2023 Part Time DBA Programs [Doctoral Programs]

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A part time DBA program may be beneficial for students who want to earn their Doctor of Business Administration while juggling other work or family responsibilities.

Part Time DBA Programs

Compared to a full-time program, a part-time program has more flexibility in regards to when and how you earn your credits. You may even enroll in a part-time online program to take classes from the comfort of your own home.

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You’ll likely have plenty of schedule options and degree concentration options when it comes to earning your DBA.

Part-Time DBA Programs

Time is often one of the biggest roadblocks for people who are seeking a doctorate. The good news is that you don’t have to enroll in a full-time program to earn a degree.

There are part-time doctoral programs that teach the same information with the same textbooks and the same professors as full-time programs. It’s often more manageable to keep working full-time while earning your doctorate part-time.

Part-time programs are often available both online and on campus. As for the DBA itself, you’ll generally have plenty of specialties to choose from, including the following:

Regardless of the specialty you select, you will still receive a strong foundation in business administration and related courses.

DBA – Finance

Finance analyst presenting to the team

If you’re good with numbers, you might consider a DBA with a concentration in finance. It typically focuses on topics like economics, accounting, and banking. Experts in these subjects are in high demand.

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A financial DBA can help prepare you for work in everything from investment firms and insurance agencies to Wall Street and Fortune 500 companies. Typical subjects include mergers, investments, risk management, business valuation, and corporate-focused financial practices.

DBA – General Business

Business people having a meeting

If you want a degree with a broad, wide-ranging impact, you may consider a general business DBA. It will often cover topics like human behavior, industrial organization, and strategic decision making. It usually has an emphasis on leadership as well.

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At the doctorate level, it’s assumed that most students are prepping for a managerial career. So, this degree can help give you a strong foundation in business acumen while also emphasizing communication, organization, and management.

DBA – Human Resources

HR interviewer shaking hands with the applicant

Human resources (HR) is a discipline in its own right, but if you’re looking to specialize in HR for business purposes, there are plenty of DBA part time programs that may fulfill your need.

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You’ll often learn about the major subdivisions of human resources, including training, recruiting, compensation, and employee management. Depending on your school, you might be offered further chances to specialize in these subjects.

DBA – Marketing

Team meeting of digital marketers

Marketing is another wide-ranging field of study with its own degree programs, but on a DBA track, you may look at things through a business-tinted lens.

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You might study consumer behavior, product development, and market trends. You might even learn about social media and creative design. If you enjoy business but also have an imaginative streak, marketing might be a way to combine your interests and maximize your earning potential.

DBA – Project Management

Project manager discussing the business plan

Project managers can wear many hats. Depending on their organization, they might be developers, advertisers, market analysts, and finance gurus all rolled into one.

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As a project manager, your responsibility is to oversee all of the different aspects of a project. So, in addition to having a flexible, creative mind, it’s also beneficial to be able to communicate with a variety of people and lead teams to the successful completion of goals. A project management DBA program may teach all of these skills and then some.

Some students find enhancing their project management DBA degree with a business administration certificate worth it. For example, the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential may be an advantage to students interested in entering this career field.

DBA – Supply Chain Management

Supply chain manager talking to a worker

Supply chain management is a field devoted to the production, organization, and transportation of goods. Classes in this concentration may cover everything from inventory management to the logistics of timekeeping and traveling.

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Like its name suggests, this degree has a managerial focus. A DBA in Supply Chain Management is meant to prepare future business leaders for the demands of high-level work. Supply chain managers may work as the heads of factories, warehouses, and more.

Part-Time vs. Full-Time DBA Programs

Is it better to enroll in a full-time or part-time program to earn your DBA? Ultimately, it depends on a few different factors, including your budget, timetable, admission deadlines, and general life outside of school.

The following are a few additional factors to also consider:


DBA student studying online

Some doctorate programs have restrictions on their enrollment. For example, you might need to earn a certain amount of credits per semester, or you might need to take classes in a fixed order. The latter might become a headache with irregular part-time schedules when a particular class is only offered in the spring or in the fall.

You may also want to check with your financial aid office to make sure that your loans and scholarships don’t require full-time enrollment.

Another aspect to consider is whether you want to take classes online. Do you have the necessary technology? Can you maintain your focus outside of a structured classroom environment? Will your specific degree program have any face-to-face requirements?

If you’re thinking that online is the way to go, then a DBA part time program may add additional flexibility to your schedule. Keep in mind that many universities also offer part time Ph.D. programs in business administration in addition to the DBA.

Time to Completion

DBA students in university

One of the benefits of a part-time degree program is the ability to take classes at a slower pace. This may let you avoid disruptions to your work and other real-life obligations.

The flip side of earning less credits each semester is that more semesters are required to complete the program. When enrolled full-time, a doctorate typically takes between 3 to 5 years.

When enrolling in a Doctor of Business Administration program part time, it may take anywhere from 5 to 8 years for you to complete your degree. One thing to note is that there are many programs with evening classes or summer semesters that can help students fit more education into their busy schedules.

Pros and Cons

Part-Time DBA Full-Time DBA
  • Lesser workload each semester
  • More flexibility in scheduling
  • Less expensive on a per-semester basis
  • Faster graduation time
  • Increased eligibility for financial aid
  • Less tuition expense overall
  • Takes longer to graduate
  • Might result in fewer financial aid opportunities
  • Balancing full-time course load with other responsibilities
  • Higher costs due each semester

DBA Careers & Salaries

DBA Careers & Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, business and financial occupations have an average salary of $72,250 per year. With a doctorate, you’ll likely be able to obtain a much higher starting salary.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers $141,490
Financial Managers $134,180
Sales Managers $132,290
Human Resources Managers $121,220
Industrial Production Managers $108,790
Administrative Services Managers $98,890
Management Analysts $87,660
Financial Examiners $81,430
Logisticians $76,270
Accountants and Auditors $73,560

While it isn’t a guarantee that a DBA will result in a six-figure salary, it is an advanced degree that may be applied to many high-paying, high-flying industries.

Doctor of Business Administration Curriculum

Marketing team in meeting

Business administration curricula can be as varied as the DBA specializations available, resulting in many different skills and subjects being covered in a wide range of classes.

Here’s a small sample of courses that you might see in a DBA program:

  • Business Operations and Strategies: Usually taken in your first year, this course will teach you about the infrastructures of modern businesses and the tools, techniques, and technologies that they use to succeed.
  • Data Analytics: Data is the driving force behind many businesses, and classes in data analytics will show you how to collect, process, track, transfer, organize, and understand it.
  • International Business: A critical course for the globally minded, this class is focused on bridging social and cultural gaps even while assessing things like trade, currency, and exchange markets.
  • Research Methods: Sometimes known as Applied Research, this course will teach you how to comb through information and then communicate the most relevant parts to others.
  • Leadership: If you’re pursuing a doctorate to increase your leadership potential as a manager or supervisor, consider taking classes in subjects like communication, delegation, and organization.
  • Business Policy and Strategy: As part of a wide-ranging field, these classes are dedicated to businesses and how they make decisions.
  • Marketing: High-level marketing classes can cover everything from trends and statistics to theories on consumer behavior and strategic decision-making for multimedia campaigns.
  • Finance: Finance classes can benefit business administration students of all types, so even if you aren’t specializing in it, you may consider taking a course that will teach you about cash flows, market values, and accounting practices.
  • Information Systems: Many businesses are run on digital information systems, and this class will help familiarize you with the software behind it.
  • Dissertation: Most DBA programs will require a dissertation or other capstone project as the culmination of your studies. It may require several semesters of drafting, writing, editing, researching, and reviewing.

If you’ll be enrolling in a business degree online program, you may want to ask about any potential face-to-face requirements for your exams, practicums, or dissertation (if required).

Admissions Requirements

DBA student online

Admission to a DBA part-time degree program may depend on a variety of factors, so you may want to be familiar with the specific requirements of your chosen schools. That said, here are a few general admission requirements that you may see:

  • Application. The typical doctorate application asks for personal and financial information as well as things like letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.
  • Previous education. A bachelor’s degree is a requirement for grad school admission. Depending on the school, a master’s degree might be required as well.
  • Resume or CV. Some programs will want to know your experience with this field. This may include where you’ve worked and what projects, papers, or studies you have completed or been a part of.
  • Test scores. GRE or GMAT scores used to be standard, but a growing number of schools are experimenting with test-optional admission requirements.

If you’re interested in online programs, there might be technology requirements as well. This may include everything from reliable Internet access to a working webcam for proctored exams.


DBA Programs Accreditation

Regional accreditation is a requirement of many licensing boards and financial aid organizations. It may also be a defining factor in whether employers will recognize your degree.

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In addition, regional accreditation may be a critical component in whether or not your credits successfully transfer between universities if you ever need to relocate. To make sure that your university is accredited, you can search the database of the U.S. Board of Education.

Financial Aid for Part Time Students

DBA Programs Financial Aid

It’s a common misconception that financial aid isn’t available for post-grads. While it’s true that you’ll no longer be eligible for things like the Pell Grant, you may still qualify for a number of loans. For example, you may qualify for the Graduate and Professional Student PLUS Loan offered by the government.

You can apply by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Another option is to seek out scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships. Many financial aid programs for PhD students may also accept doctorate students.

What Is a DBA Degree?

business administrators in meeting

DBA is a Doctor of Business Administration. It’s on the same level as a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Administration, but it tends to have a more practical, real-world focus. If you are more interested in earning a PhD, you may want to consider one of the part time PhD business programs offered on campus or online at some universities.

It’s a popular choice for business professionals who want to earn a higher-level degree while still working. Common topics of study include finance, economics, management, strategy, and leadership.

What Can You Do with a DBA?

There are many career possibilities with a DBA. If you’re a math whiz, you might enjoy working in the financial sector. If you’re good with people, you might thrive in human resources.

If you enjoy being creative, you might also enjoy marketing and advertising. Research enthusiasts may study trends, demographics, budgets, markets, and other forms of data.

How Long Does It Take to Get a DBA?

Management Analysts in office

It can take anywhere from 3 to 5 years to earn a DBA as a full-time student. Your specific timeline depends on your program’s required number of credits as well as your own course load and semester schedule.

There are also part-time online DBA programs available from accredited universities. Not only will this option allow you to take classes from the comfort of your own home, but you may also have a longer timeframe to complete your degree.

With part-time enrollment, though, it will likely take you longer to graduate. A part-time DBA may take anywhere from 5 to 8 years to finish.

What Is the Difference Between a DBA vs. PhD?

Administrative Services Managers meeting

There are two options when considering a doctorate-level business administration degree: a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Administration.

Both degrees will often carry equal weight with employers. While many of their subjects and skills overlap, there’s one main difference between the two. A PhD is more focused on research and academia while a DBA focuses on practical skills for real-world professionals.

Is a Part Time DBA Program Worth It?

Yes, a Doctor of Business Administration is worth it for many students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, business and financial jobs are set to grow at 5% over the next 10 years, faster than the average for all occupations.

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Common business administration careers in this field include accountant, sales manager, market analyst, financial examiner, and human resources manager.

Universities Offering Part-Time Doctor of Business Administration Degree Programs.

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer part time degree programs.

Concordia University – Chicago

Concordia University - Chicago

A Doctorate in Business Administration from Concordia University – Chicago helps students prepare for a career in leadership in the business world.

This degree program offers students the unique ability to begin their dissertation in the early stages of the degree program, allowing more time for research and study. Classes are offered online and in-person.

Concordia University Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Creighton University

Creighton University

Creighton University’s part time DBA offers a combination of critical thinking and research-based skills that can help students excel in the area of business.

Students at CU can choose a specialized area of concentration, such as marketing, finance, or economics. This DBA program uses real-world applications and mentorships and can be completed in as little as 3 years.

Creighton University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Drexel University

Drexel University

Drexel University’s Doctor of Business Administration program has an innovative curriculum that gives learners the flexibility to pursue their career goals.

Offering a part time, hybrid schedule, DU has 10 week classes that blend research and the knowledge needed to strive in the business economy. Students will focus on theory, methodology, and research.

Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Florida International University

Florida International University

At Florida International University, students can earn a DBA in as little as 3 years while on a part time schedule. This rigorous academic program is taught by experts in the field and provides a robust, research-based environment. FIU students are engulfed in theory, analytics, and academic skills in a hybrid, in-person, or online learning environment.

Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Northcentral University

Northcentral University

Studying the strategies and policies needed to problem-solve real-world organizational challenges is one of the benefits of Northcentral University’s Doctor of Business Administration degree.

This part time graduate school program engages students in business technologies and gives them access to industry professionals. The flexible approach of NU helps students reach their academic and professional goals.

Northcentral University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Getting Your Part Time DBA Online

DBA Online

If you aren’t sure that a traditional college education is right for you, you may consider earning your DBA online. You don’t have to be a full-time, campus-based student to thrive in a business management program.

There are plenty of options for grad students who are seeking online courses, part-time schedules, abbreviated semesters, night classes, and more. You can research accredited universities to find the DBA program that best fits your schedule and career goals.

Ready to start your journey?
Jordan Meeks
Jordan Meeks
Jordan is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy and earned her Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management and her Bachelor's in Business Administration. Jordan's research focuses on adults returning to college and online degree programs.