College of Business and Economics

DBA Admissions

Application to the Doctorate of Business Administration program at UW-Whitewater involves a rigorous four-phase process, which has been designed to determine whether applicants have the skills and commitment necessary to succeed in the challenging program. The DBA program committee strives to identify candidates who have the highest likelihood of succeeding in the program.  Admission decisions for each phase are made only after receipt of the documents required.

NOTE:  International students cannot be issued a student visa to enroll in the DBA program.

Applications for the Fall cohort will be accepted starting March 16. After that time, if you have reviewed the requirements and are ready to proceed, Apply Now will take you to the UW-Whitewater Grad School application portal. Admission decisions will be made on a rolling basis starting November 1st. All deadlines are subject to change without notice. Accurate admission deadlines can be found on the graduate admission deadlines website.

Expand the boxes below for details.

Following are the preferred qualifications for DBA program applicants:

Master's in a business or related discipline

Eligible for admissions with no additional requirements

Bachelor's in a business or related discipline, but Master's in a non-business discipline

Eligible for admissions with a minimum of three years of professional experience* (see Experience requirement below)

Both Bachelor's and Master's in a non-business discipline

Eligible for admissions with a minimum of three years of professional experience* (see Experience requirement below), and required to complete the college Certificate in Business Foundations before they enroll. Students may also complete the Certificate in Business Foundations while concurrently enrolled in the DBA.

*Experience Requirement
If you do not have a minimum of three years of professional experience, please explain why your other experience or qualifications (e.g., industry experience, consulting experience, or teaching experience) compensate for an absence of professional experience.

Year after year, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and the College of Business and Economics rank highly on Best for Vets and Military-Friendly lists. Our master's and doctorate graduate business programs can help you transition the knowledge, skills, and experience you acquired in the military into a civilian career.

UW-Whitewater's Veteran Benefits Coordinator will be happy to provide specific details on veteran benefits to finance your degree program. Veterans, active duty service members and U.S. Army Reserve/National Guard members with at least 90 days of qualifying active duty service, excluding training time, are also eligible for waiver of the $56 application fee through Graduate Financial Assistance by submitting a certification form signed by our Veteran Benefits Coordinator.

See UW-Whitewater Veteran Resources for additional information.

Best for Vets Colleges 2017 Best for Vets Business Schools 2016

Rolling admissions decisions are made annually starting on November 1; however, decisions can only be made after receipt of all documents required in Phase 2. The Admissions Committee reviews all documents to identify candidates who will have a high likelihood of succeeding in the program. If you are offered admission, you will be invited by email to proceed to Phase 3.

Because the class size is limited, you are encouraged to apply early. Not all successful candidates will be selected. Some may be asked to reconsider the program in a subsequent year.

We strongly encourage you to attend an information session (either online or face-to-face) before applying to the program. The information session will provide you with extensive detail on the program and what it will take to succeed. These sessions also provide you with the ability to meet and interact with program faculty and leadership. They are designed to enable you to make an informed decision about joining the DBA program.

To apply:

  • Complete and submit an  online applicationNOTE: This link will take you to the UW-Whitewater Grad School application portal, where you will register as a new user or login to complete your application. Please review the instructions in the application portal before completing your application.
  • Pay the nonrefundable UW-Whitewater graduate program application fee.  NOTE: Military personnel who have been on active duty within the past three years may apply for an application fee waiver through  Graduate Financial Assistance.
  • Have official academic transcripts sent directly to UW-Whitewater School of Graduate Studies (see below).
  • Please upload the required materials in your application portal while completing the application.  
    • Resume
    • Academic transcripts
    • Cover letter/Statement of interest
    • Two references

If you have any questions, please direct those to


Your resume should document your professional experience.

Academic Transcripts

You should request that official transcripts from each institution attended (all previous college work) be sent directly to

Statement of Interest/Cover Letter

Your personal and professional statement of interest should be two to three pages in length and should discuss the following:

  • Why do you want to pursue a DBA at this time?
  • What do you see as the most significant qualities or experiences that you would bring to the DBA program?
  • What are your career aspirations after you receive the doctorate degree?
  • What obstacles/challenges do you anticipate having to overcome to complete your degree within a reasonable time frame (i.e., 3 years), and what is your plan to address these obstacles/challenges?
  • What concrete steps will you take to restructure your responsibilities to be able to tackle weekend classes and 30 hours of studies weekly?
  • What general and specific areas of business are you interested in studying in the DBA program (e.g., accounting, management, finance, information technology, human resources, supply chain management or marketing)?


The names and contact details of two references (professionals in academia or industry) who can comment on the following should be listed:

  • 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.
  • If you have been an academic staff, your personal and professional contribution to your university and/or department.

You will be invited by email to attend a mandatory one-day research interest workshop at UW-Whitewater. The workshop will take place on s Saturday in May, on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus. 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 for your doctoral program. Faculty members will discuss the various aspects of doctoral research, and you will be provided with textbooks and other review materials. You will be expected to review those materials prior to starting class in September.

Once the offer is made, candidates have 30 days to accept and pay a non-refundable deposit. After admittance, new students will attend a Friday evening reception and orientation in September when classes begin.