Doctor of Business Administration

Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA)

(Online Courses) 

The Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) degree program provides students with a comprehensive and well-integrated immersion in emergent business principles, historical and cutting-edge change theories, and adaptive leadership approaches for an increasingly complex world. The DBA focuses on the development of deep self-knowledge and emotional intelligence that benefit executives across a range of global business settings. The program is designed to provide graduates with tested business knowledge, generative skills, and transpersonal perspectives necessary to foster and lead change and transformation in organizations facing volatile global conditions. 

The DBA program emphasizes best practices and pragmatic business solutions through research-based applied learning. Each student enters with an identified and tangible business challenge and in the learning cohort, examines, tests, and proposes solutions. The student must also focus on the transpersonal dimensions of leadership development to successfully lead the change and transformation required in the project. These change-makers must be grounded in self-awareness, ethical practices, and emotional intelligence as well as engage in academic rigor to be successful. The answers to these increasingly difficult business and social challenges are not clear and will bring forth expected and unexpected results. Leaders grounded in ongoing self-awareness will be best suited to create and respond to the complex needs facing our global and local businesses. 

Core courses provide foundational knowledge in critical thinking, leadership practices and theories, personality and motivation theories, creativity, research, strategy, ethics, and communication approaches to guide research-based strategic actions leading to the enhancement of organizational performance and global sustainability. 

The DBA program provides a balance of business-centric principles with sound transpersonal ideals to prepare students to become transformative, agile, and innovative leaders in today’s complex global business environment. Students are members of a learning community responsible for generative mentoring and receptive to being mentored throughout the three years of the program. As a result, students will be well-equipped to adapt and thoughtfully lead meaningful changes in the global environment.

Requirements for Admission:  The (Domestic) Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA):

For admission into the Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) - program, an earned master’s degree from a recognized university is required.  Applicants must have a minimum of three or more years of relevant work experience at a senior level with increasing levels of responsibility or demonstrated relevant life experiences. 

These documents are required.

  • Application for Admissions 
  • Official transcripts of accredited undergraduate and graduate work 
  • Three letters of reference 
  • Confirmation of 3+ years of relevant work experience at a senior level 

(Resume or CV recommended)

  • Personal Interview with Chair or Designee upon successful submission of all required documents 
  • Three-to-five-page statement of a business challenge (template attached).  The business challenge summary requires the inclusion of the potential impact of the project in a community or local or global organization. The potential value proposition should be identified.  The statement of anticipated contributions to the organizational and leadership practice, innovation engagement, technology inclusion, globalization, and sustainability must also be included.  This business challenge should assist the applicant in their chosen field and represent a major business change initiative and most likely, contribute to personal transformation and the skill and ability to lead complex change efforts.
Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA), students will be able to: 

· Promote leaders committed to developing and applying practical and theoretical studies focused on adaptive business solutions to address current and changing needs in the global knowledge economy. 

· Develop scholarly, evidence-based, and practice-oriented research that contributes to the global advancement of professional, sustainable, values-driven, and cutting-edge leadership practices in complex organizations. 

· Engage and support dialogue on business theory and practical application knowledge with industry practitioners and leaders to influence new and meaningful business opportunities. 

· Create innovative responses to complex business challenges leveraging quantitative and qualitative reasoning, methodologies, and research to inform theory and practice for global sustainability. 

· Support practitioner-scholars with the capacity to think critically, integrate emergent business theories and practices, and collaboratively lead global organizational change and transformation.

Degree Requirements

To receive a DBA, students must successfully complete 54 required units. Transfer credits are not accepted.


Required Courses

These 54 mandatory business and applied learning credits must be successfully completed within the three-year program. Transfer credits are not accepted.  Courses, directly and indirectly, support the ongoing development of the research-based project and the specialized and unique leadership development plan. The project and the leadership plan ensuring the roll-out of the project are present in Phase III, Term 4 at the global Business Congress and Leadership Engagement.

Phase I: Global Business & Transformational Leadership Engagement (18 units)

Term 1

DBA6000 Critical Thinking and Business Communication (2)

DBA6040 The Entrepreneurial Mind and Transpersonal Psychology (3)

DBA5011 Business Integration Practicum - BIP (0)

Term 2

DBA6010 Quantitative and Qualitative Research and Business Opportunities (3)

DBA6020 Methods of Leading Change (2)

DBA5012 Business Integration Practicum - BIP (0)

Term 3

DBA6030 Mixed Methods Research for Business Opportunities (2)

DBA6050 Transpersonal Leadership and Action Research (3) (GPHD7210)

DBA5013 Business Integration Practicum - BIP (0)

Term 4

DBA6060 Seminar:  Business Challenges and Opportunities (2)

DBA6900 Directed Studies (1)

DBA5014 Business Integration Practicum - BIP (0)

Phase II:  Business Values and Global Leadership (18 units)

Term 1

DBA7000 Psychology of Organizational Transformation (3)

DBA7010 Globalization and Sustainability (2)

DBA5021 Business Integration Practicum - BIP (0)

Term 2

DBA7020 Technology, Innovation and Creativity in Business (3)

DBA7030 Leadership and Ethics in the Global Economy (2)

DBA5022 Business Integration Practicum - BIP (0)

Term 3

DBA7040 Leadership by Design (2)

DBA7050 Transformational Leadership in Organizations and Communities (3)

DBA5023 Business Integration Practicum - BIP (0)

Term 4

DBA7060 Doctoral Project & Leadership Opportunities (2)

DBA6910 Directed Studies (1)

DBA5024 Business Integration Practicum - BIP (0)

Phase III: Leadership Responses to Global Business Challenges (18 units)

Term 1

DBA8100 Doctoral Project Proposal & Pitch (2)

DBA8200 Doctoral Project Leadership Plan (2)

DBA5031 Business Integration Practicum - BIP (0)

Term 2

DBA8300 Doctoral Project Implementation (2)

DBA8400 Conflict and Innovation Lab (2)

DBA5032 Business Integration Practicum - BIP (0)

Term 3

DBA8500 Doctoral Project Evaluation (2)

DBA8600 Leadership Plan for the Future (2)

DBA5033 Business Integration Practicum - BIP (0)

Term 4

DBA8700 The Business Congress & Leadership Engagement (6)

DBA5034 Business Integration Practicum - BIP (0)


Business Integration Practicum (BIP) 
The Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) program is a cohort-based three year program with two final research-based products. In addition, the DBA has a comprehensive Business Integration Practicum program (BIP) component for those with a F-1 status which allows these doctoral students to participate in the Sofia Practicum program which maps to the DBA curricula. The Practicum program allows students to directly apply their learning in an organizational/corporate setting while being mentored directly by an experienced faculty member. Each term, the doctoral student explores and integrates the learning objectives of the required courses with corresponding experiences in the Practicum. Within the BIP program, doctoral students apply research-based business and leadership theories and skills and assess the value and impact of actions while developing lessons learned reflections, work engagement considerations, and academic products that are integrated into and reflected on for the final Global Business Challenge Project (GBCHP) and their Global Leadership Development Assessment (GLDA). These research-based submissions and formal presentations at the Sofia University Global Business Congress are delivered in the final Term of Year 3 and are based on iterations due in Term 4 of Year 1 and Year 2. Students will also interact with other DBA students to share experiences and engage in peer mentoring.
The leader at the Practicum organization will also be involved in the doctoral student’s learning process through meaningful and practical feedback to assist the student in innovative insights for the GLDA and GBCHP. These insights will also be communicated to the faculty mentor. Overall, the Business Integration Practicum program (BIP) of the DBA will provide doctoral students valuable real time business experience that will assist them in learning and innovating to create enhanced core business and leadership topics and approaches on the job and provide a platform to help them reflect on their experiences with support by DBA faculty, business advisors, and student peers.

Course Description: Business Integration Practicum (BIP) 

The Business Integration Practicum (BIP) zero-credit course provides the opportunity to successfully integrate and synthesize the dynamic nature of leadership and organizations through weekly reflections on a series of inquiries. There are twelve (12) required BIP courses, one a term. They are designed to engage you more deeply in the academic content of the DBA, provide the opportunity for peer mentoring in the learning cohort, and the opportunity to experiment and apply concepts through focused business advising. For a number of you, this will also be the center created to guide you through the completion of the CPT process to gain CPT approval. Students produce a brief weekly critical reflection on their internship experience based on a prompt tied to the course work and the learning objectives. Also, you will respond weekly to postings by your colleagues. These weekly reflections and responses explicitly inform the Global Business Challenge Project (GBCP) and the Global Leadership Development Assessment (GLDA). 

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