Read about the different doctor of business administration degrees and learn which one is right for you.
Doctor of Philosophy in Business (PhD)
PhD programs in business focus intensively on preparing candidates to conduct highly specialized scholarly research. They focus on the development of new theory in management, economics, and related fields. Most PhD graduates lead careers as university researchers and professors or as senior researchers in business or government.
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programs focus on the application of theory rather than on the development of new theory. While also intended to prepare graduates for academic careers, the Doctor of Business Administration, by virtue of its focus on application of theory, has more practical application in managerial settings than the PhD.
Similarities Between Doctor of Business Administration Programs
The DBA and PhD degrees are very similar in other respects. The DBA and PhD are “academically equivalent.” Both entail rigorous courses of study with a heavy emphasis on research. Students must write and defend a doctoral dissertation, in addition to taking a comprehensive exam.
The DBA and PhD are generally designed to prepare students for academic careers, either in teaching or research or both. There is no hard and fast rule about which degree you need in order to be hired by a university, but there are some basic trends:
- In some parts of the country, schools are now requiring that faculty members entering tenure track positions hold a terminal degree (i.e.: a doctorate) in business. A DBA or PhD satisfies this requirement, while a doctorate in education (EdD) does not.
- Accreditation matters. AACSB-accredited schools generally-though not universally-hire individuals with doctorates from other AACSB-accredited schools. In those cases where an AACSB-accredited school hires someone with a Doctor of Business Administration from a regionally-accredited institution, the quality of the research the individual has published is often the deciding factor.