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Online Doctor of Business Administration Degree

Ready to take your business career to the highest level? Earning a Doctor of Business Administration online could be the respected credential you need to lead, innovate, and push the boundaries of your field. In a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program, you’ll develop advanced levels of competency in both business theory and practice, preparing you to make an impact in your organization—and the world. And with the convenience of online learning, it’s possible to invest in yourself and your career even while working full-time.


What is it?

A DBA online program is an applied doctorate designed for business professionals. As the most advanced management degree you can attain, this online doctorate in business administration can help prepare you for high-ranking roles in business leadership and organizational management. The Doctor of Business Administration curriculum includes conducting applied research, understanding business theory and literature, and applying what you’ve learned in the classroom to real-life professional challenges. For some students, a DBA is the logical next step after earning an MBA and acquiring several years of business experience—typically in a management position.

Many candidates wonder if a Doctor of Business Administration is the same as a PhD While both are doctoral degrees, a PhD focuses more on original research, while a DBA focuses on applied research. In other words, if you are interested in using research combined with your professional experience to solve real-world business problems, earning a DBA may be for you. If you are interested in developing new theories or approaches to further the body of knowledge in your discipline, consider the PhD. However, both programs may share similarities—including advanced coursework in areas ranging from economics and finance to managerial ethics and corporate social responsibility.  

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What Careers Can I Do with a Online Doctorate in Business Administration Degree?

With an online doctorate in business administration, you can pursue a variety of business career paths that call for high-level management expertise. For instance, many graduates go on to pursue careers as top executives, including chief executive officers (CEOs), chief operating officers (COOs), chief financial officers (CFOs), and other C-suite roles. These professionals lead within organizations across diverse industries and typically need a combination of education and professional experience.

In addition, earning a Doctor of Business Administration online could help you prepare for management analyst or consultant roles. Management analysts take an in-depth look at how organizations run and suggest ways to make them more profitable and efficient. This calls for high-level expertise and related work experience. As markets become more competitive and organizations seek ways to boost their performance, analysts should be in demand. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that management analyst roles will grow 11 percent over the next decade—much faster than average for all occupations.

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Curriculum and Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Business Administration at University of the Cumberlands will help you develop the in-demand skills you need to stand out to employers and tackle any professional challenge. This online program is intended for candidates who are already working in a business profession and cannot attend classes on campus, due to their busy schedules. You’ll have the flexibility you need to advance your education while continuing to work full time.

Our 66-credit curriculum is comprised of core business courses, professional research courses, and 24 credits within a content specialty area:

  • Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Strategic Management 

With our planned course structure and rotation, a full-time student earning 24 credits per academic year may complete the Doctor of Business Administration program within three years. A part-time student completing 12 credits per academic year may complete the program in five years.

The Doctor of Business Administration is comprised of 66 required credit hours. Core and specialization courses are delivered in an 8-week bi-term format; dissertation courses are delivered in a 16-week semester format. Each course is three semester credit-hours and aligned with the program’s goals. An outline of the Program of Studies for the DBA is provided below:

Core Courses - 18 Hours

  • BACC 731 Advanced Managerial Accounting
  • BADM 733 Strategic Marketing: Research and Practice
  • BADM 734 Corporate Finance: Fiscal Management in a Global Climate
  • BADM 735 Comparative Economics
  • BADM 737 Managerial Ethics and Social Responsibility
  • BADM 838 Strategic Thinking, Decision-Making, and Innovation

Professional Research - 24 Hours

Strategic Focus Courses - 24 Hours

  • A content specialty area of at least twenty-four (24) hours must be earned in one of these disciplines:
  • Accounting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Strategic Management

For a full list of course offerings or more program specific information, visit our Academic Catalog page. 

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Mission and Goals

The mission of the Hutton School of Business and the Plaster Graduate School of Business is to foster academic excellence and student achievement at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students are provided with a strong academic foundation in business, and are prepared to become productive, competent, and ethical professionals. The Hutton School of Business provides a learning environment that is characterized by student-oriented instructional methodologies and the development of leadership and life-long learning skills in its students.

At the Hutton School of Business, the following broad-based goals for students have been developed:

  1. Students will acquire the relevant disciplinary knowledge and competencies appropriate to their program of study.
  2. Students will acquire effective business-related professional skills.
  3. Students will be challenged to assess their personal values and connect them to ethical behaviors appropriate to their intended endeavors.

Based upon these broad-based goals, the Hutton School of Business and the Plaster Graduate School of Business have identified the following general intended student learning outcomes for doctoral-level students:

  1. Students will be able to synthesize and integrate current research and literature to problems found in the areas of accounting, finance, economics, management, and marketing.
  2. Students will be able to construct research-based, strategic, effective, and ethical solutions to optimize organizational performance (both domestic and international).
  3. Students will be able to develop advanced communication, collaboration, research, and critical thinking skills.
  4. Students will be able to execute rigorous research and present scholarly work that contributes to the professional body of knowledge of business and provides linkages to practical business applications.

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Admission Requirements

A master's degree in a business-related field is preferred; however, applicants holding an undergraduate degree in a business area and a master's degree in a non-related area will be accepted. Applicants must have graduated from a regionally-accredited or a nationally accredited institution of higher education or an appropriately certified foreign institution approved and documented by director of DBA program. Students may be accepted into the Online Doctor of Business Administration Degree program before completing a master's degree but must have completed the degree before beginning doctorate in business administration degree program coursework.

All applications for admission to the online doctoral degree in business administration must be submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office.

Transfer and Course Credit Policy
A maximum of eighteen semester hours of credit may be transferred from an accredited graduate institution with the approval of the Program Director and the Registrar.

  • Transfer credits must be in courses equivalent to courses in the program
  • All coursework offered for transfer credit must have been earned within the last five years prior to admission to the program
  • Grades for transfer credits accepted into the program do not count in the program GPA


Admission to our University is very competitive as well as selective and we review each application by the same standards.

  • Application and Application Fee
  • Submit official transcripts from all applicable colleges/universities attended; must be received directly from the issuing college or university.
  • Doctoral degree admission requires a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale from the conferred master’s degree as well as in any subsequent graduate study. Admission to a Doctoral degree requires a master’s degree or higher from a US Department of Education recognized accredited institution, in a field related to the doctoral degree of application.
  • Any international course work completed must have official transcript evaluations completed and submitted to the University by the evaluation firm. Evaluations MUST include GPA for admission.
    Approved Evaluation Firms are:
    • World Education Services (WES)
    • Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)
    • International Education Research Foundation (IERF)
    • Educational Perspectives (EP)
    • SpanTran
  • Documentation of language fluency for non-native speakers of English, such as a score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the 8 International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or a report from Duolingo. This requirement is waived for students who have completed bachelor’s or master’s level coursework in the U.S. at an accredited institution. The minimum acceptable TOEFL or IELTS scores for admission are: 
    • Paper-based TOEFL (PBT) - 550 
    • Internet-based TOEFL (IBT) - 79 
    • IELTS - 6
    • Duolingo - 100

All admissions materials should be submitted to Graduate Admissions:

University of the Cumberlands
Graduate & Online Admissions

649 S. 10th Street Suite C
Williamsburg, KY 40769
Phone 606.539.4390
Toll Free 855.791.7199

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Many prospective students wonder if employers find online doctorate programs to be as credible as campus programs. The good news is that as the divide between online and on-campus learning continues to blur, earning a Doctor of Business Administration online is becoming a common and respected way to gain expertise. After all, many DBA candidates are working professionals who need the flexibility online learning offers. At University of the Cumberlands, you will benefit from the same relevant curriculum and dedicated faculty as on-campus students experience. Employers will recognize and value your achievement—whether you earned your degree online or on campus. 


Earning a Ph.D. or DBA is a serious investment in your career—one that’s worthwhile for many business professionals. Potential advantages of earning your doctoral degree in business administration include:

  • Job opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, management occupations are on the rise. Over the next decade, this field will grow at a faster-than-average rate and add over half a million new jobs. Earning your DBA is one way to boost your professional credentials, prepare for advanced leadership opportunities, and stand out in the job market. 
  • A return on investment. Management jobs pay the highest median annual salary of all occupational groups: $102,450, as of May 2021. Earning a doctorate could help you advance within your organization and put you in the running for top-salaried roles.
  • Industry leading expertise. Through research and advanced courses, you’ll prepare to solve challenges for modern businesses and make vital contributions to your field. Whether you plan to pursue a leadership role in your current organization, consult growing business, or launch your own venture, you’ll find countless applications for your expertise.


Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees.


Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information. 

The Hutton School of Business at University of the Cumberlands has received specialized accreditations for its business programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) located at 11960 Quivira Road in Overland Park, Kansas, USA. For a list of accredited programs please refer to our IACBE member status page.
Please review our Public Disclosure of Student Achievement.



Click here to view a list of faculty. 

Admissions Office

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Phone: 606.539.4390
Tollfree: 855.791.7199

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649 S. 10th Street Suite C
Williamsburg, KY 40769