Bring leadership skills and business expertise to the table when you earn a doctorate in business administration. See which schools have the best online DBA programs right now, gain an understanding of program details and what the curriculum covers, and find out how to apply and graduate.

Confident and experienced business leaders are vital to the success of companies and organizations worldwide. You could be one of those leaders. Earning your online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree can help you reach your business career goals and fill the leadership need, but with so many DBA online programs to choose from, finding one that caters to your unique career goals, learning preferences, and schedule is key. To help you get started in your search, we’ve listed today’s best accredited online DBA programs that put your needs front and center. See if one has what you’re looking for.

Best Online Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) Programs

We have ranked the top schools below. Our Rankings Data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES.) Click the About the Ranking link below for more information about our methodology.


    Base Methodology for OnlineColleges.me’s 2024 Online College Rankings

    1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

    To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

    • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • At least one program in the subject area offered partially or fully online.
    1. Assign Weightings

    After creating the list of eligible schools, OnlineColleges.me data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

    Online Program Availability

    • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education. Because exact numbers change often and can be difficult to verify, we use a range-based scoring system: 0-5 online programs = 1 star; 6-10 = 2 stars; 11-15 = 3 stars; 16-20 = 4 stars; 21+ = 5 stars. In our design, laptop icons = stars.
    • For degree-specific pages, ex: Psychology degrees, we list the current number of online programs available at that school for that degree type, as self-reported by the schools.


    • Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
    • Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

    Support Services

    • Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
    • Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.

    About Our Data

    OnlineColleges.me’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: January of 2024

  • River Forest, IL
    Private not-for-profit $$

    Experienced business professionals looking to get their doctorate in business administration should consider the innovative program from Concordia University’s Chicago campus. Doctoral candidates in the program choose between two concentrations: strategic leadership and innovation and innovation in healthcare administration. No matter which option they select, the curriculum will cover the program’s four main pillars (ethics and social responsibility, entrepreneurial mindset, communication and human relations, and global interconnectedness). While the program is mostly online, students must complete residencies on campus. This gives them a unique chance to network face-to-face with their professors, peers, and local business professionals. In order to apply, students must already have their MBA and some work experience is recommended.

    Program Highlights:

    Doctorate in Business Adminstration

    • Credits: 60
    • Length: 3 years
    • Cost: $961 per credit
    • Mode: Hybrid
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Boiling Springs, NC
    Private not-for-profit $$

    Gardener-Web University in North Carolina offers a flexible, yet robust doctorate in business administration program. In this program, doctoral candidates complete coursework to improve their oral communication skills, information literacy, academic research skills, and ability to look at business from a high-level perspective. Since the program has an emphasis on training students to become business professors, there is more applied research and developing research skills than in other doctorate programs. Students also choose between one of six concentrations: accounting, finance, international business, management, and marketing. Most students in the program are also working full-time jobs so the degree is designed to be flexible – it’s offered fully online and many class times fit around a typical work schedule.

    Program Highlights:

    Doctorate in Business Adminstration

    • Credits: 60
    • Length: 3 years
    • Cost: $927 per credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Lynchburg, VA
    Private not-for-profit $$

    Flexibility and high-quality education is the name of the game for the doctorate in business administration program from Liberty University. Unlike other doctoral programs, courses are offered in eight week terms instead of semester long terms, allowing students to adjust their course load more frequently to accommodate personal and professional obligations. The program is also entirely housed online and students can complete the degree without ever having to set foot on campus. When it comes to coursework, the classes a student chooses to take are flexible too. Students can choose to specialize in accounting, executive coaching, finance, human resources, healthcare management, information systems, international business, leadership, marketing, nonprofit management, real estate management, project management, tourism, or supply chain management. By the end of the program, students will be experts in their chosen concentration. $595 per credit hour

    Program Highlights:

    Doctorate in Business Adminstration

    • Credits: 60
    • Length: 3 years
    • Cost: $595 per credit
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Miami Gardens, FL
    Private not-for-profit $$$

    Those with a business background who want to advance their professional and academic career should consider the doctorate in business administration from St. Thomas University. Through a combination of academic research and applied practice, students get an in-depth idea of how to solve problems in the ever-changing world of business. During the 60 credit program, students will complete a variety of learning experiences, from a traditional thesis to writing three articles to be submitted to academic journals. All students in the program will also automatically get their MBA – which means already having your MBA is not a requirement to apply. While applicants don’t need their MBA, successful candidates do have extensive experience in the business field before applying. All coursework and research experience is available online and designed to fit around a working professional’s schedule.

    Program Highlights:

    Doctorate in Business Adminstration

    • Credits: 60 credits
    • Length: 3 years
    • Cost: $1025 per credit hour
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • San Antonio, TX
    Private not-for-profit $$$$
  • Boca Raton, FL
    Public $$
  • Riverside, CA
    Private not-for-profit $$$
  • New Castle, DE
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Saint Leo, FL
    Private not-for-profit $$$
  • San Diego, CA
    Private for-profit $$
  • Seattle, WA
    Private not-for-profit $$$
  • Irvine, CA
    Private for-profit $$$
  • Colorado Springs, CO
    Public $$$

What You’ll Get Out of Earning Your Online DBA

While the best online Doctor of Business Administration programs share some similarities, each program is unique in the courses, goals, and outcomes they deliver and how they approach online learning. When it comes to a school meeting regional accreditation standards, however, stringent criteria must be met and some universal outcomes should be achieved. The first step to choosing an online DBA program should be making sure your educational goals align with a program’s goals. Here are some of the most important outcomes you should look for when choosing an online DBA program.  

Expand Knowledge and Understanding

One of the main outcomes of the best DBA online programs is for all students to graduate with a granular-level understanding of business.  This deep dive should cover relevant business practices, terminology, research methods, leadership, project management, finance, human resources, international business, and more. The education you receive in an online DBA program should help you integrate the data, innovations, and technologies of the business world with your depth of knowledge and understanding of business to be a confident and successful leader in your field. 

Evaluate and Apply Research

Being able to identify reputable research and evaluate the methods used to find the results is another primary outcome you should expect from your chosen business doctoral program. In the pursuit of your DBA, you will build on your research knowledge while improving your ability to understand how research is done, how study groups and control groups work, why methodology is important, and what is significant about research outcomes. You’ll learn how to conduct and evaluate  good research and apply it in your company. You can use your research evaluation and application skills in the designing of training programs, policies, human relations, safety procedures, and more.

Set High Ethical Standards

Ethics matter in business, especially in a day and age where consumers demand transparency. As you pursue a DBA program online, you will study ethical theories and concepts, how they can be applied, and why they may sometimes conflict with real-world leadership. The program you choose should emphasize implementing ethical leadership for social and organizational change and highlight the business leader’s role as a moral agent for the organization and the organization’s role as a moral agent in society. 

Design Research Studies

As a business leader, you may be called upon to conduct research that would improve different aspects of your business. A quality DBA program will build on understanding of methodology and how to achieve valid research results. Your DBA online program will aid you in designing research studies that will contribute to your business’ growth. You will learn what questions to ask and how to get answers in the most unbiased way while balancing recognized procedures and methodology to ensure your outcomes are legitimate.

Deep Dive into Online DBA Program Coursework

While each school and program will be a little different, most curricula will overlap somewhat since the degrees all have the same goal. When looking for the right program, you should take a detailed look at the curriculum to make sure you’ll be getting the advanced skills and knowledge you need to lead a business. It’s also an opportunity to check for concentrations, electives, or specialties that may appeal to you. 

Strategy in a Changing Business Climate

This doctoral course covers strategic management and leadership in an ever-changing environment. Students critically examine theories and strategies and how they have changed over time. They will be able to identify how they relate to the business workforce and learn to implement these strategies. Students will acquire new perspectives on tactics and action-based strategies designed to give an organization or business a competitive advantage.

Strategic Management

This interdisciplinary course analyzes management problems from both the technical and behavioral perspective. Students examine the framework for developing and implementing organizational strategy and policy in competitive, real-world situations. Students study topics such as strategic planning, leadership, organizational development, quality management, organizational strengths and weaknesses, threats and opportunities, and competitive advantages. Most of the curriculum is taught by analyzing case studies. 


Econometrics is the science of designing statistical models of economic processes. Though this class will probably be introductory to most students, they should be prepared to build and analyze several different statistical models throughout the course. The topics discussed in this course are regression theory, statistical difficulties in regression analysis, advanced topics in single-equation regression, models of qualitative choice (such as probit and logit), and simultaneous equation estimation.

Statistical Inference

This course will introduce all important aspects of statistical theory, including statistical models, analysis of variance, point estimations, confidential intervals, sampling distributions, hypothesis testing, and linear regression.  This course will enable graduate students to handle statistical methods and related computations in the area of management and business. Students will be taught how to prepare theoretical support for statistical applications in real-world scenarios. 

Research Design

This course discusses philosophy, methodology, and ethics in research design. Students will examine and criticize research reports with special emphasis on the statement of the problem, the sampling and measuring techniques that are used, and the analyses and interpretation of the data. Students will learn to formulate problems, search the literature, and develop a research design. This course emphasizes applying research methodology to real-world organizational problems.

Theory of Entrepreneurship

Students analyze the problems, challenges, and issues faced by those wanting to start their own business by transforming inventions or skills into viable, economic innovations. This integrative course develops the fundamental business skills necessary to identify, evaluate, develop, and exploit business opportunities. Starting with the technical aspects of a design project, students are led through the components of a complete business plan, with instruction and practice in the writing and presentation of the plan. 

FAQs About Earning Your Doctorate in Business Online

Potential students often have questions that go unanswered when considering which program to apply to. The answers to these questions, however, are crucial information students should have when choosing a DBA program online. Below are answers to seven of the most pressing questions according to our readers.

  • Can I earn my DBA completely online?

    Yes. More and more programs are becoming available fully online or in a hybrid format, and your DBA doesn’t have to be any different. You may run across programs that offer all of their coursework online while holding practicum courses on campus. There are other programs where the entire curriculum is offered online, but students must check in at the campus for orientation every semester. It depends on the school, but rest assured that there are fully online programs available.

  • What careers are available for DBA graduates?

    A doctorate degree in business administration can lead to many different career possibilities. While some students may prefer to specialize in certain areas, there  is a lot of flexibility. A doctorate in business administration can lead to careers in education, research and analysis, consulting, and leading all kinds of companies. Career possibilities include:

    • Market Research Analyst
    • Professor
    • Executive
    • Management Analyst
    • Director of Business Development
  • What accreditation should online DBA programs have?

    Any college or university you choose to attend should hold regional institutional accreditation. This stamp of approval signifies that a college or university has gone through a rigorous process to meet U.S. Department of Education standards. You should also look for program-specific accreditation when choosing your DBA program online. If you plan to attend school in the U.S., you should look for accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). It’s globally recognized as the indicator of quality for DBA online programs. 

  • What’s required to get into an online DBA program?

    While requirements differ between schools, you will typically need to fill out an online application where you will be required to show your GPA through previous transcripts, previous work experience (usually 5-10 years, with several of those years in a managerial role), statement of intent, two or more letters of recommendations, and, if applicable, citizenship and immigration status. Typically, you must have completed a master’s degree from an accredited university to be admitted to a doctoral program, and some schools require that graduate degree to be in business administration or another related area. 

  • How much does an online DBA cost?

    The cost of an online DBA degree can vary between as little as $43,000 or as much as $90,000 or higher. For instance, at the University of South Florida, the online DBA program costs $15,000 per semester for three years of study, making the tuition cost of the program $90,000. Northcentral University offers a DBA with a program cost of $55,190. At a cost of $748 per credit for a total of 58 credits, the DBA at Franklin University comes in at a total program tuition cost of $43,384. 

    However, there are several factors that can affect the total cost you’ll pay. Some schools offer a flat rate for online tuition regardless of state residency, but others don’t. If you’re planning on specializing, more credit hours may be required, which in turn means more tuition. Are you a veteran or is your employer sponsoring your education? If so, you could find yourself paying less than you think. Private versus public colleges will have different costs, and your out-of-pocket expenses can change depending on the financial aid you receive, such as scholarships or grants. Some online DBA programs allow you to transfer credits, so that could cut down your costs as well.

  • How long will it take me to earn a DBA online?

    Online DBA programs typically take three to five years to complete. However, people can earn this degree in different formats and speeds. Some schools have accelerated programs that allow you to finish sooner. It can take less time to complete your program  if you attend school full time, and more time if you take part time classes. If you’re able to transfer credit or get credit for work experience, your time in the program can be shortened as well.

  • What specializations are available for online DBA programs?

    Some schools offer specialized tracks or concentrations, which allows you to tailor your degree even more. Not all specializations are offered at every school, so be sure to check which programs are offered before you apply. Possible concentrations and specializations include:

    • Accounting
    • Human Resources
    • Project Management
    • International Business
    • Marketing
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Finance
    • Information Systems Management
    • Organizational Leadership

Salary Potential and Job Market After Earning Your Online DBA

The job market for graduates of online DBA programs looks promising. Management positions are expected to grow at a faster rate than the national average for jobs overall, while salaries can easily eclipse the $100,000 mark, especially if you already have years of experience in your field or at your current company. While there are many factors that can impact your compensation and job prospects, you can generally feel confident your DBA will hold value and can lead to high-paying positions.

To give you a better idea of potential earnings and job demand you could see, we have compiled data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about popular career paths for professionals with a DBA degree.

CareerMedian Annual Earnings
Job Growth
Financial Manager$131,71017%
Top Executive$98,9808%
Administrative Services and
Facilities Managers
Advertising, Promotions, and
Marketing Managers
Training and Development

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics