Edgewood College DBA, $22,500 total cost

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by freeloader, Aug 18, 2023.

  1. freeloader

    freeloader Member

    Edgewood College, a non-profit, Catholic, RA school in Madison, WI is beginning to offer a fully online, fully asynchronous Doctor of Business Administration.

    The degree requires completion of 45 credits/15 courses. Tuition is currently $500 per credit.

    There also is an option to complete a joint MBA/DBA, which requires 60 total credits/20 classes. MBA tuition is also $500 per hour, so total cost is $30,000 for the joint degree.

    Optional concentrations are available in Finance and Leadership Excellence.

    The college’s other degree programs are ACBSP accredited; the program website states the DBA is currently “in candidacy” for ACBSP accreditation. Approval by the Higher Learning Commission is also pending.

    Up to 9 hours of people doctoral coursework can be transferred in.


    These programs are also currently being advertised through UpGrad and scholarships of up to 50% are available to those living outside the United States. I spoke to a couple of people with UpGrad who talked about the US, but we didn’t get into scholarship availability for Canadians/Western Europeans/etc.

    Dustin likes this.
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Diplomaism (credential inflation) at work. From their website:

    "A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is now the industry standard and Edgewood College is proud to offer students an excellent MBA program that is highly applicable to your real-world, professional environment. With many job applicants having their master’s degree, this shift becoming an industry standard, now is the best time to advance your education to the highest level. Esteemed and respected, a DBA will help you stand out in a highly competitive market..."

    They DO make the right distinction (if poorly worded) between the scholarly and professional doctorate:

    "Unlike a PhD program which is geared toward academia and theoretical research, a DBA focuses on applied research."

    This bothers me:

    "The Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) program is pending HLC accreditation...."

    Huh? They're offering it before being approved by their accreditor to make this change? Hope it holds.

    Asynchronous, but not self-paced. 7-week courses.

    You take only 7 business courses; the rest is research methods and the research itself.

    Up to 9 transfer credits, but they can't be more than 5 years old. I wonder how firm they are in this? They might be more flexible if the courses you want to transfer are in research methods. Business credits get stale after awhile.

    The school is affiliated with the Dominicans of the Catholic Church. I'm assuming they're not-for-profit.

    Only two faculty are listed.

    If you don't have an MBA, they still want you. If you don't have a master's, you can do an MBA with only 15 additional credits.

    It's really inexpensive and federal student loans are available.

    I wonder if someone with a doctorate or two might be able to cut through a few of those research courses?

    Opinion: This is good stuff.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  3. Courcelles

    Courcelles Active Member

    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  4. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    The comments under your thread at DegreeForum make this institution and program look unappealing. lol
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I didn't realize it was subcontracted. That explains the cost and the lack of faculty listed. My concern would be the school's supervision over this, and who would do the instruction and evaluation of assignments.

    The thread also notes that this program isn't available to US students. I suspect this has to do with the need to get HLC's approval. But I would think that requirement would also apply to degrees awarded to students living elsewhere. And I don't recall seeing such a restriction on their website. You'd think that would be pertinent information, if true.

    I see the link to the Edgewood page for the program is down. The degree isn't listed as one of the doctorates they offer.

    upGrad is still listing it, however. They list the tuition in US Dollars. For whom?

    Looking a lot less good for now....
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

  7. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I looked into upGrad when they struck a deal with Golden Gate University to offer programs that weren't available to U.S. students. Based on reviews on various platforms and my phone conversation with a representative, upGrad doesn't seem like a quality platform and comes across as kind of sketchy. That makes me suspicious of any institution that enters into a partnership with them. It seems like a way to take advantage of foreign students.

    I suspect Edgewood took the page down after the degree nerds started digging into this.
  8. freeloader

    freeloader Member

    The degree, from what I was told, isn’t subcontracted. The degree program directly through the institution is available to American students, it’s the UpGrad collaboration that isn’t.

    I will admit, if you look up the school’s business faculty, it is small in size. A large number, if not the majority, of the classes in their master’s programs in business appear to be taught by faculty who don’t have a doctorate. That’s fine for the master’s degree, but I will be curious how teaching will be handled for doctoral courses. It is also concerning for supervision of dissertations.

    The page being down is also a bit concerning coming so soon after the launch.

    I willingly admit that I drank the Kool Aid on this program. For their sake, I hope it ends up being a rousing success.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2023
    Dustin likes this.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It was a term of art. You changed the meaning. In this case, the college doesn't offer the degree in its native lineup. I made that clear in my previous posts. It is farming out the operation to what is the equivalent of a subcontractor. Hence, my use of the term.
    Calling it small understates the situation dramatically. There were two listed...until they took down the page.
    It will be done by doctorate holders. The HLC isn't going to have it any other way.
    No, it really isn't. Because it's not going to happen any other way. There is no way the school would have non-doctored supervisors.
    It might be. But for now, it really doesn't exist for people living in the US. That is just strange. And wrong.
  10. freeloader

    freeloader Member

    If a degree is delivered by Edgewood College faculty, who set the syllabi, grade the assignments, and ultimately make decisions about the success or failure of students, how, exactly, is it subcontracted?

    Respectfully, I think you are either making an assumption which has no basis in evidence (what indication, beyond an association with UpGrad, do you have that any subcontracting is occurring on the part of Edgewood College?). If your point is that UpGrad is subcontracting the degree to Edgewood College, you have a fair point, but I struggle to understand why you would be more concerned with the reputation of a third party educational provider in India than a regionally accredited college in the United States.

    The college’s business faculty is considerably larger than two people. Anything beyond the most cursory review of one page of the college’s website would have indicated that fact. Having said that, it appears that the number of doctorate-holding faculty is still small, perhaps 3-6.

    I suppose you could effectively run a doctoral program with such a small faculty, but my concern would be course availability. If you only are offering a small number of classes per term, that wouldn’t be inherently problematic, but if the goal is to offer multiple different courses each term—thus facilitating multiple start dates and different progressions through the program (not requiring students to rigidly adhere to a particular schedule), this could be problematic. Will be interesting to see how it goes.

    My concern about supervision is primarily related to faculty expertise, not the credentials of the supervisors per se. Finance and business leadership are big sub-disciplines; to expect a very small number of faculty members to supervise potentially multiple dissertations on markedly different topics with different interventions into the existing academic literature could be difficult, if not impossible—at least to do well. Of course, there are alternatives, including limiting the topics and methodologies to those which supervisors are most comfortable and knowledgeable about. The website, when it was up, did talk about this being a practitioner degree, so it may well be the case that projects are to be crafted in such a way that novel interventions into the existing academic literature don’t really occur.

    The degree is available to American students, the collaboration with UpGrad and the potential scholarships that go along with it are not. I stated that fairly clearly in my last post. I take it that you do not believe me, which is your prerogative, but I hope that you will take the time to speak to the admissions representatives and faculty of the college (as I have) before making such bold pronouncements.

    If you are relying upon my initial post on the sister forum, that was very preliminary information based exclusively on what was posted on the UpGrad website and the information provided by their representatives. As you no doubt saw, I corrected inaccurate statements in subsequent posts on the sister forum and here. It appears at least one other person has contacted UpGrad and was told the same thing that I was, namely that the degree is available to Americans. That is true, at least with regards to UpGrad. What neither of us stated, and what occurred for me at least when I spoke to the UpGrad worker, was I was told that I wasn’t eligible as an American for the GGU or Edgewood programs, but could and should pursue a DBA through UpGrad from their European partner. I think that speaks volume about UpGrad’s motives in all of this (not wrongly, they are a for-profit business).
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Since only two faculty were listed, and now none are, that's a big "if."
    I've described that. This college has contracted with upGrad to deliver a degree program on its behalf. That is exactly what contracting and subcontracting are.
    No. I'm just calling it the way they present it. If I've written anything in error, please feel free to point it out.
    The number of faculty listed for the DBA program--for a moment or two the page existed--was two. Not "3-6." Two. But now it's zero since the page is gone. The school, effectively, doesn't even offer the degree. Whatever "upGrad" is does, but not to people in the U.S.
    No kidding. There were more specialties (3) than program faculty (2).

    By the way, I didn't dig into this, and now the page is gone, but I'm guessing the actual number of Edgewood faculty in this program is ZERO. upGrad conducts the program and Edgewood awards the credits and degrees for it.

    Let's face it, there were some serious red flags (as I pointed out). Overall, I liked it, but there were some real problems.
    Is it? You seem to contradict this later in your post.

    I've written them to ask the question directly.

    FYI: The brochure is a device to capture your contact information (which you must provide prior to receiving it). It offers no additional information.
    So, which is it? Are US students allowed to pursue the Edgewood DBA or not? If I'm reading your post correctly, you're saying both yes and no.

    It seems odd that Americans would be barred from taking the degree at two participating American schools, but would be funneled into a European school instead.
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This from someone handling admissions to the Edgewood DBA:

    The program is available fully online/async and available within the US!

    I still wonder about the school's oversight of the program's operation and the students' research. I have established a dialogue with someone representing Edgewood (from an Edgewood.edu mail address). I'll let you know what I find out. My main questions:
    • The program is awaiting approval by the HLC. Will that occur before DBAs are awarded?
    • If approval does not occur, what happens to students in the pipeline?
    • How much supervision of operations and students is done by Edgewood?
    • Does the school have the final say on the DBA thesis, or is that left up to upGrad?
    • What is the relationship between Edgewood and upGrad?
    • Is this the same program that leads to the GGU DBA?
    • Can the highly motivated student do this in 2 years?
    • Are the concentrations originally listed on the Edgewood site still available?
    • Faculty list
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Just got off the phone with a very helpful representative from the school. I didn't grill her with this list of questions, but I did get them answered in the course of our conversation. Following the numbered list quoted above:
    1. Unclear because they can't predict that, but they did their homework ahead of time with the HLC and ACBSP and are confident those approvals will happen. (They can't commit to that, of course.)
    2. Unclear, but they really don't think that will happen--and they've been operating for 95 years, so I believe them. Besides, the other answers below should bolster that view.
    3. It's all Edgewood.
    4. It's all Edgewood. upGrad is being used for marketing (leads generation, it would seem), but not for program design, delivery, or evaluation.
    5. Ditto. This is an Edgewood program, a natural outgrowth of their MBA program.
    6. No. No relation there.
    7. More like 2.5, depending on how easy or hard it will be to get classes designed and scheduled.
    8. Yes. Leadership, Finance, and a general area. These are small (3 classes). The entire program is 45 credits.
    9. They have two main faculty members initially. The rest will be drawn from their MBA faculty. They'll add adjuncts, if necessary, as the program grows.
    I also asked about the nature of the courses. They're asynchronous, but may have a peer-to-peer interactive element (discussion threads?). Not sure if those will be required. During the course there are weekly assignments.

    Admission requires a master's in a business-related area. For those that don't have it, they have the MBA/DBA option for 15 additional semester hours. That seems to be a good deal.

    The price point is an attractive feature they hope will drive enrollments.

    The dissertation is meant to be practice-based. (They make the distinction between a scholarly PhD and a professional doctorate like the DBA.) But it can take the form of a traditional dissertation or a doctoral project. She wasn't clear on the specific differences between the two, and neither am I.
  14. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    When I was at St. Leo U (briefly) as a dissertation committee member, the chair had only a J.D. They called him Dr., which I thought was laughable. I don't understand how he could possibly supervise D.CJ. students when he doesn't have a doctorate. The guy never communicated with me. I reached out, and he said he'd fill me in. He never did. So, I logged out of my St. Leo systems and deleted the email from my Outlook. I recall getting a deposit for $300+ in 2022. Lol. Crappy place! Glad I didn't pursue my doctorate there.
    Dustin likes this.
  15. Xspect

    Xspect Active Member

    Dr. = Juris Doctor
    does not qualify him as a doctor? I'm unsure about addressing him as Dr.
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    We've had similar discussions for years on this board. While there are multiple perspectives--irreconcilable, it seems--regarding the JD, it functions as a first-professional degree for lawyers and often a terminal degree for law professors. Because the title "doctor" is in common use in academia, lawyers with JD degrees are often called that, too. It's not at all unusual, and not particularly laughable.

    (My personal take is that the JD is not much of a doctorate and attorneys--as a group--reject the title "doctor" in the professional practice. But I have no qualms about the use of the title in academia since it is considered a terminal degree. And no, I don't particularly want to defend that opinion; it's a horseshit argument for pendants who have nothing better to do, and I'm not at all interested in convincing anyone about anything regarding it. If universities want to call lawyers "doctor" in an academic setting, I really couldn't care less.)
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    A counter argument is that the JD is a first professional degree, the qualifying credential for entry into a profession. But, in this case, the profession doesn't use the title "doctor" for its practitioners. This, and because the JD is a re-branding of the Bachelor of Laws degree with no substantive change in content, leads some to reject the notion of the degree as a "real" doctorate.

    The title "doctor" stems from one of two sources. First, there's the academic title--which proceeds professional use by hundreds of years. Universities grant this title. Then there's the professional source. Medical doctors' status comes from his/her standing and admission to the profession. (For a very long time, one became a medical doctor not by going to medical school, but through other training and experience.) But it's not uncommon for a non-practicing MD to still be called "doctor"; the lines are fuzzy here.

    One could argue that lawyers and JDs are similar--they're not "doctors" in a professional sense, but their academic degree might cause them to use that title (or, more commonly, see it applied to them) in academic situations.

    I don't think there is one objective place to stand on the matter. I also believe the point is, well, pointless and ought to be moot.
    Dustin likes this.
  18. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Whether or not he is addressed as doctor, the terminal research degree in law is the PhD or SJD (Doctor of Juridical Science.)

    For criminal justice it's the PhD or DCJ (Doctor of Criminal Justice.)

    While lawyers can certainly teach law with a JD, it doesn't make sense to supervise a thesis without having written one.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  19. Xspect

    Xspect Active Member

    This makes a ton of sense. The most challenging aspect of earning my doctorate was grappling with all the minutiae involved.

    Very interesting
  20. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    My mom did a traditional PhD in sociology at a nontraditional age. Her dissertation was about changes to hospital protocols for perinatal bereavement in the late 20th century. i.e., in the mid 20th century hospital staff would typically rush the baby away, announce to the mother and family that the baby had died, make chin-up statements that she could have another baby, and allow little space to mourn. This is what she experienced when my brother then sister died in hospital shortly after birth.

    By the late 20th century hospitals gave mothers and families much richer support around their bereavement, including letting the mother see and hold the baby if she wished. How did that change?

    Her supervisor and one committee member were traditionally trained PhD sociologists.

    Her other committee member was a BSc MSc MD, a significant scholar on health policy and management who regularly published research and supervised graduate research at Toronto and York, including in departments not in a medical school. He was an invaluable contributor to the process. I doubt anyone in his academic career has cared that he didn't have a research doctorate.

    I don't see why much the same allowance shouldn't be available to other holders of first-professional doctorates that were not research doctorates per se.
    Dustin likes this.

Share This Page