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Business Administration DBA (Doctorate)

Research-oriented and focused on strengthening critical thinking and analysis skills, a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) from Creighton University's Heider College of Business provides the opportunity to analyze business-related questions identified throughout your career.

No longer accepting applications.

What you learn while earning your DBA can be used for advancement in professional corporations, to bolster consulting skills, as well as provide a pathway to transition into full-time tenure track or practitioner faculty positions at a variety of universities and colleges. You’ll approach research with a Jesuit lens, learning how you can improve lives, organizations and society as a whole—so no matter what career path you choose, you’ll have the tools to be an agent of positive change. 

“Creighton's DBA program has exceeded all of my expectations. The program is full of academic rigor, well organized, and filled with instructors and administrators that care about you as an individual. If your goal is to become a tenure-tracked professor at an AACSB university, I do not believe you could find a better program than Creighton's.”

—Josh McGowan, current DBA student

You won’t have to put your career on pause to earn your business doctorate, either—you can complete your business doctoral degree where it works for you. The hybrid nature of this DBA program means you’ll earn the bulk of your doctorate in business administration online.

The competitive advantages of a Creighton DBA

Creighton University Heider College of Business is AACSB-accredited and recognized for its online graduate programs. Our respected reputation is augmented by providing DBA students with the following:

  • Exposure to theory from four synergistic business disciplines, preparing students to produce interesting real-world applied research that mirrors the dynamic business environment. Students are then able to specialize in one of the functional areas through their research assistantship and dissertation. Our students may choose to focus in areas such as marketing, accounting, finance, economics, business information systems and analytics, organizational behavior and strategy.
  • Mentorship from research-active faculty on your own applied dissertation research.
  • Ability to continue working and residing wherever you are. Our intensive part-time, three-year, hybrid DBA, is designed for working professionals. The hybrid model combines online instruction and fourteen total residencies over the course of the program. This includes seven residencies per academic year for the first two years, with one residency per year typically held at a sister Jesuit University outside of Omaha. Residencies are not required in the third year of the program.
  • Courses related to teacher formation are offered to prepare students for possible careers in academia.
  • Professional formation grounded in our Jesuit heritage, being individuals “for and with others,” is reinforced in student’s research, teaching and service.

Download a comparison of the Creighton DBA and traditional PhDs (PDF)

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Testimonial from Sarah Borchers, current DBA student at Creighton University
AACSB Accredited logo
Students have obtained tenure track placement at a variety of universities

Program Details

The framework of Creighton’s DBA can be applied across disciplines—all students learn research skills needed to analyze business-related questions identified throughout their careers. Students further specialize through their dissertation research.

To earn your Doctorate of Business Administration, you’ll need to complete a total of 54 credit hours.

The DBA directors will work with each student to determine the right mix of courses based on the student’s research interests and professional background, as well as the DBA graduation requirements. View the typical DBA course sequencing.


Our respected faculty at Creighton strive to help students in the Doctorate of Business Administration program strengthen their skills, expand their knowledge and work to achieve their goals. 

Admission Requirements

No longer accepting applications.

Applicants must possess at least one of the following:

  • MBA or other relevant advanced degree from an accredited university, plus 5+ years of professional and/or managerial experience*
  • Business relevant undergraduate business degree from an accredited university, plus 10+ years of professional and/or managerial experience* 
  • CPA, CFA, or other relevant professional certification, plus 5+ years professional and/or managerial experience*

*If less than the minimum, please explain in a cover letter to your resume how other experiences and/or qualifications may compensate.

Due to residency requirements, international students may face difficulties in this program, but are welcome to apply. Please work directly with your enrollment specialist to discuss your situation and how Creighton can support you.

Application Materials
The DBA admissions committee will consider all the materials listed below in their decision for admittance. Applicants should submit:

  • Current resume or CV.
  • Provide official transcripts from each college or university from which you earned a degree, including undergraduate. Transcripts from non-degree earning institutions that reflect relevant coursework should also be submitted. Read more about sending transcripts here.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from professionals in academia or industry that can directly address your ability to think critically, ability to conduct research, propensity to lead and potential for completing advanced academic studies. These must be submitted by each recommender directly through Creighton’s Online Application System.
  • Evidence of competency in statistics and quantitative reasoning is recommended. This could be fulfilled by providing one or more of the following: a written statement outlining applicant’s empirical background as highlighted by course transcripts and/or work experience, a written research paper, evidence of statistical tutorial completion, GRE scores, GMAT scores and/or other competency exam results.
  • Two essays:
  1. Statement of Interest (2-3 pages double-spaced):
    1. Address the following:
      1. Why do you want to pursue a DBA?
      2. How will a DBA help you achieve your career aspirations?
      3. What challenges do you anticipate in balancing work, personal commitments and approximately 20-30 hours of weekly DBA studies? What steps will you take to address these challenges to complete your degree within 3 years?
  2. Statement of Research Interests (2-3 pages double-spaced): 
    1.  Address the following:
      1. What area of business is your intended focused area of research (e.g. Finance, Accounting, Economics, Marketing, Organizational Behavior, Strategy, Business Analytics/Info Systems)?
      2. What topics within this focus area might be potential research avenues of interest? Although we recognize that your research question will change and evolve during the program, please describe current research questions that interest you and how you believe finding answers to your research questions will serve to benefit the greater good of individuals, firms and/or society.
      3. How will you leverage your work experience and knowledge in your research agenda?

The application review committee considers the following:

  • Completeness of the application materials
  • Background knowledge and experience in the applicant’s business area of focus
  • Demonstrated leadership and track record of professional/academic/personal achievement and development
  • Proficiency in communication skills 
  • Compatibility of individual’s professional goals with the DBA program’s learning outcomes
  • Demonstrated ability to balance time commitments
  • Capacity for conducting applied research
  • Community engagement/service a plus

Tuition & Financial Aid

The tuition and DBA Program fee of this 3-year program covers tuition, and includes required textbooks and statistical software; hotel (max 2 nights per residency), meals during residencies and transportation between hotel and campus; access to library systems and licensed databases including WRDS; and more. Transportation to and from residencies is not included.

Beginning in summer 2020: Upon prior approval, active DBA students may be reimbursed up to $1,500 (max per student) for qualifying academic conference expenses when accepted to present their research.

Financial Aid
To help make your graduate studies at Creighton University more manageable, we encourage you to file the FAFSA to apply for financial assistance. We also encourage you to apply for available graduate student scholarships.

Have questions? Email or call a friendly financial specialist at 402.280.2731 for any additional questions you may have.

Dates and Deadlines

No longer accepting applications.

Still Have Questions?

Reach out to a Graduate Enrollment Specialist