Doctor of Business Administration

Costs/Financial Aid

The information on this page applies to both the Tampa-Based regular program and the online program

Program Fees

Program fees are $15,000 per semester for three years, which corresponds to $1,250 per graduate credit for this 72-credit-hour program. A separate, one-time event fee of $2,500 will be charged for the DBA introductory workshop. The DBA workshop will be held each January (only for the incoming DBA cohort).  New students will be provided with technology and training required for the program. The remaining balance will be pro-rated and paid in installments due at the start of each semester.

The USF Graduate School application fee is $30.

Fees include:

  • Tuition
  • Texts and supplies
  • Course materials
  • Software requirements
  • Access to a large number of periodicals via the USF online library
  • Continental breakfasts
  • Lunches
  • Special events and receptions
  • Student IDs and parking passes
  • An allowance of $6,000 for approved travel and research expenses incurred by students over the course of the program.

Choosing Between Programs

The DBA program provides a means through which working executives can acquire a terminal degree in business. It is considered a concentration of the PhD in Business Administration and, like the PhD, it focuses on research and shares the same core courses. The DBA nevertheless occupies as very different niche from the PhD, as illustrated by the table that follows:

Item PhD in Business Administration Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Attendance Fulltime Parttime
Typical age of participants Mid- to Late-20s, some in 30s, also can be in 40s (particularly self-funded ones) Late 30s through early 60s
Hybrid or Online (separate cohorts)
Admission requirements
GRE/GMAT, TOEFL for foreign students, GPA,   recommendation letters, statement of goals and objectives, CV, application form, Interview
12 years work experience, at the least 5 at a senior management or technical level, committee interview, application form
Very high
Relatively low, large percentage of individuals meeting criteria are admitted.
Admitted each year
1-3 per concentration, depending upon availability of funding
Ranges from 10 (online cohort) to as many as 30 (face-to-face cohort)
Percent international students
more than 60% typically
~10% overall; higher for online cohort
Program Funding
Support from college, university, and State of Florida
Entirely through tuition (market rate program). No state support.
Student funding
Typically through stipends provided by the University, research grants, and tuition waivers; students on funding are expected not to work for external organizations
Self-funded; students are expected to continue working throughout the program. Some organizations provide tuition support or educational benefits
Disciplinary concentration, according to school offering program. However, students often engage in interdisciplinary research.
Typical duration
4-5 years
3 years
Largely individualized outside of core program requirements
All students take same courses as a cohort
Total Credits Required
90 credits 
72 credits
Transfer credits available
Yes, from other AACSB accredited programs for a few courses and credits subject to review and approval
Typical amount of required coursework
69 credits of coursework and 21 credits of dissertation
52 credits
Dissertation requirements
Standard, two or three papers based on thesis committee’s discretion
Standard, 3-paper, practice-focused book, project and white paper, portfolio
Learning objectives
Theory and applied research methods, writing for top scholarly publications, teaching experience, awareness of academic culture, research methods and skills can be applied in any setting including organizations
Learn research methods that can be applied to organizations
Desired program outcomes
Placement of graduates in a tenure earning position at top-tier research universities, and produce thought leaders
One or more of any of the following: Applying research to practice, transition to thought leadership role, self-actualization, transition to or advancement in academia (normally on instructor track at research university)
Tuition cost per credit hour FL Resident - $467.34 x 90 credits
Non-Resident - $913.08 x 90 credits
$1250 x 72 credits
Total program  tuition cost* FL Resident - $42,060.60***
Non-Resident - $82,177.20***
  • *Total program cost estimates do not include application fees, late fees, registration fees, educational resources (e.g., textbooks, etc.) or the one-time new graduate student fee.
  • **Note: tuition includes all fees, books, parking, meals, etc. plus $8000 allowance for conferences and research expenses are included and cannot be separated out]
  • ***Note: Not all students will be required to take 90 credits; some students may transfer credits.

Please note: The DBA is a market-rate program. With the exception of the Department of Children and Family (DCF) waivers, all other waivers (including State of Florida and USF employee) are not accepted for Self-Funded/Self-Supporting or Market Rate Tuition program courses.

To learn more about the classroom-based program tuition fees per credit hour, please visit: USF Tuition and Fee Information

For additional information, visit: USF Tuition Waiver
Note: Some fees may vary per campus location.

For additional financial aid info, visit:  As well, you may view the Specialized Graduate Programs Cost of Attendance to estimate the costs associated with your attendance.

Financial Aid

Students are encouraged to explore tuition assistance programs through their employer prior to applying for federal tuition assistance. Providing educational benefits and reimbursements to employees is one way organizations are helping support the continuing education of their employees.

For those whose company does not offer financial assistance, another option is to apply for a federal education loan through USF's Financial Aid website.

Graduate students are eligible for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans. More information about these loans can be found here.

Post 9-11 GI Bill for Veterans

USF Ranked #4 in the Nation for Best Colleges for Veterans
The Post 9-11 GI Bill covers a large amount of the tuition and program fees for the DBA program. The USF Veterans Service office serves veterans, active duty service personnel and members of the Selected Reserve, as well as the dependents of veterans who are eligible for benefits. This office can also offer guidance regarding educational benefits eligibility and assistance with forms and forwarding of documentation to the VA. Find out more information on its website.