University of Mary Announces New Doctorate of Business Administration Degree Starting Fall

K. William Boyer
Devils Lake Journal

BISMARCK, ND — The University of Mary is once again answering the call and need locally, regionally, and nationally with the launch of its new online Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) degree beginning in September 2021. Upon approval by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Mary will become the first college or university in North or South Dakota and Montana to offer the online terminal degree and one of only a handful across the entire United States.

“With very low supply and high demand for professionals with a DBA, the situation has created an increase in salaries for those who want to elevate their career or status as a leader in business or academia, while bolstering their expertise,” said Dr. Jeff Moser, coordinator of the new DBA program and a Mary alum with undergraduate and graduate degrees in business administration, and a doctorate from Keiser University. “Our program offers a dissertation that’s integrated into the coursework, classes are all online — which is rare, but perfect for busy working adults, and students can potentially complete their degree in three years. A DBA further develops an individual’s analytical and critical thinking skills. Students who pursue a DBA from the University of Mary will understand how to conduct research and apply that knowledge in a business environment. The ability to conduct research allows individuals to look at organizational challenges from multiple perspectives. Mary’s DBA program does that and much more.”

Moser adds, Mary will require 54 credits to complete the DBA degree, and as initial prerequisites for admission into the program a minimum 3.0 GPA master’s degree from an accredited institution, a resume or curriculum vitae, and two letters of recommendation.  

The degree falls under the popular Gary Tharaldson School of Business at the University of Mary. The school’s dean, Dr. Karel Sovak, who has spent decades interacting with businesses to get to know their needs, believes this degree is long overdue in the workforce, not only in North Dakota, but nationally.

“We have long felt the need for a more practitioner’s degree for our business leaders, and the DBA is a perfect fit for hardworking individuals who would like to advance in their professions or simply further develop their skillset,” said Sovak. “It is incredibly important to develop a program around our mission-driven Catholic Business Education that is going to carry on the philosophy of the formation of the whole person as our current undergraduate and graduate programs offer. We know this will be a valuable addition to our portfolio of offerings and upholds the vision of our university that the Gary Tharaldson School of Business means education for life. We are blessed in the confidence our administration and the Board of Trustees has given us to pursue this opportunity and look forward to being the leading educational institution in furthering the development of virtuous, servant-leaders in our region and beyond.”

There were only 28 online DBA programs across the nation in 2018, with less than half fully online. According to Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), DBA graduates increased by 10 percent annually from 2010 to 2018.

Career positions that benefit from a DBA include business professors, business analysts, business consultants, business developers, program directors, economists, and upper-level executives such as managers, managerial consultants, and chief financial officers or financial managers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that top business executives took home over $165,000 in median annual wages in 2010. Also, BLS projects employment for financial managers to grow 15 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than average — and a median annual salary of $129,890. Further statistics show, upcoming job opportunities will be plentiful as employment in top-level positions within business is expected to grow by 8 percent between 2016 and 2026. In the same time period, the demand for management consultants will increase by 12 percent.

For more information about the University of Mary DBA program or to apply visit

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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