Capella University Online DBA Program & Specializations

The School of Business and Technology at Capella University offers an online doctor of business administration (DBA) program with three specializations: general management, organizational leadership and development, and strategy and innovation. Included in the program are a capstone and two 4-day residencies. The DBA may be earned in about 2.5 years taking two courses per quarter.

During the 4-day residencies, doctoral students collaborate with faculty and peers during guided activities and networking events. In addition, DBA students meet with members of the Institutional Review Board who will approve research projects for their capstone experience. Finally, students meet with writing and research consultants. Residencies are held at locations throughout the US at hotel conference centers.

The DBA specializations prepare graduates to excel in their careers at the highest level of business leadership. Students begin their capstone journey early in the program and follow provided milestones to keep on track. All DBA participants work one-on-one with a dedicated faculty mentor on their capstone research project.

Each specialization includes a list of degree outcomes that cover areas of business practice, planning, ethics, global environments, communication, business relationships, sustainability, critical thinking, organizational research, and evidence-based decision-making. In order to ensure that graduates are properly trained to successfully serve in their chosen field, Capella University degrees are competency-based. In addition, Capella operates from an interprofessional educational model in which students in related programs share knowledge.

The DBA program is offered in two formats: GuidedPath and FlexPath.

GuidedPath is a traditional course-based pathway with deadlines, grades, and peer interaction. Due to differences in these pathways, start dates, time-to-completion, grading, delivery, and tuition costs vary. The same degree is granted through both learning paths.

FlexPath is a pathway designed for highly motivated, self-starting learners who desire to reduce the cost and possibly the time required to complete their degree. FlexPath is a non-credit-bearing, non-graded pathway where students may take up to two courses simultaneously. This path includes one-on-one interaction with faculty and assessments to demonstrate outcome competency and does not include peer interaction. Students earn 45 points, rather than credits, yet still earn the same degree upon graduation.

FlexPath is billed on a 12-week basis and students may complete as many courses as possible during this time, beginning another course upon completion of one course. Start dates are offered once a month and new courses can begin at any time after completion of a course.

Capella University is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the DBA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Capella University is an online-only institution based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with two campus centers located in Augusta and Atlanta, Georgia.

Capella University Online DBA Programs

What to Expect from the Capella University Online DBA

Admission Requirements: Applicants to the online DBA program must hold a master’s degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. No work experience or graduate exams are required. Students who have earned an MBA or a related degree may be able to transfer in up to 12 credits.

The application requires the submission of official transcripts and an application fee which is waived at times. A background check is also required upon acceptance. International transcripts must be submitted with a transcript evaluation and students whose first language is not English must submit proof of language proficiency.

Study Plan: The Capella University online DBA consists of 18 courses lasting ten weeks each. Start dates land each quarter in the fall, winter, spring, or summer. Courses range from four to six credits each and students can take advantage of a quarterly tuition maximum by taking seven or more credits each quarter.

The DBA program can be completed in about 2.5 years by taking two courses in most quarters. At the pace of one course per quarter, the degree can be completed in about 4.5 years. Most students take one to two courses per quarter. Students have up to seven years to complete a doctoral degree at Capella. A capstone and two 4-day residencies are required.

Curriculum: The Capella University DBA consists of 90 quarter credits over 17 courses of four to six credits each. Core courses include your DBA journey; effective organizational leadership; addressing problems in human resources and compliance; strategic decision-making; teaching business and higher education; survey of research methods; quantitative design and Analysis; and qualitative design and analysis.

All specializations also complete the doctoral courses titled proposal writing; data analysis practice and IRB approval; project results; and final reviews and presentation. In addition, each specialization takes a non-credit course called DBA mentor Courseroom in which they work with mentors to complete milestones as they complete their degree.

General Management Specialization Courses: Specialization courses for the DBA in general management include seminar: general management topic development; seminar: general management literature review; either leadership theory and practice or strategy and innovation – theorizing, crafting, executing; high-performance leadership or strategic digital transformation; and catalysts for change or managing innovation, design, and creativity.

Organizational Leadership and Development Specialization Courses: Specialization courses for the DBA in leadership include leadership theory and practice; high-performance leadership; catalysts for change; seminar: leadership topic development; and leadership literature review.

Strategy and Innovation Specialization Courses: Specialization courses for the DBA in strategy and innovation include strategy and innovation – theorizing, crafting, executing; strategic digital transformation; managing Innovation, design, and creativity; seminar: strategy and innovation topic development; and seminar: strategy and Innovation literature review.

Online Experience: Capella DBA students complete an applied business research project in order to demonstrate the ability to perform organizational research that is applied to solving business problems in an existing organization. Online courses may include readings, case studies, simulations, group projects, group discussions, and other learning modalities. Courses are mostly asynchronous with some synchronous activities required. All assignments are due on Sundays and are accompanied by a comprehensive scoring guide. Student assessment is outcomes-based.

Capella DBA students may access disability services, faculty support, academic advising, admissions support, writing support, tutors, military support staff, career counseling, and technical support. Each quarter students purchase a resource kit that includes all materials needed for a course.

In addition, doctoral students work one-on-one with a faculty mentor throughout the program and specifically on the capstone requirements.

On-Site Requirements: The Capella University online DBA includes two 4-day residencies. These may take place at hotel conference centers around the US.and locations alternate each year. All other coursework is 100 percent online.

Paying for the Capella University Online DBA

Online GuidedPath DBA students pay $750 per credit plus fees. Capella University offers a quarterly tuition maximum of $4,850, therefore students taking seven or more credits in a quarter will benefit. A resource kit is also charged at $715 per quarter and includes all resource materials such as books, test kits, articles, software and anything else needed for the course.

FlexPath students pay $3,200 per 12-week billing session. Travel costs are not included in tuition estimates. Applicants should contact the Capella University School of Business and Technology for current costs, discounts, and available scholarships.

Capella’s online DBA students have access to graduate student loans in accordance with the FAFSA. In addition, a $20,000 Capella Progress Reward scholarship may be available to fund the DBA degree. Finally, Capella University offers military tuition discounts. Doctoral students may find out more from the Capella University Admissions Office. Students are encouraged to inquire with their employers regarding a tuition reimbursement program and seek funding from other outside sources.

Capella University DBA - General Management

  • Participate in two 4-day residencies
  • Choose from one of 3 specializations
  • Reduce tuition by taking 7 or more credits per quarter due to the quarterly tuition maximum
Program Essentials
Degree Level Doctoral Degree
Program Start Dates Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
Credits Needed to Graduate 90
Time to Complete? Graduate in as little as 2.5 years.
100% Online? No, two 4-day residencies required
Program Accreditation ACBSP
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Master's degree or higher
GPA Required? 3.0 or Greater
GRE or GMAT Required? No GMAT required
Work Experience Required? No
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 90
Cost Per Credit Hour $750.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $67,500

Capella University DBA - Organizational Leadership and Development

Program Essentials
Degree Level Doctoral Degree
Program Start Dates Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
Credits Needed to Graduate 90
Time to Complete? Graduate in as little as 2.5 years.
100% Online? No, two 4-day residencies required
Program Accreditation ACBSP
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required?
GPA Required? 3.0 or Greater
GRE or GMAT Required? No GRE required
Work Experience Required? No
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 90
Cost Per Credit Hour $750.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $67,500

Capella University DBA - Strategy and Innovation

Program Essentials
Degree Level Doctoral Degree
Program Start Dates Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
Credits Needed to Graduate 90
Time to Complete? Graduate in as little as 2.5 years.
100% Online? No, two 4-day residencies required
Program Accreditation ACBSP
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required?
GPA Required? 3.0 or Greater
GRE or GMAT Required? No GRE required
Work Experience Required? No
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 90
Cost Per Credit Hour $750.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $67,500

* Tuition is calculated based on credits, at the currently published tuition rate. For programs with variable tuition rates, we use the out of state, part-time student rate. Tuition number represents the cost of tuition for the entire program, not per semester or year. Total cost of tuition does not include additional fees. Please see the school website for the most up-to-date tuition costs.

Sara Navratil
Sara Navratil
Writer

Sara Navratil is a freelance writer and a Certified Canfield Success Principles Trainer. She's the owner of Sara Liza Life, a company dedicated to helping people rewrite their lives. She enjoys researching and writing about entrepreneurial and general business topics, and providing detailed information on online MBA programs. When not working she likes to read, bake, and spend time with her family.