The DBA, or doctor of business administration, qualifies graduates for careers in research, teaching and consulting. Three North Carolina universities offer the degree. The doctorate in business administration is a rigorous program. Students must pass qualifying examinations and successfully defend a dissertation along with taking advanced courses in business and mathematics.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte's PhD in business administration is a 72-credit program. Students take advanced classes in finance, economics and investments. Courses in statistics and calculus are required for students who did not take them as undergraduates. Eighteen of the 72 credits required for graduation are devoted to dissertation research. Doctoral candidates teach undergraduate business courses after their first year in the PhD program. Prior to beginning work on the dissertation, students must pass diagnostic and qualifying exams.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, students in the PhD program in business administration take required courses in economics and research methods. Additional degree requirements include three semesters of teaching and completing a research paper on a topic the student may expound on in his dissertation. In the PhD program, candidates select from concentrations in areas such as organizational behavior, finance or accounting. A written comprehensive exam is given to PhD students at the end of the second year of study.

Duke University

Students enrolled in the PhD program in business administration at Duke University can select from seven areas of study. These include strategy, operations management and finance. Students must pass a comprehensive exam in their chosen area of study at the end of the second or third year. Coursework is individualized; students plan their degree program with the help of a faculty advisor. Degree candidates can take courses at Duke, North Carolina State and the University of North Carolina.


Admissions to doctoral programs in business administration is competitive, and successful applicants have a strong undergraduate or prior graduate school record with a GPA of at least 3.5. PhD programs in business administration typically require students to submit prior college transcripts, a personal statement, recommendations and scores from the GRE or GMAT. Some programs, such as the one at UNC Chapel Hill, also require personal interviews. A student admitted to a PhD program in business administration in North Carolina is eligible for fellowships. Duke University offers full fellowships and a stipend to all admitted students.

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