Walden University Online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

The Walden University School of Management offers an online DBA with five specializations, two campus residencies, and a choice of three capstone options. Specializations include entrepreneurship, healthcare management, human resource management, leadership, and a self-designed option.

DBA students complete a total of at least 49 credits which can be reduced by up to 17 transfer credits. Capstone options include doctoral study, a consulting capstone, or a portfolio capstone. The doctoral study is the traditional doctoral capstone, while the other two options have a limited number of slots, and students must be approved before pursuing. The consulting capstone requires an interview.

The residencies allow students to set the course for their DBA experience, receive face-to-face instruction and support, build relationships and networks, develop scholarly research skills, model professional behavior in communication with faculty and peers, and participate in peer reviews. There is also an optional doctoral study intensive residency.

The DBA is designed for professionals who want to change the world through the businesses they manage. The desired impact will help determine which specialization to choose. Some study topics include organizational leadership, contemporary business challenges, business strategy, qualitative and quantitative methodologies, relationship management, ethics, and globalization. Included are activities for self-analysis, international case studies, and opportunities for collaboration and discussion.

Walden University Online DBA Program

Applicants must complete a doctoral writing assessment that evaluates prospective doctoral students’ writing skills to ensure they meet the demands of writing at a doctoral level. Those with a master’s degree or higher may apply.

The Walden DBA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Walden University is operated out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is a completely online school with no physical campus.

What to Expect from the Walden Online DBA Program

Admission Requirements: Applicants to the Walden online DBA program must hold a master’s degree or higher from an accredited institution. No minimum GPA is required. Application materials include a completed online application, official transcripts, and an employment history. GMAT and GRE test scores are not required. Professional work experience is expected. Walden provides enrollment specialists to walk applicants through the process and gather all the necessary materials.

Study Plan: The Walden online DBA can be completed in about three years, however, students have up to eight years to finish. As well, students may transfer in up to 17 credits to reduce the time to completion. Courses begin in the fall, spring, or summer, and last eight weeks each, with two courses per 16-week semester. Doctoral students can get support from doctoral coaches, faculty, peer mentors, and student advocates. Doctoral students spend about 15 to 20 hours per week on each course.

DBA Curriculum: The DBA program requires the completion of at least 49 credits and includes two residencies plus a capstone option. Courses for all specializations include business essentials (non-credit); contemporary challenges in business; organizational leadership: doctoral theory and practice; business strategy and innovation for competitive advantage; qualitative and quantitative methodology for applied business research; qualitative and case study methodology for business analysis research; quantitative business data analysis using SPSS.

In addition, students choose a capstone pathway that includes four credits of doctoral study mentoring and at least 15 credits of doctoral completion courses (taken at least five times or more as necessary for completion). Specialization courses are as follows:

  • Entrepreneurship: Seminar in innovation management; seminar in B2B marketing; and seminar in entrepreneurial finance.
  • Healthcare Management: Seminar in healthcare managerial decision-making; seminar in managing healthcare delivery system; and seminar in law and ethics in healthcare management.
  • Human Resource Management: The new HR: the savvy strategic partner; succession planning: a survival tool of the fittest; and an HR plan for organizational agility.
  • Leadership: Seminar in change management; seminar in sustainability; and seminar in multicultural management.
  • Self-Designed: Students choose three electives from the other specializations to create their own.

Online Experience: All new Walden University online students participate in an online orientation to familiarize themselves with the myWalden student portal, which is the Walden online learning management system (LMS). The myWalden platform allows students to navigate all that is required to complete their courses, view grades, and participate in class forums. Courses are delivered asynchronously and include weekly deadlines.

Walden students have access to academic and writing help as well as online forums where they can discuss work-life balance and careers. This is also a great platform to get help from faculty, fellow students, alumni, and academic advisors. Finally, students have access to Student Success Advising and 24/7 technical support.

On-Site Requirements: There are two required residencies and one optional residency for the DBA program, taking place at locations around the country. The first residency is completed at the beginning of the program while taking the courses contemporary challenges in business and organizational leadership: doctoral theory and practice. This residency is required in order to advance to the applied business research methodology course. It provides a program orientation, and overview of the doctoral study capstone, advising, and socialization.

The second residency is completed just before the beginning of the course qualitative and case study methodology for business analysis research and is required to advance to quantitative business data analysis using SPSS. In this residency, students complete their doctoral study proposal and capstone project and receive student success advising.

An optional doctoral study intensive is also available, for which students must contact Student Success Advising to find out more information and register.

Paying for the Walden Online DBA

Walden University recommends speaking with a Walden Enrollment Specialist to find out tuition costs and fees and to learn about current discounts and financial aid. Tuition totals vary depending on previous education, which affects transferred credits. Military discounts may apply. Online students should contact the Walden University School of Management admissions department for a customized tuition assessment.

Walden University may offer grants and scholarships to graduate business students. In addition, students may apply for federal grants and loans through the FAFSA. Other funding options may include grants and scholarships from outside resources such as community or other organizations and employer tuition reimbursement programs.

Walden University Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

  • Offers five specializations and three capstone pathways for maximum flexibility
  • Doctoral students have access to student success advisors and doctoral coaches
  • Topics of study include organizational leadership, contemporary business challenges, qualitative and quantitative methodologies, relationship management, ethics, and globalization
Program Essentials
Degree Level Doctoral Degree
Program Start Dates Fall, Spring, Summer
Credits Needed to Graduate 49
Time to Complete? Graduate in as little as 3 years.
100% Online? No, two campus residencies required (currently online)
Program Accreditation ACBSP
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Master's Degree
GPA Required? None
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? Work experience expected
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 49
Average Cost Per Credit $1,020.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $49,980

* Tuition is calculated based on credits, at the 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, unless otherwise specified. Please see the school website for the most up-to-date tuition costs.

Sara Navratil
Sara Navratil

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.