Doctor of Business Administration

The Doctor of Business Administration program at St. 鶹ԭ teaches a fresh approach to critically thinking about complex managerial issues.

Geared toward experienced managers and professionals who are interested in management, the program strengthens your job performance, the potential for advancement in your career or organization, and awards the credentials – your doctorate – to pursue consulting or teaching.

The DBA program is offered over Zoom in a synchronous environment with brief residency requirements. 

Our graduates work at Deere & Company, The HON Company, Wahl Clipper Corporation, Department of Defense, Genesis Systems, Inc., Rush University Medical Center, Augustana College, Grand View University, University of Northern Iowa, and many others.

Ambrose Advantages

  • DBA Program Ranked #4 by The Edvocate
  • Accredited by the ACBSP
  • Evening Courses for the Working Professional

Read our fact sheet on the DBA program (pdf)

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Welcome from Monica Forret, PhD

Our Doctor of Business Administration program is a transformative one and intended for change-making professionals practicing in virtually any industry.

See Admission Requirements

More Information on the Doctor of Business Administration

What will I learn?

The DBA program will broaden your knowledge in the management field and improve your critical thinking, analysis, and writing skills.

Some graduates use these skills and insights to advance their careers in diverse fields such as engineering, manufacturing, banking, accounting, marketing, sales, human resources, and information technology.

Others use their talents in education, and advance into administration or faculty positions. Still others have made career changes into academia, consulting, or management.

Only at Ambrose:

  • The supportive culture in our DBA program facilitates lifelong friendships. You'll experience a spirit of cooperation and generosity, which reflects the spirit of St. 鶹ԭ.
  • We appreciate and welcome the diversity of our students' backgrounds and experiences. The broad perspectives of our students enrich class discussions.
  • You can use what you learn in class to benefit your company, and your dissertation work can further your impact. Emphasis is placed on ethical research and scholarship.
Frequently Asked Questions

How is a DBA different from a PhD?
Both the DBA and PhD are graduate degrees in business. The exact nature of these degrees differs by institution. Generally speaking, the PhD in business is designed to prepare individuals for careers in education with a strong emphasis on academic research. While our DBA program does include a high degree of academic rigor, we often include a more applied focus than would be found in some PhD programs.

How long will it take to get my DBA?
That depends on the pace you choose. Students typically take 1-2 courses per semester. Coursework is followed by comprehensive exams and the dissertation. In total, the program can be completed in three years, but some students take longer to help balance school with their work and family.

What can I do with a DBA degree?
You have lots of options. Whether you want to teach at the college level or advance in the business world, the DBA can give you that versatility. The SAU DBA is designed to enhance your critical thinking and analytical skills, and provide a larger breadth of career options, from academia to consulting. Knowledge gained from your DBA experience can improve performance in your current organization or be a stepping stone to other career opportunities.

Is the St. Ambrose DBA program accredited?
Yes. St. 鶹ԭ is a member of the North Central Association and is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer the DBA degree. In addition, the DBA Program is also accredited by the (ACBSP).

Can international students obtain a visa to study in the DBA Program?
Unfortunately, given the synchronous nature of classes over Zoom and the brief residency requirements, international students are ineligible for a student visa.

Curious about the dissertation?

As the culmination of your academic achievement, the dissertation presents an opportunity for you to research an area of interest.

You'll work one-on-one with your dissertation chair to develop a topic that will evolve into a detailed research proposal. Once the proposal is approved, you collect and analyze data, write a report of the results, and discuss your research and findings in a dissertation defense.

Classes such as research methods and statistics provide the training and tools necessary to complete your research project, the progress of which is monitored by the dissertation chair.

Research reflects our students' diverse interests. Topics cover a wide range of subjects, such as leadership, organizational change, and mentoring. See the list of dissertations below (ordered by author's last name).

  • Aiello, A. (2018, April). The Relationship of National Culture and Turnover: An Examination of Differences Employees Give for Quitting in Three Countries.
  • Allison, J. (2007, April). Introducing the Electronic Edition: First-Movers in the Newspaper Industry.
  • Aprianingsih, A. (2012, December). The Kaleidoscope Career Model and Work Family Conflict: An Exploration Across Career Stages.
  • Avdic-McIntire, G. (2020, May). Exploring the Theoretical Domain and Predictive Power Between Task-Specific Self-Efficacy and State-Based Core-Confidence. 
  • Behnke, T. (2010, April). Knowledge Sharing at Work: An Examination of Organizational Antecedents.
  • Carlock, B. (2008, May). A Model of Public-Private Partnership Success: Case Studies of Partnerships Between U.S. Army Installations and Private Firms.
  • Coe, M. (2013, April). Intention to Sit for the CPA Examination: An Investigation of Cost, Exam, Support and Career Factors.
  • Crull, J. (2023, August). The Kaleidoscope Career Model: An Investigation of Measurement Scales.
  • Davis, J. (2014, August). Social Networking Sites: An Exploration of Usage, Benefits, and Drawbacks.
  • Debrey, D. (2022, May). The Role of an Appraiser's Political Ideology in Performance Evaluations.
  • Delaney, J. (2005, December). The Impact of Ethics Education on the Reasoning Ability of Accounting Students.
  • Denker, J. (2014, May). Looking for Performance in All the Right Places: What Do New Venture Startup Teams Have to Do With It?
  • Doyle, S. (2005, May). The Role of Organizational Citizenship Behavior in Volunteer Organizations.
  • Dubin, J. (2022, December). Breadwinner Status and the Role of Gender as Predictors of Kaleidoscope Career Model Parameters and Career Satisfaction.
  • Dunne, B. J. (2013, November). The Employee Psyche at Work: A Model of How Psychological Contracts Moderate the Relationship Between Psychological Safety and Engagement.
  • Duster, S. (2010, April). Factors that Motivate Protégés to Participate in Formal Mentoring: Do Motivated Protégés Report Higher Mentoring Effectiveness?
  • Eaton, D. (2008, December). An Investigation of Generational Differences in Job Satisfaction in a Bureaucratic Environment.
  • Ebener, D. (2007, April). The Servant Parish: A Case Study of Servant Leadership and Organizational Citizenship Behaviors in High-Performing Catholic Parishes.
  • Edenborg, M. (2013, April). The Effect of Type of Education on an Individual's Self Employment Choice: Comparison of Vocational and College Education.
  • Franklin, J. (2006, May). Successful Implementation of Technology Projects in the Steel Industry: The Effects of Technology Acceptance, Organizational Culture and Leadership.
  • Geil, M. (2016, December). Beyond Cultural Intelligence: The Influence of Polychronicity and Core Confidence on Perceived Global Effectiveness.
  • George, S. (2014, September). Perceptions of top management team commitment to corporate 鶹ԭresponsibility: An exploration of the relationship with employee engagement.
  • Gilstrap, R. (2015, August). Developing an Inimitable Resource: The Relationship between Core Confidence and Employee Engagement.
  • Goodenow, K. (2021, May). Virtual Teams: The Impact of Generational Differences on Perspectives and Experiences.
  • Graham, J. (2012, May). Same Goal, Different Day: The Moderating Effect of Experience on the Goal Difficulty - Performance Relationship in a Repetitive Goal Setting Environment.
  • Guillaume, P. (2015, May). Permanent and Seasonal Employees: An Investigation of Differences in Perceived Organizational Support, Job Engagement and Dedication to Service Quality.
  • Haack, D. (2006, May). Family Status and the Workplace: An Investigation of Job Satisfaction, Role Salience, Role Conflict and Coping Strategies.
  • Hager, M. (2014, May). An examination of Social Skills as a Correlate and Moderator of the Relationship Between Networking Behaviors and Career Outcomes.
  • Harb, S. (2011, May). Employee Engagement: The Impact of Intervention Methods.
  • Hechtel, K. (2010, April). An Examination of the Social Capital Requirements for the Selection, Training, Performance, and Retention of Industrial Sales Personnel.
  • Hemm, E. (2022, December). An Examination of the Effectiveness of Team Agreements on Dissertation Chairs and Advisees. 
  • Herlein, M. (2009, December). An Examination of Managerial Competencies and Their Relationship to Performance.
  • Hibbeler, P. (2008, April). Communities that Accept or Resist Supercenters: A Comparison of Cultural Differences.
  • Holdorf, W. (2017, August). Toward a Taxonomy and a Construct of Responsibility.
  • Hollingsworth, L. (2020, January). Better for Marketers? An Examination of Market Orientation and Employee Perceptions of Organizational Justice and Commitment.  
  • Huegel, B. (2015, December). Employer Support in Public Accounting: An Investigation of the Effect on Organizational Attraction.
  • Hughes, D. (2016, October). Doctoral degree awarded posthumously.
  • Jayne, R. (2008, May). Experienced Business Angels: What They Know, Who They Know, and How They Contribute to a Startup Firm's Performance.
  • Juergens, S. (2012, August). Experiential Learning: How the Utility of Experiential Learning Within a MBA Course Enables Transfer of Learning.
  • Kern, D. (2023, May). The Power of Public Opinion and Workplace Support on Work Meaningfulness of Civil Servants.
  • Khalil, M. (2023, August). Networking in an Immigrant Community-Based Organization: An Examination of Benefits for Sudanese Immigrants in Iowa.
  • Kleine, R. (2013, December). Formal Mentoring Relationships: An Examination of Processes, Mentor Rank, and Protégé Satisfaction.
  • Kuznia, K. (2006, May). The Antecedents and Influences of Career Related Continuous Learning: Implications for Management Professionals.
  • Linderman-Hill, K. (2018, November). Engaging Top Performers: The Influence of Core Confidence on the Relationship Between Job Characteristics and Engagement.
  • Lazare, A. (2021, December). The Strategic Convergence Process: A Comprehensive Exploration of Strategy Formation.
  • Logan, N. (2004, December). Effects of Environment and Organizational Context on Opportunity Recognition by Employees of For-Profit Organizations: A Comparison of State-Level Banks and BioScience Companies.
  • Lozano-Martinez, R. (2021, April). An Examination of Economic and Strategic Considerations for Integrating or Outsourcing Logistics Functions in Firms.
  • Mahon, M. (2017, September). The Influence of Leader Prototype Congruence on Leadership Beliefs.
  • Mayes-Denker, K. (2014, May). Private or Public: Does Corporate Social Responsibility Influence Profit?
  • McCallum, S. (2008, May). An Examination of Internal and External Networking Behaviors and Their Relationship to Career Success and Work Attitudes.
  • Merlak, L. (2022, December). An Examination of Virtual Exchange on the Intercultural Competence of College Students.
  • Meyer, J. C. (2019, May). Core Self-Evaluation: An Examination of its Relationship with Abusive Supervision and Coping Strategies. 
  • Miller, L. (2015, November). Firm Growth: An Explanation of the Processes of Growth of New and Small Firms.
  • Murphy, C. (2008, May). Antecedents of Job Search Success for NAFTA-Eligible Dislocated Workers.
  • Odoom, F. (2022, April). An Examination of the Transitions of African Expatriate Priests to Rural U.S. Catholic Churches: A Qualitative Study.
  • Palar, B. (2020, June). The Influence of LinkedIn on Reputation: A Laboratory Study.
  • Parise, M. (2005, May). Formal Mentoring Programs: The Relationship of Program Design to Mentor Perceptions of Benefits and Cost.
  • Passini, D. J. (2020, June). Openness of Office Design and Employee Outcomes: An Examination of Personality and Job Characteristics as Moderators. 
  • Pollock P. (2015, October). Learning to be Engaged: Leader Goal Orientation, Employee Goal Orientation, and the Mediating Role of Employee Learning on Employee Engagement and Performance
  • Quinlan, T. (2005, May). The Efficacy of Health Care Quality Initiatives in a Single Hospital System.
  • Rant, E. (2023, May). Ready to Work When Your Life is on the Line: The Role of Death Anxiety and Responsibility.
  • Rothbardt, J. (2012, April). Applicant Attraction to Socially Responsible Corporations: The Moderating Effect of Core Self-Evaluation.
  • Rouse, P. (2004, May). Technology Acceptance and Sensemaking: Exploring the Antecedents and Moderating Trigger Conditions Related to Perceived Usefulness and Perceived Ease of Use.
  • Schmidt, H. (2010, April). An Examination of Service Learning and the Development of Work-Related Skills in Undergraduate Business Students.
  • Siebert, D. (2008, April). An Investigation of Intergenerational Workplace Conflicts and Managerial Responses.
  • Simmons, J. (2012, December). The Kaleidoscope Career Model: An Investigation of Authenticity, Balance, and Challenge and Their Relationship with Networking Behavior.
  • Styvaert, M. (2011, May). Core Self-Evaluations: A Malleable Disposition?
  • Sundberg, L. (2003, May). The Relationship Between Proactive Coping Skills and Personal and Organizational Outcomes.
  • Thome, M. (2014, October). Turning Outsiders to Insiders: A Study of Job and Community Embeddedness on Voluntary Turnover.
  • Thurman, C. (2003, May). The Effect of a Collective, Formal, Serial Socialization Program for Recalled Employees on Employee Behavior and Attitudes.
  • Van Den Beldt, T. (2015, April). Immigrant Entrepreneurship: A Qualitative Study of Factors that Facilitate the Startup of Restaurants.
  • Vaske, A. (2008, November). The Relationship Between Motivation to Volunteer and Cultural Preference A Study of a Youth Development Organization.
  • Vegiraju, A. (2023, May). The Future of Work: Issues Encountered When Implementing Software Bots, and Their Impact on the Nature of Jobs and Employee Engagement.
  • Wade, M. (2008, December). Getting Off The Ground: Factors Related to Protégés' Initiation of Mentoring Relationships With Their Formal Mentors.
  • Wolbers, G. (2016, June). Toward a Generative Capacity Framework of Firm Growth.
  • Zama, A. (2012, May). Corporate Elites - How They Came to Be: An Analysis of TMT Composition Change Following CEO Succession.
How much does this program cost?

Tuition and Fees

The 2022-23 tuition rate is $1,240/credit hour plus fees. The program is usually completed in a total of 48 credit hours.

     *Tuition discounts are available for full-time faculty and staff at colleges and universities. 
       Contact the DBA Director for details.

Fees: $280/year (9+ credits per semester); $140/year (≤8 credits per semester)

Financial Assistance

The St. 鶹ԭ Financial Aid Office provides information on loans for graduate studies. Interested DBA candidates should also confer with their human resource department for policies regarding educational reimbursement.

Payment Deferral

Does your employer offer tuition reimbursement?
This is a common method many of our students use to pay for their graduate education. Because it varies when companies reimburse their employees, St. Ambrose offers deferred payment until you get reimbursed or until you complete your classes (proof of completion). Both options are helpful when you want to avoid the use of personal finances to pay for classes. To qualify for employer deferral, our enrollment specialists will be happy to walk you through the process. If you aren't sure your employer offers tuition assistance, we recommend speaking with your human resources representative.

Do you have military benefits you would like to explore?
We have an admissions specialist who is an expert in military benefits who will work with you to determine available dollars and how to invest this benefit in a St. Ambrose education. If neither of these options pertain to you, there are federal loans available. Graduate students have up to $20,500 available per academic year for low-interest loans not based on income level. Our Financial Aid Department can help you with any questions

Graduate Fees

2023-24 Fees

Graduate level students taking 9 or more credit hours $280/yr. ($140/semester)
Graduate level students taking 8 or less credit hours $140/yr. ($70/semester)

Degree Requirements

The DBA program addresses current challenges facing students and their organizations. The DBA Program consists of 48 credit hours focused on the areas of organizational behavior, human resource management, and strategic management. You will take 11 courses (3 credits each), comprehensive exams, and complete a dissertation (15 credits).

Courses are held on Zoom from 6-9 p.m. (Central Standard Time), Monday through Thursday.

There is a one-day residency requirement on a Saturday in both the Fall and Spring semesters for students in the coursework stage of the program. There is a two-day residency requirement for written comprehensive exams.


Required Core Management Courses

DBA 910 Analyzing Behavior in Organizations
DBA 911 Managing Human Resources in a Global Environment
DBA 913 Developing Strategy for Competitiveness

Special Topics Courses

Students take 4 of any of the following electives (other special topics courses are also offered)
DBA 930 Enhancing Employee Engagement
DBA 931 Training and Development
DBA 940 Leadership
DBA 941 Teamwork in Organizations
DBA 950 Leading Organizational Change
DBA 951 Organizational Culture
DBA 960 Entrepreneurship
DBA 961 Corporate Social Responsibility
DBA 970 Collegiate Teaching

Required Core Research Courses

DBA 901 Research Methodology
DBA 902 Statistical Techniques I
DBA 903 Statistical Techniques II
DBA 904 Dissertation Design and Development

Comprehensive Exams

Comprehensive exams consist of both a written and an oral component, designed to assess the student's knowledge of and ability to apply management concepts and research.


Provides our doctoral students with coaching, networking, and professional development.

  • Two, 1-day residencies per academic year (while in the coursework phase)
  • 2-day residency for written comprehensive exams


The dissertation (DBA 990) is the student’s major research project. It is the culmination of the student’s academic achievements and represents an original contribution by the student to the field of management. Students are required to complete their dissertation after the successful completion of written and oral comprehensive exams.


Monica Forret, PhD, Professor, Program Director

Jessica Greenwald, PhD, Professor
David O'Connell, DBA, Professor
Jennifer Palar, PhD, Asst. Professor
Arun Pillutla, PhD, Professor
Jason Senjem, PhD, Assoc. Professor

Ready to Apply?

You'll need to get a few things together to submit along with your application.

Click here for DBA admission details

Erin Hemm '22

"Because of my experience in the program, I have a better ability to step back from the tactical discussion and view a strategic conversation from a distance," Erin says. "It has allowed me to objectively view a problem and approach it from business, market, human performance, and strategic angles, with industry pressures in mind. In doing so, I bring a fresh perspective to my team and have expanded the body of expertise I can contribute."

Erin Hemm
Paul Rouse Mobile Headshot Paul Rouse Headshot

Paul Rouse

Doctor of Business Administration,Founder and Owner, Rouse Consulting Group,Class of 2005

The professional applications of a St. Ambrose DBA are as limitless as the vast and varied needs and wants of its students. "I work in the consulting/technology space," noted Rouse. "While the DBA degree is not specifically tied to the IT Industry, it has consistently helped differentiate me and my organization from many other competitors within this space.”

See My Story

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Jessica Greenwald, PhD, Program Director

Doctor of Business Administration
McMullen Hall 124C
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

So, what's next?

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