Applications open for Doctor of Business Administration program

Jul 20, 2021
Doctor of Business Administration degree through the Newman School of Business

Newman University is now accepting applications to its new Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program.

In May, the university announced the launch of its first two doctoral programs in its 87-year history: the DBA program and the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice program. The Newman DBA program is the first to be offered within the state of Kansas and is one of the first of its kind in the Midwest. 

“It is outstanding to think that we are on the cusp of offering a new degree program at the doctorate level,” said Jill Fort, Ph.D., dean of the School of Business. “I look forward to working with the students and faculty in the program and watching it evolve over time.” 

A student-focused structure

Associate Professor Larry Straub, DBA
Associate Professor Larry Straub, DBA

Led by Associate Professor Larry Straub, DBA, the DBA program is structured to provide an individualized experience for each student as they learn research and business skills that go beyond that of the Master of Business Administration (MBA). The program’s flexible research tracks and varying focus areas for dissertations will provide candidates with opportunities necessary to excel in rapidly changing environments.  

Straub said he expects the program will consist of a balanced mix of practitioner scholars — including those in business, industry and nonprofit — as well as those engaged in the educational sector.

“(The program) allows students to focus on areas that are of most interest to them, which will benefit their careers moving forward,” Straub said. “It will also be a hybrid model, which will provide greater flexibility for students and allow pursuit of the degree while continuing to work full time.”

Two on-campus residencies will be offered in the spring and summer semesters, the remainder of the program being presented through online delivery platforms. A mix of both on-campus and visiting professors will teach the DBA courses at Newman. 

Ongoing dissertation research platform

The Newman DBA program gives each participant the opportunity to steadily work on his or her dissertation research as they progress through the curriculum. 

A 2021 spring graduate is hooded upon completion of her Master of Business Administration degree.
A 2021 MBA graduate is hooded by Jill Fort, Ph.D., at commencement.

“By the time candidates have completed their coursework, they should be over 70% finished with their dissertation,” Straub said. “This is a very big difference from most doctoral programs. (The program) should result in most candidates being very well positioned to complete all course work (including the dissertation) and to graduate successfully and on time, within three-and-a-half to four years.”

For those who wish to teach in business schools beyond 2023 and are impacted by new Higher Learning Commission (HLC) “core course” requirements, Newman will also have a post-doctorate program. This program offers those with non-business-related doctorates the opportunity to take select core business courses through the Newman DBA program.

“We can offer a selection of up to six required courses that might be needed for certification after these updated HLC core course requirements are implemented in 2023,” Straub said. 

“There are a few of my colleagues with Doctor of Education degrees (currently teaching in business departments) that are likely going to have to beef up a few core courses to meet the incoming HLC requirements,” he added. “This should provide a convenient and accessible way to accomplish this needed addition to their doctoral level studies.”

Goals for the program

Straub said the primary goal for the Newman DBA program is to change and update the way doctoral programs are delivered.

“While it is necessary and required that programs are very rigorous, they should also be designed to uplift and build people into better versions of themselves,” Straub said. “It should allow them to be enriched throughout their experience and educational journey.”

Establishing a diverse cohort among the participants will also be an important priority for the program. Doing so will not only lead to enriching experiences for the candidates, but also foster lifelong connections among these business, nonprofit and educational leaders.


“We hope to have cohort sizes of between 10 and 16 students,” Straub said. “We feel this will give us a good size and diversity so that DBA students will be able to learn and grow with each other and their professors throughout the program.”

Application process

An MBA or equivalent status of study is required for acceptance into the Newman DBA program. For those who have a different master’s degree, some core graduate level courses may be required to be considered for acceptance into the program. The Newman MBA program offers needed core courses on an ongoing basis.

Straub noted “it is important to highlight that there will be no GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) or GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) exams required for admission to the DBA program. Many graduate-level programs require such admittance exams. We feel there are plenty of other available and quality indicators to gauge the potential success of DBA candidates, and many universities are beginning to question the validity of such tests as an indicator of success in graduate-level programs.”

“I would encourage anyone who has an interest to apply,” Straub said. “If there are gaps in your educational background and experience that initially preclude your admittance to the program, we will work with you to fill those gaps and Newman will have the courses and tools to help you accomplish this.” 

The first DBA cohort starts in January 2022 and the second cohort starts in the fall of 2022. Cohorts to follow will start each fall.

“We are already getting good responses to the program and are excited about the quality and diversity of the interested candidates,” Straub added. “We are very excited to get this impactful and dynamic program started in 2022.”

To submit an application to the DBA program, visit the Doctor of Business Administration page on the Newman University website.