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Best Doctorates in Business Administration: Top PhD Programs, Career Paths, and Salaries

Elvis Gwaro - June 19, 2022

Many professionals are looking for ways to stand out amongst their peers and secure employment in today’s competitive job market. One strategy to make yourself a highly attractive candidate to employers is to advance your education. This article discusses the best PhDs in Business Administration so you can land one of the best business administration jobs.

You’ll discover the ten best programs in the United States to earn a PhD in Business Administration, including online programs accessible anywhere in the world. You’ll also learn about some of the best business administration jobs, their salaries, and job outlooks. Finally, you’ll learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about what it’s like to get a business administration PhD.

What Is a PhD in Business Administration?

A PhD in business administration is a research-based degree that trains doctoral students to contribute to the field of business education by studying and testing business theory. Students in doctorate business administration programs conduct research and use theory to solve problems in the business world. A PhD degree is a terminal degree, meaning it is the highest achievable degree in the field of study. It is typically awarded to a university professor who conducts research that contributes to an institution’s academic resources.

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How to Get Into a Business Administration PhD Program: Admission Requirements

The most important requirements for acceptance into a business administration PhD program is usually a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA),or in some cases an undergraduate degree. Professional experience is also sometimes required, depending on the institution. Some programs may have additional admission requirements such as proof of English proficiency for international students.

Doctoral degree in business administration programs require proof of excellence in preceding levels of education. For instance, a minimum 3.0 GPA is necessary for admission to most programs. You’ll also need to provide relevant documentation including transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose.

PhD in Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • Graduate Application for Admission
  • Official transcripts from previous institutions
  • GMAT or GRE Scores
  • Official proof of degree(s) from previous institution(s)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students

Business Administration PhD Acceptance Rates: How Hard Is It to Get Into a PhD Program in Business Administration?

It is very hard to get into a PhD program in business administration because most institutions only admit at most 5 candidates per year. These limited slots are dependent on funding and make programs very competitive.

To get into a PhD program, a student should have a high GPA, high scores in standardized tests, a lot of research experience, a business background, and a compelling statement of purpose expressing intent to conduct research that will be beneficial to the university.

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Best PhDs in Business Administration: In Brief

School Program Online Option
Arizona State University PhD in Business Administration No
Drexel University Doctorate in Business Administration Yes
Duke University PhD in Business Administration No
Fordham University PhD in Business No
George Washington University Doctor of Philosophy Business Administration No
Harvard University PhD in Business Administration No
Oregon State University PhD in Business Administration No
Syracuse University PhD in Business No
University of Maryland Global Campus Doctor of Business Administration Yes
University of Washington PhD in Business Administration No

Best Universities for Business Administration PhDs: Where to Get a PhD in Business Administration

If you’re wondering where to get a PhD in business administration, we have compiled an in-depth list of possibilities. The following list of the best universities for business administration PhDs are known for their high standard of academic excellence as well as their accomplished faculty members and cutting-edge resources. Let’s dive in.


Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ

Founded in 1885, Arizona State is a public research institution with one of the largest enrollments in the country. The Graduate College offers over 400 degree options in business, engineering, and technology, among other fields. The world-renowned W.P Carey Business School offers a doctoral business program with many areas of specialization.

PhD in Business Administration

Arizona State University’s PhD in Business Administration with a concentration in management  is designed to give scholars the tools to assume diverse roles at leading research institutions. There is an emphasis on developing research and teaching skills. It is a two-part program, with a 12 credit hour foundational requirement and a minimum 30 credit hour advanced requirement.

PhD in Business Administration Overview

  • Program Length: 5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: Approximately 5% to 10%
  • Tuition and Fees: $32,632/year (in-state); $44,456/year (out-state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Fellowships, awards, employment, work-study, grants, and scholarships

PhD in Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • 3.0-4.00 grade point average in the last 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of undergraduate coursework
  • Graduate admission application
  • Non-refundable application fee
  • Official transcripts
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for non-native English speakers
  • GMAT or GRE scores
  • Official degree certificate for some countries


Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University is a private research institution. A large urban university, it currently has over 24,000 students in more than 70 undergraduate and more than 120 postgraduate programs. LeBow College of Business offers two PhDs: business and economics.

Doctorate in Business Administration

Drexel’s Doctorate in Business Administration offers senior managers training in scientific methodology that will prepare them to tackle complex industry challenges and academic careers. It makes use of Drexel’s 120 years of experiential learning to provide a solid foundation in applied research and analysis. Students are required to complete a minimum of 60 credits within a period of two and a half years (10 consecutive quarters) for the DBA degree.

Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) Overview

  • Program Length: 2.5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $2,000/credit hour
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Assistantships, Fellowships, Awards

Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) Admission Requirements

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate coursework and minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale for graduate-level coursework
  • Official transcripts
  • Standardized Tests Score GMAT/GRE
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for non-native English speakers
  • Statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation


Duke University

Durham, NC

Duke University is a highly competitive private research institution. It’s ranked among the top universities in the world with an acceptance rate of 5.7 percent and offers one of the best PhDs in Business Administration. Duke’s current enrollment is approximately 17,000 students with around 10,000 postgraduates.

PhD Program in Business Administration

Duke’s PhD in Business Administration offered by the Fuqua School of Business prepares students for academic careers at leading educational institutions and business careers that require advanced analytical and research skills.

The program offers various concentration areas including accounting, marketing management, and decision sciences. To graduate, you must complete a minimum of 79 credits or 65 credits for joint degree students.

PhD Program in Business Administration Overview

  • Program Length: 5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: Approximately 2% to 8%
  • Tuition and Fees: $17,755/year, typically covered by the university
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Stipends, assistantships, tuition coverage, fee coverage, coverage of health insurance premiums, and fully funded training program appointments.

PhD Program in Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • Official transcripts
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Competitive GMAT or GRE scores
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo test scores for non-native English speakers
  • Undergraduate GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Statement of purpose


Fordham University

Bronx, NY

Fordham University is a private Jesuit institution with campuses in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Westchester. It is made up of four undergraduate and six postgraduate colleges with over 15,300 students. The Gabelli School of Business offers a flagship two-year business program in leadership and management for aspiring business leaders.

PhD in Business

Fordham’s doctoral business degree is a full-time study program that prepares students for careers in academia. It offers various fields of study including finance, management, information technology, marketing, and business law. Upon admission, you’ll select one of two interdisciplinary curriculum tracks: capital markets or strategy and decision-making.

PhD in Business Overview

  • Program Length: 5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: Funding decisions are part of the admissions process
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Tuition remission, stipends, and healthcare

PhD in Business Admission Requirements

  • Master’s in a relevant field such as economics, mathematics, finance, etc
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Minimum GMAT score of 700 or minimum GRE scores of 160 for both verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning and minimum score of 5 in analytical writing
  • Minimum TOEFL Score of 105 or minimum IELTS Score of 7.5 for non-native English speakers
  • Interview
  • Application fee of $75


George Washington University

Washington, DC

George Washington University is the largest post-secondary institution in the District of Columbia. There are currently over 11,000 undergraduate and 15,500 postgraduate students in attendance, with over 70 areas of study. Its postgraduate programs span political studies, arts, law, education, business, health, and engineering.

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration

This program prepares candidates for successful careers as scholars at top research institutions or for careers as contributors to the business community. There is a two-year pre-candidacy stage during which students complete coursework and a comprehensive examination, and one year long a dissertation defense stage. Students must complete 45 credits, 39 in the first two years and six in the final year.

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration Overview

  • Program Length: 3 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,885/credit hour
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Tuition waivers, graduate stipends or fellowships

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • Master’s degree in a related field is preferred
  • GMAT or GRE Scores
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume
  • Minimum TOEFL score of 100, minimum IELTS score of 7.0, or minimum Duolingo score of 110 for non-native English speakers
  • Application fee of $80


Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Harvard University is the oldest university in the US and a member of the prestigious Ivy League. It currently enrolls around 20,000 students, with approximately 6,000 undergraduates and 14,000 postgraduates. The Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Science offers a variety of graduate programs in a wide range of fields from health and sciences to engineering and computer science.

PhD in Business Administration

The PhD in Business Administration is offered jointly by the Harvard Business School and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The program has five areas of study: Marketing, Management, Strategy, Accounting and Technology, and Operations management. The coursework consists of a minimum of 13 doctoral-level semester courses and two MBA semester courses.

PhD in Business Administration Overview

  • Program Length: 5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 4%
  • Tuition and Fees: $52,546 full tuition
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Grants, stipends, fellowships, teaching fellowships, traineeships, research assistantships, and research funding

PhD in Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Exemplary GMAT or GRE scores
  • Resume
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum TOEFL score of 100 or minimum IELTS score of 7.5 for non-native English speakers
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Optional writing sample
  • Application fee of $105


Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR

Oregon State University is a large public university with over 32,000 students enrolled in over 200 undergraduate and postgraduate programs. The Oregon State Graduate School offers numerous programs for graduate students in disciplines such as agriculture, business, and education. The College of Business offers a business administration PhD designed to prepare students for high-level careers in business.

PhD in Business Administration

The College of Business offers a PhD in Business Administration with opportunities for collaborative research. You learn how to conduct research in management and marketing as well as in strategy and entrepreneurship. Students are required to complete at least 18 credits of courses in research methods and statistics, 32 in supporting programs, and 24 in strategy, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

PhD in Business Administration Overview

  • Program Length: 5.7 years
  • Acceptance Rate: Between approximately 13% and 17%
  • Tuition and Fees: $498/credit hour (in state); $1,046/credit hour (out of state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Scholarships and fellowships

PhD in Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • Master’s degree
  • Minimum GPA of a B average on most recent degree
  • Minimum GMAT score of 600 or equivalent GRE score. GMAT preferred.
  • Minimum TOEFL score of 91 with subscores of at least 22 on each section or minimum  IELTS score of 7 for non-native English speakers
  • Official transcripts
  • Application fee of $75 domestic students or $85 for international students
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • Letters of recommendation


Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY

Syracuse University is a competitive private school located in a mid-size city in New York State. Current enrollment is at over 21,000 students across 13 colleges. There are over 244 professional development programs with around 4,000 masters and 100 doctoral students.

PhD in Business Administration

The Whitman School of Management’s PhD in Business Administration is focused on developing teaching and research skills. Candidates learn the foundations of marketing, economics, logistics, information technology, and operations management and complete their degree by writing a dissertation. To graduate, students have to complete 72 credits, 42 in coursework, six in research, 24 earned through work on a dissertation.

PhD in Business Administration Overview

  • Program Length: 5-6 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,802/credit hour
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Tuition waiver for up to 24 credits, stipends, health insurance, research grants, and travel funding

PhD in Business Administration Admission Requirement

  • Official transcripts
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • GMAT or GRE Scores
  • Minimum TOEFL score of 100
  • Master’s degree preferred


University of Maryland Global Campus

Largo, MD

UMGC is a public university that focuses on online education across all programs and courses. It’s one of the largest distance-learning institutions in the world with an enrollment of over 90,000 online students. It has over 120 undergraduate and postgraduate programs including business administration and management. UMGC was recognized by CEO Magazine as one of the best schools to get a Doctorate of Business Administration in 2022.

Doctor of Business Administration

UMGC’s PhD in Business Administration is designed for executive-level business professionals looking to achieve their career goals. The educational experience emphasizes organizational leadership and strategic thinking that can be applied in the business world.

Students are required to complete at least 48 credits including three prerequisite course credits, 36 core course credits, and 12 dissertation credits. Students must attain at least a B grade in each course to advance to the next course.

Doctor of Business Administration Overview

  • Program Length: Average 4 years, maximum 7 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,087/credit
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Tuition assistance, scholarships, grants, federal financial aid, and military benefits

Doctor of Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • Non-refundable application fee
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume
  • Personal Statement
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Minimum TOEFL score of 79, minimum IELTS score of 6.5, or minimum EIKEN grade of Pre-1 for non-native English speakers


University of Washington

Seattle, WA

University of Washington is one of the flagship public institutions in Washington state. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, it is particularly known for its engineering, medical and scientific research. It enrolls around 50,000 students,12,000 of them in graduate degree programs.

PhD Program in Business Administration.

The Foster School of Business offers a doctorate degree designed to empower scholars to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the business field. Prospective students with professional experience who are interested in academic careers will find this program particularly useful. The program is offered on a full-time basis with seven areas of specialization: information systems, finance, and management, marketing.

PhD Program in Business Administration Overview

  • Program Length: Average 4 to 5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: Approximately 3%
  • Tuition and Fees: N/A
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Tuition waivers, teaching and research assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships

PhD Program in Business Administration Admission Requirements

  • Undergraduate and master's degrees
  • Application fee
  • Resume
  • 3 letters of recommendations
  • GMAT or GRE Scores
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for non-native English speakers
  • Statement of purpose

Can You Get a PhD in Business Administration Online?

Yes, you can get a PhD in Business Administration online by attending a high-quality institution that offers online graduate degrees. The best institutions with online business administration degrees include Drexel University, University of Maryland Global Campus, Liberty University, Florida National University, and Temple University. These institutions have the right resources to offer online doctorate degree programs that rival in-person programs.

Best Online PhD Programs in Business Administration

School Program Length
Drexel University Executive Doctorate in Business Administration 2.5 Years
Florida National University Doctor of Business Administration 2-3 years
Liberty University Doctor of Business Administration 3 Years
Temple University Business Administration PhD 3 years
University of Maryland Global Campus Doctor of Business Administration Admission Up to 7 Years

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Business Administration?

It usually takes between two and a half and seven years to complete a PhD in Business Administration, depending on the student and the program. Many of the best PhDs in Business Administration require five years of study, the first three years spent on coursework, and the last two dedicated to writing a dissertation.

However, PhDs can be completed in as little as two and a half years, as is the case at Drexel University. It’s really up to you how much time you want to dedicate to earning this advanced degree and how long it takes you to comprehend the advanced coursework.

Is a PhD in Business Administration Hard?

Yes, a PhD in business administration is hard. Because PhDs are designed to prepare students for careers in academia, courses are structured to teach research skills to scholars who then apply these skills when they choose a field of study.

Upon selection of this specialization, students focus on a topic of research that they write a dissertation on. PhD programs not only have rigorous courses, but they require intensive research and defense of this research.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a PhD in Business Administration?

On average, it costs $12,171 per year to get a PhD in Business Administration at a public university and $25,776 per year at a private university, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The best institutions offering a PhDs in Business Administration typically have costs between approximately $1,000 and $1,500 per credit hour.

Online degrees are often less expensive than on-campus or even low-residency programs. Whatever route you choose for your business administration PhD, there are various financial aid avenues that can help offset the cost of earning a PhD in Business Administration.

How to Pay for a PhD in Business Administration: PhD Funding Options

PhD funding options that students can use to pay for a PhD in Business Administration include tuition waivers, tuition assistance, teaching assistantships, research fellowships, rates and discounts, scholarships, grants, federal financial aid, and military and veterans benefits as well as interest-free monthly payment plans.

If the financial burden of education is prohibitive, you can always seek support from endowment funds available at many institutions. For instance, Harvard, Duke, Drexel, and Syracuse often fund high-achieving students pursuing PhDs.

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What Is the Difference Between a Business Administration Master’s Degree and PhD?

The difference between a business administration master’s degree and PhD lies in program design and purpose. A master’s degree program provides training for students who want to pursue a successful career as a business leader. PhD programs teach research skills that empower students to study real-world challenges and develop scientific solutions in academic careers.

Therefore, while master’s programs focus on cultivating leadership skills helpful for securing executive positions, PhDs offer research experience necessary for success in academia. Masters programs are also generally shorter than PhD programs. Masters usually require two to three years of study while PhDs take around three to five years to complete, potentially even longer.

Both degrees have minimum credit requirements for graduation, but a Master in Business Administration culminates in a thesis, while a PhD in Business Administration culminates in a dissertation. PhDs programs are also typically somewhat more rigorous as this is the terminal degree in the field.

Master’s vs PhD in Business Administration Job Outlook

The Master’s in Business Administration job outlook is good. There are many potential high-paying and interesting jobs you can get with this degree such as computer and information systems manager, medical and health services manager, and human resources manager. Professions such as management analyst and accountant also require MBAs.

The PhD in Business Administration job outlook is also great. If you want to be an executive, economist, or analyst a PhD can help you achieve your goal. Also, because of the emphasis on research and education, PhD holders are equally prepared to become post-secondary education administrators, training and development managers, and professors.

Difference in Salary for Business Administration Master’s vs PhD

The average salary of a professional with a Master’s in Business Administration is $92,000, while the average salary of a business administration PhD holder is $101,000, according to PayScale. This difference in salary can be attributed to the types of careers graduates of these different degrees are qualified for. A PhD holder is likely to have better job prospects than a master’s degree holder.

Nevertheless, the salary difference is not huge. Many companies consider candidates with master’s degrees for top executive positions in business. Research-based academic institutions prefer to hire PhD holders to spearhead research projects.

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Why You Should Get a PhD in Business Administration

You should get a PhD in business administration because it gives you the opportunity to explore your passion for business at the highest level. With a PhD, you can delve into specific areas of research in business that benefit the field at large and even potentially your own organization.

You will gain the skills and expertise to approach business with a practical mindset rather than a theoretical one. A business management PhD gives you a competitive edge when applying for executive-level corporate leadership positions because it shows you are committed to the advancement of the field.

Reasons for Getting a PhD in Business Administration

  • Better Job Opportunities. Most jobs in business and management require a degree in business or a related field. Therefore, most people entering the job market today have at least a bachelor’s degree . Master’s degrees are also becoming more common. A PhD sets you apart from other job candidates and improves your career prospects.
  • Higher Salaries. According to PayScale, a business administration PhD holder on average earns $9,000 more than a master’s degree holder. Most jobs attainable with a PhD offer higher salaries than those attainable with a master’s degree. If you want to earn more, try pursuing a PhD with a specialization like business management.
  • Achieve a rewarding career. You might be interested in an area like business ethics, corporate social responsibility, or nonprofit management. If so, pursuing a PhD in Business and specializing in an area you’re passionate about can lead to a more fulfilling career.
  • Hone your skills. A PhD in Business Administration will teach you strategies for leading people in the business world. You’ll gain special skills by tackling research projects and will be empowered to make an impact as a business leader.

Getting a PhD in Business Administration: Business Administration PhD Coursework

A group of business professionals meet in an office around a table. They all have laptops in front of them.
Getting a Doctorate in Business Administration will top off your academic career and set you up for a future as a business leader.

Getting a PhD in business administration prepares students to solve complex business challenges. So, it’s no surprise that most of the courses required deal with strategy and research. Core business administration PhD coursework covers research methods in management, strategic management, organizational behavior, business leadership, and data analytics in practice.

Research Methods in Managementment

This core course is the backbone of a business administration PhD because it lays the foundation for effective research. It involves the review and evaluation of the performance of management research strategies. It trains students to interpret both qualitative and quantitative research methods and apply business research tools when advising organizations.

Strategic Management

Strategic management teaches the analysis and implementation of strategy. Students develop strategic and systemic problem-solving skills that will help them excel as strategic leaders at top businesses and organizations. This course prepares anyone who takes it for corporate success in both the public and private sectors.

Organizational Behavior

Organizational behavior is the study of people and groups in organizations, and the role of organizations in shaping the social and economic life of a society. Subtopics you’ll learn about in this course include power and influence, leadership, organizational identity, and negotiation. Essentially, this course helps students understand how to interact with people so they can make businesses operate effectively.

Business Leadership

Business leadership is the ability to manage a company so that it achieves its goals. Being a strong leader requires decisive action when necessary, as well as the ability to inspire others to perform at their highest capacity.

Business leadership as taught in a business administration PhD context prepares students to take charge of business operations, steer employees to work efficiently, and enable organizations to meet their business goals.

Data Analytics in Practice

This course involves the review and refinement of the quantitative methods necessary for effective leadership. Doctoral candidates explore data mining and forecasting and predictive models that enable evidence-based decision-making for senior-level professionals. This course enables business professionals to give recommendations for strengthening business intelligence.

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How to Get a PhD in Business Administration: Doctoral Program Requirements

Doctoral program requirements to get a PhD in Business Administration include advancement to candidacy, coursework completion, research requirements, examination excellence, and completion of a dissertation. In addition, unless it’s an online program, scholars might be required to fulfill normal residency. Let’s find out more.


Advancement to Candidacy

Admission to a business administration PhD program does not guarantee a degree. You must prove to your department that you qualify to work on a dissertation. Most departments require you to pass a preliminary exam before attaining candidacy. This exam is typically conducted at the end of the first or second year of study.


Coursework Completion

Doctoral students have to attain a minimum number of credits to graduate with a PhD in Business Administration. Those with master's degrees often have fewer classes than those with Bachelor’s degrees. Also, since PhD candidates often pursue careers in academia, they might be required to teach undergraduate classes.


Research Requirement

PhD students start working on research projects with professors within their first two years of study. This educational stage develops research skills that are important during the next educational stage, which focuses on original research and writing. Before candidates start working on their dissertation, a committee of professors must vet their proposal.


Residency Requirement

Most research-based institutions require PhD students to work closely with university faculty and other students. This cohort model allows for the full benefit of the educational and professional opportunities available through the university. Scholars should attend classes regularly to gain experience with equipment and material, and to network with their colleagues.





defense is usually the final step in the process of getting a PhD. Doctoral students must submit a completed dissertation to a special committee for review. Only if the committee approves the dissertation does the candidate receive their PhD in Business Administration.

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PhD in Business Administration Salary and Job Outlook

PhD in Business Administration salary and job outlook is very good because holders of this PhD are eligible for important jobs with lucrative salaries. For instance, C-level executive jobs pay around $100,000 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For those who want to pursue careers in academia, salaries of DBA holders are significantly above average.

The job outlook for business administration doctorate holders is above average, which suggests an increase in job opportunities over the course of the next decade. For instance, jobs for information system managers, one of the highest-paid roles for someone with a PhD in Business Administration, will increase by eleven percent. Jobs for top business executives will grow by eight percent over the next 10 years, according to the BLS.

What Can You Do With a PhD in Business Administration?

With one of the best PhDs in Business Administration, you can pursue a career in academia as a professor of business at a leading research university. Alternatively, you can pursue a career in the private sector. If you have a passion for finding solutions to real-world business challenges, you can become an analyst.

The skills acquired through the pursuit of a PhD are applicable in every industry and discipline. So, the job opportunities you can pursue are limitless. Considering your added specialized skills and experience, you will be equipped to successfully manage most businesses. If you choose to start a business, you’ll have the know-how to ensure it thrives. The job market is your oyster.

Best Jobs with a PhD in Business Administration

  • C-Level executive
  • Professor
  • Research analyst
  • Business consultant
  • Economist
  • Entrepreneur

What Is the Average Salary for a PhD in Business Administration?

The average PhD in Business Administration salary is $101,000 per year according to PayScale . On the upper end, information systems managers with PhDs earn around $160,000 per year, while on the lower end, university professors take home around $80,000 per year. The salary of a business administration PhD holder also depends on many other factors including industry, company, experience, and more.

Highest-Paying Business Administration Jobs for PhD Grads

Business Administration PhD Jobs Average Salary
Information Systems Manager $159,010
Financial Manager $131,710
Human Resources Director $126,230
Business Economist $105,630
Top Executive $98,980

Best Business Administration Jobs with a Doctorate

The best business administration jobs with a doctorate include information systems manager, financial manager, human resources director, business economist, and top executive. All these jobs guarantee a lucrative professional career. These positions also offer an array of challenges and opportunities to learn, ensuring you’ll never be bored at your job.


Information Systems Manager

PhD Salary: $159,010

An information system manager, also known as an IT manager, is the person responsible for the effective operation and security of all computer systems, hardware, and software used by a business. IT managers analyze an entity’s computer needs, recommend upgrades, install and maintain hardware, and ensure the security of a business’ data.


Financial Manager

PhD Salary: $131,710

Financial managers ensure the financial health of a business or an organization. Primarily, they create financial reports, manage investments, and develop plans for a business to achieve its long-term financial goals. Other duties include monitoring financial details to ensure compliance with legal requirements, supervising staff, and analyzing market trends to find expansion opportunities.


Human Resources Director

PhD Salary: $126,230

A human resource director is a senior HR professional responsible for executive decisions pertaining to policies, strategies, and practices. Primarily, they direct administrative functions in a business or organization. Other duties include acting as the link between management and employees and overseeing recruitment.


Business Economist

PhD Salary: $105,630

Business economists provide analysis for businesses, organizations, and governments to make optimal financial decisions. They collect and analyze data and evaluate economic issues to stay informed. Their other responsibilities include presenting research data, recommending solutions to economic problems, and writing articles for journals and publications.


Top Executive

PhD Salary: $98,980

Top executives are also known as C-level executives. They are responsible for making major decisions that impact the growth and success of a business or organization. They include the CEO (Chief Executive Office), CFO (Chief Financial Officer), COO (Chief Operating Office), and CIO (Chief Information Officer). Top executives execute departmental goals, procedures, and policies and oversee an organization’s activities and negotiate contracts.

Is a PhD in Business Administration Worth It?

Yes, a PhD in Business Administration is worth it. It can make a significant improvement in your salary potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, PhD professionals across all industries make on average $110,160 annually while master’s graduates earn $76,800 and bachelor’s graduates make $78,020. This means a PhD can add $32,000 to your salary annually.

Secondly, a PhD in Business Administration gives you the opportunity to pursue more than just a career. As a PhD program graduate, you will become instrumental in finding solutions to business problems. Because of this advanced skill, you will be able to pursue a fulfilling career and take advantage of any opportunities that come your way.

Additional Reading About Business Administration

If you want a career in business, you can't really go wrong with attending a business administration course or a related degree program.

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Read this list to learn which business administration schools will put you on the fast track to your dream career.

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The best online business administration bachelor's degrees are ideal for working professionals who want to level-up their career without losing their job.

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PhD in Business Administration FAQ

Is a Doctor of Business Administration the same as a PhD?

No, a Doctor of Business Administration is not the same as a PhD, but they are only slightly different. A Doctor of Business Administration is more focused on theory, and is aimed toward teaching skills most relevant in practice of business. A PhD is a more research-oriented program. There are slight differences between a doctorate degree vs a PhD .

Which is better: PhD or DBA?

A PhD is best for you if your goal is to pursue a career in higher education or as a research expert in business. On the other hand, a DBA is appropriate for those who want to focus on business and organizational challenges that require research to find solutions. Either way, both doctoral degrees improve your chances in the job market.

Can you get a PhD without a Master’s Degree?

Yes, a master’s degree is not an admission requirement for most PhD programs in the United States. However, you cannot be admitted immediately after obtaining a bachelor’s degree. You’ll need a few years of professional experience and a compelling explanation of your reason for pursuing a PhD. Keep in mind that certain institutions do only admit students with master’s degrees.

Can you do a PhD while working?

Yes, you can do a PhD while working. Most PhD programs are designed for working professionals. Depending on the program there are different options, such as part-time or full-time and online, hybrid, or on-campus. If you wish to maintain your current job while advancing your education, you can definitely find a plan that fits your schedule or consider an online degree.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Elvis Gwaro

About the author: Elvis is a content writer specializing in tech and career advice. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. He also has certificates in content marketing, digital marketing, and SEO fundamentals from HubSpot Academy, Google Digital Garage, and SEMrush Academy, respectively.

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