Traditional PhD programs prepare individuals to assume a career
in research, primarily a tenure-track faculty role in academia. PhD programs
are generally four to five years in length and are pursued full-time.
The DBA provides individuals similar rigorous research
skills but with an applied focus. Although both degrees are research oriented
and provide grounding in the same skills set, their structures, candidate
profiles and program duration differ.
As with most DBA programs, DePaul's doctorate differs from
traditional PhD programs in its residency-based delivery format that seeks to
accommodate working professionals’ full-time employment.
It is also important to note that DePaul’s DBA program has been developed
within the context of a shifting approach to business doctoral education.
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International
(AACSB), the premier international accreditation body of business schools,
recently released a report of its Doctoral Education Task Force that found
that, “skills refined through doctoral education, such as problem framing and
data analysis, are increasingly valued in certain professional roles and
As a consequence, AACSB has encouraged its members to develop innovative
doctoral programs that support one or more of four relatively distinct career
1. A program of traditional preparation for an academic career in a business
2. A bridge program to prepare an experienced business executive to transition
toward a tenure-track academic career.
3. A program designed to enhance the professional career of an executive
wishing to advance within their existing industry.
4. A bridge program to prepare an experienced business executive to become an
adjunct or full-time faculty member.
DePaul’s DBA is designed to help professionals pursue the third and/or fourth
career tracks. As a professional doctorate, DePaul’s DBA program emphasizes
applied research to strengthen the intersection of theory and practice, thereby
facilitating executive careers inside organizations or within academia such as
clinical or adjunct faculty roles.