EVOLVE YOUR THINKING, EVOLVE YOUR CAREER

Today’s competitive global economies and business environments require organizations to engage in new perspectives and new approaches to organizational strategy and evidence-based practice that promote competitive advantages.

Senior leaders need to be able to conceptualize, investigate, and solve complex and practical business problems, be innovative, and use new tools and advanced research, analytical, and critical-thinking skills.

The Johnson & Wales University online Doctor of Business Administration degree is designed specifically to meet these needs across many sectors of business, healthcare, government, the military, higher education, or nonprofits.

Students will ethically address business challenges, think critically and creatively, and learn how to transform business practices to create organizational optimization, growth, and sustainability.

Upon graduation, you will be prepared to become executive-level organizational leaders, industry innovators, consultants, and policymakers. For those seeking faculty positions in higher education, the Doctor of Business Administration is recognized as a terminal degree.

The deadline for application to the Summer 2024 cohort is March 22, 2024. Students are encouraged to apply early, as the size of each cohort is limited.

Advantages of the Johnson & Wales University DBA degree:

  • Relevant nature of curriculum that is comprehensive and career-focused
  • Curriculum focus on organizational development
  • Qualifications, experience, and expertise of the faculty
  • Flexibility and convenience of a fully online program, no residency requirements
  • Students focus on one course at a time
  • Courses are 8 weeks, giving students the ability to move quickly through content
  • Expected 3-year completion
  • Lock-step dissertation model designed to guide students through the dissertation process
  • Continuous engagement with peers and faculty 
  • Regional accreditation by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • The program is offered in collaboration with JWU’s College of Business.

Credits/Courses Required for Degree Completion

54 credits/18 courses

Expected Time for Program Completion

The program is designed and sequenced to be completed in three years. However, decisions to stop out or delays during the dissertation experience will prolong the timeline.

Transfer Credits Accepted

Pending approval, up to three doctoral-level courses – nine credits (non-dissertation) may be transferred into the program.

Graduation Requirements

To earn the DBA degree, students must complete all of the following program requirements:

  • Complete all coursework
  • Achieve the minimum GPA of 3.0, with no course grade lower than B-
  • Complete dissertation requirements

Program Cost

Please refer to the current academic year Doctoral program listing on the Tuition & Fees page for the latest information.

Course Sequence and Academic Calendar

To view start and end dates, view the appropriate Academic Calendar(Calendars are meant for planning purposes only; dates are subject to change.)

Fall Start

Year 1

Term Course TitleCourse NameCredits
FallFall 1MGMT7000Organizational Strategy and Design3
 Fall 2RSCH7110Research Design3
SpringSpring 1MGMT7010Organizational Behavior3
 Spring 2MGMT7030Innovation and Change3
SummerSummer 1RSCH7130Quantitative Research Methods3
 Summer 2RSCH7150Qualitative Research Methods3

Year 2

Term Course TitleCourse NameCredits
FallFall 1MGMT7050Contemporary Leadership Issues3
 Fall 2MGMT7070Business Analytics and Intelligence3
SpringSpring 1FISV7005Contemporary Issues in Finance and Accouting3
 Spring 2MGMT7120Advanced Strategies in Organization Development3
SummerSummer 1MRKT7100Problems and Methods in Merketing Management3
 Summer 2MGMT7090Executive Decision Making**3

Year 3

Term Course TitleCourse NameCredits
FallFall 1RSCH8100Dissertation Proposal3
 Fall 2MGMT8120Organizational Interventions – Disruption and Change3
SpringSpring 1MGMT9120Leadership and Managing Large Scale Transformation**3
 Spring 2RSCH9000Dissertation Problem Statement and Literature Review3
SummerSummer 1RSCH9005Dissertation Methodology and Analysis3
 Summer 2RSCH9010Dissertation: Discussion and Contribution**3

**Outcome Capture Course

Summer Start

Year 1

Term Course TitleCourse NameCredits
SummerSummer 1MGMT7000Organizational Strategy and Design3
 Summer 2RSCH7110Research Design3
FallFall 1MGMT7010Organizational Behavior3
 Fall 2MGMT7030Innovation and Change3
SpringSpring 1RSCH7130Quantitative Research Methods3
 Spring 2RSCH7150Qualitative Research Methods3

Year 2

Term Course TitleCourse NameCredits
SummerSummer 1MGMT7050Contemporary Leadership Issues3
 Summer 2MGMT7070Business Analytics and Intelligence3
FallFall 1FISV7005Contemporary Issues in Finance and Accouting3
 Fall 2MGMT7120Advanced Strategies in Organization Development3
SpringSpring 1MRKT7100Problems and Methods in Merketing Management3
 Spring 2MGMT7090Executive Decision Making**3

Year 3

Term Course TitleCourse NameCredits
SummerSummer 1RSCH8100Dissertation Proposal3
 Summer 2MGMT8120Organizational Interventions – Disruption and Change3
FallFall 1MGMT9120Leadership and Managing Large Scale Transformation**3
 Fall 2RSCH9000Dissertation Problem Statement and Literature Review3
SpringSpring 1RSCH9005Dissertation Methodology and Analysis3
 Spring 2RSCH9010Dissertation: Discussion and Contribution**3

**Outcome Capture Course

Each academic program at JWU has readily identifiable learning outcomes. Upon completion of the DBA program, graduates are expected to:

  • Design, conduct, and present applied research that addresses practical business problems.
  • Employ advanced communication skills to share complex information, organizational vision, and actionable guidelines within business environments.
  • Apply contemporary business leadership theories, knowledge of core business functions, and evidenced-based practice to address issues faced by senior leadership.

Upon completion of the Organization Development concentration, graduates are expected to:

  • Apply organization development theory to improve organizational capacity for strategic change through systematic interventions. 

The deliberate and thoughtful design of JWU’s online Doctor of Business Administration program was based on the needs and expectations of industry and executive level leadership. It has been expressly developed to meet the following goals:

  • Provide business leaders with the research, analytical, critical-thinking and decision-making skills to:
    • Conceptualize, investigate and solve complex and practical business problems
    • Transform from leader to thought leader and innovator
    • Expand organizational capacity for innovation and change
    • Use new tools, insights, and perspectives in strategy development and evidence-based practice
    • Advance knowledge within their industry through a completed dissertation 

The JWU Doctor of Business Administration is a fully-online, 54-credit program developed and assessed by the College of Business and delivered online. The program is delivered in a cohort, semester-system model with two 8-week sessions in each of the fall, spring, and summer semesters over three years.

The DBA degree program is structured to support student learning in a format that works for working professionals, yet be comprehensive and rigorous. Once applicants are admitted to the program, a mandatory no-credit online orientation is the first step in assuring a smooth transition to doctoral study, online learning, and Johnson & Wales University.

Through the study of business theory, core business functions, contemporary strategic and operational business challenges, and applied research culminating with a dissertation, students will be prepared to develop and lead initiatives for innovation and change and expand organizational capacity.

  • Students focus on one 3-credit course at a time, allowing for efficient progression through the program
  • Integrative online learning platforms are utilized, making engagement in the program and connection with faculty and cohort members seamless
  • uLearn is the university’s Blackboard learning management system
  • Courses are strategically offered to support student learning and scholarship and to provide an exceptional experience 
  • Courses are primarily delivered through an asynchronous model. Although not mandatory, there are opportunities for synchronous engagement throughout the program.
  • Optional synchronous course sessions are often recorded and posted for review purposes, or in the event students are not able to “attend.”

The program of study for the DBA includes:

Eight core courses

The core courses are designed to provide students with a comprehensive and global understanding and expertise in business. Courses include the core business functions of finance and accounting, human resources, marketing, and information technology. Courses in innovation and change, organizational strategy and design, leadership issues, and executive decision-making round out the program, providing students with the knowledge and skills required to investigate and solve complex and practical business problems, as well as expand organizational capacity and productivity.

Three research courses

The research courses prepare students to gain a relevant understanding and ability to use a variety of research methodologies, techniques, and tools. Identification, analysis, and interpretation of researchable topics are studied, utilizing qualitative and quantitative software, to ultimately improve policies, programs, and practice in an organizational setting.

Three organization development concentration courses

The organization development concentration courses are designed to provide students with a more in-depth knowledge and skill-set for initiating and managing organizational change. Students use theory and research to align organizations with rapidly changing and complex environments, whether externally imposed or internally-planned. The three courses are complementary, building upon both the micro (individual) and macro (group, organization) levels to advance employee and organizational performance and results.    

Four dissertation courses

The doctoral dissertation is an integral component of the program and serves as a demonstration of academic excellence and expertise in applying the science of business, with all its expected rigor. The dissertation process for DBA students focuses on an applied research project, placing value on the relevance of findings to the researcher. It is designed to make a positive difference in an organization setting, specific to the researcher’s employer or industry. Research will address an authentic problem, issue or concern, based on theory and supported by appropriate methodological and statistical applications.

CURRICULUM PLAN

View the Online Catalog for overview and course descriptions. Course order may vary.

Year 1

CourseCourse TitleCredits
1Organizational Strategy and Design3
2Research Design3
3Organizational Behavior3
4Innovation and Change3
5Quantitative Methods3
6Qualitative Methods3

Year 2

CourseCourse TitleCredits
7Contemporary Leadership Issues3
8Business Analytics and Intelligence3
9Contemporary Issues in Finance and Accounting3
10Advanced Strategies in Organization Development3
11Problems and Methods in Marketing Management3
12Executive Decision-Making3

Year 3

CourseCourse TitleCredits
13Dissertation: Proposal3
14Organizational Interventions – Disruption and Change3
15Leading and Managing Large-Scale Transformation3
16Dissertation: Problem Statement and Literature Review3
17Dissertation: Methodology and Analysis3
16Dissertation: Discussion and Contribution3

The doctoral dissertation is an integral component of the program and serves as a demonstration of academic excellence and expertise in applying the science of business, with all its expected rigor. The dissertation process focuses on an applied research project, placing value on the relevance of findings to you, the researcher. It is designed to make a positive difference in an organization setting, specific to your employer or industry. Your research will address an authentic problem, issue or concern, based on theory, and supported by appropriate methodological and statistical applications.

The dissertation process for the DBA is comprised of a series of lock-step courses specifically designed to guide you from the proposal stage through chapter completion, which culminates in the dissertation defense. This approach creates a schedule intended to make on-time completion manageable. Your dissertation defense, or oral presentation, will be done remotely through web conferencing. Each student will have a dissertation advisement committee comprised of academic and subject matter experts. A major advisor is assigned from within JWU and a program methodologist serves across committees. Additionally, with the approval of the program director, a second reader is selected by the student from faculty, administration, or outside individuals that have specific expertise.

As a Doctor of Business Administration student at Johnson & Wales, you’ll learn from the best.

DBA faculty are terminally-degreed individuals with experience and expertise in their field of study.

They know how to engage with and connect with DBA degree students through our online platforms, providing an enhanced, robust, and encouraging learning environment. The faculty supports and guides students from day one through dissertation completion.

THE JWU DBA IS A DYNAMIC PROGRAM FOR LEADERS WHO ARE READY TO EMBRACE THEIR POTENTIAL — NOW.

Getting started on your Doctor of Business Administration is a quick and simple process. There are no application fees or entrance exams. Admissions requirements are designed to assure that students are prepared for the academic challenge of doctoral work and possess the necessary academic and professional background to be successful.

To be considered for admission into the DBA degree program, applicants must have:

  • Five years of people management in industry, or equivalent experience as a business educator
  • A master’s degree with a concentration in business or business-related field from a regionally accredited institution
  • If an applicant’s master’s level program is not in a business-related field, an additional three years of people management experience in industry is required

HOW TO APPLY

Your first important step is to complete the online doctoral application. After applications are received, applicants are vetted as they move through the following steps:

Submit all official undergraduate and graduate transcripts

Upon application, your Online Admissions Associate will send you a Transcript Request Form(s) via Docusign to sign, which will allow JWU to request your transcript(s) on your behalf. (If your school requires additional information to process the request, you will be notified by the admissions team.) JWU must receive all transcripts, diplomas, and/or certifications from all postsecondary schools, so you may receive more than one Docusign request to complete. It is the student’s responsibility to provide verification of secondary school completion. Without verification, the student may not be allowed to register for the current term or continue enrollment and will be in jeopardy of losing his or her acceptance to the university as well as all financial aid. Refer to the “Admissions/Applying” section in the JWU campus catalog online for information on verification documents

Complete essay requirements

Complete all three of the following essay requirements and submit them in one document.

  • Write a personal statement, demonstrating clear, succinct, and well-reasoned writing that discusses (a) how your educational and personal experiences influenced the decision to pursue a DBA; (b) career goals and how this degree will help to achieve those goals (150-300 words).
  • Explain your managerial experience throughout your career with a specific focus on your people-management experience. Any experience with training and development, organizational behavior, and organization development should be highlighted (100-150 words).
  • Discuss a problem, issue, or concern, related to your profession/industry or workplace, that you are interested in addressing or improving during your doctoral study. (100-150 words).

Email your materials to [email protected] or mail to JWU College of Professional Studies Admissions, 115 Cedar St. Providence, RI 02903.

Submit a résumé, tailored to DBA application specifications

Submit a résumé that includes employment dates, job responsibilities, relevant experience, achievements, and education history. You can also email your résumé to [email protected] or mail it to JWU College of Professional Studies Admissions, 115 Cedar St. Providence, RI 02903.

Submit two letters of recommendation

Applicants must submit two recommendations. At least one recommendation should be from a current or former supervisor. The other should be from a mentor, academic professor, or professional colleague. Recommendations from friends or family members will not be accepted.

JWU Professional offers the ability for references to complete their recommendation via a brief online survey. Your recommender will be asked to evaluate your ability on several various criteria​; it is encouraged that this person includes further comments or a letter to support the numeric assessment. To submit your recommendations, you can choose from the following options:

  • Online form: Complete a reference contact information form via DocuSign. Your Online Admissions Associate will then send a recommendation form directly to your recommender.
  • Mail: College of Professional Studies, Johnson & Wales University,115 Cedar St., Providence, RI;02903
  • Email: [email protected] 
  • Fax: 401-598-4553, Attn: College of Professional Studies Admissions

Participate in a video-conference interview

If selected, DBA applicants are interviewed by the program director and one faculty member via video conference (Skype or Zoom) as the final step in the application process.

For students whose native language is not English, proof of English language proficiency is required. This fully-online program is not available to international students living in the United States.

The deadline for application to the Summer 2024 cohort is March 22, 2024. Students are encouraged to apply early, as the size of each cohort is limited.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS

Johnson & Wales University (JWU) has a long history of being well established in delivering a multitude of disciplines in business education. Johnson & Wales was founded as a business school in 1914; became a Junior College of Business in 1960, offering baccalaureate degrees beginning in 1970; became a university and established the Graduate School in 1985; and, in late 1991, instituted the multi-college system, formally establishing the College of Business. Learn more about the College of Business.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COLLEGE OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

The College of Professional Studies was established in 2013, with distance education offerings beginning in 2010. The mission of the College of Professional Studies is to deliver strategically-selected university academic programs in a high-quality online format to working adult professionals. To accomplish its purpose, the College effectively leverages technology and other creative delivery approaches to offer exceptional education and enhanced professional success for students, in alignment with the university’s mission. Learn more about the College of Professional Studies.

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