DBA Program Composition

The Lincoln University DBA is a structured degree program requiring of a minimum of 93 graduate units of academic credit for graduation, including 54 required core courses' credits, 27 concentration courses' credits including 4 credits for an internship, and 12 credits for dissertation or research.  Some credits of the core or concentration courses may be satisfied through granting of transfer graduate credits for newly admitted DBA students with Master's degrees. The granting of transfer credits toward the DBA degree will be based on a careful review of the student's graduate transcripts and detailed comparison of already completed courses to the content of each applicable DBA course. Students will need to support their transfer credit request with course syllabi from the institution awarding the credit. Students who do not have a business degree may also request consideration for transfer credit where they can provide evidence that they have successfully completed an equivalent of a DBA course at the graduate level.

Students admitted to the DBA program with undergraduate degrees can elect to complete an MBA degree while pursuing their doctorate. The prescribed course of study for the MBA degree is comprised of the successful completion of the 12 three-unit core and concentration courses and a final comprehensive qualifying exam, or 11 courses and an MBA research project or an internship report. DBA concentration and research project (dissertation) courses will be developed and offered on a time-phased basis. The scheduling of these courses will be based on expected student readiness to take them, as evidenced by the completion of a majority of the core courses.

The matriculation timeframe that will apply to DBA students is as follows:

  1. Courses for the first two years (3-4 courses per fall and spring semester) will be sequenced to enable the student's completion of the program's block of core and concentration courses equivalent to an MBA degree completion.
  2. Courses for the third year will be scheduled for the completion of core courses, and preparation for the comprehensive qualifying exam.
  3. Qualifying exams will be administered upon completion of all required core and at least 20 units of the concentration coursework.
  4. If the exam is successfully passed, it will be followed by a faculty-approved dissertation topic, and the title of a Doctoral Candidate.
  5. Courses for the fourth year consist of concentration: elective, special dissertation preparation, research courses, and internships.
  6. Courses in the fifth year will be sequenced as follows: successful completion of all required coursework and internship, research seminars, and exams; the written report and oral defense of the dissertation which culminates with graduation and award of the DBA degree. 
  7. Some foundation courses can be required for students whose previous education is not in the fields of business or economics. See the MBA program description for the details.

DBA Course Structure

The required DBA Core courses (300 level)  consist of 54 credit hours: 51 credits of 3-credit courses and  a 3-credit seminar devoted to Higher Education, which will require students' preparation of individual oral presentation as teaching practice.

DBA Concentration courses (400 level) consist of lecture and a faculty-supervised practicum component. The lecture component consists of 45 hours of a lecture contact and is classroom-based. The practicum component is based on an instructor-approved independent study project that should be research-based and consists of 45-hour out-of-classroom work. Student study projects must be submitted to and approved by the course instructor at the beginning of the course, and, under normal circumstances, be completed by the end of the current semester. Supervision of the study project by the instructor will include continuous monitoring of the student's progress in terms of their study project's stated objectives, evaluation of the student's final written project report, and its oral presentation. This will give students consulting experience. Each of these courses consists of 4 credit hours including both lecture and practical components. Graduate Internship and Report (BA 492 and BA 494) courses are focused on a specific student internship and an analytical report about it with total supervised work of at least 180 hours. The internship company and position should be approved by the program director. The course is finalized by a written analytical report (1 credit), reviewed by a selected DBA faculty instructor and an oral presentation.

Doctoral Research seminars (500 level) are designed to build students' scholarly research skills in the concentration fields (BA 501 and BA 502) or focused on a specific student research project (BA 510). Course lectures include the identification of productive areas for research and discussions of the research process. Class discussions are focused on providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to pursue assigned individual research projects. Students are required to make a formal presentation to the class covering their research methodology, data gathering process, research results and conclusions. Presentations will be discussed and critiqued by fellow students and the instructor in order to help students improve both their research skills and their ability to support and defend their conclusions based on the information which their research has developed. Each of these seminars are comprised of 3 credit hours.

DBA Dissertation courses I, II, and III (upper 500 level) include student meetings with assigned faculty dissertation advisors as well as the time students invest in the selection of their research topic, data gathering, data analysis and interpretation, dissertation preparation and defense. Each of these courses consists of 3 credit hours, which corresponds to at least 135 hours of research work for each course.