Stand out with a Doctor of Business Administration, a degree that defines accomplishment.

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 and change, research and innovation, and sustainability in the global business environment. Through applied research and analysis of real-world management issues, you'll gain sophisticated knowledge for the executive level of management.

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 experiences with geographically diverse classmates and faculty.

These program requirements are for students who enroll in the 2019–2020 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit the catalog archive in the Current Students section.

About the Doctor of Business Administration

The Doctor of Business Administration can help you gain the research and management competencies necessary to acquire, appraise, analyze, apply, and assess information for complex evidence-based decision-making.

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
  • 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

Introductory Course

  • DBA 600

Please note: DBA 600 is a prerequisite course necessary for admission to the doctoral program and does not count toward the 48-credit total for the Doctor of Business Administration. A completed application, including all required supplemental documents, needs to be submitted by the application deadline in order to be considered for enrollment in the prerequisite course. Applicants cannot enroll in DBA 600 until the application is accepted, reviewed, and approved by the doctoral programs department. You cannot receive financial aid for this course. When you successfully complete DBA 600, you become eligible for admission to the doctoral program.

Core Courses

  • DBA 800
  • DBA 810
  • DBA 820
  • DBA 830
  • DBA 840
  • DBA 850
  • DBA 860
  • DBA 870
  • DBA 880

Core Rules & Recommendations

All courses must be taken in the order listed. 

You must complete each course with a grade of B or better to advance to the next course. The grade of C is not available for these courses. 

The courses in this program will have seven-day and 60-day options for the grade of Incomplete.

The courses in this program must be successfully completed within a maximum of seven years.

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 help prepare you for management and leadership roles in for-profit, nonprofit, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations; internal and external consulting; and higher education administration.

Experience Recommended for Success in the Program

You are expected to have supervisory management experience and a management or business background. This program is writing-intensive. To improve your writing skills, we recommend you take ASC 601.

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 DBA 600 with a B or better to gain admission into the program.

You must submit the following materials:

Please send all admissions documents to

  • U.S. Postal Mail (please use this mailing address):
    UMGC Graduate Admissions
    Attn: DBA Admissions
    3501 University Blvd. East
    Adelphi, MD 20783
  • UPS or FedEx Packages (please use this mailing address):
    UMGC Graduate Admissions
    Attn: DBA Admissions
    1616 McCormick Drive
    Largo, MD 20774

All materials are due by the doctoral program application 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.

Personal Statement Details

In your personal statement, you must

  • Explain how your professional managerial, supervisory, and leadership experience and academic background make you an ideal candidate for doctoral study (one page)
  • Describe your specific area of management interest, and explain how conducting research in this management area will help you fulfill your career objectives (one page)
  • Describe your future career goals and how the doctoral program will help you develop these goals upon completion of the program (one page)
  • Select two articles that are from scholarly, peer-reviewed journals (find scholarly articles) and explain each article's theoretical and methodological relevance to your chosen area of management research, describing why and how the research in each article selection pertains to your area of research interest in the management field, and indicating the strengths and weaknesses of each article's research (one page per article—each article review must be submitted on a new, separate page and must include the full APA citation of the article that is reviewed; a reference sheet must be included on a separate page using the APA citation format for both articles reviewed)
  • Include in-text citations throughout your personal statement, where applicable

Prerequisite Course Information

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

You will be required to attend one on-site residency each term at the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, Maryland. This time can include instructor-led lectures, guest lectures, cohort discussions, and presentations of class assignments. Residencies provide an excellent forum for discussion, peer support, networking, and deepened scholarship. The intensive, concentrated format leads to enhanced collegial bonds between students.

Residencies are held at the Universities at Shady Grove, 9630 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD 20850. Visitor parking is available in the Traville Garage.

  • Fall 2019: Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2, 2019
  • Winter 2020: Friday, January 31 and Saturday, February 1, 2020
  • Spring 2020: Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9, 2020
  • Fall 2020: Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31, 2020

These mandatory residencies are normally scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays and consist of two days of face-to-face classroom instruction. Friday's residency programs run from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday's programs run from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students are responsible for their own travel arrangements and residency expenses each term.

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@umuc.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@umuc.edu to request that your application be coded accordingly.



FAQs: About the Program

What makes a strong candidate for the Doctor of Business Administration program? +

A strong Doctor of Business Administration program candidate

  • Is motivated to apply research to management practice in organizations
  • Has achieved significant leadership and supervisory management experience
  • Exhibits strong writing skills, including the ability to support arguments with properly cited reference sources
  • Possesses the intellectual curiosity to undertake extensive reading, research, and scholarly discussions
  • Has the time management skills to complete a rigorous doctoral program effectively

How does the Doctor of Business Administration compare to a PhD? +

A PhD is a discipline-oriented research degree with a narrow focus designed to train you for roles as researchers or faculty members in a specific academic area. The Doctor of Business Administration develops higher-order thinking and conceptual skills through an interdisciplinary orientation and prepares you to apply evidence-based research in practical management situations. The traditional career path for a PhD graduate is in the academic world, while the traditional career path for a Doctor of Business Administration graduate is a management practitioner in specialties associated with a broad range of professions.

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

The Doctor of Business Administration is a doctoral degree from a regionally accredited university. That is typically one of the requirements for teaching in higher education. Graduates of this program teach at the college/university level, and some have full-time faculty positions at teaching colleges/universities. However, this program is not designed for students who aspire to earn tenure-track positions at research universities. Individuals with this goal may wish to consider pursuing a specialized PhD. The Doctor of Business Administration is designed for people who hold or who aspire to hold senior leadership or management positions in the public, private, higher education, and not-for-profit sectors.

FAQs: Applying to the Program

How many credits do I need to take to receive my Doctor of Business Administration degree? +

All Doctor of Business Administration students must complete the required 48 credits to complete the program (nine courses). All courses must be taken in the structured order. There are six academic content courses (6 credits each) and four dissertation courses (4 credits each). Students can only enroll in one doctoral course per term, including doctoral applicants enrolled in DBA 600.

Are GRE or GMAT scores required for the Doctor of Business Administration program? +

No. Neither the GRE nor the GMAT is required for this program.

Can I pursue the Doctor of Business Administration while employed full-time? +

Yes. UMGC has designed the Doctor of Business Administration program specifically for students who are working full-time. Most students in the program are working full-time. You can expect to spend approximately 20+ hours per week on your studies.

What is a scholarly peer-reviewed article that is required for the DBA application? +

Visit this guide to peer-reviewed articles to learn more. Sources such as whitepapers, blogs, trade magazines, conference papers and proceedings, and dissertations are not acceptable for the doctoral application.

What should the scholarly article evaluations entail for the application? +

Explain each article's theoretical and methodological relevance to your chosen area of management research, describing why and how the research in each article selection pertains to your area of research interest in the management field, and indicating the strengths and weaknesses of each article's research (One page per article—each article review must be submitted on a new, separate page. Each page must include the full citation of each article reviewed using APA format.)

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

No. Doctoral-level courses are not available for enrollment until successful completion of the preadmission course, DBA 600, which is the only doctoral-level course that can be taken prior to official admission to the doctoral program. A completed application, including supplemental documents, is required to be considered for enrollment in DBA 600. This course helps determine if the program is the right fit for the applicant. The doctoral department will review your completed application and notify you if you are eligible to take DBA 600.

FAQs: Prerequisite Course

What is DBA 600? +

DBA 600 is a three-credit prerequisite course geared toward introducing potential doctoral candidates to the Doctor of Business Administration. All application materials are required for review to be considered for enrollment in this course.

You cannot receive financial aid for DBA 600. Until you earn a grade of A or B in the course, you will remain in non-degree seeking applicant status.

Is DBA 600 the first course in the Doctor of Business Administration program? +

No. DBA 600 is a preadmission assessment course that all applicants must pass with a grade of at least a B to gain admittance to the Doctor of Business Administration program.

If I do not earn a grade of at least a B, can I retake DBA 600? +

Yes. If you receive a grade of F in DBA 600, you have the option to repeat the course only once. If you earn a grade of F more than once, then you will be denied admission to the Doctor of Business Administration program and cannot reapply in the future.

Is DBA 600 covered by financial aid? +

No. DBA 600 is a prerequisite course to the Doctor of Business Administration program and therefore cannot be covered by financial aid.

Upon successful completion of DBA 600, may I defer the start of the Doctor of Business Administration program? +

Yes. You may defer your Doctor of Business Administration program for one semester without a justifiable explanation. A deferment request of more than one semester requires a written request for an extension which will be reviewed by the Graduate School.

FAQs: Program Completion

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

Highly motivated students can complete the degree, 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. You are granted seven years to complete the program; however, the average completion time remains at four years.

Are all Doctor of Business Administration courses offered every term? +

No. Not every Doctor of Business Administration course is offered every term.

Can I take more than one doctoral course per term? +

No. Students can only enroll in one doctoral course per term, including applicants enrolled in the prerequisite course: DBA 600.

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.

How often does the mandatory residency occur throughout the Doctor of Business Administration program? +

Doctoral students are required to attend a mandatory on-site residency each term on campus, typically held in the fifth week of the term. These on-site residencies are normally scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays and consist of two days of classroom instruction. Residency attendance is mandatory for the full two-day period each term.

Otherwise, if you are unable to meet these requirements, you must defer enrollment until the next available term. You can complete three courses within a calendar year with a total of three visits per year to UMGC. Courses in the doctoral programs are offered in the winter, spring, and fall terms. (Courses are not held in the summer terms.) There is no residency for applicants enrolled in DBA 600.

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.

FAQs: Other

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.

Is UMGC accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International? +

UMGC has not sought AACSB International accreditation because AACSB accredits business schools, not individual programs.

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

No. Due to licensing restrictions, only currently enrolled UMGC students have remote access to the UMGC Library's online databases. Applicants can find scholarly articles by using Google Scholar, the Social Science Research Network, and/or the Directory of Open Access Journals. Local public libraries may also be able to provide access to research databases. Get more information about finding scholarly articles.

What is APA style? +

The American Psychological Association developed APA citation style to help establish standards for scholarly communication. By following APA citation guidelines, you will give proper credit to authors whose ideas you are using in your own work.

In a research paper, you will use two types of citation:

  • In-text citations are brief statements of credit that appear in the body of your paper.
  • Reference citations provide more detailed information about the sources that you used and appear at the end of your paper, in your references list.

For more information, see the UMGC Library's APA tutorial and APA examples.

What is S.O.A.R.S.? +

Student Opportunities to Advance Research & Scholarship (S.O.A.R.S.) research forums are conducted each term by the doctoral programs for students enrolled in their second and third dissertation courses. Doctoral candidates are required to present their academic research and engage in discourse with faculty, students, staff, and alumni. Research is presented in poster format highlighting method, findings, and management practice implications. Find previous poster sessions on the S.O.A.R.S. webpage.

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.