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Doctor of Business Administration

Doctor of Business Administration

The Doctor of Business Administration Degree (DBA) is an online doctoral degree program with Areas of Study in Organizational Leadership, Human Resource Management and General Management. Designed to enable business students and professionals to advance their careers as executive leaders, educators and consultants.

Discover how a DBA from Thomas Edison State University can take your career to the next level.

Program Highlights:

  • Low-cost Educational Resources: A portfolio of academic and applied course resources organized using a high-quality cost-effective blend of e-books, articles and Open Educational Resources.
  • Unique Curriculum Design: Scholar-practitioner, interdisciplinary curriculum comprised of five unique Content Domains including; Critical Thought and Action, Integrated Topics in Business and Management, Distance Learning Teaching Internship and Organizational Consulting Practice. Learn from executives who are in the field today.
  • Scholar-Practitioner Field Project: The degree culminates in a student selected, mentor-guided applied field project where you can apply what you have learned in your coursework to your industry or field of interest. This project will result in a publication or conference presentation.
  • Personalized Instructional Delivery: While our adult-centric and seminar-oriented cohort design is within a fully distance learning environment, you will have access to one-on-one mentorship from University leadership.
  • Choose from Three Specialization Areas: Organizational Leadership, Human Resource Management and General Management
  • Support Every Step of the Way: We partner with the degree program student throughout their doctoral experience, delivering highly responsive and focused attention, service and guidance.

Doctor of Business Administration Video

Learn more about our DBA

Students are eligible for degree program admission and course enrollment using the following admissions criteria:

  • Master's degree in business, management, organizational-related studies or closely related field earned from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Graduate GPA of 3.00 or above
  • Assessment of prior academic course work and research methods
  • Minimum of three years of organizational leadership, management or equivalent professional experience
  • Evaluation of graduate school application including; undergraduate and masters academic transcripts, essay, and resume
  • Transcripts should be sent to the Office of the Registrar; Essays/resumes should be sent to
  • Applicant interview
  • Applicants must complete two (2) essays. Provide Approximately 550 words for each essay.
    1. Required essay: Identify one research interest and how earning the DBA degree would advance your knowledge and contribute to the literature.
    2. Select one essay below:
      • Why is earning the DBA degree now important and how will it influence your career goals?
      • Which personal and/or professional experiences have prepared you for earning the DBA degree?
Dr. Robert W. Bigelow

Dr. Robert W. Bigelow


  • PhD in Education (Specialization in Postsecondary and Adult Education), Capella University-School of Education
  • JD, Georgetown University Law Center
  • BA in Sociology (Minor: TV Production), University of New Mexico

Dr. Robert W. Bigelow is an attorney and educator with significant experience in both law and academia. His background includes the fields of employment law, labor law and criminal law. Bigelow's 26 years of legal practice also includes being founder and managing partner of a N.Y./N.J. law firm and serving as the senior supervising attorney for the Legal Aid Society-Criminal Defense Division in New York City. Academic interests include online education, employment law, labor relations, human resource management, business law, criminal law and baseball history. He also has significant experience as a television legal analyst most notably as a regular guest commentator at Court TV/TruTV for five years. Bigelow says his approach to teaching and curriculum development is student-focused and facilitates a real-world understanding of theory and principles.

Dr. Eric T. Brey

Dr. Eric T. Brey


  • PhD, Purdue University
  • MS and BA, Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Wisconsin-Stout

Dr. Eric T. Brey focuses his work on the implementation of customer-centric strategy and service design influences on organizational success. He has been recognized for innovation as an AT&T Technology Fellow and an extraordinary marketing mind by Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), while being quoted in various international media outlets on his research and work on customer needs. He has received numerous scientific awards for his research and has been published in various top-tier journals for the same work. Brey currently serves as an advisor to the Chief Marketing Officer Council. As a teacher-scholar passionate about engaging with industry, he has had the privilege of working with Fortune 500 companies, globally-based companies, international associations and numerous governments through the world.

Dr. Cliff Butler

Dr. Cliff Butler


  • DBA, Management, Nova Southeastern University
  • MBA, Golden Gate University
  • BS, Communication Arts, California State Polytechnic University

Dr. Cliff Butler is a marketing executive and educator with extensive experience in both corporations and academia. His professional background is focused in the fields of marketing, program management and online development with companies including Proquest, International Thompson Publishing, aQuantive and Microsoft. Academic interests include online learning, research methods, curriculum development, management and marketing. Butler has been teaching at the graduate and doctoral levels for more than 20 years including assignments in Eastern Europe, Switzerland and China. He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the International Management Review and completed his certification as a Professional Co-Active Coach in 2014. Butler says he is very dedicated to the profession of education, adult learning and helping students reach their goals.

Dr. Elaine M Gregory

Dr. Elaine M. Gregory, CPA/CFE


  • DBA, Accounting, Capella University-School of Education
  • MBA, Finance, North Central University
  • BA in Accounting, Washington State University, Pullman, Wash.

Dr. Elaine M. Gregory is a certified public accountant (CPA) and certified fraud examiner (CFE) as well as faculty instructor. Her background includes for-profit, not-for-profit and government accounting and finance. Gregory's last full-time position was as a forensic consultant with the U.S. Department of Justice. Academic interests include online education, particularly in the field of accounting. She also mentors both PhD and DBA candidates in the development of the dissertation manuscripts. Gregory says her approach to teaching and curriculum development is to facilitate a collegial relationship with students who pursue higher education. She brings both academic and real-world experiences into the course room to demonstrate how accounting concepts are applied in practical applications.

Dr. John Machnic

Dr. John Machnic


  • PhD Economics (Public Finance, Public Choice, Urban and Regional Economics), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • MA Economics and Political Science, Ball State University
  • BA Political Science, Niagara University

Dr. John Machnic is a business consultant and educator with significant experience in private industry as a chief executive officer and chief financial officer, as well as with nonprofits, having served as an executive director for two different organizations. His academic interests include research methods, economics and finance. Machnic has developed online courses for Wester University, Capella University and Thomas Edison State University.

Dr. Paul Sam

Dr. Paul Sam


  • PhD in Organization and Management (Specialization: Information Technology Management), Capella University
  • MBA, Amberton University
  • Master of International Business, University of St. Thomas
  • BS in Economics and Finance, University of Texas-Dallas

Dr. Paul Sam is chief operating officer for a Global Energy Company and an educator with significant experiences in leadership, global business, project management, information technology development and management. His 29 years of management includes executive positions managing global projects in Fortune 100 companies. Academic interests include project management, international business, information technology and operations management. Sam's research interests include global cultures, business intelligence (BI), global supply chain and information technology (IT). Sam says he uses formative evaluation technique to locate areas for improvement in his students and uses learning/teaching adjustments to correct any observed areas of opportunity.

Dr. Paul Sam

Dr. Jane Whitney Gibson


  • DBA, Nova Southeastern University
  • MS/HRM, Nova Southeastern University
  • BS, Sociology, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Dr. Jane Whitney Gibson, editor emeritus of The Journal of Applied Management & Entrepreneurship, and author of four books and numerous academic articles, served as professor of management at a major university where she held various administrative posts and taught at the MBA and doctoral levels. Currently adjunct faculty at TESU, where she teaches human resources, leading strategic change and managerial communications, Gibson's main research interests center around leadership and online education.

  • A total of six (6) doctoral level credits may be transferred to the DBA
  • Transfer credit accepted only through evaluation by the Dean, School of Business and Management
  • Students admitted to the DBA degree program progress through the DBA curriculum with the cohort to which they were admitted.
  • DBA students who earn a grade lower than a B in a course, withdraw from a DBA course or who fail to enroll during a consecutive term will be assessed on an individual basis for their ability to remain in the DBA program.
  • The program must be completed within seven years of admission into the program.
  1. Integrate financial, operational and cultural data analysis in organizational strategic planning and management.
  2. Analyze the global competitive environment to plan for sustainable organizational growth.
  3. Employ interpersonal, instructional and consulting skills to communicate effectively in key industry, education and market related formats.
  4. Demonstrate ethical behavior in organizational governance, leadership and engagement.
  5. Synthesize theory, research, technologies and experiential data in making evidenced-based decisions.
  6. Evidence commitment to and support of diversity, multiculturalism, equity and social justice.

The DBA degree is composed of sixteen 3 credit courses (48 credit) program. The first thirteen courses (39 credits) are assigned to the following domains; Inquiry Systems and Models (6 credits), Integrated Business Curriculum (18 credits), Area of Study (9 credits) and Teaching and Consultative Professional Practice (6 Credits). The remaining three 3 credit courses (9 credits) address the include Scholar-Practitioner Field Project.

The degree’s option is to enroll in one 3-credit course in consecutive 8-week terms completing the 13-academic course in 32 months. The final three 3 credit courses (Courses DBA-910, DBA-920 and DBA-930 can be completed using the 8-week course format. However, for student’s requiring addition time to complete these courses, students can petition the dean for 2 additional 8-week course extensions. If the three 8-week terms are granted and at the end of the third extension the student has not passed the course, the student will be referred to the dean to determine their continuance in the program.

One 3-credit course per term / 32-month option

Domain I: Inquiry Systems and Models: Critical Thought and Action in the Global Business Environment – 6 credits

Domain II. Integrated Business Curriculum – 18 credits

Domain III. Areas of Study – 9 credits

  • Term IX
    • DBA - Organizational Leadership, Human Resource Management or Management AoS Course #1 (3)
  • Term X
    • DBA - Organizational Leadership, Human Resource Management or Management AoS Course #2 (3)
  • Term XI
    • DBA - Organizational Leadership, Human Resource Management or Management AoS Course #3 (3)

Domain IV. Teaching and Consultative Professional Practice – 6 credits

Domain V. Scholar-Practitioner Field Project - Field Research: Research Methods, Application and Completion* – 9 credits

Total Credits: 48

  • DBA students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and be in good standing at TESU to be certified for graduation.
  • All program requirements must be successfully completed, including the final Scholar-Practitioner Field Project.

Once admitted to the program, follow the steps on our Getting Started page to create your account with Online Student Services, access your academic evaluation, and make an advising appointment.

Telephone Appointment with Dean

You are invited to speak with Dean Williams concerning the Doctor of Business Administration degree program.

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About the DBA Program



Estimated Cost of Degree:


Based on:

  • $50 application fee
  • $905 per credit
  • $298 graduation fee

Excludes books or other fees
View all tuition and fees »


Entirely Online

With access to one-on-one mentoring from University leadership

Transfer Credits:

Up to 6 doctoral level credits


View the DBA Handbook

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Degree Program Profile Sheet

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