Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

  • Total # of Credit hours

Welcome Message

Thank you for visiting our Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program webpage at the College of Business Administration (CBA).  Ajman University (AU)'s DBA program was the first to be approved by the Ministry of Education in the north region of the UAE. Our DBA program was launched in Fall 2019-2020 to meet a real need in the market for active professionals who want to combine deep knowledge with practical skills to effectively develop their managerial and leadership abilities. The program equips our graduate with the expertise and confidence necessary to become the future leaders in very changeable and challenging business fields not only locally but also globally.

The program has 60 credit hours that are allocated in two phases: phase one, Taught Courses, compromises 36 credit-hours for 12 courses that are deliverable in four semesters, each semester has 3 courses (3 credit-hours each); phase two, Dissertation, accounts for 24 credit-hours. In phase one, our program gives candidates, based on their current and potential career goals, the option to choose between two tracks. The first track, Management, is designed to help candidates who will continue with their professional careers and want to gain advanced skills and knowledge. The second track, Education, is designed to suit candidates who wish to have the option of transitioning into an academic career.

Our program is guided by three main principles: practical, innovative, and impactful. Practicality is considered in our courses' designs to reflect the real challenges our DBA candidates encounter in their professional lives. Furthermore, our program incorporates the latest innovations, including dynamic methodologies and comprehensive digital resources, to help candidates become creative, pioneering leaders of the future. Finally, our central aim isn’t just about delivering an outstanding educational experience for leading professionals, it’s also about creating an impact across markets. These three main principles are in line with AU’s vision of being one of the leading universities in the Arab world for its cutting-edge learning environment, impactful research, responsible outreach, and community engagement.

I do encourage you to go through the valuable materials about our DBA program.

If you have any inquiries, please email me at

Prof. Tamer Elshandidy
Director of DBA Program


Program Overview

The DBA represents an exciting new opportunity for those with the talent and determination to succeed, wish to advance their management or consulting careers, or transition to teaching in an academic setting. The DBA program will prepare students to advance in a variety of careers, including those in private and non-profit sectors, education, and government. Students will be prepared to think critically, solve problems, and compete in complex business environments.

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Program Mission

The DBA program trains students to become thought-leaders of management practice and creators of knowledge by engaging in applied research. With the aid of AU faculty, the DBA students will learn how to integrate management theory with practice and advance the field of evidence-based management.

Program Goals

PG 1: To support students to develop and conduct a high-quality theoretical and applied research.

PG 2: To equip practitioners with the potential to lead management practice.

PG 3: To develop students’ body of business knowledge by communicating research findings as a scholar or a practitioner.

PG 4: To support students to solve practical business problems through research.

PG 5: To develop effective decision makers and qualified business educators.

Graduation Requirements

To qualify for the DBA degree, a candidate must

  • Complete a minimum of 60 credit hours toward the degree, including the credits of the Dissertation.
  • Successfully complete the course of study as specified in the degree plan, including the dissertation.
  • Successfully defend the dissertation as directed and approved by the Dissertation Committee.
  • A course may count toward the degree if the course grade is at least a “B.”


Admission Requirements


1-      Candidates should have a master’s degree in business or related-field from a recognized university with a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.00 on a 4.0 scale or its established equivalent.

2-      Candidates should have work experience of at least two years in the middle or senior management levels.

3-      English Language Eligibility: Candidates should achieve a minimum score of 79 Internet-based test (IBT) for the TOEFL, TOEFL (ITP) 550 or 6 of IELTS (Academic) test, with the exception of candidates who have studied Master's degree programs taught in English that required for admission an EmSAT score of 1400 or equivalent (e.g., TOEFL score of 79 (IBT) or TOEFL score of 550 (ITP) or 6 of IELTS (Academic) test).

Candidate should follow the following instructions for admission:

For non-international students:

  • A completed and valid on-line application.
  • A Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, Attested from (MOE)
  • A Bachelor’s and Master’s transcripts, Attested from (MOE)
  • UAE Ministry of Education equivalency certificate for master’s degree issued by foreign higher education institution.
  • A Certificate of a proficiency test in English such as Academic IELTS with band 6 as a minimum (or its equivalent)
  • Recent CV.
  • Two professional recommendation letters.
  • Evidence of relevant work experience
  • A photocopy of a valid passport with residence visa
  • A photocopy of a valid UAE National ID 
  • 6 Passport-size photos  
  • A valid certificate of good conduct issued by an official authority 
  • Male applicants must provide status of UAE National Service
  • Medical Check-up.

For international students:

  • A completed and valid on-line application.
  • A Certified copy of the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree.
  • A Certified copy of the Bachelor’s and Master’s transcripts.
  • Master and Bachelor Degree Equivalency Certificates from UAE (MOE) (Upon Acceptance).
  • A Certificate of a proficiency test in English such as Academic IELTS with band 6 as a minimum (or its equivalent)
  • Evidence on how the candidate will fund the degree (self-funded-scholarship).
  • Recent CV.
  • Two professional recommendation letters.
  • Evidence of relevant work experience
  • A photocopy of a valid passport (valid at least for 6 months).
  • A photocopy of a valid UAE National ID (After Arrival).
  • 6 Passport-size photos  
  • A valid certificate of good conduct issued by an official authority 
  • Medical check-up (After Arrival).


Invitation for Interview:

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview (in person or virtully) to determine final acceptance into the program. Details about the interview requirements will be provided to the shortlisted candidates.


 Apply Now!
For Enquiries on the DBA Program, Please Contact

Prof. Tamer Elshandidy, DBA Coordinator

Telephone: +97167056274


Manar Hamad

Telephone: +97167056359




1- What is the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)?

The DBA is a doctoral degree whose structure and program are adapted to the obligations of professional managers. Like the PhD it is a doctoral qualification, however, it is directly linked to the world of work. The primary goal of the DBA is to advance professional practice, preparing candidates to carry out research and to make a direct contribution to professional practice and/or policy in a workplace or wider industry context.


2- What is the tuition fee for DBA?

The tuition fee for the entire DBA program is AED 270,000.


3- Is the registration fee refundable?

The application and registration fee for DBA program is AED 2,000 (5% VAT will be added to the fees). The fee should be paid upon registration and this fee is not part of the tuition. The application and registration fee is non-refundable, except when the application is rejected in which case an amount of AED 1,700 will be refunded to the student.


4- Are there any scholarships or tuition fee concessions provided for the DBA program?

Scholarships may be awarded based on merit; criteria will be set by the selection committee on case to case bases. However, there are two definite scholarships:

Ajman University Employees scholarship: 30%

Ajman University Alumni scholarship: 20%


5- What is the timetable for the DBA classes?

The DBA classes will be held every Friday and Saturday of the week.


6- How long does it take to acquire a DBA degree?

The DBA is generally acquired over a period of three to four years.


7- What will happen after I apply?

There is a thorough process of selecting the right candidates at Ajman University. Evaluation and assessment of applications may take from two to three weeks, after which shortlisted candidates will be contacted and invited for an interview.


8- Can I apply without having all of the documents?

You may apply without having all documents, but you need to know that the suitability of your application will be decided based on your documents. In some cases, if the candidate appears to be fulfilling all criteria but has not given a required document then he/she may be contacted by the office of registration to provide the missing document/s.

Program Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

PLO 1: Apply different research methods to analyze organizations and create new ideas through research questions that build on existing theory and are relevant to practice.

PLO 2: Summarize and synthesize relevant theory and research on a given business issue.

PLO 3: Develop effective and innovative global management decisions that are ethical and relevant to the local context.

PLO 4: Communicate and defend original research findings orally through a formal research presentation.

Management Option:

PLO 5: Critically analyze and assess research findings and their implications on solving management and leadership problems.

PLO 6: Apply creative thinking in different aspects of business strategies, leadership, finance, and organizational development. 

Education Option:

PLO 5: Demonstrate a mastery of skills and knowledge required for university teaching and assessment of student learning.

PLO 6: Apply advanced research methods that result in quality publication and knowledge development.

Program Structure and Credit Hours

The Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) degree requires the completion of 60 credit hours distributed according to the following plan:

Type of Courses

1. DBA core courses


2. Elective courses

(Management / Education)


3. Dissertation


Total Credit Hours

Study Plan

Study Plan

Courses Descriptions


DBA 711 Organizational Research Perspectives

The course focuses on the philosophical, ethical, methodological, and analytic issues encountered in various approaches to research in organization. Particular emphasis will be paid to the critical reading of research and exploration of research design possibilities in order to help students articulate a research topic and a defensible research plan. The course will involve extensive reading of research across methodologies as well as intensive writing and peer review.

DBA 712 Quantitative Research Methods

This Doctoral-level course covers all aspects of quantitative techniques and their applications in business. This is a methodological course, developed to equip students with skills necessary for the development and implementation of their own research dissertation based on quantitative methods. The course examines theoretical and practical aspects of quantitative methods in business research and enable students to better appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative research strategies. Students will have the opportunity to use statistical software and apply established quantitative methods, thus gaining some experience in data analysis techniques. Moreover, the course will discuss theory and hypothesis testing, measurement of constructs, publication strategies, and various special topics in empirical research.

DBA 713 Global Management Models

The course will focus on how globalization affects firms’ management practices, through a combination of theoretical models and practical business cases. The course aims at giving the students a deep understanding of the theories behind firms’ internationalization strategies and the challenges faced by firms engaged in international business. The subject explores key issues facing managers operating in today’s globalized world. The course further investigates how managers can respond positively to the challenges of motivating and leading a multi-cultural workforce, including expatriates and global teams. Informed strategic decision-making and the issue of ethics and corporate social responsibility in a global context are also examined.


DBA 721 Contemporary Business Issues in GCC

In today's rapidly changing global business environment, managers need to be aware of emerging trends and issues and develop an understanding of how these changes may influence current practice. This course gives you the opportunity to examine a number of contemporary and emerging business issues, the vehicle for advancing the development of professional values, in order to familiarize you with the business environment you are likely to be operating in as a business manager. The course will enable you to consider the complexity of these issues, explore the available literature and apply concepts to real world scenarios.
The course also will give students a better understanding of the business environment in the GCC countries and the challenges and opportunities for companies operating within its borders. Whether a small enterprise or a global business, every commercial endeavor is influenced by GCC political and economic developments. The GCC will play a major role in the efforts toward a global economic recovery; and for this reason, its strategies for sustainable development and increased competitiveness will be carefully analyzed.

Pre-requisite: DBA 711

DBA 722 Qualitative Research Methods  

This course examines theoretical and methodological aspects of qualitative strategy in business research and provides students with deep understanding and appreciation to the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research strategies. This course covers all aspects of qualitative strategy, techniques and relevant applications in research in business. This methodological course developed to equip students with necessary skills for development and implementation of their own research dissertation based on qualitative approach. Students will have the opportunity to apply qualitative strategy and use the recently introduced sophisticated software to analyze the results of the research. Therefore, they will be acquainted with some experience in data analysis techniques. In addition, the course explains theory and new developed concepts added to the body of knowledge, and other topics relevant to empirical work of carrying out qualitative research.

DBA 723 Seminar in Organizational Ethics

The course is designed to study ethics and social responsibility practiced in organizations around the world. The seminar will focus on different ethical and social responsibility models and their effects on the organization and organizational stakeholders. By combining the works of both classic and contemporary philosophers with contemporary applied global issues, students will be able to critically reflect on fundamental normative questions from an interdisciplinary perspective and reflect on the rights, responsibilities and challenges of ‘good global citizenship’.


DBA 731 Organizational Development 

Organizational Development is a theory and application course at the doctoral level. With a thorough preparation and grounding in organization and management theories, the student is being trained to diagnose and prepare a planned change effort. The planned process of developing organizations’ capabilities to attain and sustain optimum performance levels, measured by efficiency, effectiveness, and health is the overarching objective of the learner. OD processes bring about successful change efforts in individuals, groups/teams, inter-groups, and organizations.


DBA 732 Seminar in Business Strategies

The course focuses on key concepts, theories and interconnected research streams in Business Strategy. It examines basic factors affecting the development and execution of business strategy, policy, and organizations as well as, examining the integration of the strategy in the areas of marketing, finance, economics, distribution, and organization theory. The course will apply the analytical techniques of management and business using case studies. How management intends to grow the business, how they will build a loyal clientele and outperform their rivals is the essence of creating a strategy. The strategic plan must be implemented and executed in a manner that is superior to competitors and allows the firm to sustain a strategic competitive advantage.

Pre-requisite: DBA 723

DBA 733 Leadership and Culture

This course is designed to examine the role of culture and cultural dynamics in the selection/emergence and functioning of leadership. The course will demonstrate the importance of understanding culture, leadership, and the interaction between them in different context. The underlying theme of this course is that the skills and behaviors that are perceived as effective leadership characteristics in one culture are not necessarily those that will be effective in a different culture. By exploring the ways in which specific characteristics are valued differently by different cultures, the students acquire frameworks for assessing how to approach a work assignment in a culture that is not their own. The goal of the course is to help prepare students for business assignments outside of their home countries.  

DBA 734 Seminar in Finance and Investment

This is a finance for the DBA program. The course is ambitious in that in addition to studying some of the seminal work in finance, the course will also survey many current issues in finance academic research. The intent is to give the students grounding in some of the classic issues in finance, but also introduce them early into the concept of what research is, and more explicitly, where it is.
The course reviews basic finance tools and develops the basic finance theory. It defines and demonstrates “asset pricing intelligence” and studies core asset pricing, investment, information, incentives, and corporate finance topics. Topics will include portfolio theory, arbitrage pricing, equilibrium pricing, and security prices’ informational efficiency, the term structure of interest rates, derivatives, performance measurement and capital structure. In addition to the application of the financial theory to the corporate policy.

DBA 735 Social Entrepreneurship

This course examines the strategies for the implementation of social innovations to help students students to gain knowledge of how they can operationalize and implement social change initiatives; and how they can develop a dynamic strategy going forward that exploits these efforts, and different social forces for the advancement of their causes. The student will gain enough knowledge of the theory, leadership, and management of social entrepreneurship, from evaluating the opportunity through implementation. It includes assessment of start-up strategies, raising funds, assessing risks, legal aspects, marketing ideas, managing resources and growth, and creation of socially responsible models. This course provides an open, immersive, and welcoming environment for critical dialogue and focuses on highly interactive applied learning and discussion. Each student will enter the course with their own social enterprise or innovation idea to develop; or have had prior work experience with a non-profit, NGO, government entity or other social enterprise that can serve as their own case study for analysis.


DBA 736 Advanced Quantitative Methods

This course is to expose students to an intense guided tour of several managerial research questions and of the corresponding tools made available by the management sciences to address them. The course concentrates on theoretical and practical business models and enable students to better appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative research models. Researchers make an increasing use of simulations, data mining, and forecasting methods to formulate and solve managerial problems of increasing complexity. In this context, acquiring model building as well as model interrogation skills becomes crucial for academic researchers. This course will cover in particular, data mining with neural networks, decision analysis, simulation and optimization methods. Students will also be exposed to the fundamentals of sensitivity analysis for guiding the crucial phase of exacting managerial insights from a simulation code. Special attention will be given to critical thinking about the assumptions and limitations of the different scientific models.

Pre-requisite: DBA 711, DBA 712

DBA 737 Teaching Seminar/Practicum

Teaching practicum course is designed for Graduate students interested in teaching at the University level. Specifically, the course surveys cognitive research on teaching (e.g., memory, attention, and motivation) and practical teaching issues (e.g., construction of syllabi, practice delivering effective lectures, teaching formats, test construction, and grading practices). The course will be organized and run as a practicum/seminar, not as a lecture. Consequently, both the instructor and students will be responsible for presenting information and discussing the readings. At the end of this course, students are expected to be prepared to teach their first undergraduate course with confidence.

DBA 738 Research Seminar/Practicum

The student and faculty supervisor arrange the practicum well in advance so that the student can prepare by undertaking background reading. The student and faculty preceptor identify the learning outcomes, primary activities toward achieving these, and meeting schedule within which training and supervision by the faculty preceptor will take place. The student and faculty supervisor are expected to provide a detailed written practicum. The primary objective of the practicum is to strengthen a student’s ability to synthesize various aspects of business research prior to undertaking dissertation research. The key to this is the ability to articulate linkages between the research questions, the data gathered to address these questions, the techniques selected for manipulating and analyzing the data, and the interpretation of findings and implications in terms relevant to the original research questions. While the research practicum may not expose students to the specific population or problem of greatest interest to them, the skills and competencies mastered should help prepare students methodologically to carry out their dissertation research.

Pre-requisite: DBA 712, DBA 722

DBA 740 Research Design and Analysis in Business

This Doctoral-level course covers all aspects of research design and business analysis. It is developed to equip students with the knowledge of the core concepts of research design and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative research. In addition, the course explains various ways of analysis of different research strategies according to ontological position of a research and the epistemology each philosophical stands may generate. Also, students will have the opportunity to master a wide range of skills to choose the appropriate research design and skills to analyze data of both qualitative and quantitate approach and use the appropriate software such as (SPSS) and (CAQDAS). Therefore, they will be acquainted with some experience to carry out research and to be familiar with the techniques of analysis for empirical work as a practical-based approach to research as craftwork.


DBA 741 Organizational Theory

This Doctoral-level course covers all aspects of Organization Theory as a multidisciplinary field woven from multiple perspectives. It is developed to equip students with core concepts and theories for example, organization and environment, organizational structure, technology, organization culture and organization power, control and conflict. In addition, the course explains and compares different perspectives; challenges, paradigm debate and other topics relevant to current trends in Organization theory. In addition, students will have the opportunity to master a wide range of skills to analyze and manage organization complexity. Therefore, they will be acquainted with some experience in case- analysis techniques as a practical-based approach to organization theory, projects and presentation.

DBA 742 Seminar in Innovation Management

The course covers contemporary topics and cases related to management of change, innovation and entrepreneurship to explore the intertwined and triggering relationship between the three areas of study. Any change in the organizational, technological, policy, regulatory, environmental, competitive, and socio-cultural domains create a potential gap, which could be perceived differently by different stakeholders and competitive players – some may view it as a threat and others may see it as an opportunity to further explore and exploit. This ongoing continuous change and the resulting gap could potentially be turned into an opportunity for those entrepreneurial individuals, firms and organizations who are ready to embrace the ongoing change through offering creative solutions to existing or emerging problems by devising new innovative methods, processes, products, services and business models.

DBA 800 Dissertation

As a final requirement, all DBA students develop a dissertation proposal to investigate an important business problem that is of strategic importance to their own organization, industry or market. Students should apply the relevant domain-specific and interdisciplinary knowledge to inform their research and select appropriate research methods for their study, including data collection and analysis. The student’s dissertation is expected to make a significant contribution to the understanding of a business phenomenon.
Each student will prepare a written proposal for the dissertation. The student’s supervisor, with assistance from other faculty, will evaluate the proposal in terms of significance of the problem being investigated, the suitability of theories being applied, the research design and the expected data collection and analysis. Successfully defended proposals will satisfy the Dissertation Research requirement in the fall semester of the third year. Based on the research produced and feedback obtained by the student’s dissertation committee, they will prepare the final dissertation and submit it for review by their supervisor.

Pre-requisite: 36 credit hours