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Will My Business Doctoral Credits Transfer? Answering Common Questions About Finishing Your Doctoral Degree

For business professionals looking to lead their fields, earning a business doctoral degree provides in-demand skills and opens doors to new career opportunities. However, before investing the time and money into finishing your degree, you want to make sure it’s a wise investment in your future. Taking advantage of transfer credits is key to choosing the best program for you.

Transferring credits at the doctoral level is a demanding process, but with a little research, students can choose a transfer-friendly program aligned to their career goals. This guide will answer the most frequently asked questions about transfer credits and help you find the best fit for you.  

Do Business Doctoral Programs Accept Transfer Credits?

The short answer is maybe, but transfer policies vary from program to program. 

Unlike the undergraduate level, doctoral students must demonstrate subject mastery and apply knowledge to lead their fields creatively. To maintain the integrity of the degree, doctoral programs have a more rigorous process when it comes to accepting transfer credits.

While many traditional institutions do not award transfer credit, some transfer-friendly doctoral programs will accept credit. When evaluating what qualifies, these programs review previous coursework on a course-by-course basis to ensure it matches the rigor and quality of their program. If previous work has a high enough relevancy score, it may earn you credit, jumpstarting your completion of a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), a Ph.D. in Business Administration, or a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership (Ed.D.).

Though each program is different, there are common qualifying factors universities evaluate when determining which credits to accept.

At Franklin University, students can transfer up to 40% of the credits needed to earn a DBA or Ed.D. degree. Nearly half of Franklin doctoral students take advantage of the generous transfer credit policy. 

Accelerate your completion time and lower your total tuition cost at every academic level. Download this free guide for tips on maximizing your transfer credit.


Which Credits Transfer Into A Business Doctoral Degree?

Now that you know more about the process, let’s find out which credits qualify. Understanding the types of credit that are eligible will help you choose the right program and graduate as quickly as you expect.

Previous Doctoral Credit
If you began working toward a doctoral degree but didn’t complete the program, you may be able to apply previously earned credits to a DBA, Ed.D. or Ph.D. program. Franklin accepts up to 24 transfer credits toward DBA and Ed.D. degrees to help accomplish your degree faster. 

Master’s-Level Credits
If you’ve completed the 32 credits required to earn a master’s degree, you can use additional graduate credits to satisfy elective requirements for a DBA, Ed.D. or Ph.D. degree. To count toward a doctorate, master’s-level credits must come from business, healthcare, instructional design or education courses.

Remember, what one program deems worthy for credit, another may not. During the transfer process, your advisor may ask you to provide more information to evaluate if your coursework or certifications have a direct application to their program. Be organized. Any information you have will help you make your case, including the syllabus, course description, learning objectives, reading list, assignments and instructor qualifications. 

How Do I Choose The Right Transfer-Friendly Doctoral Program?

Transfer credits can provide a valuable head start to finishing your degree. However, by evaluating more than the transfer policy, you can ensure your doctoral experience is everything you want it to be. Choose the best program for you by following these tips. 

  • Consider the industry reputation of the program. Choose a program that will help you strategically advance your career. Look beyond accreditations, and research the school’s standing in your industry. Ask colleagues and peers if the school is well-respected in your field. High-quality programs provide opportunities beyond the classroom, including networking with other business leaders in the field. 
  • Choose a program with strong faculty. When choosing a school, you’re also choosing the school’s faculty. Find out if your professors hold terminal degrees in the fields they teach. You also want a faculty with real-world experience that can help you apply course content to the workplace.
  • Ask about dissertation methodology. Some schools draw out the process while others prioritize your success. Ask your top schools about the average length of the dissertation process to establish realistic expectations. While many programs factor in three years for coursework and four years for the dissertation, other programs offer personalized dissertation support so a doctorate can be earned in less time.
  • Choose a degree that aligns with your career goals. Earning your doctoral degree is a big commitment. To keep you motivated when times are challenging, pick the degree that offers the skills you need to advance to the next stage of your career. There are three primary doctoral degrees for business leaders looking to upskill. While all three are terminal degrees, you need to understand the distinct career path each facilitates. 

What Should I Look For In A Business Doctorate Program When Transferring?

Finishing your doctorate is a serious undertaking, especially for working professionals who need to balance their education and career. Look for a program that offers unique benefits to help you complete your coursework, comprehensive exam and dissertation. 

  • Transfer Friendliness: Some universities accept more transfer credits than others. Make sure you understand what qualifies for transfer credit and get the credit you expect before enrolling.
  • 1:1 Transfer Support: Look for programs that proactively guide you through the transfer process. Your advisor should answer questions and help you maximize all possible transfer credit. 
  • Online Degrees: Flexible learning options, including fully online programs, can help you achieve your goals with minimal interference in your career and family life. 
  • Student-Centered Resources: Support is vital for student success. Ensure the program provides access to research assistants, editors and learning services to propel you forward. 
  • Dissertation Assistance: Programs with an embedded dissertation process empower students to chip away at dissertations as part of the coursework, making them a little less daunting and time-consuming.

Few programs provide features to help students succeed. As many as 50% of doctoral students complete their coursework but never earn a degree, and many drop out during their dissertation because they lack the skills needed to complete or defend it. When evaluating transfer-friendly programs, look for competitive resources that help prepare you to conquer all the graduation requirements.

Choosing The Right Program For Your Career

Not all business doctorate programs treat transfer credits equally. If you’re weighing the pros and cons of finishing your doctoral degree, transfer credits can play a crucial role in your decision. Taking advantage of previously earned credits can help you finish your degree faster and save money. 

Franklin University offers transfer-friendly programs for DBA and Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership degrees designed for busy working professionals. Our generous transfer policy allows students to transfer up to 24 credits. With Franklin’s dedicated support for transfer students and unique embedded dissertation process, you can iteratively complete your dissertation and earn a doctoral degree in three years. 

Explore Franklin’s transfer-friendly business doctorate programs to see how Franklin can help you to reach your career goals.

Free Guide:
Maximizing Your College Transfer Credit
Learn the five things you need to know, at every academic level, to make the most of your transfer credit – including credits from technical/community college and military training.