Leadership DBA - Doctor of Business Administration

Doctor of Business Administration

Become an expert in business leadership

Stand out as an expert in business leadership, with an online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), Leadership degree. Learn the latest in theory and practice from experienced scholar-practitioner faculty. With this program, you’ll gain hands-on experience in motivating others and advancing your leadership abilities to proactively and strategically address local, national, and global business challenges.

This professional doctorate program features a capstone research project in which you’ll develop solutions to real-world problems within your organization. You’ll begin your capstone early in your program, with milestones to help you stay on track. Your project will help you expand your expertise in strategic planning, supervision, creative management, and statistical approaches.

At a Glance

  • Online & in-person
  • 8 Core courses
  • 4 Specialization courses
  • 1 Doctoral capstone research project
  • 2 Residencies

Reduce your tuition by $20,000

Enroll in a qualified program and apply for a $20K Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help fund your doctoral degree.

Apply Now »

Classes Start October 12th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

We’ve decided to waive all application fees until further notice.

DBA Leadership program highlights

$4,850 quarterly tuition maximum

Maximize your courseload—take 7 or more credits per quarter and pay just $4,850.*

Put your research to work

Apply strategic business solutions to actively solve business challenges or maximize opportunities that impact today’s organizations.

Academic support

You’ll be prepared with an academic mentor who will help you progress through your doctoral capstone research project.

73% of doctoral alumni found their degree positioned them to achieve their professional ambitions.

Source: Alumni Outcomes Survey, 2018

Energizing residencies

Network with faculty and peers during two residencies that enable you to develop knowledge and gain access to resources that will be valuable during your DBA program and beyond.

Stay on track with milestones

We’ll help you organize your work into manageable segments spread throughout your program to help you stay on track with your capstone project and academic goals.

*Quoted price does not include $175/quarter Resource Kit fee. Quoted cost includes residency tuition, but not travel costs, meals, and lodging.

Have questions?

Talk to someone who’s completed the program or a faculty member who teaches our courses.

25 years of online doctoral experience

With over 25 years of experience in online doctoral education, we understand the unique needs of doctoral students, and have designed our programs to meet those needs. We've structured our programs to help you reach your goals and obtain critical skills—with our expert faculty, support teams, and online resources to help guide you every step of the way.

Cost & learning format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

A more structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-2 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$750 per credit $4,850 Quarterly Tuition Max, 82 total quarter credits, 12 max transfer credits

Get the details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Accredited & recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Ways to save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

$20K toward your doctorate

Apply for a $20K Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help you fund your doctoral degree.

Transfer credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools.

10% military discount

If you're an active-duty military service member, spouse, or veteran, discounts may be available.

Doctorate in leadership sample courses

Our DBA in Leadership features a comprehensive core curriculum of leadership, research, strategy, technology, and ethics, plus intensive coursework designed to help you develop skills in systems, critical, creative, reflective, and statistical thinking.

Show course with description
Leadership Theory and Practice in a Global Environment

Learners in this course evaluate leadership theories and practices in diverse cultures from a historical and theoretical basis using a multi-disciplinary lens. Learners also develop expanded leadership perspectives and practices, enabling them to assure the viability of their organizations in a dynamic global business environment. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
Leadership as Personal Practice

Learners in this course focus on analyzing scholarly literature and emerging research trends in relational leadership. The course also emphasizes theories and models of leadership, which support a shift from hierarchical leadership to inclusive and collaborative leadership. Finally, learners assess personal barriers and facilitators to inclusionary leadership and apply theories and models to personal practice. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
Leading the Organizational System

In this course, learners explore leadership practice in complex and dynamic environments. Learners use systems thinking and organizational theory to analyze leadership practice within the framework of organizational systems and evaluate the role of systems thinking in organizations to develop innovation in complex environments. Finally, learners apply these concepts to leadership practice. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
Leading Dynamic Systems with Multi-Dimensional Thinking

Learners in this course synthesize multiple ways of thinking to support effective leadership decision making. By integrating critical, creative, reflective, systems, and statistical thinking, learners develop leadership qualities that allow them to apply their insights to current models and perspectives in order to envision a future with improved organizational patterns and outcomes. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

What you’ll learn

Earning your DBA can help prepare you to lead in a dynamic field as you explore these and other critical areas of focus.

  • Evaluate historical and theoretical bases for leadership.
  • Develop perspectives for organizational possibilities in an active global environment.
  • Develop a leadership style that emphasizes connections with others in the organization and the broader community.
  • Study the influence of functional and living systems on organizational transformation.
  • See how creative, reflective, statistical, critical, and system thinking impact decision-making.
  • Merge scholarly information and emerging trends into the practice of leadership.
  • Exhibit proficiency in academic research, writing, and critical-thinking skills.

Faculty & support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment counselors

These experts will set you up for success. They’ll help you find the right degree and program, and answer all your questions about Capella.


Our courses are taught by distinguished faculty members who hold top credentials and have hands-on expertise in their fields. They know what you need to know today.

Doctoral advising

Doctoral programs are specific and challenging. That’s why you’ll have access to expert support at every step along the road to your degree.

Career center

For this team, it’s more than resumes and interview tips. It’s about thoughtful and strategic career planning—beyond graduation.

Leadership insights

How is a DBA different from a PhD in Business Management?

A DBA is a practitioner-based degree that utilizes existing knowledge to develop hands-on, practical solutions to problems in the workplace.

What is a Doctoral Residency?

Residency helps prepare doctoral candidates for their capstone or dissertation. Find out what’s covered during this step.

5 Ways a Doctoral Degree May Strengthen Your Career

Gain insight from these five tips to help you decide what you may gain with a doctorate.

DBA Leadership professional paths

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our doctoral degree in leadership.

Related job titles to explore*

  • Consultant
  • Vice president/director of leadership development
  • Executive-level management
  • Chief executive officer (CEO)
  • Vice president/director of talent management
  • Administrator/director
  • Adjunct or part-time business faculty**
  • Full-time business faculty**

Employment settings to explore

  • Consulting firm
  • Corporation
  • Non-governmental organization
  • Nonprofit organization
  • Public and private education
  • Government—local, state, federal
  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Community college
  • Manufacturing
  • Health care organization
  • Insurance firm
  • Small business

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

**Educational and professional requirements for faculty positions vary widely by employer. Understanding your target employers’ particular requirements is key in deciding on a doctoral program.

Five career paths to explore with a DBA

Teach graduate or undergraduate students in the field of business and motivate others to make an impact at an organizational level.

Make major corporate decisions, including managing the company's overall structure and operations, communicating with the board of directors, management team, or corporate operations team.

Provide advice and expertise to organizations that help them improve their business performance in terms of operations, profitability, management, structure, and strategy. This work encapsulates a variety of areas, including management, IT, finance, marketing, HR, and supply chain management.

Assess new markets, programs, and partnership opportunities that will continue to support the broader goals of an organization. You may also develop and foster key relationships with leaders throughout the business to ensure a high level of influence and proper execution of key business strategies.

Design employee training programs, build succession plans, and craft an internal promotion process based on a solid understanding of full-cycle recruiting along with a strategic mindset to develop a skilled workforce.

Other programs to explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the next step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.