Businessman using tablet in office.

Digital Leadership, DBA
(Synchronous Online)

Program Overview

The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Digital Leadership program is the most advanced business degree program at GGU. It is designed for professionals who wish to further their career, deepen their business acumen, and achieve exceptional leadership capabilities. The DBA in Digital Leadership program addresses the learning needs and objectives of senior business managers, consultants, and university professors. Its primary objective is to produce graduates who can contribute to the advancement of their professions and to the expansion of knowledge and awareness of contemporary strategic issues and practices. The program is enhanced by global immersions in innovation hubs, providing a broad perspective on global business strategies. It balances rigorous coursework with a research phase tailored for working professionals, and it aims to equip learners with the skills to contribute significantly to their fields, set industry benchmarks, and become thought leaders of tomorrow.

The DBA in Digital Leadership’s three-tiered focus curriculum emphasizes Strategic Leadership, Innovation, Business Transformation, Decision-Making and Research. Students examine current theories, practices, and issues in business; train in research methods; and study the relationships between business and social and global issues. It is critical for doctoral students to be adept in these areas and contribute to the expansion of knowledge and improvement of business practices. For the dissertation, students conduct original research on a topic of current importance and personal interest. The dissertation should impact and help illuminate the strategic issues they face in their professions.

The program encourages students to accept the added responsibility of a shared commitment to the advancement of their professions and to upholding the highest ethical standards in the private or public sector.

About the DBA Program

The DBA program has been designed with a focus on the “practitioner educational model,” which distinguishes Golden Gate University from other institutions. This focus is consistent with the position adopted by the Association of Business Schools, which can be summarized as follows:

  • The DBA is a professional practice doctorate and is concerned with researching real business and managerial issues via the critical review and systematic application of appropriate theories and research to professional practice.
  • The DBA may often be interdisciplinary in approach and/or content.
  • It is further intended to provide an opportunity for considerable personal development, such that the participant achieves a greater level of effectiveness as a professional practitioner or manager.
  • The DBA primary mode of assessment is through the production of a dissertation/thesis.


Our students are one of the program’s greatest strengths. Typical doctoral students at GGU attend part time. Without exception, they come from successful careers in top positions in the private, nonprofit and government sectors. They bring their experiences and knowledge to the classroom and, in turn, demand incisive instruction and intelligent, well-developed classroom discussions.


Faculty members who teach in our DBA program have doctoral degrees from leading universities in their fields and possess extensive practical experience. They bring a theoretical as well as a real-world view to their teaching and a commitment to dynamic, progressive education.


This program is delivered via the online-synchronous, online-asynchronous, and in-person instruction modes and offers a state-of-the-art curriculum delivered by experienced, highly qualified professors.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the DBA program will achieve the program’s primary objectives through the development of:

  • A thorough knowledge of the scientific and scholarly research methods and their application in the business setting in a senior management position, as a consultant, as a professor at the university level;
  • Advanced critical thinking, conceptual and analytical skills;
  • A strong understanding of both the seminal theories and the latest practices in business management including an advance and intensive knowledge of theory and practice in one field of business;
  • Intensive knowledge of theory and practice in a chosen field of business or public management;
  • Advanced ability to use research tools to perform original applied research that advances business knowledge;
  • An appreciation of cultural, ethical, and global issues and their impact on business theory, privacy and practices;
  • Advanced skills necessary for effective decision-making in complex environments through integrating theoretic insights with practical knowledge; and
  • Ability to apply these tools in an ethical and responsible manner as it impacts society and humanity.

Admission Requirements

GGU seeks doctoral candidates with strong intellect, proper educational preparation, breadth and depth of managerial or professional experience, and the capacity for disciplined scholarly investigation. While most applicants have a master’s degree in a business-related field, applicants with academic preparation in other fields are most welcome to apply.

Doctoral candidates must be fluent in English and are expected to write at a level that meets the standards of scholarly publications. They are expected to understand contemporary practices in business and the economic, social, and political context in which they are conducted.

The admission decision is made by a faculty committee and is based on the applicant’s total accomplishments and skills. Specifically, admission to the program requires:

  • A minimum 3.0 GPA in their most recent degree program.
  • Admission of the following categories will be subject to the admission committee’s review of the applicant’s work experience and professional accomplishment:
    • Applicants who have earned less than 3.0 GPA in their most recent program;
    • Applicants who do not hold a Master’s degree must hold a Bachelor’s degree and possess a minimum of 5 years of work experience.
  • Experience: Applicants with responsible managerial or professional work experience will be given preference. A professional resume is required.
  • Statement of Purpose: All applicants are mandated to share a Statement of Purpose (SOP) of approximately 500 words detailing the following:
    • What is your motivation to pursue the Golden Gate University DBA Program degree?
    • How do you think the Golden Gate University experience will benefit your career?
  • An admission panel will review applications and recommend applicants for admission to the GGU DBA Committee for approval.


The Doctor of Business Administration in Digital Leadership requires completion of 20 units of major courses, 8 units of dissertation foundation courses, and 28 units of dissertation work, for a total of 56 units. Students must earn a “B-” or better in each course and a cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 or better. Students must complete and successfully defend their dissertations within five years of beginning the program.

Mathematics Proficiency Requirement

BUS 240 Data Analysis for Managers (Waived with documentation of student’s having completed equivalent course covering statistics and regression analysis with grade of “B” or better.)