Program Description

The DBA is a research-based doctoral program oriented to applied business management research designed primarily for working professionals who aspire to be leaders in their field or sector and who want to independently develop original, impactful research on the practice of management. It is designed to combine the strengths of the professional doctorate with the research value and rigor common to a more traditional Ph.D. The program is designed to respond to the need for high quality, rigorous, relevant and applied research that bridges theory and practice and contributes to the advancement of the Canadian economy. The program is a 60-credit program which normally takes four years to complete. The program is delivered in a blended model, through a combination of short intensive residencies and online courses. A candidacy examination, dissertation, and oral defense will also be required.

The DBA program will graduate leaders and practitioner-scholars, whose research contributions will impact management learning and practice in some or all of the following areas:

  1. Research & Development (R&D): R&D is fundamental to thriving societies and is the cornerstone of productivity and long-term economic prosperity. In part, your research should respond to the need for high quality, rigorous, and impactful research devoted to the enhancement of innovative business practices and overall economic productivity with a particular focus on Canada’s place in the global world.
  2. Management Practice: DBA research should contribute to the development of professional, sustainable, value-driven, and innovative management practices and leadership. Within this context, your research should produce relevant and actionable knowledge that bridges the gap between theory and practice.
  3. Knowledge-Economy: DBA research will contribute to the advancement of the Canadian knowledge economy, fueled by business innovation, creativity, technology and knowledge transfer, productivity, and business integrity.
  4. Globalization: DBA research will contribute to the global advancement of management knowledge and promote its transferability between nations and disciplines. In relation to this, your research could focus on global practices that include developed and developing world practices at the local, regional, and global levels.
  5. Sustainability: At Royal Roads University, sustainability is intrinsically linked to our teaching and research mandate. Your research could consider sustainability through a transdisciplinary lens that incorporates economic prosperity, social advancement, and environmental sustainability.

Learning Outcomes

The objectives of the DBA program are:

  • To graduate scholar-practitioners who have the capacity to think critically, integrate theory and practice, and lead change;
  • To promote applied, scholarly, evidence-based, scientific, and practice-oriented research that contributes to the advancement of professional, sustainable, value-driven, and innovative management practices and leadership;
  • To graduate individuals who can independently develop original management-related research that informs both theory and practice;
  • To provide an advanced and rigorous program of study which is flexible enough to respond to current and changing needs of the Canadian knowledge economy, and simultaneously consider the resource-based nature of the economy;
  • To build a community of management researchers at RRU that is a part of a wider national and global community of researchers; and
  • To provide a vehicle for dialogues between RRU and industry practitioners to enhance collaborative co-production of useable knowledge.


Five competency domains form the base for all graduate and undergraduate learning outcomes for programs in the Faculty of Management:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Communication
  • Global Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Working with Others

In addition, DBA students will require graduates to develop four key competency domains (areas of demonstrated abilities), which will enable them to be critical thinkers, reflective practitioners, independent researchers, responsible leaders, and change agents. The four core competency domains are associated with the development of:

  1. a relevant and actionable knowledge base;
  2. applied research practice;
  3. professional and reflective experience;
  4. and responsible and professional leadership.

Who It's For

The DBA is for working professionals who aspire to be leaders in their fields and who wish to deepen their knowledge in a specialized area of management to contribute effectively to their organizations and fields. More specifically, the ideal candidate for this program will be an individual who has meaningful work experience, sufficient management knowledge, and skills evidenced by previous post-secondary education including a relevant master’s degree, and who can devote significant time per week to his/her studies. The DBA is equivalent to full-time study given the integration of work-based experience and classroom study facilitated by the blended learning model. Academics who do not have a doctorate and who hold positions in Canadian and international universities and colleges can also benefit from this program as the doctorate is a recognized credential for advancement in those positions.

Admission Requirements

Standard Admission

  • Relevant master’s degree from a recognized university, normally with a minimum ‘B’ GPA (3.00/4.33).
  • Normally, a minimum of seven years of relevant full-time work experience, with five years at a management level and increasing levels of responsibility.

Delivery Model

The Doctor of Business Administration program will be delivered based on the successful RRU blended model consisting of three short intensive face-to-face residencies coupled with Internet-based learning components incorporating a unique mix of course work, workshops, seminars, scholarly activities, conference participation, and self-study.

In some cases, pre-DBA credits could be required to bring potential candidates’ general management knowledge, competencies, and skills up to the required level to start the program.

The overall program can be broken down into three key phases:

1. DBA Foundation

This phase will run over one calendar year and will consist of a two-week residency, three online blocks and a self-directed study period. The overall goal of this phase is to ground students in theory and sound methodological approaches, thereby permitting them to engage in quality research.


2. Research Preparation

This phase will run over one calendar year and will consist of a one-week residency, followed by a self-directed study period that includes online activities and colloquia which will help DBA candidates engage in constructive learning dialogues. The overall aim of this phase is to build a research focus that leads to the production of an original research study. Key milestones in this phase will include the advancement to doctoral candidacy status, the approval of the research proposal, and participation in a relevant conference.


3. Execution and Writing

This phase will run over two years. In this stage, doctoral students will conduct their research in coordination with their Dissertation Supervisory Committees. Toward the end of the third and fourth year, doctorate students will participate in online activities designed to share their conference papers and research contributions. At the beginning of the fourth year, a third one-week residency will be scheduled to run at the same time as the first and second residencies of the following intakes.



  • ITAI: Introduction to Academic Integrity
  • MGMT700: The Development of Management Theories and Practices
  • MGMT705: The Development of Management Theories and Practices - Research Themes
  • MGMT710: Applied Research Design
  • MGMT711: Applied Management Research Design and Strategies: Qualitative Methods
  • MGMT712: Applied Management Research Design and Strategies: Quantitative Methods
  • MGMT717: Self Directed Study
  • MGMT790: Dissertation
Program taught in:
  • English (US)
Last updated October 3, 2019
This course is Online & Campus Combined
Start Date
Jan 20, 2020
4 years
85,990 CAD
Tuition costs are for the entire program
By locations
By date
Start Date
Jan 20, 2020
End Date
Jan 20, 2024
Application deadline

Jan 20, 2020

Application deadline
End Date
Jan 20, 2024