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William Howard Taft,
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The W. Edwards Deming School of Business

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Program

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The online Doctor of Business Administration program is a practical, directed independent study program which emphasizes course work in business leadership and management. It requires no classroom or seminar attendance. The Program is of particular interest to mid and senior managers who desire high level education in the theoretical and practical aspects of operating a business.

It focuses on how business is conducted in the United States but is open to students from Asia, Europe, and the Middle East who wish to operate a business in the United States or conduct business with U.S. firms and would benefit from a better understanding of U.S. business operations. Though leadership skills are subject to cultural differences, the fundamentals apply all over the world for business managers who wish to emulate the successful U.S. business models.

The objectives of the Program are:

  1. To offer a program of coursework and practical exercises in business administration, leadership, management and sound operational practices that will enhance the professional and personal lives of its students;
  2. To prepare professionals to serve in upper-level management and entrepreneurial objectives with a background of sound practices backed by current research and theory.
  3. To employ faculty who are accomplished in their respective fields from both an academic and practical perspective.

Successful graduates of the Program will demonstrate:

  • application of advanced knowledge in the legal, theoretical, and practical aspects of operating a business.
  • the ability to evaluate complex business ethical issues and related legal issues and make appropriate decisions and recommendations based on sound reasoning and analysis.
  • appreciation for making socially responsible and environmentally sustainable choices when designing and implementing business strategy.
  • the ability to communicate effectively in a variety of modalities.
  • effective management of individuals and teams in the business environment through application of contemporary leadership theories and concepts.
  • how to author a properly formatted and presented Dissertation or major practical project that represents a substantive research topic of original work or project that ties together the learning objectives of the coursework in a way that benefits an organization.

The University acts to fulfill the purposes of the DBA program through appropriate coursework, coupled with continuing direction, evaluation of student progress, and regular assessment of student learning outcomes, supervised and administered by qualified faculty.


The University's Directed Independent Study modality recognizes that education is an individual process where individuals with different learning needs and study schedules can be accommodated. It emphasizes learning that is meaningful, where individuals enjoy the learning process, and acquire knowledge to better understand and manage their own careers.

The Program’s Faculty members support the student’s independent-study learning role by guiding and stimulating the learning process in one-on-one interaction. Our faculty members recognize individual learning styles and emphasize the relevance of the material to the individual's situation.

Each course in the online DBA program contains a series of lesson assignments generally consisting of reading requirements and research projects. Students are evaluated through examinations and/or research assignments which are submitted for faculty evaluation.

All assignments are submitted electronically. As set forth in the University’s General Catalog, Internet access and minimum computer requirements and skills are required as a condition of admittance.

The first three courses in the curriculum are known as qualifying courses. A student must take and pass a Qualifying Examination before a student can earn academic credit for a core course. The Qualifying Examination is a three hour proctored test that covers material covered in the qualifying courses. It consists of a combination of objective and subjective questions.

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To earn the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree, a student must complete the courses outlined below in good academic standing, pass the Comprehensive Examination, and present a successful oral defense of the Dissertation or Major Personal Project, all with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00. The requirements may be completed in as little as 27 months. All requirements must be completed within seven years from the date of initial enrollment.

The following courses are required for the Doctor of Business Administration Program.

Qualifying Courses (10 units)
BUS602 Business Research 4 units
BUS603 Strategic Planning and Implementation 3 units
MKT603 Problems and Methods in Marketing Management 3 units
  Qualifying Exam pass/ no pass

Core Courses (20 units)
MGT607 Organizational Design 3 units
MGT605 Leadership Theory and Practice 3 units
FIN602 Designing Economic Business Strategies 3 units
HMR605 Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics 3 units
MKT605 Marketing Research for Managerial Decision Making 3 units
BLW602 Business Law 4 units
BUS700 Comprehensive Examination 1 unit

Elective Courses (Select 15 Units - 5 courses)
BLW607 Legal Environment for Managing Employees 3 units
BUS605 Global Strategic Management 3 units
BUS606 Negotiations and Dispute Settlement 3 units
FIN603 Conceptual Foundations of Accounting & Finance 3 units
FIN604 Global Economy 3 units
HMR606 Management of Organizations 3 units
MGT603 Leadership Solutions for Innovation, Change, and
Decision Making
3 units
MGT604 Global Business Practices and Challenges 3 units
MKT604 International Marketing 3 units
MKT606 Competitive Analysis and Strategy 3 units

Dissertation or Major Practical Project (15 Units)
DIS701 Dissertation Proposal 3 units
DIS702 Dissertation 12 units
BUS701 Major Practical Project Proposal 3 units
BUS703 Major Practical Project 12 units

Total Semester Units Required for Graduation: 60

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Admission Policies and Requirements

A master’s degree from an accredited institution is generally required for admission. In the context of this statement, “accredited” for institutions within the United States requires they be a member of an accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.

An applicant may be conditionally admitted into the Program based on a completed Application for Admission, receipt of the $75.00 Application Fee, student copies of transcripts reflecting the applicant’s highest relevant degree, documentation of the applicant’s professional work experience, and the receipt of two completed Doctoral Applicant Reference Forms. Official copies of all relevant college level credits received directly from the institution of origin will be required within 60 days of enrollment.

While professional work experience is not a condition of admission to the Program, applicants need to provide evidence of any previous professional work experience prior to formal admission.

The vast majority of the institution’s applicants are mature adults working in a variety of professional settings. Many have not attended college for several years. Consequently, prior class rank and grade point average are not significant factors in the admission process.

Should additional information be required the applicant will be contacted.

All payments must be payable in U.S. dollars. Payments may be made by MasterCard®,Visa®, American Express® or personal/business check.

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Foreign Applicants and Applicants with International Credentials

It may be necessary for applicants who have attended colleges or universities outside of the United States to obtain an evaluation of their education from a credential evaluation service approved by the University. Upon request, the Admissions Office will provide a list of approved evaluators. In addition, applicants who do not possess a degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL PBT) or 80 on the Internet Based Test (iBT) or 6.5 on the International English Language Test (IELTS).

For more information on TOEFL visit the website:

Transfer Credit

The acceptance of transfer credits between academic institutions lies within the discretion of the receiving college or university. Credits earned at William Howard Taft University may or may not be accepted by another institution depending upon its own programs, policies, and regulations.

Transfer credit toward the Program may be awarded for postsecondary courses completed by the student at other institutions if such courses were completed within the last seven years and are found to meet the standards and learning objectives of the specific course for which credit is sought. The courses considered for transfer must be equivalent in both content and degree level. Transfer credit must be from an accredited institution, and is limited to 15% of the total doctoral credits required to complete the degree (9 units).

No credit may be awarded for experiential learning (Portfolio Credit) in this program.

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Financial Information

Tuition is billed at the rate of $420.00 per month during the term of enrollment. The obligation of students to pay tuition shall continue until the earliest of the following events:

a. satisfaction of all degree requirements;
b. 48 billing months (four years);
c. withdrawal from the Program;
d. academic dismissal from the Program.

Additional information on financial aid and tuition financing can be found under Tuition, Financial Aid and Financing.


Application Fee
Transfer Credit Evaluation Fee
Registration and Orientation Fee
This one-time fee is charged at the time of a student’s initial enrollment and is related to the costs associated with setting-up the student’s file and developing a Degree Completion Plan.
Dissertation/ Major Practical Project Defense Fee
(Payable when the oral defense is scheduled)
Dissertation/ Major Practical Project Fee
(Payable after the oral defense)
Continuation Fee (Per Month)
Students who have not completed all degree requirements after four full years of active enrollment in the Program will be assessed a monthly continuation fee for the balance of the enrollment period or until they have satisfied all degree requirements. (This is in lieu of tuition.)
Graduation Check/Diploma Fee
Transcript Fee (Two Provided at No Cost)
Late Payment Fee
(Returned Check/Declined Credit Card/ACH) (Per Item)


The cost of books and materials, other than each course syllabus, is not included in the tuition. The University does not sell books or materials. Most books and materials may be purchased at local colleges, retail bookstores, directly from publishers or over the Internet. The cost is estimated to average approximately $150.00 per course. Students are provided with a mail or Internet source for acquiring all required materials.

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How to Enroll

If the applicant is accepted for admission to the Program, a formal enrollment agreement will be prepared and sent to the applicant for review and signature. Students may elect to begin the Program on the 1st day of any month. All payments submitted for tuition and fees must be payable in U.S. dollars. Payments may be made by MasterCard® / Visa® / American Express® or personal/business check.

Applicants are encouraged to call the Admissions Office if there are any questions regarding enrollment procedures.

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Course Descriptions

Qualifying Courses

BUS602 Business Research (4 Units)
A fundamental key to successful management is information. Knowing what information is needed, when it is needed, how to collect it, and how to interpret it can be the critical process to success. More than basic decision making research; managers should be able demonstrate the capacity to add unique knowledge to the national body of knowledge of business. This course will focus on practical theory and processes that managers can use to assist in the decision making matrix. It will also provide the foundation for developing the practical projects of each course and the program. The process will include analyzing the information, evaluating the results, and developing a strategy that leadership can implement.
Prerequisites: None.

BUS603 Strategic Planning and Implementation (3 Units)
This course focuses on the key role of management – strategic planning. This course explores the process of looking at the broad view of strategic planning and bringing the plan to fruition through effective leadership. The manager must have both the vision, and the skill of implementation to be effective.
Prerequisites: None.

MKT603 Problems and Methods in Marketing Management (3 Units)
This course focuses on how managers identify, resolve, and manage marketing related problems from a management perspective. The course looks at marketing issues from a corporate global perspective as do managers with an eye to the interrelationships marketing decisions will have on the entire business.
Prerequisites: None.

Core Courses

MGT607 Organizational Design (3 Units)
A key to business success is building an organization that meets the market and business philosophy. Managers are constantly watching and adjusting their organizations. This course will provide insights on how to build, change, and organize business structures.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

MGT 605 Leadership Theory and Practice (3 Units)
This course offers a comprehensive study of leadership theory and practice. Topics include the leader-follower relationship, the effects of gender, personal qualities that affect leadership, positive and productive leadership styles and strategies, and substitutes for leadership.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

FIN602 Designing Economic Business Strategies (3 Units)
Most managers have been developing budgets and looking at the business financial structure. Managers need a broader perspective so they can raise additional capital for expansion, plan for economic shifts in the national or world economy, and insure financial stability for the entire business entity. This course will explore these and other related topics.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

HMR605 Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics
(3 Units)
The old concept of laissez-faire in business is a thing of the past. Businesses are under pressure from any sectors. One of them is corporate social responsibility and ethics. This course explores the definition of these terms, how the concepts have evolved over the recent decades, and how managers must incorporate them as part of their business operations.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

MKT605 Marketing Research for Managerial Decision Making
(3 Units)
Research is commonly looked at as a marketing tool and this course is a marketing course. The course goes beyond the basic marketing decision making process and identifies processes that managers must use including knowing what questions to ask, being able to identify which issues are critical, and bringing the right resources together to analyze and recommend the best solutions.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

BLW602 Business Law (4 Units)
Everything a manager does will have legal implications for the business. Personnel, contracts, product liability, international trade, taxes, and financial development are some of the key areas. This course explores the critical areas of business law with a focus on providing managers with enough knowledge to know how to avoid the obvious legal problems and when to bring in the legal experts.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

BUS700 Comprehensive Examination (1 Unit)
This proctored examination, which can be taken anytime between the completion of the core courses and the Dissertation or Major Practical Project Proposal, is designed to measure a student’s knowledge and understanding of the curriculum content that has been covered in the Program. Students must pass the examination prior to beginning the Dissertation or Major Practical Project Proposal.
Prerequisites: Completion of Core and Qualifying Courses.

Dissertation or Major Practical Project Courses

DIS701/BUS701 Dissertation Proposal/Major Practical Project Proposal (3 Units)
This course assists students through the organization and design of a formal proposal including a substantive research topic of original work. An accepted proposal constitutes the framework for the Dissertation or the Major Practical Project. In the case of the Dissertation, the proposal constitutes the framework for the Statement of the Problem (Chapter 1), Review of the Literature (Chapter 2), and Research Methodology (Chapter 3).
Prerequisites: Successful Completion of the Comprehensive Examination (BUS700).

DIS702 Dissertation (12 Units)
The successful completion of a Dissertation results in a quality research effort, documented and written following American Psychological Association, (APA) guidelines, an oral defense consisting of a PowerPoint presentation presented to the student’s dissertation committee, and written in a format ready for publication. The completed dissertation document is a five-chapter dissertation beginning with the Introduction to the Problem, Chapter 1; Review of the Literature, Chapter 2; Research Methodology, Chapter 3; Research Findings, Chapter 4; and the Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations of the Researcher, Chapter 5. In addition, the final document will include the frontal pages as described in the University’s Dissertation Handbook, as well as necessary appendices, references, and other appropriate documents.
Prerequisites: Approval of Proposal (BUS701).

BUS703 Major Practical Project (12 Units)
The Major Practical Project (MPP) is an option for those who prefer to do a project related to their professional life. MPPs are no less structured or time consuming than a dissertation. Dissertations generally focus on significant research while the MPP deals with some specific problem or challenge the student’s business is dealing with.
Prerequisites: Approval of Proposal (BUS701).

Elective Courses

BLW607 Legal Environment for Managing Employees (3 Units)
The leadership role in human resources management is full of legal pot holes. This course would benefit human resources managers who need to understand the role of managers in the dealing with the complex world of legal employee management.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

BUS 605 Global Strategic Management (3 Units)
Managing a global business is much different than a U.S. business. This course delves into how managers, as part of the decision making process, investigate and integrate knowledge about social and business cultures, management techniques, and local government regulations as part of how to manage their international business units.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

BUS606 Negotiations and Dispute Settlement (3 Units)
Negotiations and dispute settlement are part of every business. Negotiations can be with suppliers, distributors, employees, or foreign governments. This course provides managers with theory and philosophy of negotiations and dispute resolution so they can provide a total organization policy on how their employees are to operate in these situations.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

FIN603 Conceptual Foundations of Accounting & Finance (3 Units)
Part of the financial role of managers is to lead the organization with the best financial program possible. In order to do that, managers must have a basic understanding of the accounting and finance role in the broad scope of business leadership. This course will provide a conceptual foundation for effective financial planning.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

FIN604 Global Economy (3 Units)
This course will be useful for managers who are, or will be, exploring international trade. The course focuses on the philosophies and actual operations of different foreign economic models. Using this knowledge will improve the decision making process for making the international move.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

HMR606 Management of Organizations (3 Units)
This course investigates the more specific aspects of organizational management. It will provide insights in the techniques that managers can utilize to improve employee performance and job satisfaction.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

MGT603 Leadership Solutions for Innovation, Change, and Decision Making (3 Units)
One of the most difficult tasks of any manager is implementing change. In reality, some of the best change can come from the ranks. Managers must know how to bring the ideas for change to the surface, organize them, and then present them in a manner that encourages the employees to adopt them. The course will explore techniques to help maximize this process.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

MGT604 Global Business Practices and Challenges (3 Units)
Global or international business is a hot topic. Most businesses know they must join the globalization process but many don’t know how. This course will provide insights on how managers can begin to develop international business projects by knowing how to do it and knowing some of the downside issues.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

MKT604 International Marketing (3 Units)
International marketing in the context of this course is the process of making leadership decisions in the international business world that will benefit the corporation. The manager has many issues to consider when moving into foreign markets starting with the questions “should we,” “if so, where,” and “what’s in it for us.” Additional considerations include legal, financial, and organizational impact.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

MKT606 Competitive Analysis and Strategy (3 Units)
Dealing with competition is fundamental to operating a business. This course demonstrates how managers must be able to look at the competitive environment. It includes a more sophisticated perspective on how to recognize the value of competitors, how competitive decisions can have both positive and negative consequences, and how to lead the business to gain competitive positions.
Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.



The 17th Annual Dr. Roger J. Duthoy Scholarship is now accepting applications! The Duthoy scholarship will be limited to qualified Charter School Educators.

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Limited-Time Tuition Grants now available to qualified applicants of select School of Education programs.

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