The University of Rhode Island’s latest program in the College of Business will help working professionals obtain a doctorate in business administration (D.B.A.) through three years of blended online and in-person study.
Unlike other graduate programs, the program is not designed for students fresh out of undergraduate study. Instead, the program will last nine semesters and require a residency each year, with the majority of the program held online. The program takes three years to complete, while most other doctorate programs, including the University’s own traditional program, take about seven years.
According to Dr. Georges Tsafack, the program’s director, the non-traditional design will allow students with established careers much-needed flexibility.
“It is designed for experience-based business executives who want to advance their education and become evidence-based managers,” Dr. Georges Tsafack, director of the DBA program, said.
The program is selective, and only business executives with at least ten years of experience will be accepted, according to Tsafack.
“[Candidates] are likely to be curious, self-motivated, and determined to accomplish a degree that less than 2 percent of the population earns and few working professionals would attempt,” Dr. Christy Ashley, head of the College of Business doctorate program, said.
According to Ashley, the University first considered the program in 2015 and continued to develop under an interdisciplinary team of faculty for three years.
The program will begin in August, according to the University’s website. In the beginning of the program, students will stay in URI’s W. Alton Jones campus in West Greenwich with a chance to network.
The D.B.A. program will help expand an already well-established and growing College of Business at URI, as well as give great opportunity to businesspeople with a deep connection to the University.
“While the College of Business at URI is already the only school in the state of Rhode Island to train full time Ph.D. students who go out to pursue academic or business research-focused careers, the D.B.A. program will train practitioner-scholars working in the industry as they pursue their careers part-time,” Tsafack said.
Tsafack also emphasized that the program is unlike any other graduate business program offered in the area.
“[The program] is unique of its kind in the New England region, therefore, qualified executives in the area will find it more convenient for proximity,” Tsafack said.
Additionally, Tsafack stated that the program hopes to draw top executives from beyond New England. Ideally, the D.B.A. will have a global reach.
“We created an efficient program with residencies that connect them to URI and allow them to network with others in their cohort,” Tsafack said.
Ultimately, the program is designed to be rigorous for already well-established business people throughout the world, while also working to fit their needs through its unique, online design.
“The program will create new knowledge [and] research insights that can be applied to real-world business problems,” Ashley said.
Both Tsafack and Ashley hope that students in this new doctorate program get much more than just a degree out of their time.
“I hope our D.B.A. graduates become known for asking the right questions and for providing and communicating effectively about data-driven, actionable insights,” Ashley said.
This story was published in the Feb. 20, 2020 issue of the Good Five Cent Cigar. This article starts the moment when I began writing three stories per week until the end of the semester.