A strong base of experience and education is necessary for doctoral studies with an emphasis on applied research. To be admitted to the Athabasca University (AU) online doctorate in business administration (DBA) program, you should have significant prior knowledge and experience in the area of management research you intend to pursue.

All applicants are carefully evaluated to assess ability to handle the requirements of the online DBA program. We ask for a wide range of information in order to assess your suitability for doctoral studies, and to match your expectations, learning, and experience with the capacities and goals of our program. The online DBA demands that you be committed to your studies and able to balance the demands of education, work, and family.

Online DBA applicants are accepted into the program based on admission criteria and the availability of faculty expertise for supervising proposed research areas.

Admission Criteria

Applicants will have:

  • an MBA or equivalent master’s degree from an accredited university
  • five or more years of significant management and/or professional work experience
  • an acceptable university level course in statistics
  • English language proficiency

and provide:

  • an expression of research interests (1,000 – 1,500 words)
  • three reference letters, preferably two business and one academic, but three business references are acceptable

Carefully review the requirements for your application package below, then when you are ready, apply online by clicking the button to the right.

The Admissions Committee will review your application package once it is complete. It must include a completed online application form and the following six components:

1) YOUR RESUME containing the following information:

A list of current and past job positions (most recent first) that includes

  • company name and industry sector
  • position duration (month and year) and location

Description of duties and responsibilities that includes

  • managerial and supervisory experience, including project management
  • number of direct report
  • budgetary responsibilities

Formal education and training that includes

  • name of post-secondary institution(s) attended
  • degree(s) or program(s) sought or obtained
  • start and end dates (month and year)
  • academic achievements or awards
  • other training / educational experiences that relate to career and education goals (i.e. courses, workshops attended, etc.)

Additional information that includes

  • informal activities or life experiences that relate to career and graduate education goals
  • a list of memberships in professional organizations
  • a list of volunteer and community roles and activities


2)
THREE LETTERS OF REFERENCE

References must be submitted by individuals who will be able to attest to the depth and breadth of your managerial experience and suitability for doctoral level studies.

Submit three currently dated letters, one of which is from a current or previous employer. Where possible, one of the three letters should be from an academic who is in a position to judge your previous academic performance. If an academic reference is unavailable, the Admissions Committee will accept three business references. References submitted by relatives or friends will not be accepted.

Academic Referee Form »
Business Referee Form »

Important: In accordance with the Province of Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the information contained in letters of reference is not considered confidential. You may, upon request, view the information. It is your responsibility to notify your references of this fact.


3)
AN EXPRESSION OF RESEARCH INTERESTS

Compose a 1,000 to 1,500 word expression of research interests. Note that you are expected to have significant knowledge and experience related to the area of management research you intend to pursue. The proposal should include your research topic, its purpose and practical contributions, its relation to your prior learning and experience, some research questions of interest, and intended methodology in general terms.


4)
TRANSCRIPTS

Official transcripts of your post-secondary educational achievements, including any professional designation transcripts, must be sent directly to the Faculty of Business from the respective institution(s) before the application deadline. These transcripts provide the basis for evaluating your educational history and for determining your capacity for graduate studies. Have your transcripts sent to:

Athabasca University, Faculty of Business
201-13220 St Albert Trail
Edmonton, Alberta
T5L 4W1

NOTE: For applicants with degrees obtained outside of Canada or the United States, your educational qualifications may require independent assessment. International transcripts can be assessed by:

International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS)
World Education Services-Canada (WES)

Please contact Student Services at 780-488-2832 or 1-800-561-4650 to determine if this applies to you. Details regarding this service will be provided at that time.


5)
DEMONSTRATION OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

Applicants without a high school diploma or a university degree from Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, U.S.A., United Kingdom, or English speaking West Indies must complete an English Language Proficiency Test.

Acceptable tests and required scores are as follows:

Test of English as a Foreign Language TOEFL – paper based test (550); computer based test (213)
University of Michigan English Language Examination Assessment Battery MELAB (80%)
Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Teachers CanTEST (band 4.5 in listening and reading and band 4.0 in writing and oral interview)
International English Language Testing System IELTS (6.5)
Test scores will only be considered if they have been obtained within the past two years and must be sent directly to the Faculty of Business from the testing institution before the application deadline.


6)
APPLICATION FEE

The application fee for the online DBA program is two hundred dollars in Canadian currency ($200 CAD), and is non-refundable. Please enclose payment with your application.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

The next application deadline is March 15, 2017 for the September 2017 program start.

REFERENCE LETTER GUIDELINES: