The DBA program is designed to facilitate the continuing development of professionals as senior managers or innovative leaders who wish to build upon master’s-level core skills and knowledge. The DBA enables students to develop a higher level of competence in conducting applied research and in the comprehension of theoretical and applied literature in a chosen business discipline. The DBA helps students to develop critical knowledge and skills that will enhance their success in service to their profession and community; in future professional development; and in attaining credentials and skills that are essential to business consulting, management, and academia.
The DBA program is an institutional member of and fully accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).
Students will achieve an advanced level of skills and knowledge in key business functions. Upon graduation the student will be able to demonstrate competencies in:
The DBA degree requires the completion of 54 semester credit hours distributed as follows:
- Common core course requirements, 21 credit hours
- Program core course requirements, 24 credit hours
- Dissertation or research project requirements, 9 credit hours
The program course work is designed to be completed within a 2½ year time frame. The dissertation or culminating research project will require additional time to complete, typically 1-2 years. The program is organized and scheduled to accommodate the needs of people who maintain full-time employment while pursuing the degree. The program design permits students to complete the requirements for the DBA at their own pace.
Wilmington University is committed to helping students achieve their educational goals by providing high quality programs, affordable tuition, and formats that fit busy lifestyles. In order to achieve this commitment, the DBA program offers two formats in which students can progress through the program: the hybrid face-to-face weeknight format and a 100% online format.
In order to provide a seamless program for our students, your choice of enrollment will remain the same for the entire program. We will make adjustments for a student on an individual basis.
Hybrid weeknight classes include a mixture of face-to-face and online learning in each course. Hybrid weeknight classes follow a 7 week block schedule, with 7 face-to-face meetings over the 7 weeks. A student in this format will take one class in Block 1 and then another in Block 2, both on the same weeknight. This format is geared towards the working professional from the surrounding area. All classes take place at the Wilson Graduate Center.
The online program is identical to the hybrid program with respect to courses, expectations, tuition, and instructors. The essence of Wilmington University’s DBA program is fostering a highly participative learning community. Peer interaction and support are key elements of the learning and discovery process. Accordingly, all of the online courses will utilize interactive webinars or similar communication tools. These virtual meetings will be scheduled as needed by course requirements at times most appropriate for the instructor and students in the course. The webinars will include short lectures, discussions, debates, and student presentations. All online students are expected to participate actively in these webinars. In addition to the webinars, various online learning experiences will be used, including discussion boards and videos.
Classes run for 7 week blocks, similar to the hybrid weeknight format. The typical load will be two classes per semester. Including spring, summer, and fall semesters, a student taking two courses per semester would complete six classes per year.
One residency is required for online DBA students. This residency will take place toward the end of the content courses and will be scheduled during the RES 7111, Research Design. The residency is two days in length, and it will consist of workshops and consultation with faculty members designed to develop a solid plan for the student’s dissertation process.
Advancement to Doctoral Candidacy
At or near the completion of the student’s course work, but before embarking on the DBA dissertation or research project, the student is required to achieve a passing grade on a formal Comprehensive Examination. In addition, the student is required to form a dissertation committee and gain approval for a concept paper describing the purpose and approach envisioned for dissertation research. After completing these requirements, the student will advance to doctoral candidacy.
Dissertation or Research Project
The DBA dissertation (traditional five chapter or Critical Evaluation Recommendation paper) requires a minimum of 9 semester credit hours for completion. A dissertation or research project proposal must be completed, reviewed, and approved by the student’s dissertation committee prior to the beginning of data collection in the area of the research topic. Once the dissertation or research project is complete, the student will present the results before the dissertation committee and colleagues.
Qualifications for Degree
To qualify for the DBA degree, a student must satisfactorily complete 54 credit hours beyond the master’s degree, including 4 research foundation courses, 11 program-specific courses, and a dissertation or research project. The student must: (1) maintain a minimum grade point average of at least 3.0; (2) achieve a grade of at least “B-” or better in all courses; (3) achieve satisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination; (4) obtain approval of the student’s research proposal; and (5) successfully complete and defend the dissertation or research project. These requirements must be completed within seven years of matriculation into the program.