DBA, DM, Ph.D. What’s the Difference?

Deciding what advanced degree to earn in business comes down to your personal ambitions and what plays best to your strengths. The Doctor of Management (DMgt), Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and a Ph.D. in Business all offer challenging and varied approaches to becoming a business leader.

That’s something all three have in common. Each prepares graduates with the ability to lead but in different ways.

Choosing between the three is something every doctoral business student faces. While there are many similarities, each offers its own pathway to supporting your career goals.

Doctor of Management

Graduates of a Doctor of Management program focus on combining theories learned in the classroom with application to real-world issues. Typically, those who graduate with a DMgt work in the business world, putting theory into action.

The DMgt is popular for professionals who work at the executive level or those with the ambition to reach that level. Some of the specific areas where graduates from the online Touro University Worldwide Doctor of Management program gain expertise include:

  • Advanced theoretical analysis
  • How to apply theories to a job/career
  • An understanding of how to assess research reports in their specific professional area
  • Learning to apply a scholar-practitioner model to research
  • Using an evidence-based approach to problem-solving
  • Expertise in the applied principles of business, organizational behavior and management systems and how they can support an evidence-based approach to challenges


The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is a lot like the DMgt. Sometimes called an Executive MBA, the DBA also focuses on applying business theory to real-world challenges. However, a DBA does not typically have as much emphasis on learning research and analysis methods.

The PhD

Those who earn a Ph.D. in Business typically are looking to work in developing theory, often in an academic environment. They teach business students while also conducting research to improve how businesses operate. But their theories are typically put into action by someone who has earned a DMgt or a DBA.

Merging Research and Application

Another way to look at the DMgt in relation to Ph.D. and DBA programs is that it combines the two. While doctoral students develop in-depth research and analytical skills, they also have a focus on putting the research to work in the real business world – not in some indeterminate future, but now.

The idea behind the DMgt is to create a practitioner-scholar. As the name implies, the emphasis is on applied research. DM graduates work to put systems into place that will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of business operations.

They are neither pure scholars nor practitioners, but a hybrid of the two that makes them extremely attractive as consultants to businesses. The degree also improves a graduate’s performance as a working executive or top manager.

Because so many who enter a DMgt program are employed at the executive level, the online nature of the Touro University Worldwide program is attractive. It allows them to earn their doctorate while maintaining their professional duties to their organization.

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