Jacksonville University announced Monday its Davis College of Business will start offering a Doctorate in Business Administration degree in fall 2014.
It will be JU's second doctoral program. The Doctor of Nursing Practice began in fall 2011.
JU announced it expects an initial class of 12 students after accreditors review and approve the planned degree.
"Most students will be experienced professionals looking to add intense research tools and cutting-edge analytics to their portfolios," said the release.
The program can enroll up to 40 students in different phases of the three-year program.
JU expects executives in banking, manufacturing, sales, accounting, education, technology and other industries will be interested in the degree.
"The success of the Davis College of Business in our region comes from how directly relevant its offerings are as it fills the needs of the business community," said JU President Tim Cost in the release.
"Our new DBA shows we are creating an even deeper connection and listening closely to what business people and entrepreneurs require to strengthen their careers."
JU said the degree will be modeled after the Executive Doctorate in Business Administration program at Georgia State University and will be one of four offered in the Southeast.
"We found there was no other business opportunity beyond a master's degree in the area," said JU Business Dean Don Capener in the release.
"For the size of the Jacksonville area, we wanted to give other opportunities to working professionals," he said.
Two faculty members with expertise in international marketing and business analytics will be brought on staff.
"Forward-leaning opportunities to glean information from 'Big Data,' Business Analytics and Globalization will all be offered as part of the program," Capener said.
Lois Becker, JU senior vice president for academic affairs, said the Davis College of Business is among a small number of business colleges accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
JU said that rather than concentrating on preparing students for careers in higher education like other Ph.D. in business programs, the JU doctorate program cultivates the "scholarly practitioner," described as someone who can apply the theory learned in the classroom to real-world problems.
JU Professor of Finance Richard Cebula, who has been ranked among the top 150 most prolific economic writers in the world, will advise candidates in the new program, Capener said.
Classes will be held Friday afternoons and Saturdays. The program will comprise 12 classes, written and oral exams and a dissertation.
Students will attend classes part-time, Capener said. He said half of the assignments can be researched and completed online.
Applicants should have significant professional experience, expertise in management and have a master's degree.