Doctor of Business Administration - DBA

DBA Faculty Director: Dr. Kristie Briggs
DBA Program Director: Dr. Desarae Mueller-Fichepain
Program Office: Harper Center

Creighton University's DBA program is designed for individuals seeking to gain the research skills needed to analyze business-related questions identified throughout their career. These research skills can be used for advancement in professional corporations, to bolster consulting skills, as well as provide a pathway to transition into full-time tenure track or practitioner faculty positions at a variety of universities and colleges. 

Students in this three-year cohort-style program can continue working full-time in their existing jobs while completing their degree.  The hybrid model combines online learning with three two-day (Friday and Saturday) residencies each fall and spring semester plus a summer residency during each of the first two years (i.e. fourteen total residencies).  Most residencies are held in Omaha, NE at Creighton University; however, typically one residency a year is held at a sister Jesuit school. 

The program offers robust research method training and applied business research breadth across business disciplines with students specializing in a business focus area through their dissertation research and teaching practicum.

Program Goals & Student Learning Outcomes

Creighton DBA-formed business leaders, educators, and researchers will:

PLG 1. Demonstrate research skills needed to become a scholarly or practice academic
SLO 1A Develop a disciplinary literature review
SLO 1B Successfully defend a dissertation
SLO 1C Demonstrate an understanding of ethical research

PLG 2. Demonstrate teaching skills needed to become a scholarly or practice academic
SLO 2A Demonstrate the use of contemporary teaching methods
SLO 2B Demonstrate the use of Ignatian pedagogical principles

PLG 3. Demonstrate critical thinking skills in research
SLO 3A Utilize statistical software to analyze data and interpret the results
SLO 3B Identify an interesting research question and employ an appropriate research design to investigate that question

PLG 4. Demonstrate the ability to communicate research
SLO 4A Demonstrate the ability to communicate research orally
SLO 4B Demonstrate the ability to communicate research in writing

PLG 5. Demonstrate Ignatian values in accordance with Creighton’s mission
SLO 5A Exhibit deliberative reflection in their personal and professional formation
SLO 5B Demonstrate respect for human diversity

Admission Requirements & Process

Applications:  Applications are accepted via Creighton's online registration portal only.  A link to the portal (Apply Now) can be found on the DBA site (www.creighton.edu/program/doctorate-business-administration-dba) in the right column.

Eligibility for Admission: Applicants for admission to the DBA program must have at least one of the following:  1) MBA or other relevant advanced degree from an accredited university, plus 5+ years of professional and/or managerial experience*; 2) Business relevant undergraduate business degree from an accredited university, plus 10+ years of professional and/or managerial experience*; 3) CPA, CFA, or other relevant professional certification, plus 5+ years professional and/or managerial experience*. (*If less than the minimum, please explain in a cover letter to your resume how other experiences and/or qualifications may compensate.) 

Additionally, the following documents must be submitted through Creighton's online application portal

  1. Current Résumé or CV
  2. Transcripts: Official transcripts from each college or university from which you earned a degree, including undergraduate.  Transcripts from non-degree earning institutions that reflect relevant coursework should also be submitted. All such transcripts become the property of Creighton University.
  3. Recommendations: Two (2) letters of recommendation from professionals in academia or industry that can directly address your ability to think critically, ability to conduct research, propensity to lead, and potential for completing advanced academic studies.  These must be submitted by each recommender directly through Creighton’s Online Application System.
  4. Two essays:
    1. Statement of Interest (2-3 pages double-spaced): Address the following
      • Why do you want to pursue a DBA?
      • How will a DBA help you achieve your career aspirations?
      • What challenges do you anticipate in balancing work, personal commitments, and approximately 20-30 hours of weekly DBA studies?  What steps will you take to address these challenges to complete your degree within 3 years?
    2. Statement of Research Interests (2-3 pages double-spaced):  Address the following
      • What area of business is your intended focused area of research (e.g. Finance, Accounting, Economics, Marketing, Organizational Behavior, Strategy, Business Analytics/Info Systems)?
      • What topics within these might be potential research avenues of interest? Although we recognize that your research question will change and evolve during the program, please describe current research questions that interest you and how you believe finding answers to your research questions will serve to benefit the greater good of individuals, firms, and/or society.
      • How will you leverage your work experience and knowledge in your research agenda?
  5. Photo ID
  6. Online application form
  7. Application fee: $50
  8. Additional Competencies:  Evidence of competency in statistics and quantitative reasoning is recommended.  If not evident through the above documents, this could be fulfilled by providing one or more of the following: a written statement outlining applicant’s empirical background as highlighted by work experience or other experiences, a written research paper, evidence of statistical tutorial completion, GRE scores, GMAT scores, and/or other competency exam results.
  9. International applicants with permanent U.S. residency must also submit: (NOTE: Students with F-1 visa status are NOT eligible for Creighton's DBA Program.)
    1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): Official TOEFL score report with a minimum acceptable score of 577 paper-based/90 iBT.
    2. Transcripts:  Official transcripts in the original language from each college or university attended, along with official English translations.
    3. For a student who has completed an undergraduate degree in the U.S.; or from a foreign institution in which English is the language of instruction; or based on a personal interview, the TOEFL requirement may be waived.  This is at the discretion of the DBA directors.

Admission Process and Deadlines: The application deadline (including a completed dossier) is April 1 of each year; however, please keep in mind that admittance to the program is limited and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, so cohorts may fill up long before the April 1 deadline of that year.

  1. Application Review:  Application materials will be reviewed by a team of faculty (the application review committee).  The committee considers the following:
    • Completeness of the application materials
    • Background knowledge and experience in the applicant’s business area of focus
    • Demonstrated leadership and track record of professional/academic/personal achievement and development
    • Proficiency in communication skills
    • Compatibility of individual’s professional goals with the DBA program’s learning outcomes
    • Demonstrated ability to balance time commitments
    • Capacity for conducting applied research
    • Community engagement/service a plus
  2. Selection Process:  Committee feedback and suggested admission decision will be recommended to the DBA faculty director, who will make the final decision.  An interview with the DBA faculty director may be requested before a final decision is made.  There are three possible decision outcomes: full admit, conditional admit, and denied admission.  In the event of a conditional admit, the applicant will receive information on what steps they need to take for full admission.

  3. Exceptions:  Admission exceptions will initially be handled by the DBA Admissions Committee but will also be forwarded to the Creighton Graduate Programs Board for guidance.
  4. Deposit: Once accepted to the program, a student must submit a $5,000 non-refundable deposit within 14 days to secure admittance to the cohort.  If the deposit is not received within 14 days, the student's place in the program could be forfeited.  Admittance to the program is limited and applications will be accepted on a rolling admission basis.

DBA Course Requirements (54 credits)

CONTENT COURSES
Choose 12 credits from the following 3 credit hour courses:12
Applied Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management Research
Applied Marketing Research
Applied Economics Research
Applied Accounting Research
Applied Strategy Research
Applied Finance Research
Applied Information Systems Research
STATISTICS COURSES
Each of the following is required:
DBA 820Introduction to Research Methods3
DBA 821General Linearized Models3
DBA 822Applied Research Design and Methods3
DBA 824Design and Method Replication3
IGNATIAN REFLECTION & FORMATION SERIES
Each of the following is required:
DBA 840Ignatian History, Values, and Charisms1
DBA 841Reflective Practice1
DBA 842Ignatian Pedagogy1
DBA 843Catholic Social Thought1
DBA 844Business Ethics1
DBA 845Ignatian Reflection and Formation Capstone1
PEDAGOGICAL COURSES
Each of the following is required:
DBA 810Survey of Business Pedagogy3
DBA 812Teaching Practicum3
RESEARCH COURSES
Each of the following is required:
DBA 830Research Assistant Practicum3
DBA 831Applied Dissertation Research Development Seminar3
DISSERTATION COURSE
Complete 9 credit hours:
DBA 899Applied Dissertation Research (3 credits repeated 3 times)9
Independent Continuing Applied Dissertation Research (does not count towards completion of the 54 credits)
ELECTIVES
Choose a course from the following electives to fulfill the credit hour requirement:3
Teaching Assistant Practicum
Research Assistant Practicum
DBA Seminar
Total Credits54

Courses

DBA 801. Applied Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management Research. 3 credits.

This course emphasizes theories, models, and concepts utilized in the research of organizational behavior and human resource management such as individual differences, motivation and commitment, leadership, and organizational culture and values. Students will learn to critique research quality and evaluate possible research extensions in this field.

DBA 802. Applied Marketing Research. 3 credits.

This course emphasizes theories, models, and concepts utilized in marketing research, such as marketing strategy and implementation, market-entry tactics, positioning, product quality, pricing, promotion distribution, evaluation of market performance and consumer behavior topics. Students will learn to critique research quality and evaluate possible research extensions in this field.

DBA 803. Applied Economics Research. 3 credits.

This course emphasizes theories, models, and concepts utilized in economic research, including sub-fields such as micro-, macro-, health, behavioral, and international economics. Students will learn to critique research quality and evaluate possible research extensions in this field.

DBA 804. Applied Accounting Research. 3 credits.

This class emphasizes theories, models, and concepts of accounting using empirical research papers that incorporate predominantly behavioral/experimental and archival research methods. Students will learn to critique research quality and evaluate possible research extensions in this field.

DBA 806. Applied Strategy Research. 3 credits.

This course emphasizes theories, models, and concepts utilized in the research of strategic management, such as sustainability, strategic positioning, organizational structure, innovation, organizational performance, and entrepreneurship. Students will learn to critique research quality and evaluate possible research extensions in this field.

DBA 807. Applied Finance Research. 3 credits.

This course emphasizes theories, models, and concepts utilized in the research of corporate finance and financial investment, such as capital structure, agency theory, mergers and acquisitions, investment securities, business cycles, and efficient market theory. Students will learn to critique research quality and evaluate possible research extensions in this field.

DBA 808. Applied Information Systems Research. 3 credits.

This course emphasizes theories, models, and concepts utilized in the research of business information systems and business information analysis, such as information technology strategy, implementation and adoption, data management and mining, social media, and crowdfunding and sourcing. Students will learn to critique research quality and evaluate possible research extensions in this field.

DBA 810. Survey of Business Pedagogy. 3 credits.

This course provides a survey of topics important to pedagogical practices in business disciplines. Topics may include construction of learning objectives, evaluation of technologies for teaching effectiveness, contemporary teaching methods, learning activities, classroom management, assessment tools and strategies, and faculty and student rights and responsibilities.

DBA 811. Teaching Assistant Practicum. 3 credits.

Students will serve as a teaching assistant for business faculty in order to observe and practice various elements of university-level teaching in concert with an experienced teacher.

DBA 812. Teaching Practicum. 3 credits.

Students will teach a business course under the sponsorship of a teaching mentor. Students will deliver the course, either in person or online. P: DBA 810, DBA 842, and (DBA 811 or DBA director approval).

DBA 820. Introduction to Research Methods. 3 credits.

Students in this course will learn and apply experimental design methods and intermediate statistical concepts, such as sampling techniques, survey design, cluster and factor analysis, and analysis of variance models.

DBA 821. General Linearized Models. 3 credits.

Students in this course will learn to analyze applied research data using regression techniques such as multiple regression, logistic regression, time series, multilevel modeling, Bayesian inference, and survival analysis. P: DBA 820.

DBA 822. Applied Research Design and Methods. 3 credits.

In this course students will learn to answer research questions using a variety of research designs including experiments, quasi-experiments, surveys, field research, and existing data. Topics include measurement, reliability, validity, sampling, research ethics, and research design. P: DBA 821.

DBA 824. Design and Method Replication. 3 credits.

In this course students will read and evaluate existing research papers, as well as replicate the estimation techniques utilized. Through learning and replicating more advanced estimation models and methods, students will better understand the appropriate methods utilized to answer a variety of research questions and empirical designs. P: DBA 821.

DBA 830. Research Assistant Practicum. 3 credits.

Students will serve as a research assistant for a scholarly academic business faculty in order to observe and practice various elements of academic research, writing, and publishing.

DBA 831. Applied Dissertation Research Development Seminar. 3 credits.

Students will incorporate the breadth of information learned in discipline-specific content courses and methods courses to formulate and develop their proposed dissertation topic. P: DBA 824 and four business content courses (DBA 801-808).

DBA 840. Ignatian History, Values, and Charisms. 1 credit.

This course is offered as part of the Ignatian Reflection and Formation series. Students will be introduced to Jesuit history, values, and charisms, thereby setting the foundational knowledge of Ignatian principles and practices.

DBA 841. Reflective Practice. 1 credit.

This course is offered as part of the Ignatian Reflection and Formation series. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to a repertoire of reflective practices that can be used in their personal and professional life and to provide opportunities to put them into practice. P: DBA 840.

DBA 842. Ignatian Pedagogy. 1 credit.

This course is offered as part of the Ignatian Reflection and Formation series. Students learn about Ignatian pedagogical principles and how they may apply them to future teaching. P: DBA 841.

DBA 843. Catholic Social Thought. 1 credit.

This course is offered as part of the Ignatian Reflection and Formation series. This course focuses on Catholic social thought and teaching, addressing matters of human dignity and common good in society. P: DBA 842.

DBA 844. Business Ethics. 1 credit.

This course is offered as part of the Ignatian Reflection and Formation series. The purpose of this course is to examine and discuss various components of business ethics and how it may inform students' teaching, research, service, and career formation. P: DBA 843.

DBA 845. Ignatian Reflection and Formation Capstone. 1 credit.

This is the final course offered in the Ignatian Reflection and Formation series. This course brings together knowledge and experiences throughout the DBA program in a final reflection. The student is given the opportunity to reflect on their personal and professional formation as a business discipline leader, educator, and researcher grounded in Ignatian principles and practices. P: DBA 844.

DBA 879. DBA Seminar. 1-3 credits.

This course offers material not part of the regular DBA program offerings. The course is repeatable once with different topics. P: DBA director approval.

DBA 897. Independent Continuing Applied Dissertation Research. 1 credit.

Under the advisement of a scholarly academic business faculty member, students will engage in activities necessary for the completion of dissertation requirements. This course serves to allow students additional time to complete their dissertation requirements. May be repeated no more than three semesters. P: 9 credit hours of DBA 899 and a successful oral defense of the written dissertation proposal.

DBA 899. Applied Dissertation Research. 3 credits.

Under the advisement of a scholarly academic business faculty member, students will engage in activities necessary for the completion of dissertation requirements. P: DBA 831.