Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

Please note: While the PSU Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.) program is approved through ACICS, the U. S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation only recognize ACICS’ scope of accreditation through the Master’s degree level.

Program Objective

The Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.) program has been designed for the advanced practitioners in the international business community interested in expanding their knowledge base, professional contacts, and options for the future. The global perspective is central to the Pacific States University curriculum, which uses both the theoretical and practical approaches to solving complex problems. Students will study international business, preliminary to deciding upon an area of interest for dissertation research. After admission to the program students must pass the Core Courses before proceeding to the Concentration Courses. Students must pass the Comprehensive Examination before enrolling in the Dissertation Course sequence.

The University offers a D.B.A. Degree Program concentration in International Business. The PSU program prepares forward-looking business leaders to take front line positions in the dynamic and complex world of business and e-commerce. Graduates will be prepared to take high profile roles as corporate executives, entrepreneurs, or practitioners/consultants.

The curriculum views the world of business and commerce through the prism of internationalism. Class work emphasizes higher order thinking skills and critical analysis. Theory and practice are linked through learning opportunities provided by the experience of faculty members in seminars, research projects, case studies, mentoring by leaders in the business community, and field-based assignments.

Course Numbering System

Course NumberCourses

500 – 599
600 – 649
650 – 699
700 – 740

Foundation / Business Elective Courses
Core Courses
Concentration Courses
Dissertation Courses

D.B.A . Program Requirements

The D.B.A. program is designed to provide managers with a global perspective which emphasizes the use of both practical and theoretical approaches. Foundation, Core, Concentration, and Dissertation course syllabi are organized around this goal. The successful completion of class projects and assignments require research skills and the discovery of new knowledge as students search for solutions to problems in a changing environment.

Unit Requirements

The D.B.A .degree is conferred upon completion of a minimum of one hundred thirty-five (135) units of quarterly credit beyond the bachelor’s degree. A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required. The requirements can be summarized as follows:



Foundation / Business Elective Courses
Core Courses
Concentration Courses
Research/Dissertation Courses

20 units
24 units
20 units
24 units


88 units

Statute of Limitations

The length of study in a doctoral degree program is at a minimum of three (3) years, and a maximum of seven (7) years. Request for an extension of the study period beyond 7 years due to special reasons requires approvals by both the Doctoral Program Committee and the University Dean.

Study Loads

Doctoral students enroll for an eight (8) units per quarter except for the fifth quarter and remain in continuous enrollment until the degree is awarded.

D.B.A. Course Sequence





Foundation COURSES (20 units)* (A minimum 8 units)
* Foundation / Business Elective Courses must total sixteen (16) quarter units.



Managerial Accounting



Organizational Behavior



Management Decisions



Managerial Finance





CORE COURSES (24 units)


DBA 600

Quantitative Methods for Management Decision Making


DBA 605

Qualitative Methods for Management Decision-Making



DBA 610

Legal Environment of International Business


DBA 635

Global Marketing Strategy, Structures and Systems



DBA 640

Culture, Values, and Ethics in a Global Society


DBA 645

Strategic Management of Information Systems & Designs




DBA 665

International Finance


DBA 670

Seminar in Special Topics: Global Consulting, Entrepreneurship, and the Corporate Executive


Fifth / Sixth

DBA 685

Advanced Leadership Theory and Practice: Creating Strategic Change Leaders


DBA 690

Advanced Seminar: Topics in International Finance, International Management, and International Marketing



Independent Study (CR/NC Only)


  Comprehensive Examination
(10th Week of the Quarter)




DBA 700

Dissertation Research Design and Proposal: International Finance, International Management, and International Marketing



DBA 720

Dissertation Research Implementation (4) x 3



DBA 740

Dissertation Completion and Defense


Total Units Required for the Awarding of the Degree: 88 units, 68 of which are DBA Courses and 20 of which are Foundation Courses.

* DBA695 does not count towards total degree units and is a Credit (CR) or No Credit (NC) course.

** Students must enroll in DBA720 (4 units) three for a minimum of twelve (12) units and must continue course registration for credit only beyond the 8 units earned until prepared for DBA 740.

Comprehensive Examination

Students may not proceed to Dissertation courses until they have passed the Comprehensive Exam composed of questions from the Core and Concentration courses. These questions test a student’s command of the theoretical underpinnings and breadth of knowledge.

Students must pass the Comprehensive Examination before proceeding to Dissertation Courses. Those who fail must wait three (3) months before attempting to pass the failed sections of the examination. This is the single opportunity to retake the examination which must be undertaken within two (2) years from the date of the first exam.


The entire D.B.A. program has its foundation in theoretical and practical applications as worked through the prism of research. All instructors have terminal degrees and are experts in their fields; therefore, work in the Core, Concentration, and Dissertation courses are of high quality. Directions for dissertation writing emphasize the importance of theory and research:

The following are requirements for the dissertation:

  • Dissertation topics must be within the context of International Business which will include topics in International Finance, International Management and International Marketing.
  • Dissertation topics must satisfy three additional requirements:
    • be original research;
    • add new knowledge to the field;
    • focus on current business issues.

Specific topics can be selected from business problems that appear in the current business media, suggestions for additional research from recent dissertations, or suggestions for additional research from journal articles in the appropriate concentrations.

Research that merely repeats someone else’s work using a different population is not appropriate for a doctoral dissertation. Studies that are focused on the application of existing knowledge to solve problems in a business, or in a country are valid business research, but are not appropriate for a doctoral dissertation. Dissertation topics in an area of interest that is not within the context of one of the D.B.A. concentrations at PSU may be appropriate for a doctoral dissertation, but not at this university.

The D.B.A. Program Administrator has oversight of the D.B.A. Dissertation Committees which will include a chair and two professors, one of whom is from an outside accredited institution. A series of steps is in place to establish, monitor, and evaluate the work of these committees before a student has completed all the requirements for this degree.

Two bound copies of the dissertation must be submitted to the Registrar and University Librarian before the degree can be awarded.

Clearance for Graduation

Prospective graduates must file an application with the Registrar before they can be considered for graduation. Students are advised to file the application in the quarter preceding that in which they expect to graduate.

Two bound copies of the dissertation must be submitted to the Registrar and University Librarian before the degree can be awarded.

Graduation ceremonies are held in June. Diplomas will be mailed to those students who have completed their program and must return home in advance of the ceremonies.

All fees and tuition debts must be paid in full sixty (60) days prior to graduation, and all graduating students must pay the graduation fees.

Students Transferring into PSU

Applicants who have completed equivalent graduate level courses from a U.S. Department of Education recognized educational institution programs in business, management or related fields with a grade of B or higher may, with the approval of the DBA Admissions Committee, have sixteen (16) quarter units transferred into their programs towards Foundation Courses. Students desiring to transfer such credits must make a formal request which includes:

  • A list of the PSU courses for which the student is requesting credit;
  • Official transcript(s) indicating courses that may be equivalent;
  • Descriptions and syllabi/outlines for the courses or catalog.

It is the student’s responsibility to begin the process by first becoming familiar with the required courses in the PSU program as described in the current catalog.