Best Online Ph.D. Programs in Business

Getting a Ph.D. in business is a big step toward enhancing your career opportunities. Whether you’d like to improve your own business or want to expand your horizons to get high-level positions with industry-leading companies, a Ph.D. can be the key step to success.

By exploring top business Ph.D. programs online, you can find excellent education options that can help you maintain a work-life balance. From higher salary potential to extra skills and knowledge, an online Ph.D. business program can have a wide variety of benefits.

Attending top business courses and meeting your education goals without the need to relocate is an excellent opportunity. By choosing the best program for your needs, you can get a Ph.D. in business without leaving the comfort of your own home or giving up your day job.

Let’s take a closer look at top online Ph.D. business programs and how to choose the best one for yourself.

Benefits of Online Ph.D. Business Programs

While many people prefer to get their education in the traditional offline format, online Ph.D. business programs are gaining popularity quickly. The key benefits of getting your Ph.D. online include:


Many people who are preparing to get their Ph.D. in business are already busy with many other tasks, including work. They rarely have the time to dedicate mornings and afternoons to studying.

One of the ways to add flexibility to the education process is to study online. Online programs can give you an opportunity to study at the hours you prefer instead of following a strict offline class schedule.

When you choose an online program, you can build your schedule the way you want to. This way you can maximize productivity without having to abandon your everyday tasks.

Wider Choice

When you choose offline education, you are generally limited to places where you are willing to relocate. For many people, who plan to get a Ph.D., relocation to another state can be complicated and expensive.

By choosing to get your Ph.D. in business online, you can browse a wider choice of educational institutions. It’s an opportunity to find the ideal program for your needs without moving to another location to get the education you want.

Lower Costs

Many people mistakenly believe that tuition for getting an education online is lower than offline education costs. In reality, any given university demands the same amount for online and offline programs.

However, by choosing to study online, you can save money on relocation, transportation, food, housing, and many other additional expenses that come with getting an offline education,

In the end, you are likely to pay less for an online degree than you would for an offline Ph.D. in business.

Types of Online Ph.D. Business Programs

When choosing a program for your needs, you have to identify the direction of your studies. The common types of Ph.D. business programs online include:

Accounting and Finance

The most common specialization that people pursue when deciding to get an online Ph.D. in business is accounting. Accounting involves in-depth knowledge of the tax system and auditing techniques.

Doctors of business administration can become top-level accountants in large corporations or government organizations.  Finance majors learn about investments and gain in-depth knowledge of mergers and acquisitions.

Organizational Leadership

Organizational leadership is a highly demanded type of education since it teaches future C-suite executives highly valuable skills, including interpersonal skills, management skills, empathy, creativity, and much more.

Students who get a doctorate degree in organizational leadership can become chief executive officers (CEO), chief operating officers (COO), and chief administrative officers (CAO).


Getting a doctorate degree in business can involve learning different aspects of marketing that are the driving force behind business success. These programs prepare students for top-level research and consulting positions in corporations. DBAs in marketing can also fill teaching positions in academic institutions.

​Accreditation for Online Ph.D. Programs in Business

If you want your doctorate degree to help you meet your boldest career goals, you need to make sure that the school you choose has proper accreditation. Each of the schools that offer high-quality programs in business has to be accredited by a specific organization.

Accreditation is an indication that the school meets specific educational standards. You can usually find this information on the college’s or university’s website. If it’s not readily available, this could raise a red flag.

Even if you don’t need this doctorate degree to advance your career but only plan to use it for your own business, accreditation still matters. It demonstrates the quality of the knowledge you get at the school and compliance with education regulations.

Besides regular school accreditation, educational institutions that offer Ph.D. programs in business can have additional certificates. Reputable business schools have programmatic accreditation. This is granted by:

This type of accreditation can demonstrate top education quality aimed at helping you advance in your career. Accredited schools have met rigorous standards and demonstrated their devotion to improving the quality of their business programs.

Admission Requirements for an Online Ph.D. in Business

Admission requirements for an online Ph.D. in business can vary from school to school. Typical requirements from the admission committee include:

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration and related fields. If your degree is in a field that isn’t related to business, you can still be accepted based on other criteria and achievements. Keep in mind that the degree should be from a properly accredited school.
  • Transcripts from colleges and universities you attended (official copies)
  • GPA (usually at least 3.0, however, some universities are willing to accept candidates with lower averages)
  • Standardized test scores GRE or GMAT (usually less than five years old)
  • Resume or CV
  • Letters of references (the number of letters can differ. Many universities ask for at least three)
  • Statement of purpose that includes your plans and reasons for pursuing a doctorate degree in business

Your resume and statement of purpose can make up for a low GPA and the absence of a relevant degree. When it comes to accepting a student into an online Ph.D. program, admissions committees can be flexible. If you can prove that you can be a valuable asset to the program, it’s always possible to get accepted without fulfilling general requirements.

How Long Does Getting an Online Ph.D. in Business Take?

Online Ph.D. programs in business usually take three to five years to complete. You can research universities that offer expedited learning opportunities.  With them, it’s possible to complete a program within three years. However, such programs require long hours of studying and could be hard to complete if you have a day job. In fact, some universities prohibit Ph.D. students in expedited programs to work since it prevents them from completing their studies.

It’s not uncommon for students to complete Ph.D. programs in six, eight, or even twelve years. This usually happens because people are busy with other responsibilities and can’t dedicate sufficient time to studying.

When choosing the Ph.D. program, take the time to find out how long it took the alumni to complete their studies. This could give you an idea of what to expect.

Career Paths with an Online Ph.D. in Business

Once you complete your Ph.D. business program online, you can choose from a variety of career paths. Some of them include:

  • Business consultant (also management consultant or management analyst) – reviews data about organization operations and provides advice to improve the bottom line.
  • C-suit executive (COO, CAO, CEO)- oversees major aspects of company operations, including employment, budgeting, growth, and development.
  • Economist – studies data and trends relevant to the economic landscape and performs statistical analysis for companies or organizations, including the government.
  • University faculty – teaches classes in colleges or universities and shares knowledge in management, business practices, and ethical leadership.

If you have your own business, getting an online Ph.D. in business can help you move your business forward and become an industry leader.

Best Online Ph.D. Programs in Business

If you are planning to become a Doctor of Business Administration, you can take a closer look at these online programs. All of them are designed specifically to cater to busy students who are looking to maintain a work-life balance while still getting the education they need.

Concordia University Chicago

Located in Chicago, this branch of Concordia University has a variety of doctorate programs.  You can complete the entire program online without having to come for offline practice or lectures.

The college offers an innovative doctorate program in business administration that you can complete in just three years. After completing this program, students excel in critical thinking, rigorous business research, understanding of global business trends, designing new business solutions, and much more.

The admission requirements include:

  • Master’s degree in business or related field
  • GPA – 3.0
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume
  • Writing sample
  • Letters of recommendations
  • Recent GRE or Miller Analogies Test scores

This university is accredited by Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Franklin University

Located in Columbus, Ohio, Franklin University has a robust doctorate program in business administration. In this school, you can become a DBA in just three years. However, it would require dedicated studies that may not be compatible with full-time work.

This program teaches you how to become a business leader and prepares students for C-suite executive roles. You will learn about organizational leadership, hone strategic thinking, and improve your decision-making skills.

The admission requirements include:

  • Master’s degree in business or related field
  • GPA of at least 3.0
  • Letters of recommendaitons
  • Resume of CV

The university allows students with a GPA lower than 3.0 to submit an additional essay with the goal of convincing the admissions committee of the benefits of accepting them into the program.

The university is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Liberty University

Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University has a highly recommended doctor in business administration program that prepares thought leaders.

By choosing this 100% online program, students receive top-notch training in marketing, HR, and management. A degree from this university can become a driving force behind a C-suite executive, accountant,  or economist career. You can choose from a variety of specializations to suit your professional goals and interests.

Admission requirements include:

  • Master’s degree in business or related field
  • GPA of 3.0 and above
  • Official college transcript
  • English language proficiency tests (for students whose native language isn’t English)

This university is accredited by Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

University of North Carolina Greensboro

Located in Greensboro, North Carolina, UNC Greensboro has a renowned online doctor in the business administration program. The program prepares you for an academic career at a university.

You will study research methodologies, receive an in-depth understanding of relevant scholarly literature, and get sufficient knowledge to become a valuable asset to any university or research facility.  Students can select a specialization in international business, strategy, or organizational behavior.

Admission requirements include:

  • Master’s degree in business or related field
  • Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Recent GMAT or GRE scores
  • English language proficiency tests (for students whose native language isn’t English)

The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

California Baptist University

Located in Riverside, California, California Baptist University offers an excellent doctorate in business administration program that is 100% online. You can complete the program in three years (including dissertation).

You will learn how to conduct relevant and applied research, solve business problems, follow the latest business trends, create and execute actionable plans, and much more.

Admission requirements include:

  • Master’s degree in business or related field
  • Official transcripts
  • GPA of at least 3.0

Students with a GPA lower than 3.0 can write an essay that tells the admissions committee why they chose the program and how it can benefit their career goals.

The university is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

Choosing the Best Online Ph.D. Program in Business

If you are ready to get a doctorate degree in business administration, consider getting it online. Online studies provide numerous opportunities for students who don’t have time or resources to accommodate offline studies.

By choosing an accredited university with a robust DBA program, you can advance your career, improve your business, and achieve the boldest professional goals.

Online PhD Programs in Business FAQs

What criteria should I consider when choosing an online Ph.D. program in business?

When choosing an online Ph.D. program, consider the university’s accreditation, faculty credentials, the curriculum’s alignment with your career goals, tuition fees, program format, and student support services.

How can I prepare for a successful application to an online Ph.D. program in business?

To prepare for a successful application, ensure you meet all the program’s prerequisites, gather your documents (transcripts, letters of recommendation, test scores), and spend time crafting a compelling statement of purpose.

How difficult is a Ph.D. in business?

A Ph.D. in business is certainly a challenging endeavor, as it requires dedication, in-depth research, and advanced understanding of complex business concepts. However, it’s important to remember that challenge and growth go hand in hand. This rigorous journey enables you to refine your critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and leadership skills.