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International Technological University (ITU) is a graduate institution, located in the heart of the Silicon Valley, which is the center of innovation. ITU offers programs in Engineering, Business, and Digital Arts that bridge the gap between learning and application.

In addition to the Masters programs, the Business Department offers the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Strategic Innovation. The areas of strategy and innovation offer unparalleled, leading edge prospects for DBA graduates in organizations, entrepreneurial ventures, and academia.

The DBA in Strategic Innovation degree focuses on business research, practice, and the application of theory. It is a professional doctoral program intended for executives, senior managers, consultants, advanced students, instructors of business, and innovative people such as entrepreneurs, and business leaders, who want to expand their reach within the industry and/or academia.

Students can expect to learn how to redesign and innovate corporate strategy to drive growth and competitive advantage. The program develops the skills to analyze, think critically, practice applied topics and research to equip graduates with an understanding of management and leadership abilities, and of real-world business principles and practices.

Advisory Committee

To guide students through the degree program, an advisory committee of at least three (3) faculty members with appropriate doctoral degrees, and an external mentor with subject matter and industry expertise, will be assigned. The advisory committee also may serve as the Doctoral Capstone Committee (DCC), which may include the Department Chair. The doctoral capstone course advisor will serve as the chair of DCC. The DCC will review the proposed doctoral capstone topic, determine any further changes, and approve the research objective.

Program Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this program, graduates will:
  • PLO #1: Appraise the theoretical knowledge and relate it to use in business practice. [Mapped to ILOs 3,6]
  • PLO #2: Relate appropriate research methodology to evidence-based business decision-making. [Mapped to ILOs 1,2,5,7]
  • PLO #3: Devise competencies for managing technology, innovation, and organizational change. [Mapped to ILOs 1,2,5,7]
  • PLO #4: Identify strategies to solve business challenges within a global context. [Mapped to ILOs 1,2,3,4,7]
  • PLO #5: Formulate original research, which includes research design, tools and structure. [Mapped to ILOs 3,5,6]
Program Competencies
Learning Competencies (LCs) DBA PLOs
LC 1: Research Ability

PLO #1: Appraise the theoretical knowledge and relate it to use in business practice. [Mapped to ILOs 3,6]

PLO #2: Relate appropriate research methodology to evidence-based business decision-making. [Mapped to ILOs 1,2,5,7]

PLO #5: Formulate original research, which includes research design, tools and structure. [Mapped to ILOs 3,5,6]

LC 2: Data-Driven Decision Making

PLO #2: Relate appropriate research methodology to evidence-based business decision-making. [Mapped to ILOs 1,2,5,7]

PLO #4: Identify strategies to solve business challenges within a global context. [Mapped to ILOs 1,2,3,4,7]

LC 3: Leadership

PLO #3: Devise competencies for managing technology, innovation, and organizational change. [Mapped to ILOs 1,2,5,7]

PLO #4: Identify strategies to solve business challenges within a global context. [Mapped to ILO's 1,2,3,4,7]l

LC 4: Focused Knowledge (Strategy & Innovation)

PLO #1: Appraise the theoretical knowledge and relate it to use in business practice. [Mapped to ILOs 3,6]

PLO #3: Devise competencies for managing technology, innovation, and organizational change. [Mapped to ILOs 1,2,5,7]

Learning Outcomes Assessment Results

External Assessment:

Internal Assessment:

  • A copy of DBA dissertation is available in ITU Library

All the learning outcomes and results of the assessment are included in our ACBSP Self Study.

Admission Requirements
  • Completed application form online.
  • Current Resume or C.V.
  • Strong work experience in academia and/or a profession
  • Minimum thirty (30) credit hours beyond a Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts of graduate and undergraduate degrees

    Bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75, or a Master’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

  • GMAT or GRE examination: you are required to take the GMAT or GRE examination (within 10 years prior to application to the program) and have the test score results sent to the university. GRE or GMAT scores are considered alongside several other factors during the application review process. There is no minimum score required.
  • Proof of English proficiency:*All applicants whose native language is not English and who did not receive either a bachelor’s or graduate degree from an English-speaking institution must take an English proficiency test.

    Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination: score of 72 or better for the internet-based test (iBT).

    International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination: band score of 6.0 or better for the academic module. Demonstrated commitment to contribute to and complete the program

  • Recommendations: Three letters of recommendations from professionals attesting your ability to succeed in a doctoral program.
  • Statement of purpose: A statement of purpose of approximately 1,000 words. This statement should address your reasons for seeking the doctoral degree and how this degree will advance your personal and career goals.

* U.S. citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents who have earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. are waived from this requirement.

International Students: This program is not available to F1 visa holders

Technological Requirements

As part of their doctoral study, students are required to have access to a personal computer. ITU makes no demands on what type of computer or device students must have. However, students will need to have word processing software such as Microsoft Word installed on it. In addition, students will require presentation and data analysis software such as Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft Excel respectively. In addition, as part of coursework, students will be required to install statistical analysis software such as SPSS, and/or run code (in languages such as R/Python) for data analytics purposes.

Program Requirements for the Doctor of Business Administration

Peregrine Inbound and Outbound Exam

All DBA students are required to take the Inbound and Outbound exam with Peregrine Academic Services. The Inbound Exam should be taken in the first (1st) trimester of the DBA Program. The Outbound Exam should be taken in the sixth (6th) trimester before the student starts working on their Culminating Experience (CE) course.

The Inbound and Outbound exams have a fee that is currently set at $34 per exam, per student (the fee is subject to change).

The Inbound and Outbound exams are REQUIRED and not OPTIONAL.

Peregrine Inbound and Outbound Exams Registration Instructions: Please follow the on-screen instructions found at the following URL:

For more information about the Peregrine Exams, read the Inbound and Outbound Exams section on this page. 

Program Structure

The DBA in Strategic Innovation may be completed in a minimum of three (3) years and a maximum of eight (8) years.

To be awarded the degree of DBA in Strategic Innovation, you must successfully complete a minimum of forty eight (48) credit hours including the following:

  • 1. Coursework: Thirty nine (39) credit hours of coursework, AND
  • 2. Contribution to the field of business research: (a) Seminars and/or Conferences, (b) Comprehensive Candidacy Portfolio (CCP), and (c) nine (9) credit hours of Culminating Experience (CE).
  • 3. Transfer Credits: ITU Business Department will accept up to 12 credit hours to be transferred from Doctoral Programs from an accredited university. The transfer credits will be contingent upon an assessment of fit with ITU’s DBA curriculum. The Chair of the Business Department will make the decision and approve the transfer credits.

(1)Core Courses

6 courses for a total of 18 credit hours

  • DBUS 800 Quantitative Research Analysis I (3 credit hours)
  • DBUS 801 Quantitative Research Analysis II (3 credit hours)
  • DBUS 802 Qualitative Research Analysis I (3 credit hours)
  • DBUS 803 Qualitative Research Analysis II (3 credit hours)
  • DBUS 804 Data Analytics I (3 credit hours)
  • DBUS 805 Data Analytics II (3 credit hours)
  • DBUS 806 Peregrine APA Write & Cite (0 credit hours)

(ii) Innovation Specialization Courses

3 courses for a total of 9 credit hours

  • DBUS 810 Financial Engineering and Innovation (3 credit hours)
  • DBUS 811 Innovation and Digital Transformation (3 credit hours)
  • DBUS 812 Strategy for Disruptive Innovation (3 credit hours)

(iii) Research Interest Courses

2 courses for a total of 6 credit hours

  • DBUS 700 Behavioral Marketing, Digitization, and Decision Making (3 credit hours)
  • DBUS 701 Business Transformation Through Processes, Technology and People (3 credit hours)

(iv) Key Competency Courses

2 courses for a total of 6 credit hours

  • DBUS 820 Theoretical Frameworks in Strategy Research (3 credit hours)
  • DBUS 821 Research Design (3 credit hours)

Contribution to the field of business research
(a)Seminars and/or Conferences

DBUS 710 Special Interest Seminars and/or Conferences (0 credit hours)

Students should complete at least four (4) Seminars and/or Conferences (free or paid) in the area of their research interest. Students should start attending seminars and/or conferences from the very start of their doctoral program. The requirements for seminars and/or conferences must be completed prior to the final CCP presentation (i.e. DBUS 822).

Students may attend more than four seminars and/or conferences based on their interest. However, Students should choose topics in the area that strengthens their research interest and their CCP.

Students must include a summary of the seminar and/or conferences attended, including confirmation of registration for these events as part of their CCPs. These summaries and registration information should be uploaded on EMS under course code DBUS 710 in Term 6.

(b) Comprehensive Candidacy Portfolio (CCP)
  • DBUS 711 CCP Panel Presentation I (0 credit hours)
  • DBUS 813 CCP Panel Presentation II (0 credit hours)
  • DBUS 822 CCP Final Panel Presentation (0 credit hours)

The student from the start of his/her doctoral program develops the CCP, under the guidance of the doctoral supervisor(s) and/or mentor(s) in three stages. The CCP represents a student's goals, plans, and accomplishments in coursework, special topics, learning from seminars and/or conferences, research, and work experiences.

The process includes three (3) presentations by each student to the Doctoral Committee Panel. These presentations will be scheduled in the second, fourth, and the sixth terms of the student’s doctoral program.

The goal of the CCP is to ascertain the student’s capability to conduct doctoral business research. The portfolio must be aligned to the student’s topic of research in the Culminating Experience (CE). Therefore, the student is required to receive a “Pass” decision from the panel in order to progress to the CE phase of their degree.

Upon successful completion of the coursework and the CCP, the candidate will start working on his/her CE.

(c) Culminating Experience (CE)

Candidates must choose one of the following three (3) doctoral capstone courses. Each of these courses is equal in terms of academic rigor.

    • Doctoral Capstone Research (DBUS 901), OR
    • Doctoral Capstone Project (DBUS 902), OR
    • Doctoral Capstone Publishable Papers (DBUS 903) (3 publishable papers)

Each capstone course consists of three (3) sections.

3 sections for a total of 9 credit hours
      • DBUS 901 – 1 Doctoral Capstone Research 1 (3 credit hours)
      • DBUS 901 – 2 Doctoral Capstone Research 2 (3 credit hours)
      • DBUS 901 - 3 Doctoral Capstone Research 3 (3 credit hours)


      • DBUS 902 – 1 Doctoral Capstone Project 1 (3 credit hours)
      • DBUS 902 – 2 Doctoral Capstone Project 2 (3 credit hours)
      • DBUS 902 - 3 Doctoral Capstone Project 3 (3 credit hours)


      • DBUS 903 – 1 Doctoral Capstone Publishable Papers 1 (3 credit hours)
      • DBUS 903 – 2 Doctoral Capstone Publishable Papers 2 (3 credit hours)
      • DBUS 903 - 3 Doctoral Capstone Publishable Papers 3 (3 credit hours)

Each of these courses requires the candidate to work on his/her doctoral proposal.

View Course Descriptions for DBA. To see more course description download the course catalog

Doctoral Capstone Proposal

This is a formal written proposal, which must include a clear statement of the problem to be researched and a survey of the relevant literature. The proposal must specify the research methods, data collection, and data analysis techniques in detail. The methods to be employed must be appropriate, reliable, and appropriate for the measures taken. A candidate intending to complete his/her DBA degree within three years is required to present and defend the doctoral capstone proposal to the Doctoral Committee at the end of Term 8 (i.e. second term of the doctoral capstone period). In the event the committee recommends additional work on the proposal, the candidate will have one more chance to present and defend his/her doctoral proposal, no later than six (6) months from the original presentation.

Doctoral Capstone Defense

Upon successful presentation of the doctoral proposal, the candidate will progress to the development of their chosen doctoral capstone (DBUS 901, 902, or 903). The candidate will be required to defend their final doctoral capstone in the presence of the Doctoral Committee.

The final capstone document(s) must be made available to all members of the Doctoral Committee one (1) month prior to the defense.

The oral defense shall consist of a presentation of the research results and a question and answer (Q&A) session following the presentation. The defense is open to the public, but only members of the Doctoral Committee have a vote. The doctoral capstone defense passes through unanimous voting.

The following table presents a roadmap for the DBA in Strategic Innovation program.

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6 Term 7 Term 8 Term 9
DBUS 800 DBUS 804 DBUS 811 DBUS 801 DBUS 805 DBUS 812 DBUS 821

DBUS 901-2


DBUS 902-2


DBUS 903-2

DBUS 901-3


DBUS 902-3


DBUS 903-3

DBUS 802 DBUS 810 DBUS 700 DBUS 803 DBUS 701 DBUS 820

DBUS 901-1


DBUS 902-1


DBUS 903-1

DBUS 806 DBUS 711   DBUS 813   DBUS 822
          DBUS 710      

All DBA students are required to take an Inbound exam with Peregrine Academic Services. The Inbound exam is mandatory (not optional) and should be taken in the first (1st) trimester.

The benefit of taking the Inbound exam is to test students’ knowledge of business topics when they join the Doctor of Business Administration program. No matter how much the score on the exams is, the students will earn credits for taking the exams. However, students who do not take the Inbound Exam, will not be able to earn the grade for the courses in their first term.


All DBA students are required to take an Outbound exam with Peregrine Academic Services. The Outbound exam is mandatory (not optional) and should be taken in the sixth (6th) trimester before starting the Culminating Experience (CE) course.

The benefit of taking the Outbound exam is to test students’ knowledge after completing the doctoral coursework. No matter how much the score on the exams is, the students will earn credits for taking the exams.


The Inbound and Outbound Exams cost $34 each (subject to change). The fees are paid directly by the student to Peregrine Academic Services upon registering for the relevant exam.


To begin the registration process, please follow the on-screen instructions found at the following URL.

Your password is: ITU-2001

The registration process should take no more than 5 minutes to complete. Upon completion of your registration, you will receive a confirmation email with your exam/course link for taking the exam, at the email address you provide to us.

If you have any problems with the registration process, please visit Peregrine’s technical support page at support

1. Blended Format Defined

While most educational institutions treat blended and hybrid learning formats synonymously1, there is a subtle difference between the two. The similarities between the two modes lie in the usage of traditional on-campus learning as well as online learning for the same course. However, blended formats typically utilize less online interactions.

The preference in blended learning is for face-to-face teaching, with some online interactions. In hybrid formats, the extent of online delivery is usually significantly higher than the usage of face-to-face delivery2.

At ITU, the blended method is a better fit than the hybrid, as a significant proportion of course delivery is face to face. Assignments, some discussions, and few interactions may be performed online; but this is by no means predominantly online.

2. Learn at your pace

The doctoral classes are scheduled to meet at ITU on the second weekend of every month in the trimester. Further, only two (2) courses are scheduled in any given term. This allows students the flexibility to address their work, study, research, and other commitments while cutting in-class time in approximately half, and increasing student interaction with faculty, and their advisors through online collaboration tools.

Expectations of students and faculty

1. Student Expectations: Doctoral students and candidates are required to be familiar with and comply with the ITU policies and procedures. These are outlined in the Student Catalog and Handbook. In general, doctoral students are required to display the highest levels of academic honesty, and personal accountability.

2. Faculty Expectations: Faculty teaching in the DBA program embodies the best of academia, research, and industry experience. They are required to provide timely, constructive feedback, and critique of their doctoral students’ submissions. As doctoral capstone advisors, doctoral committee members, and/or panel members, faculty is required to mentor students with the view to elicit the best possible research outcomes.

Role of Advisors and Mentors

Every student will be assigned a faculty advisor and a mentor at the start of the program.

  • 2 members committee – faculty and a mentor
  • Faculty is chosen from among the DBA faculty members with industry and academic experience. Faculty is responsible for verifying the standards and format/structure of the Comprehensive Candidacy Portfolio (CCP) course.
    • Mentor(s) may be internal or external specialists in a specific business area such as Marketing, Accounting, Finance, Management, Information Systems, etc. Students may choose their mentor.
    • Faculty vs. Mentor roles - The faculty will be responsible for the academic and quality of the student’s CCP and Culminating Experience (CE). The mentor is responsible purely and solely for the authenticity and validity of the content of the student’s CCP and CE work.
  • Both the faculty and the mentor will ensure that the candidate’s CCP will lead to a high-quality output in the CE course.
  • Composition of panel – consists of all faculty and all mentors who will attend the presentations of the candidates that will eventually lead to an advancement to the CE or not.
  • Qualifications of faculty and mentors:
    • All faculty should have a doctoral degree
    • All mentors should have qualifying industry experience in the area of advising and relevant professional/industrial certifications. All external mentors are required to sign a contract of mentorship with ITU. Mentors who possess a doctoral degree are preferred, but this is not mandatory. ITU follows the experience guidelines and calculations of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): three (3) years of industry experience equals one (1) year of university-level coursework. Based on this calculation, mentors with a Master’s degree should have at least nine (9) years of industry experience and, mentors with just a Bachelor’s Degree should have at least twelve (12) years of industry experience.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) And Human Subject Protection

As DBA candidates progress through their doctoral capstones, a few key considerations must be given to methodology, site selection, and data collection, among others. This may involve human subjects and ethical conduct in the process of involving human subjects. It is important that human subjects are protected during such research participation.

In addition, doctoral capstones involving human subjects, conducted at educational institutions are required to be in compliance with federal regulations. ITU’s IRB, in accordance with federal regulations, reviews all research involving human subjects for compliance with applicable regulation and other best practices. This includes the DBA research proposals, prior to the data collection stage. Candidates are urged to understand their obligations in relation to their interactions with human subjects and the IRB by reviewing the ITU IRB Handbook.

Teaching Recommendation

The candidate is recommended to teach at least one regular course in order to demonstrate teaching capability. The teaching assignment must be completed before the dissertation defense.

Terminal Master Degree

Students who complete the coursework, but do not pass either the proposal or the doctoral capstone defense, will receive a Terminal Master degree. The Terminal degree is usually found in professional fields, or academic areas where research is not the priority. This is similar to the term “All But Dissertation” (ABD) used by other institutions.


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View the Glossary of terms and Definitions.