Doctor of Business Administration Programme Structure – UMT

(Hong Kong EDB Reg No. 261996)

Program Structure

The UMT DBA is a practice-oriented, professional doctoral program intended for executives and senior managers who want to expand their knowledge, skills, and abilities to the fullest extent possible. Graduates possess the knowledge and experience to assume advanced positions in the management of organizations. A combination of analytical, practical, and research-based approaches is used to equip graduates with an understanding of management thought and practices, as well as a theoretical, philosophical, and real-world understanding of business administration principles and practices.

Course content reflects current business practices in best-of-class organizations. Courses balance nurturing an appreciation of the role of theory in effective management with practical, how-to insights.

While the emphasis of the program is directed toward managing in a technology-driven world, management basics that apply to all business organizations are covered. The program addresses the ethical and legal foundations for behavior in commercial, nonprofit, and government settings. It imbues the student with in-depth knowledge of managing organizations, programs, and projects. It describes how effective managers lead, how they make decisions, how they motivate employees to achieve superior results in leading organizations.

DBA Requirements

The DBA requires successful completion of 60 semester credits hours past the master’s degree. Transfer credits are not granted toward fulfillment of the DBA requirements. Pursuit of the DBA involves two main components:
Coursework: includes core courses, concentration courses, and supporting courses, totally 45 credit-hours.
Dissertation: concludes the program with a significant scholarly research project, requiring a minimum of 15 credit-hours.
In addition, students must pass a qualifying exam and a comprehensive exam, as well as writing and defending their proposal and dissertation.
Every student who chooses to enter the program must make a commitment to the program to make a significant contribution to the intellectual knowledge base of the University. They may do this by their participation in courses, by their research, by their publications, and by their attendance at seminars, colloquia, and professional meetings.

Advisory Committee

To guide students through the first phase of the degree program, an advisory committee of at least three faculty members with appropriate terminal degrees will be assigned. The advisory committee also may serve as the Dissertation Committee.
Qualifying Examination
Students must pass a written qualifying examination at the completion of their first 12 credit-hours: Mgt 310, Mgt 320, and Mgt 350. The exam is three hours maximum and must be administered by a UMT-approved proctor. This exam is graded pass/fail and does not factor into the GPA. Students may retake a qualifying examination with the approval of the Academic Dean.
Comprehensive Examination
Students must pass a written comprehensive examination after successfully completing the core curriculum. The exam is three hours maximum and must be administered by a UMT-approved proctor. This exam is graded pass/fail and does not factor into the GPA. Students may retake the exam with the approval of the Academic Dean.



Dissertation Committee

When students pass their comprehensive examination, they are assigned a Dissertation Committee. Similar to the Advisory Committee, this committee will comprise at least three faculty members with appropriate terminal degrees. Students may request substitutions or additions to this committee, which must be approved by the Academic Dean. Students work closely with their dissertation committee members through the remainder of their doctoral program.

Each student must nominate one member of the dissertation committee who resides in a location convenient for regular interaction in person. This individual must meet the requirements for becoming adjunct faculty at UMT and must possess a terminal degree in a relevant discipline from an appropriately accredited institution. Selection of a nominee is solely at the discretion of the UMT administration. UMT will provide compensation to the local faculty member directly: the student will not bear any additional financial burden for his/her services.

Special Topics in Research

The next major step toward the doctoral degree is for students to develop expertise in their chosen area of concentration. Students build a general reading list covering the major topics relevant to the concentration and an in-depth, specialized reading list relevant to their specific research interests.

The minimum requirement is six (6) credits for Mgt 420. Additional research may be undertaken with Mgt 498, which may be repeated. These hours count toward the total hours for dissertation research.

Dissertation Proposal

The critical work product of the Special Topics in Research component is a formal written proposal for dissertation research. This proposal must include a clear statement of the problem to be researched and a survey of the relevant literature. The proposal must specify the research methods, data collection, and data analysis techniques in detail. The methods to be employed must be appropriate, reliable, and appropriate for the measures taken.

Proposal Defense

The proposal for the dissertation research must be approved by the student’s Dissertation Committee before the student may commence work on the dissertation. The defense is an oral examination, limited to no more than three (3) hours. The student may be directed to rework portions of the proposal and repeat this examination. When approved by the committee, the student is promoted to the status of doctoral candidate and may proceed.


Dissertation Research

Students begin the final phase of their studies immediately after the successful oral defense of the proposal. Working closely with their committee, students conduct their research project and develop their dissertation, achieving the highest levels of scholarship. The dissertation must include original research that is focused either on expanding the methodological scope of the content area, developing new theories, or confirming theoretic models. Research methods that may be employed include field experiments, surveys, and case studies. The minimum requirement is nine (9) credits for Mgt 499. This course may be taken in 3 or 6 credit-hours increments and may be repeated, as necessary.


The dissertation is the final scholarly product of the program. This document must complete the proposed research study, presenting detailed results and analyses. The dissertation must present a careful synthesis and evaluation of the work done and the findings obtained. All claims must be warranted and limitations admitted. Suggestions for future research in the field that build on the instant research are required to demonstrate the fruitfulness of this research.

Dissertation Defense

An oral examination of the doctoral candidate will be conducted by the dissertation committee. This defense is limited to three (3) hours. The final document must be delivered to the committee at least 30 days prior to the scheduled defense. It is expected to be ready for publication in camera-ready or desktop publishing format. The candidate may be directed to rework portions of the dissertation and repeat this examination until it is approved by a majority of the dissertation committee.


After the dissertation is approved by the Dissertation Committee, the student must arrange two bound copies to be provided to the UMT library. UMT will work closely with students to gain publication of the main work in a scholarly or other journal or publication of a book, as appropriate. Students also may arrange publication at cost by UMT Press.

Assessment of Learning

Students in the doctoral program must demonstrate their ability to conduct appropriate research in the field and to interpret and apply the results of this research. Students must demonstrate their ability to evaluate, synthesize, and incorporate emerging relevant technologies and trends in theory and practice. Students must demonstrate the skills necessary to advance the body of knowledge and practice in the field.

Course-level assessments of learning are conducted by instructors following UMT’s standard guidelines. UMT expects 300-level courses to include at least one objective examination as a measure of learning of facts, terminology, and so forth. Assessments also are to include at least one, substantial written assessment. Written assessments are to present the original research of the student and to be prepared with professional care and attention to details, methods, and findings. Students must demonstrate higher cognitive abilities including, but not limited to, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. For courses with quantitative skill requirements, exercise sets are required, however, these may be integrated with objective assessments. Additional short written assignments may be used.

Additional assessments include the qualifying and comprehensive examinations, which must be passed to continue in the program and to advance to the dissertation research phase of the degree program, respectively. The final assessments are the oral defense of the written proposal and the final dissertation. The majority of the advisory/dissertation committee must approve the proposal and the dissertation for the student to be awarded the degree.


Illustration of a Typical DBA Program

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