Return to: School of Business
Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration
Description of Program
The Doctor of Philosophy in Business (PhD-BA) 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.
Click here for potential career opportunities within the PhD-BA.
- Develop business knowledge based on a synthesis of current theory
- Defend theories, applications, and perspectives related to business to diverse audiences
- 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.
- 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.
- Evaluation Track – Individuals not meeting the direct entry requirements are required to take SKS-7001 - Doctoral Comprehensive Strategic Knowledge Studies as part of their degree plan.
Students in the Evaluation track will begin their degree plan with BUS-7101 - Changing Times: Business Administration in the 21st Century followed by SKS-7001 - Doctoral Comprehensive Strategic Knowledge Studies and upon successful completion of SKS 7001 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 Comprehensive Strategic Knowledge Studies course. This can be discussed with your enrollment or academic and finance advisor.
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 NCU
- Grade Point Average of 3.0 (letter grade of “B”) or higher
- Satisfactory completion of the PhD-BA Pre-Candidacy Prospectus
- 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 must be met before the student will be issued their diploma and/or degree posted transcript.
Dissertation Completion Pathway
The NCU mission is dedicated to assisting students in achieving their academic aspirations and helping them become valuable contributors to their community and profession. To support our mission, NCU now offers a dissertation completion pathway for students who have successfully completed their doctoral coursework and achieved doctoral candidacy at a previous institution but were unable to complete their dissertation. NCU’s Dissertation Completion Pathway (DCP) offers a unique opportunity for students to complete their doctorate in one of the doctoral programs offered at NCU (excluding the PhD in MFT, DMFT, DNP, and DHA). Students successfully meeting the entrance and application requirements will complete a minimum of 23 credit hours to earn their doctorate.
Click below for more information on the
All PhD students are required to demonstrate competency in these areas:
- Graduate-Level Research Methods Competency - PhD students are required to complete BUS-7100 , BUS 7320 , and BUS-7380
- Graduate-Level Statistics Competency - PhD students are required to complete BUS-7105 and BUS-7106
- 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
NCU allows 7 years to complete all doctoral programs of 60 credits or less.
The median time to completion for this program is 73 months.
Time to completion varies depending upon the pace in which a student completes courses and the number of transfer credits accepted. As most NCU students are working adults, balancing educational, professional, and personal commitments, our academic and finance advisors will work with you to develop a program schedule that works best for your needs.
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 40 months.
Faculty assist each NCU Doctoral candidate to reach this academic 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. Dissertation courses are automatically scheduled and accepted without a break in scheduling to ensure that students remain in continuous enrollment throughout the dissertation course sequence. 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.
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.
Courses taken to satisfy the fundamental requirements may not be counted toward completion of required specializations courses or electives.
Students who complete at least 15 credit hours in a single area of specialization at NCU (not counting foundational courses) may elect to have the specialization recorded on their transcript and diploma. Students may also opt for a General Business specialization, electing 15 credit hours of cross-discipline courses. Elective courses must be appropriate to the student’s degree program.
The PhD in Business requires a minimum of five core courses, five specialization courses, two statistical courses, five research courses, and one doctoral elective course. Upon completion of these course requirements, students advance to the doctoral sequence of courses. A minimum of four dissertation research courses must be completed in order to complete the program.
Required Foundational Courses must be taken first and in sequence. Evaluation track students will take SKS 7001 after BUS 7101 and before BUS-7110 . Following the completion of Foundational, Specialization, Research, and Doctoral Elective courses must be taken in sequence as described.
Organizational Leadership Specialization
This specialization serves to enhance the understanding and practice of organizational leadership using an interdisciplinary approach between business and education theory and research. This specialization has broad appeal among practicing professionals (middle and upper management, and military personnel) with a background in business administration, human resources, nonprofit administration, and related fields, whose professional goal may be organizational consulting or a generalist leadership position in corporate, government, not-for-profit, educational or community organizations.
Specialization Courses – 15 credit hours
Elective selected on the initial degree plan can be changed with a request to an Academic and Finance Advisor.
Return to: School of Business