Doctor of Business Administration (3 years)

Program Overview
The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program at Sierra States University offers a unique educational experience based on a comprehensive curriculum designed to deliver rigorous graduate education to professionals whose careers and management responsibilities exceed a single functional specialty, and require a higher-level of knowledge and skills in the field of Business Administration. Every doctoral student will have to complete 10 core courses (40 units) comprised of advanced core courses and several advanced seminar-like courses. The emphasis of the DBA program is on providing an interdisciplinary, integrated, and applied approach that will prepare students for a more complex set of managerial skills and an advanced organizational knowledge.

With the guidance of a faculty advisor working full-time at Sierra States University, each doctoral student will select four elective courses, choosing from a variety of highly-innovative areas of advanced study and specialization that will contribute to their academic and professional growth and development. The student may opt for any combination of these elective courses, taken from any of the areas of advanced study represented, so that their course of study will be as broad or as narrow as they desire.  These electives should complement or emphasize the student’s prior MBA course of study. The three distinct and innovative areas of advanced study from which they may choose these electives are fast-emerging ones so that the students may tailor their breadth of knowledge to their areas of interest. The emphasis of the DBA program is on providing an interdisciplinary, integrated, and applied approach that will prepare students for a more complex set of managerial skills and an advanced organizational knowledge.

The DBA program will deliver a rigorous education that equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful career in business administration. The ability of students to benefit from this doctoral program is not limited to employment in such organizations; the program will also help students build a good ethical foundation for engaging in any business endeavor that the Doctor of Business Administration degree holder would want to venture into. This objective of the program is designed to provide an executive-level of critical thinking and systematic thought, team building, decision-making, and leadership.  As with our other programs, there is a strong emphasis on Biblical values and Christian education.  Courses in the Business major will be taught through the lenses of Christian principles.

Program Requirements

Length: Approximately 12 Quarters or 3 years
Advanced Core Courses in Business Administration:  40 Quarter units
Advanced Electives in Business Administration:  16 Quarter units
Bible & Theology  8 Quarter units
Dissertation Requirement:   8 Quarter units of dissertation research and
Total Graduation Requirements:  72 Quarter units


Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completing all the course requirements for the DBA, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate their ability to analyze the evolving nature of corporations, and to outline and explain the commonly practiced managerial methods and practices.
  2. Demonstrate that s/he has acquired and can implement management methods that are relevant and applicable to the business world, practicing leadership with change management.
  3. Measure an organization’s intellectual assets; foster new approaches to measuring the economic performance of organizations; and identify how product development merges with entrepreneurship.
  4. Articulate a philosophy of management based upon the integration of empirical, historical, and social science research.
  5. Practice enhanced management skills and interpersonal relationships, and demonstrate ability to manage & administer a business with clear embodiment of Christian ethics.


Unit Transfer Policy

A maximum of twelve (12) graduate units may be transferred into the program from a nationally or regionally-accredited college or university to satisfy the requirements of the DBA program. The acceptance of credit hours is at the discretion of Sierra States University, depending upon the academic rigor of the prior course experience.


Admission Requirements
All applicants for the DBA degree must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for admission to the Doctor of Business Administration degree program:

1. Have achieved at least a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 on a 4.00 scale in all graduate-level work.

2. Have earned a Master of Business Administration or its equivalent from an accredited graduate program.

Students equipped with this background will complete a 72 unit degree program

(14 courses plus thesis, counting for 8 units of credit).

3. Applicants whose first language is not English should submit a TOEFL score with a 575 minimum average

(paper-based) or 233 minimum average (computer-based) and a TSE score with a 50 minimum average in

place of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).  Alternately, students may submit evidence of ESL certificate,

or may opt to take the ESL program at Sierra.


Application Process
The following documents must be submitted to the Office of Admissions by August 15 for Fall Quarter or January 15 for Spring Quarter:

1. A completed Application for Admission form.

2. Application fee of $100 (non-refundable).

3. Application essay—a personal statement (3-5 pages) addressing plans for business studies(see queries on Application).

4. Official transcripts from every college or university attended beyond high school to be sent directly to

Sierra States University, c/o Academic Dean 1818 S. Western Ave., #304 Los Angeles, CA 90006

5. Two letters of recommendations to be sent directly to Sierra States University, c/o Academic Dean, at the address listed above.

6. Academic papers, records, or other samples of scholarly work may be also included. A personal interview may be

arranged and is strongly recommended.


General Requirements 
The DBA degree requires 56 units of coursework in Business Administration beyond the master’s level, in addition to 8 units of dissertation work which is considered the doctoral-level capstone research project. A maximum of 12 units may be transferred from previous graduate coursework completed in the area of Business Administration at another higher-learning institution. Students are also expected to complete 8 units of coursework in Biblical Studies or Theology, and may choose from the wide variety of graduate level courses offered by our Bible and Theology program, enrolling in either two Biblical Studies courses, or one from this discipline and one from Theological Studies.


Core Courses

Core courses in Business Administration (BUS prefixes) include, but are not limited to: studies in accounting, business ethics, business law, finance, human resource management, international business, operations and logistics management, organizational management, strategic management, research methods, and statistical analysis, among others. Every course in the DBA program capitalizes on a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum, and will have an emphasis on ethical conduct and responsible business practices in an increasingly pluralistic world.


Elective Areas of Advanced Study 

International Business (IBU   Prefixes)
Marketing (MKT Prefixes)
Real Estate & Property Management (REM Prefixes)

The student’s prior MBA coursework together with their professional experience will most likely constitute a solid foundation for their chosen electives. All courses in these areas of advanced study are designed to be seminar-like courses that will allow for vigorous exchange of ideas and lively discussions.


Required Core Courses (BUS prefixes)
All DBA program students must take all 10 core courses listed for the DBA program.


Elective Areas of Advanced Study (IBU, MKT, and REM prefixes)

Students may opt to take advanced elective courses chosen from any one of three elective areas of advanced study available at Sierra States University. The available elective areas of advanced study are: International Business (IBU), Marketing (MKT), and Real Estate & Property Management (REM). Students can also tailor their elective courses/area of advanced study to conform to their academic and professional interests and/or orientation.


Qualifying Examinations 
Upon successful completion of all 10 core courses (40 units of coursework) and all 4 courses listed in the elective area of advanced study (16 units of coursework) required in the DBA program, as well as fulfilling the Bible and Theology requirement, students can petition the School of Business Administration to schedule their doctoral-level qualifying examinations.


Advancement to Candidacy 
In order to advance to candidacy, several conditions must be satisfied:

  1. Students must have completed successfully all required and elective coursework (62 units).
  2. Students must have maintained a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, with no final course grade lower than a B-.
  3. Students must have completed successfully the qualifying examinations.
  4. Students must form a dissertation committee consisting of three members of the graduate faculty, in consultation with and approval of a dissertation advisor/dissertation committee chair. Whether it is before or after forming the Dissertation Committee, students must pass their qualifying examinations in order to advance to candidacy.
  5. Students must have completed a Dissertation Proposal that will have to be approved by all members of the Dissertation Committee.
  6. Students must submit a 500-1000 word Summary of the Dissertation Proposal (Synopsis) to the Chair of the Business Administration Program.
  7. Students must notify the Chair of the Business Administration Program of their advancement to candidacy status. The Dean’s office will obtain faculty signatures, on the Advancement to Candidacy Form, which must then be submitted to and signed by the Dean of Academics.


Advancement to candidacy must take place at least six months prior to the date scheduled for the Dissertation Defense. Students advancing to candidacy can continue in the program. Students failing the qualifying examinations will have to follow specific guidelines that allow for re-evaluation. Students that fail the qualifying examinations twice will be dismissed from the program.


Dissertation Committee and Oral Dissertation Defense Requirements

Every doctoral candidate who completes successfully the qualifying examinations must register for dissertation units while drafting and successfully defending the dissertation. The Director of Graduate Programs at Sierra States University will have to approve of every candidate’s doctoral dissertation committee. At this point, the doctoral student is formally advanced to candidacy and is heretofore considered a doctoral candidate.

Any dissertation committee in the School of Business Administration will consist of three graduate faculty members selected at large from the Business Administration Program at Sierra States University in consultation with the dissertation committee chair, who will also have to be selected from the graduate faculty in the School of Business Administration at Sierra States University. The dissertation committee members will solely have the responsibility to mentor the doctoral candidate’s progress and approve all his/her doctoral dissertation content.

The final oral dissertation defense committee will consist of all four approved faculty members that are serving on the doctoral candidate’s dissertation committee. All committee members will have to document their satisfaction and approval of the final oral dissertation defense with the Chair of the Business Administration Program before a doctoral candidate can graduate from the program.


Drafting the Dissertation & Scheduling the Dissertation Oral Defense

All dissertation topics within the School of Business Administration will have to be directly related to the field of Business Administration. The content of such dissertation projects may investigate any business-related hypotheses. The doctoral candidate must submit a preliminary draft of the entire dissertation work to every member of their dissertation committee by the beginning of the quarter in which the doctoral student contemplates graduation in order to allow for dissertation committee members’ requests and revisions before as well as after the final oral examination takes place.

The application requesting a date for the final oral dissertation defense must be submitted to the entire committee at least six weeks before the planned date of the oral defense of the dissertation in order to allow the dissertation committee members some time to determine whether the oral dissertation defense may be scheduled. The oral dissertation defense will be scheduled only if all the dissertation committee members agree that the dissertation is free of any major problems and indicate their agreement as well as their commitment to attend the oral dissertation defense by signing the Petition for Final Oral Dissertation Defense form.


Program Graduation Requirements Chart

Degree Bible & Theology Core MajorCourses FreeElectives in Major Dissertation Research TotalUnits
Doctor ofBusiness Administration 8 40 16 8 72

Most Updated Progress Chart download [link]


Course of Study

Business Course of Study: 56 units



Course Title


Advanced Core Courses in Business Administration

(10 courses)

BUS 701

Seminar in Organizational Change (4 units)


BUS 702

Seminar in Marketing Management (4 units)

BUS 703

Seminar in Global Management Issues (4 units)

BUS 705

Advanced Financial Management (4 units)

BUS 707

Advanced Operations and Logistics Management (4 units)

BUS 708

Advanced Strategic Management (4 units)

BUS 709

Advanced Research Methods and Experimental Designs (4 units)

BUS 731

Emerging Leadership Concepts and Strategies (4 units)

BUS 732

Advanced Negotiations, Collective Bargaining, and Group Dynamics (4 units)

BUS 756

Ethical Decision Making in Business  (4 units)

Advanced Elective Courses in Business Administration (4 predetermined courses to be taken in any of three areas of specialization)

Advanced Electives in International Business


IBU 771

Culture and Change (4 units)

IBU 772

Intercultural Competence (4 units)

IBU 773

Comparative International Management (4 units)

IBU 774

Culture and Socialization (4 units)
Advanced Electives in Marketing

MKT 761

Legal and Ethical Issues in Business (4 units)

MKT 762

Dynamics of Consumer Behavior (4 units)

MKT 763

Global Marketing (4 units)

MKT 764

Channels of Distribution and Value Networks (4 units)
Advanced Electives in Real Estate & Property Management

REM 721

Seminar in Real Estate, Property Management & Lease Negotiations (4 units)

REM 722

Seminar in Real Estate & Property Planning & Marketing (4 units)

REM 723

Seminar in Real Estate & Property Maintenance & Risk Management (4 units)

REM 724

Seminar in Safety and Environmental Compliance Issues (4 units)

Dissertation Research and Writing

Dissertation Units

Up to 2 quarters of Directed Study with advisor, leading to the writing and submission of the doctoral dissertation





Course Descriptions


Advanced Core Courses in Business Administration


BUS 701: Seminar in Organizational Change (4 units)

This course goes over an in-depth review of current organizational behavior issues in an organizational change framework, from a workforce planning and performance management perspective, and is analyzed as it relates to employee diversity. Using case studies, the course provides an integrated approach of the theoretical and practical aspects in interpersonal and group communications, organizational structures, organizational systems, and employee performance appraisal in a diverse workplace.


BUS 702: Seminar in Marketing Management (4 units)

This course reviews and critiques contemporary marketing theory and its applications in a marketing implementation process context. It focuses attention on the identification of market opportunities, the product development process, promotion planning and execution, pricing structures and decisions, as well as channels of distribution in a highly competitive business environment.


BUS 703: Seminar in Global Management Issues (4 units)

This course reviews and investigates the impact of country-specific cultural, economic, political, and legal factors on the theory and practice of management in multinational corporations. The case studies will focus on the North American, Latin American, European, Asian, and African settings which will be used to illustrate the feasibility of adapting and combining different national managerial styles in the design of activities for domestic and multinational corporations.


BUS 705: Advanced Financial Management (4 units)

This course will integrate the various principles and concepts used in the financial management of business organizations, and will address these principles and concepts from both a theoretical and a practical standpoint. Covered topics will include money and capital markets, financial management of working capital, capital budgeting, fixed asset management, cost of capital, and short-term as well as long-term institutional financing by the contrasting means of debt and equity capital.


BUS 707: Advanced Operations and Logistics Management (4 units)

This course will present a customer-oriented approach to operations management within an organizational framework. Guided and constrained by the organization’s strategic plan, the operations management function will deliver the products and services to its customers. This course explores how this product and service delivery can/should be accomplished with operational efficiency and effectiveness in order to support the organization’s efforts in implementing its strategic plan. Components of the course will include issues of quality, physical design, process selection, and systems management.


BUS 708: Advanced Strategic Management (4 units)

This course will survey the different applications of strategic management principles to the development, organization, finance, and operation of a business organization. This course will integrate and apply the skills and the knowledge gained in other graduate business courses to organizational settings, especially those in the management, marketing, accounting, and finance areas.


BUS 709: Advanced Research Methods and Experimental Designs (4 units)

This course focuses on the study of research methods and experimental design. The primary objective of the course is to prepare students to conduct empirical research. Special emphasis will be placed on in-depth understanding of the philosophy of science underlying research methods, the principles of theory development, methods for enhancing the internal and external validity of research findings, as well as techniques for valid and reliable measurement.


BUS 731: Emerging Leadership Concepts and Strategies (4 units)

This course will review and examine the various core organizational issues in the theory and practice of leadership. The identification of different leadership theories and leadership styles in a collaborative, integrative organizational leadership context, as well as comparing and contrasting these theories with an authoritarian or collaborative leadership approach within the organizational context will be scrutinized.


BUS 732: Advanced Negotiations, Collective Bargaining, and Group Dynamics (4 units)

This course will address effective conflict resolution, collective bargaining, and negotiations strategies, and will assess various methods for improving the organizational efficiency and effectiveness in the long-term. A special focus will be placed upon the creation of win-win solutions for real-life organizations. Conflict resolution will be approached and examined as both a necessary and challenging workplace phenomenon.


BUS 756: Ethical Decision Making in Business (4 units)

This course is an examination of the many components that influence decision-making by leaders of business organizations – including the notions of cultural relativism, legal responsibilities, prescriptive and normative approaches, and universal principles of ethical behavior. The potential impacts of different decisions on the organization will be investigated and the transparency of the business organization’s decision-making processes will be reviewed within a host of ethical frameworks and hypothetical situations.


Advanced Elective Area Courses


Advanced Electives in International Business


IBU 771: Culture and Change (4 units)

This course is an overview of different methods for assessment of cultural competency, and comparison of American cultural values with other national and ethnic cultural values. Simulations will be used to illustrate the influence of stakeholder values in community development projects. Discussions focus on appropriateness and compatibility of outside development models and approaches to traditional communities.


IBU 772Intercultural Competence (4 units)

This course is an overview of the domains of communication and culture. Specifically, the ways that culture influences our communication patterns, and the development of both professional and personal relationships with people from different cultural backgrounds.


IBU 773: Comparative International Management (4 units)

This course studies the impact of country-specific cultural, economic and legal factors on the theory and practice of managing multinational corporations. Case studies focusing on North American, Latin American, European and Asian settings are used to illustrate the feasibility of adapting and combining different national management styles in the operations of domestic and multinational corporations.


IBU 774: Culture and Socialization (4 units)

An in-depth examination of the concepts of culture and socialization, this course analyzes the socialization process as the key means through which culture is reproduced. Through a critical engagement with competing theories of socialization, students undertake advanced research projects, oral presentations and written assignments. Lecture and discussion topics include issues of ethnic identity and cultural diversity, socio-economic, gender and racial stratification, media representations, dress, language and religion and schooling and the reproduction of inequality. Issues are explored from a cross-cultural perspective.


Advanced Electives in Marketing


MKT 761: Legal and Ethical Issues in Business (4 units)

This course is an in-depth, exploratory study of human values and ethical conduct of American businesses. The focus will be on verbal debate and written exercises that would draw attention to business practices. This course will also consider the various ethical issues that are arising in the workplace and their impact on the global business environments.


MKT 762: Dynamics of Consumer Behavior (4 units)

A study of the dynamics of human behavior and how it relates to the purchasing decision, this course provides a general view of the different factors that influence the consumer’s decision-making including, personality, social groups, culture, values structure, perception and learning.


MKT 763: Global Marketing (4 units)

An introduction to the fundamentals of trade, finance, and investment in the international context, the course discusses the international monetary framework and foreign exchange in detail. It reviews theory and history of international trade, including exporting and importing, regional economic integration, and international marketing.


MKT 764: Channels of Distribution and Value Networks (4 units)

A study of all phases of management skills in the field of physical distribution with emphasis on customer service and international distribution strategies. This course covers also distribution strategies for products and services. It pays specific attention to direct distribution (from manufacturing to retail), indirect distribution (agents, independent representatives, and VARs), and direct marketing (fulfillment centers).


Advanced Electives in Real Estate & Property Management


REM 721: Seminar in Real Estate & Property Management & Lease Negotiations (4 units)

Details and complications of the property management process will be discussed. An overview of the management and administration of contracts made with property owners, tenants, vendors, and maintenance contractors will also be conducted. This course will cover the elements of contracts and lease negotiation, risk management, marketing, maintenance, compliance, and stakeholder relations. Advanced negotiation skills and relevant compliance issues will be surveyed.


REM 722: Seminar in Real Estate & Property Planning and Marketing (4 units)

A survey of the marketing environment and promotional efforts of commercial and residential income properties will be conducted, including relevant revenue generation and cost calculations from commercial and residential income properties, from different marketing surveys, and from capitalization rates. Such indicators will be examined, discussed, and investigated in length.


REM 723: Seminar in Real Estate & Property Maintenance & Risk Management (4 units)

An investigative examination of the elements involved in the maintenance of commercial and private properties. Property scheduled and preventive maintenance will be explored and discussed, and the administration of service contracts with sub-contractors will be debated. Risk management from the property owner’s, the property manager’s, and the stakeholder’s perspectives will be emphasized, and risk mitigation for litigation and insurance purposes will also be examined.


REM 724: Seminar in Safety and Environmental Compliance Issues (4 units)

Industry standards as well as legal rules and regulations applicable to residential and commercial real estate and property management are investigated from the standpoint of safety issues and environmental concerns. Assessment of safety as well as environmental requirements and requisite changes to legal restrictions will be discussed, and effective compliance policies will be researched.