Affordable Online PhD Business – Online DBA Programs 2019

By GSH Staff

Considering an online DBA program (online doctor of business administration)? This article considers both online DBA programs and online Ph.D. business programs.

Although most businessmen and women who are looking for an advanced degree opt for an MBA program, there are certain benefits to a Ph.D. in business that an MBA simply can’t offer. First and foremost, a doctoral program in business can prepare you to teach business at the collegiate level and to conduct research. However, holding a Ph.D. can also help you get ahead in other areas – particularly higher level management positions in specialized industries, such as information technology.

And just like MBAs, doctoral degrees in business are sometimes available through distance education. This accessibility and flexibility is particularly important for management and finance professionals, as they don’t typically have the freedom to take off work or stop working altogether while attending school.


The ten colleges and universities listed below are the most affordable online DBA programs in business in the United States. We first assembled a list of all the online Ph.D. business degrees available nationwide (there actually aren’t a lot!) and then ranked them according to graduate tuition cost (data taken from College Navigator). From there we were able to identify the 10 overall cheapest schools, which we have listed below. Please note that in some cases the tuition reported on College Navigator is an average assessment of annual cost and may not reflect the exact price of specifically attending the online Ph.D. business program at each of these schools. We encourage you to speak with each college you are considering to confirm precisely what your financial obligations will be.

Ranking the Most Affordable Online DBA Programs / Online Ph.D. Business Programs

Northcentral University Online DBA Programs

Northcentral offers an ACBSP-accredited online doctor of business administration program.

10. Northcentral University

Online PhD in Business Administration

Northcentral University offers high-level training for students who don’t want to stop at an MBA. This online Ph.D. business program combines extensive training in research and leadership strategies to produce graduates who will find equal success in academia and industry, or as entrepreneurs. NCU almost offers more specialization options than you can count; Healthcare Administration, International Business, Applied Computer Science, Marketing, and Project Management are just a few of the concentrations you could choose. The ACBSP-accredited curriculum includes all the most important topics PhD students will need to succeed in the real world, and in fact past graduates have gone on to secure positions as vice presidents, project managers, chief information officers, international business consultants, and more.
Tuition: $15,307/yr

Learn more about Northcentral University

9. Capella University

Online PhD in General Business Management

This online PhD business program from Capella, which is designed for professionals who want to become scholars in their field (in the form of teachers, consultants, or industry leaders), is as affordable as it is reputable. There is no end to the unique opportunities offered through this online Ph.D. program in business, from optional trips overseas to engage in multinational networking to free connections with The Wall Street Journal. The four-part degree seamlessly intertwines online coursework, “hybrid” class sessions, rigorous exams, and a final dissertation project. The degree is not for the faint of heart (which is true of most doctoral programs!), but those who graduate benefit from an earning potential that is more than $40,000 higher than those with a terminal master’s degree.
Tuition: $13,770/yr

Learn more about Capella University

8. Colorado Technical University

Doctor of Management Online

Earning a doctorate in management from Colorado Technical University can allow you to develop the advanced business expertise that alludes many in the industry. Over three years you will not just analyze problems and pitch solutions to common management issues, but you will also contribute your own original thoughts to the field. The 96-credit program divides itself between three types of learning: research and writing, leadership/change management courses, and students’ concentration of choice. This latter area of study might focus on any one of twelve different disciplines, proving that CTU aims to provide something for everyone. Although the university also offers MBA courses, the online DM program in management allows students to acquire an MBA or MSM along the way and still earn their doctoral degree in just a few years.
Total Tuition: $59,800

Learn more about the Colorado Technical University

7. Baker College

Online Doctorate of Business Administration

Good leaders follow standards; great leaders create them. At Baker College, you can become a trendsetter in business by gaining a thorough understanding of the ins and outs of the corporate world. Students learn about best practices and business strategies as a starting point for their own careers as pioneers in management. Baker’s online DBA program combines traditional college courses with engaging seminars, skill-building residencies, and research projects to help students maximize their potential. All of this challenging coursework culminates in the completion of a comprehensive dissertation, putting students in a position to far outperform their less-educated colleagues in the real world.
Tuition: $10,080/yr

Learn more about Baker College

6. Hampton University

Online PhD in Business Administration

If you have already established yourself in business but feel as if you may have hit a wall in your career progression, Hampton University’s online PhD business program can be your wrecking ball. The curriculum – which includes coursework in Organizational Behavior, Strategy and Policy Leadership, and Advanced Computer Applications – is powerful enough to help you break through any obstacles in the workplace. Students must complete two residencies during the program (four weeks each summer for 24 credits) where they will put their skills to good use and delve into the research process. Students also don’t wait until their dissertation work to start contributing to the field; Hampton University asks all graduate learners to produce a publishable paper in their first year!
Tuition: $9,774/yr

Learn more about Hampton University

5. Grand Canyon University

Online DBA Program with an Emphasis in Management

Grand Canyon University views doctoral education in business as a way to expand the knowledge of even the most seasoned management professionals and MBA wielders. This online DBA program pushes students to augment their expertise with additional theories and practices in order to become leaders on a global scale. Although some Ph.D. graduates work in academia, GCU welcomes applicants who have the “vision to innovate” and apply their training to concrete solutions within corporate America. You’ll explore financial decision-making, micro- and macroeconomic principles, organizational strategy, and business analytics before synthesizing this newfound information into a final dissertation.
Tuition: $9,563/yr

Learn more about Grand Canyon University

4. Liberty University

Online Doctor of Business Administration

Liberty University’s online Ph.D. in business goes well beyond the traditional scope of such programs. Students can effectively earn an online doctorate in accounting, marketing, international business, leadership, human resources and more by judiciously choosing one of Liberty’s specialized “cognates.”

More Info

As a Christian university, Liberty also promotes Biblical ideas and integrates religious instruction into its curriculum as a way to mold students into ethical business leaders who use spiritual principles as their guide. The 60 credit hour program is available almost entirely online, save for three on-campus “intensives” in Virginia, which will help you engage with faculty, get to know your classmates, and build relationships.
Tuition: $9,360/yr

Learn more about Liberty University

3. Saint Leo University

Online DBA program

The online PhD in business administration from Saint Leo University is uniquely tailored to the needs of future management consultants, college professors, and business executives. Although the program offers a broad enough education to cover all the traditional bases of business – including components similar to an online doctorate in finance – it is also flexible enough to let students spread their entrepreneurial wings. Coursework emphasizes real-world problems plaguing an increasingly complex industry, while three one-week seminars on campus (during the intersession breaks) ensure that students are staying on task and networking along the way.
Tuition: $8,442/yr

Learn more about Saint Leo University

2. Trident University

Online PhD in Business Administration

The goal of Trident University’s online Ph.D. program in management is to “take business leadership to the next level.” The 100% online degree (no on-campus residencies!) assists students in improving their writing and presentation skills, researching complex subjects, and understanding the vast – and still growing – world of business. Students receive plenty of support from Trident’s unique online learning community (TLC) as they explore one of five concentrations: Leadership, Marketing, Accounting/Finance, Management and Operations, or Information Systems/Information Technology Management. Each of these concentrations is incredibly comprehensive; for example, the marketing specialty covers coursework in search engine marketing, advertising/branding, pricing, retailing, and more – and rivals standalone online doctorates in marketing.
Tuition: $6,518/yr

Learn more about Trident University

1. California Southern University

Online Doctor of Business Administration

Why bother to get a DBA from California Southern University? In addition to its almost too-good-to-be-true annual cost, regionally accredited CSU offers a flexible education for today’s busiest professionals. Even highly experienced executives who want to distinguish themselves from other MBAs will find there is still much to learn about management and leadership once they enroll at CalSouthern. This curriculum includes work in Managerial Economics, Ethnography of Corporate Culture, Coordinating and Managing Supply Chains, and Business Research Methods, among other topics. And of course, no Ph.D. would be complete without a dissertation requirement. CalSouthern’s online DBA program includes 14 credits of work on a “doctoral project,” plus one credit for passing a comprehensive – and no doubt challenging – cumulative exam.
Tuition: $6,650/yr

Learn more about California Southern University

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