Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA)

Program Availability

Now accepting applications for fall 2019.
Application review for cohort 2019 will not begin until September 2018.
We are no longer accepting applications for our Fall 2018 cohort. ​

Creighton’s Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) is a research-based terminal doctorate in business administration designed primarily for students seeking a full-time tenure-track faculty position at an accredited teaching college or university. Those seeking an analytical, research approach to business, as well as those interested in consulting, may also benefit from this degree.

As a Jesuit, Catholic university, Creighton offers you the unique opportunity to integrate Ignatian reflection and formation as part of your business education. You’ll learn about innovative teaching methods to prepare you for a future in a college or university classroom. The program offers the benefits of a broad array of accomplished faculty research and teaching mentors, not only in Creighton’s AACSB-accredited Heider College of Business, but also across our network of AACSB-accredited Jesuit institutions

Hybrid Model

The 3-year, cohort-styled DBA is designed for students who prefer to continue working in their existing jobs while completing their degrees.  Eight weekend residencies are required in each of the first 2 years, with the rest of the program delivered online. Overall, 2/3 of the content and discussion are offered online, with the other 1/3 face to face. 

The cohort model gives students the opportunity to work through the same set of classes with the same group of individuals thus giving them the opportunity to learn from and rely on one another for advanced learning and support.

Residencies are opportunities for the cohort and faculty to come together to meet and learn face-to-face.  It is also a time to build business relationships that will prove invaluable as you move through your post DBA career.  In Creighton’s DBA, residencies are also a time of reflection and teaching behaviors that reflect critical thought and responsible action on moral and ethical issues.

During the first semester and one additional semester based on each student’s interest  area, students will be required to attend a once per week evening virtual session (evening determined by the faculty instructor) to get some additional face time with the instructor and fellow students. The first semester virtual session is critical in laying  the foundation and communicating the expectations for core content courses. It helps the student transition from a graduate level mindset to doctoral level thinking.  The second virtual session offers the student more time for deep discussion in their focus area.


If your goal is to become a tenure-track university professor or clinical professor in an accredited business school, this program will get you the credentials you’ll need.

Creighton’s DBA trains students to conduct and publish applied business research. Upon graduation, students will have defended a scholarly research dissertation suitable for publication, under the mentorship of research-active faculty at Creighton and/or other Jesuit institutions. Students will gain the skills necessary to conduct and lead an active research agenda essential to tenure track academic positions.

Comparing Your Options

Find the degree that’s right for you. View this chart: Comparison of Creighton DBA, traditional PhD and full-time MBA

What You'll Learn

Creighton’s DBA offers content breadth across disciplines, with students specializing through their dissertation article research, their teaching mentors and first-hand teaching experience. You’ll learn:

  • Interdisciplinary, practice-oriented, analytical approaches to applied business research
  • How to publish in applied research journals
  • How Ignatian values can inform your teaching, research and service
  • Cutting-edge teaching techniques such as flipped classroom, personalized learning, and online and hybrid course delivery

Program Learning Goals (PLG) and Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)


(54 credits, 18 courses)

One cohort start per year, each fall semester. Creighton University reserves the right to move courses within the program as deemed necessary.

Please note:
Students will be required to complete a statistic knowledge exam within the first two weeks of June (prior to the fall start). Students not achieving an 80% or better on the exam will be required to complete the statistics modules, DBA 8200, during the summer.  These can be completed at your own pace but must be satisfactorily completed by August 15 in order to begin in the fall term. Depending on individual statistic knowledge, these modules may take from 40 - 200 hours in total to complete.  Students receiving an 80% or better on the exam may also complete the modules. This pre-stats course is included in the DBA program and will not incur tuition payment.  Exam scores will not be included in your final DBA grades.

DBA Course Catalog

With two years under our belt, we have been able to make some curriculum upgrades that allow a more focused path for you based on your area(s) of interest. This new curriculum format will apply to Cohort 2017 and thereafter. Click the following link to see a list of courses.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must possess at least one of the following:

  1. MBA from an accredited university
  2. Graduate/terminal degree in another discipline
  3. Undergraduate business degree from an accredited university plus 5 or more years business experience 
  4. CPA certification plus 5 or more years business experience

Application Materials

The DBA admissions committee will consider all the materials listed below in their decision for admittance. The more of these items you have, the stronger your application and possibility of being admitted.

Applicants should submit:

  • Current resume
  • Official transcripts from each college or university from which you earned a degree, including undergraduate
  • Two (2) professional letters of recommendation that directly address fit with the goals and outcomes of this program submitted through Creighton Online application system
  • A personal statement that clearly communicates: (1) their objectives for joining the program, (2) potential research questions of interest, (3) if/how they intend to leverage their work experience in their research agenda, and (4) their career goals upon completion of the degree. 
  • 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.

International applicants with permanent U. S. residency must also submit: 
(NOTE: Creighton’s DBA program is NOT eligible for F-1 visa because the program is not considered a full-time program by the Department of Education.)

  • Official TOEFL score report with minimum acceptable score 550 paper-based/90 iBT
  • Official transcripts in the original language from each college or university attended, along with an official English translation
  • Applicants must complete either a virtual or in-person personal interview with one or more of the admissions committee members
  • For a student who has completed an undergraduate degree in the U.S.; or from a foreign institution in which English is the language of instruction; or based on a personal interview, the TOEFL requirement may be waived.  This is at the discretion of the DBA directors

Admission Process and Deadlines

  • Because this is a cohort program that will start each August, the application deadline (dossier completed) is April 1 of each year 
  • Applications are accepted via Creighton’s online registration portal only. Apply now.
  • The DBA program director will convene, either in-person or virtual, with the admissions committee members to review completed applications
  • Members of the admissions committee will vote on each applicant with ties broken by the DBA faculty director
  • Admission exceptions will initially be handled by the DBA Admissions Committee but will also be forwarded to the Creighton Graduate Programs Board to provide guidance
  • If accepted, a $5000 non-refundable deposit is required within 14 days to secure your placement in the cohort. This deposit will be applied to your first semester tuition billing. After 14 days, you will need to recontact us to pay the deposit if spots are still available. Undertaking a doctoral program to prepare for an academic position is a substantial commitment, and because our cohort size is limited, the deposit ensures that we are accepting only the most committed applicants. Therefore, applications are accepted on a rolling basis and cohorts often fill up well before the April 1 deadline.


DBA Admissions Committee

The DBA Admissions Committee will consist of the DBA faculty program director and two or more DBA faculty instructors of record. 

Things to Know Before Committing

Students will be required to complete a statistic knowledge exam within the first two weeks of June (prior to the fall start). Students not achieving an 80% or better on the exam will be required to complete the statistics modules, DBA 8200, during the summer.  These can be completed at your own pace but must be satisfactorily completed by August 15 in order to begin in the fall term. Depending on individual statistic knowledge, these modules may take from 40 - 200 hours in total to complete.  Students receiving an 80% or better on the exam may also complete the modules. This pre-stats course is included in the DBA program and will not incur tuition payment.  Exam scores will not be included in your final DBA grades.

Get additional information on attendance, virtual sessions, withdrawal policy and technology requirements.

Tuition & Scholarships

This 3-year program costs $120,000 total ($2,222 per credit hour).  This fee includes all tuition, class materials,  software, textbooks, hotel  (max 2 nights/residency) and meals during residencies, University fee and University technology fee. 

You can continue working while completing your doctorate. Most of your coursework is online with scheduled on-campus residencies to build networking opportunities and receive hands-on guidance.  Financial aid is available through Creighton’s Financial Aid Office.

Learn more about the cohort

In our cohort’s own words…….”Why I Chose the Creighton DBA”

"While one can certainly be an executive coach without a DBA, the additional credential not only makes one a better coach, but improves the perception of competence and authority and therefore influence. I believe that business is the most powerful institution on the planet. Leadership decisions made in the workplace shape the lives of individuals, economies, and the world more than any other single institution. This program feels “right.” My “dilemma” was that there was no such thing as a DBA at an accessible Catholic, Jesuit institution grounded in Ignatian spirituality until now."

“Upon retiring as a [professional] athlete and after starting my executive career, my goal has always been to improve my base of knowledge.  …I realized that my desire was to continue leading through service, a Jesuit core belief and a modus operandi that my family and I continue to live by. …. I feel this program fits me and my goals perfectly, as it revolves around the ideas of teamwork, partnerships and the basic concept of dedication.”

“I’ve always been looking for what I would like to do for the “second half” of my career life. …Prior to this program becoming available there were no viable options for me to take the necessary steps to begin putting this [tenure-track college professor in MIS/BIA] career choice into motion. …I am the primary bread-winner for my family, so obtaining a Ph.D. or doctorate would have to wait until my children were grown and no longer relying on me financially. This program has me very excited for the opportunity as both hurdles have cleared simultaneously - and at an institution that has great meaning to me as a source of tremendous pride as an alumnus!”

“Working so closely with my professors [Creighton MS-BIA and MBA] over multiple years of cancer treatments allowed me to see professors differently, both as extremely intelligent professionals in their field and also as people who were very committed to helping their students succeed. My professors were more than just teaching a subject that I needed a good grade in; they were people who cared deeply about my learning, academic success and contribution to society. … They have become my role models in my career aspirations….The professors I learned the most from were those with real world working skills who had been in managerial positions in some of the best U.S. companies… I have worked to rise through at some of the best companies I have had the ability to work in and am now in a managerial position… I see the Creighton DBA as a way for me to obtain that dream [becoming a tenured professor and enriching a renewing stream of students] and strive towards a life and career that I hold with such esteem…”

“The Creighton University program has everything I’m looking for. It is AACSB certified and will allow me to become academically certified to continue my career path at my current AACSB employer.  …I’m ready to further my education and continue to educate future generations. ... I feel that Creighton University can prepare me with the research skills I need to have a successful career and make meaningful contributions to the Accounting Profession. ”

“In recent years it has become increasingly difficult to ignore the aspects of my work life that have been the most fulfilling. …In my healthcare finance profession, it has always been about coaching, mentoring, and developing my teams.  …I’ve always taken an inquisitive and thoughtful approach to my life and my work. …This program would allow me to use applied research techniques to contemplate theories that expand across both the finance and healthcare spectrum.”

“…teaching drives me to advance myself intellectually, academically, and practically. I have searched for many years to find a program that will enhance my teaching ability, my applied business expertise, and my research ability; to put it simply, I am elated this program is now a reality! It is a dream come true that I have the potential to study at such an esteemed Jesuit Institution as Creighton. Moreover, to study in a program that - I believe - has all the pillars of academic business success: teaching, research, and application.”  

Meet the faculty

Creighton Faculty Currently Teaching

click to view profile

Kristie N. Briggs, PhD, Associate Professor
Cynthia Corritore, PhD, Professor
C. Timothy Dickel, Ed.D., NCC , Professor
Lee M. Dunham, PhD, Associate Professor
M. Lance Frazier, PhD, Associate Professor
Peter J. Gallo, PhD, Assistant Professor
Andrew B. Gustafson, PhD, Professor
Eric Neuman, PhD, Associate Professor
Thomas J. Purcell, III PhD, Professor
Eric Peterson, PHD, Visiting Assistant Professor 

Special Faculty - Jesuit Partnership

click to view profile:

Paul Buller, PhD, Professor
Mee-Shew Cheung, PhD, Professor
Myles Gartland, PhD, Professor
Matt Hoag,PhD, CPA, Assistant Professor
Daniel Law, PhD, Professor
Tim Olsen, PhD, Assistant Professor
Vivek Patil, PhD, Professor
Sudhakar Raju, PhD, Assistant Professor
Nicholas Santos, SJ, PhD, Assistant Professor

Additional Creighton and Jesuit Partnership faculty serve as mentors and advisors.

Important Dates & Deadlines

Residency Schedules

Program Start Date


Application Deadline

April 1