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Executive Doctoral Programs

Executive doctorate programs are becoming popular options for business professionals—especially for those who are searching for more than a master's degree but do not want to leave their careers to pursue full-time research PhDs. The majority of executive doctorate programs can be completed on a part-time basis in about three to four years. These programs include in-depth (much more extensive than the MBA) coursework on a variety of business topics. Executive doctorate programs also integrate research elements, such as advanced projects, training in data/research analysis, and econometrics.

Differences Between an Executive Doctorate and a PhD

An executive doctorate degree is for highly experienced professionals. The residency format allows students to pursue their doctorate degree without leaving their full-time positions. This degree is suitable for those who wish to pursue higher education, learn to solve complex challenges through advanced research, and further expand their overall knowledge. Both executive doctorates and PhD degrees require individuals to make an intellectual contribution. Both combine rigor and relevance. The executive doctorate research is similar to the PhD research in its emphasis on in-depth analysis. Whereas PhD research is theory-driven and discipline-based, an executive doctorate is broad in scope, cuts across disciplines, is oriented toward applied knowledge and addresses a problem of practice.

Types of Executive Doctorate Programs There are several different variations of executive doctorate programs. For example, there are executive doctorates in management (EDMs) and executive doctorates in business (EDBs). Admission Requirements Most executive doctorate programs require that applicants have extensive professional experience and hold a master's degree (preferably in business). Cost/Tuition Because executive doctorate programs are very intensive, they are expensive. In many instances, employers provide some sort of financial support and/or students seek educational loans.