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Doctor of Business Administration

Missouri’s first and only AACSB-accredited DBA program offering research concentrations in all areas of business administration.

Accelerate your career without disrupting it.

The UMSL Doctor of Business Administration program gives senior managers the knowledge and applied research tools to solve high-level business problems in their companies or industries. The DBA program helps candidates gain expertise in applied research by improving their methodological and analytical skills, through practical application of academic theory.

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The UMSL Doctor of Business Administration program is a three-year, cohort-based program that offers a flexible format, with limited visits to campus. Over the course of the program, participants make only two weekend trips to campus per term.

UMSL DBA students move through the program in a cohort and meet face-to-face two weekends each semester, then engage and collaborate with faculty and students in the online learning platform for discussions. The first two years cover an array of cutting-edge business and management topics and the third year is spent focusing on the candidate’s dissertation research.

The UMSL DBA is designed to train engaged management scholars in a learning community supported by select internationally renowned faculty with close ties to business and recognized for their research impact and expertise in graduate education.

The UMSL DBA is a member of the Executive DBA Council, an international organization of executive-format doctoral degrees. Dr. Ekin Pellegrini, Founding Director of the University of Missouri - St. Louis Doctor of Business Administration, serves as a Board Member and President-Elect of EDBAC.


The Doctor of Business Administration program provides participants with the skills needed to conduct rigorous research with the objective of applying the findings to real-world decision-making in industry and government. DBA graduates will be equipped for high-level positions in higher education, consulting, or career advancement in their industry.


Doctor of Business Administration
Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration

Candidate Profile

Senior executives who:

  • Hold an MBA or post-baccalaureate degree
  • Work full-time
  • Will use the knowledge acquired to address problems and issues in contemporary business
  • Seek to advance professional career; consulting; or attain a clinical faculty position

10-20 years of management experience.

Students with limited work experience who:

  • May or may not hold a post-baccalaureate degree
  • Typically enroll as full-time students
  • Seek to position themselves for research careers in academia for tenure-track positions or in industry

Average age 25-30 years old.

5-10 years of work experience.


Contribution to practice. Research topics come from issues faced in practice and lead to new practice/policy.

Contribution to theory and/or applied research. Research topics come from unanswered questions in the discipline and lead to advancements in the body of knowledge.


To develop practitioner researchers

To develop academic researchers for positions in academia, industry or government

Program Structure

Multiple residencies per semester

Mostly full-time students, but some part-time students accepted


  • Interdisciplinary with a focus on general management and business issues
  • Apply quantitative or qualitative research methods to contemporary business problems
  • Specialized studies, generally within a single, specific business discipline
  • Heavy emphasis on research methodology and its application to develop new theories

Time horizon

Set at outset. Time to completion is crucial and predetermined.

Students with a master's degree should finish in 4 – 5 years. Part-time students take longer.


Faculty are mentors/research partners/SMEs; students draw on work experiences and firm data.

Faculty have dominant role re program curriculum and research agenda.


Company- and student-funded.

Stipend for graduate assistantship, plus tuition waiver for full-time students.


SA (Scholarly Academic) and PA (Practice Academic) qualified faculty status per AACSB standards.

Focus on SA (Scholarly Academic) faculty status qualification.

Download Admission Requirements PDF Guide

Screebshot of the admissions criteria PDF document


Interested in learning more about the UMSL DBA program application process?

Download a free copy of our eligibility and requirements PDF guide.

Important Dates to Know for the Class of 2027

June 1, 2024
Application deadline for early decision
September 1, 2024
Application deadline for domestic applicants

International applicants: Please contact dba@umsl.edu

Learn How to Apply


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