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 2020 cohort will be accepted starting September 1, 2019 and the application deadline will be January 30, 2020. If you have reviewed the requirements and are ready to proceed, Apply Now will take you to the University of Wisconsin System application portal.

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  • Following are the preferred qualifications for DBA program applicants:
  • A minimum of six 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 six 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.
  • A master's degree, preferably in business or a related topic, from an appropriately accredited institution is required.
  • Evidence of active contributions to your field of expertise beyond your academic work through making presentations or preparing written contributions and leading major projects.
  • A track record of other significant professional achievements and personal and professional development.

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 application. NOTE: This link will take you to the University of Wisconsin System website, 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 of $56. 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).
  • Submit the following materials to dba@uww.edu
    • Resume
    • Cover letter
    • Statement of interest
    • Research overview
    • Letters of recommendation 

Description of Application Materials

Resume and Cover Letter

Your resume should document your professional experience. In your cover letter, please explain how your experience meets the following preferred qualifications. Submit an electronic copy of your resume and cover letter via email.

Academic Transcripts

Applicants to the DBA program should have a master's degree, preferably in business or a related topic, from an appropriately accredited institution. You should request that official transcripts from each institution attended (all previous college work) be sent directly to:

School of Graduate Studies
Roseman 2013 UW-Whitewater
Whitewater, WI 53190

Statement of Interest

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?
  • How do you believe the DBA will play a role in your career development?
  • 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 will take to restructure your responsibilities to be able to tackle weekend classes and 30 hours of studies weekly?

Submit an electronic copy of your statement of interest via email.

Research Overview

Your research overview should be two to three pages in length and should discuss the following:

  • What general 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)?
  • What specific topics in that area interest you? (For instance, you may wish to learn more about how firms choose particular international markets to enter or how firms design business ethics program). Topics usually include specific societal or organizational issues that concern you. You will need to describe your plan to make an intellectual contribution to solve such issues.

Submit an electronic copy of your research overview via email.

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation should be requested from professionals in academia 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.
  • If you have been an academic staff, your personal and professional contribution to your university and/or department. Letters should include an evaluation of your teaching and service to the university.

Letters of recommendation should be emailed directly to dba@uww.edu by recommenders.


You will be invited by email to attend a mandatory one-day research interest workshop at UW-Whitewater. The date for the Fall 2020 Cohort workshop will be May 9, 2020. 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.


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