Haskayne Doctor of Business Administration

The Haskayne Doctor of Business Administration aims to advance Canadian business practice by preparing our executive leaders to contribute to the development and application of new business knowledge for establishing long-term organizational growth.

Program FAQs

1. What is the difference between a DBA, a PhD and the Executive MBA program?

Lean more about the different programs here.

2. Can I work while completing the program?

The DBA is a full-time program designed for busy professionals who can continue to work while completing their degree. At a minimum, you will need the support of your employer to be able to attend classes one Friday, Saturday and Sunday approximately every other month. The blended learning component of the program will require additional time on weekends and evenings.

3. If I need to travel for work, can I still complete the program?

We require that students attend all on-campus course days.

4. What is the mix of classroom and on-line learning?

Course delivery will combine online, blended learning and intensive on-site instruction.

5. What can I expect from the classroom experience?

Generally each course will be set up seminar-style, with discussions facilitated by the professor. To get the most out of your classroom experience, we ask students to come prepared for a high level of interaction with faculty and other students.

6. Will assignments be completed individually or in teams?

The DBA is a cohort program, which means that you will remain with the same individuals throughout the program. However, most of the work is completed individually.

7. How much time will I need to spend reading / writing per course?

In addition to the in-person class time, we recommend that you plan to spend approximately 20 hours reading (this includes both pre and post-course reading) and 10 hours on course assignments.

8. If I don’t live in Calgary, can I still take the program?

During the first two years classes will be held on campus approximately once every other month over three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). If you would like to receive a schedule of classes, please contact us.

If you are travelling from out of town, the University of Calgary offers a variety of accommodation options on campus.

Beginning in the fall of the second year, the focus will be on the development of your Integrative paper, so no formal classes are scheduled. The third year of the program is structured for completing your research.

9. How many courses are required to complete the program?

Students will complete eight courses (six core courses and two electives), a written Field of Study examination (Integrative paper), a Thesis proposal with an oral examination, and a Thesis with an oral defense.

Required Curriculum

10. How long does the program take?

It is expected that it will take students three to four years to complete the program.

11. Can I specialize?

The Haskayne DBA focuses on strategic management, allowing students to narrow their field of study through elective courses and research papers.

12. Is travel required for the program?

There is no international travel required for the program. The potential to take an elective course abroad is currently being explored.

13. How best can I prepare for the program?

The best way to prepare for the program is to attend the orientation. Over the course of two days you will learn about the structure of the program, student expectations, how to best read and prepare for your courses and much more. Should you wish to refresh your knowledge on mathematics, statistics, finance or economics we recommend taking the AnyPrep courses. Please contact us for more information.

14. What sort of networking opportunities are there?

Across the program are opportunities to network with your classmates, other students, faculty and business leaders. These opportunities take a variety of forms from guest speakers to workshops and receptions.

15. What is a typical schedule for a semester?

The start of each new course will generally begin on Sunday followed by time spent working with course material online. The remainder of the course will be delivered on the Friday / Saturday of the next month.

A typical schedule for the Friday / Saturday is as follows:

  • 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast and individual/group work time
  • 8:30 – 10:15 a.m. Class
  • 10:15 – 10:30 a.m. Morning break with refreshments
  • 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Class
  • 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:30 – 3:15 p.m. Class
  • 3:15 – 3:30 p.m. Afternoon break with refreshments
  • 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Class

16. Are computers provided by the program?

No, computers are not provided by the program. Students will need to provide their own laptop computer for use in-class and for the blended learning component. There is some IT support available for students who need help setting up wireless internet, university printers and email accounts on their computers.

If you choose to use a company-provided laptop, please be aware that there can be issues with firewalls and other security settings applied by your organization. As well, there is limited support for Mac computers and some of the software programs used do not run well on Macs.

Research and Thesis FAQs

1. How do I choose my research topic?

Some students may enter the program with a specific problem they want to explore, others will identify their area of interest while taking the courses and working with their supervisor and course instructors.

2. Does my current employer/industry need to factor into the research area I choose?

This is optional. For many students their employer or industry will be their area of interest while others may want to use this opportunity to explore other topics.

3. Will my research be published?

The quality of research and writing should be at the level of publication; however, even for experienced researchers there are no guarantees of publication.

Benefits FAQs

1. How will the DBA impact my career?

For individuals currently working at a senior executive level or in academic roles, this program will provide them with the skills to expand their capacity for strategic management. For individuals who are considering a career shift, this degree will give them the knowledge and skills to move into consulting and knowledge dissemination roles. We anticipate that all graduates of the program will have the knowledge and skills to teach university classes and Executive Education courses.

2. Will I be able to teach after completing the DBA?

Throughout the program there will be a number of options for improving on or building your teaching skills. We anticipate students who take advantage of these options will be prepared to teach at the university level. Information about these options will be available during orientation.

Admissions FAQs

1. What is the application deadline?

Applications for the DBA are considered on a rolling basis, therefore you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

January Entry


  • Deadline to apply: August 15


  • Deadline to apply: August 15

2. Do I need to complete the GMAT?

No. DBA candidates will have already earned a master’s degree or some related advanced degree, so no GMAT will be required.

3. Do I need to complete the TOEFL or IELTS?

Please contact our admissions team for more information on English proficiency requirements. Note: TOEFL/IELTS scores are valid for two years from the date of completion.

4. Will my application be reviewed if some supporting documents are missing?

If the only outstanding items are supporting documents (e.g., we are missing original transcripts but have copies), the admissions committee may choose to review your application file. However, if you are successful, your admission to the program will be conditional upon receiving all of the required documentation.

Financing FAQs

1. What does the program cost?

Please click here for a detailed breakdown and schedule.

2. What is included in tuition?

The tuition for the DBA program includes the following:

  • Instruction and course materials (e.g., textbooks, cases, etc.)
  • Meals and parking on the main campus during scheduled classes
  • Instructional Skills Workshops (optional)
  • Haskayne Research seminars
  • Haskayne guest speakers
  • Online tutorials to facilitate preparation for courses
  • Access to programs sponsored by the Haskayne Centres of Excellence
  • Dedicated technical support and librarian support
  • Access to University of Calgary recreation facilities
  • Access to University of Calgary Library facilities

3. What should I budget on top of tuition?

  • If you do not have a laptop computer you will need to purchase one.
  • You will also be required to pay general fees, which are set annually by the university.
  • Accommodation if you live outside of Calgary
  • Travel to and from Calgary
  • Any costs for international courses

4. How does the government view the program for loan and tax purposes?

The government views this program as full-time for student loan and tax purposes. The program can provide a letter in support of your loan application if required. You will receive a tuition tax receipt (T222A) each year from the university.

5. What if my employer is willing to pay the tuition?

The university has a Sponsored Student process. Please contact us for more information.

6. Can I apply University of Calgary Tuition Support to this program?

Yes. Please refer to the University of Calgary’s Tuition Support Program page for more information.

International Applicants FAQs

1. Can I apply to the program as an international student?

Yes. Please refer to the University of Calgary’s International Student Services for more information.

2. Do I need to write the TOEFL/IELTS?

If English is not your first language you may be asked to write the TOEFL/IELTS. If you have previously studied at a post-secondary level in English or have worked for significant periods in an English speaking country, please contact our admissions team to confirm this requirement.

3. How long is my TOEFL/IELTS score valid?

We accept TOEFL / IELTS scores within two years of the test date.

4. Do international students pay more?

No. This program has the same tuition for domestic and international students.

5. Can I work as an international student?

Please refer to the University of Calgary’s International Student Services for more information.

Other FAQs

1. Am I eligible for any course waivers?

If there are courses you have previously taken that could be used towards the degree, please contact us.

2. Can I transfer in to the program from another school?

This may be possible, please contact us.

3. Can I enter the program directly from an undergraduate degree?

No. The DBA program is designed for senior-career professionals with at least 10 years of management experience or at least five years’ experience as a lecturer/instructor in a relevant field in a college or university program.


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