professionals who want to take their business knowledge—and their careers—to
the next level have a new option: the Doctorate in Business
Administration at DePaul University. The degree, which will launch in September 2015, is
a three-year, part-time program for the working professional who has earned a
previous master’s degree in a business-related discipline and who has eight to
10 years of experience in management or consulting.
has long been known for developing business programs for working professionals,
so a doctoral degree is a new way to cater to that student base. “We know that
people need lifelong learning, and yet, if you’re not offering a traditional
PhD, most business schools stop with a master’s degree,” says Robert S. Rubin, associate
professor of management at the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. “We
wanted to meet the learning needs of people who say, ‘I have my master’s, I
continue to work but I still want to know more and dive deeper.’”
DePaul’s offering was inspired by
research into the market and the move by the Association to Advance Collegiate
Schools of Business to accredit doctoral business programs. The
program has a strong emphasis on research methodology and interdisciplinary
coursework while featuring the most current developments in both academia and
An Applied Business Reserch Degree
program’s curriculum is designed to equip people to lead at the highest levels.
this program from, say, an executive MBA is that the DBA is an applied
research degree,” explains Rubin, the DBA faculty board chair (pictured below). “We’re taking familiar
functional topics that people often learn about early in their education and
we’re asking, ‘So, how would you conduct applied research in these areas to
solve real problems in your organizations?’” Rubin says.
means that instead of teaching people how to conduct performance evaluations,
which might be a focus in an MBA program, the DBA would teach candidates which
questions to ask and study in their organizations to make performance reviews
more effective. “The idea is to develop people who become
scientist-practitioners who will ask critical questions and move their
organizations forward by taking a rigorous approach,” Rubin says.
fundamental component of the DBA experience is a personal working relationship
with faculty members who have deep experience with research. Each year of the
program, candidates will participate in 10, three-day residencies led by
Kellstadt faculty once per month. During
the second year, DBA candidates will work as part of a small research team
under a faculty member to frame and analyze a real-world business problem. During
the third year, candidates will pursue dissertation research while being
supervised by a faculty mentor.
Another distinguishing factor of the
degree is its cohort model, where students move through the program with the
same closed-knit set of 15-20 candidates. “It allows people to build a network and also have a
group that they can rely on as they all pursue a work-life balance,” says Daniel
Heiser, associate dean for graduate programs. “Having other people who are
similarly situated to you and being able to develop relationships alongside
everything else going on can be very helpful.”
The program’s location
is also one of its draws. “Many graduates of our other DePaul business programs
stay in the Chicago area, and that network is still available to us. DePaul can
draw on those connections—we can go out and look at our alumni base for help
identifying projects appropriate to these DBA classes,” Heiser says.
Who Should Apply
Because the degree lends itself to
broad application, it will attract candidates with different goals. Many candidates
who already have graduate degrees in business will pursue the degree to take their careers to
the next level. “We also expect some people who are looking for another career
shift—someone who has had a long, distinguished career in business and is now
looking for how to gain entry into the academic world but doesn’t want to follow
traditional PhD route,” Heiser says.
echoes those sentiments: “If you’re deeply committed to an organization and
want to deepen involvement with your current job, this degree is excellent. If
you want to broaden your skill set in analytics, you’re going to get exposure
to statistics and research methods that would allow you to take on a new career.
The doctoral degree is what people will make of it.”
Learn more about DePaul’s
or email DBA@depaul.edu for more information.
online right now.