About the Degree


What is DePaul’s Doctorate in Business Administration?test

DePaul’s DBA is three-year, part-time doctoral degree for working executives who seek to develop sophisticated applied research skills for decision-making that focuses on real-world business challenges. Doctoral candidates will use current research in organizational change and behavior to frame complex business issues, analyze responses and implement actions that transform their organizations.​​ 


Who is the ideal candidate for DePaul’s DBA degree?test

DePaul’s ​DBA program is designed for the high-potential executive who has a master’s degree in a business or business-related discipline and more than 8 to 10 years of managerial or consultative experience​.


How does an DBA differ from a PhD?test

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 industry circles.” 

As a consequence, AACSB has encouraged its members to develop innovative doctoral programs that support one or more of four relatively distinct career tracks: 

1. A program of traditional preparation for an academic career in a business school.

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.


Will I be a doctor when I complete my degree?test

Yes, the DBA is a terminal degree and you will receive a doctorate upon successful completion of the program.

Is DePaul’s DBA program accredited?test

Yes, the DBA degree is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the premier international business school accreditation body. AACSB accreditation is a distinction earned by less than five percent of business schools worldwide.

​DePaul’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business program also is registered as a member of the ​EDBA Council, an international organization of leading institutions that offer executive doctoral degrees.​ 

How can I find out more about DePaul’s DBA?test

For more information, contact us at ​DBA@depaul.edu or (312) 362-8460.


 Program Format


When do DBA classes meet?test

Each year of the three-year program, DBA candidates participate in nine​, 2½-day residencies, primarily on a monthly basis, led by DePaul business faculty.

Where do DBA classes meet?test

DBA classes are held at the Driehaus College of Business in the DePaul Center, 1 E. Jackson Blvd., on DePaul’s Loop Campus in downtown Chicago.  The Loop Campus is in the heart of the city’s financial district, near dining, shopping, hotels and public transportation.  The campus is easily accessible via public transportation from both of Chicago’s major airports and the Metra commuter rail system.

How is the program structured?test

The first year of the program is designed to acquaint candidates with the applied research skills they’ll need to make an immediate impact in their organizations. During the second year, DBA candidates will form a small research team with a Kellstadt faculty mentor to frame and analyze a real-world business problem. 

​By the end of the second year, candidates will be framing and formally proposing their dissertation research in an area that is most relevant and impactful to their own careers and organizations. 

During the third year of the program, candidates will be personally supervised by one of Kellstadt’s leading faculty scholars as they pursue their dissertation research.Throughout the program, DBA candidates are exposed to emerging industry and disciplinary developments through a series of doctoral seminars on current topics in business.

In between on-campus residencies, DBA candidates will be working on course projects and connecting with their cohort peers to deepen their learning and engagement.


What does the DBA curriculum include?test

The program begins with a strong emphasis on research methodology and disciplinary coursework that features the most current developments from both academia and professional practice.

Coursework simultaneously builds candidates’ interdisciplinary business knowledge and applied research skills.

Candidates take seven research methodology and seven business discipline-specific courses. Each course is delivered in three-hour modules resulting in five different courses during a given residency, and courses are staggered throughout the year to offer deep engagement in each topic.

Click here for more information about the DBA ​curriculum.​


Can I complete the program at my own pace?test

No. The DBA is a cohort program with set residency dates. Click here for a schedule of the residencies.

Can I participate in the program if I don’t live in Chicago?test

Yes, residencies are designed with the business traveler and commuter in mind. The residencies run from Friday morning through Sunday morning, allowing for travel on Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon.

Are parts of the DBA program conducted online?test

We know there are options in the market for mostly online executive doctorate degrees. Our belief is that learning at this level is best done in a more traditional format where students and faculty can engage in face-to-face discussion, debate and skill practice. In between residencies, students will be completing assignments and working virtually with faculty and peers.​ 


 Application and Admission


Where can I find admission information and an application?test

Click here to apply online ​for DePaul's DBA Program​​

​For more information, contact us at ​DBA@depaul.edu or (312) 362-8810.​


What prior degrees do I need to have completed for admission to the DBA program? test

Applicants are required to have completed an MBA or master’s degree in a business or business-​related discipline. ​ 

What factors are considered for admission to the program?test

An applicant’s professional experience, potential, rationale for degree pursuit and educational preparation will be the determining factors for admission. ​ 

What is the deadline for applying? test

Students may submit their applications any time of year for admission into the program, which starts in ​the fall quarter. The admission committee meets in March, May and July to make decisions on applicants​. ​

What application materials should I send?test

Candidates for the Doctorate in Business Administration must fill out an online application​​and submit the following​:​

  • ​Two letters of recommendation submitted directly by the letter writers. Please identify the letter writers in the online application.
  • A personal statement, not to exceed 1½ pages, outlining professional and research goals.
  • Current resume.​
  • Official transcripts for bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Both degrees must be from regionally accredited universities.

Only complete applications will be reviewed.​


Are GMAT or GRE test scores required?test

No, you are not required to send graduate school entrance exam scores because it is assumed that applicants completed an exam to enter their master’s degree programs. 

Is an interview required?test

Applicants may be asked to interview with the admission committee as part of the admissions process.

Do you accept applications from non-U.S. citizens?test


What are tuition and fees for DePaul’s DBA Program?test

Tuition is currently $129,000 for the three-year program, which includes all costs related to the program such as books, software and computers. 

Students will be provided with breakfast and lunch and snacks during each residency. The cost of tuition does not cover travel and lodging costs and additional meals, although as a member of the DePaul community, students will have access to
discounted rates.

Is financial aid available for the DBA program?test

In order to be eligible for financial aid, you must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-U.S. citizen admitted to a degree seeking program at DePaul University.  You will automatically be considered for aid if you meet these criteria when you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).​​

How much does it cost to apply?test

There is no application fee.

Does the program provide housing? test

No, but DePaul’s Loop Campus is in downtown Chicago near many hotels. Click here for hotel discounts​ offered to DePaul students.​