May 27, 2024  
NCU Catalog - December 2016 
NCU Catalog - December 2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Business Administration, Financial Management Specialization, PhD

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Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration

Description of Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program is a research-based program designed to prepare leaders for positions in the private and public sectors by enhancing knowledge and competencies appropriate to a leadership role in business, administration, and technology management. Upon completion of the PhD program, students are expected to have a broad knowledge in fields of business and technology management and an understanding of at least one specialized area of study. A Ph.D. requires original ideas about a specialized topic, as well as a high degree of methodological/scientific rigor (Nelson, & Coorough, 1994). As is traditional in higher education, a Ph.D. is only awarded for a piece of work that will actually make a difference to the theoretical context of the field the Ph.D. dissertation is a new contribution to the body of knowledge.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop business knowledge based on a synthesis of current theory

  • Communicate with diverse audiences about theories, applications, and perspectives
    related to business

  • Evaluate business practices that positively impact society

  • Evaluate the relationship between the global environment and business decisions

  • Formulate solutions to problems identified in extant business research


Basis for Admissions

Admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration program will be determined by the degree used to meet the basis for admission. In order to enter the doctoral program, applicants are required to have a conferred master’s degree from a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution. There are two options for entering the doctoral program in the School of Business and Technology Management.

  1. Direct Entry – Individuals may immediately begin the doctoral program through the DBA or PhD track with a previously completed master’s degree in one of the following:
    • A generalized business area such as business management or business administration,
    • Specialized business area (e.g. Master of Finance, Master of Human Resources Management) AND an undergraduate degree in business
    • A previously completed master’s degree in any field AND an undergraduate in business.
  2. Evaluation Track – Individuals not meeting the direct entry requirements are required to take SKS7001-8 - Doctoral Comprehensive Strategic Knowledge Studies  as part of their degree plan.

    Students in the Evaluation track will begin their degree plan with BTM 7101-8  Foundations for Doctoral Studies in Business followed by SKS7001-8 - Doctoral Comprehensive Strategic Knowledge Studies  and upon successful completion of SKS 7001-8  take the remaining courses in their degree plan.

    Students who feel that they have the business background and knowledge are allowed to take a test-out exam that covers the major business areas. The student must score 70 or above on the exam and can be taken no later than two weeks prior to the beginning of SKS 7001-8  Comprehensive Strategic Knowledge Studies course. This can be discussed with your enrollment or student academic advisor.

Courses taken to satisfy the fundamental requirements may not be counted toward a specialization.

Students who complete at least 15 semester credit hours in a single area of specialization at Northcentral University (not counting fundamental courses) may elect to have the specialization recorded on their transcript and diploma. 

Degree Requirements

Admission to the Doctorate programs requires a master’s degree from an accredited institution.

The University may accept a maximum of 12 semester credit hours in transfer toward the doctoral degree for graduate coursework completed at an accredited college or university with a grade of “B” or better.

The PhD degree programs in business have the following graduation requirements:

  • A minimum of 48 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed through Northcentral
  • Grade Point Average of 3.0 (letter grade of “B”) or higher
  • Satisfactory completion of a Comprehensive Exam
  • University Approval of Dissertation Manuscript and Oral Defense completed
  • Submission of the approved final dissertation manuscript to the University Registrar, including the original unbound dissertation manuscript and an electronic copy
  • Official documents on file for basis of admission: a conferred master’s degree from an accredited academic institution
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credit hours accepted by the University
  • All financial obligations to the University paid in full

Fundamental Competencies

All PhD students are required to demonstrate competency in these areas:

  • Graduate-Level Research Methods Competency - PhD students are required to complete BTM 7303 , BTM 8103-8 , BTM 8104-8 , BTM 8106-8 , BTM 8107-8 , BTM 8108-8  and BTM 8109-8  at Northcentral.
  • Graduate-Level Statistics Competency - PhD students are required to complete BTM 8107-8  Statistics II at Northcentral.
  • Computer Competency - Doctoral students are required to have computer skills necessary for completing a dissertation. Students must be able to prepare documents using advanced word processing skills (e.g., creation of tables and figures, headers and footers, page breaks, tables of contents, hanging indents). Students must use computer programs for the statistical analysis of data (e.g., SAS). Students must produce a computer-based presentation (e.g., PowerPoint) for their dissertation oral examination.

Time to Completion

Northcentral University allows 7 years to complete doctoral programs of 60 credits or less.

Normal time to completion for this program is 84 months.

Time to completion varies depending upon the pace in which a student completes courses and the number of transfer credits accepted. As most Northcentral students are working adults balancing educational, professional, and personal commitments, our academic advisors will work with you to develop a program schedule that works best for your needs.

The normal time disclosed above reflects the experience of students who may have entered under different program requirements. In the quest for continuous improvement, academic leadership has revised the program to optimize curriculum and pace, facilitate student learning, and improve chances for success. Therefore, the program is now designed for students enrolling today to take advantage of these revised course structures, lengths, and schedules. New students following the preferred schedule designed by the Dean for this program, and applying no transfer credits, can expect to finish in as little as 45 months.

Dissertation Process

Faculty assist each Northcentral University Doctoral student to reach this high goal through a systematic process leading to a high-quality completed dissertation. A PhD dissertation is a scholarly documentation of research that makes an original contribution to the field of study. This process requires care in choosing a topic, documenting its importance, planning the methodology, and conducting the research. These activities lead smoothly into the writing and oral presentation of the dissertation.

A doctoral candidate must be continuously enrolled throughout the series of dissertation courses. If additional time is required to complete any of the dissertation courses, students must re-enroll and pay the tuition for that course. Continuous enrollment will only be permitted when students demonstrate progress toward completing dissertation requirements. The Dissertation Committee determines progress.

Course Sequence

Credit Hours - The PhD program requires a minimum of 60 credits. Additional credit hours may be allowed as needed to complete the dissertation research. If granted, additional courses will be added to the student degree program in alignment with the SAP and Academic Maximum Time to Completion policies. Students who do not complete their program in accordance with these policies may be dismissed.

Basis of Admission - In order to enter the doctoral (PhD) program, applicants must have earned a master’s degree from an accredited university.

The PhD in Business requires the following courses for every specialization:

Required Foundational Courses must be taken first and in sequence. Evaluation track students will take SKS 7001-8  after BTM 7101-8  and before BTM 7300 .

Financial Management Specialization

This specialization concentrates on research and development analyses used to manage and allocate financial resources and develop effective strategic planning for projection and ROI issues. Students will analyze financial and non-financial organizations - private, public, and corporate. The specialization focuses on international financial issues, quality concepts in financial management, and accounting for profit/nonprofit organizations.

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