The USF DBA curriculum consists of a number of different types of courses. During the first two years, most courses are regular courses, special topics courses, and publication courses. Regular courses are the same for each cohort, focusing on research methods and areas of strategic emphasis for the USF Muma College of Business. Special topics courses are designed around the areas of research expertise of an individual or group of faculty members. Publication courses involve the creation of publishable research by students. Late in the second year, Issues courses are introduced, these are short workshop style courses on topics proposed by faculty or suggested by students. They run in parallel with dissertation courses, during which the student meets with his or her committee to prepare a dissertation or research project.

Regular Courses (33 Credit Hours)

These courses are offered during the first four semesters of the program and have a substantial distance learning component between class meetings. They fall into three categories. The first are designed to develop the student's quantitative and qualitative research skills, and to provide opportunities to practice these skills in real world contexts. These required courses consist of:

The second category of regular courses is intended to provide students with exposure to research in the multi-disciplinary topics that represent the current areas of focus for the USF Muma College of Business.

The final category of regular courses is proposed by faculty members based upon their areas of interest and expertise as well as student interests. Two of the following courses would be offered to provide exposure to a variety of research-related topics and activities.

Publication Courses (Nine Credit Hours)

These courses are offered during the first three semesters of the program and have a substantial distance learning and collaboration component between class meetings, with members of the cohort being required to peer review one another's work and make revisions. These represent an extension of previous courses, and require the students to create publishable documents, such as journal, conference and book chapter submissions. Depending upon the particular publication project, each course will have one of the following designations:

Issues Courses (10 Credit Hours)

These courses are offered starting in the fourth semester of the program, and are intended to run in parallel with proposal and dissertation activities. Although meeting according to the same schedule as regular courses, issues courses offer fewer credits than regular or publication courses, and therefore have commensurately reduced outside workloads to avoid interfering with the dissertation process. Members of the cohort select the topics from a list of proposals made by faculty members and other members of the cohort. Students may also elect to facilitate issues courses under the direction of a faculty supervisor, who acts as the instructor of record. Depending on the topic being taught, these courses may be any of the following:

With the approval of the DBA Program Committee, students may be permitted to substitute up to four credit hours of independent study/directed research (e.g., ACG 7906, FIN 7906, GEB 7906, ISM 7931, MAN 7905, MAR 7910) for selected issues courses during the final year of the program.