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Ph.D. in Business Administration

Earn a Ph.D. in Business Administration From a 100% Online University

Individuals who complete the online Ph.D. program in Business Administration can pursue opportunities as a business leader, educator, researcher, or scholars in the academic, military and corporate worlds, and beyond.

The online Ph.D. in Business Administration degree program is designed for students who want to immerse themselves in academic literature, engage in rich academic experiences, and conduct detailed research in their areas of interest. With our 100% online doctoral degree, students can transform themselves into world-class business academics.

The Ph.D. in Business Administration curriculum is designed to help you develop advanced research skills. You will demonstrate and apply these skills toward the creation of new knowledge in your Ph.D. Dissertation. Every aspect of our PhD program takes place online, ensuring flexibility for adult students. Our program will allow you to:

  • Synthesize an integrated understanding of core business concepts to address organizational challenges in innovative ways.
  • Integrate statistical tools appropriate in the field of business administration to advance research or inform evidence-based decisions.
  • Evaluate various theories and research methods used in business administration.
  • Evaluate diverse viewpoints, theories, and scientific methods in business administration research relevant to culturally diverse and global contexts.
  • Communicate original scholarly research results through oral presentation and in writing.
  • Utilize appropriate ethical standards while conducting and disseminating research in business administration.
  • Develop effective information systems solutions to address complex business problems using industry-standard and tools.

Seamlessly blend life, learning, and leading with our affordable 100% online doctoral programs.


Trident University International is 100% online and offers a variety of doctoral program lengths—enabling students to adjust completion time to fit their own schedules. There are no in-person attendance requirements. Keep living, keep working, start learning. Learn More

Transfer Credit

Trident extends a generous policy regarding required credits. Our programs are focused and efficient regarding required credits and your total required credits may be reduced based on potential transfer credits from other accredited institutions*; we may also consider awarding potential credits for prior learning.

Individualized Support

You will be aligned with a doctoral faculty member who will provide individualized guidance during the research phase of the program. A Student Success Advisor will be assigned to you for personal assistance with administrative matters throughout your enrollment.


Trident has an extensive and involved alumni network that can be a key resource for you throughout the program. Learn More

Institutionally Accredited

Trident University International is a member of the American InterContinental University System. The System is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org), an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Learn More


Trident is competitively priced. There is no application fee, no lab fees. Learn More

*Transfer credit is evaluated on an individual basis. Not all credits are eligible to transfer. See the University Catalog for transfer credit policies.

Discover the Trident Difference


Six degree programs, highly-qualified and devoted professors, program and research flexibility.

Be Inspired

Our highly structured programs, consistent support, and compassionate commitment mean you stay on top of your goals and complete your program in a timely manner.

Change the World

Follow your passion project, connect with like-minded peers, apply your knowledge to further your career, and change your world for the better!

Program Overview – What Students Can Expect

Our 100% online program affords you flexibility as you learn to:

  • Understand and solve the complex problems of a rapidly changing world from the perspective of a business academic and leader
  • Pursue a research area of your own choosing and learn and practice scientific research methods
  • Gain the skills, experience, and mentoring you need to produce respected academic research
  • Develop effective scholarly writing and presentation skills
  • Participate in and leverage a community of passionate online graduate students
  • Work with outstanding faculty who will offer invaluable guidance, from admission to coursework, through exams to your dissertation
  • Make a unique contribution to the academic community by publishing your doctoral dissertation in peer-reviewed journals and/or presenting research projects at academic conferences

See the Trident Catalog for full descriptions of all program course offerings.

Prepare to take the lead in our virtual classrooms and in your career. If you are ready to take this important next step, apply online now. The documents specified below are required for all Ph.D. applicants:

You are required to take a total of ten core courses before the dissertation proposal seminar. The courses include four research methods, four theory, and two concentration courses. Four additional courses focus on dissertation work. All courses are four semester credits.

Trident accepts eligible doctoral level credits from regionally accredited doctoral granting institutions provided the transferred course meets the same content standards as the Trident course.*

Note: Students are required to purchase IBM SPSS Statistical Software for the quantitative research courses and dissertation research.

*Transfer credit is evaluated on an individual basis. Not all credits are eligible for transfer. See the University Catalog for transfer credit policies.

No Concentration - The Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration with no concentration is designed for students to pursue dissertation topics that do not fit within the current concentrations. Students will be prepared to demonstrate advanced knowledge and comprehension, including current developments in the areas of business administration.

Accounting / Finance - This concentration is designed for students with a solid background in the field of finance, accounting or economics interested in contributing to research in related bodies of knowledge, such as international finance, economic growth and development, financial management, auditing, and taxation.

Information Systems / Information Technology Management - This concentration is designed for students with a solid background in information systems interested in contributing to research about the impact of information technologies in organizations. Examples of dissertation topics covered in this concentration are: information security and privacy, virtual teams, electronic commerce, cloud computing, and business intelligence.

Leadership - This concentration is designed for students with a background in management, leadership, business administration or related fields interested in contributing to research on leadership styles and types (e.g., transformational leadership, shared leadership or servant leadership) and the ways in which leadership could contribute to organizational success.

Management and Organizations - This concentration is designed for students with a background in management, business administration or related fields interested in contributing to research on strategic management (e.g., merges and acquisitions, alliances, setting up operations in other countries including emerging markets) and organizational behavior (e.g., decision making, team dynamics, organizational structure, and culture).

Marketing - This concentration is designed for students with a solid background in the field of marketing interested in contributing to research on related bodies of knowledge, such as branding, direct sales, consumer behavior, pricing, online promotion, and social media marketing.

Note: Topics covered in our concentrations continually change to reflect the changing priorities in business activities and business research and student's expertise.

Designed to help doctoral students follow their progress, Trident’s Doctoral Positioning System (DPS) allows students to track the completion of tasks and milestones that are required to obtain their doctorate and provides a single place to submit and store documents and track completed tasks.

The comprehensive exam (or qualifying exam) includes a written and an oral portion. In the written portion, students will demonstrate their understanding of program course content and readiness to proceed to individual dissertation research by submission of their personal dissertation prospectus. In the oral portion, each student will present the planned research to a faculty panel, and answer questions designed to assess their research plans.

You will show a synthesis of your doctoral study, knowledge, and scholarship with a significant quantitative research project that contributes to general principles of knowledge in the field(s) potentially affected by the research.

A dissertation committee and dissertation chairperson will be established for you. Each committee will consist of three faculty members with one member serving as Chair of the Committee. The chairperson and the committee will be responsible for guiding you during the dissertation process.

Pursuant to Federal law and regulations, Institutional Review Board (IRB) review and approval is required for research involving human subjects. Accordingly, prior to the student conducting research involving human subjects, including the collecting and analyzing of data, the proposed study must be reviewed and approved by the Trident IRB.

Tuition cost for the Ph.D. program:

Tuition Type per credit per course per year*
Standard $990 $3,960 $15,840
Retired Military / Veteran / And Their Immediate Family Members** $885 $3,540 $14,160
Military & Immediate Family Members / Department of Defense Federal Civilian Employees** $800 $3,200 $12,800
Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve U.S Military Service Members** $800 $3,200 $12,800

*Assumes no transfer credits and that student enrolls in an average of 16 credits per year. Does not include cost of dissertation continuation courses, the number of which vary based on dissertation completion date. **Tuition per credit represented with applicable military grant applied.

All per semester credit hour costs are for program level (600/700) courses. Students in the dissertation stage register for one course of four semester credit hours per session. In addition, there are dissertation continuation courses which are $800 per course at 0 credit hours.

University Fees:

  • Books and Supplies: $0
  • Course Materials: $0
  • Diploma Copy: $30 (optional)
  • Food, Housing, and Transportation: N/A
  • Graduation Fee: $150
  • Official Transcript: $10
  • Other Expedited Shipping Fees: varies based on region
  • Payment Plan Set-up: $35-$55 (non-refundable)
  • Student ID Card: $10 (optional)
  • Technology Fee: $0
  • Other fees may apply and are subject to change without advance notice.

Seeking more information on the cost of attending Trident University? Visit Trident’s Financial Aid Resources page where you will find financial aid tools including Trident’s Net Price Calculator and Shopping Sheet, a guide to assist in early financial planning for college.

Want to save time & money on your degree? Receive credit for eligible past experience with Trident Fastrac. Click here to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

A Ph.D. in Business Administration is a degree program designed to help graduates prepare to pursue a potential career path in business leadership, education, or research. Students who study in this program will explore topics related to the development of advanced research skills including the application of skills to create new knowledge in their Ph.D. Dissertation.

Doctoral degree programs and time of completion are dependent on a student’s previous credits*, proficiency, and other factors. Many students who attend this program work full-time. Quarterly start dates give students flexibility in timing their coursework.

*Transfer credit is evaluated on an individual basis. Not all credits are eligible to transfer. See the University Catalog for transfer credit policies.

In this program, students will take a total of ten core courses before their dissertation seminar. These courses include research methods, theory, and three concentration courses.

A Ph.D. in Business Administration degree at Trident provides an opportunity to develop advanced research skills to pursue a career path as a business leader, educator, researcher, or scholar in the private or public sector. The program allows students to build on knowledge and aptitude in the areas of evidence-based decision making and applied research skills. With a program created around adult learners’ needs, you will have access to support and flexibility while working and attending the program.

The total number of credits required for this program is 56 credit hours. Additional credits may include up to 28 transfer credits* from a professional certificate, diploma, or a military occupation or ranking.

*Transfer credit is evaluated on an individual basis. Not all credits are eligible to transfer. See the University Catalog for transfer credit policies.

Trident’s Doctoral Positioning System provides students a way to track the completion of tasks and milestones as they progress toward their doctorate degree. It gives students a single place to submit and store documents while tracking completed tasks.

Trident offers 12-week sessions for its students pursuing doctoral degree programs. Refer to the academic calendar for a schedule of class start dates.

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