PhD in Human Resource Management: Program Overviews

A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) program in human resource management explores interpersonal relationships in the workplace and the policies and processes organizations can deploy to maximize worker productivity and worker satisfaction. Human resource management degrees are also available at the bachelor's and master's degree levels.

Essential Information

Ph. D. programs in human resource management is designed for students who wish to become professors, research associates and research fellows. Candidates design and implement a self-directed course of study and present their findings in academic journals. A typical program is completed in 4-5 years and consists of a set of core courses, seminars and research for a dissertation. Most of the coursework is concentrated during the first year, and the remaining years are devoted to research and writing the dissertation. Candidates must defend their dissertation at a public examination to earn the degree.

Most Ph. D. programs in human resource management require applicants to have earned at least a bachelor's degree in a related field of study. Some programs also require courses in higher level mathematics, such as calculus or linear algebra. Although a master's degree isn't required, applicants who have one will have better prospects for acceptance.

  • Program Levels in Human Resource Management: Bachelor's, Master's and Ph.D. degrees
  • Prerequisites: Minimum of a related bachelor's degree, master's degrees competitive
  • Program Length: 4-5 years
  • Completion Requirement: Dissertation

Ph. D. in Human Resource Management

The coursework in a Ph. D. program in human resource management consists of detailed analysis of theories and research in the field. Most of the coursework is concentrated during the first year, with the remaining years devoted to researching and writing for the dissertation.

  • Leadership & organizational theory
  • Communications theory
  • Industrial relations theory
  • Collective bargaining and labor economics
  • Labor and management perspectives
  • Public policy and labor law

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( projected 19% job growth in postsecondary education for the years 2012-2022. Ph.D. holders will have the best prospects for landing the jobs that are available in higher education. According to the BLS in May 2014, the median salary of professors was $62,330.

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