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PhD in Human Resource Management: Program Overviews

Read about human resource management PhD programs and what it takes to enroll in one. Explore coursework, and learn about the potential salary and job outlook for those with this degree.

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Essential Information

A PhD 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.

PhD holders are positioned 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.

Education Prerequisites

Most PhD programs in human resource management minimally require applicants to have earned bachelor's degrees in related topics and to have maintained GPAs of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale. 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. A genuine interest in human relations and a good mind for analysis, theory and research are also valuable assets to PhD candidates.

Program Coursework

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
  • Statistical analysis

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) projected 17% job growth in postsecondary education for the years 2010-2020. Ph.D. holders will have the best prospects for landing the jobs that are available in higher education. According to the BLS in May 2012, the median salary of professors was $64,290.

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Business
      • Business Economics
      • Business Management and Operations
      • Human Resource Management
        • Organizational Behavior

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics