Public Administration

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration

In this specialization, you will explore research related to government and public agency budgeting, government relations, public personnel policy management, political systems and urban planning. You will examine laws and regulations, as well as issues and trends affecting public organizations. You will also have the opportunity to analyze field-specific topics, including crisis awareness, municipal planning and development, personnel management, fiscal administration, taxation, health care and education. As a graduate, you will have the knowledge and skills needed to meet the challenges in government management at the local, state, federal and international levels in the areas of budgeting, program evaluation, research analysis and economic development.

General Degree Requirements

Admission to a doctoral program at NCU requires a master's degree from an accredited institution.

The PhD program may be completed in 60 credits. Up to an additional 15 credit hours will be allowed as needed to complete dissertation research. The University may accept a maximum of 12 semester credit hours in transfer toward the doctoral degree for graduate coursework completed at an accredited college or university with a grade of "B" or better.

Completion Period for Doctoral Degrees

Northcentral University allows 7 years to complete all doctoral programs of 60 credits or less. Normal time to complete varies depending upon course take rate and credits transferred.

Foundational Competencies for DBA Programs

  • Graduate-Level Research Methods Competency - PhD students are required to complete BTM8102, BTM8103, BTM8104, BTM8106, BTM8107, BTM8108 and BTM8109 at Northcentral.
  • Graduate-Level Statistics Competency - PhD students are required to complete BTM8107 Statistics II at Northcentral.
  • Computer Competency - Doctoral students are required to have computer skills necessary for completing a dissertation. Students must be able to prepare documents using advanced word processing skills (e.g., creation of tables and figures, headers and footers, page breaks, tables of contents, hanging indents). Students must use computer programs for the statistical analysis of data (e.g., SAS). Students must produce a computer-based presentation (e.g., PowerPoint) for their dissertation oral defense.

Course Length

All new students enrolling in the Business PhD program are automatically enrolled in courses that are eight weeks in length. All eight-week courses are indicated by a "-8" (dash eight) at the end of the course code.

Evaluation Track

Student transcripts will be evaluated to determine whether or not direct entry requirements are met. Individuals who do not meet the direct entry requirements of the Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration program may require additional Standard Curriculum credits. The Evaluation Track courses can be viewed by clicking here.

The PhD in Business requires five specialization and six research courses, a total of 33 credit hours. Following completion of Foundational courses, Specialization, and Research courses must be taken in sequence as described.

Course Code

Name

Course Description

Specialization Course 1

BTM7303

Research Methodology

This course focuses on the scholarly review of literature and academic writing. The course emphasis is on how to (a) conduct effective literature searches, specifically in preparation for the dissertation, (b) develop a plan for writing comprehensive, critical, and synthesized reviews of research literature, and (c) critically review and write about underlying theory/conceptual frameworks that lay the foundation for future research. The overarching goal of this course is for students to conduct an exhaustive search of the peer-reviewed research literature in their topic area and identify potential areas of inquiry for their dissertation.

Specialization Course 2

BTM8103, BTM8103-8

Research Design

In this course, the Student acquires the basic skills necessary for the interpretation and application of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research. The student will examine the formal research process carefully, with an emphasis on practical applications and skill development. Critical concepts and principles intrinsic to research paradigms, study designs, and methods of inquiry are presented to empower the student's ability to formulate and respond to research questions. The resources listed below from the Northcentral University Dissertation Center are critical resources throughout the whole research process - students are highly encouraged to become deeply familiar with the resources from the Northcentral University Dissertation Center.

Specialization Course 3

BTM8108, BTM8108-8

Qualitative Research Design

This course is an examination of qualitative methods for studying human behavior including grounded theory, narrative analysis, ethnography, mixed methods, and case studies.

Specialization Course 4

BTM8107, BTM8107-8

Statistics II

This course is an advanced examination of statistical analyses commonly used for research in business. It prepares the doctoral student with the skills required to plan, conduct (using SPSS), report, and interpret quantitative statistical analyses. Topics include: basic statistical knowledge, probability theory, exploratory date analysis, assumptions for statistical tests, parametric and nonparametric tests. Specific analyses include: correlation, regression (simple, multiple, and logistic), basic ANOVA and advanced ANOVA techniques.

Specialization Course 5

BTM8106, BTM8106-8

Quantitative Research Design

Prerequisites: BTM8102, BTM8104 This course provides students with the skills essential for designing experimental, quasi-experiment, and survey studies; analyzing the data collected in these studies, and interpreting the results of data analyses. Students will explore designs and statistical techniques to use with their envisioned dissertation research.

BTM8109, BTM8109-8

Planning Dissertation Research in Business

Students in this course will begin the process of writing a dissertation for a research or professional doctorate. The course will address the University dissertation process and aids to successfully complete a dissertation, including self-care and time management.

Required Foundation Courses - 12 credit hours

Course Code

Name

Course Description

BTM7101, BTM7101-8

Foundations for Doctoral Study In Business

This course is an orientation to Northcentral University and to the essential skills needed to pursue a doctoral degree in Business. Doctoral level skills, such as academic integrity, time management, effective use of the Northcentral Library, comprehending complex scholarly texts and research articles, and APA form and style in professional communication are also introduced. Students will complete the course with a better understanding of personal goals, strengths, and challenges, and a roadmap to navigate their way to completion of their educational aspirations.

BTM7300

Scholarly Literature Review

This course focuses on the scholarly review of literature and academic writing. The course emphasis is on how to (a) conduct effective literature searches, specifically in preparation for the dissertation, (b) develop a plan for writing comprehensive, critical, and synthesized reviews of research literature, and (c) critically review and write about underlying theory/conceptual frameworks that lay the foundation for future research. The overarching goal of this course is for students to conduct an exhaustive search of the peer-reviewed research literature in their topic area and identify potential areas of inquiry for their dissertation.

BTM8104, BTM8104-8

Statistics I

This course provides an introductory exploration of statistics for the doctoral student. It includes instruction on the calculation, use, and interpretation of descriptive statistics, and introduces inferential statistical analysis. The emphasis of this course is on providing a working knowledge of basic statistical concepts to help the Student understand statistical methodology used in education, and also more generally, developing a working knowledge of statistical usage in everyday life.

MGT7019, MGT7019-8

Ethics in Business

No longer are ethics and social responsibility, including the green movement, something organizations can ignore or do if they have funding left over at the end of the year. Ethics are required by local, state and federal legislation and today, more than ever, stakeholders at organizations are being held accountable for their actions and societal harm. Doctoral students in this course, through a series of essays and papers, will learn about current laws and their application to business; and how to maintain an ethical perspective within the context of a global framework.

Specialization Courses - 15 credit hours, Select 5 from the following:

Course Code

Name

Course Description

HRM7000-8

Human Resources Management

This Doctoral level course focuses on the development of the human resource function in organizations. While understanding and management of human behavior within organizations is necessary for optimal organizational effectiveness and individual performance, strategic planning to achieve organizational goals through the human resource function is recognized.

PUB7000-8

Public Administration

This doctoral course provides the student an opportunity to examine major ideas, developments, and figures in the field of American public administration. The course utilizes a historical approach to understanding the contextual influences of thinkers and movements related to public administration. Doctoral students will compare and contrast historical and current trends, and analyze the development of modern public administration and conditions affecting social, political, and applied management theories.

PUB7002-8

Administrative Law

This doctoral course is a survey in administrative law, with the principal focus being on state and federal laws. Course objectives include the synthesis and evaluation of administrative due process, adjudication, judicial review actions, and the Freedom of Information Act. Students will be assessed on demonstrated proficiency shown through PowerPoint presentations and research papers.

PUB7003-8

Urban Politics

This doctoral course examines key issues in urban politics. Student will address problems, issues and solutions regarding governance, urban expansion, race, ethnicity, and culture. Students will examine reform measures to address current and future urban political issues.

PUB7004-8

Urban and Regional Planning

This is a doctoral course in urban planning with an integrated overview of the theory, processes, and practices of modern strategic planning in the public and nonprofit sectors. Students will explore contemporary strategies, techniques, and tactics with a focus on the application of theory and public orientation of policy formulation process at the local level. This course is designed to provide a conceptual framework and develop conceptual skills that will help students understand the role of public officials and public opinion within the broader scope of institutional planning and decision-making.

PUB7005-8

Public Budgeting and Finance

Budgets and financial resources are integral components of management decisions, especially within governmental entities. This Doctoral level course will examine budget formulation, implementation and execution systems, including governmental financial statements, use of modern financial management technology, and analysis and recommendation for improvements in governmental financial management. Budgeting and finance at the federal level differ from processes at the state, county, and local levels. Students will evaluate both managerial practices and politics that form budgeting and finance at the federal, state, and local levels of government.

PUB7012-8

Technology in Public Administration

This doctoral course explores the impact of information technology on public administration. The role of technology and the Internet in improving government operations and service delivery are the focus of the course. Students will analyze and examine key benefits, including access to government information and transactions, citizen participation, homeland and national security missions, inter and intra-agency communications, and intergovernmental communications. Students will also examine technology compliance issues regarding federal laws.

PUB7014-8

The U.S. Federal Government

In this Doctoral level course, students will explore the organization, function, operation, and politics of the United States Federal government. Students will examine the foundations and historical events of federalism by assessing each of the three major branches of the federal system. Students will examine the issues of liberty and civil rights as they relate to the political process. Finally, students will evaluate the role of campaigns, media, and interest groups which impact the government.

Doctoral Comprehensive Exam - 3 credit hours

Course Code

Name

Course Description

CMP9500B

Doctoral Comprehensive Examination - Business (PhD)

In their pursuit of any doctoral degree (PhD, DBA, or EdD) at Northcentral University, students gain expertise in their academic discipline and in one or more specializations that complement their academic discipline. The Doctoral Comprehensive Examination is intended to assure that students have mastered knowledge of their discipline before candidacy status is achieved and research in support of their dissertation is initiated. The Doctoral Comprehensive Examination is taken following the completion of all content and Research courses. This course is graded using Satisfactory (S), In Progress (IP), and Unsatisfactory (U) grading criteria. The Doctoral Comprehensive Examination must be successfully completed with an (S) grade prior to beginning any Dissertation Research course. The exam is twelve weeks.

Dissertation Courses - 12 credit hours

Course Code

Name

Course Description

DIS9501B

Doctoral Dissertation Research I

In this course sequence, students work progressively on completing each doctoral dissertation milestone toward the completion of the PhD degree. These milestones include Committee and University approval of a dissertation concept paper, a dissertation proposal paper, an approved IRB application by the Northcentral University Institutional Review Board, the collection and analysis of research data, the preparation and approval of the final dissertation manuscript, and the successful completion of the oral defense. Courses are taken continually and sequentially until all dissertation milestones have been completed. Throughout these courses, students often work independently but are required to be in communication with the Chair of their Dissertation Committee at least once a month. These courses are graded utilizing Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) as the grading criteria.

DIS9502B

Doctoral Dissertation Research II

In this course sequence, students work progressively on completing each doctoral dissertation milestone toward the completion of the PhD degree. These milestones include Committee and University approval of a dissertation concept paper, a dissertation proposal paper, an approved IRB application by the Northcentral University Institutional Review Board, the collection and analysis of research data, the preparation and approval of the final dissertation manuscript, and the successful completion of the oral defense. Courses are taken continually and sequentially until all dissertation milestones have been completed. Throughout these courses, students often work independently but are required to be in communication with the Chair of their Dissertation Committee at least once a month. These courses are graded utilizing Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) as the grading criteria.

DIS9503B

Doctoral Dissertation Research III

In this course sequence, students work progressively on completing each doctoral dissertation milestone toward the completion of the PhD degree. These milestones include Committee and University approval of a dissertation concept paper, a dissertation proposal paper, an approved IRB application by the Northcentral University Institutional Review Board, the collection and analysis of research data, the preparation and approval of the final dissertation manuscript, and the successful completion of the oral defense. Courses are taken continually and sequentially until all dissertation milestones have been completed. Throughout these courses, students often work independently but are required to be in communication with the Chair of their Dissertation Committee at least once a month. These courses are graded utilizing Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) as the grading criteria.

DIS9504B

Doctoral Dissertation Research IV

In this course sequence, students work progressively on completing each doctoral dissertation milestone toward the completion of the PhD degree. These milestones include Committee and University approval of a dissertation concept paper, a dissertation proposal paper, an approved IRB application by the Northcentral University Institutional Review Board, the collection and analysis of research data, the preparation and approval of the final dissertation manuscript, and the successful completion of the oral defense. Courses are taken continually and sequentially until all dissertation milestones have been completed. Throughout these courses, students often work independently but are required to be in communication with the Chair of their Dissertation Committee at least once a month. These courses are graded utilizing Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) as the grading criteria.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the NCU’s PhD in Business Administration costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $986
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $2,958
  • Program cost: $59,160
  • Average book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Learning Management Fee (one-time per program): $250
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors. For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our students, it’s that they are motivated and ambitious—but they are also busy! At Northcentral University, we’ve designed our education experience to work with you, not against you, so you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing the quality, flexibility and support you need to be successful.

To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.