Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration

A leader in non-traditional doctoral education, the Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (Ph.D) program at Kennesaw State University is an innovative program offered by an AACSB-accredited business school. Enrolling in this innovative program will allow you to advance your goal of obtaining an academic position at an AACSB-accredited university, all while still maintaining your full-time job. With more than 100 alumni, the program’s impact on academe and the business community is far-reaching and will provide you with the opportunity to develop and strengthen your network. Our alumni have an established record of publishing in high-quality peer-reviewed academic journals, thus demonstrating the quality of research conducted by our alumni.

KSU’s Ph.D. in Business Administration Program is intended for two types of doctoral students:

  • Academic professionals, such as lecturers and adjuncts, wish to establish a stronger academic presence and pursue a tenure-track position. 
  • Working professionals who wish to establish an academic presence, pursuing either faculty or administrative positions.

Ph.D. Concentrations

The Ph.D. in Business Administration Program is designed around intensive weekend residencies, so you can successfully attend while continuing with your current line of employment. Our concentrations allow you to focus on a specific area of business:

  • Accounting
  • Information Systems
  • Management
  • Marketing



KSU doctor of philosophy in business administration students in the classroom

Program Snapshot

Program Format: Face-to-Face

Number of Credits Hours: 48 Minimum Hours

Entry Terms: Fall

Time to Complete: Three-to-Five-year Program

Application Deadlines:

  • Fall, February 1st
Curriculum  Apply Now

Admissions Requirements

The four-step application process is designed to determine if applicants have the skills and interests necessary to succeed the program. Admission decisions for each step are made only after receipt of required documents for that step. The program receives a extensive number of applications every year for each of the concentrations. Depending on the number of students enrolled in each concentration and discipline courses offered, certain concentrations will either admit students every year or every other year. Please see below for specific information pertaining to the concentrations before applying to the program.

  • Applications for Fall 2023 open on August 1, 2022
  • Application deadlines for Fall 2023:
    • Priority Admissions: October 17, 2022
    • Regular Admissions: February 1, 2023

      We strongly encourage you to attend an information session before applying to the PhD in Business Administration Program.


      Do not use the Recommenders options on the application page. We require traditional business letters on the author's letterhead submitted electronically through email.

      Note: Neither the GMAT nor the GRE is required; you should skip this question on the application.

      Click here to apply.


      Your resume should document your professional experience.

      • A minimum of ten years of significant professional and/or senior level management experience with high levels of responsibility and expertise in the concentration area you choose. If you do not have a minimum of 10 years of professional experience, please explain why other experience or qualifications compensate for an absence of professional experience.
      • Evidence of active contributions to your field of expertise beyond your academic work through making presentations or preparing written contributions, leading major projects, as well as participation in professional development activities.
      • A track record of significant professional achievements that have impacted your organization and/or profession.
      • A history of significant personal and professional development.
      • Current professional expertise and certifications at the time of application. NOTE: CPA or equivalent certification is preferred for students interested in the accounting discipline.

      You will have the option to attach your resume and cover letter to your electronic application. Or, you may submit an electronic copy only to Please do not mail your resume or cover letter.


      Applicants to the PhD in Business Administration Program should have a master's degree, preferably in business or a related topic from an appropriately accredited institution; however, the graduate degrees in business from AACSB accredited business schools are strongly preferred. Degrees from schools with EQUIS or AMBA accreditation will also be considered.

      Request that official transcripts from each institution attended (of all previous college work) be sent electronically from the institution directly to or sent directly in a sealed envelope to the KSU Graduate Admissions Office at ONE of the following addresses:

      Mailing Address (use for ALL U.S. POST OFFICE mail, including U.S. Express Mail)

      Kennesaw State University
      Office of Graduate Admissions
      1000 Chastain Road, #9109
      Kennesaw, Georgia 30144-5591

      Delivery Address (use for other delivery means such as FedEx, UPS, etc.)
      Kennesaw State University
      Office of Graduate Admissions
      3391 Town Point Drive, Suite 1800
      Kennesaw, Georgia 30144.5591

      470-578-4377 (include phone number)


      Your Personal and Professional Statement of Interest should be 2-3 pages in length and should discuss the following:

      • Why do you want to pursue a doctorate at this time?
      • What are your career aspirations after you receive the doctorate degree?
      • What general area of business are you interested in studying in the Program (e.g., accounting, information systems, management or marketing), and what specific issues in that area interest you? (For instance, you may wish to learn more about how firms choose particular international markets to enter).
      • What obstacles/challenges do you anticipate having to overcome to complete your PhD within a reasonable time frame (i.e., 3-4 years), and what is your plan to address these obstacles/challenges?

      Submit electronic copy of your Personal and Professional Statement of Interest in the PhD in Business Administration Program to

      The Program will not accept a paper submission. The subject line should include PhD in Business Administration, Your Name, Personal and Professional Statement of Interest.


      Two letters of recommendation should be requested from professionals in academe or industry who can comment on the following:

      • Your personal and professional accomplishments and how you achieved them.
      • How you have contributed to enhancing the competitive position of the organization and development of colleagues.
      • Your demonstrated leadership and your potential for advanced academic work.

      Letters of Recommendation - The letters should be on the author's letterhead. Enter the contact information for your recommenders on the application. An online form will be emailed for electronic submission. Please do not mail your letters. If you need assistance, please email to

      The Admission Committee will review all documents listed above, and, if successful, you will be invited by email to proceed to STEP 2. If you are not qualified to proceed to STEP 2, you will be notified as well.

    (by Invitation Only - $100 fee)

    Qualified applicants will be invited by email to attend a one-day research interest workshop at the KSU Center.

    This is an important opportunity for you to meet other prospective students, learn more about the opportunity and challenges of doctoral level research, and begin preparation of your research interest overview.


    Attendance in the workshop is required, and your Research Interest Overview will be a key factor in the admission decision.

    After completing the workshop, you will prepare a 12-15 page Research Interest Overview (RIO). This overview is the most critical component of your application. Submit an electronic copy of your paper to The subject line should include your last name, your first name - Research Interest Overview. Please do not mail a hard copy.

    The Admission Committee will review the Research Interest Overviews using a double blind procedure. If successful, you will be invited by email to proceed to STEP 3. If you are not qualified to proceed to STEP 3, you will be notified as well.

  • (by Invitation Only)

    Complete an interview with the PhD Directors and two or more faculty members.

    The Admission Committee will evaluate your interview, and, if successful, you will be invited by email within 14 days to proceed to STEP 4. If you are not qualified to proceed to STEP 4, you will be notified as well.

  • Because of class size limitations, not all successful candidates will be selected. Some may be asked to reconsider the Program in a subsequent year.

    Once the offer is made, candidates have two weeks to accept and pay a non-refundable deposit.

    Classes begin in August. Orientation will be 1 day prior to the start of class.

apply now

PhD in Business Administration Benefits at Kennesaw State

  • Classes taught by well-published faculty

  • Cohort-based residency program comprised of 20 3-day weekend residencies for first 2 years

  • Continue to work and study at the same time

  • 3-year program*

  • AACSB accredited program 

PhD in Business Administration Salary and Career Information

Assistant professors at universities earn a median of $92,100 annually, according to However, salaries can vary widely depending upon the university size, length of employment, additional responsibilities, and other factors.

Coles College of Business

Kennesaw State University
Coles College of Business
3333 Busbee Drive
North Entrance, Suite 431
Kennesaw, GA 30144

Phone: 470-578-4966

Email Visit Site



Stay Connected