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Distance Learning Doctorate Degree in Business Administration

Learn about online doctoral programs with business administration courses. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and course descriptions available for this field.

Essential Information

Professionals seeking online doctoral degree programs in business administration can find options at multiple schools. Some programs may be in a blended format and require on-campus visits or in-person residencies, while others may be offered fully online. The most common admission requirements for an online doctorate degree program in business administration include a previously earned master's degree and professional business experience. Once admitted, students can typically earn their Ph.D. in roughly 3-7 years.

PhD - Business Administration

Online doctoral degree programs in business administration may offer areas of specialized study in accounting, business security, e-commerce, international business or management information systems. Students will also spend time a great deal of time preparing and researching their required dissertations.

Common Courses

The coursework for an online business administration degree may depend heavily on a student's choice of specialization. Sample coursework outside of a student's concentration or dissertation may include:

  • Budgets and finance
  • Management and organization
  • Business cultures
  • Business law
  • Trade and international business
  • Business analytics

Prospective students should keep in mind, however, that short on-campus residencies at various points in the program are common, as are classes delivered in a hybrid format. Completion and defense of a dissertation is usually the central component of programs at this degree level, so students should expect to have to present before a committee on campus.

Learning Methods

Schools offering distance learning doctorate programs in business administration may deliver all or most of the required coursework totally online. Virtual classrooms allow students to view lectures, complete assignments and take part in class discussions through message boards or video conferencing.


Career Information for Graduates

Individuals with doctorate degrees have a good chance at working up to a senior-level position in corporations or academia. Managers in business administration are responsible for everything from managing entire departments to supervising financial operations. Specific job titles related to business administration include facilities director, administrative vice president and operations manager.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of administrative services managers is projected to rise 8% in the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). Facility managers and contract administrators are expected to be in particular demand. The BLS also estimates that job opportunities for postsecondary instructors will increase 13% in the same time period.

Online doctoral programs in business administration can prepare students for careers as administrative service managers, facilities directors or even postsecondary instructors in the field. Students in these programs explore advanced concepts like business law, management and finance, and they can pick concentrations as well.


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