Doctor of Business Administration

At a glance

  • Credential: doctorate degree
  • Credits: 21
  • Next start: see program details

Advance your research skills and professional management practices, processes and programs with Athabasca University’s online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).

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About Doctor of Business Administration

AU’s online Doctor of Business Administration is the ideal next step for experienced managers and senior leaders who hold an MBA (or an equivalent master’s degree), and want to combine advanced management theory and practice with practical research that will make a difference in today’s complex business environment. It is also ideal for those working in an academic environment who wish to upgrade their skills and credentials.

Whether you work in business, government or the not-for-profit sector, this program will help you develop a deeper level of industry-related knowledge, or prepare you for an academic career outside the corporate world.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements include an MBA or equivalent master’s degree and at least 5 years of significant management and/or professional work experience.

See full DBA admission requirements

Program details


The Doctor of Business Administration is a professional doctorate that focuses on managerial relevance and applying theory to field-based research. You will:

  • expand competencies in management research and practice
  • effectively conduct and evaluate management research
  • develop scholarship in management practice
  • communicate research findings and outcomes
  • create solutions to business and organizational problems that will increase competitive advantage
  • enhance professional credibility

The Doctor of Business Administration is a research-based qualification with the same level of rigour and scholarship expected of any doctoral program. AU’s program emphasizes field-based, practical research and its immediate application.

AU’s Doctor of Business Administration is the first online DBA program offered by a Canadian university.

The Doctor of Business Administration is a 21-credit online doctoral program. As a new student, you must complete the entire program through Athabasca University. Potential transfer credit can be evaluated on an individual basis.

Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business logo

Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Our Faculty of Business also holds AACSB accreditation, placing us among the elite 6% of business schools worldwide. This distinguished accreditation, known as the gold standard in the industry, is a testament to the rigor and depth of our program, and the high-quality education it provides.

Application deadlines and start dates

There is only 1 DBA intake each year. The application deadline is in March and classes start in September. All courses are online grouped study, with defined start and end dates. The program also includes a 1-week on-site research workshop once a year for the first 3 years.

Application deadline Start date
March 15, 2025 Sept. 2025

Completion times

Finish this program in as little as 3 years of study. You can take up to 7 years to complete all requirements.

The expected normal completion time is 4–5 years.

Resources and links

Additional information that you need to know about AU and this program.

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