Designed for executive-level working professionals, the Doctor of Business Administration at University of Maryland Global Campus emphasizes management theory and strategic thinking, organizational leadership, change, and sustainability in the global business environment. Through applied research and analysis of real-world management issues, you'll gain the ability to provide thought leadership and problem-solving capabilities in positions of responsibility.

Our cohort structure promotes close, interactive partnerships among students, faculty, and staff and a supportive network for lifelong learning. You'll also benefit from exposure to national and global perspectives and collaboration with geographically diverse classmates and faculty.

These requirements are for students who enroll in the 2020–2021 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit our catalog archive.

About the Doctor of Business Administration

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Conduct and evaluate management research for decision-making
  • Investigate the overall business intelligence environment in an organization
  • Develop ethical solutions to complex organizational problems
  • Develop new thinking to solve the most pressing business challenges of the 21st century
  • Initiate and lead successful change

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Perform qualitative management research and effectively communicate findings to practitioners
  • Assess management environments and develop problem concept models
  • Design and implement evidence-based solutions aligned with organizational needs
  • Assess an enterprise's analytic capabilities to develop recommendations for a stronger business intelligence climate
  • Present innovative ideas at professional conferences and submit for publication

Doctor of Business Administration Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Doctorate Courses

Prerequisite Course

  • DBA 600

    Please note: This is a prerequisite course for admission to the program. A completed application for admission, including all documents described below in the program admission requirements, must be submitted by the application deadline in order to be considered for this course.

Core Courses

  • DBA 800
  • DBA 810
  • DBA 820
  • DBA 830
  • DBA 840
  • DBA 850

Dissertation Courses

  • DBA 860
  • DBA 870
  • DBA 880

Course Rules and Program Progression

  • All courses must be taken in the order listed.
  • You may only take one course per term.
  • You must complete each course with a grade of A or B to advance to the next course. The grade of C is not available for these courses.
  • The courses in this program must be successfully completed within a maximum of seven years.
  • Your course syllabus will explain options for and consequences of requesting a grade of Incomplete.

About the Dissertation

Through the Doctor of Business Administration program, you'll learn how to conduct and use evidence-based research to make data-informed management decisions. Your dissertation will include a systematic review of a complex issue or problem in the workforce. Most students choose to apply the results of their dissertation research to their current work environment.

Recent dissertation topics have included:

  • Kuan H. Collins: "The Organizational Factors Influencing the Building of Collaborative Culture: An Examination of the Evidence"
  • Sharon Denise Biddinger Crawford: "Indecisiveness in Teamwork: A Search for Interventions to Avoid Failure-to-Decide"
  • Joseph Allen Evans: "The Influence of National Culture on the Value Creating Ability of Organizations Combined from an International Merger and Acquisition"
  • Calvin Joel Martin: "Creating and Implementing Dynamic Capabilities: An Exploration of the Senior Manager's Role"
  • Margaret Walthall: "The Leader-Follower Relationship and Follower Performance"

Career Preparation

This program is designed to enhance competencies that are applicable in a wide variety of institutions and organizations.

Experience Recommended for Success in the Program

You are expected to have supervisory management experience and demonstrated leadership ability. This program is writing-intensive. To improve your writing skills, we recommend you take ASC 601.

In addition, the ideal applicant will have the motivation to do applied research and possess the intellectual curiosity to engage in scholarly discourse.

Program Admission Requirements

Admission to the program is competitive and is based on a combination of all requirements. Meeting the eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission.

You must pass the prerequisite course, DBA 600, with a B or better to be considered for admittance into the program

Prerequisite Course Information

DBA 600:

  • 11-week course
  • Pass with a grade of A or B for admission to the DBA program
  • Does not count toward the 48-credit total for the DBA program
  • Does not qualify for federal financial aid because it is a prerequisite course to the program
  • Does not include a residency
  • Consideration for enrollment in this course requires a completed application package by the designated deadline (see program admissions requirements below)

You must submit the following materials to be considered for admission:

  • UMGC online application for admission

  • Official transcript indicating successful completion of a master's degree or higher from a regionally accredited university or college (equivalent degrees from other accredited institutions may be considered on a case-by-case basis; if you were educated abroad, you may need to meet additional requirements)

  • Up-to-date resume (outlining professional leadership and supervisory management experience)

  • Two letters of reference, sent by the evaluator directly to admissions@umgc.edu using our doctorate recommendation form (two professional letters of reference or one professional and one academic letter of reference may be submitted; personal recommendations and electronic signatures will not be accepted)

  • A 700-word personal statement outlining your career goals, including how the DBA degree will fit in your future.

  • Two reviews of scholarly, peer-reviewed, academic research-based articles (each review should follow our scholarly review guidelines)

Note: GRE or GMAT scores are not required for the application. DBA 600 cannot be waived.

How to Submit Your Application Documents

You can mail all application documents (except for the online application for admission) to one of the below addresses.

If mailing by U.S. Postal Mail, please use the following address:

  • UMGC Graduate Admissions
    Attn: DBA Admissions
    3501 University Blvd. East
    Adelphi, MD 20783

If mailing by UPS or FedEx Packages, please use the following address:

  • UMGC Graduate Admissions
    Attn: DBA Admissions
    1616 McCormick Drive
    Largo, MD 20774

You can e-mail your resume, personal statement, and scholarly reviews to admissions@umgc.edu. Official letters of recommendation can be e-mailed as long as they come directly from the evaluator. If your previous institution needs to send transcripts electronically, please follow our guidance on submitting transcripts.

Application Deadlines

All materials are due by the doctoral program application deadline for the term. Documents sent by mail must be postmarked on or before the deadline for the term.

  • Winter: November 15

  • Spring: February 15

  • Fall: August 15

  • Summer: No doctoral term

Decision letters regarding eligibility for the prerequisite course are e-mailed to the applicant 30 days after the application closing date.

The prerequisite course DBA 600 is a pre-admission requirement that all applicants must pass with a B or better to gain admission into the Doctor of Business Administration program. The online, 11-week course allows students to both demonstrate and make an informed decision about their readiness to begin doctoral study. You cannot receive financial aid for this course, as it is not part of the 48-credit Doctor of Business Administration program. There is no on-site residency for this course.

The course includes analysis of the research methods of scholarly articles as well as critical thinking and writing assignments written in APA style. Along with these assignments, there are discussion conferences about the doctoral courses in the Doctor of Business Administration program, the dissertation process, and the expectations of students once admitted into the program. Students spend an average of 15 to 20 hours per week working on course assignments.

Additional Information

Residency Requirements

One on-site residency is held each term and is mandatory for all students enrolled in the program. Residencies consist of two full days of face-to-face classroom instruction, which include instructor-led lectures, guest lectures, cohort discussions, presentations of class assignments, and more. Residencies provide an excellent forum for discussion, peer support, networking, and scholarship. These residencies are scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays, usually in the fifth week of the term. On Fridays, the residency is typically held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturdays, residency is typically held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Residency attendance is mandatory for the full two-day period each term. If a student is unable to attend residency for the full two-days, they must defer enrollment until the next available term. Students are responsible for their own travel arrangements and residency expenses.

There is no on-site residency for the prerequisite course, DBA 600.

Residencies for upcoming terms will take place in Rockville, Maryland on the following dates:

  • Fall 2020: Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31, 2020

  • Winter 2021: Friday, February 12 and Saturday, February 13, 2021

  • Spring 2021: Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15, 2021

  • Fall 2021: Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6, 2021

The School of Business reserves the option to conduct residencies virtually to comply with guidance from UMGC in view of the pandemic situation prevailing at that time.

AACC Doctoral Discount

UMGC is pleased to offer a 25 percent doctoral tuition discount to full-time employees and staff members of American Association of Community Colleges member institutions. The discount is only available to students who are enrolled in UMGC's doctoral programs and have not been awarded a UMGC scholarship. The discount does not apply to our doctoral prerequisite and post-doctorate courses: DMG 600, DBA 600, and DMGT 899. The discount does apply to all 6-credit courses and 4-credit dissertation courses.

To verify your employment, you must submit your most recent paystub from an eligible AACC institution for each semester you are enrolled within 10 days of the start of the semester. The paystub may be submitted to Monica Graham, academic specialist, via e-mail at monica.graham@umgc.edu or fax 240-684-2404. When you apply to UMGC, please select "Employee – CC Alliance Institute" as your special program on the electronic application. If you have completed your application and neglected to select CCAI, please e-mail the New Student Advising Office at newgrad@umgc.edu to request that your application be coded accordingly.

PhD vs. DBA

A PhD is a discipline-oriented research degree with a narrow focus designed to train you for a role as a researcher or faculty member in a specific academic area. The DBA is for practitioners who will learn to acquire, appraise, analyze, apply, and assess information for complex evidence-based decision-making. The traditional career path for a PhD graduate is in the academic world, while the traditional career path for a DBA graduate is a management practitioner in specialties associated with a broad range of professions.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Program

Is UMGC accredited? +

Yes. UMGC is regionally accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, UMGC is a public state university in the University System of Maryland.

If I receive my Doctor of Business Administration, will I be able to teach at the college/university level? +

Yes. You can teach at the community college or university level. However, this program is not designed for students who aspire to obtain tenure-track positions at research universities.

How long will it take me to complete my doctoral degree? +

Highly motivated students can complete the 48-credit degree program, including the dissertation, in three years. However, time required to complete the degree will vary depending upon individual progress and individual circumstances while enrolled in the program. All nine courses must be taken in the structured order and only one course per term is allowed. You are granted seven years to complete the program; however, the average completion time remains at four years.

How do students follow their cohort through the doctoral program? +

Upon acceptance into the doctoral program, students are expected to make progress through each course in a common group called a cohort. As they progress through the program together, they build helpful working relationships with one another and support one another’s development. Beyond their cohort, students in the doctoral program are also members of the broader practitioner-scholar learning community that includes other doctoral students, UMGC faculty, and doctoral alumni.

Are Doctor of Business Administration courses offered in the summer? +

No. Doctor of Business Administration courses are offered three times per year: fall, winter, and spring. Selected summer workshops are periodically offered in July and August.

Where can I find previously published UMGC dissertations? +

To find previously published dissertations, visit the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global database, search for "University of Maryland Global Campus" (in quotes), and select "University/institution – SCH" from the dropdown menu. You can also find previous dissertations by visiting UMGC's Digital Repository.

Can I take doctoral-level courses provisionally or without applying and receiving an acceptance letter? +

No. DBA courses are not available for enrollment until successful completion of the pre-admission course, DBA 600. This is the only doctoral-level course that can be taken prior to official admission to the doctoral program. A complete application for admission, including the documents outlined above in the Program Admission Requirements section, must be submitted by the application deadline in order to be considered for this course (application deadlines shown above).

Are UMGC Library resources available to applicants and prospective students? +

No. Applicants to the DBA program and prospective students do not have access to the UMGC Library. Please visit this guide to peer-reviewed articles and the UMGC Library guide for more information about finding scholarly articles. Sources such as whitepapers, blogs, trade magazines, conference papers and proceedings, and dissertations are not acceptable for the doctoral application.

What is the methodology used for the dissertation research? +

A systematic review process is used to conduct the dissertation.

Who do I contact for further information about the DBA program? +

You may contact the Department of Business Administration in the School of Business at busadmindept@umgc.edu for additional information about the prerequisite course—DBA 600—and the DBA program.