Doctorates in Business: Finding the Best Program for You


Why do you need to pursue a Ph.D. in Business when your MBA program seems to provide you with all the training you need? While it is proven that earning an MBA program can offer you with enough knowledge and skills that take you to the top of the corporate ladder, a doctorate in business adds one significant aspect – research.

What you will find in this article:

We highlight more details and some of the best doctorate in business programs so you can confidently come up with a decision on which doctorate program in business is ideal for you.

Like most Ph.D. programs, a doctorate in business management or administration will provide you with the qualifications to work in academia and make significant contributions to the field.

Finding Best Doctorate Business

A doctorate in business can prepare you for lucrative careers in numerous fields, including academia. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the median yearly salary for postsecondary business teachers was $80,840 in 2022, which is more than twice the median salary for all other professions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that chief executives earn significantly higher with a median annual wage of $246,440 in 2022.

As business challenges continue to expand and become more complex, consumer behaviors change, and technological advancements evolve. That said, a doctorate in business is a worthy investment that many business leaders are aiming to enhance their knowledge and skills.


If you want to gain research expertise that can provide you with a competitive edge for your company or workplace, want to increase your wage, and have career aspirations, a doctorate in the business program can help you accomplish your goals.

The most common question is, how do you know the best and right doctorate business program for you? Initially, you need to know what types of doctorate programs in business are available. Another noteworthy consideration is that you need to assess the reasons why you need to complete a doctorate in business.

5 Ways To Choose The Right Doctorate In Business Program For You

Finding Best Doctorate Business fact 2

1. Ph.D. Duration and Format

How much time can you invest in your doctorate program in business? A Ph.D. program takes an average of four years to complete but entirely depends on your chosen college or university and the type of program you’ve selected. You must plan carefully to ensure that your Ph.D. program matches your life goals!

2. Ph.D. Funding

Where will you get funding for your Ph.D. program? Are you going to finance it yourself, or will you need external funding through scholarships? Reputable colleges or universities provide scholarship programs to eligible students who are interested in pursuing a doctorate in business at their schools. Applying for a scholarship program is always a competitive and challenging process, but it is worth a try.

3. Finding A Supervisor/Mentor

As you may have already been aware, finding a suitable supervisor or mentor for your thesis program is significant. In the case of a doctorate program, the right mentor or supervisor isn’t just important; it is a crucial aspect.

You must invest significant effort and time when you find professors and researchers and eventually obtain their approval for supervising and providing you with guidance in your work. In the process of deciding on your doctorate program, the mentor or supervisor is more significant than the academic institution you will attend.

4. Choosing the Suitable Area or Topic of Your Doctorate Research

You should be as specific as possible in searching for a relevant Ph.D. program. For instance, you may initially select to start your research from a general aspect, such as “Education.” This can be succeeded by narrowing down your search to “Adult Education,” “Secondary Education,” and “Higher Education.”

You may be interested or passionate about a specific topic. Ask yourself if you can handle an intensive research project out of it—because that is what doctorate programs are all about!

5. Reason for Completing A Doctorate Degree in Business

Your purpose can be a significant aspect of choosing a doctorate in a business program that is ideal for you.

  • Are you determined to earn a Ph.D. program as a step towards progressing your career?
  • Are you passionate about a specific area of discipline?
  • Are you pursuing a career in academia and prefer to focus on building research and teaching experience?

Perhaps, you are motivated to enhance your profession in a specific industry. In this situation, you may find Ph.D. programs that involve collaboration with a specialized industry of your choice.

Your motivation is a crucial aspect that should help you make a sound decision and find the right doctorate program for you.

Which Doctorate Program Path Should I Take?

Whether you are planning to pursue a Business Administration, Business Management, or Organizational Leadership, your doctorate in the business program will have three major classifications.

Finding Best Doctorate Business

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA Program)

This is a type of doctorate program in business that is designed to motivate leaders to make transformational change through leadership, analytical, and advanced research skills. DBA programs are aimed at working professionals whose academic skills earned apply to the professional landscape. They generally work in the corporate industry and want to progress in management at their company or pursue a teaching career in applied business theory at a higher learning institution.

Through completing a DBA program, you will earn a deeper understanding of fundamental business dynamics such as:

  • technological advancements,
  • government regulation,
  • and global economics.

With new expertise and research capabilities, you can pursue a role as a faculty member teaching specific subjects, confidently manage an organization or team, develop innovative business solutions to complex problems, and identify business opportunities.

Doctor of Education in Organization Leadership (Ed.D. Program)

An Ed.D. program is an applied doctorate developed to prepare prospective students for management and administration within the academic sector. These programs can apply management theories and principles to the educational sector. They are highly suitable for individuals who are in leadership and management positions in the educational field, such as university administrators, superintendents, and principals.

Through obtaining an Ed.D. program, you will learn how to use cutting-edge academic principles and apply them to the complex challenges within an academic system to initiate real change, such as expanding access to educational programs or improving academic institutions.

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (Ph.D. Program)

A Ph.D. program is designed to prepare prospective students to deliver unique research to the business industry or teach within the educational sector. Most individuals aiming to complete a Ph.D. program are pursuing a faculty position at a tier-two or tier-one college or university where they can teach in a full-time position and complete original research.

A Ph.D. degree provides you with rigorous research work related to the abundance of opportunities presented by the evolution of business settings and rapid technological innovations.

Types of Doctorate Business Programs

Once you’ve figured out which path you will take for your doctorate program, you will also need to identify the type of business program you will pursue. Regardless if you’re choosing a Ph.D., Ed.D., or a DBA program, each program is either applied or theoretical by nature. Deciding which of the two is suitable for you is entirely dependent on your career aspirations. It is summarized in a simple assessment – Do you want to pursue a career in leading businesses to expand, or do you want to spend your time teaching and molding future business leaders?

Applied Doctorate in Business

Applied Doctorate emphasizes business theory and applying research to address real-world complex business challenges. If you want to lead a company or become a business consultant, this is the right type of doctorate program for you in business.

Theoretical Doctorate in Business

Theoretical Doctorate is synonymous with Ph.Ds. If you want to pursue a career in a research competence to advocate businesses, or as a business professor, a Ph.D. program in business is the ideal option for you. These programs emphasize heavily on academic research.

Regardless of which of the two programs you’d take, you should take note that both types are incredibly research-intensive. As such, a doctorate is the highest level of educational attainment you can receive. The distinction is the emphasis on specific research.

Which of these 16 Specializations Is Suitable For Me?

Finding Best Doctorate Business

Choosing which type and path is not the only consideration you will need to find the best and most suitable doctorate program for you. Some colleges and universities provide specific concentrations or specializations to choose from that are aligned with student’s career aspirations and passions. They also help students narrow down which research subjects they want to concentrate on within their doctoral education.

Here are the most common business-related specializations that you can choose so you can have a better understanding of the differences between each subject:

Technology Entrepreneurship

You can learn how to develop and design the tools, processes, and concepts to expand the rate and coverage of innovation in your company. You also discover new methods of applying technology to develop new business opportunities, increase customer satisfaction, and cut expenses.


Foster your expertise in managerial accounting ways that are important to your organization’s bottom line and expand your company’s competitive advantage. Discover the theories and principles of employee performance evaluation, managerial decision-making, and corporate governance from international and domestic business perspectives.

Social Impact Management

The capacity to improve and manage a business’s social impacts is accessible. With this concentration, you can identify fundamental issues in corporate responsibility, such as how to strengthen stakeholder relationships, enhance operational efficiency through environmental programs, leverage social participation in branding, and accomplish greater transparency while protecting trademarked information.

Energy Management

With this, you can discover how energy distribution and production have transformed into a global business setting, as well as the natural and synthetic risks involved with the business. You can also develop and improve your knowledge and skills that are essential to help the future of energy distribution and production aligned with associated risks.

Project Management

This concentration emphasizes the aspects of project-based strategic management and the organizational principles needed to advocate a company’s vision and expansion ethically and responsibly.


Discover the entrepreneurial methods and principles that are evident in both start-ups and established organizations. You can develop your entrepreneurial knowledge and capabilities by raising capital, driving innovation, assessing change and risk, and evaluating market opportunities.


Learn primary marketing theories such as consumer behavior, product commercialization and development, integrated marketing, competitive intelligence, marketing platforms, and market segmentation.


You will learn advanced concepts such as hedging, derivatives, and option pricing. Develop expertise in financial tools that help leaders maximize their organization’s value, such as global concepts, Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), working capital management, and valuation.


Discover new outlooks and structures that will help you manage and initiate change effectively while investigating numerous current leadership theories and methodologies to identify which work is suitable in any given circumstances.

Global Supply Chain Management

Learn how products and services move from the principle phase to the deliverable phase while studying the processes needed to examine sources of material and personnel as well as ensure that supply chains are aligned with the highest global standards. You will discover new methods of applying technology to develop new business opportunities, expand customer satisfaction, and help cut costs within your organization.

Human Resource Management

Learn capabilities, industry insights, and theoretical knowledge essential to be an authoritative voice in the HR field regardless if you are looking to pursue research, teaching, or executive leadership.

Information Systems Management

Discover how technological solutions and advancements can be impacted in an international setting. You can develop solutions that address the business challenges facing technology-based organizations.

Healthcare Management

Increase your core business leadership skills in the healthcare industry by learning to apply leadership decision-making capabilities to healthcare economics and policy.

International Business

Develop the expertise and skills essential to lead and succeed in a group of teams, managers, and workers in a global workforce.

Homeland Security

This concentration is developed for leaders in the public and private sectors interested in examining crisis planning and homeland security from a business standpoint.


You can develop a concentration based on your specific interests and aspirations in the business-related sector.

Top 10 Best Doctorate Business Programs in the US

If you are searching for programs for your advanced business studies, we’ve highlighted our selection of the top 10 best doctorate business programs in the country.

Saint Leo University


The Doctor of Business Administration at Saint Leo University is uniquely designed to the needs of future business executives, college instructors, and management consultants. Although the program provides a general education to cover all fundamental aspects of business, it also provides you with the flexibility to venture into your entrepreneurial wings.

Coursework focuses on real-world business challenges covering an expanding complex sector while three one-week seminars at the university ensure that students are staying relevant in their studies and networking along with the program.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology provides you with a unique experience through its Ph.D. program in Management. It is developed to produce graduates who can make significant contributions to their chosen industries. GIT’s doctorate program is managed by the Scheller College of Business and is intended for full-time learners who will take their entire doctorate program before leaving the university. A full-time residence is required in or near Atlanta.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Only the most ambitious and dedicated students can enroll in the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Berk College of Business. This DBA program is a stepping stone for careers in consulting and management as well as a professorship in a business school.

UNCC’s three-year and on-campus doctorate program allows you to study in Charlotte one weekend per month while collaborating with business professionals in one of the fastest-expanding and most diverse business facilities in the country. Students generally complete this program in an average of three years.

University of Florida

The University of Florida offers a Doctor of Business Administration program that aims to integrate practice and principles of business with the context of current issues that the business industries encounter. UCF’s DBA program helps prospective graduates develop proficiency in applied research by enhancing their methodological and analytical skills. It is a full-time residential program where students can select one from two major tracks, namely Macro and Micro.

Through the Macro program, you can choose to concentrate on either Strategic Management or Organizational Theory. On the contrary, the micro track provides you with the opportunity to specialize in Organizational Behavior or Human Resource Management. UCF’s programs are rigorous and competitive; however, graduates pursue rewarding and lucrative professions at some of the most prestigious universities, such as Cornell, University of Virginia, and Rutgers University.

Cornell University

Cornell University’s Ph.D. program is tailored to be flexible enough to advocate for students in their career aspirations, including working in other areas of industry, managing their own business, and pursuing careers as business consultants and professors.

Prospective graduates can align their program to their interests and passion in Operations, Technology, and Information Management; Management and Organizations; Marketing; Finance; Strategy and Business Economics; and Accounting. The Ph.D. program highlights opportunities, workshops, events, seminars, and networking initiatives to complete courses through different departments at Cornell University.

Liberty University

The Doctor of Business Administration program facilitated by Liberty University prepares students for management at the highest level of the corporate setting as well as mentored the LU’s team of outstanding faculty and respected business experts. It is a practical and advanced business program that is developed to augment students’ business experience and train them to overcome complex business challenges and solve problems at an advanced level.

LU’s online DBA program has 14 specializations to choose from, including Strategic Media and Digital Content; Real Estate Management; Non-Profit Leadership and Management; Supply Chain Management and Logistics; and Marketing. Prospective graduates will need 60 credit hours to graduate from the program.

California Southern University


California Southern University has a Doctor of Business Administration that provides students with advanced business education so they can become competitive in accepting senior leadership roles. They gain business knowledge and understanding at the highest educational level and differentiate themselves from others in the business industry.

Prospective graduates learn how to use business communication to communicate strategic principles and methodologies to business practices using different methods. They also obtain the knowledge and capabilities to communicate research findings for assessment by management.

Capella University

Capella University has a Doctor of Business Administration program that provides you with the tools to achieve your career aspirations and aim for success at the highest level of business education.

The DBA program helps you develop the skills to become an educator, consultant, or leader in your specific area of industry. It features a capstone research project that focuses on applied research to help students solve complex real-world problems within their organizations. They will start their capstone early in the program with milestones to help them stay focused on their business studies.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania houses the Wharton School of Business which holds a strong reputation for producing top pioneers and leaders in the world of business management and finance. As Ph.D. students, you can choose a specific concentration in Finance; Accounting; Information and Decision; Healthcare Management and Economics; and Management.

Trident University

Trident University’s Doctor of Business Administration program is a 100% online doctorate program that represents the highest level of achievement for business experts. The program prepares business professionals to excel in consulting and executive professions. The DBA program is also developed to combine experience with advanced learning and applied research expertise to create strong competencies in research-based decision-making.

What Type of Careers Can I Pursue with A Doctorate in Business Degree?

Finding Best Doctorate Business fact 5

Administrative Services Manager

These individuals direct and plan different administrative roles of a business organization. For instance, they can manage an operations department, coordinate an organization’s supply chain, or take on responsibilities for maintaining and managing an organization’s facilities.

Financial Manager

These professionals assume the responsibility of making sure the financial health of their organization. In smaller companies without a chief financial officer, they can work as the most senior financial officer and guide the CEO on matters of taxes, investments, expenses, and revenues.

Medical or Health Services Manager

Otherwise known as healthcare executives, these individuals manage and direct either a group of medical professionals working in private practice or medical institutions such as hospitals.

Postsecondary Teacher

These professionals instruct learners and perform research works at colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher learning. They also perform numerous administrative roles, such as making recommendations regarding faculty employment or student advising.

Top Executives

Similar to CEOs and general managers, these individuals assess organizational strategies and manage all aspects of an organization’s operations. The nature of their profession depends on the size of the business organization.

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Rowan Jones
Chief Editor