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Pepperdine | Graziadio Business School

Do I Qualify for a DBA?

DBA students standing outside Pepperdine Calabasas Campus

The Executive Doctor of Business Administration program is designed for seasoned, top-tier executives looking to cultivate new ideas and solve complex business problems through rigorous, applied research. In order to create a strong program cohort of qualified individuals, candidates will be evaluated by a two-phase process.

Admission Requirements

  • 8 years of executive-level work experience or equivalent*
  • A business-related masters degree, JD, MD, or doctoral degree with business experience
  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution

*Equivalent qualifications include analytical capability, experience and appreciation for research, and academic positions such as teaching in higher education, among others.

Application Process

Phase One

  • Online application and fee
  • Research Topic Proposal (one-page essay)
  • Detailed resume

Phase Two

Applicants invited to Phase Two receive a link to complete the online application and set up a phone or in-person interview with the program’s academic director and faculty member. Official transcripts, a research proposal and evidence of intellectual contributions are required to complete the second phase of the application process. Recommendation letters are optional. 

Outline Research Idea

Write a double-spaced essay (three to five pages) outlining a research project that you would like to pursue as a dissertation/research topic in the program, including references to Graziadio faculty who could serve as mentors. You may build on the research ideas you provided earlier in the admissions process.

Intellectual contributions

Examples of white papers, articles, or books authored by the applicant (if applicable) may be submitted. Following the interview(s), the Graziadio School reserves the right to require an applicant to attain an acceptable score on one of the following tests:

  • Miller Analogies Test (MAT)
  • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

The Executive DBA admissions committee and academic director review and accept candidates based on the strength of the application, quality, and merits of the research proposal, and an assessment of the candidate’s fit with the program’s goal.

Note for International Students

International prospective students interested in the Executive DBA program should contact an advisor prior to submitting an application as certain visa restrictions may apply.