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Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Advise, educate and innovate with a doctor of business administration

A global economy combined with changes in accessibility, technology and consumer expectations have changed the way business is done – and administered. With increased prominence and greater responsibility, business administration practitioners are tasked with managing corporate-wide initiatives to competitive advantage and profitability. Educators, too, are pioneering in the field, bringing innovative business administration leadership practices to the classroom for the next generation of thought leaders, strategists and consultants.

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On Site

No-Fear Dissertation

Finish faster with a jumpstart to your dissertation.

3-Year Completion

Finish your DBA faster -- including one year for your dissertation.

Finish Faster

Transfer up to 24 hours of previously earned credit.

Personalized Program

Customize your program with a variety of electives.

100% Online Classes

Earn your degree around your schedule.

In-Demand Skills

Develop advanced verbal competencies, technical abilities and interpersonal aptitude. 

Program Overview

Make a difference: Become a problem-solving business leader

Business and commerce as we knew it just a few years ago isn’t the same as business and commerce of today – and it certainly won’t be for tomorrow. Warp-speed changes in accessibility, technologies and consumer expectations, not to mention the global economy, have radically and dramatically altered the worldwide business landscape.

As a result, those working in business administration are taking on new roles and new prominence at both organizational and educational levels.

Business practitioners, for example, are becoming essentially on-staff consultants who are charged with across-the-board innovation for profitability and competitive advantage. Responsibilities have shifted from mere oversight and management toward visionary leadership in everything from best practices, to process management and change, to operational methodologies.

Business instructors, meanwhile, are becoming pioneering educators and champions who are tasked with preparing up-and-coming practitioners to become tomorrow’s thought leaders, strategists and innovation consultants.

Set yourself apart in business or business education

Because the business world is experiencing such tremendous change, employers need (and want) higher levels of skills from both practitioners and educators. In-demand skills include verbal and written competencies, technical and technological abilities, and advanced interpersonal aptitude. Yet these sophisticated and relevant skills don’t come easily – or automatically. Instead, they require proficiencies beyond even a master’s-level degree; they require a degree of the highest level, a terminal degree.

The skills you will develop in earning a terminal degree in business administration will prepare you to make logical, relevant connections between classroom learnings and real-world operational effectiveness. Acquiring these skills in the content area of management and developing the ability to perform research will give you deeper insight, sharper senses and greater abilities to distinguish among all the factors at hand to decide what is merely important and what is critical to address the identified problem. Further, improving your writing by developing a clear, crisp and concise style will give your thoughts a voice that will be heard and heeded.

Achieve tactical and strategic goals through strong organizational leadership

Our transfer-friendly Doctor of Business Administration program reinforces the core technical aspects of quality research, yet also equips you with such sought-after skills as communication and technology. Franklin’s applied doctorate is a practical degree that enables both subject mastery and field application. That means you’ll be prepared to research and communicate complex issues as you solve organization-wide issues.

Franklin’s applied doctorate in Business Administration is a program designed to help you:

  • Differentiate yourself as a top performer or educator
  • Apply research in order to solve actual business problems
  • Assess and refine your own leadership competencies
  • Understand and apply leadership theories for organizational transformation

Drive business innovation and improvement

Through our online DBA program, you’ll focus on advanced research in the fields of organizational strategy and performance. Knowing how and having experience with investigating, using and applying the research of others will increase both the depth and breadth of your own analytical and critical-thinking skills.

For example, through your research, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of key business dynamics, such as:

  • Political and economic influence of global markets
  • Increased regulation and government intervention
  • Tension between public and private activities
  • Technological innovations
  • An increasingly diverse workforce

Armed with current research findings, you’ll be better prepared to:

  • Recognize and respond to opportunities
  • Form a vision for the future of your company or industry
  • Generate possible solutions across many fields
  • Address leadership issues
  • Institute continuous innovation
  • Improve customer satisfaction metric

All of which means that, with a Franklin DBA, you’ll be able to lead more strategically and focus innovative ideas to create competitive advantage.

Create a culture of effectiveness

Shaping corporate culture has never been more important. But it takes being intentional to create and sustain the right culture within your organization. Through Franklin’s applied DBA program, you’ll learn how to investigate, analyze and articulate organizational identity and behavior. You’ll also conduct substantive research into existing literature on organizational behavior, culture and effectiveness, culminating in the development of a research-ready proposal for cultural advancement or transformation.

Understand and manage organizational responsibility and integrity

It’s a modern-day business imperative: evaluate, assess and apply ethical constructs of business to provide more responsible management and leadership. From understanding theoretical principals, to developing ethical decision-making processes, to cultivating a social responsibility-minded corporate culture, Franklin DBA students will explore, assess and apply a full range of ethical theories and practices.

Get 360-degree support as your earn your DBA online

We’ve taken a comprehensive and systematic approach to our DBA program, which includes team-based curriculum development, doctorally qualified faculty, and student-centered activities designed for the working adult. You’ll receive robust academic support from a variety of resources, including a graduate advisor, faculty advisor, personal librarian and peers, as well as the Student Learning Center staff and your Dissertation Committee members. You’ll also enjoy a cohesive and robust graduate culture and cohort. Together, our practice-minded faculty and your fellow students will support, mentor, encourage and keep you accountable to the program – and to yourself. At Franklin, you’re never alone on your doctoral journey.

Transfer up to 24 credit hours & finish your DBA faster

Want to complete your terminal degree in less than three years? Franklin grants up to 24 hours of prior-learning credit for previous doctoral work, and approved certifications and licensures. We honor your prior learning and make it easier to get credit for what you already know. Transfer credit can help you earn your applied doctorate degree faster, as well as reduce your overall tuition expenses.

A Unique Dissertation Structure

If there’s such a thing as a no-fear dissertation process, Franklin has it. We’ve intentionally designed a dissertation structure to help you complete your dissertation step-by-step, beginning with your enrollment in the program. We’ve also built-in faculty mentoring and guidance, and peer-to-peer support so you’re never left to “figure it out” on your own.

Throughout the online DBA program, you’ll develop important research skills and the necessary writing prowess to publish a dissertation as a capstone project to your studies. Your dissertation will showcase your ability to identify a topic of interest within the workplace, develop a proposed solution to a problem, and test your hypotheses in the real world.

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Curriculum & Course Descriptions

58 Semester Hours
Research Core (16 hours)

All students are required to take the first five courses listed and one of the final two listed, depending on the research method and design they choose for their dissertation.

GRAD 800 - WRITING FOUNDATIONS (3)
This course will orient students to Franklin University, its learning environments and support systems. Students will develop essential skills needed to be successful in a doctoral program. Foundations of theory and practice in doctoral studies will be taught. Students will gain scholarly and professional writing skills in the context of their discipline. Dissertation structure and process will be introduced. Students will also complete their first colloquia as part of the course requirements.
GRAD 805 - RESEARCH METHODOLOGY & DESIGN (3)
Students will learn about research methodology, related methods, and how to apply them in valid and reliable research designs. Students will be taught how to construct new theories, connect research theory and design to application and practice in the organization. This course will begin to prepare students to identify a research problem, conduct a literature review, and select appropriate research methodology for their dissertation. Issues of research ethics will be discussed.
GRAD 810 - APPLIED STATISTICS (4)
Application of statistical techniques and methods will be explored including, a review of statistics and probability, exploratory data analysis and descriptive statistics, fundamental statistical tests, regression analysis, selection of adequate analytical methods as well as interpretation and reporting of results. The course is designed to provide numerous opportunities to apply various statistical methods into research hypothesis and problems.
GRAD 888 - COLLOQUIUM I (1)
The doctoral colloquium is designed to build a community and ensure that learners have the support, motivation and guidance necessary to succeed in their doctoral programs. This first colloquia will also provide students with an overview of the doctoral program expectations, coursework sequence, doctoral student support services, as well as comprehensive exam and dissertation requirements. The first colloquium is designed to establish a learning community and graduate culture for the doctoral students at Franklin University. The doctoral colloquium will be held at the University's main campus in facilities that provide appropriate online interaction for out-of-state and international students. Please note: A book fee may be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
GRAD 889 - COLLOQUIUM II (1)
The doctoral colloquium is designed to build a community and ensure that learners have the support, motivation and guidance necessary to succeed in their doctoral programs. The second colloquia will aid students in their transition from coursework to doctoral candidacy. Students will be oriented to the process and requirements for the upcoming comprehensive exam. In addition, they will begin to plan how to navigate and fulfill the requirements of the dissertation process. In addition, students will continue to build their learning network and community through this experience. The doctoral colloquium will be held at the University's main campus in facilities that provide appropriate online interaction for out-of-state and international students.
GRAD 820 - ADVANCED QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN & ANALYSIS (4)
This is an advanced course in statistics that covers complex analyses used in education and data-driven decision making. The course is designed to broaden and deepen student understanding of advanced statistics in multivariate techniques. The emphasis of the course is on practical application of concepts learnt. To this end, the course is developed to balance theory and application and provides numerous opportunities for application to practical problems. Students will also complete their second colloquia.
OR GRAD 822 - ADVANCED QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN & ANALYSIS (4)
The advanced qualitative research course builds on the knowledge and skills students acquire in GRAD 805. This course leads students on an in depth treatment of qualitative research methodology, exploring its theoretical underpinnings and associated methods for design, data collection, interpretation, and reporting of results. Ethics are emphasized for each stage of research. This course will guide students to develop the methodology and data analysis for their dissertation proposal and research. Students will also complete their second colloquia if they had not enrolled in GRAD 820.
Major Area (20 hours)

Select 20 hours from the following:

MGMT 840 - DEVELOPMENT OF MANAGEMENT THEORY & PRACTICE (4)
The primary objective of this course is to provide a substantive overview of the development of management theory and its applications through the 20th century to date. Managerial concepts and constructs will be researched and applied in a scholar to practitioner modality. The course will focus on the evolution of management thought and the implications of its development for modern managers and leaders.
MGMT 845 - ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR, CULTURE & EFFECTIVENESS (4)
This course is an advanced research seminar in the field of organizational culture and behavior. The seminar allows you to begin the process of substantive academic research and formal inquiry into these important theories and the implications of these for managers. The seminar will require the synthesis of critical thinking, analysis, research writing and evaluation. Students will develop a key deliverable that involves a research proposal in the fields of organizational culture and behavior and then conduct substantive research into the literature developed by others. The final project in the seminar is the development of a research ready proposal utilizing at minimum one research methodology.
MGMT 850 - ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP (4)
This course addresses historical and current leadership concepts, theories and constructs. An emphasis will be on the application and assessment of transformational, servant and authentic leadership theories for us by both leaders and followers in 21st century business and academic settings. The course will challenge students to assess their own leadership strengths and weaknesses and produce an in-depth plan of action to develop and refine leadership competencies. Students will conduct substantive scholarly research to address and capture relevant and cutting edge leadership theoretical work for application in course assignments.
MGMT 855 - ORGANIZATIONAL SYSTEMS PERSPECTIVES THEORY & APPLICATION (4)
This course focuses on the theory and practice of organizations as open and adaptive systems. Students will address the implications of systems theory for organizational sense-making, learning, innovation and transformation. The complexity of organizations as integrated participants in while systems will be addressed through research and presentations.
MGMT 860 - STRATEGIC THINKING, DECISION MAKING & INNOVATION (4)
This course focuses on advanced research in the fields of organizational strategy and performance. The literature on these disciplines is abundant. A focus of this course is to enable students to develop their own mental map of systems theories and concepts for application in real-world managerial and leadership settings. The course outcomes will add increased depth and breadth to the synthesis of critical thinking, analysis, research writing and evaluation regarding strategy, leadership decision-making and related organizational innovations and competitive advantages. Students will develop a key deliverable that involves a research proposal in these fields by conducting substantive research into the literature developed by others.
MGMT 865 - ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS (4)
This course addresses a multi-prong approach to manage, lead and assess overall organizational performance in achieving tactical and strategic goals. Metrics including: shareholder value, the balanced scorecard, risk management, system alignment, human resource management, and organizational learning are addressed in this course. Also the application of research on organizational performance theories are incorporated in the course.
MGMT 870 - ETHICS & SOCIAL RESPONSBILITY (4)
This course focuses on the evaluation and analysis of key ethical decision-making theories and constructs and their direct application and integration in 21st century organizational practices. The role of corporate social responsibility will be explored by assessing the role of organizational leaders and stakeholders with improving the quality of life for individuals and the community.
MGMT 875 - CHANGE MANAGEMENT & ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (4)
This course focuses on research and evaluation of the key theoretical concepts and practices central to the leading of organizational change initiatives. Students will evaluate real-world situations, cases and scenarios in order to recommend and justify theoretically-based change management practices to ensure ongoing organizational acceptance and effectiveness of these programs. Students will conduct scholarly research to explore, evaluate and interpret
Electives (12 hours)

Select 12 hours from the following:

  • Any management course not used in the Major area
  • Any DHA course
  • Any DPS course
Dissertation Requirements (10 hours)
GRAD 901 - COMPREHENSIVE EXAM (1)
This course is designed for students to prepare and complete their comprehensive exam. Remedial strategies and actions will also be provided for students who do not successfully pass their comprehensive exam on the first attempt.
GRAD 902 - DISSERTATION I (3)
In Dissertation I, doctoral candidates will complete their dissertation prospectus for approval from their dissertation committee and prepare IRB documentation for their dissertation research. The emphasis in this course is to complete drafts of chapters one, two, and three of the dissertation, with chapter three advanced to point of sufficient detail for the IRB submission.
GRAD 903 - DISSERTATION II (3)
In Dissertation II, doctoral candidates will finalize chapters one and two of the dissertation. Candidates will also collect data upon receiving IRB approval.
GRAD 904 - DISSERTATION III (3)
In Dissertation III, doctoral candidates will complete chapters four and five and of the dissertation and make any revision necessary to the first three chapters. Students are required to defend their dissertation orally by the end of this course.
GRAD 999 - STUDY CONTINUATION (3)
This course is for the doctoral student to remain continuously registered once he or she has begun the course study. This may be while the student needs to take a one-term break from studies, time for the remainder of the term to prepare for a re-take of the comprehensive exam or a continuation of dissertation work beyond the program's scheduled three semesters of study.

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Program Details

Career Opportunities

Professor

Professors primarily plan curriculum, conduct original research, and teach and test students, helping expand their knowledge within a particular subject matter or discipline.

Analyst

Analysts assess strengths, weaknesses and opportunities, recommending improvements and solutions to help organizations enhance performance and competitive advantage.

Consultant

Consultants are paid experts who assess a particular problem, challenge or opportunity and provide strategic recommendations for action.

Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs are innovative business practitioners who strategically lead an organization to success and profitability.

Executive

Executives are responsible for oversight of an organization, including determining and/or implementing initiatives and leading senior management.

Human Resources Specialist

Human Resources Specialists source, recruit, and interview prospective employees; support implementation of human resources programs, and mediate employee issues.

Manager

Managers oversee business, department or division operations, including managing staff, systems, and procedures to ensure optimal performance.

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