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Graduate Studies Calendar 2022-2023 Program Descriptions Haskayne School of Business Programs Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Contact Information

Location: Scurfield Hall, Room 333
Fax: 403.282.0095
Email address:
Web page URL:

1. Degree Offered

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) - thesis-based

The DBA is a full-time, blended-learning program that allows senior-level professionals to complete the degree while continuing their career. It combines graduate-level courses with a rigorous research component, including a thesis based on independent inquiry developed under the guidance of a supervisor assigned at the start of the program.

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements for Admission, the program requires:

a) At least 10 years of management experience, including seven years at the senior management or executive level, or at least five years’ experience as lecturer/instructor in a relevant field in a college or university program.

b) A post-baccalaureate degree (e.g., MBA or relevant business-focused Master’s degree) from a recognized institution with a minimum grade point average of 3.50 on a four-point scale. Students presenting credentials in an area other than business may be required to complete a qualifying period to gain a general business background before beginning the regular doctoral course requirements.

c) Students who do not present an MBA or other master’s degree from a recognized postsecondary institution may be considered for admission. Exceptional candidates with a four-year bachelor’s degree (i.e, a GPA of 3.50 or higher) who have substantial managerial experience will also be considered. Consult the DBA Program Director for further information.

d) For those students required to prove proficiency in English, a minimum TOEFL score of 105 (Internet-based test), or a minimum IELTS Academic score of 7.5, or a minimum CAEL score of 70 with a minimum of 70 in each component, or a minimum PTE score of 75. This requirement can also be met by completing the Academic Communication Certificate with a minimum grade of "A-" in each course.

e) Current CV.

f) Three reference letters from professionals or academics who are knowledgeable about the applicant’s career. References from personal friends or relatives will not be accepted.

g) Completion of a series of essays including a personal statement outlining objectives, intent and commitment to a research program. Additional details can be found here.

h) Availability of a research-active supervisor and resources for the area in which the student wishes to study.

Admission Deposit

Successful applicants will be required to confirm their acceptance of an offer of admission into the DBA program with an online non-refundable deposit of $3,000.

The deposit will be credited toward tuition fees upon registration.

3. Application Deadline

See the Future Students website:

4. Advanced Credit

Advanced credit may be given on a case-by-case basis, with approval of the DBA Director.

5. Course Requirements

The program consists of a minimum of 24 units. Twenty-one of these are from seven core courses required of all students. In addition, students fulfill 3 units from one elective course. Typically, students will complete the minimum of 24 units over the first 18 months of the program.

a) 21 units of core courses:

b) 3 units chosen from:

Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade)

Students admitted to the Doctor of Business Administration program will not be allowed to request the Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade) for any course that is applicable to their degree; or apply any course awarded a grade of CG towards their graduation requirements.

Students may not choose the CG grade for a course taken extra to load.

The use of the CG grade will not affect students' eligibility for internal awards.
6. Time Limit

Typically, students are expected to complete the degree in four years. Students have a maximum of six years from the start of their program to complete all degree requirements.

7. Supervisory Assignments

Doctoral students are required to have secured a permanent supervisor within the first twelve months of their program. A supervisory committee reflective of the student’s research interests is required within three months after the permanent supervisor has been approved.

8. Required Examinations


To be admitted to candidacy, doctoral students must successfully complete a written field of study examination and an oral examination on the thesis proposal.  For complete details of the candidacy requirements, see the DBA Candidacy Requirements document at

Students whose research involves human subjects must receive approval from the Haskayne School of Business and from the University of Calgary Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board before beginning data collection.

Thesis Examination

Students will complete an oral thesis examination at the end of their program. The student presentation portion of the thesis examination is public. In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements for Thesis Examinations, the program requires:

Scheduling of the Examination
All members of the Supervisory Committee must have reviewed the student’s research, including a relevant written sample of the materials related to the thesis, before an examination can be scheduled.

Composition of the Committee
The Internal Examiner may be internal to the home program.

9. Other Information

Attendance at an orientation session is expected for all incoming DBA students.