Your Online Resource for Business PhD Programs

BusinessPhD is a guide to online PhD degrees in business. Are you passionate about business and have your heart set on becoming a professor or a high-level researcher? What about a CEO or a corporate officer? If these job titles sound enticing, earning a PhD in business will help you get there.

A doctoral program in business generally prepares students for leadership positions in companies, non-profit organizations, and even government. While these programs have a relatively short length of study, they often require undergrad degrees and professional experience to enroll.

Walden University — Walden University has the largest selection of online graduate degrees in Business. Their course catalogues contains DBA programs in everything from International Business or Leadership to Social Impact Management. They also have a very versatile general program. Walden is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
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Northcentral University — Northcentral University has over 10,000 students currently enrolled either online or on-site. The school has two doctoral programs: DBA in International Business and PhD in International Business. The DBA program focuses on preparing students for leaderships roles while the PhD program is more research-centered.
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Grand Canyon University — Grand Canyon University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission—one of six recognized organizations by the DOE. GCU is a smaller school offering programs online or at the campus. Students can pursue a DBA in Management or an EdD in Organizational Leadership as they ready themselves to work in high-level positions.
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PhD Programs in Business

Business PhD

A PhD in business is an impressive credential. It signifies a commitment to your field and a desire for success. But earning a PhD is no walk in the park. Dedication and a strong work ethic are essential to earning your degree. A PhD can take anywhere from three to ten years to complete, depending on the program. You’ll be required to complete a dissertation as well as foundational and research-based courses.

If you’re confident that earning a PhD in business is your next step, it’s time to start researching schools and building a checklist.

How to Choose a PhD in Business Program

A quick Google search will yield thousands of results when you search “PhD in business programs.” This is good thing. Your options are wide-ranging so you’ll need to narrow your focus to avoid spending hours clicking through pages and pages of search results. Google likely included other PhD programs such as accounting, international business, leadership, project management, and business administration. Business is a very broad field, which is why colleges and universities offer specific concentrations in order to further narrow a student’s specialization.

Which area of business most interests you? If numbers and finance excite you, a PhD in accounting would be a logical decision. Perhaps you want to work abroad or for a major international business? If so, a PhD in international business would prepare you for such careers. Some schools award a PhD in Business with a concentration in a specific field of study. Each school has its own labeling system for degree programs and academic awards so make sure you apply to a program that best suits your professional goals.

How to Apply to a PhD in Business Program


The application process for a doctoral program can be quite lengthy. You’ll need to submit more than just an online application. Schools often require candidates to submit the following materials:

  • Three or four letters of recommendation from previous employers and former instructors
  • GRE test scores
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended postsecondary institutions
  • A substantial piece of writing that best reflects research, analytical, and writing ability
  • An interview with a faculty member or department chair

The application process takes time. Each school has its own admissions process. In fact, some schools require students to apply a year in advance. Online programs also require candidates to submit substantial application packages. Call the admissions department if you any questions arise. Submitting an incomplete application can delay and or prevent admittance.

How to Prepare for a PhD in Business Program

There’s more to the application process than just filling out an application. Many schools require applicants to have experience in the field. In fact, some schools require applicants to have upwards to five years of professional experience before applying. If you’re confident a PhD is your ultimate goal, garner enough experience in order to really shine on your application. Experience shows you are self-motivated, capable, and willing to work hard. And a little industry knowledge will help further elevate your expertise.

Time management is another key aspect in your preparation for doctoral study. Are you currently working full-time? Do you have other commitments that may interfere with your studies? If so, you might want to assess your schedule to determine if you are able to fulfill the program requirements. Online programs are becoming more popular among working adults who need maximum flexibility in class scheduling. You can attend classes and complete all homework assignments when it’s most convenient for you.

It might help to answer the following questions to better gage your readiness for doctoral study:

  1. Am I financially prepared? (School is expensive! Make sure you have the funds to support your studies.)
  2. Do I know what I want to study? (As we discussed earlier, it’s important to know what area of business most interests you and if there is a school that offers what you need.)
  3. What are my professional goals? (Will a PhD help or hinder your job prospects? Research job qualifications to ensure a PhD is a required credential.)
  4. Do I enjoy writing papers and conducting research? (Doctoral study requires a significant about of research and writing.)
  5. Are my friends and family on board with my decision? (Going back to school to earn a PhD is a huge commitment that brings certain challenges. Make sure you have the support you need to succeed!)

If you think you’re ready to take the next step, it’s time to start researching schools and submitting applications. And if an online school is a possibility, check out our list of accredited colleges and universities. The number of schools offering doctoral programs in business is growing each day. Flexible scheduling and self-paced learning are just two of the many perks that distance learning provides.

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