DBA in Supply Chain Management

Jan 30, 2019

Several DBA in Supply Chain Management degree programs are available to students in flexible formats. Learn about specific graduation requirements, some common course topics and admission requirements for these programs.

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Supply Chain Management degree programs are available in online formats and may offer or require on-campus intensives or residencies for additional hands-on learning. These degree programs may range anywhere from around 49 to 82 credits for completion and some programs can be finished in about 4 years. Here we discuss these degree programs more in depth.

Information for Doctor of Business Administration in Supply Chain Management

Students in DBA in Supply Chain Management degree programs typically take core courses and specialization courses and then complete the program with a capstone experience or dissertation. As is common with most doctoral degree programs, specific courses in these programs vary, but below are a handful of fairly common course topics for these programs.

Business Research

Students in these programs may take a course that explores the key skills of business research and the role of the researcher. Students learn how to design a research project after identifying business problems and how to apply current research methods in the fields. These courses may discuss topics in ethics, the need for applied business research and methods in various areas of business. Some of these courses may require a course project, while other programs may offer a separate course specific to completing an applied business research project.


It is fairly common for these programs in include a course in organizational leadership or the leadership of people. These courses may also explore leadership in technology or how to successfully execute changes and demonstrate leadership throughout processes. Students may discuss different management strategies and focus on various leadership skills and competencies, as well as explore different leadership styles. These courses may touch on topics in ethics, critical thinking and evaluation.

Contemporary Issues

Students may take a course that explores the different contemporary issues in business as a whole or specifically in organizational success. Students may read and discuss current literature in the field that talks about issues in management, technology or innovation. Courses focused on organizational success may also discuss topics in workplace diversity and culture, sustainability and corporate responsibility.

Global Supply Chains

These DBA programs typically include at least one course that explores different topics in global supply chains, such as management of these chains or the design of these chains. Courses in global supply chain management examine the effects of globalization, how people must cooperate on a global scale and how to identify materials and potential services at this scale. Those courses focused on the design of global supply chains may discuss the methods used to optimize variables, select the best transportation methods and offer competitive costs.

Multicultural Management/Management in a Global Environment

Courses that explore multicultural management or management in a global environment are a little mix of leadership courses and global supply chain courses. Courses in multicultural management tend to focus on cultural diversity and how to oversee a wide range of workers, managers and teams. Courses in supply chain management on a global scale also discuss global environments and cross-cultural practices, but may go more in depth concerning global supply chain systems and strategies.

Common Entrance Requirements

Students wishing to apply to a DBA degree program in supply chain management usually need to have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or another business-related master's degree. Several of these degree programs have a minimum GPA requirement of a 3.0 and some programs may require students to take the GMAT. Students who do not have the appropriate background education may be required to take background courses before they are granted full admission, while some students with the appropriate MBA or other master's degree may be able to apply some master's coursework in areas like accounting, leadership and international business, to their DBA. Application materials for these programs vary, but students may be required to include transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and/or a resume with their application.

DBA in Supply Chain Management degree programs provide students with coursework specific to the field, as well as broader coursework in business-related topics, like leadership and research. Students in these programs will likely complete a culminating project for graduation and may take courses in an online format.

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