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For your convenience, our most commonly asked questions about the UMSL Doctor of Business Administration program are answered right here. If you are not able to find the answer to your question, please reach out to the UMSL DBA team through our Contact Us page.

The Doctor of Business Administration program is designed to train practitioner scholars beyond the MBA curriculum. A guidance committee assists doctoral students in planning a rigorous program of multidisciplinary study. Courses span major areas of business administration including accounting, information systems, finance, logistics and supply chain management, marketing, organizational behavior, human resource management, leadership, operations management, strategic management, and research methodology for examining business problems empirically. View our schedule and curriculum page.

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

Primarily domestic/regional origin.

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 careers in academia for tenure-track positions

Average age 25-30 years old.

Primarily international origin.

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. 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

Program Structure

Multiple residencies per semester

Full-time student


  • 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.

4 – 6 years; not fixed. Time to completion is unknown at the outset.


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.

Tuition remission; graduate assistantship.


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

Focus on SA (Scholarly Academic) faculty status qualification.

DBA candidates must have already earned a master’s degree or some related advanced degree. A GRE/GMAT will not be required for admission, as applicants already will have taken the exam to complete their MBA, MS, MA, or other graduate program.

The UMSL DBA is a three-year, cohort-based program and offers a flexible format, with limited visits to campus. 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. View the full schedule.

Program cost is $33,600 per year for three years, and is guaranteed not to increase for students who remain in their entrance class. Total program cost: $100,800

Program Costs Include:

  • Tuition
  • Texts and supplies
  • Course materials
  • Software requirements
  • Access to a large number of periodicals via the UMSL online library
  • Breakfast, lunch, and snacks during residencies
  • Student IDs and parking passes
  • An allowance of $6,000 for approved travel and research expenses incurred by students over the course of the program.

The UMSL Graduate School application fee is $50.

Once the admission offer is made, candidates have 30 days to accept the offer. A non-refundable deposit of $2,000 is due 30 days after receiving the offer to join the upcoming cohort.

A variety of financial aid options are available to UMSL DBA students including loans and special funding programs. Call Student Financial Services at 314-516-5526. Veterans should contact the UMSL Veterans Center at 314-516-5705 for GI Bill advising and support. Our staff will help you find the best option to fund your education.

It is not an online program. The UMSL DBA is a hybrid program which combines online work with required on campus meetings. Face-to-face meetings are held at the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus twice per semester. Residency starts on Friday at 8:00am and ends on Saturday at 5:00pm.

For an add-on payment of $3,000* students may choose to participate along with our OMBA students in an optional global immersion experience. This includes a weeklong global immersion trip to examine business practices and ongoing challenges and opportunities in emerging markets across the globe. The 2024 destination was Costa Rica. The cost includes flight, lodging, hotel breakfasts, a group city tour, company visit, local tour guides, on-site support, and travel health insurance.

* Costs estimated based on current rates and are subject to change.