Top 10 Affordable Online Affordable PhDs’ in Management

If you are in business or management, an advanced degree can be very helpful. The reason is that advanced degrees put individuals in touch with cutting edge research and best-practices both of which can enhance the smooth running of any company, no matter the size. And an online degree is often the best fit since most programs are designed around the lives of working professionals. Our list of the Top 10 Affordable Ph.D.’s in Management is meant to help as you decide which program may be the right fit for you!


There are numerous careers connected to management. You can be in advertising, administrative services, marketing, computer and information services, construction, education, finance, human resources, health, and medical industries – the list is vast. And most of these positions are expected to grow as fast as the average for all occupations in the US according to the Department of Labor. However, with an advanced degree, you can expect a much higher median wage. In fact, the wage is three-times higher than the national average at $104,240.

But folks who pursue a Ph.D. in management are not always interested in simply advancing their careers in the business world. Sometimes they want to break into teaching or they want to get involved in policy discussions or research. The programs that we have in our list offer a wide array of options in this regard, as some are designed especially for working professionals and have an application-ready bent, while others stress the need for rigorous research methods which can help to inform the larger public and business world about new trends in the best managerial techniques. Whatever your interest, check out our list of the top 10 Affordable PhDs in Management!


While you’re on your way to earning your Ph.D. or Doctorate within your field, the editors at Online PhD Programs are already practicing doctors of their craft: ranking the best online Ph.D. programs. To be featured on our annual rankings online doctorates must satisfy four coinciding requirements: accreditation, research and scholarship doctorate certification, NSF recognition, and institutional association with peer-reviewed academia.

Each degree is then ranked using the information provided – primarily – through the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook. The data collected is scored through a series of weighted categories to represent seven crucial aspects of what makes an online doctorate valuable to future students. Online program quality and presence are joined by industry salaries, student reviews, degree exclusivity, costs, and completion rates to determine the best online doctorates available. For a comprehensive breakdown of how we categorize and source data, please visit our methodology page.


Regent University is a private Christian university located in Virginia Beach, VA with around 8,000 students. The School of Business and Leadership offers an online Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership. This program was the first of its kind when it was launched in 1995, and the SBL has been ranked in the top 30 of online graduate business programs. The program is meant to prepare students to become leaders, scholars, and teachers in the field. The degree consists of 60 credits and requires two four-day residencies, otherwise, the program is wholly online.

Students are schooled in quantitative research methods for organizational leadership and behavior. Individuals take classes like Organizational Behavior, Organizational Theory & Design, and Contemporary Perspectives in Organizational Leadership Theory. The program not only prepares students for unique careers but can also increase the value of your current position. In fact, having a PhD in the field can increase your salary by up to 33 percent. The program requires a master’s degree in a relevant field, and applicants have to demonstrate their writing ability before acceptance.

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Net Price: $1,167


Williamsburg, KY is the home of the University of the Cumberlands. The school enrolls around 13,000 students annually and is organized around four different colleges. UC offers a Ph.D. in Leadership online. The program is designed for individuals in educational settings and students are schooled educational and counseling theory, and learn to conduct research and to engage in problem-solving at the highest level. The program also stresses the use of ethical principles in decision-making which is an absolute necessity for good leaders.

The program consists of 66 credits worth of coursework, much of which is shared with the EdD program. There are 30 credits of core classes among which are The Politics of Organizational Decision-Making, Leadership in Theory and Practice, and Higher Education in America. Students also engage in significant research to produce a dissertation relevant to the field. Past dissertation topics have examined leadership styles among public school principals, the sustainability of math learning strategies, and an examination of business decision-making and its impact on nontraditional and online students.

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Net Price: $5,970


A private, for-profit online institution, Trident University International is based in Cypress, CA. TUI has around 6,000 students enrolled in one of its 28 degree or certificate programs. TUI offers an online Ph.D. in Business Administration. The DBA offers five different concentrations, including one in Management and Organizations. The program is designed for people who already have a background in management or business administration and who are interested in honing their research skills in strategic management and organizational behavior to contribute to the culture and efficiency of their current workplace, or who are interested in teaching or research at a university level.

The program requires ten courses as well as a dissertation seminar and research and writing of the dissertation. Students take classes like Advanced Multivariate Data Analysis, Current Research in Business and Management, and Advanced Data Management and Analysis. Within the concentration there are also three required courses and students can expect to graduate with a comprehensive knowledge of organizational studies and development. After taking their comprehensive exam, students will form a dissertation committee that helps to hone in the best topic to fit their interests.

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Net Price: $6,120



Located in Kimberlin Heights, TN, Johnson University is a private Christian university which also has a second campus in Kissimmee, FL. JU offers a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies. The JU program is interdisciplinary and draws together four distinct areas of focus, including individual and personal systems, organizational systems, global systems, and research. There are four different concentrations, including an Organizational Leadership track. The program requires 60 credits which include the dissertation research and writing phase. JU has broken the program down into four phases which includes a pre-candidacy phase, a candidacy phase, proposal, and dissertation.

Coursework occurs primarily during the first stage and students take classes like Introduction to Global Studies, Ways of Know and Leadership Development, and Intercultural Behavior, Worldview, and Communication. The pre-candidacy phase is not only focused on coursework, but includes a series of individual assessments that the student must take, including the Cultural Intelligence Assessment, the Leadership Practices Inventory, and the Ethical Lens Inventory, among others. What these assessments are meant to do are to provide significant self-knowledge to the student, as well as offer insights for faculty advisors on how to guide the student during their dissertation phase.

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Net Price: $7,050


Indiana Wesleyan University is a private evangelical Christian liberal arts university located in Marion, IN. The school has an overall annual student enrollment of 13,800 students. IWU offers a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership which includes a residency buy is primarily offered online. Students are enrolled as cohorts, which enables individuals to get to know one another as they progress through the program. The online program requires three one-week Summer Institutes which are held at the main campus in Marion. These residencies also require students to live on campus. The program requires a total of 60 credits which includes the dissertation and is designed to be completed in as few as 40 months.

The program is crafted so that students will master seven areas of knowledge which includes Organizational Theory and Research, Globalization and Multiculturalism, Servant Leaders as World Changers, and Change, Innovation, Entrepreneurship. Course terms are usually 12 weeks long and there is a comprehensive exam which must be completed for graduation. Admission does require a master’s degree, with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and at least five years of leadership experience in the workplace. Applicants also have to submit a writing sample and will be asked to respond in writing to questions from the admissions committee regarding their interest, potential research focus, and goals.

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Net Price: $9,700


Bellevue University is located in Bellevue, NE and has a long history of focusing on non-traditional students. 80 percent of their student body is over the age of 25, and BU has on average 10,000 students enrolled in their programs. BU offers an online PhD in Human Capital Management which is designed for working professionals to help them know how to measure human capital investment, and how to communicate effectively as institutional leaders. A graduate of the program will be able to show knowledge of current practices and theories in the field and will be able to demonstrate a broad knowledge of public policy connected to labor and human resources as well.

The program requires 58 credits as well as two residencies, the first of which is an orientation to the program and the educational delivery system used online. Students take classes like Human Capital Development and Productivity, Economics of Human Capital Valuation Issues, and Seminar in Technology, Social Learning and Innovation. The dissertation is a quantitative applied research project which should normally be conducted within the organization in which the student currently works. Admission requires a graduate degree from another accredited college or university but does not require GRE or GMAT scores.

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Net Price: $9,900


Hampton University is located in Hampton, VA and is a private historically black university. The school was founded in 1868 and currently enrolls over 4,600 students annually. HU offers an online Ph.D. in Business Administration. The program is designed for working professionals and is especially appealing to individuals who want to advance their careers or others who are interested in breaking into the ranks of teaching at the collegiate level. The program is 61 credits and includes a dissertation phase as well as comprehensive exams.

Students take classes like Teaching Methodology, Behavioral Research Methods, and Empirical Research Methods so that they are grounded as researchers and teachers. Students are required to attend two residencies during the summer. Each residency is four weeks long and is worth 12 credits. Students take classes with other students in basic research methods and students are required to produce a publishable paper by the end of their first year. This functions as a first step towards the dissertation, which is completed online. Admission to the program requires a master’s degree in an approved program, or if the degree is in a non-business-related field, then at least nine credits in master’s level business courses are required. Students must also submit GMAT scores that are no older than five years.

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Net Price: $10,298


Concordia University Chicago is a private liberal arts university with an average student enrollment of around 5,700. CUC offers an online PhD in Leadership: Organizational Leadership. The program is designed to graduate scholar-practitioners who will be even more effective in their organizations by using the most relevant methods and theories in leadership studies and organizational behavior. The program is between 61-67 credits which include dissertation research and writing.

There are several interesting courses that students take, including The Leader as Trainer, Mentor, and Coach which offers an overview of different methods for leadership. Since half the battle of being a good leader is communicating, students also take Leadership Communication and Decision-Making, as well as Agents of Change. Students are also required to take classes in ethics or philosophy, to give their decision-making process proper grounding in good ethical principles. The program also requires comprehensive exams. CUC has developed a substantial community of online-learners so that students feel that they are part of a cohort, even if they are studying from home and on their own time.

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Net Price: $14,688


Located near Philadelphia in St. Davids, PA, Eastern University is a private Christian university with an annual student body of around 3,300. The College of Business and Leadership offers an online Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership. The program is designed to enable graduates to conduct rigorous research which can affect organizations and the larger field of organizational leadership. There are three different concentrations, including one in Business Management. The program is designed primarily for those who have already earned an MBA, thus not needing an introduction to basic business concepts and practices.

The focus of the program is on leadership for individuals in business and students take classes like Leading in Community: People, Problem-Solving and Conflict, Training and Development, and Consulting Practice. Overall the program is 82 credits, which includes dissertation research and writing. Students progress through the program in a cohort with others so that over time, individuals get to know one another and a learning community evolves. Though students primarily complete the program online, there is a residency requirement. Students gather together for three days of lectures, advising and small group discussions, further cementing their connections to one another and the program. The program is designed to be completed in three to five years.

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Net Price: $16,060


Antioch University is a private university system with multiple sites in Los Angeles, CA, Santa Barbara, CA, Keen, NH, Seattle, WA, and the original campus in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The Graduate School of Leadership Change is an integrated cross-school program which provides a PhD in Leadership and Change. The program features individualized learning, faculty mentoring, and an interdisciplinary core for its curriculum. The program is designed specifically for working professionals to help them engage in leadership and organizational change in their current workplace and to advance further in their career paths.

Students are required to attend three different one-week residencies, which are held at different campuses. Students can choose to go through the program in a cohort model, or individually depending on their needs. The program generally takes four years to complete, with one year dedicated to research and writing of the dissertation. Students take classes in areas like education, management, social sciences, humanities, and psychology and there is a strong emphasis on having students reflect on their real-world challenges in management or leadership so that students find that coursework and life are integrated.

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Net Price: $23,462