DBA Student in Classroom

Falls School of Business

Doctor of Business Administration

The purpose of the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program at Anderson University is to provide rigor and quality that serves the needs of faculty and potential faculty in institutions of higher education. We prepare graduates for positions that emphasize teaching effectiveness and encourage an active approach to the integration of Christian values/faith into the business classroom.

We have designed a program format that is both rigorous and a realistic alternative for individuals who are working full-time in higher education or in industry but desire a doctoral program in an academic discipline within a business curriculum.

Goals of our program include:

  • Provide a strong theoretical understanding of business disciplines.
  • Improve undergraduate student learning by increasing the pedagogical abilities of doctoral students.
  • Develop an increased appreciation of scholarly research and writing within individual doctoral students.
  • Increase the participation of Christian business scholars in the “academy” of higher education.

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Your AU Story Begins Now

I cannot say enough great things about the DBA program at AU’s Falls School of Business. It helped me to develop not just academically, but professionally and spiritually as well. I learned more than I could have imagined and am deeply indebted to the outstanding faculty and peers that I met and worked with over the last four years. If you are looking for a doctoral program that can be completed while holding down a full-time job and that will challenge you to grow as a scholar and Christian, look no further.

— Scott Powell DBA ’10, Professor of Marketing at Grove City College

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Admission Requirements

Program admission requirements are:

  • Complete the Online Application.
  • A completed master’s degree from an institution that is regionally accredited.
  • A minimum of 30 hours of graduate coursework in a business-related field.
  • Transcript Request Form [PDF]
  • A combination of the applicant’s graduate grade point average (GPA) and Graduate Management Admittance Test (GMAT) score will be used to evaluate acceptance for admission. Preference would be for the graduate GPA to be at a 3.5 level or above (on a 4.0 scale) and the GMAT score to be 600 or above. The GMAT must have been taken within the last five years.
  • Three years of combined teaching and/or other professional work experience.
  • Three letters of recommendation [PDF] with one submitted from the current supervisor. (If currently teaching, one of these letters must be from the department chairperson or the school dean.)
  • Submit your written response to the personal essay questions [PDF].
  • A personal interview with the DBA Program director and/or other DBA faculty members. This interview may be in person or by telephone.
  • Computer capability and access as delineated by the DBA director.

Approximately eight to 12 students will be admitted annually to the program. Final decisions concerning a student’s acceptance into the program rest with the DBA Admissions Committee.

The application deadline is February 1 with an April 1 start in the program. One new cohort is admitted every February to this selective program.

Submit DBA application materials to:

DBA Program Director
Falls School of Business
Anderson University
1303 E. 5th St.
Anderson, IN 46012

Questions? agsenrollment@anderson.edu

Degree Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled before a Doctor of Business Administration candidate is awarded the degree:

  • All coursework must be completed within six years of when the first doctoral course is taken at Anderson University.
  • All coursework must be completed with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.
  • A maximum of two grades below B- in coursework taken at Anderson University may be counted toward the fulfillment of requirements.
  • Successful completion of qualifying exams.
  • Successful completion of a dissertation proposal defense.
  • Successful completion of a dissertation in the student’s major field.
  • Dissertation must be completed within three years of when coursework is completed.
  • An application for graduation must be filed in the Anderson University Registrar’s Office at least 30 days prior to graduation.
Program Description

The Anderson University DBA program is specifically designed to make it possible for individuals currently teaching at the college level, or aspiring to teach, to earn a quality doctorate in business. Students accepted into the program begin the program on April 1st. The first residency on the Anderson University campus occurs the last two weeks of May each year. They return for a week in August and then a final week each year in January. All students are required to be in residence for four weeks a year during the first three years of coursework. All other work is completed while at home while working or teaching. This makes it possible for full-time instructors to complete their degree in as few as four years while maintaining full-time employment.

This can be done! Each year students complete the program at the end of the fourth year with work that they are very proud of. DBA graduates from Anderson University have their research accepted for publication in books, papers, and conference proceedings. They find that the degree is opening doors for consulting, administrative duties, faculty promotion, and continued scholarship. The bottom line is that graduates testify they are more effective teachers and leaders in higher education, and their employers give witness to this reality.

What the AU DBA Program IS:

  • A doctorate in business administration designed for the unique needs of a group of business instructors not effectively served by traditional doctoral programs.
  • A program that will link the applied nature of an MBA with the conceptual framework and research traditions that support business practice.
  • A program that offers the unique advantage of high-level thinking and discussion about the integration of a Christian worldview with learning.
  • A program that offers the unique advantages of bringing together students and faculty aspiring for greater effectiveness in undergraduate and graduate classrooms.
  • A program that will familiarize students with research methods and quantitative analysis, and will equip students to use appropriate tools to conduct research. The nature of the research is likely to be more applied than is often found in doctoral programs in business.

What the AU DBA Program IS NOT:

  • Just a “research” doctorate. The purpose is to train teachers to have a strong appreciation for quality research, not just to train “researchers” who will serve in the major university setting.
  • A distance-learning program. While tools of distance-learning may be used to facilitate education, the student will complete a majority of classwork through a traditional classroom setting on the campus of Anderson University.
  • Seen as a “non-traditional” program. While there are elements that borrow the best from the new approaches to education, the program is also grounded in traditional conceptualizations of a doctorate in business.
Four-Year Schedule and Program Outline

Four-Year Schedule

Year 1
Summer (April-June, May residency)
Conceptual Foundations of Management or Marketing
Conceptual Foundations of Economics or Accounting/Finance
Fall Semester (July-October, August residency)
The Development and Role of Christian Higher Education
Spring Semester (November-March, January residency)
Applied Statistics or Research Methods
Fall/Spring Semester Independent Study (September – April)
Foundations of Applied Ethics

Year 2
Summer (April-June, May residency)
Conceptual Foundations of Management or Marketing
Conceptual Foundations of Economics or Accounting/Finance
Fall Semester (July-October, August residency)
“Best Practices” in College Teaching
Spring Semester (November-March, January residency)
Applied Statistics or Research Methods
Fall/Spring Semester Independent Study (September – April)
Teaching Practicum in Management, Marketing, Accounting, or Finance

Year 3
Summer (April-June, May residency)
Global Business Practices
Seminar: Advanced Applications of Ethical Reasoning in Management,
Marketing, Accounting, or Finance
Fall Semester (July-October, August residency)
Seminar in Management, Marketing, Accounting, or Finance
Spring Semester (November-March, January residency)
Advanced Research Methods
Fall/Spring Semester Independent Study (September – April)
Advanced Topics (Discipline based)

Year 4
May – June
Preliminary Exams
August – September
Defend Proposal
April – August
Defend Dissertation

Program Outline

CORE CLASSES (27 hours)

Research Core (9)

  • Applied Statistics (3)
  • Research Methods (3)
  • Advanced Research Methods (3)

Education/Teaching Core (9)

  • The Development and Role of Christian Higher Education (3)
  • “Best Practices” in College Teaching (3)
  • Foundations of Applied Ethics (3)

Conceptual Foundations Core (9 hrs. counted in CORE, 3 hrs. counted in major)

  • Conceptual Foundations of Management (3)
  • Conceptual Foundations of Marketing (3)
  • Conceptual Foundations of Economics (3)
  • Conceptual Foundations of Accounting and Finance (3) 


  • Conceptual Foundations in Management, Marketing, Accounting, or Finance (3)
  • Seminar in Management, Marketing, Accounting, or Finance (3)
  • Global Business Practices (3)
  • Advanced Applications of Ethical Reasoning in Management, Marketing, Accounting, or Finance (3)
  • Teaching Practicum in Management, Marketing, Accounting, or Finance (3)
  • Advanced Topics (Discipline-Based) (3)

Total Required AU Coursework (45 hours)
Dissertation (15 hours)
Additional Graduate Hours — transferred in at start of program (30 hours)

TOTAL: 90 hours

Doctor of Business Administration Costs
  • Application Fee (non-refundable): $50
  • Tuition per credit hour: $610
  • Dissertation Tuition (per hour)*: $255
  • Graduation Fee: $100

*A student must be enrolled for at least 3 hours of dissertation credit every semester after residency and qualifying exams have been completed. In total, the student must register for a minimum of 15 hours of dissertation credit. If the dissertation is not completed after registering for 15 hours of dissertation credit then the student must continually register for one hour of dissertation credit each term (summer, fall, spring) until the completion of the dissertation defense.

DBA Graduate Representation

Anderson University’s Doctor of Business Administration program has drawn students from 101 colleges and universities from 36 states and provinces in the United States and Canada. Additionally, some students come from industry and are either part-time instructors or aspire to be professors. View the list of institutions and organizations represented in the student and graduate body of the Anderson University DBA program.

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