HR-MBA-Top Online ProgramsBy SMD Staff
September 2018

A PhD in human resources is a professional degree sought after by educators, human resource leaders, and industrial-organ organizational psychologists. Earning an online PhD in human resources is a flexible option for working professionals. Web-based programs feature the same rigorous curriculum found in traditional classroom programs with fewer hours spent in face to face courses. Human resource doctorate programs come in many different types including the traditional PhD, the EdD (Doctor of Education) and the DBA (Doctor of Business Administration). Students typically need to complete a thesis, project, or pass a comprehensive exam to finish their degree. Coursework covers advanced topics in human resources and hands on activities.

Methodology

To identify the top 10 online PhD programs in Human Resources, we started with a search on College Navigator to find out which schools offered these programs in an online format. We compared student to faculty ratios, graduate tuition rate, and accreditations. We reviewed each school’s website and chose schools featuring highly educated faculty, a hands on curriculum, mentoring, and limited (if any) residency requirements. Where there are ties, we favored the school with the lower graduate tuition rate. From our list, we created a rating system as seen below to select our top 10 online PhD in Human Resource programs.

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • 15:1 or less= 2 Points
  • Greater than 15:1= 1 Point

Average Graduate Tuition Rate

  • Less than $10,000 per year= 2 Points
  • More than $10,000 per year= 1 Point

Overall Graduation Rate

  • Less than 50%= 1 Points
  • Greater than 50%= 2 Point

Below are 10 schools that offer the best human resources online PhD degree programs.

Ranking the Top Online PhD Programs in Human Resources 2018

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#10 – Capella University-Minneapolis, Minnesota

Human Resource Management Specialization-Doctor of Philosophy in Business Management

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $14,365/year
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Overall Graduation Rate: Not available
Points: 2
The online PhD in Business Management with a concentration in Human Resource Management from Capella University features a mix of core courses, specialized courses, three residency requirements, an exam, and a dissertation. Online students benefit from the same rigorous curriculum delivered to their in-seat counterparts but without the travel commitment. Students will learn how to hire the best staff, keep current with HR trends, evaluate HR practices, and use research backed strategies in the workplace. This top online PhD in human resources features a flexible course load, giving students the opportunity to take between one and three courses each quarter depending on their schedule.

#9 – Northcentral University-San Diego, California

Human Resources Management, PhD-BA

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 1:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $16,553/year
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission
Overall Graduation Rate: Not Available
Points: 3
Northcentral University features a 100% online PhD in Human Resources designed for individuals seeking leadership positions or work in academia. As one of the most flexible programs to make our list, students can earn their degree from the comfort of their home with no group assignments, scheduled lectures, or semester start dates. Faculty have all earned their doctorate degree and are eager to share their knowledge and experience with their students. Students of this top online human resource doctorate program receive one on one personal mentoring from faculty.

#8 – Bellevue University-Bellevue, Nebraska

Ph.D. in Human Capital Management

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 40:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,170/year
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Overall Graduation Rate: 17%
Points: 3
Bellevue University features an online PhD in Human Capital Management focused on the latest knowledge and practice in the field. Coursework is divided into four modules including Strategic Human Capital Management and Productivity, Linking Human Capital to Organizational Outcomes, Human Capital Leadership and Introduction to Measurement, and Measuring, Analyzing, and Assessing Human Capital Effectiveness. This top online PhD in human resource program includes a dissertation and comprehensive exam.

#7 – Colorado State University-Greenwood Village, Colorado

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education and Human Resource Studies – Organizational Learning, Performance, and Change Specialization

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 31:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,000/year
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Overall Graduation Rate: Not Available
Points: 3
The top online human resource PhD from Colorado State University is focused on organizational learning, performance, and change. The program is designed for working executives and features biweekly Saturday meetings in Denver and online coursework. Faculty are industry experts with experience in research and in specialized areas like workplace learning, onboarding, systems leadership, and scenario planning. The curriculum features a blend of coursework designed to focus on research skills and applied expertise. Students take two courses each semester and move through the program as a cohort, developing professional relationships.

#6 – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign-Champaign, Illinois

Doctor of Education in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership with a concentration in Human Resource Development

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $15,186/year in-state and $28,773/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Overall Graduation Rate: 85%
Points: 4
The University of Illinois College of Education features an online EdD program with a concentration in Human Resource Development. This top online doctorate in human resources includes coursework that covers topics like program evaluation, learning on the job, e-learning, and consulting. Students gain the skills and knowledge needed to improve workplace performance and learning through design, implementation, and evaluation of human resource development programs. Graduates have found employment in financial services, health care, education, and manufacturing.

#5 – Sullivan University-Louisville, Kentucky

Online PhD in Management-Human Resource Leadership

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $14,160/year
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Overall Graduation Rate: 32%
Points: 4
Sullivan University features an innovative online Ph.D. program in Human Resource Leadership ideal for students planning to work in education, consulting, policymaking, or management. Sullivan uses a scholar-practitioner model, preparing students to become both leaders and scholars in their organization. There is no GRE or GMAT required for admission and students can attend on a full-time or part-time basis, allowing for maximum flexibility.

#4 – Liberty University-Lynchburg, Virginia

Doctor of Business Admin. (D.B.A.) in Human Resources

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,217
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Overall Graduation Rate: 47%
Points: 4
The D.B.A. in Human Resources from Liberty University is an online program taking three-and-a-half years to complete. Courses are delivered in a convenient online format with optional intensives. Students of this top D.B.A program in human resources gain real-world knowledge that carries over from the classroom to the workplace. Coursework covers topics like research methods, quality management, and HR development. Professors keep students engaged through hands-on case study and experiential exercises, designed to prepare students for leadership positions in HR.

#3 – The University of Texas at Tyler-Tyler, Texas

Human Resource Development PhD Degree

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $5,220/year in-state and $12,690/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Overall Graduation Rate: 42%
Points: 4
The University of Texas Tyler features a top online PhD in Human Resource Development ideal for working professionals by requiring students to come to campus just five times each semester instead of weekly, like traditional programs. Students can earn their degree in just two-and-a-half years of study. Faculty include Dr. Jerry Gilley, the author of the first textbook on human resource development principles. Students work alongside professors on research projects in areas like comparative HRD theory, gaining valuable experience.

#2 – Indiana Wesleyan University – Marion, Indiana

Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduation Tuition Rate: $10,764/year
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Overall Graduation Rate: 63%
Points: 5
The top PhD degree in Organizational Leadership from Indiana Wesleyan University is delivered through a blend on onsite and online classes. IWU is a Christian university providing a Christ centered doctoral program based on the latest research and best practices in the field. Students can earn their degree in just 40 months, moving through the program as a cohort. Online students complete three one-week long summer institutes attending workshops, events, and networking opportunities.

#1 – University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, Arkansas

Online Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,563/year in-state and $19,784/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Overall Graduation Rate: 62%
Points: 5
Our top choice for the best online doctorate in human resources belongs to the Online Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education offered by the University of Arkansas. UARK has offered this top online human resource doctorate degree for over seven years, evolving the curriculum to meet current HR trends. There are no on-campus residency requirements, making this a great choice for working professionals. New students are admitted each fall, spring, and summer semester.

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