First and Only Accredited Online PhD Program in Business Administration Takes Flight

Posted on August 22, 2019

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2019 PhD in Business Administration Students

This week, eighteen students from around the globe are embarking on the country’s first and only AACSB accredited online PhD program in Business Administration at the Bryan School.

Dr. Moses Acquaah, Department of Management Head and Professor, said, “When we announced this program we received a record number of applications from all over the country – more than 100!  We actually expanded student cohort to accommodate these outstanding applicants.”

The 60-hour, four-year program is designed to produce research-oriented professionals who want to teach in a college environment. “Many of our applicants are working fulltime as instructors and professors in universities or community colleges, and they wish to upgrade their qualifications. This program allows them to do this without relocating, and while still working,” Acquaah said.

Contagious Enthusiasm
Anna Hickman

Incoming student Anna Hickman, Accounting Instructor at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said she had been looking for online doctorate programs in business for at least a year, but could find no AACSB-accredited programs offered in an online format. “I eventually found an article announcing the new Online PhD in Business Administration at the Bryan School of Business and Economics starting in the fall of 2019. After learning about the expertise of the faculty, along with the focus areas and the program format, I quickly realized this is the ideal program for me to obtain the highest quality education while continuing my career as a university instructor.”

Hickman’s aspiration is to progress in her field not only through teaching but also with strong research and publication. “The Online PhD in Business Administration from the Bryan School of Business and Economics will allow me to navigate toward this goal while continuing with my position as a university instructor.”

Susan Szasz, also an incoming student, teaches at California State University Monterey Bay. She said she was thrilled to discover this unique PhD program. “After a career in a large corporate business, I began teaching, and found that I love working students and being involved in higher education where I feel I am making a really different kind of impact with my skills and experience. I want to continue in this field and a PhD will allow me more opportunities to serve in the higher education arena.”

Her focus will be on Organizational Behavior and Human Resources. “I want to do research that will help corporations get to the next level: finding new, flexible, creative, and effective ways to works in the 21st century that will allow more people to profitably use their skills and abilities.”

Online Program, In-Person Milestones

Unique to this online program, students gather face-to-face for important milestones, starting with orientation. “Our 18 students spent three days here at the Bryan School, getting to know one another, the faculty, getting feel for what our institution is all about – and creating a bond before classes start.  For much of the program they will connect online, however, they will gather in Greensboro to write their comprehensive qualifying exam, and then to defend their dissertations. These important milestones will be in-person,” Acquaah added.

Susan Szasz

Szasz said, “UNCG is doing groundbreaking work in offering this online PhD program. They are leading the way for business schools across the country. UNCG and Bryan School students deserve to be very proud of their university for being so progressive in their outlook and forward thinking in their creation of a program that allows students across the country (around the world actually; we have a student in Dubai!) to work with UNCG faculty via technology that is common, comfortable, and convenient.  This is the direction that education is going (online, part-time) and it’s the way people want to live and learn (work and go to school).  UNCG/Bryan is going there first with the business PhD program and others are sure to follow them.  I’m proud to be part of the university that is the leader in this field!

Acquaah added, “We are delighted to launch this much-needed program, and to have our first cohort be such bright, highly-motivated professionals. We feel so happy to have created a program as rigorous as any face-to-face program and to be the first to do create such a unique and popular program.



Story by Susan Poulos
Photos by Lynn Hey


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