Jun 18, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2022 - 2023 
Graduate Catalog 2022 - 2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Business, DBA

Monte Ahuja College of Business

Monte Ahuja Hall, BU 420
(216) 687-4785

Dr. Ray Henry, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs

Areas of Study

Global Business
Information Systems
Operations Management


The objective of the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program is to develop within each candidate an expertise in a functional area of business administration so that he or she may advance business theory and practice and enhance the contributions that business can make to the larger community.

The DBA degree prepares the student for a rewarding academic career in teaching and research at the college or university level. Alternatively, the program offers advanced training in a variety of business areas that significantly enhance the student’s business career development. Regardless of the career path selected, the DBA program provides students with an intellectually challenging and rewarding experience.

The DBA program is designed to provide an academically rigorous experience to a diverse population of traditional and non-traditional students. The degree can be pursued while working full-time. To provide flexibility and to meet the needs of working students, course work is offered through evening and weekend classes. A limited number of research and teaching assistantships provide financial support for full-time graduate students. Students with assistantships take nine to twelve credit hours of course work each term, and are expected to devote twenty hours per week of assistance to the College of Business Administration.

Students must choose a major area of specialization and take additional course work in complementary fields. The DBA program is currently accepting students in the following majors:

  • Finance
  • Global Business
  • Information Systems
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management


The DBA program is taught by College of Business Administration graduate faculty, who are selected for expertise in their disciplines and for their related experience in business.

In addition, DBA faculty are actively involved in the community-as business consultants, members of professional organizations, and community leaders-bringing a richness of practical application to every course they teach.

Faculty participating in the DBA program are also heavily involved in research in their academic fields, in publishing in prestigious journals, and in presenting papers at national and international meetings.

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the College of Graduate Studies requirements for admission, an applicant to the DBA program should hold a master’s degree in business administration (MBA or equivalent; for OSM other Master’s degrees may be considered) from an accredited college or university.  Non-business graduate degree holders may also be considered, but will need additional coursework before beginning the program.  Applicants should also meet the following minimum standards:

  1. At least 1,260 points based on the following formula: 200 times the graduate grade-point average plus the total score for the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). A minimum score at the 70th percentile on the GMAT is preferred. Equivalent GRE scores are also accepted.  GMAT or GRE scores must be provided from a test taken within five years prior to application to the DBA program.
  2. The formula outlined above serves as a general guideline for the Doctoral Program Faculty Committee, which makes admission recommendation to the Graduate College Admissions office. Applicants also must submit a current resume, a statement of goals and objectives, and three letters of recommendation. At least one letter should come from a college professor familiar with the applicant’s graduate-level performance and academic ability.

Preparatory Program

The basic preparation for the DBA program is the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree or its equivalent (e.g., Master of Accountancy) from a program accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). If the applicant’s master’s degree is not an MBA (or its equivalent) from an AACSB-accredited program, the student must present evidence of the completion of the 500- and 600-level core requirements (or their equivalents) from the College of Business Administration’s MBA program.  Preparatory courses in statistics are strongly recommended.

An application, an official transcript from each college and university previously attended, and other application materials must be sent to Graduate Admissions Processing, Campus 411 All-In-One, BH 116, Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115.

Requirements for the DBA Degree

  1. Completion of a minimum of sixty-four semester credit hours (forty-four hours of courses, twenty hours of doctoral research) with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0.

Enrollment in DBA classes is limited to students admitted to the DBA program.

Each DBA student must complete the following program of study, including specific core, major, and support courses, seminars, electives, and doctoral dissertation research:

  1. Advanced Analytical and Operational Core (minimum 13 credits)
  2. Major and electives (minimum 30 credits)
  3. Additional research seminars (minimum 5 credits)
  4. Dissertation research (minimum 15 credits)

Students must register for twelve dissertation research credits during their first year of the dissertation with the dissertation project. After the first year, students must register for a minimum of one dissertation credit hour each semester until the dissertation is completed. Permission of the DBA Director must be obtained prior to registering for any courses numbered 891, 895, 896, or 899.

  1. Selection of a major advisor and an advisory committee.

As the student progresses toward the research phase of the program, he or she selects a major research advisor. In consultation with the major advisor, the student selects at least three additional Graduate Faculty members to comprise the advisory committee. Of these three members, one must be a member of the Graduate Faculty within the student’s major area of specialization, and another must be a Graduate Faculty member from outside of the College of Business Administration. The major advisor and the composition of the advisory committee may change during a student’s program of study, due to changes in faculty availability and/or changes in a student’s needs or interests.

  1. Attendance at doctoral and college seminars.

Doctoral students at the pre-dissertation stage are encouraged to attend regular dissertation research seminars to hear presentations from faculty members, outside speakers, and doctoral students. Attendance at the dissertation-research seminars is strongly encouraged for students in the dissertation stage of their program.

  1. Satisfactory performance in the comprehensive examinations.

Upon completion of formal course work, the student must demonstrate competence in their major field by passing a required comprehensive examination. The written examination is prepared and graded by the Graduate Faculty on the Doctoral Committee from the major area of specialization. Examinations must be completed satisfactorily before beginning the dissertation project.

  1. Presentation and defense of the dissertation proposal.

Upon completion of the formal course work and passing the comprehensive examination, the student prepares a dissertation proposal in his or her major area of specialization. Upon approval by the major advisor, the student makes an oral presentation and defense of the proposal to the Dissertation Committee and other College of Business Administration Faculty.

  1. Presentation and defense of the dissertation.

Upon completion of the dissertation, the student makes an oral presentation and defense of the dissertation to his or her committee and the College of Business Administration Faculty.

Advanced Analytical and Operational Core and Teaching Seminar

DBA students begin their course work by completing the courses in the Advanced Analytical and Operational Core and the Teaching Seminar while limiting their course work in the major. This core is designed to help students develop technical and research skills, and the ability to solve administrative problems.


A teaching-effectiveness course (DBA 720) is offered to ensure that the student develops the skills needed to become an effective instructor.  It should be taken at the beginning of the student’s doctoral course work.

Requirements for the Major

Each DBA student chooses a major area of specialization within the College of Business Administration. The departments offering the major course work may prescribe additional preparatory requirements beyond the minimum preparation for admission to the DBA program. The student’s academic advisor and the DBA Director work with the student to prepare a program of study, including any needed preparation. Depending upon the student’s background and research interests, he or she may be required to complete more than the minimum number of courses required in the major.

Each department offers major courses including seminars in theory and methods specific to their disciplines.  Please see the DBA website for major offerings