Birds-eye view of Hough Hall

How to decide between a DBA and a Ph.D.

Deciding to further your education is a big step but figuring out exactly which degree program you want to pursue is just as important. How do you choose between pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration or a Ph.D. program? The Warrington College of Business has great options for both.

As you are making the decision, here’s what you need to know.

You want a DBA if…

You have 10+ years of management experience

An important part of the UF DBA program is networking with peers. We mandate 10+ years of management experience because it guarantees you’ll spend time in the classroom with likeminded professionals. Although many will be from different industries, you’ll be able to hear their unique trials and see fresh perspectives from how others are tackling their challenges at work.

You want to continue working while earning another degree

The UF DBA program is specifically designed for people who want to work while pursuing their degree. We understand you have commitments in your family and personal life, and you might not want to leave your job to further your education. That’s OK! You’ll learn to balance the UF DBA coursework and be required to make only two trips to the UF campus per semester.

You want a 3-year program

If you want to commit a shorter amount of time to earning a doctorate, UF DBA keeps the program to three years. You’ll still take a deep dive into business principles and be prepared for whatever path you’d like after graduation.

You have a master’s degree

Master’s degrees are required to enroll in the DBA program. Students must also have 10+ years of management experience to be considered for the program.

You want a program focused on applied theory

Whether in the classroom or going through coursework, the UF DBA program prioritizes applied theory. You’ll learn challenges that businesses are facing today and how they’re overcoming them. It’s a practical dive into today’s business world.


You want a Ph.D. if…

You do not want to work while in school

If you don’t need to balance your job with furthering your education, a Ph.D. program is the right way to go. You’ll be able to focus solely on your degree and becoming an expert in your field.

You are interested in a 5-7 year program

If you are able to commit 5-7 years to your educational experience, a Ph.D. program could be the best route. It’s important to be aware of the time commitment before you move forward.

You are straight out of school with your bachelor’s or master’s degree

While the UF DBA program requires 10+ years of management experience, a Ph.D. program often trends toward younger students. It’s not uncommon for a student to go from a bachelor’s program to begin pursuing their Ph.D.

You want to focus on development of theory

Ph.D. programs focus more on the development of theory while a DBA program focuses on applying the theory.