Doctoral Studies

Doctoral Studies


Welcome to Orlando University! It is my pleasure to welcome you to a very rewarding, but challenging venture. Whether you are seeking a Doctorate of Business Administration in Management, a Doctorate of Science in Health Promotion-Disease Prevention, or a Master of Science in Health Management, you have chosen a new and exciting program which will provide you with the tools needed to lead organizations, private or public, for profit or not for profit, or lead integrative Health Promotion-Disease Prevention practices, at the highest levels.

Today’s organizations are becoming more global, diverse and complex. This requires more information and knowledge, and the development of more advanced cognitive leadership and critical thinking skills in all administrators. The DBA program, as well as the other two graduate level programs currently offered by the University, was developed to provide these skills and to accommodate the managers or professionals who are not interested in quitting their full time jobs to advance their education or complete a doctorate, as do most traditional doctoral programs. While the PhD is considered a degree that prepares the graduate to do research, the University’s applied or executive programs were developed from the understanding of the distinct differences between research and the “real world” when it comes to managing, making leadership decisions, and developing strategy for complex organizations or professional practice.

Institutions offering programs such as ours that focus on improving cognitive decision making are being recognized as trailblazers in developing programs that provide the skills that are required to lead organizations or to practice health medicine. These programs are unique because they are designed to be more progressive alternatives for the working executive who would not find the traditional doctoral program viable.

Organizations and professionals have been fixated on the value of traditional degrees at the expense of the applicability of the courses themselves. The result has been a plethora of managers who cannot manage or effectively make decisions. Our programs offer curricula that have the right blend of theory and practice. They are facilitated by faculty who have extensive real world management experience. Completing courses in critical thinking is an advantage to students because they are exposed to new processes that allow them to engage in the practice of management. A good analogy for our “learn by doing” methodology is that the best way to teach students to play a piano is for them to learn the relevant theories and to actually play the piano versus having them hear lectures, read books, and take examinations about playing a piano.

People learn best not by reading or listening, but by doing! Case studies and other experiential exercises provide students with opportunities to be creative, innovative, and to use tools that are vital in cognitive problem solving. Our programs are designed to improve leadership and decision making by understanding the fundamentals of life and human endeavors, teaching the value of experience, showing how to minimize bias and the value of gaining others’ perspectives, teaching students to question assumptions, and how to better understand and overcome the agendas of others.

Good luck and Godspeed.

Lloyd W. Fernald, D.B.A.
Dean of Graduate studies