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Doctorate Program FAQ

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.
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:

  • A program of traditional preparation for an academic career in a business school.
  • A bridge program to prepare an experienced business executive to transition toward a tenure-track academic career.
  • A program designed to enhance the professional career of an executive wishing to advance within their existing industry.
  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

Because it’s structured as a part-time program, our DBA is not I-20 eligible; thus, international students would not be able to obtain the F-1 Student Visa for this program. If you are a U.S. citizen, have permanent residency, or are on another kind of U.S. Visa, you are welcome to study in the program.