Enrolls In
Fall only
Online, Onsite (Seattle)
Total Credits

Drive Organizations to Success

City University of Seattle’s Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is designed for professionals to develop advanced skills in organization interventional thinking, agile business practices, leadership, and critical thinking, while developing specialized business knowledge in the area of their choice.

This program offers you the flexibility to choose between online and on-site formats. With online coursework, you’ll be supported through a highly interactive teaching model that includes one hour every other week of live interaction with the professor and classmates via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. You can complete the program in three to four years.

  • Focus on Practicality and Implementation: Gain consultative and educational skills that can be directly applied to business, education, or organizational situations.
  • Quality of Instruction: Doctoral faculty are subject-matter experts who bring course content to life by providing relevant connections with difficult to grasp content.
  • Relevant & Flexible: 100% online course delivery with options for in-person residences fit professionals’ schedules to provide a work/school balance.
  • Fast-Track Options: Transfer up to 12 credits into your doctoral program to shorten your time of completion.

The Doctor of Business Administration will prepare you to:

  • Analyze and assess the current state of an organization
  • Develop effective business strategies that guide organizations to change and adapt to future challenges
  • Evaluate complex organizations and how they can appropriately serve their stakeholders
  • Recognize the social and economic value of responsible business strategies as ethical business leaders of the future
  • Utilize project-oriented approaches to lead organizations with innovation and vision
  • Conduct data-driven business analyses and interventions founded in accepted research methodologies to improve operational performance
  • Design and conduct significant and unique research projects that contribute to the knowledge of the business administration field

DBA 600 – Introduction to Doctoral Program (1)
In this course Students will become familiar with the CityU DBA Program, online success tips, and academic writing resources. Tutorials and short quizzes or exercises in scholastic honesty, writing conventions, and APA citations will help prepare students for doctoral-level work.

DBA 605 – Organizational Development Theories and Trends (6)
This course analyzes the current theories and trends associated with Organizational Development. Students will learn how to assess the current practices of an organization relative to its mission and values and then work with the leaders of that organization to suggest, select, and implement interventions to make the organization perform more efficiently. Some of the theories to be analyzed include organizational ecology, lean operational strategy, organizational frames, and appreciate inquiry. Students will also investigate the impacts of organizational change on key stakeholders and plan for resistance.

DBA 610 – Financial Decision-Making (6)
This course expands on the research and knowledge reviewed in prior graduate work and challenges students to make solid business decisions founded in supportable financial or economic data. The course will show students how to obtain reliable data and how to use this to predict likely future financial trends that may have an impact on an organization's environment and future. Students will be shown how to analyze the current financial state of an organization in relation to the economic conditions in which the organization operates and will be asked to make and justify operational and strategic decision that are based on their analyses. Students will also investigate and utilized various approaches to decision modeling and analysis.

DBA 615 – Organizational Identity and Culture (6)
This course asks students to examine the human side of an organization to understand its culture and the impact that it has on efficiency. Students will select organizations and investigate how well the cultural factors are helping or hindering the members of the organization as they attempt to meet their stated goals and objectives. Students will also analyze factors that impact customer loyalty, brand perception, and organizational identity and will demonstrate how they are impacted by the human side of the organization. At the end of this course, students will be able to link cultural factors inside the organization to the way the organization is perceived by its key stakeholders with the goal being cultural improvements that lead to organizational efficiency.

DBA 620 – Technology Implementation and Change Management (6)
This course addresses the continued and expanding role of technology in sustained organizational success and addresses correct methodologies in designing or selecting technology solutions to optimize business success. Students will utilize project management skills to plan and implement technology solutions that support business goals. Students will also conduct needs analyzes, propose viable solutions to address these needs, justify selections, and create an implementation and testing plan. Students will also assess technology implementations to determine the extent of their success.

DBA 625 – Industry Analysis and Market Innovation (6)
This course covers the practice of sustained product innovation and the process of marketing existing and future product capabilities to capture increased market shares. Students will learn how to manage product lines and suggest innovations that align with current and future customer demands. Students will also learn how to market product innovations in order to expand market share through product differentiation and positioning. Students will also examine the factors that lead potential customers to choose or not choose an organization and propose strategies to create value for a wider customer base.

DBA 630 – Business Process Analysis and Strategic Management (6)
In this course, students will learn how to conduct business process analyses of the key sections of an organization in order to better inform a responsible long-term strategic plan that will help the organization achieve its current goals and strive for new ones. In this course, students will investigate what it takes for an organization to implement a viable strategy that is also socially and environmentally responsible. The course also addresses the international nature of operations, distribution and strategic planning and prepares students to cross international boundaries as they help organizations grow. Students will be able to design forward-looking organizational strategies that will maximize internal organizational strengths to address external demands and opportunities.

DBA 670 – Organizational Development Capstone (6)
Using the material covered in the first four courses of the application block, students will conduct an organizational development analysis and intervention targeting a selected function within an organization. Students will choose an organization, identify key leaders, select a specific functional area within the organization, conduct an analysis of its operational effectiveness and make recommendations intended to make the organization run more efficiently. Students must also identify key performance metrics and implement a plan for tracking the long-term success of the recommended intervention.
Prerequisite: Completion of DBA business core.

RESR 617 – Research Fundamentals (3)
This course will review the elements essential to a dissertation or research article. Emphasis is placed on scholarly writing, literature reviews, and statistical methods. Students will critically evaluate a research idea and formulate a hypothesis.

RESR 619 – Quantitative Research Methods (3)
This course covers quantitative methods of data collection, including various types of surveys and experimental studies. Emphasis will be placed on different methodologies; validity, reliability and the formulation of research questions. Students will explore basic statistical tests used in quantitative methods.

RESR 621 – Qualitative Research Methods (3)
This course covers qualitative methods of data collection including interviews, content analysis and case studies. Emphasis will be placed on different methodologies, observation, and the formulation of research questions. Students will learn when it is appropriate to use qualitative research methods.

RESR 623 – Research Design (3)
In this course students will apply quantitative, qualitative, and mixed mode methodologies to research design. Emphasis will be placed on collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting data in research studies. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to outline the requirements for a research study and write a methods section of an article, dissertation, or grant proposal.
Prerequisite: RESR 619, RESR 621

RESR 625 – Advanced Research Topics (3)
Students will develop skills required to find, analyze, and synthesize literature pertaining to their dissertation's general research topic and/or specific research question. As preparation for their dissertation research, they will prepare a literature review and work on steps required to go through the dissertation process.
Prerequisite: RESR 617, RESR 619, RESR 621

Students must complete four CityU approved graduate or doctoral courses, or transfer approved graduate or doctoral courses from another institution.

Prospectus: Under the supervision of a Doctoral Chair and committee, each student will complete and submit a concept paper, typically 15- 20 pages in length that presents his/her proposed research idea including the statement of the problem, its background and significance, a brief review of the literature and a proposed methodology or research design to address the problem. This stage of the dissertation is complete when the student's committee gives its approval.

Proposal: During this phase of the dissertation process, the student builds on the concept paper and completes the first three chapters of the final dissertation report (Introduction, literature review, and methods). The literature review will be exhaustive containing sufficient references to allow the student to establish expertise relative to the research problem. The methods section, written in future tense, will provide sufficient detail to allow for replication of the proposed research. This stage of the dissertation is complete when the students committee, the CityU DBA Program Director, and the CityU Institutional Review Board have given their approval.

Dissertation: During this final stage, the student will build upon the completed and approved proposal and will gather research data, analyze these data, and begin to draw conclusions based on the findings. The student will also prepare the final sections of the dissertation (Results and Discussion) and make appropriate modifications to the proposal to complete the preparation of the full dissertation report. This stage is complete with the student receives final committee and DBA Program Director approval. Students who do not complete the dissertation at the end of the third dissertation course must enroll in Continuing Dissertation Services until work on the final dissertation report has been completed.

RESR 694A – Dissertation 1 (3)
Each student will complete a prospectus that presents his/her proposed research idea, including the statement of the problem, its background and significance, a brief review of the literature, and a proposed methodology and research design to address the problem. This stage of the dissertation process is complete when the student's chair and committee member give approval.

RESR 694B – Dissertation 2 (3)
Each student will complete a proposal that will become the detailed introduction, literature review, and methodology chapters of the dissertation. This stage of the dissertation process is complete when the student's committee, CityU doctoral dissertation director, and Institutional Review Board give approval.

RESR 694C – Dissertation 3 (3)
Each student will actively conduct research for the applied dissertation in leadership, analyze research findings, and write dissertation chapters on research findings and conclusion and discussion. The student will rework and revise based on committee feedback.

RESR 694D – Dissertation 4 (3)
Each student will actively conduct research for the applied dissertation in leadership, analyze research findings, and write dissertation chapters on research findings and conclusion and discussion. The student will rework and revise based on committee feedback.

RESR 694E – Dissertation 5 (3)
Each student will actively conduct research for the applied dissertation in leadership, analyze research findings, and write dissertation chapters on research findings and conclusion and discussion. The student will rework and revise based on committee feedback.

RESR 694F – Dissertation 6 (3)
Each student will formally submit and orally defend the applied dissertation in leadership, as well as prepare sections for dissemination. This stage of the dissertation process is complete when the student's dissertation chair, committee member, university research reviewer, and doctoral program director give approval.

RESR 99 – Continuing Dissertation Services (0)
Students who do not complete their dissertation within the program's allotted timeframe must register for Continuing Dissertation Services each quarter until they have completed all of the milestones and are ready to take RESR 694F - Defense and Dissemination.

RESR 601 – Residency 1 (1)
The first residency will focus on the skills needed to begin development of the Problem Statement, Purpose Statement, and Research Question sections of the Dissertation Prospectus.

RESR 602 – Residency 2 (1)
The second residency will focus on the skills needed for composing literature reviews and methods sections of an applied dissertation in leadership.

RESR 603 – Residency 3 (1)
The third residency will focus on the skills needed to prepare the findings and conclusions of the student's dissertation. Students will also plan for their defense and explore strategies for dissemination.

A Doctor in Business Administration will give you the in-depth business education required to take your career to the top. Upon completion of this program, you will be well prepared to take on a management and leadership role, including:

  • CEO
  • Company president
  • Management analyst
  • Professor
  • Executive director

Networking Opportunities

At CityU, you’ll have the opportunity to expand your professional network by connecting with faculty working in your field, students from around the globe, and alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies. Plus, you’ll be part of a supportive community that’s dedicated to helping you reach your career goals.

Tuition Cost

Learn more about tuition and fees for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.

Financial Aid Opportunities

At CityU, we’re committed to helping students achieve their academic goals no matter their economic situations. Our financial aid counselors are here to find the resources you need to pay for your education, including grants, loans, work study, and scholarships.

Learn more about financial aid opportunities at CityU, or contact our Financial Aid Team at 800.426.5596, 206.239.4540, or finaid@cityu.edu.

Military Tuition Benefits

As a Yellow Ribbon school, CityU is proud to serve those who have served in the military. We offer military tuition discounts for active-duty servicemembers and their spouses and accept military benefits such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill® and Tuition Assistance.

Learn more about military tuition benefits, VA benefits, and military partnership programs designed to help you reach your military and career goals.


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Founded in 1973, City University of Seattle offers over 60 on-site and online programs designed for busy working adults like you. When you enroll at CityU, you’ll have the support of a community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni who are dedicated to helping you finish your degree and reach your goals.


CityU is recognized as a Top 10 educator of adults nationwide.1 In fact, students complete their degrees at twice the national rate.2


Develop marketable, real-world skills in courses taught by faculty who are practitioners working in your field.


Expand your expertise and your global perspectives in on-site and online courses with students from around the world.


Network with alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies, including Boeing, Starbucks, Amazon, and Microsoft.