10 Fastest Online Doctorate of Business Management Programs

Fastest Online Doctorate of Business Management Programs

A typical online DBA degree program requires three to five years to complete. However, the fastest online doctorate of business management programs featured here enable you to earn your degree in less time – as little as two years.

The accelerated learning format demands extraordinary commitment, time management, and organizational skills. You will also need to tap into your passion for learning to find success in an accelerated program. 

Featured Programs

Yet, the hard work, time, and effort are worth it. A doctorate in business administration (DBA) can set you apart from your peers. A DBA program sharpens skills and provides a pathway to C-level roles. As a doctoral business administration (DBA) graduate, you may qualify for executive positions in management, marketing, and finance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these top corporate jobs have average salaries of $100,000 or more and enjoy positive projected job growth.

In other words, there is tremendous upside to completing a DBA program. Keep reading to find out if an online doctorate in business is a good fit for you!

First reviewed in July 2023; updated February 2024

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Methodology for Ranking the Fastest Online DBA Programs

Business Management Degree compiled a list of the best online DBA programs. We then chose these fastest programs based on the following: 

  • The program has rigorous coursework in an accelerated format focused on business management.
  • Offered through 100% online or hybrid format.
  • Has accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), or other accrediting bodies, like the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) or New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
  • Provides generous transfer options for completing your online doctorate in business management faster.
  • Courses are relevant to business management and sharpen your professional skills.
  • Supplies adequate financial aid opportunities through grants, scholarships, and loans.
  • Displays ample resources, such as career services and technical support availability.
  • Prepares graduates for senior leadership roles in business management.

See our Methodology page for more information regarding our analysis.

Note: Data was accurate at the time of publication. Certain criteria, such as tuition rates, may change.

fastest online doctor of business management

The Fastest Online Doctorate of Business Management Programs

The term “Doctor of Business Management” is often used interchangeably with “Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).” Both are terminal degrees in this field, and both are highly respected.

However, a DBA is a professional doctorate. It prepares you for working in a business setting. A Doctor of Business Management is a Ph.D. program with an academic focus. It prepares you for a career as a professor. Ph.D programs often have a research component, too. This prepares you to conduct research and develop business theories.

This ranking of the fastest online doctorate of business management uses both terms.

1. Drexel University

Drexel University

The LeBow College of Business at Drexel University offers an executive doctoral program in business administration (DBA). This is a hybrid program and utilizes online and in-person course delivery.

Prominent Program Features:

Drexel’s DBA program offers a flexible part-time format that you can complete in as little as 2.5 years. Each term starts with a weekend of in-person events and course sessions on campus. You will take two classes in a blended learning format during the rest of the quarter term.

DegreeDoctorate in Business Administration
FormatHybrid online with 10 campus visits
Completion2.5 years

Program Pros:

  • STEM-designated doctoral program
  • Coursework integrates business and non-business topics
  • Executive Global Immersion Residency gives you insights into the global economy

Program Cons:

  • On-campus visits are required
  • Other programs are even shorter

2. Keiser University

Keiser University

The Doctor of Business Administration online degree program from Keiser University focuses on theory and applied research. It is preparatory for a career in academics, business leadership, and management and is available online and on campus.

Prominent Program Features:

Doctoral degree-seeking students may transfer up to 18 graduate-level credits toward the 60 credits needed to graduate. Online courses are eight weeks long so you can complete the program in as few as 24 months. Additionally, you can specialize in Marketing, Management, or Global Business to tailor the degree to your specific needs.

DegreeDoctor of Business Administration
Completion2 years

Program Pros:

  • Opportunity to specialize
  • Residency placements for real-world experience
  • Broad range of core coursework in economics, finance, and management
  • One of the shortest programs on this list

Program Cons:

  • Highly recommended to have a master’s degree in business administration for admission
  • Highly recommended to have at least two years of managerial experience for admission

3. William Howard Taft University

William Howard Taft University

William Howard Taft University develops independent-minded business leaders through its fast online Doctor of Business Administration program. This program specifically highlights leadership, management, and best operational practices.

Prominent Program Features:

William Howard Taft’s online DBA coursework is designed to push you to reach the peak of success by targeting upper-level management positions and entrepreneurial objectives. By finishing 60 units and completing a dissertation, you can earn the degree in as little as two years, making this one of the fastest online doctor of business management degree programs.

You must have a master’s degree from an accredited school and professional experience to apply. Taft gives you a maximum of seven years from the date of first enrollment to complete the DBA program.

DegreeDoctor of Business Administration
FormatOnline; independent study or directed study
Completion2 years

Program Pros:

  • Multiple program formats to suit your specific learning style
  • Multiple program start dates
  • No on-campus residences are required
  • One of the shortest programs on this list

Program Cons:

  • Only 9 transfer credits are allowed
  • Highly recommended to have at least five years of professional experience for admission
  • The average time of completion is 37 months

4. Wilmington University

Wilmington University

Wilmington University offers its online Doctor of Business Administration program to finance experts, educators, and other professionals who wish to have a more impactful role in their organizations.

Prominent Program Features:

WilmU’s DBA curriculum is 100% online and designed to enhance management and leadership competencies. In-person mentoring is also available if you wish to have research mentorship from the program’s expert faculty. You can complete the program in three years. A total of 54 credit hours is required for program completion.

DegreeDoctor of Business Administration
Completion3 years

Program Pros:

  • Learn from faculty with scholarly credentials and executive experience
  • Apply your learning in a detailed research dissertation for hands-on learning experience
  • No on-campus residencies are required

Program Cons:

  • This is one of the longest programs on this list
  • The cohort model tends to fill up quickly

5. Liberty University

Liberty University - fastest online doctor of business management

You can complete a Doctor of Business Administration degree completely online from Liberty University. On average, a graduate student can finish the 60-hour degree in three years.

Prominent Program Features:

Classes are delivered 100% online in 8-week courses. The graduate program accepts transfer credits of up to 50 percent of the degree total, depending on eligibility.

You may choose to specialize in various areas. Options include:

  • Accounting
  • Executive Coaching
  • Finance
  • Healthcare Management
  • Human Resources
  • Information Systems
  • International Business
  • Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Non-Profit Leadership and Management
  • Project Management
  • Real Estate Management
  • Six Sigma
  • Strategic Management
  • Strategic Media and Digital Content
  • Supply Chain Management and Logistics
  • Tourism Management

You must have a master’s degree and a 3.0 GPA to apply.

DegreeDoctor of Business Administration
Completion3 years

Program Pros:

  • More specialization options than most other programs
  • Generous transfer credit policy
  • Military tuition discounts are available

Program Cons:

  • This is one of the longest programs on this list
  • You must have a master’s degree in a business-related field and at least 30 graduate business credits with a 3.0 GPA

6. Florida International University

Florida International University

This Doctor of Business Administration is designed for senior-level professionals. Its focus is on research and strategic responsibilities. This allows you to advance your career at the managerial or executive level.

Prominent Program Features:

FIU imposes strict admissions standards. To be eligible, you must have an MBA or a business-related master’s degree. Also, you must have 10 years of work experience to augment your application. You will complete 72 credit hours to earn the degree online. Courses include the following:

  • International Business Theory and Practice
  • Experiment and Survey Design
  • Process of Applied Business Research
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Organizational Behavior Management

The program requires a three-day residency for program orientation and four two-day residencies.

DegreeDoctor of Business Administration
FormatHybrid online
Completion3 years

Program Pros:

  • Designed for working professionals
  • Flexible course schedule
  • GMAT is not required

Program Cons:

  • This is one of the longest programs on this list
  • Multiple on-campus residencies are required
  • Expensive

7. University of Missouri at St. Louis


Worry less about your tuition when you apply to the University of Missouri’s online DBA program. This three-year cohort-based program is affordable! It also follows a flexible class schedule so you can continue working while you get your degree.

Prominent Program Features:

You have to visit campus multiple times for one-on-one mentoring. Like any typical DBA, UMSL requires you to complete 60 credit hours to be eligible for graduation.

General management and business courses include international business theory and various interdisciplinary topics. These classes prepare you for the complexities of the business world. You must have an MBA or another graduate degree to apply. You must also have at least 10 years of management experience to qualify for this program.

DegreeDoctor of Business Administration
FormatHybrid online
Completion3 years

Program Pros:

  • Missouri’s first and only AACSB-accredited DBA program
  • Interdisciplinary curriculum focusing on practitioner engagement
  • Ample opportunities for research and hands-on learning

Program Cons:

  • This is one of the longest programs on this list
  • Two on-campus visits are required each term
  • Stringent admissions requirements

8. University of South Florida

University of South Florida

The Muma College of Business at the University of South Florida offers an online doctor of management degree for professionals with twelve or more years of work experience. This is a cohort-based program with one start date each year.

Prominent Program Features:

The USF program is fully online with synchronous and asynchronous delivery. You proceed through the program in small cohorts that meet for interactive sessions every other Saturday. Additionally, there are two required residencies. The program residencies are at the USF Tampa Campus and include a three-day orientation before the program starts and a thre-day session in the second year to meet the dissertation committee members. There is an optional residency at graduation.

DegreeDoctor of Business Administration
Formatonline, synchronous and asynchronous
Completion3 years

Program Pros:

  • A mix of synchronous and asynchronous coursework
  • Small cohort sizes (limited to 15 students)
  • Good mix of coursework and research opportunities

Program Cons:

  • This is one of the longest programs on this list
  • On-campus residencies are required
  • Expensive

9. Johnson & Wales University

Johnson & Wales University

Earn a fast online Doctorate in Business Administration degree at Johnson & Wales University (JWU). The program is delivered in 8-week classes, allowing you to move through the content quickly. The cohort-based model is also advantageous, as it improves collegiality between you and your classmates.

Prominent Program Features:

The fast-paced, 54-credit program is designed to meet industry standards in the business and finance areas. Core courses are delivered 100 percent online. These include contemporary leadership, methods in marketing management, and organizational behavior, to name a few.

Applicants for this online Doctor of Management should have a 3.0 GPA and a minimum grade of B-. The fast-track online DBA at JWU takes approximately three years to complete.

DegreeDoctorate in Business Administration
Completion3 years
DBA at Johnson & Wales University

Program Pros:

  • Prepares you for work in many sectors, including business, healthcare, government, the military, higher education, and nonprofits
  • No residency requirements
  • Take one course at a time to assist your focus

Program Cons:

  • This is one of the longest programs on this list
  • Only 9 transfer credits are accepted
  • Only one cohort per year

10. George Fox University

George Fox University

George Fox University integrates its Christ-centered curriculum into its online Doctor in Business Administration program. The fast-track online DBA program is designed for business professionals who want to shift or advance their careers.

Prominent Program Features:

The program is online. However, you may choose to participate in an optional on-campus residency in Newberg, Oregon.

The core courses include:

  • Conceptual Foundations of Economics
  • International Business
  • Foundations of Management and Leadership
  • Conceptual Foundations of Finance
  • Strategic Management

You can also choose among three specialization areas: Management, Business Analytics, or Executive Leadership.

DegreeDoctor of Business Administration
FormatHybrid online
Completion3 years
DBA at George Fox University

Program Pros:

  • Completely online
  • Multiple specialization options
  • Preparatory for careers in consulting, higher education, or corporate leadership

Program Cons:

  • This is one of the longest programs on this list
  • Prerequisites are required if you don’t have undergraduate or graduate coursework in accounting, finance, and economics.

Other Fast Online DBA Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

Should You Study Business Management?

What is a DBA?

DBA stands for Doctor of Business Administration. It is a terminal degree in business administration and management. While similar to a PhD, a DBA has a more practical and applied focus. DBA programs are for experienced professionals who want to advance their business, management, consulting, or academic careers.

How is a DBA Different from a PhD in Business?

fastest online doctor of business management

DBAs and PhDs are equivalent terminal degrees that demonstrate the highest level of academic achievement. Both are doctorate degrees and offer a distinctive curriculum. An online PhD program in business typically focuses on research and academic careers. Therefore, an online PhD in management might be more suitable if you’re interested in pursuing a career in academia, conducting research, and publishing academic papers.

In contrast, DBA programs often have a more practical, business-oriented focus for professionals seeking to advance in their careers or become consultants. A DBA might be more relevant if you want a leadership position in the business world, such as executive management.

Which is Better PhD or DBA?

Whether a PhD or DBA is better depends on your career goals, interests, and the specific field of study that interests you. Ultimately, the choice depends on your individual circumstances. So, it’s essential to thoroughly research both options and consider your long-term goals to choose your best path.

Focus Applied researchTheoretical research
Career GoalCEO, CFO, COOProfessor or Researcher
Depth vs BreadthBreadthDepth
DBA vs PhD

How Long Does it Take to Earn a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA)?

On average, completing a DBA can take anywhere from 3 to 7 years. However, the time it takes to earn a DBA can vary depending on several factors. These factors include the specific program requirements, your prior education and experience, and whether you are studying full-time or part-time.

Can you Get a Doctorate in Business Administration Online?

Yes, you can get a DBA entirely online.

What are the Benefits of a DBA?

Earning a DBA offers numerous benefits as you seek to advance your career in business, academia, research, and consulting. It is a significant investment of time, effort, and resources, but for many individuals, the rewards and opportunities that come with earning a DBA are well worth it. Below are some of the key benefits of pursuing a DBA.

Advanced Knowledge and Expertise

A DBA program provides you with advanced knowledge, skills, and expertise in business management, leadership, and research. Graduates are equipped with a deep understanding of business theory, strategic decision-making, organizational behavior, and other critical areas of business administration.

Enhanced Career Opportunities

A DBA can open up a wide range of career opportunities across industries and sectors. Graduates may pursue executive leadership roles in organizations, academic careers as professors or researchers, consulting positions, entrepreneurship, or specialized roles in finance, marketing, operations, or human resources.

Salary and Compensation

DBA holders typically command higher salaries and compensation compared to individuals with bachelor’s or master’s degrees in business administration. The advanced level of education and expertise acquired through a DBA program can lead to higher earning potential and greater opportunities for career advancement.

Professional Credibility and Recognition

Earning a terminal degree demonstrates a high level of commitment, dedication, and intellectual achievement. DBA holders are recognized as experts in their field and may command greater respect and credibility from colleagues, employers, clients, and peers.

Research Skills Development

DBA programs emphasize developing research skills, including quantitative and qualitative research methods, data analysis techniques, and research design. Graduates are trained to conduct rigorous academic research, contribute to the body of knowledge in their field, and apply research findings to real-world business challenges.

Networking Opportunities

These programs provide opportunities for students to network with faculty members, industry professionals, fellow students, and alumni. Networking can lead to valuable connections, collaborations, mentorship opportunities, and access to job opportunities, research partnerships, and professional development resources.

Personal and Professional Growth

Pursuing a DBA can foster personal and professional growth, challenging students to think critically, solve complex problems, and develop innovative solutions. Graduates gain confidence, leadership skills, and a broader perspective on business issues, preparing them to excel in their careers and make meaningful contributions to their organizations and society.

What are the Benefits of an Online DBA Program?

Online DBA programs offer schedule flexibility. Working professionals can enroll in a program and continue to work. Another benefit of online programs is the duration. Because of the class structure, many online DBAs are shorter than traditional programs. So, you can reduce the time it takes to earn your degree but gain the same skills and knowledge you would in a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom setting. 

Fast-paced degree programs also require less total tuition due to the shorter duration. Through a degree program that offers accelerated options, you can enter the job market faster, jump on career advancement, and earn that salary increase you deserve. 

What are the Admission Requirements for a DBA Program?

The admission requirements for a DBA program vary depending on the institution and the specific program. First, you must complete a graduate admission application and pay the required fee. In addition to an application, there are some standard requirements.

Educational Background

Most programs require you to have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA), management, or a related field. Some programs may accept applicants with a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field. However, additional coursework or prerequisites may be necessary.

Work Experience

Many doctoral business management programs prefer applicants with relevant work experience in management, leadership, or a related field. The required work experience can vary but is often 3 to 15 years.

Academic Records

You must submit transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate coursework. A solid academic record, including high grades in relevant courses, is usually expected. Most institutions require a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Graduate Admission Test Scores

Some programs require you to submit scores from standardized graduate admission tests such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). However, not all programs require these scores, and some may waive the requirement if you have extensive professional experience or other qualifications.

Supporting Documents

You must often submit other supporting documents. Schools want letters of recommendation from academic or professional references. Additionally, most programs require a statement of purpose or personal statement outlining the educational and professional background, research interests, career goals, and reasons for pursuing a doctorate in business management. A current resume or curriculum vitae (CV) is also needed. It should detail your educational background, work experience, publications, presentations, and other relevant accomplishments.


Some programs may require you to participate in an interview as part of the admissions process. This interview may be in person, over the phone, or via video conference. It is typically used to assess your fit for the program and potential for success.

In addition, it is wise to inquire early about financial aid options if needed. Be sure to adhere to all applicable deadlines to ensure your school admission and financial applications are on time.

What Do You Learn in a DBA Program?

A DBA typically provides advanced training in research, theory, and practice related to various aspects of business management. While specific curriculum content varies from one program to the next, there are some common areas of study.

Research Methods

Doctoral programs in business management emphasize research skills, including quantitative and qualitative research methods, data analysis techniques, and research design. You learn how to conduct rigorous academic research and contribute to the body of knowledge in your field. The curriculum teaches data collection and analysis, communication and teamwork, ethical decision-making, and the ability to synthesize and apply theoretical concepts to real-world business situations.

Specialized Areas

A Doctorate in Business Management typically covers strategic management, organizational leadership, financial management, decision-making, and risk management. In addition, you often have the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of business management. Some focus areas include finance, marketing, operations management, human resources, information systems, and international business. You will dive deeply into your chosen area of specialization through coursework, independent study, and research.

Seminars and Workshops

Programs typically offer seminars, workshops, and colloquia where you can engage with faculty members and fellow students to discuss current research, trends, and issues in business management. These forums provide opportunities for intellectual exchange, collaboration, and professional development.

Dissertation Research

Most of the doctoral program is dedicated to conducting original research and writing a dissertation. You will work closely with faculty advisors to develop and execute a research project that contributes new knowledge to business management. The dissertation process involves identifying a research topic, conducting a comprehensive literature review, designing and implementing a research study, analyzing data, and then presenting findings in a written dissertation.

What Can You Do With a Doctorate in Business Administration?

Overall, a Doctorate in Business Administration offers a versatile credential that equips you with advanced knowledge, skills, and expertise to pursue diverse career paths in academia, industry, consulting, and beyond. The career opportunities available to you will vary depending on your interests, expertise, and professional goals.

Here are some potential career paths for you as a DBA graduate:

Executive Leadership

Executive leadership roles in organizations may include working as a CEO, COO, CFO, or other top executive, leveraging your advanced knowledge of business strategy and leadership to drive organizational success.


As a DBA graduate, you might work as a consultant, advising organizations on strategic planning, organizational development, change management, and other business-related issues. You may work independently as a freelance consultant or join a consulting firm specializing in management consulting, strategy consulting, or organizational development.

Academic Careers

You can also pursue careers in academia as a professor or researcher. You may teach business courses at universities or colleges, conduct research, publish academic papers, and mentor students seeking undergraduate or graduate degrees in business.

Research and Policy Analysis

Another option is to pursue a career at a research institution, think tank, or government agency, where you conduct research, analyze data, and provide insights on business-related topics. You may also contribute to policy development, economic analysis, or industry research.

Executive Education and Training

As a DBA holder, you might work in executive education and corporate training, designing and delivering professional development programs for executives, managers, and other business professionals. You may work for universities, business schools, or corporate training firms.


As a DBA holder with an entrepreneurial mindset, you may start your own business venture. Your advanced understanding of business concepts, strategic planning, and management can help you launch and grow successful enterprises in various industries.

Nonprofit Leadership

You can work in leadership roles in nonprofit organizations, foundations, or social enterprises with a DBA. You can apply your business acumen and strategic thinking to drive social impact, manage operations efficiently, and achieve organizational goals.

How Much Money Can You Make With a Doctorate in Business Administration?

The salary potential for individuals with a Doctorate in Business Administration can vary significantly depending on factors such as industry, job role, years of experience, geographic location, and the specific organization or institution.

However, earning a DBA can generally lead to higher earning potential than individuals with bachelor’s or master’s degrees in business administration. Examples include high-paying jobs as C-suite executives, project managers, and economists in public and private organizations.

RoleAverage Salary
Executive Leadership Chief Executives$189,520 (BLS)
Company Financial Managers$164,660 (BLS)
Company Marketing Managers$140,040 (BLS)
Executive Education and Training Managers$130,310 (BLS)
Examples of potential salaries for individuals with a DBA.

How Much Does a DBA Make Compared to an MBA?

The salary difference between individuals with a Doctorate in Business Administration and those with a Master of Business Administration can also vary based on individual circumstances. But, generally speaking, individuals with a DBA earn higher salaries than those with an MBA due to their advanced level of education and expertise. 

On average, a DBA holder earns a yearly salary from $80,000 to $150,000. MBA graduates typically earn annual salaries ranging from $70,000 to $130,000. According to PayScale, the median salary for someone with an MBA degree is $92,000 per year, and the median salary for someone with a DBA degree is $102,000 per year. 

fastest online doctor of business management

Is a Doctorate in Business Management Worth It?

Earning a DBA degree in an accelerated time frame isn’t for everybody. Other career advancement paths may be pursuing professional certifications in the business industry. Examples include the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification or the Certified Manager (CM) Credential. Additionally, joining industry organizations like the American Management Association or the American Business Women’s Association will help you find mentors and advance your career.

If you plan on pursuing an online DBA degree, you must consider the crucial factors determining your success in such a challenging yet rewarding endeavor. First and foremost, you must consider your suitability for the graduate degree in terms of its alignment with your personal interests and professional goals. Your next step is to look at the accelerated DBA programs with curricula, cost of attendance, and other critical factors based on your specific circumstances. 

While in an accelerated DBA online program, you will encounter challenges that will make you want to quit. Don’t! You must persevere because, indeed, the accelerated format means you’re getting to your goal in a faster manner, and the benefits that come with earning a DBA degree will be yours to enjoy soon enough.

Rowan Jones
Chief Editor