CEO Magazine recognizes UMSL’s DBA program among world’s best for seventh straight year

by | Apr 19, 2024

UMSL was one of only 110 schools worldwide to make the publication's list, which considered factors such as accreditation and international standing.
UMSL DBA students

UMSL’s DBA program has once again been recognized as a global leader in the field with CEO Magazine naming it to the 2024 Global DBA Listing. (Photo courtesy of UMSL DBA Program)

The Doctor of Business Administration program at the University of Missouri–St. Louis continues to be recognized as a global leader, as 2024 marks the seventh consecutive year CEO Magazine has named UMSL to its list of the market’s premier DBA providers.

Only 110 schools worldwide made CEO Magazine’s list – which is formulated “based on accreditation, quality of faculty, geography, and international standing” – including 39 in North America, 32 in the United Kingdom and another 24 elsewhere in Europe.

“In the past seven years, the DBA market has grown exponentially,” said Ekin Pellegrini, the founding director of the DBA program and now the associate dean of graduate business programs at UMSL. “When we launched our program, there were less than 20 AACSB accredited DBA programs in the country. That number has now tripled, and trends show no signs of slowing. Despite the increase in the number of programs, there is still more demand than programs can accommodate. DBA programs collaborate closely through the Executive DBA Council, and we even send each other students when our cohorts are full! DBA is a close-knit learning community, and we are determined to keep it that way.”

More evidence of UMSL’s place in this burgeoning international field: Pellegrini was selected as the President-Elect of the Executive DBA Council and will begin her term as president on July 1. The influential EDBAC board includes members from schools in the United Kingdom and Belgium, as well as premier stateside universities such as Case Western, Temple, Pepperdine and Penn State.

UMSL offers one of only two AACSB-accredited DBA programs in Missouri. It’s a three-year, cohort-based program that features a flexible format – only two weekend campus visits per term – allowing students who are working professionals to expand their knowledge base through conducting their own research and learning from internationally renowned faculty.

“Our students are typically attracted to the program because they are curious and want to further their education beyond a master’s degree,” Pellegrini said. “However, they all leave with unexpected promotions within their companies or industries, receiving offers to move from industry to faculty or leadership positions at universities, and many establish their own consulting companies with the expertise they gain through their dissertation research.”

The UMSL program currently has 45 working professionals, spread out over 19 different states, and an alumni network of 49 practitioner-scholars.

“Alumni share that the unexpected benefits they get from the program is asking better questions they never thought of asking and learning to answer them,” Pellegrini said. “They also mention the intellectually stimulating conversations within their cohort with rich backgrounds and diverse perspectives, and they continue to get together after graduation and deepen these bonds and conversations through our DBA Alumni Network.”

The program has had unexpected impacts on students already established and accomplished in their careers.

“We have even seen numerous seasoned executives extending their careers because they find new joy in what they do,” Pellegrini said. “They gain a new passion through their research which rejuvenates them at the end of their careers.”

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Ryan Fagan

Ryan Fagan

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