What's the difference between a PhD and a DBA?

Program selection
  • Posted by sabwilly on 09/23/12 12:54am

    Sir or Madam,

    what's the difference between a PhD and a DBA? Both degrees are doctoral degrees, right? But for the DBA I have to pay a lot of money.Why? Is it better?

    Thank you

    • Posted by Thomas Graf on 10/12/12 1:22am

      Hi there,

      there are many differences to be honest and the program are hardly comparable. Most importantly, the PhD in Management is for graduates who look for an academic career as fulltime professors. The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in contrast is for professionals who stay in their job during the PhD program and want to stay in business after graduation.

      Of course you may find PhD students who have work experience and PhD programs that can be done part-time. But this is the exception and you will hardly find young graduates in DBA programs.

      As for the question about financing: Some PhD in Management programs fund their students, particularly at top schools. This is great beause it allows the students to fully focus on their students. Receiving a scholarship during your PhD is no guarantee, however, and it depends on the respective school.

      On the other hand, some DBA program may grant scholarships. It is the exception, however. Instead it is more likely that the DBA students pay the tuition fees by themselves (keep in mind that they continue working and hence earning money during the program) or are sponsored by their employers.

      Here we have published a summary of the differences between a PhD in Management and a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).

      Best wishes,

      By Thomas Graf
      Founder DBA Compass
      Author of the DBA Survey

    • Posted by EvaN on 07/05/13 1:39pm

      To make it very simple: A PhD has the aim to turn you into a professional academic, whilst the DBA's aim is to turn you into an academic professional... :)
      Well, indeed the DBA is a programme designed for experienced business people who want to study with other international business people.
      The programme design often differs from Phd programmes by putting stronger emphasis on research methodologies and methods. Most DBAs finished their last university degree several years ago. Instead they added lots of business experience to their knowlege and skills. Good DBA programmes take this into account and help DBA candidates to "translate" their former education PLUS business experience into high quality academic reading and writing.