reflection of computer on persons eyeglasses

Doctor of Philosophy in
Business Administration (PhD-BA),
Information Technology

computer icon


Complete your studies on your own time.

calendar icon


Start your first course when it’s convenient for you.

graduation cap icon


Finish your PhD-BA in just 20 courses.

PhD-BA in Information Technology

With nearly all businesses and organizations relying on the efficiency of computing and data networks, information technology has become one of today’s fastest-growing fields. IT employment is projected to grow by 11 percent over the next decade, with higher than average salaries for managers, seasoned professionals, and entry-level positions.

Because technology can be intimidating for many organizations and employees, it’s important for leaders to be out front in taking advantage of new technologies and ideas that maximize efficiencies and improve competitiveness. This PhD specialization prepares professionals to become champions of information technologies that bring positive change. In addition to core business studies and dissertation research instruction, you’ll examine technology policy and strategy, network design, mobile computing, database management, and cybersecurity principles.

Admission Requirements 

A conferred master’s degree from a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution. In addition to this general requirement, applicants have two options for entering the doctoral program in the School of Business:

1. Direct Entry – You may immediately begin the doctoral program through the DBA or PhD track with a previously completed master’s degree in one of the following:

  • A generalized business area, such as business management or business administration
  • A specialized business area (Master of Finance, Master of Human Resources Management, etc.) AND an undergraduate degree in business
  • A master’s in any field AND an undergraduate degree in business

2. Evaluation Track – If you don’t meet the direct entry requirements, you’re required to take SKS-7001 – Doctoral Comprehensive Strategic Knowledge Studies as part of your degree program.

Course Details

For the PhD in Business Administration, Information Technology, you must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours (20 courses), including a minimum of five core courses, five specialization courses, two statistical courses, five research courses, and one doctoral elective. The estimated time needed to complete this certificate is 73 months.

Course Listing

This course serves as an introduction to the PhD–BA and as the foundation for further doctoral-level study in business. The PhD–BA degree is designed to encourage you to become a scholar-practitioner, using business theory to inform further scholarly inquiry and positively impact business practices. You will examine requirements for the degree—including each milestone and deliverable—and will develop a plan for achieving your academic and research goals. This preparation will be done in the context of an examination of modern trends in business theory and in beginning the transition from being consumers of knowledge to being producers of knowledge.

Students will analyze and apply knowledge in 12 business areas necessary to address a wide variety of business-related situations. The focus of the course is demonstrating core proficiencies in the following business areas: Marketing, Business Finance, Accounting, Management, Legal Environment of Business, Economics, Business Ethics, Global Dimensions of Business, Information Systems, Quantitative Techniques and Statistics, Leadership, and Business Applications. The intent is not to introduce these core business concepts, but rather to verify a graduate-level threshold competency within each. The course includes a comprehensive case study that will allow students to demonstrate their competency within all 12 professional component areas.

It is important for scholar-practitioners to understand both the internal and external influences on business—the business environment. In this course, students will examine theories related to those environmental factors including business ethics, international business, and marketing. Internal environmental factors include management and organizational behavior.

The allied fields of economics, accounting, and finance are key areas where a highly knowledgeable leader can greatly contribute to the success of a business. Financial professionals secure and manage the money needed to run a business; economists determine how markets will react in certain situations; and accountants provide analysis and accountability to the entire process. In this course, scholar-practitioners will work towards information fluency in theories related to these critical knowledge areas.

Good plans aligned against clear strategic goals can help business leaders achieve those goals. This course is an overview of the theories involved in strategic planning to aid business. Students will explore the difference between strategic thinking and strategic planning, how to choose a strategy that is right for each business, and how to design a strategic plan. This course will investigate how to analyze customers and the competition and ask key questions that help design the most effective strategic plan for each business.

In this course, you will engage in the process of scholarly literature reviews and academic writing. With an emphasis 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, you will develop a foundation for future research. The overarching goal of this course is for you to conduct an exhaustive search of the peer-reviewed research literature in your topic area and identify potential areas of inquiry for your dissertation.

In this course, you will cultivate a statistical mindset through learning and nurturing skills needed to perform and interpret univariate inferential statistics. The course will facilitate building your statistical confidence in assessing and performing statistics. The course will cover univariate parametric and non-parametric statistical tests, interpretation of statistical output, and introduce skills needed to select statistical tests based on quantitative research questions.

In this course, you will learn advanced statistical principles and how to apply them to quantitative research in the study of organizations. You will be provided an overview of advanced statistical concepts used in empirical research, including inferential analysis. Advanced computations will be performed using commonly used statistical software. The focus involves helping you build independent scholarly skills with an emphasis on understanding multivariate data; the use, comprehension, and evaluation of sophisticated statistical concepts, and presentation of statistical results.

During this course, as a scholar-practitioner, you will build the skills essential for designing quantitative studies; analyzing the data collected in these studies, and interpreting the results of data analyses. You will explore designs and statistical techniques to use with their envisioned dissertation research.

During this course, you will examine qualitative methods for studying human behavior including grounded theory, narrative analysis, ethnography, mixed methods, and case studies. You will explore designs and methodologies to use with your envisioned research.

The Pre-Candidacy Prospectus is intended to ensure students have mastered knowledge of their discipline prior to candidacy status and demonstrated the ability to design empirical research as an investigator before moving on to the dissertation research coursework. Students will demonstrate the ability to synthesize empirical, peer-reviewed research to support all assignments in this course. The Pre-Candidacy Prospectus is completed only after all foundation, specialization, and research courses have been completed.

Students in this course will be required to complete Chapter 1 of their dissertation proposal including a review of literature with substantiating evidence of the problem, the research purpose and questions, the intended methodological design and approach, and the significance of the study. A completed, committee approved (against the minimum rubric standards) Chapter 1 is required to pass this course successfully. Students who do not receive approval of Chapter 1 to minimum standards will be able to take up to three supplementary 8-week courses to finalize and gain approval of Chapter 1.

Students in this course will be required to work on completing Chapters 1-3 of their dissertation proposal and receive committee approval for the Dissertation Proposal (DP) in order to pass the class. Chapter 2 consists of the literature review. Chapter 3 covers the research methodology method and design and to includes population, sample, measurement instruments, data collection and analysis, limitations, and ethical considerations. In this course, a completed, committee-approved Chapters 2 and 3 are required and, by the end of the course, a final approved dissertation proposal (against the minimum rubric standards). Students who do not receive approval of the dissertation proposal will be able to take up to three supplementary 8-week courses to finalize and gain approval of these requirements.

Students in this course will be required to prepare, submit, and obtain approval of their IRB application, collect data, and submit a final study closure form to the IRB. Students still in data collection at the end of the 12-week course will be able to take up to three supplementary 8-week courses to complete data collection and file an IRB study closure form.

In this dissertation course students work on completing Chapters 4 and 5 and the final Dissertation Manuscript. Specifically, students will complete their data analysis, prepare their study results, and present their findings in an Oral Defense and a completed manuscript. A completed, Committee approved (against the minimum rubric standards) Dissertation Manuscript and successful Oral Defense are required to complete the course and graduate. Students who do not receive approval for either or both their Dissertation Manuscript or defense can take up to three supplementary 8-week courses to finalize and gain approval of either or both items as needed.

Specialization Courses

Specialization Course Listings

Visionary tech leaders ensure that technology aligns with strategy as organizations seeking competitive advantages look to evolving technologies. This course serves a dual role: to introduce you to your doctoral program, and to prepare you for executive leadership roles in organizational technology. You’ll practice visionary leadership by investigating how emerging technology can be used to solve existing organizational challenges or create a strategic edge. To conclude the course, you’ll apply what you’ve learned and scholarly research to find technology solutions that resolve challenging business scenarios.

In this course, you’ll explore emerging issues in computer network design and management. Specifically, topics surrounding mobile computing and how it’s changed network design and management will be examined in depth.

Data and databases are the foundation of all business systems. Organizations that don’t understand the importance of data management are less likely to survive in the modern economy. During this course, you’ll study advanced concepts of database management systems and data warehouses. You’ll also research processes and techniques for improving data repositories, manipulating data, and preventing data corruption. By course end, you’ll be able to construct, assess, and transform data for improved business intelligence and more informed business decisions.

A foundation of concepts related to security and cybersecurity, this course examines a full range of topics, from governance, to law compliance, to human risk, to technology. Various mitigation options are considered to reduce vulnerabilities, counter threats, and protect data and system assets. You’ll study the need to protect organizations from future exposures and apply critical thinking and synthesis to apply the resources needed to defend critical IT assets.

An advanced examination of the theories, concepts, and strategies for managing technology policies and implementing emerging technology in organizations. You’ll research the legal, technical, and managerial considerations needed to design an information technology governance structure. You’ll also formulate policies and strategies to manage the information technology landscape and implement realistic and effective plans to support corporate technology goals.

Learning Outcomes

Students earning the Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration, Information Technology specialization will learn to:

  • Develop business knowledge based on a synthesis of current theory
  • Defend theories, applications, and perspectives related to business to diverse audiences
  • Evaluate business practices that positively impact society
  • Evaluate the relationship between the global environment and business decisions
  • Formulate solutions to problems identified in extant business research
Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.