Should I Earn a PhD in Business Administration?

PhD in Business Administration Overview

Businessman presenting in front of a group
Shannon Fagan/ Stone/ Getty Images

What Is a A PhD in Business Administration?

A PhD in Business Administration is the highest academic degree that can be earned in the business administration field within the U.S. and several other countries. PhD stands for Doctor of Philosophy. Students who enroll in a PhD in Business Administration program participate in and conduct field research throughout the program. Completion of the program results in a degree.


Where to Earn a PhD in Business Administration

There are many different business schools that award PhDs in Business Administration. Most programs are campus-based, but there are also a number of schools that provide online programs. Most online programs do not require students to ever set foot on campus. 

How Does a PhD in Business Administration Program Work?

The average program requires four to six years of work, but may require less or more depending on the program. Students typically work with the faculty to determine a specific program of study based on current interests and future career goals. After completing coursework and/or independent study, students usually take an exam. This often occurs sometime between the second and fourth year of study. When the exam is complete, students typically begin work on a dissertation that they will present prior to graduation.

Choosing a PhD Program

Choosing the right PhD in Business Administration program can be difficult.

However, it is important for students to choose a program that fits their needs, study schedule, and career goals. The first thing every student should explore is accreditation. If a program is not accredited, it is not worth pursuing.

Other important considerations include program location, concentration options, faculty reputation, and program reputation.

Students should also consider cost and the availability of financial aid packages. Earning an advanced degree isn't cheap--and a PhD in Business Administration is no exception.

What Can I Do With a PhD in Business Administration?

The type of job you can get after graduating with a PhD in Business Administration is often dependent on your program concentration. Many business schools allow PhD students to concentrate on one specific area of business administration, such as accounting, finance, marketing, operations management, or strategic management.

Popular career options include teaching or consulting. A PhD in Business Administration program provides ideal preparation for business majors who want to go on to become business school professors or teachers in the business administration field. Grads are also prepared to take on consulting positions with corporations, non-profits, and government agencies.

Learn More about PhD Programs