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Graduate Catalog 2016/2017

Business Administration (BUD)

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Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
CIP Code: 52.0201
College of Business Administration (BA)
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Bachelor's Degree): 72

Contact Information:
College of Business Administration
Business Administration Department (DEA)
4202 E. Fowler Avenue CIS1040
Tampa FL  33620

Program Director or Coordinator:
Grandon Gill
Phone: 813-974-6755


Faculty Search: Business Administration Faculty List

Program Information

The DBA program offered by the Muma College of Business provides its graduates with the skills needed to conduct rigorous research with the objective of applying the findings to real-world decision-making in industry and government. The Program provides for intellectual growth as students work closely with faculty in seminars, research projects, and other assignments that develop their research skills and ability to communicate their findings to a broad audience of both practitioners and researchers. It also offers students the opportunity to develop a portfolio of skills that, when combined with the extensive experience that they bring into the program, uniquely qualifies them to serve in clinical faculty positions. The curriculum is designed to build upon the breadth of business understanding that they have previously achieved as successful executives. This is achieved by offering substantive coverage of a broad variety of qualitative and quantitative research techniques and by allowing students the flexibility to focus more deeply on their personal areas of interest during the dissertation phases of the program. The degree conferred is a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), a terminal degree so-named to differentiate it from the Ph.D. degree that specifically focuses on preparing students for an academic research career within a specific discipline. Students will complete the 3-year program in a cohort with other executives. Classes are scheduled all day for two consecutive days approximately one weekend a month for six 5-month semesters. Each semester is divided into 2 quarters, with a one month break between semesters. Face-to-face classes are heavily supplemented by online activities between face-to-face classes. The weekend format allows participants to continue carrying their careers while they master a range of applied research skills.

Accreditation Information:

Accredited by the the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools.


Admissions Information

Admission Deadlines

There is an established University deadline for the submission of admission application materials. Programs may have earlier deadlines than the University deadline. The deadlines reflected below are the earliest of the two deadlines. Graduate Programs may continue to accept and process applications after the published deadline if space exists within the program. Check with the Program for availability.

Application Deadline (domestic application)

Fall: ---
Spring: November 1
Summer: ---

International Students

Foreign applicants who are outside the U.S. are required to apply for a visa. Depending on the country of origin, this may take a few months. So the deadlines for these international applicants may be earlier than the Program deadline and these applicants must apply prior to both deadlines. They are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Foreign applicants who are in the U.S. and are currently on a visa may use the domestic application deadline dates. In addition to meeting the published application deadline for the Program of interest, all immigration documents should be submitted as soon as possible, but must be on file at USF no later than the following processing deadlines:

Fall: ---
Spring: September 15
Summer: ---

Admission Requirements

You must comply with general University policies and meet general University Admission requirements in addition to those listed below.

Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements listed below.

Program Admission Requirements

  • masters degree or under exceptional circumstances, candidates with an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited, or equivalent, institution with a minimum US GPA of 3.00 or equivalent. In some situations, additional preparatory course work may be required.
  • at least 12 years of work experience, at least 5 of which must be at a senior managerial or executive level
  • personal statement
  • interview

Admissions Status: Apply


Program Degree Requirements

Program Minimum Hours: 72 hours post-bachelors

Core Requirements: 33 Credits
These courses are offered during the first four semesters of the program and have a substantial distance learning component between class meetings. They fall into three categories.

The first are designed to develop the student's quantitative and qualitative research skills, and to provide opportunities to practice these skills in real world contexts. These required courses consist of:

GEB 7557 Research and Writing Skills for Doctoral Students 3 credits
QMB 6375Applied Linear Statistical Models 3 credits
QMB 7565 Introduction to Research Methods 3 credits
QMB 7566 Applied Multivariate Statistical Methods 3 credits
GEB 7911 Qualitative Research Methods in Business 3 credits

The second category is intended to provide students with exposure to research in the multi-disciplinary topics that represent the current areas of focus of the Muma College of Business. These required courses consist of:

MAN 6726 Strategic Business Analysis 3 credits
ISM 7XXX Business Analytics 3 credits
GEB 7XXX Creativity and Innovation 3 credits
GEB 6457 Ethics, Law and Sustainable Business Practices 3 credits

The final category is proposed by faculty members based upon their areas of interest and expertise as well as student interests. Two of the following courses would be offered so as to provide exposure to a variety of research-related topics and activities.

ACG 7936 Seminar on Special Topics in Accounting 3 credits
FIN 7930 Selected Topics in Finance 3 credits
ISM 7930 Selected Topics in MIS 3 credits
MAN 6930 Selected Topics 3 credits
MAR 7931 Seminar on Selected Marketing Topics 3 credits

Publication Courses 9 Credits
These courses are offered during the first three semesters of the program and have a substantial distance learning and collaboration component between class meetings, with members of the cohort being required to peer review each other's work and make revisions. They represent an extension of previous courses, and require the students to create publishable documents, such as journal, conference and book chapter submissions. Depending upon the particular publication project, each course will have one of the following designations:

ACG 6915 Directed Research 3 credits
GEB 6930 Selected Topics 3 credits
FIN 7915 Directed Research 3 credits
ISM 7931 Directed Research 3 credits
MAN 6911 Directed Research 3 credits
MAR 6916 Directed Research 3 credits

Issues Courses 10 Credits
These courses are offered starting in the fourth semester of the Program, and are intended to run in parallel with proposal and dissertation activities. Although meeting according to the same schedule as regular courses, issues courses offer fewer credits than regular or publication courses, and therefore have commensurately reduced outside workloads to avoid interfering with the dissertation process. Members of the cohort select the topics from a list of proposals made by faculty members and other members of the cohort. Students may also elect to facilitate issues courses under the direction of a faculty supervisor, who acts as the instructor of record. Depending on the topic being taught, these courses may be any of the following:

ACG 7939 Executive Issues in Accounting 2 credits
FIN 7939 Executive Issues in Finance 2 credits
GEB 7939 Executive Issues in Business 2 credits
ISM 7939 Executive Issues in MIS2 credits
MAN 7939Executive Issues in Management 2 credits
MAR 7939 Executive Issues in Marketing 2 credits
QMB 7939 Executive Issues in Operations Research and Operations Management 2 credits

With the approval of the DBA Program Committee, students may be permitted to substitute up to four (4) credits of independent study/directed research (e.g., ACG 7906, FIN 7906, GEB 7906, ISM7931, MAN 7905, MAR 7910) for selected issues courses during their final year of the program.

Dissertation Proposal Course4 Credits
The proposal course is offered during the student's fourth semester. It requires the student be matched to a four (4) person Dissertation Committee and submit a dissertation proposal for approval by the Committee. For the purpose of the DBA program, the course requirements for both dissertation and doctoral project proposals are the same. Prior to the proposal course, students will take the university-mandated qualifying exam, whose results will be assessed by the DBA Committee. Proposal courses are graded Pass/Fail, and must be passed.

GEB 7981 Dissertation Preparation 4 credits

Qualifying Exam and Doctoral Candidacy
Per University Policy, students must be enrolled in a minimum of 2 graduate credit hours in the semester of the exam. For DBA students, this requirement will be met as part of the normal course load. Before a student enrolled in the DBA program can be admitted to doctoral candidacy, the following University requirements must be met:

  • appointment of a Dissertation Committee,
  • attainment of an overall and degree program Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 at USF at the time of candidacy. (All "I" and "M" grades, including "IF" and "MF", must be cleared before candidacy may be finalized.)
  • successful completion of a qualifying examination
  • certification by the Dissertation Committee that the above qualifications have been successfully completed.

Dissertation/Doctoral Project16 Credits
Students are required to complete a dissertation or doctoral project, as approved by his or her committee.

Dissertation courses are offered every quarter throughout the student's last year, upon satisfactory completion of at least 44 course credits, four (4) proposal credits, and Admission to Doctoral Candidacy. These courses require the student to work towards the completion of the Dissertation approved by his or her committee.

Because the DBA degree is designed to be responsive to the needs of the Candidate, there is some flexibility in the form that the Dissertation can takesubject to approval by the Committee. University policy allows for two variations in the format:

  1. A traditional research dissertation
  2. Collection of articles/papers

The Candidate will meet with members of the Committee during each residency of the final year of the program, and will present his or her dissertation to the Committee in the final semester of the Program. Upon successful completion of the dissertation defense presentation, the Dissertation Committee will then approve the awarding of the Degree, subject to all remaining program requirements being met, including submission of the Dissertation to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Dissertation courses are graded Pass/Fail, and must be passed. The sixteen (16) dissertation credits can be earned by taking one or more of the following courses:

ACG 7980 Dissertation in Accounting
FIN 7980 Dissertation
GEB 7980 Dissertation
ISM 7980 Dissertation
MAN 7980 Dissertation
MAR 7980 Dissertation

Doctoral Project
Or, a student may opt to complete a doctoral project in lieu of the Dissertation. Examples that could be approved might include:

  1. a practice-focused book submitted for publication,
  2. a write-up of a substantial work-related project in which the principles of evidence-based research were applied
  3. a portfolio of related research products/activities that demonstrate knowledge creation or innovative application in a given area. Such a portfolio might include journal, book, magazine articles, conference papers and presentations.

Students completing the Doctoral Project earn their required 16 credit hours by taking the same courses specified for dissertations, which are graded Pass/Fail, and must be passed. Confirmation of successful completion of the Doctoral Project must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies.

External Activity Requirements
In addition to the Program's course requirements, each student is required to participate in three external activities that involve meeting with academics and/or doctoral students from other institutions. Examples of such activities could include academic conferences, workshops, colloquiums, doctoral symposiums or academic association annual or regional meetings. At least one of these should include a substantial proportion of international attendees.

Grading Requirements
Proposal, Dissertation, and Directed Research courses are graded Pass/Fail, and must be passed. Students must complete all remaining courses with a grade of "B" or better. This is in addition to the University requirement for a 3.00 GPA overall and in the Program. Should a student fail to pass or complete a course with the required grade, the DBA Program Committee may offer an alternative activity as a substitute.

Other Requirements
As a result of the program's cohort structure, normally all doctoral coursework must be completed at the University of South Florida within the DBA program. Students seeking to transfer from other programs should contact the DBA Academic Program Director prior to applying. All program requirements will normally be completed in three (3) years, as part of a cohort. In the event of unavoidable interruptions to a student's progress, the student may petition the DBA Program Committee for an extension up to a maximum of five (5) years from the student's original starting date. Any student not completing all program requirements within the five (5) year time period will be dropped from the program and the student would need to re-apply for admission to the program in the event he or she wishes to continue.

College Degree Requirements

Refer to the College Section of theGraduate Catalog for College requirements and information.


USF Degree Requirements

See USF Degree Requirements —


Financial Assistance

Financial Aid

Fellowships & Scholarships

Graduate Assistantships


Registration Process

First, contact your graduate program advisor for guidance courses to register for. Obtain any electronic course permit if necessary. Register for the new student orientation online at Then go to the link to OASIS, USF's on-line registration system to register for your classes. Follow the directions given on-line.

To access online course materials, students must have a USF NetID (e-mail account). Please visit: to obtain your NetID.

New students, including those studying online, may obtain a USFCard. Please visit: to obtain your USFCard.

Tuition and fees: Fees are determined by the level of the course. Please visit Cash Accounting, Controller's Office, for information on tuition and fees.


Graduate Course Information

Use the list below to lookup graduate courses related to this program in the USF Course Inventory:

GEB7557, QMB6375, QMB7565, QMB7566, GEB7911, MAN6726, GEB6457, ACG7936, FIN7930, ISM7930, MAN6930, MAR7931, ACG6915, GEB6930, FIN7915, ISM7931, MAN6911, MAR6916, ACG7939, FIN7939, GEB7939, ISM7939, MAN7939, MAR7939, QMB7939, GEB7981, ACG7980, FIN7980, GEB7980, ISM7980, MAN7980, MAR7980,