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Why get a doctorate in business administration? If you’re looking for a way to advance your career, or perhaps to move into a new field, a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) may be just what you need. Many jobs in academia, at think tanks, and in the private sector require a doctorate degree.  For example, professors and senior researchers often need an advanced degree. Anyone who wants to work in these roles may need to get a Doctoral degree, such as a Doctorate in Business Administration or a PhD in Management or a related field.

While completing a doctorate in business administration, students conduct research on vital business topics, often of their choice. This allows them to hone expertise and acquire in-depth knowledge of complex subjects. Quite simply, you can become a thought-leading expert. Business leaders, companies, and others will value your expertise. At the same time, should you acquire a Doctorate in Business Administration, you can apply the skills and knowledge flexibly to a wide range of fields. Beyond academic knowledge, a DBA will also allow students to study applied practice. So if you decide to work in management, you’ll be well-prepared.

Methodology: Ranking the Best DBA Programs 

Great Business Schools editors have selected the best traditional, on-campus DBA programs in the US from some of the most respected, authoritative, accredited institutions. Programs are ranked according to factors that actually matter to students, including cost, potential salary, and reputation, using data from Niche and IPEDS. 

1. Georgia Institute of Technology

georgia tech logo

The Georgia Institute of Technology offers one of the best DBA programs in the southeastern United States. A doctorate in business management gives a student the skills they need to operate a business of any size on a day to day basis. This type of degree program reinforces what lessons have already been taught and gives the student everything they need to tie it all together so they can move forward in their career. A Management PhD will open many doors and dramatically increase your earning potential.

Georgia Institute of Technology offers the most technologically advanced courses to their students who return to earn their doctorate. The school offers many doctorate programs that are recognized across the country for their academic excellence. Students can also look forward to learning from instructors who are proven business leaders in their own right.

Highlight: By offering the best Doctor of Business Administration programs to its students, Georgia Tech is giving them a chance to have the brightest future possible.

Degree: Management PhD

2. University of Pennsylvania

u pennsylvania

By offering the best DBA programs in the state, the University of Pennsylvania’s PhD in Management gives students the chance to prove their readiness to take on an upper management position in their chosen field. They will become more proficient in organizing and managing day to day tasks, as well as being able to work with other members of management to build the strongest possible brand. With a PhD in Management, graduates can look forward to a bright and very lucrative future as a business professional.

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has offered quality educational programs and doctoral degrees for over 140 years. The school has a long-standing reputation for maintaining the highest academic standards possible.

Highlight: Students graduate from some of the best Doctor of Business Administration programs in the country, knowing they have what they need to thrive when applying for new upper management positions. They also have the confidence they need to meet challenges head-on.

Degree: PhD in Management

3. University of Washington

u washington logo

The Foster School of Business at the University of Washington provides students with the best DBA programs in the northwestern states. Students are taught effective management skills as well as how to solve difficult problems that often come with operating large corporations. They receive training in ethics and best practices so they are able to make sound decisions with the best interest of their company at heart. By earning a PhD in Business Management, graduates can enter the workforce knowing they are ready to take on any challenge.

The Foster School of Business/University of Washington has been rated by the Financial Times as the number one school for MBA Job Placement. The school’s ability to provide resources for their students is second to none. Faculty members at the university also work diligently to ensure every graduate is ready to move forward in their chosen career.

Highlight: By enrolling in the best Doctor of Business Administration programs, students are able to feel confident and secure in their ability to lead.

Degree: PhD in Business Administration

4. University of California, Los Angeles

ucla

The University of California, Los Angeles is well-known for providing students with the best DBA programs in the nation. Students who enroll in UCLA’s Management PhD program will gain the knowledge and skills they need to effectively manage a company on a large scale. This includes multi-tasking and working with several departments at one time to bring about a positive and productive work environment. Having a PhD in Management provides the knowledge and abilities that an effective leader needs to keep their company moving forward.

UCLA has been offering the best Doctor of Business Administration programs for several decades. From its award-winning curriculums to faculty members who have years of professional experience to draw from, the university provides each student everything it needs to ensure advancement in their careers.

Highlight: The university’s ultimate goal is to enrich the lives of its students and offer them every opportunity for success.

Degree: PhD in Management

5. Purdue University

Purdue logo

Purdue University offers one of the best DBA programs for students who are interested in furthering their career in management. Courses are developed to tie all previous lessons together so that students are able to harness their full potential. They are given the tools they need to manage the day-to-day operations of a large corporation or their own company. Having a PhD in Management is a great way to take advantage of your full potential and further your career.

Purdue University is one of the most well-respected universities in the country. It is known for academic excellence on all levels and employs faculty members who are professionals in their own right.

Highlight: The university offers its students the best Doctor of Business Administration programs so its students have every advantage to succeed in their future careers.

Degree: PhD in Management

6. Cornell University

cornell u

Cornell University offers students the best DBA programs in the northeastern United States. The doctoral program provides additional training that is needed to tie everything together. Students are able to take advantage of the latest advancements in technology as well as the most up to date information so they can continue to pursue their career at a management level. Graduates with a PhD in Management can take those credentials and apply for the highest paying jobs with confidence.

Cornell University is known for offering curriculums that are in-depth and well-developed. The university hires only the most professional and well-respected instructors. Faculty members work hand in hand with students to ensure that they are getting the guidance they need to move forward in their careers.

Highlight: Each student will be able to graduate with the confidence and peace of mind they need to get the type of jobs they want. They will have the tools to succeed.

Degree: PhD in Management

7. Rice University

rice university

Students who are looking for the best DBA programs in Texas only have to go as far as Rice University. The university offers many exceptional courses in their doctoral program that students can use to complete their education and move forward on the fast track to their future careers. By utilizing the resources available to them through the doctoral program. Earning a PhD in business is the best way to fully prepare for a bright future in business administration and upper management.

Rice University is one of the most accomplished universities in the state of Texas. With its exceptional curriculum and award-winning faculty members, the university offers every advantage to its students so they can reach their full potential. By earning their degree from the best Doctor of Business Administration programs, students can get the upper hand when competing against other candidates for the highest paying jobs.

Highlight: Students can rely on their instructors for guidance even after they graduate.

Degree: PhD in Business

8. The University of Texas at Austin

u texas austin

Students who are wanting to enroll in one of the best DBA programs in the state can check the doctoral business program at the University of Texas at Austin. Each student has access to courses that are developed to not just teach but also inspire them to do great things. Students gain the knowledge and abilities they need to assume control of and manage their own business or large corporations. Students who earn a PhD in Management can apply for jobs that demand more responsibilities and offer higher paying wages than other careers.

The University of Texas at Austin has a strong reputation for providing students with the very best curriculum possible. Every resource is provided by the university so that the student can learn as much as possible during their degree program. By enrolling in the Best Doctor of Business Administration programs, students have access to faculty members who are leaders in their field.

Highlight: By working together, students can gain insight from a professional perspective they may not otherwise have had.

Degree: PhD in Management

9. Harvard University

harvard

Harvard University is well-known for offering the best DBA programs for students who want to take the final steps in earning their doctorate in business administration. At this level of their education, students are able to learn the final lessons that will help them tie everything they have been taught in the past. The goal is to give each graduate not only the tools but the confidence they need to achieve their goals. A Management PhD will provide students with the final piece of their educational puzzle.

As one of the most prestigious and well-respected universities in the world, Harvard University offers doctorate courses that continually exceed expectations. The faculty at Harvard are consummate professionals and have both the experience and the insight needed to provide students with the advantages they need to move ahead and jump-start their career.

Highlight:Every graduate can move on to bigger and better employment opportunities by completing their Management PhD at Harvard University.

Degree: Management PhD

10. Yale University

yale u

Yale University offers management students the best DBA programs available. DBA programs provide courses in organization, ethics, logistics, and risk management that students will need to perform their managerial duties effectively. For a student to achieve their goals, they must be able to have access to the resources and tools they will need to gain the upper management positions they are most interested in. A PhD in Business offers all of those tools and more that will allow students to push past their boundaries.

Yale University has been considered one of the top business universities in the world for many years. Not only is their doctoral programs the best in the field, the university’s faculty members have won numerous awards for their achievements.

Highlight: When it comes to academics, Yale is second to none among its peers. Students who attend the university have the very best educational opportunities at their disposal at all times.

Degree: PhD in Business

11. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic

Students who want to pursue the best DBA programs in New York can turn to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The school provides students with coursework that is designed to challenge their thinking and provide them the insight they need to take on the toughest jobs. Each skill is refined and honed so that the student will gain every advantage they offer. With the best Doctor of Business Administration programs, the university can ensure each student has the best possible educational experience.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is well-known for its advanced coursework and state of the art technology. Faculty members are chosen based on their merit as well as their professional experience. The school’s achievements are numerous. Each one showcasing the school’s ability to provide the highest quality of education possible.

Highlight: Students graduate with their PhD in Management and can take that degree and apply for positions that would have not been available without it.

Degree: PhD in Management

12. Case Western Reserve University

case western

Case Western Reserve University offers several of the best DBA programs in the Midwest. Students who choose to enroll in these programs can look forward to taking their education to the next level. The skills that are taught in business management degree programs must give students a distinct advantage. They must be able to think quickly and perform multiple tasks as efficiently as possible. With an Executive DBA or PhD, students are able to work in a professional and authoritative manner.

Case Western Reserve University has been able to provide students with a top-quality education for many years. By offering students excellent curriculum choices and a team of faculty members who have been proven to be successful in their own right, students are given the best learning tools possible.

Highlight: Graduating with a doctorate in business administration gives students the confidence they need to take advantage of every opportunity to pursue their goals.

Degree: Executive DBA or PhD

13. University of California, San Diego

uc san diego

The University of California, San Diego gives students an opportunity to enroll in one of the best DBA programs available on the West coast. Students are given a chance to refine their management skills and gain more abilities to add to their resume. As students continue to move forward with their education, they can also be gaining experience by continuing to work in their chosen field. By the time they complete their PhD in Management, they will be able to apply for the upper management positions they have always wanted.

The University of California, San Diego offers award-winning degree programs as well as faculty members who have been recognized for their accomplishments both in teaching and in their professions. The university provides resources that students can rely on throughout their college career and beyond.

Highlight: Faculty members also make it a point to offer the guidance and reassurance that each student needs as they begin to take the steps they need to move up the corporate ladder.

Degree: PhD in Management

14. Binghamton University

binghamton u

Binghamton University offers the best Doctor of Business Administration programs in the New York area. Students are able to utilize coursework that surpasses expectations and provides the highest quality education possible. Skills are taught that provide students with an edge that allows them to tackle any challenge or obstacle they may face. With a Management PhD, each student can move forward after graduation knowing they are ready to handle the responsibilities and obligations of an upper management position.

Binghamton University takes great pride in being able to provide exceptional educational programs that are taught by professional business management specialists who have years of hands-on experience.

Highlight: By hiring instructors who have held management positions for many years, students get to learn from their perspective and from their point of view. This provides an additional layer of insight that cannot be found in a textbook.

Degree: Management PhD

15. University of California, Irvine

uc irvine logo

The University of California, Irvine has one of the best DBA programs on the west coast. For students who are pursuing a doctoral degree, programs must provide concepts on problem-solving, negotiation, and effectively managing large groups of people. They must be able to work well with others and exhibit exceptional leadership qualities. A PhD in Management will ensure they have those abilities and more, giving them a chance to fulfill their career goals.

The University of California, Irvine provides access to quality educational resources, seasoned faculty members, and a learning environment that is both welcoming and productive. The university has set the standard of education in many ways with their commitment to excellence and constant commitment to provide each student with the highest quality education possible.

Highlight: By offering the best Doctor of Business Administration programs in the state, the university and its staff are always working toward those goals.

Degree: PhD in Management

16. University of Miami

u miami

Students who are interested in enrolling in one of the best DBA programs on the east coast can visit the University of Miami. Courses are offered that bring together some of the most important business concepts that are needed to effectively manage every size of business whether it is small or large. Students who successfully complete their PhD in Business programs have the skills and abilities they will need to become a proficient leader and manager. Success comes from earning a quality education from a reputable school like the University of Miami.

For many years, the University of Miami has offered its students the best Doctor of Business Administration programs that have been reviewed and accredited by many top professional organizations. From the excellent curriculum to the professional faculty and instructors, students have access to the best educational resources in the country.

Highlight: Once a student graduates, their degree will open many doors for them that lead to new and exciting opportunities.

Degree: PhD in Business

17. Michigan State University

michigan state

Michigan State University offers interested students the best DBA programs in the Midwest. The programs that are available to students tie together all of the most important theories and concepts that an effective leader will need if they plan to operate any size of business or corporation. Students complete their education and are able to immediately able to utilize the talents they have learned while earning their PhD in Management. Once employed, graduates will be able to rise to any challenge they face and succeed in accomplishing their goals.

Michigan State University offers over 200 academic programs, including the best Doctor of Business Administration programs that are needed to be a respected leader. The university’s faculty are proven professionals with many years of experience in their respective fields.

Highlight: Students know they can turn to the faculty and instructors for both guidance and insight as they graduate and start to look toward a brighter, productive future.

Degree: PhD in Management

18. University of Iowa

u iowa

The University of Iowa gives students a chance to enroll in one of the best DBA programs in the state. Students who pursue a degree in business management at the highest level will be taught theories and concepts concerning proper management techniques, ethics, public affairs, and mediation that they will need moving forward. Having a PhD in Management will provide them with credentials that not only open doors but pave the way for a highly successful and profitable future.

The University of Iowa boasts a one to one ratio in terms of faculty to PhD students. This one to one approach ensures that the student gets the attention they need and deserve at all times. Faculty members in the management programs are ranked in the top ten nationally in terms of productivity. The faculty serves as role models, providing students with the mentorship and guidance they need to be as productive and successful as possible.

Highlight: By enrolling in the best Doctor of Business Administration programs, students have full access to these resources and more.

Degree: PhD in Management

19. University of Connecticut

u connecticut uconn

The University of Connecticut offers students the best DBA programs possible. These programs include courses on ethical behavior, conflict resolution, problem-solving, and how to manage operations in times of crisis. Students are required to use the skills they have learned to get the desired results. They are provided with many of the same challenges they will face once they are out on their own. With a PhD in Business – Management, they will be able to prove themselves by repeatedly overcoming any obstacle or challenge they are presented with.

At the University of Connecticut, PhD students are given every possible advantage. The university offers the best Doctor of Business Administration programs so that students can graduate knowing they have earned academic excellence. They do this by offering both support and guidance, allowing them to reach out whenever assistance is needed. Through this combined effort, students can graduate knowing they will be a valuable asset to any company that hires them.

Highlight: Faculty members and instructors work diligently to make sure students are fully prepared to graduate.

Degree: PhD in Business – Management

20. University at Buffalo

university at buffalo suny

The University of Buffalo gives students a chance to learn from one of the best DBA programs in the state of New York. They are taught important concepts and business theory that they will be able to use throughout their career in management. The skills they learn will allow them to become effective leaders, guiding the companies they manage and ensuring they stay on track and moving forward. By earning a PhD in Management, graduates will have all of the tools they need to establish themselves as professionals and forge a career they can be proud of.

The University of Buffalo offers quality PhD programs both online and in the classroom. They offer students across the world an opportunity to succeed in whatever type of business management they choose to pursue. Just like each course curriculum is carefully developed, every staff and faculty member is hand-picked for both their professionalism as well as their commitment to their students.

Highlight: Students will graduate from the university knowing they have completed one of the best Doctor of Business Administration programs in the country.

Degree: PhD in Management

21. University of Massachusetts

umass amherst

The University of Massachusetts is dedicated to providing students with the best DBA programs available in the country. Each course identifies specific theories and concepts that are important for business management students to know. These courses provide the right skills that will be needed for problem-solving, negotiations, and any other task the graduate may be asked to handle. With a PhD in Management Science, the graduate will have these skills as well as many more they can rely on.

The University of Massachusetts has a long-standing reputation for being one of the most well-respected universities in the country. The university has received awards for academic excellence in many fields. Faculty members who are employed by the university bring many years of professional experience to the job giving students an opportunity to learn from the best.

Highlight: When a student is looking for the best Doctor of Business Administration programs, the University of Massachusetts should be at the top of the list.

Degree: PhD in Management Science

22. University of Pittsburgh

u pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh is able to offer one of the best DBA programs in the state to students who are interested in completing their education. Graduates will have learned the concepts and business theories that are needed to successfully manage the day to day operations of any size company. Understanding the theories behind conflict resolution, ethics, and business management are the keys to any successful career, whether it be in management or any other capacity. A PhD in Business provides those skills as well as many others.

The University of Pittsburgh offers technologically advanced courses for students who want to excel in their chosen field and possibly move up into a managerial role. The university is constantly striving to attain the highest level of academic excellence. The faculty and staff employed by the university offer students insight that can only be achieved by spending years in their chosen field.

Highlight: By passing on their first-hand knowledge, instructors guarantee that students are able to reap the rewards that only the best Doctor of Business Administration programs can offer.

Degree: PhD in Business

23. Rutgers University – Newark

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At Rutgers University, students can enroll in the best DBA program available on the east coast. Each program offers skills and concepts the student will need as they continue to pursue management positions throughout their career. They will be taught both business theory and management so that they have a solid understanding of how to conduct business on a variety of levels. Earning a DBA is often the best way to advance through the upper levels of management at a much faster pace.

Rutgers University is well-known across the globe for its excellence in academic programs and professional faculty. The university offers award-winning degree programs that provide the highest quality of education possible. Faculty members bring a valuable perspective to some of the best Doctor of Business Administration programs in the country so that students get a better idea of what business management is all about.

Highlight: Once they graduate, DBA holders have the skills and abilities they need for a solid and successful career.

Degree: DBA

24. George Washington University

george washington u

George Washington University has the opportunity to provide the best DBA programs to its students. These programs provide not only sound business concepts and theories but also technologically advanced training that offers every advantage to students who choose to enroll. By utilizing these skills and abilities, students are able to enter the job market fully prepared and ready to take on any task that is required. Earning a PhD in Business Administration gives graduates every advantage when it comes to pursuing a successful career.

As one of the oldest universities in the country, George Washington University’s 200-year history proves its ability to provide academic excellence. Graduates learn from award-winning instructors who have many years of experience both in the workforce as well as in the classroom. Students can rely on their instructors for guidance as they take their first tentative steps toward building their future careers.

Highlight: By providing students with the best Doctor of Business Administration programs, the university ensures its students’ success on every level.

Degree: PhD in Business Administration

25. University of Arizona

u arizona

The University of Arizona takes pride in offering students the best DBA program in the state. Each program has been developed to ensure students receive courses that discuss business theory, management skills, ethics, and many other core concepts that DBA graduates will need to build a successful career. Students are given every possible resource and advantage to ensure they are fully prepared as their graduation day approaches. The PhD in Management will offer them many benefits over the course of their career.

At the University of Arizona, every opportunity is taken to provide students with programs that rank as high as possible in terms of quality and academic excellence. Faculty members offer guidance that is backed up by years of professional experience. Students often look to their faculty advisors for support as they transition from their educational environment to the workplace.

Highlight: With the best Doctor of Business Administration programs at their disposal, students can rest assured they will be fully prepared after graduation.

Degree: PhD in Management

How Do I Choose a DBA Program?

If you’ve decided to get a Doctorate in Business Administration, you’ve made one important decision already. The next big choice is deciding which DBA program is right for you and your career. Potential students will want to look at the best doctorate of business administration programs, and determine which will best fit their schedule and lifestyle. So how do you choose among the best business doctorate programs? Let’s dig in.

Many of the best DBA programs in the world offer both part-time and full time DBA programs. So first, determine what type of program, full-time, part-time, online, or whatever else works best for you. If a student chooses one of the best part-time DBA programs, for example, he or she can continue their career while also completing an advanced business degree. However,  students might need more time to get the doctorate in hand.

Some business schools excel when it comes to full-time DBA programs, yet don’t offer good part-time DBA programs. A student who wants to complete their DBA part-time may want to find a school that goes above and beyond at offering such programs. The same is true for online DBA offerings and other programs. Some universities have great online DBA programs, for example, but their full-time program is lacking. Find the one that’s right for you.

Students want to take a close look at the faculty at the business schools they’re considering. If one B-school has a great reputation, but not many faculty members work in the student’s area of interest (say, international business), it may not be a good choice for a DBA. A school with a lessor overall reputation but better faculty in the chosen area may be a better fit.

Faculty is among the most important distinguishing factors among top DBA programs. Program size may also play an important role. You could attend a top-notch DBA program, but if your desired faculty-mentors are already supervising a lot of students, they may not be able to supervise you.

Ultimately, when looking at the best doctorate in business administration programs, remember it’s not just about rankings, but also the student, their preferences, and their research interests.

What’s the Difference Between a DBA and a PhD in Business?

When pursuing a doctorate in business, students have to choose between a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Both degrees offer an excellent education in business, so there’s no easy answer when it comes to DBA vs PhD in business administration.

That said, there are important differences. A PhD is sometimes seen as a more theoretical degree, hence the “philosophy” in the title. Many (but certainly not all) PhD holders are more interested in academic and theoretical pursuits rather than applied business practice. Their research centers around theoretical economics or ethics concerns, for example.

With a DBA, students can still gain a lot of theoretical knowledge and dig into ethical or other theoretical topics. However, a Doctorate in Business Administration typically focuses more on applied skills and practice. Some professionals who want to further their career while still staying industry-focused go for a DBA instead of a PhD.

Some students more interested in academic research rather than applied practice go for a PhD. Those looking to work in industry and apply their skills may prefer to obtain a Doctorate in Business Administration. That said, when it comes to a DBA versus a PhD in business administration, both will prepare students for a variety of careers in industry, academia, and at research institutions.

A DBA allows students to pursue their own interests. A student may decide to focus on finance or business strategy, for example. Or perhaps they’ll jump into international business. Either way, a DBA will help students acquire skills that can be applied to a variety of fields and also a wide range of situations.

So why get a doctorate in administration? Do so to burnish your resume, advance your career, potentially earn a higher salary, and expand your own skill set. Outside of careers, research skills and knowledge may pay dividends elsewhere as well.

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