Doctorate Programs in Human Resource Management

Learn about Ph.D. programs in human resources management and the prerequisites to enroll in a program. Get info on the topics, skills and courses in these doctoral programs, and check out the career info for graduates with doctorates in HR management. Schools offering Human Resource Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Should I Pursue a Ph.D. in Human Resources Management?

A doctorate program in human resources management might be a good educational choice if you have a master's degree in a related field and have extensive work experience in human resources. While some graduates of this program take high-level human resources positions at corporations, many find work doing research in academia. For this reason, research is a major focus in most programs, and you'll likely be required to publish your findings or present them at a conference before you graduate.

Program OverviewHeavily research-focused; allows graduates to work in academia or in high-level corporate positions
Typical PrerequisitesBachelor's or master's degree, depending on the program, and HR work experience
Learning ObjectiveHigh-level HR research skills
Common CoursesEmployment systems, organizational theory, negotiation, leadership and motivation
Job Outlook (2014-2024)13% employment growth for postsecondary teachers*
Median Annual Salary (2014)$70,790 for postsecondary teachers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are The Prerequisites?

You'll need at least a bachelor's degree to be considered for admission; however, most programs ask that you have a master's degree in human resources and enforce a work experience requirement. You should also expect to submit standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and a resume. Aptitudes in statistics, economics, business or psychology will likely make you a stronger applicant.

What Will I Learn?

You can expect to undertake in-depth study in a number of supplementary areas in addition to furthering your knowledge of human resources theories and practices. You will likely study areas such as economics, education, behavioral psychology, organizational psychology and applied statistics. While most doctorate programs in human resources management are found in business schools, you can also find minor specifications in psychology, economics, and sociology.

Perhaps the most important skill you'll learn is how to conduct research designed to help human resources professionals attract, train and retain qualified employees. You may also work on issues like executive collaboration, organizational policy, motivation and quality assurance.

What Types of Classes Will I Take?

Classes are mostly didactic and focus on research and theory. You might take classes such as:

  • Employment systems
  • International political economy
  • Task group processes
  • Entrepreneurial management
  • Negotiation
  • Salary practices
  • Organization theory
  • Leadership and motivation

Will I Be Able to Get a Job?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that employment of postsecondary teachers would increase by 13% between 2014 and 2024 (, faster than average. The median annual salary for postsecondary teachers in May 2014 was $70,790, also according to the BLS.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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