Doctor of Business Administration: How To Find And Apply For The Right Program

Raveena Godhia

A DBA or Doctorate in Business Administration is a post-graduate professional degree in business administration, generally taking 3-4 years to complete. It prepares individuals for lucrative careers in various fields, including academia. Over the past few years, the demand for a DBA degree has increased manifold due to its emphasis on research-based leading methodologies. 

A DBA program is an in-depth, comprehensive study of business administration, preparing individuals for leadership positions at global organizations. The core strength of this degree is that it encourages aspirants to focus on rigorous research work based on real-life business challenges. It helps boost career growth and provides hands-on research experience.

Keeping all these factors in mind, it can be safe to say that investing in a DBA degree is indeed a wise decision for individuals who aim to enhance their knowledge and skills.

Types of DBA Specializations

A Doctorate in Business Administration encompasses various sectors and domains ranging from accounting to human resources. With so many options available, it can be confusing for candidates to select a specialization that fits their needs. To help you with the same, here is a list covering some of the most common areas of specialization in a DBA program that you will find at most institutions.


This specialization offered under a DBA program allows individuals to enhance their knowledge of managerial accounting methods, which are crucial, especially to elevating a particular organization’s competitive position. It also considers other topics of interest, such as principles and theories of managerial decision-making, employee performance evaluation from both global and domestic perspectives, and corporate governance, among others.


Another very common specialization offered under a DBA program includes finance. It comprises important topics such as Capital Asset Pricing Model, multinational concepts, and option pricing, among others. With this course, candidates can explore different finance tools such as capital budgeting and structure, working capital management, and valuation, all of which help an organization maximize its value.

Health Care Management

Healthcare management includes all the different stages in the public and private policy development process, their importance, and their effect on delivery systems. Candidates get to hone their core business skills, which might include how to apply managerial decision-making skills to policy and economics of the healthcare field.

Human Resource Management 

Human Resource Management is yet another potential area of specialization in a DBA program, which trains students in contemporary business challenges such as succession planning, managing external strategic partnerships, and HR planning for a company’s strategic business direction. 


Last but not least, specialization in marketing, one of the most popular concentrations, allows candidates to learn all the skills and knowledge required to thrive in an international marketplace. Aspirants gain knowledge on essential topics such as market segmentation, market channels, integrated marketing, product development, and consumer behavior, among others, to implement effective marketing strategies.

The concentrations mentioned above are only some of the many specializations offered by a DBA program. Various other fields, such as project management, entrepreneurship, and information system management, among others, can be explored with a degree in DBA. 

Finding The Right DBA Program

The following list contains tips and tricks one needs to know while applying for a DBA program.

Conduct Thorough Research 

Multiple universities or institutes worldwide offer DBA programs for working professionals. Each comes with its own set of curriculum and specifications. As an aspirant, the responsibility of selecting the right institute that fits your needs lies on your shoulders. Look for the various advantages they are willing to offer, as well as the scholarship opportunities available. Additionally, you can also check out testimonials or reviews of DBA graduates from that particular institute. 

Keep an Open Mind

While choosing the right DBA program, it is also crucial for aspirants to keep an open mind for the same. They should always be willing to adapt to a futuristic approach, especially in this dynamic environment. Furthermore, factors such as industry trends, the latest global developments, and evolving demands also play an equally important role. 

Duration and Format

Chalk out the amount of time you are willing to invest in DBA. Most DBA programs usually take an average of 3-4 years to complete. However, if you are a full-time working individual, going for a part-time DBA or an online DBA course is the right decision. 

Although these programs take much longer to complete, they provide candidates with enough convenience and flexibility to strike a balance between their professional and personal lives. Researchers indicate that only 56.6% of students who embark on the journey to begin their doctoral program are able to complete the same within ten years.

Applying For A DBA Program

Each business school has its own set of rules and regulations when it comes to the application process for DBA programs. It usually starts once you have completed the whole process and paid the specified amount of the application fee. You will be required to fill in your personal information, such as contact details, education, and work experience. Additionally, some schools might also require professional references at this stage. 

Once you have completed the first step of your application process, you will most likely be called for an interview. The main purpose of this interview is to test your communication and critical thinking abilities; therefore, prepare accordingly. There might also be a few additional steps, such as the authorities might ask you for an on-site campus visit so that they can interact with you face-to-face. 

Mentioned below are some important key points every aspirant needs to remember while applying for a DBA program. 

Establish An Impactful Statement of Purpose 

Statement of Purpose, commonly referred to as a letter of intent, refers to a written application containing all your goals, objectives, and the driving force for pursuing a particular specialization. However, while doing so, it is important to ensure that your area of focus should be in sync with your professional career path and your interests. 

Explore Scholarship Opportunities

DBA can be quite expensive, especially for candidates who do not have a stable source of income. The best way to deal with such scenarios is by applying for programs that offer scholarship opportunities to their students. Various reputable institutions and business schools provide these benefits to aspiring candidates. 

Find the Right Supervisor/Mentor

Finding a suitable mentor or supervisor for your doctorate program is necessary, if not more. They are the ones who will be responsible for guiding you through every step of your academic journey, helping you with your shortcomings, and ultimately motivate you to deliver your best. Therefore, it is paramount that you invest a good amount of time and effort in finding such a person and obtaining their approval to provide you with the necessary guidance in your work. 


With this, we come to an end of how to find and apply your choice of DBA program successfully. While all the tips and tricks mentioned above do play a crucial role in helping you apply for the right program, the ultimate thing that matters, in the end, is your motivation. A DBA degree can be very hard to accomplish if you are not motivated enough.

DBA is quite a rigorous program and requires a lot of time and effort on behalf of the aspirants. However, that being said, it is always extremely rewarding and considered to be highly valuable by some of the top companies worldwide. 

If you’re hoping to find the right DBA program, a Doctor of Business Administration offered by Golden Gate University, in collaboration with upGrad, can be an exceptional choice!

This 36 months duration program offers five concentrations to aspirants: finance, business, and data analytics, logistics and supply chain management, marketing, and leadership and strategy. Alongside this, you also get to enjoy numerous benefits, such as a live and interactive faculty, 24*7 student support, industry-specific sessions, 1:1 interactive sessions with your supervisors, and more!

Enroll now, and kick start your journey with GGU!


Q1: What are the four essential skills required to become a successful DBA student?

The top four essential skills required to ace your DBA program include curiosity, focus, dedication, and writing ability. If you are not curious enough, you will most likely struggle with advanced courses that dive deep into complex issues. Simultaneously, candidates are also expected to display high focus and dedication to their studies since they will be required to concentrate for significant periods of time to gain advanced knowledge and expertise in their chosen field. 

Q2: Is a DBA lower than a PhD?

No, a DBA is equivalent to a PhD, although these qualifications have a few fundamental differences. Contrary to a PhD, which focuses entirely on independent academic research, a DBA incorporates practical learning and training in its curriculum. It prepares individuals with the necessary skills required to land leadership positions in an organization.

Q3: Is earning a DBA degree easy?

No, a DBA program can be quite rigorous, as it involves a lot of research and practical work on behalf of the students. Aspirants are required to work in qualitative and quantitative research methods and current business theories, encompassing areas such as leadership and global change. Furthermore, they are also required to write a dissertation in order to seek solutions for the latest practical problems haunting the business world.


By clicking on submit, I allow the admissions team to share program details and contact me on Email/ SMS/ Phone


Read on for other articles that we think might interest you.

  • All
  • DBA
  • GGU
  • LL.M.
  • MBA