DBA vs. PhD

The DBA and PhD are different degrees, intended for different types of students.

The Executive DBA is the more business-applicable degree, designed for experienced professionals who want to influence the future of business as consultants and professors, while continuing to work full-time. The PhD in Business Administration is a full-time, research-oriented program designed to prepare graduates for academic teaching and research careers.

The two programs each have a unique research focus, as well.

The table below compares the two programs.

                                          Doctor in Business Administration at UNC Charlotte Ph.D in Business Administration in full-time programs

Program length and structure

3 years, with five Charlotte residencies per semester for the first two years 4-7 years, full-time, year-round
Profile Experienced professionals who want to open doors into consulting and teaching, by examining relevant business problems Individuals who want to prepare themselves for a research career in academia
Previous work experience At least 5 years of professional experience No business experience required, most often only academic requirements
Previous education Should have an MBA or relevant master’s A bachelor’s is sufficient, but a master's is often required
Curricular emphasis Core courses cover multiple business disciplines, business theory and research methodology. Program concludes with a dissertation. Core courses cover one business discipline, business theory and research methodology. Program concludes with a dissertation.
Degree Awarded Doctor of Business Administration Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration