Doctor of Business Administration

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What is the focus of the DBA Program?

The purpose and mission statement of the proposed DBA degree program is to create practitioner-scholars who are able to make original contributions to the advancement of business research and practice.  In support of the DBA mission statement, the program objectives are to create graduates who will (a) develop innovative principles and practices in business operations and management; (b) conduct original and applied research for solving problems, making decisions, and communicating results; (c) use technology efficiently and effectively to achieve organizational and professional goals; (d) employ ethical leadership to solve domestic and global social issues; and (e) communicate appropriately in diverse environments by aligning audience, medium, and message. 

Q.  What kind of opportunities is there for someone who completes a DBA?

A recent informal survey of university common data sets revealed that there are approximately 1,500 full-time academic faculty jobs in Bexar County. Logically, perhaps only 10-15% of those jobs are in business schools. Historic growth in population in Bexar County and south Texas, including post-secondary and post graduate education enrollment, is expected to continue.

Although holders of the DBA degree are not barred from seeking employment in academia, the thrust of the program is to prepare practitioner-scholars to work in and lead business, government, and non-profit research efforts. Candidates, who come to the program with a graduate degree and management experience, generally will use their DBA to enhance their existing careers. Many currently work in management and management consulting roles, and will find their research and scholarship skills useful in human resources, marketing and market research, econometrics and financial analysis, and other areas. Growth in these areas is expected to continue (Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition).

Q.  What is the difference between a DBA and a PhD?

A PhD is typically considered a research degree for individuals interested in a career in academia and research that contributes to business knowledge or theory. A DBA is a often categorized as a professional degree with a focus on theoretical knowledge and its use in business practice.  Essentially, a PhD candidate is focused on making a contribution to scholarship and a DBA candidate is focused on making a contribution to the practice of management and a difference in the industry. The DBA is a professional doctorate that can be used to indicate a practitioner’s level of expertise in their chosen fields.

The HEB School of Business and Administration Doctor of Business Administration draws on the best of both degrees.  It has a heavy emphasis in research based learning with extensive research skill building components.  All students are required to perform applied research techniques to develop their competencies as practitioners.

Q.  How many credit hours are required to complete the DBA?

To qualify for the degree, the student must:

  • Complete a minimum of 90 semester hours, beyond the baccalaureate degree, including at least 9 hours of dissertation writing or three publishable papers.
  • Complete a residency requirement consistent with UIW policy; no less than 45 hours, including the dissertation, must be taken from UIW.
  • Successfully complete the course of study as specified in the degree plan, including the dissertation or three publishable papers, within a 10 year period.
  • Pass a Qualifying Examination which may have both written and oral components, designed and administered by the student’s Qualifying Committee.
  • Successfully defend a practitioner-scholar record of research (dissertation or three publications) as directed and approved by the Dissertation Committee or Publication Supervisor(s).

Q.  What are the admission requirements for the DBA?

The applicant for the DBA program must satisfy the general requirements for admission to graduate study at UIW and the following specific requirements:

  • Completion of the Graduate Application for Admission with application fee.
  • Official GRE or GMAT scores sent from the Educational Testing Service to the Admissions Office (test should have been completed within the past five years).
  • Official copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts of work completed to date
  • Completion of a minimum of 30 graduate degree credits (semester-based) beyond the undergraduate degree in the foundational areas of accounting, economics, finance, marketing, statistics, and management. Up to 45 graduate credit hours beyond the undergraduate degree may be applied toward completion of the Doctor of Business Administration at the discretion of the Program Admissions Committee.
  • Purpose statement explaining qualifications and fit for the DBA program.
  • A minimum of two years of full-time professional employment and meaningful management experience within the past five years, subject to approval by the Program Admissions Committee.
  • Three letters of recommendation, of which at least two must be from academic sources attesting to the applicant’s potential for doctoral study, interests and goals.
  • Certification of English proficiency (minimum 550 on TOEFL, or equivalent) or a minimum of level 12 successful completion in ELS.
  • Interview with Program Admissions Committee for the Doctor of Business Administration program, which includes a writing assessment.
Q.  How do I apply for the DBA program?

You can access the Apply Online link here. Follow the steps to create a login identity and then select the DBA program.

Q.  What is the deadline for application?

All applications, including supporting documents, should be submitted by February 1 of each year.

Q.  How long does it take before I find out if I am accepted?

The DBA Program Admissions Committee reviews all completed applications each Spring.  Candidates who meet the eligibility requirements are asked to participate in a Writing Test and interviews with the Admissions Committee members.  Decisions are made no later than May each year.

Q.   If I am accepted, how soon can I begin taking classes?

All cohort groups begin in the Fall semester and follow a sequenced set of course offerings.

Q.   When and how are the DBA courses taught?

All DBA courses are offered in the evening or on weekends and have a blended delivery format combining face-to-face and technology to deliver a robust curriculum.  UIW plans to increase the utilization of alternative delivery methods, including synchronous and asynchronous only delivery, and blended classes that save physical space and serve the needs of distance students, in addition to our traditional technology enhanced on ground delivery. UIW is a laptop university with three major goals: to put standardized technology in the hands of UIW students; to embed technology into the UIW learning experience; and to give students the required technological skills for success after graduation. The main campus is wireless, enabling learning to occur regardless of time or location. Blackboard is the on-line course management system. All courses in the existing graduate business programs use Blackboard as an adjunct or supplement to classroom teaching.

Q.   Can credit hours beyond the Master’s degree be transferred in as credit toward the 66 required degree credits?

Yes, up to 12 credit hours beyond the Master's degree may be eligible for transfer toward DBA degree requirements.

Q.   What subjects does the DBA curriculum cover?

The DBA degree is comprised of core courses, required courses, and a focus area. 

  • The core courses (24 credit hours) include:
    • Strategic Planning & Organizational Systems Analysis
    • Advanced Quantitative Research & Analysis
    • Qualitative Research
    • Writing for Publication & Presentation
    • Survey Design, Development & Deployment
    • Econometrics
    • Advanced Research Analytics
    • Technology Applications & Innovations in Business
  • The required courses (18 credit hours) include:
    • Advanced Managerial Economics
    • Financial Statement Analytics
    • Global Trade & Investment (2-week study-abroad experience)
    • Sustainability & Ethics in Business
    • Advanced Marketing Management
    • Constructing Research Design
  • Focus Area – 9 credit hours of the student’s choice in advanced graduate coursework
  • Dissertation/Publications (minimum 9 credit hours)
Q.   Is there a qualifying or comprehensive exam?

Yes.  The qualifying exam must be successfully completed after all coursework in order for the student to be approved to begin the dissertation/publication process.

Q.   When do I achieve ABD (all but dissertation) status?

A student is admitted to candidacy and is considered ABD status once the coursework and qualifying exam are successfully completed and the supervising committee has approved the dissertation/publications proposal.

Q.   What makes the DBA program unique?

DBA students begin applying research skills in the first semester, writing a mini-dissertation and becoming IRB certified.  The second semester, each DBA student partners with a faculty member and writes and submits an article for publication.  Using this skills-based approach, students develop the appropriate research skills early in the program, preparing them to contribute robust recommendations through their final dissertation/publication work.  Additionally, to reinforce the global nature of business in the doctoral curriculum, each cohort participates in a 2-week study abroad experience outside of the U.S. during which they visit businesses, government, and academic organizations to learn and appreciate the cultural impacts of decision-making in business.

Q.   What is the tuition per credit hour for the DBA degree?

As of Fall, 2014, doctoral tuition is $840 per credit hour. Click here for Tuition and Fee Information.

Q.    What scholarship, work study, or fellowship opportunities are available to DBA students?

While there may be external scholarship or fellowship funds available, UIW does not currently offer any form of tuition discounts for doctoral tuition.

Q.   How long does it take to complete the DBA degree?

The program is based on a cohort model, with new cohorts beginning in the Fall semester of each academic year.  The curriculum is designed to enable students to take up to 9 credit hours per semester, allowing for completion of all coursework in 2 years and 1 semester.  The dissertation/publication work (minimum of 9 credit hours) is self-paced and based upon student rate of progress.



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