Online DBA programs with no GMAT requirement provide the most convenient avenue for professionals who desire to advance their careers in business. These practical degree programs are flexible, and many allow students to work at their own pace while keeping their day jobs. Graduates are qualified for roles as top executives in a variety of industries as well as for teaching positions at colleges and universities. In this ranking, we explore the top 15 great value online Doctor of Business Administration programs with no GMAT required for admission.
- Net Price Below $10,000: 4 points
- Net Price Below $15,000: 3 points
- Net Price Below $18,000: 2 points
- Net Price Below $20,000: 1 point
Student to Faculty Ratio
- Less than 20:1: 1 point
- Less than 15: 1: 2 points
- Less than 10: 1: 3 points
Return on Investment (ROI) According to Payscale.com
- Top 500: 1 point
- Top 300: 2 points
- Top 150: 3 points
Flexibility of the Program (asynchronous course delivery, hybrid options, part-time/full-time schedule, etc. ) – 1 point per item
Online Student Support Network (faculty mentors/advisors, etc.)— 1 point per item
Concentrations/Specializations – 1 point per item (5-pt cap)
Accreditation (School-Wide and Program-Specific) – 1 point per item
“Wow” Factor – 1 point
Ranking the Best Online DBA Programs with No GMAT Requirement
To develop this ranking of the 15 best online no GMAT DBA programs, our editors began with an initial pool of 29 programs with no standardized testing requirements for admission. To narrow the pool, we applied a tuition filter to eliminate programs with tuition costs over $25,000 a year. We then visited the website of each remaining school to gather information about its DBA program. Using this information along with data from College Navigator and PayScale, we applied the rating and ranking methodology above. In cases of a tie, we awarded the higher ranking to the more economical DBA program.
#15—University of Phoenix
Doctorate Business Administration Online
Student to Faculty Ratio: 38:1
The 62-credit hour online doctor of business administration with no GMAT requirement from the University of Phoenix is designed to be completed in four years. The curriculum for the program is mostly prescribed and includes core courses such as Strategic Opportunities in An Internet-Based Global Economy, Issues in Optimizing Operations, Marketing and Managing the Customer Relationship, and Ethical Leadership and the Law in the Global Environment. This plan of study is designed to prepare students for successful careers as executive directors, chief executive officers, operations directors, chief financial officers, and more. The University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award this online no GMAT DBA. The terminal degree itself holds special accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
Net Price: $18,884
#14—Grand Canyon University
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
The customizable online doctorate in business administration from Grand Canyon University features emphases in Marketing, Data Analytics, and Management. Despite the emphasis area they choose, students will take core courses such as Approaches to Research Design and Data Analysis, Emerging Issues in Financial Management, The Sustainable Future, and Foundations for Research. Depending on their chosen emphasis area, students may take additional classes like Economics for Business, Consumer Behaviors in Global Marketing, and Using Business Analytics for Competitive Advantage, for example. Courses are eight weeks in length, and students can take advantage of weekly start dates. GCU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award this online doctorate in business administration. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school as one of the top national universities in the country.
Net Price: $20,912
#13—Trevecca Nazarene University
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
The no GMAT online Doctor of Business Administration offering from Trevecca University is a customizable program featuring three distinct tracks: Higher Education, Consulting and Coaching, and Enterprise Leading and Managing. Core classes comprising the curriculum for the program include Current Topics in Management and Leadership, Applied Business Research Principles and Practices, and Introduction to Applied Business Research Design. Depending on their chosen concentration, students will also take classes such as Higher Education Leadership and Assessment, Managing Complex Operations, and Current Principles and Practices in Consulting. The university recommends that students spend between 15 and 20 hours per week on their studies. Trevecca Nazarene University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this no GMAT online DBA. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top national universities in the country.
Net Price: $19,480
Lodi, New Jersey
Online Doctor of Business Administration
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
The online DBA with no GMAT requirement from Felician University is a self-paced option that includes just one brief on-campus visit. The curriculum for this innovative program includes foundation courses such as Introduction to Research Methods, Advanced Academic Study and Writing, and Statistical and Quantitative Analysis. Students will also take core knowledge classes like Contemporary Management Theory, Historical Perspectives in Marketing, and Applied Decision Theory, for example. A formal doctoral dissertation is also required. The university assigns a personal learning coach to each of its distance students. Felician University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award this DBA online degree. U.S. News & World Report has placed the school among the best regional universities in the North.
Net Price: $19,225
#11—Johnson & Wales University
Providence, Rhode Island
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
The no GMAT online DBA from Johnson & Wales University is a career-focused program designed to be completed in just three years. The curriculum for the 54-credit hour program is prescribed and features course titles such as Organizational Strategy and Design, Leading and Managing Large-Scale Transformation, Problems and Methods in Marketing Management, and Executive Decision-Making, for example. This program is entirely online and requires no on-campus residencies. Plus, course delivery is primarily asynchronous with some optional synchronous elements. Johnson & Wales University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to award this online DBA. The school has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 75 best value schools in the nation.
Net Price: $18,449
#10—City University of Seattle
Student to Faculty Ratio: 9:1
City University of Seattle offers a customizable online DBA no GMAT program with a specialized study concentration option. Core requirements for the program include classes like Business Process Analysis and Strategic Management, Industry Analysis and Market Innovation, Technology Implementation and Change Management, and Financial Decision-Making. Students must also fulfill a required research core in preparation for their formal doctoral dissertation. Though the vast majority of requirements for the program can be fulfilled online, three brief residencies are required. City University of Seattle is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award this online doctoral degree in business administration. Its online MBA and graduate business programs have been ranked among the best in the country according to U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $15,450*
#9—University of the Cumberlands
Doctor of Business Administration Online
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
The no GMAT online doctorate in business administration offering from the University of the Cumberlands is an applied DBA program. The program is highly versatile, featuring ten different concentration options. Some of these specializations include Information Security Systems, Entrepreneurship, Digital Forensics, Strategic Management, and Marketing. Despite their chosen concentration, all students will take core courses such as Corporate Finance: Fiscal Management in a Global Climate, Managerial Ethics and Social Responsibility, and Information Technology Importance in Strategic Planning. A doctoral dissertation is also required prior to graduation. The program prepares graduates to pursue successful careers as management analysts, top executives, and managers, for instance. The University of the Cumberlands is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this terminal business degree. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top national universities in the United States.
Net Price: $19,212
#8—University of Wisconsin- Whitewater
Online Doctoral Degree in Business Administration
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
The no GMAT online Doctor of Business Administration program from the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater is offered through the school’s College of Business and Economics. Technically a hybrid program, students can meet the majority of degree requirements online but must meet on campus one weekend per month for residency requirements. The curriculum for the program is mostly prescribed and includes course titles like Applied Regression Analysis, Scientific Inquiry in Business, Contemporary Research Methods and Dissertation Design, and Macro Issues in Business. Students will also fulfill six credit hours of directed study and complete a DBA dissertation. The University of Wisconsin- Whitewater is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award this online doctorate in business administration. The program itself is also separately accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). U.S. News & World Report has placed the university among the top 15 public schools in the nation and lauded its business programs as among the best in the country.
Net Price: $12,422
#7—University of South Florida
Doctoral Degree in Business Administration Online
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
The University of South Florida offers its online no GMAT DBA through its distinguished Muma College of Business. The program is technically considered a hybrid offering since it requires students to attend on-campus sessions one weekend per month. The comprehensive 72-credit hour curriculum for the program is comprised of course titles such as Sustainability and Ethics, Multivariate Statistics, Creativity and Innovation, and Linear Statistical Models. A formal doctoral dissertation is also required. The University of South Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this online doctorate in business administration, and the program itself is AACSB-accredited. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 75 best value schools in the country and the top 100 best colleges for veterans.
Net Price: $11,766
Student to Faculty Ratio: 9:1
Designed for working professionals, the no GMAT online DBA offering from Westcliff University is a three-year program that can be completed entirely online. Students enrolled in the program will follow a prescribed curriculum, featuring course titles like Management of Technological Innovation, Strategic Planning and Implementation, Business Intelligence and Information Systems, and Creative Solutions Leadership. Graduates are well-prepared for careers as business development directors, management consultants, education administrators, management analysts, and more. Westcliff University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. It has also been named an official Military Friendly School.
Net Price: $6,900*
#5—Alliant International University
San Diego, California
Online Doctorate Business Administration
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
The no GMAT online DBA from Alliant International University is offered through the university’s distinguished California School of Management & Leadership. The curriculum for the program is versatile and features three specialization area options: Marketing, Information and Data Science, and Management. Regardless of the specialization they choose, all DBA online students will take core courses such as Foundations and Critical Issues in Global Business; Innovation, Technology, and Sustainability Management; Global Change Management; and Cross Cultural Management and Cultural Issues. Depending on their chosen specialization, students will take additional classes like Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, Advanced Consumer Behavior and Culture, and Contemporary Readings in Strategy. The program can be completed entirely online or via a hybrid model. Alliant International University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission to award this online doctorate in business administration. The program itself holds special accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Net Price: $18,884
#4—Removed by Editor
New Castle, Delaware
Online Doctorate in Business Administration
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Wilmington University offers both a hybrid and a fully online DBA with no GMAT requirement through its College of Business. The 54-credit hour curriculum is prescribed and features course titles such as Ethics in Business and Management, Managing Innovation and Change, Experiential Learning: Leadership Issues, and Statistics for Research. A DBA dissertation or research project is required prior to graduation. Career opportunities for students who meet the degree requirements include positions such as chief executive, business intelligence analyst, general and operations managers, and management analysts, for example. Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the DBA program is separately accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). The school has been named one of the top national universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $14,955
San Diego, California
Student to Faculty Ratio: 1:1
Northcentral University offers a research-based online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) with no GMAT requirement. The program is one of the most versatile ones you’ll find, featuring 18 different specializations. These specialization areas include Advanced Accounting, General Business, Healthcare Administration, Financial Management, Computer and Information Security, and more. Regardless of the specialization area they choose, students will take core courses such as Doctoral Studies in Business, Scholarly Literature Review, Ethics in Business, and Quantitative Research Design. A formal doctoral dissertation is also required. Depending on their specialization, students will take additional classes like Advanced Accounting Theory and Policy, Complex Database Management Systems, and Information Assurance from Legal and Ethical Issues, for example. Completion time for this no GMAT online DBA option is approximately 39 months. Northcentral University is an affiliate of the National University system and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.
Net Price: $16,864
Doctorate in Business Administration Online
Student to Faculty Ratio: 7:1
Baker College offers a comprehensive online DBA with no GMAT requirement. The curriculum is versatile, and students can choose from specializations such as management information systems, leadership, human resources, marketing, and finance. Alternatively, they have the option to create their own customized specialization. Core classes for the program include Managing in a World-Wide Context, Knowledge Management and Information Systems, Leading 21st Century Organizations, and Quality Improvement and Organizational Change. A comprehensive examination and a formal doctoral dissertation are required prior to graduation. Baker College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and its business programs hold special accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).
Net Price: $12,983
About Online DBA Programs With No GMAT Requirement
For decades, students desiring a graduate degree in business would need to take the Graduate Management Admissions Test—or GMAT—in order to be considered by graduate business schools. This exam has long been used as a way to gauge a student’s readiness for the academic rigor of programs like the Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).
Problems With the GMAT
The GMAT is a difficult, high-stakes exam, though. It takes approximately four hours to complete, and students typically spend months studying for this all-important test. Critics say this time investment isn’t the main problem with the GMAT, though. Instead, many say the test doesn’t accurately evaluate a student’s quantitative or verbal abilities like it’s supposed to; rather, it tests how well students can apply very specific test-taking skills that have nothing to do with succeeding in business school.
GMAT Requirements for Doctor of Business Administration Online Programs
It’s not surprising that online DBA programs would be some of the first graduate business programs to waive the GMAT as a requirement, then. These are programs that take pride in providing professionals with flexible avenues for advancing their careers. Moreover, most applicants to DBA programs have already proven that they can succeed in an MBA-level business program. GMAT test score submission is often viewed as an unnecessary hoop to jump through in order to gain access to higher levels of business education.
Admissions Requirements for Online No GMAT DBA Programs
If these DBA online programs don’t require GMAT scores for admissions, then what are the criteria for getting in? That’s a valid question. The short answer is that it depends on the program. While admissions criteria do vary slightly from school to school, you can expect some basic requirements no matter which college or university you attend. These include:
- A Master’s degree in business or related field from an accredited school
- A minimum graduate GPA (usually 3.0 or higher)
- Professional work experience in the business field
Additional DBA admissions requirements may include:
- An interview
- A personal essay
Program Delivery Options for Online DBA Programs With No GMAT Requirements
When considering a no GMAT online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program, it’s important to keep in mind that not all of these programs follow the same format or deliver the curriculum in the same way. In fact, these types of programs can vary significantly depending on which school you choose to attend. Let’s look at some of the differences among online no GMAT DBA offerings.
Fully Online Vs Hybrid Programs
Not all programs that market themselves as online DBA programs can be completed entirely online. Instead, some are actually hybrid programs. This means that some visits to campus are required. Hybrid DBA programs could require a single visit to campus, or they could require multiple residencies. While programs that combine online learning with traditional classroom experiences can offer more interactivity and engagement, they’re not as flexible or convenient as programs that are offered completely online.
Asynchronous Vs Synchronous Programs
Even programs that are offered fully online can differ from one another, though. While some online DBA programs feature asynchronous course delivery, others are primarily synchronous in nature or include some synchronous elements. What’s the difference? Asynchronous DBA programs allow students to work at their own pace and complete assignments whenever they desire. Synchronous DBA offerings, on the other hand, require students to log into a learning management system at specific times to participate alongside other students and interact with professors. Thus, synchronous programs tend to be more interactive while asynchronous programs tend to be more convenient.
Frequently-Asked Questions About No GMAT Online DBA Degree Programs
Q: How much does it cost to earn an online no GMAT DBA degree?
A: Tuition will vary significantly from school to school. While we’ve highlighted some of the more affordable online DBA programs in our ranking, including some offerings with tuition costs less than $10,000 a year, other DBA programs can put you back more than $40,000 annually.
Q: How long should I expect to study in a no GMAT DBA online program?
A: The completion time will depend on the school you attend, but you should expect to study for 3-4 years before receiving your DBA degree.
Q: Can I keep my day job while pursuing an online Doctor of Business Administration?
A: Absolutely! Many no GMAT online DBA programs are designed specifically for working professionals. Consider fully online, asynchronous programs for maximum flexibility.
Q: Are part-time online DBA programs available?
A: Yes. Many online DBA degree programs can be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis. Some are offered on a part-time basis only.
Q: How can I tell if an online DBA program without a GMAT requirement is legitimate?
A: Most no GMAT online DBA programs are credible academic offerings, but not all of them are legitimate. To tell the difference, it’s important to look for school accreditation. You may also want to check for special program accreditation.
No GMAT Online DBA Concentrations
Earning an online no GMAT Doctor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Marketing will provide students with the skills necessary to lead and advance their company using marketing and advertising techniques. In this field, they will study marketing theories, analyze existing research, and apply their newly acquired knowledge to real-life situations. Career titles available for people with this degree are Chief Marketing Officer, Market Research Director, and Senior Management Consultant, for instance. Examples of the types of courses that are offered under this track of the DBA degree include:
- Emerging Issues in Financial Management
- Economics for Business Decisions
- Complexity of Marketing
With a focus in Data Analytics, online DBA students will learn how to gather and analyze data to inform business decisions. Students on this track will also learn how to present their data findings and look for flaws or fallacies in the data or the data analysis. The types of courses that are offered under this track are:
- Using Business Analytics for Competitive Advantage
- Approaches to Research Design and Data Analysis
- Analytic Foundations for Business Leaders
Choosing an online DBA in Management will enable students to hone the decision making and leadership skills required to lead their company and its employees. Studies will be heavily focused on theories of management, application of those theories, and case studies of successful business management. The types of careers one could pursue with this type of no GMAT online DBA degree are Chief Executive, Operations Leader, or Postsecondary Instructor. Management courses that students can expect to take include the following:
- Designing Organizational Structures
- Contemporary Business Law
- Management of Business Complexity
The Higher Education concentration within an online no GMAT DBA program will allow students to study business leadership skills from and academic perspective and learn how best to present this information to future students. Samples of the types of courses that are offered for this DBA track are:
- A History of Applied Management Theory
- Management Teaching Practicum
- Interpreting and Translating Management Theory into Practice
Consulting and Coaching
While studying under the track of Consulting and Coaching, online no GMAT DBA students will be provided the skills necessary to assist businesses and companies externally and internally with whatever challenges they may be facing. They will also learn how to actively teach and explain management techniques to their clients. Students in this program will study real world business practices and learn how to improve the overall effectiveness of a business. Examples of the courses that are offered under this track are:
- Global Leadership and Ethics
- Analytics for Decision Making
- Management Learning Seminar
Information Security Systems
Studying Information Security Systems will prepare online DBA students to assist a company in keeping their employee and business information safe. Topics comprising the curriculum of such as program will include forensic investigations, privacy rights, data preservation, and cybercrime, for example. Courses that students will be expected to take in this concentration may include:
- Computer and Information Security Specialization
- Contemporary Challenges in Business
- Impact of Homeland Security Policies on Business Community
- Business Infrastructure Vulnerability Analysis
An online no GMAT DBA in Entrepreneurship will concentrate on applying successful business strategies to self-made companies. Students will apply business concepts to real-life situations, hone their risk assessment and management skills, and learn professional development strategies. The classes that students pursuing this concentration can expect to take will include:
- Social Entrepreneurship
- Entrepreneurial Funding
- Creative Entrepreneurship
An online DBA with a concentration in Strategic Management will focus on developing students’ creativity and decision-making skills. Professionals pursuing this concentration will learn how to critically examine a company’s current business plan and suggest techniques to improve business outcomes. Students will also learn how to help businesses make good financial decisions and how to use financial investment to their benefit. The types of courses offered in this track include:
- Ethical Leadership
- Work Force Planning and Employment
- Quality Management Production
In a no GMAT online DBA program with a concentration in Finance, students will examine financial research and statistics and learn how to apply this information for a company’s benefit. They will also examine complex financial problems and develop strategic fiscal solutions. Sample course titles comprising the curriculum for such a program include:
- Managerial Finance
- Investments and Derivatives
- Business Valuation
A Doctor of Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resources teaches students to manage a company’s employees while honoring their legal rights. Students will examine case studies and apply their findings to both theoretical and real-world business scenarios. They will also devote time to studying the various legal issues that may occur within the field of human resources, including issues regarding financial compensation. Courses that students can expect to take include in such a program:
- Contemporary Issues in Human Resource Management
- Workforce Planning and Employment
- Compensation Management
Most Frequently-Searched No GMAT Online DBA Programs
Drexel University: The online DBA no GMAT offering from Drexel University is an accelerated part-time program designed to be completed in just two and a half years. The curriculum for the program is interdisciplinary, and students are assigned a mentor to assist with the doctoral dissertation.
Grand Canyon University: Offered by its College of Doctoral Studies, the online DBA with no GMAT from Grand Canyon University features three concentration options.The curriculum for the program is career-focused, and courses follow an accelerated 8-week format.
Johnson & Wales University: The no GMAT online DBA from Johnson & Wales University focuses on organization development. Students can expect to complete degree requirements within three years with no residency requirements.
Northcentral University: Students looking for a versatile online DBA with no GMAT requirement should consider the program from Northcentral University. This offering features 18 specialization options and weekly start dates.
Career Questions About Online No GMAT Doctor of Business Administration Programs
Q: Are professionals with a Doctor of Business Administration in demand?
A: Yes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for top executives are growing about as fast as average, so the demand for professionals with this credential is steady.
Q: What career paths can I pursue with a DBA?
A: Most professionals with a DBA degree will work in top management positions within private corporations or non-profits. Some DBA-holders are entrepreneurs and begin their own businesses.
Q: What is the salary potential with an online DBA degree?
A: Although the salaries for professionals with a DBA credential vary widely, the potential to make lots of money with this degree is very real. According to the BLS, chief executives in the manufacturing and technical industries make over $200,000 on average.
Q: What professional organizations can I join with a Doctor of Business Administration?
A: There are numerous options for professionals with a DBA who want to join a professional organization. Some of these include:
- American Management Association
- Financial Executives International
- National Management Association
- Project Management Institute
- International Association of Business Communications
- Strategic Management Society
- American Business Women’s Association
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