Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
3-Year Completion: Finish your DBA faster – including one year for your dissertation.
No-Fear Dissertation: Finish faster with a jumpstart to your dissertation.
Personalized Program: Customize your program with a variety of electives.
100% Online Classes: Earn your degree around your schedule.
About the University
Founded in 1902, the Franklin University (富蘭克林大學) is a private non-profit university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
- With nearly 45,000-member alumni network.
- The University headquarter is located on Columbus, Ohio; with more than 25 campus locations throughout the country; as well as a large selection of online courses.
- The University continuously adding various bachelor’s programs, master’s programs, and online courses over time.
- The school introduced its first online class in 1998 and currently offers numerous web-based courses and programs.
- Students can complete Franklin’s programs either on-site or online.
- Online learners can select from a variety of associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees.
- No traveling. You can study at your own pace from anywhere; at work, at home or on the move. Everything is done online.
Accreditation, Recognition, Ranking
You’re investing a lot in your higher education, so make sure it’s of the highest quality. How? Accreditation. Whether you’ve thought about accreditation or not, it matters. Accreditation helps ensure that universities and degree programs (including online programs) are held to rigorous academic standards set by state and regional governing bodies.
- Franklin University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Franklin’s online MBA program is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE), the leader in outcomes-based accreditation in business, so you know you’re earning a respected degree with value in the workplace.
- The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): accredits BSc in Nursing and MSc in Nursing programs.
- The Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education: accredit the BSc in Health Information Management program.
- Franklin has nearly 45,000-member alumni network and has more than 25 campus locations throughout the Midwest.
- Franklin celebrates the graduation of its 5,000th MBA student in 2012
When choosing an online DBA program, you should check to see that the school is accredited and whether this accreditation is regional or national. Common regional accrediting agencies is the Higher Learning Commission.
Two organizations oversee accreditation: the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The ED is a government agency responsible for overseeing the quality and progress of educational programs in the U.S. CHEA is an independent organization representing more than 3,000 colleges and over 50 accrediting organizations. While neither entity actually grants accreditation to schools, both organizations review accrediting agencies to determine if they meet certain standards of quality. Both organizations also publish a list of accredited programs for the public’s use.
Franklin University Online Teaching Arm is Highly Ranked
- CEO magazine reader survey 2011:
Awarded the Best in Business for Online Education in Columbus, Ohio
- Best College Online Ranking 2019:
Ranked as one of the most affordable DBA programs that can be completed online.
Franklin University’s online DBA programs offers a fast completion time (three years) and accept up to 24 transfer credits. The program is customizable and offers a variety of electives. Classes are delivered fully online to accommodate working professionals.
- GetEducated.com business school rankings:
Franklin ranks as a “Best Value” in regionally accredited online MBAs since 2010
- Best Value Schools:
Franklin ranks No. 3 of the Best Value of Online Schools in Ohio 2019
- The Best Schools Rankings
- 2013 Three Franklin University faculty members named Top Business Professors in Ohio
About the Award
Awarding Body: Franklin University, USA
- Graduates will be issued with the same Franklin University degree award certificate.
- There is no mention of online study on the Franklin University degree certificate.
What makes Franklin’s DBA degree unique?
As a leader in practical application education, the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) from Franklin University can equip you with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to resolve business problems, issues or gaps.
Franklin’s DBA program is designed for completion
Franklin University use an embedded dissertation process. You’ll use the findings you develop throughout your coursework to advance your dissertation research and get a head start on completing it — all while you earn your degree.
Drive business innovation and improvement
Set yourself apart with an online DBA
The DBA at Franklin University is a practical degree that enables both subject mastery and field application. That means you’ll be prepared to research and communicate complex issues as you solve organization-wide issues.
Franklin’s DBA degree program is the highest-level degree program, representing mastery of leadership-level research, writing and presentation.
This three-year online degree program is designed to help you hone your ability to identify, define and solve a pressing business problem, issue or gap.
Differentiate yourself as a top performer or educator
You’ll focus on advanced research in the fields of organizational strategy and performance to increase both the depth and breadth of your own analytical and critical-thinking skills.
Get 360-degree support
Franklin’s approach supports completion with an embedded dissertation process and support from a graduate advisor, faculty advisor, personal librarian and learning services to keep you moving forward.
Transfer up to 24 credit hours, earn your doctorate faster and reduce your expenses
Franklin grants up to 24 hours of prior-learning credit for previous doctoral work.
About the Program
What is a Doctor of Business Administration degree?
Franklin’s Doctor of Business Administration degree program is the highest-level degree program, representing mastery of leadership-level research, writing and presentation. This three-year online degree program is designed to help you hone your ability to identify, define and solve a pressing business problem, issue or gap.
What can you do with a Doctor of Business Administration degree?
With a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree, you’ll be prepared to be one of the go-to problem-solvers — in your own business, as an internal or external consultant to a business organization, or as a teacher for the next-generation of business leaders.
Make a difference: Become a problem-solving business leader
Business and commerce as we knew it just a few years ago isn’t the same as business and commerce of today – and it certainly won’t be for tomorrow. Warp-speed changes in accessibility, technologies and consumer expectations, not to mention the global economy, have radically and dramatically altered the worldwide business landscape.
As a result, those working in business administration are taking on new roles and new prominence at both organizational and educational levels.
Business practitioners, for example, are becoming essentially on-staff consultants who are charged with across-the-board innovation for profitability and competitive advantage. Responsibilities have shifted from mere oversight and management toward visionary leadership in everything from best practices, to process management and change, to operational methodologies.
Business instructors, meanwhile, are becoming pioneering educators and champions who are tasked with preparing up-and-coming practitioners to become tomorrow’s thought leaders, strategists and innovation consultants.
Set yourself apart in business or business education
Because the business world is experiencing such tremendous change, employers need (and want) higher levels of skills from both practitioners and educators. In-demand skills include verbal and written competencies, technical and technological abilities, and advanced interpersonal aptitude. Yet these sophisticated and relevant skills don’t come easily – or automatically. Instead, they require proficiencies beyond even a master’s-level degree; they require a degree of the highest level, a terminal degree.
The skills you will develop in earning a terminal degree in business administration will prepare you to make logical, relevant connections between classroom learnings and real-world operational effectiveness. Acquiring these skills in the content area of management and developing the ability to perform research will give you deeper insight, sharper senses and greater abilities to distinguish among all the factors at hand to decide what is merely important and what is critical to address the identified problem. Further, improving your writing by developing a clear, crisp and concise style will give your thoughts a voice that will be heard and heeded.
Achieve tactical and strategic goals through strong organizational leadership
Franklin’s transfer-friendly Doctor of Business Administration program reinforces the core technical aspects of quality research, yet also equips you with such sought-after skills as communication and technology. Franklin’s applied doctorate is a practical degree that enables both subject mastery and field application. That means you’ll be prepared to research and communicate complex issues as you solve organization-wide issues.
Franklin’s applied doctorate in Business Administration is a program designed to help you:
- Differentiate yourself as a top performer or educator
- Apply research in order to solve actual business problems
- Assess and refine your own leadership competencies
- Understand and apply leadership theories for organizational transformation
Drive business innovation and improvement
Through this online DBA program, you’ll focus on advanced research in the fields of organizational strategy and performance. Knowing how and having experience with investigating, using and applying the research of others will increase both the depth and breadth of your own analytical and critical-thinking skills.
For example, through your research, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of key business dynamics, such as:
- Political and economic influence of global markets
- Increased regulation and government intervention
- Tension between public and private activities
- Technological innovations
- An increasingly diverse workforce
Armed with current research findings, you’ll be better prepared to:
- Recognize and respond to opportunities
- Form a vision for the future of your company or industry
- Generate possible solutions across many fields
- Address leadership issues
- Institute continuous innovation
- Improve customer satisfaction metric
All of which means that, with a Franklin DBA, you’ll be able to lead more strategically and focus innovative ideas to create competitive advantage.
Create a culture of effectiveness
Shaping corporate culture has never been more important. But it takes being intentional to create and sustain the right culture within your organization. Through Franklin’s applied DBA program, you’ll learn how to investigate, analyze and articulate organizational identity and behavior. You’ll also conduct substantive research into existing literature on organizational behavior, culture and effectiveness, culminating in the development of a research-ready proposal for cultural advancement or transformation.
Understand and manage organizational responsibility and integrity
It’s a modern-day business imperative: evaluate, assess and apply ethical constructs of business to provide more responsible management and leadership. From understanding theoretical principals, to developing ethical decision-making processes, to cultivating a social responsibility-minded corporate culture, Franklin DBA students will explore, assess and apply a full range of ethical theories and practices.
Get 360-degree support as you earn your DBA online
We’ve taken a comprehensive and systematic approach to our online DBA program, which includes team-based curriculum development, doctorally qualified faculty, and student-centered activities designed for the working adult. You’ll receive robust academic support from a variety of resources, including a graduate advisor, faculty advisor, personal librarian and peers, as well as the Student Learning Center staff and your Dissertation Committee members. You’ll also enjoy a cohesive and robust graduate culture and cohort. Together, our practice-minded faculty and your fellow students will support, mentor, encourage and keep you accountable to the program – and to yourself. At Franklin, you’re never alone on your doctoral journey.
Transfer up to 24 credit hours & finish your DBA faster
Want to complete your terminal degree in less than three years? Franklin grants up to 24 hours of prior-learning credit for previous doctoral work. Your prior-learning will be honored and make it easier to get credit for what you already know. Transfer credit can help you earn your applied doctorate degree faster, as well as reduce your overall tuition expenses.
A Unique Dissertation Structure
If there’s such a thing as a no-fear dissertation process, Franklin has it. A dissertation structure is designed to help you complete your dissertation step-by-step, beginning with your enrollment in the program. Franklin has also built-in faculty mentoring and guidance, and peer-to-peer support so you’re never left to “figure it out” on your own.
Throughout the online DBA program, you’ll develop important research skills and the necessary writing prowess to publish a dissertation as a capstone project to your studies. Your dissertation will showcase your ability to identify a topic of interest within the workplace, develop a proposed solution to a problem, and test your hypotheses in the real world.
The DBA is made up of the following courses and, upon completion, is equal to a total of 58 Semester Hour.
Research Core (16 hours)
- GRAD 888 – Introduction to Doctoral Studies (1)
- ENG 800 – Doctoral Writing & Research (3)
- MTHD 803 – Intro to Quantitative Methods & Design (2)
- MTHD 804 – Intro to Qualitative Methods & Design (2)
- MATH 807 – Introduction to Statistics (2)
- MATH 810 – Applied Statistics (3)
- MTHD 820 – Advanced Quantitative Research & Design (3)
OR MTHD 822 – Advanced Qualitative Research & Design (3)OR MTHD 824 – Advanced Mixed Methods Research & Design (3)
Major Area (20 hours, select from the following)
- MGMT 840 – Development of Management Theory Practice (4)
- MGMT 845 – Organizational Behavior, Culture & Effectiveness (4)
- MGMT 850 – Organizational Leadership (4)
- MGMT 855 – Org Sys Perspect Theory & Application (4)
- MGMT 860 – Strategic Thinking, Dec. Making/Innov. (4)
- MGMT 865 – Organizational Performance Analysis (4)
- MGMT 870 – Ethics & Social Responsibility (4)
- MGMT 875 – Change Mgmt & Organizational Development (4)
Electives (12 hours, select from the following)
- Any management course not used in the Major area, or select from the following:
- ACCT 840 – Advanced Financial Accounting (4)
- ACCT 850 – Advanced Managerial Accounting (4)
- ACCT 860 – Advanced Auditing (4)
- EDUC 801 – Leadership of Organizational Principles (4)
- EDUC 802 – Teaching in Higher Education (4)
- EDUC 805 – Leadership of Organizational Resources (4)
- EDUC 820 – Leading Schools in the 21st Century (4)
- EDUC 825 – Building & District Leadership Structure (4)
- EDUC 840 – College & University Leader Structures (4)
- EDUC 845 – History of Higher Education (4)
- HCM 810 – Organizations, Community & Global Health (4)
- HCM 820 – Healthcare Policy, Regulations & Reform (4)
- HCM 830 – Healthcare Economics, Resources & Finance (4)
- HCM 840 – Healthcare Quality, Process & Improvement (4)
- HIM 802 – Advanced Health Information Governance (4)
- HIM 810 – Advanced Clinical Workflow & Applications (4)
- HIM 861 – Advanced Healthcare Analytics (4)
- HRM 840 – Foundations of Human Resource Management (4)
- HRM 850 – Strategic Human Resource Management (4)
- HRM 860 – Leading Organizational Transformation (4)
- IDL 800 – Strategic Examination of Trends & Technology (4)
- IDL 810 – Innovative Learning Environment Design (4)
- IDL 820 – Strategic Assessment & Decision Making (4)
- IDL 830 – Organizational Learning & Knowledge Management (4)
- IDL 840 – Instructional Design Consulting (4)
- MKTG 840 – Contemporary Issues in Marketing Management (4)
- MKTG 850 – Consumer & Behavioral Research (4)
- MKTG 860 – Marketing Quantitative & Qualitative Analysis (4)
- PUAD 840 – Cross-Sector Collaboration (4)
- PUAD 850 – Innovations in Service Delivery and Stakeholder Engagment (4)
- PUAD 860 – Program Evaluation and Policy Analysis (4)
Dissertation Requirements (10 hours)
- DISS 9000 – Comprehensive Exam (1)
- DISS 9100 – Dissertation (1-4)
OR DISS 9200 – Dissertation in Practice (1-4)
- DISS 9400 – Defense of Dissertation (1)
At Franklin, you could finish your DBA (including your dissertation) in about 3 years.
You’ll receive robust academic support from a variety of resources throughout your doctoral program. Together, Franklin’s practice-minded faculty and your fellow doctoral students will support, mentor, encourage and keep you accountable to the program – and to yourself.
Doctoral Faculty Advisor
Your faculty advisor guides your research interests and appropriate coursework selection.
A personal librarian, assigned during your first-term colloquium, will help you maximize Franklin’s research and library services.
A graduate advisor regularly reviews academic progress, creates a personal education plan, ensures you are registered for courses each term, and connects you with other University departments and resources.
Academic Support Team
Our academic support services staff are available for paper review (prior to your dissertation courses), tutoring, and pertinent workshops such as APA (American Psychological Association) style and stress management.
Hear What Franklin’s Doctoral Students Are Saying
The admission process reflects Franklin University’s efforts to clearly identify the performance standards that can help predict student success in graduate level study. The selection criterion for Franklin’s graduate programs, as determined by faculty, emphasizes academic ability, contributory work experience, and personal qualities and characteristics.
- A completed master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, or equivalent;
- with a minimum of 30 hours of graduate coursework in a business-related field.
- The Master’s degree cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- If your GPA is less than 3.0, a Graduate Management Admittance Test (GMAT) will be required.
- The candidate’s work history, references, and other personal qualities and characteristics will be considered as well.
The Doctor of Business Administration – Management requires a minimum of 30 hours of graduate coursework in a business-related field.
English language proficiency
Prospective students must demonstrate English Language Proficiency. The requirement is met through any of the following:
- The applicant is a citizen of a country where English is the official language.*
- The applicant has received a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an institution located in an English-speaking country in which the courses were taught in English.*
- The applicant has earned appropriate scores on language proficiency exams taken within the last two years, as listed in the Academic Catalog.
*For more information about English proficiency, including a list of English-speaking nations, please visit our International Students section.
Credit Transfer / Exemption
Maximum: 24 hours of previously earned credit
Credit for prior learning and credit for current competencies will be granted to eligible applicants.
Credit will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be offered for equivalent level studies.
When can I start a DBA degree?
Franklin’s online doctoral programs begin every January, April and August.
Program information is correct at time of publish. The University reserves the right to make variations to the program schedules, contents, information and fees without notice.
It is a matter of discretion for individual employers to recognize any qualification to which this course may lead.
What Is a Doctor of Business Administration degree?
DBA is a professional degree that can prepare you to leverage doctoral-level thinking to solve actual business problems.
Wendell Seaborne, Ph.D., program chair for Franklin University’s DBA program explains the DBA this way:
“A DBA is a very application-oriented degree, whereas a Ph.D. is a research-oriented degree. If you want to come up with theory that answers questions in the larger marketplace, then pursue a Ph.D. If, however, you want to solve a practical problem in your company today, the DBA is the degree you’ll want to pursue. The DBA student will become very familiar with the theory that the Ph.D. is developing and take those theories and apply it to their specific business situation. Most DBAs that come in to our program have identified a business issue, problem or gap and use that as the basis for all their DBA program research and writings.”
For example, a DBA student may have identified a skills gap within their organization and now the student wants to answer the question: “How can we address the issue that employees are not performing at their highest levels?”
Earning a doctorate is challenging and rewarding, but do you know what to really expect?
Within the online DBA program, the student would read up on and study theories about employee motivation and engagement, sorting through and identifying from articles and literature what is most prevalent in their particular business situation. Then, using a theory or combination of theories, the student would put together and implement a program that addresses the issue. If the problem wasn’t satisfactorily or fully solved, the student would go back and take a look at additional research and revise the program accordingly.
With a quality online DBA program, the DBA student should learn, enhance and/or refine these in-demand skills:
- Researching issues
- Framing questions
- Applying current research theories
- Solving problems
- Communicating clearly and concisely
The online DBA program typically appeals to two types of professionals: (1) those looking to further their profession and (2) those wishing to instruct the next-generation of practitioners. (That assumes that you’re looking to teach at an institution that is not a Tier 1 research institute, which likely would require the Ph.D. instead.)
To further explain what a DBA is, we’ve created this list of 10 things you may not know about the Doctor of Business Administration:
- DBA programs generally emphasize the use of others’ research to help solve real-world business challenges.
- The most flexible DBA degree programs let you earn your degree by taking online classes on a part-time basis while continuing to work.
- Some DBA programs, like Franklin’s, can be completed in as little as three years, although the Global DBA Report 2015 says the average completion rate is about four years. (The average Ph.D. takes approximately five years to complete.)
- A quality online DBA degree program will reinforce aspects of quality research (far beyond “Googling”), while also equipping you with other, deeper skills related to such important areas as technology and communication.
- Professional DBA degrees have been very common in the UK and Australia for decades and have been growing in popularity and stature in the United States over the past 10 years.
- A typical DBA degree program includes core requirements, electives, a research component and some type of final project, such as peer-reviewed journal articles, a short booklet or a more traditional dissertation.
- A final project or dissertation is a required part of earning a DBA in order to demonstrate advanced knowledge and competency, as well as prove that you’re adding to the body of knowledge in how to apply a theorist’s work in a practical situation.
- The rigors of a quality DBA program online are comparable to a Ph.D. program. In fact, many students find it helpful to enroll in a program that offers faculty, peer-to-peer and mentoring support in order to achieve work-life-school balance during the duration of their studies.
- North America is second only to Europe in the number of DBA programs offered, which is likely a result of employer demand for increased business education and skills, including technology, strategic analysis and interpersonal communication.
- The DBA may help you become more marketable inside and outside your current organization as more and more employers recognize and reward DBA-earned competencies. In addition to distinguishing you from the MBA credential (which some say is rather ubiquitous now), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a high six-figure median salary for chief executives.
DBA or PhD?
What Is A Doctorate Degree?
A doctorate degree is the most advanced degree you can earn, symbolizing that you have mastered a specific area of study, or field of profession.
The degree requires a significant level of research and articulation. Those who earn the degree must have researched a subject or topic thoroughly, conducted new research and analysis, and provided a new interpretation or solution into the field.
The doctorate positions the professional for top-tier consulting and education career considerations and advancement in their current profession, and gives them the edge to staying relevant. In many cases, completing the doctorate means achieving a lifelong personal goal.
Two Types of Doctorate Degrees
Professional Doctorate (An Application-Oriented Program)
The professional doctorate (also called an applied doctorate, or terminal doctorate), e.g., Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), is a degree that focuses on the application of a subject within real-world contexts or scenarios.
Most likely, you’ll want to pursue this type of degree if your goals include career advancement, meeting the requirements for certain high-level corporate jobs, establishing teaching credibility within industry, or building a consulting business.
Unlike the academia-focused research doctorate, the curriculum of the professional doctorate will encourages you to tackle real-world issues within their field, research and present a solution.
Ph.D. (A Research-Oriented Doctorate)
These degrees are commonly referred to as Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.s). “Philosophy” in this sense refers to the concept of research and pursuit of knowledge, as opposed to the actual subject of philosophy. A core component of this type of degree is the dissertation process.
How A Doctorate Works
The path to a doctoral degree is typically comprised of four stages of coursework: a core set of research and prep classes, a set of major area emphasis courses, electives and dissertation courses.
The Research Core
In most doctoral programs, you begin the journey to your degree with a common core of classes. The research core establishes the foundational skills you will need to complete the level of work required for the degree.
This core often includes advanced writing methods, research methodology and design, applied statistics, colloquium courses, and courses in qualitative and quantitative research and analysis.
Major Focus Area
Once the research core is complete, you will typically take courses in your major emphasis of study. For example,
- If you’re earning a DBA (Doctor of Business Administration), you will likely take courses in organizational behavior, organizational systems, strategic thinking and decision making, ethics and change management.
In most doctoral programs, you will also be required to take certain electives within your field. This helps provide a rounded worldview to apply your doctorate in real-world environments.
Once the foundation work, major area of focus, and electives are completed, you’ll begin working on your dissertation. That can take different forms, determined by the Ph.D. or applied doctorate DBA degree.
For Ph.D. students, the dissertation is typically a five-chapter dissertation. This is commonly broken into three phases. In phase 1, you’ll submit a prospectus for approval from the dissertation committee. In phase 2, you’ll finalize the first chapters of your dissertation and begins collecting data. In phase 3, you’ll complete the writing of your dissertation and orally defend it to the program leaders.
For DBA applied doctorate students, the dissertation may look different. In these programs, you will be required to create a solution to a real world problem.
Investigate Dissertation Structures
Since your dissertation will be a crucial hurdle to defeat, it’s important you know what you’re getting yourself into from the beginning. Do some research on dissertation structures when you’re looking at prospective schools for help narrowing down your list. Ensuring the school will do everything to help you succeed with your dissertation can make all the difference when it comes down to crunch time.
At Franklin, we’ve intentionally designed a dissertation structure to help you complete your dissertation step-by-step, beginning with your enrollment in the program. We’ve also built-in faculty mentoring and guidance, and peer-to-peer support so you’re never left to “figure it out” on your own.
How Long Will It Take to Earn Your Doctorate?
The answer depends on the path you choose.
Most Ph.D.s require 120 hours, while the DBA at Franklin both require only 58 hours.
On average, a Ph.D. may take up to eight years to complete. Franklin DBA typically takes three years to complete. This timing depends on the program design, the subject area you’re studying, and the institution offering the program.
Franklin University, have streamlined their doctorate degree programs and offer creative transfer options. The program design, which includes an embedded dissertation and a community of support, also helps students earn their doctorate in as little as three years.
Why Choose to Earn a Doctorate?
A doctoral program is a serious commitment with a serious return on investment.
If you want to teach at a higher education institution, the degree is table stakes to get in the door. If you want industry leadership, the degree can deliver substantial credibility. And, if you’re eyeing for that top-floor corner office, the degree can be a huge differentiator.
DBA or MBA, what stands out in corporate America?
Expert in academic research with consulting interests in leadership development, Wendell Seaborne, PhD, MBA, Lead Faculty and Professor of Management at Franklin University talks about the MBA and the DBA.
What do you see as the top three differentiators between the MBA and DBA?
WS: Research. Writing. Presentation. The MBA is a common and highly accessible degree, but it’s also a very general degree. The DBA is a more specific degree that enables both subject mastery and real-world application. With DBA-honed research, writing and presentation skills, you can set yourself apart from other high-performers, strengthen your professional capabilities, master research-based problem solving, and be prepared to set industry-leading best practice standards.
How can the DBA enhance problem-solving skills – and why is this a major point of distinction between the DBA and an MBA?
WS: Although you can find MBA programs in a particular area such as marketing, the fact is, an MBA is intentionally a very generic degree. It is purposefully designed to give a managerial overview so MBA graduates can talk the proverbial language of the CFO. The DBA, on the other hand, drills down into a single area of interest. The research you do is very focused on your discipline, with the intention of making you the expert in your field.
One of the many outcomes of an online doctor of business administration degree program is enhanced leadership skills. How does acquiring these skills impact career enhancement, advancement or change for the DBA grad?
WS: Leadership is not a “one-size-fits-all” thing. The DBA program should help you better lead in the way you feel most comfortable with, and, more importantly, to do it very well. It also exposes you to other leadership styles, of course. For example, in our program, we help DBA students identify their leadership style and understand that the effective use of their own leadership style is what leads to organizational effectiveness. It’s also empowering to have a grasp of other styles, too, which our program also provides.
What about networking? What’s the difference in how the MBA and the DBA affect professional networking opportunities?
WS: While I can’t speak for other programs, I can tell you that at Franklin, we’ve intentionally designed our program to including a professional community of practice. Our DBA students and graduates are put in touch with each other, with faculty, and with working professionals in the field, giving them a very wide network opportunity. Our professional network goes beyond, “Hey, let’s be friends and find each other jobs.” Instead, our network is designed to be more like, “I have this issue in the workplace and you studied it, let’s talk about your research findings and how they can practically apply to this situation.”
When, in your opinion, should someone choose an MBA and when should they choose a DBA?
WS: The MBA is a good and typical degree to pursue if you want to be recognized for your management skills. If you want to be considered THE expert in some facet of your business, however, that’s when the DBA works best. If you’re a person that really wants to develop all of the skill sets we’ve talked about – research, writing and presentation – choose the DBA. If you like being the generalist, then an MBA works very well for that.
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